The quality of business writing has been a hot topic of debate lately. In several social networking forums, both writers and those who hire writers have openly, often fervently, expressed their concern that catchy, creative, well-written copy is a thing of the past.
In his insightful, wonderful article on Inc.com, writer Jason Fried asked flat-out, "Why is business writing so awful?
While it could be due to any combination of reasons (punctuation, grammar, misspellings), Fried was referring specifically to bland, boring copy which does little more than reiterate all the bland, boring copy you've read before.
Great copy, according to Fried, has a personality and invokes emotion, among other things. But how do you do that? Ask any writer, and they'll probably give you a number of tricks and tips to make your copy kick. But in this article, I'll show you six techniques you can apply right now to make the difference between copy which moves readers to take action and moves them to, well, move on.
1. Write like you speak. Forget everything you learned about writing a college term paper. This ain't that. (Yes, I meant to write that.)
The most vivid, engaging copy reads like a conversation between two friends. So, imagine you're having a conversation with your ideal client, whom you might also like to one day have as a friend. What would you say? How might you interact? Write it down. Or, if you have to, speak into a recorder and then transcribe the material. Don't worry about editing. That comes later. For now, just write it down.
2. Show personality. It's perfectly okay, as Fried illustrates in his article, to let your personality shine when writing. Really, it is. From website content to sales letters to email blasts to cover letters, readers welcome sincere, down-to-earth copy which gives them a sense of a real person behind the words. Don't worry how you think you're "supposed" to sound.