Did you know that Kevin Maynard, our founder, is also the author of six sci-fi novels? It’s true!
(Kevin’s note: They’re fiction and have scientists…. but that’s not really what Kim has to say here, so I’ll butt out).
Suffice to say that Kevin knows a thing or two about what good writing looks like and asked me to share some of the tricks of the trade with you.
Whether you’re writing a whitepaper or an email, these tips will instantly improve your writing:
10. Content is king
Your content is a direct reflection of your company. Boring or unimportant content can have a negative impact on your business. Before you start writing sentences, make sure that what you’re writing ABOUT is amazing! If you’re going to say something, make it worthy.
9. Consider your audience
Who are you writing for? Knowing your audience is important for two reasons: 1. To keep your writing on tone, eg. a quick company e-mail about yesterday’s meeting should sound a lot different than the annual report; and 2. So you can address your specific audience’s pain points. 40 Year olds and 17 year olds don’t worry about the same things so don’t treat them the same!
8. Just write
Sometimes the hardest part is getting started. Forget all the rules about proper grammar and punctuation and just write. A basic outline of what you’re trying to say will help you get going. Get your points down and edit later.
7. Write like you talk
Use common words that you use in real life. Inflated language can be confusing. No one should have to use a dictionary to understand your latest blog post. Try to remain clear and simple without being overly casual. Write it as you say it.
6. No chunky paragraphs
Large paragraphs don’t work in the online world. Think short sentences, concise ideas, bullet points and bold headers to anchor the reader’s eye. Nothing scares your audience more than a large chunk of text. Our rule of thumb is one idea per paragraph.
5. Good Copy = Draft – 10%
This formula comes to us courtesy of another famous writer, Stephen King. We live by it here at Growth Path. If your good copy is longer than your draft, you’re not editing properly. Editing should tighten language – simplify it. A writer must be ruthless with the delete key!
4. Ask for feedback
Keep your content engaging. Ask questions that inspire feedback. Your audience is the blood source of your business, so developing a faithful following – and keeping them involved – is key.
3. Forget about it
Spending too much time on one piece of writing will leave you overwhelmed and frustrated. If time isn’t an issue, forget about it and return to it in the morning with a fresh pair of eyes. Your writing (and your audience) will thank you!
2. Read it out loud
Does your writing still make sense? Reading it out loud will pinpoint awkward areas that need revising. This is one of the most effective ways to edit your writing.
1. Don’t sweat it
Content, spelling and grammar all matter, but the most important thing to remember is to be real. Try not to over think the writing process. If you have something important to say, say it. Be authentic, engaging and to the point.
P.S. We’re serious about the sci-fi thing – who knew?! Leave us a comment and we’ll tell you the names of Kevin’s series!