10 Writing Tips to Help You Achieve Writing Success in 2009

When working on your own writing for marketing and promotion purposes, it is important to read good writing. Go out and find examples of similar items that are done well.

NOTE: Avoid reading Hemingway, Faulkner, and any Russian writers! Yes…it is good writing and great literat ure to study…if you were a PhD candidate in Literature. I love them all but I must admit in today’s fast paced and hurried life, few take the time to read that stream of conciousness style anymore.

2.   Write Like You Speak

Write like you were talking to the person across the table from you. Follow George Orwell’s writing maxim, “Never use a long word when a short one will do.”  If you have a simple message, why make it complicated with technical jargon and fancy words found only in a thesaurus? Avoid passive voice…who actually talks that way?

Active Voice: “Eloise, the dog bit the boy.”

Passive Voice: “Eloise, that boy was bitten by the dog.”

3.   Just Get It Out of Your Head

Don’t worry that your first attempt is not perfect. You have to conceptualize your work and then edit brutally, revise and rewrite. It is called “the writing process” for a reason.

 4.   YOU! YOU! YOU!

Make it personal. Talk directly to your reader. Use “you” and “your” so your reader knows this information is for them personally.

5.   Have Something to Say

Have something to say that benefits others. Write something worth talking about in an interesting and different explanation. Say it in a way that it stands out and makes your reader laugh, smile, or get angry. Say what you have to say so it is memorable.

6.   Use Imagery

Add visual details to your writing so your reader can create mental pictures.

“Bad-Ass coffee has a kick to it!”

7.   Headlines with Sex Appeal

If 10 people glance at your writing only 2 will read past your headline. Ouch! How do you beat those kinds of statistics? Killer headlines are rich in keywords, short, and sassy.

Bad Example Headline:

Attention authors, speakers, entrepreneurs: Get The Shocking Truth On What You Must Do To Create a Sell Sheet by Following This Writing Formula And Stay Lite-Years Ahead Of The Marketing and Crowd!

 Good Example Headline:

5 Steps to Super Successful Sell Sheets

8.   KISS – Keep it Short, Sweetie!

Remember what your 9th grade English teacher told you about how many sentences go in a paragraph? She was wrong and you were right!  Avoid three syllable words. If you write a sentence with more than 15-17 words in it, you have said too much. A paragraph with more than 3-4 sentences also means you have said too much.  Writing today means saying it directly and concisely. We just don’t have time to dig for meaning.

9.   Call to Action

Do you want your reader to buy your product? Visit your website? Read your book? Tell your reader specifically what to do next. Give them precise directions on what they are to do next so they can take action.

10.       Sleep on it!

Once you have written your first draft and revised it once, put it aside for a day or so. Coming back with fresh eyes and a new perspective will expose many flaws, omissions, and glaring errors. You won’t believe what you missed!

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