In the lean, mean structure of smaller businesses, in-house copywriters often don’t specialize in copywriting. It’s just one of many hats they wear as part of their overall duties. Creating high quality digital content isn’t easy. Consumer behaviours change, Google’s algorithms change, search trends change, and all of this means content must adapt. Copywriters who work on their writing skills and keep up with the user experience will be more effective. Here are four tips from great novelists that can take your content writing to the next level.
Be Direct When Using Verbs
Stephen King said, “Timid writers like passive verbs for the same reason that timid lovers like passive partners. The passive voice is safe.” In active voice, the subject performs the verb’s action. “The dog chewed the bone.” “The customer bought the car.” In passive voice, the subject is acted on by the verb. “The bone was chewed by the dog.” “The car was bought by the customer.” Active voice is much stronger in writing. Passive voice often complicates the issue and can sound stiff. Try to write in active voice as much as possible.
Don’t Wait for Inspiration
Octavia Butler said, “First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not.” When a blank page challenges you, pick up the gauntlet. Free write for five minutes and look for an idea to get you started. Talk to a colleague for a few minutes about something in your industry. Start with the ending and work back to the beginning. Just write and get the juices flowing on paper.
John Grisham said, “Read each sentence at least three times in search of words to cut.” When you eliminate wordiness, you grab your reader’s attention. Your content is more impactful. Avoid fluff words that don’t add meaning to the content. Remove redundant words. You don’t have to say, “evolve over time,” or “major breakthrough.” Use your words judiciously.
Vary Your Language
Martin Amis said, “Don’t start a paragraph with the same word as the previous one. That goes doubly for sentences.” Repetition will take the reader out of the content. You don’t need to get out the Thesaurus; just keep your sentences different. Reading out loud can help you identify monotonous writing. In content writing for the web, be extra careful to keep sentences short. Run-on sentences don’t convey the message as well, and of course, nobody reads online, we only scan.
Invest in High-Quality Content
If your copywriter is bored with writing, it will show through in the content. Consumers have other options. You can’t afford to create mediocre content that doesn’t convert. An experienced, multi-talented content agency can fill the gap and help you create a content strategy going forward. Contact MintCopy to learn more.
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