Don’t think you’re a writer? Think again! If you own your own business and are building your own brand, you are constantly communicating with your audience, prospects, and clients via the written word.
On your website.
On social media.
You are a writer.
As a former copywriter, I spent a lot of time studying the effectiveness of words and practicing better ways to put them together to communicate with our ideal clients. Here’s a list of 20 simple, straightforward ways that you, too, can begin improving your writing.
#1 – When you write, picture the one person you want to talk to (this will usually be your ideal client). Don’t talk to “everyone” or to a vague “target market”. Talk to that one, unique person.
#2 – Write regularly. Every day, or twice per week, or however it fits into your schedule. The more you practice writing, to more natural it will become. (You can funnel your regular writing habit into a blog, and begin attracting clients through it).
#3 – Read, read, read! Reading other good writing will help you improve your own. Read other websites that you think sound great, read magazines, blogs, books in every genre. Feed your creativity.
#4 – Write the way you speak. Using contractions, sentence fragments, and other grammar short-cuts (like we do when we talk) will make you sound more conversational and human online. But remember that breaking rules intentionally is different than sloppy writing.
#5 – Become your own editor. Proof-read everything before hitting publish, send, or share. Typos happen even when you do your darnedest to catch them, but proof-reading your work thoroughly will cut down on embarrassing slip ups. (Grammarly can help you with that, too).
#6 – Use your personality! Communication void of personality is boring to read. Use your own natural quirks, energy, and style to make your words interesting + effective.
#7 – Get a second opinion. When you write something for your brand – like a new landing page or a sales email – zip it off to a trusted business pal or writer friend. Ask for specific feedback.
#8 – Set a timer when you write. If you find that writing feels hard, or that every five words you’re tempted to click on the Facebook tab, then you NEED to curb your distractions and bust writer’s block. One of my favorite ways of doing this is setting a timer for 45 minutes and promising myself I can take a break when it goes off.
#9 – After you’ve written something, read it out loud to yourself (or your spouse, or your puppy). Hearing your words out loud will help you gauge how natural they feel. If it sounds stiff and awkward out loud, it will sound stiff and awkward in your readers head, too.
#10 – When you write anything for your business, ask yourself how you’re serving or benefiting your audience through it.
#11 – Always spend extra time crafting a good headline for your blog posts and sales pages. Grabbing people’s attention in the first place is half the battle.
#12 – Talk about benefits, not features. People don’t want to buy shampoo – they want to buy healthy, shiny, magazine-cover-worthy hair. What benefits does your product, program, or service offer? (Hint: it’s usually rooted in an emotion).
#13 – Learn how to be concise. Writing short and writing concise aren’t always the same thing. Long sales pages can still be concise. It’s about cutting fluffy words and non-essential information.
#14 – Never end a sales page, blog post, or marketing email without a call to action. Always give people a next step.
#15 – Use your audience’s words. Study how they talk about your type of product or service – the words they use, the worries they voice, the benefits they value most – and infuse that into your copy.
#16 – Hire someone to help you polish your most prominent pieces of copy (like your website).
#17 – Make sure you know who your perfect, ideal clients or customers are before you write anything.
#18 – Don’t get hung up on perfection, or about publishing, sending, or sharing something that’s better than everything else out there. Just write what you mean, write it as best you can, and share it.
#19 – Don’t stress too much about creating an endless stream of great content for your business. There are plenty of ways to recycle your words and ideas.
#20 – Learn how to plan your content and writing out ahead of time, so that when you sit down to write something, you’ll have focus and purpose.