Writing is not your thing? It used to not be mine either.
Writing to me used to be only for college assignments and projects, but the more and more I wrote for marketing purposes, the more I started to love it and saw its importance.
Over that time, I have learned a lot of things that I think might help all of you not just get better at it, but also enjoy writing more!
1. Know who you’re writing for (your target market)
Before you even put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) it is important to remember who it is that you expect to read what you are writing. While you might have a certain style of writing or use certain words and phrases, your target audience might not respond to it in the same way.
For example, if I am writing a blog post for a business clothing store, that blog is going to use a different tone, phrases, and adjectives than it would if I was writing for a casual clothing store.
While this is a simple example, the same can apply to many different characteristics. No matter what you are writing, just make sure to keep the ultimate end user in mind.
2. Create an outline to help you stay on track
We are taking you back to middle school English class for this one! One thing that we see people forget to do a lot is to make an outline.
You might know your industry like the back of your hand, but that doesn’t mean you should just sit down and start writing. Having an outline allows you to organize your thoughts and helps reel you back in when you start to get off-topic.
If you are having trouble with your outline, just think back to those middle school classes.
- Start with an introduction where you are given a preview of the topics of that blog.
- Next, list out your “body” paragraphs where you are going to cover each topic in more detail.
- At the end, don’t forget a conclusion that wraps everything up and gives your final thoughts.
Obviously, things like social media posts and emails might not need a full-blown outline, but it can still be helpful with those longer captions so that you can make sure everything is clear and you touch on all the topics you want.
3. Create urgency and be clear
One trap I always fell into with my writing early on was overwriting. Instead of keeping things quick and concise, I would add all kinds of filler words and sentences that weren’t needed. It is important in writing on many different kinds of media to not overthink things so you can have a clear message that creates urgency.
A good way to practice this is to go back and read things you have written in the past. As you read, try to find spots where a word or two could easily be removed and the sentence would still be clear.
For me, this was the word “that”. I would add “that” into sentences all the time that didn’t really need them. Just by removing one word, I was able to make my writing much better and flow easier.
4. Use line breaks to break up and make it easier to read
Line breaks can be your best friend or your worst enemy.
Effective line breaks allow you to break up your thoughts and add an even better flow to your writing.
- In social media posts, it lets you draw attention to certain words or phrases that you want to stand out.
- In email, you can use line breaks to build suspense or add in some images or buttons.
- For blogs, line breaks are useful to emphasize sections or add a flow into your writing.
But you can overdo it…
For one example, it is popular on LinkedIn nowadays to do a line break after every sentence. While it might look cool and feel like it is more engaging, it may also be deterring a lot of people away from reading what you have to say. Overall, it is a balance and when used right, it can really help your writing.
5. Know where your “See More” is
This is a little writing hack for those of you that do your writing within social media posts.
The “see more” button is something that is a part of most social media platforms. When text gets too long, the platform hides it so that it can save some space on the newsfeed. If someone wants to “read more” they can click the button and view the rest of the text.
It is important that you are aware of where this button is when you are writing your post copy so that you know exactly where the information is going to get cut off. You may have something super cool or interesting to say, but if it is too late in the copy no one will see it.
It is important to note that there is no exact amount of words that each platform will cut off the text, so you will have to experiment a little bit. But once you practice this, it will become second nature to you in your writing.
6. Walk away!
If I can leave you with any piece of advice, this would be it! Almost every single writing issue you might have can be solved by walking away and taking a brain break.
No matter what you are writing, it is possible to get burnt out and hit writer’s block. When this happens, the worst thing that you can do is try to push through and keep going. When you get burnt out, everything from your grammar to your overall creativity will suffer.
Leaving a project and coming back to it is where I find most of my best writing comes from. I think about what I have written and usually come up with 2-3 more ideas in my head after walking away that really add a lot to the piece I am working on.
Most people out there would say that writing isn’t their favorite thing to do. Because of this, it can be hard to get yourself motivated to write or try new things with your writing. Hopefully, these tips will help show you that writing really can be fun, dynamic, and a useful part of your marketing!