Too much to read? It’s a problem most of us in business can identify with these days. Emails, articles, reports, forums, blogs, books, magazines – we’re bombarded with stuff to read every day. Most of it never gets read. But why is that?
A lot of it is just badly written. Much of the writing we come across in business is dull, boring, incomprehensible rubbish filled with pretentious buzzwords like ‘strategic alignment’ or ‘leveraging assets’… *yawn*. And it’s damned hard work to wade through. As a consequence, most of it ends up in the bin.
So how do you make sure your marketing is different? If you don’t want your marketing messages to go straight in the bin, you’d better make them easy to read. And that means learning to write well. So here are five quick tips that will instantly improve your writing, making life easier for your reader, and your marketing messages more likely to get read.
1. Keep it short
Long sentences are hard to follow. Anything over 30 words is pushing it. Aim for 16 words or less in each sentence. The same goes for paragraphs. Keep them short. Especially the first one.
2. It’s not about you
Your reader doesn’t care about you. She cares about herself. So make sure your writing tells her what’s in it for her. As a guide, the number of times you see ‘you’ or ‘your’ in your writing should outnumber the ‘we’, ‘our’ and ‘I’s at least 2:1.
3. Cut the jargon
Do us all a favour, and keep the technical terminology out of your writing. You may understand perfectly well what you’re talking about. But do your readers? Probably not. And if you confuse them for just a moment, you’ll lose them for good.
4. Stop trying to be clever
Would a salesman at your door try to be clever, funny or entertaining? Or would he stick to the facts about the product? Your writing is your salesperson in print. So stop worrying about clever analogies and witty plays on words, and get to the point.
5. Read it aloud
Writing is what you use when you can’t be there in person. So don’t say anything in print that you wouldn’t say to your reader’s face. The best test is to read your writing aloud. If you feel silly reading it out loud, then it probably sounds silly and insincere to your reader.
Good writing really isn’t rocket science. In fact, the simpler you can make your writing, the easier it will be to read. Which makes it more likely that your marketing will deliver the results you want.
For writing that’s proven to deliver results (and keep your company out of the bin), get in touch with us today.