The awesome news is that business writing is easier than you think. So grab your No. 2 pencil and a notebook because you, my friend, are about to write some super epic words on that blank page you’ve been staring at.
Ready to stop saying you hate to write? Well let’s get into these 4 writing tips carefully crafted just for you.
Tip #1: Write like you talk
If you can talk, you can write. Consider this quote from Seth Godin:
“No one ever gets talker’s block. No one wakes up in the morning, discovers he has nothing to say and sits quietly, for days or weeks, until the muse hits, until the moment is right, until all the craziness in his life has died down.”
Writing is as easy as talking. No one’s looking for you to sound like Maya Angelou or Shakespeare.
Tip #2: Follow the writing process
Remember when your English teacher told you every story has an introduction, supporting facts and a conclusion? Turns out she was absolutely right … and you can apply that same writing process to your website copy, business letters, sales pages and so on.
It’s really as easy as 1-2-3:
1. Figure out your point
Before you start writing, it’s important that you figure out what you’re writing about and why it matters to your audience.
Make sure EVERYTHING you write has a clear point. (Always answer “why am I writing this?”)
Keep your writing clear by focusing on just ONE point in each piece of content.
Tighten up your point by brainstorming and doing some research before you start to write your content
2. Make your point
Naturally the next step after identifying your point is actually making your point.
State your point clearly and concisely.
In most cases, you should lead with or introduce your point early in your writing. Pro writers will sometimes save the point for the conclusion, but it’s much easier to state your point in the intro and use the body copy to tell readers why your point matters.
In general, if you’re writing short copy – start with the point. However, if you’re writing long-form content (such as a lengthy blog post, sales page), you may want to start with a story your audience will relate to.
3. Prove your point
We’re cooking now! Now that you’ve introduced your point, it’s time to prove it. Pretend you’re having a conversation with a co-worker or friend. What would you tell him to back up your claim?
Use the body of your content to identify the benefits of your point – product, service, position.
You’ll want to discuss research/facts you’ve found.
Tell how you landed at your conclusions.
Share examples to make your point real for others.
Tip #3: Wrap it up
Would you give your closest buddy a gift in a grocery bag? Nope. You’ll wrap it up in some nice wrapping paper and a pretty bow (or pay someone else to do it). Like giving gifts, presentation matters when writing for your business.
Restate your point.
Let people know why what you wrote matters to them.
Sum. It. Up.
Tip #4: Edit … edit and edit some more
The one problem with writing how we talk is that, at times, our conversations aren’t always focused. We may repeat ourselves. Fish around for the right word.
So here’s what to do:
Write like you speak. Then clarify.
Eliminate useless words.
Turn passive verbs into action verbs.
Use picture words to help people visualize your point.
Get rid of repetitive statements.
Remove sentences and paragraphs that stray away from your point.
Editing helps you sound like YOU … only better.