Which would you rather be? A marathoner or a 100-metre dasher? (source)
Do you know what the most important tip in social media success is?
Let me give you a few hints.
Michelle Obama at the DNC (courtesy of AP Images)
[This post was updated twice on end March 2015 and 27 July 2016]
Michelle Obama brought the house down at the Democratic National Convention this year. Her wonderful speech affirming Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was widely lauded as one of the best speeches made in the ongoing race for the President of the United States, with elections slated for 8 November 2016.
Some have even proclaimed that she was the star of the show that night – and she isn’t even a politician by any measure of the word!
Copyblogger, one of the world’s most popular for writing aficionados like yours truly, featured this excellent post on writing effective copy by Brian Clark. I have read plenty of copywriting tips in my lifetime, but this is probably one of the best I have come across. Read it, apply it to your writing, and voila! Watch those customers come queueing at your doors…. (if only it was this simple)
Is what you’re writing of interest to the reader? Does it solve a problem they have and add value to their lives? If not, nothing else you read here matters.
Likewise, nothing else matters if your prospective reader never makes it past the title or headline. Your content could be amazing, but if no one is compelled to invest the time to read based on a boring or vague headline, all is lost.
The purpose of the headline is to get the first sentence read, and each subsequent sentence needs to keep the reader rolling towards to the close. The momentum you create with your opening can make your job easier the rest of the way.
Good writing uses transitional words and phrases to help the content read more smoothly. But good copy also uses psychological connectors to persuade and keep the reader engaged. We’ll talk more about that soon.
Orson Scott Card once said that metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space. The same is true of stories, and being highly specific facilitates understanding, holds attention, and enhances credibility in ways that general assertions cannot.
How you close a piece is determined by what you are hoping to accomplish. If you’re not sure what you’re trying to accomplish, you might ask yourself why you’re writing it at all. That actually helps you to determine whether to revamp the content or to put it out of its misery.
I came across this post by Kian Ann recently on the need to write well on the Internet. While crafting some suggestions to him on the comments section, I decided that I might as well expand this into a blog post.
How does one write well? Is there a secret formula that you can apply in order to be a wicked wordsmith?