When people know you’re a professional writer, you get a lot of emails, text messages, and instant message with the same question – will you look at this for me?
People usually ask me that because something’s off with their content, but they can’t figure out what’s wrong. There’s nothing technically wrong with their writing, but they know that something’s not quite right. That’s the thing about content – there’s more to it than technical and grammatical perfection, and copywriters know that.
Copywriters don’t just write content. They use the right style, voice, and emotion to not only represent your business, but to convey the message that you want to share.
Whenever I review content for someone, I ask myself these questions:
- Who’s going to read this? Business pros or uninformed amateurs? The audience matters, so you need to know who’s reading.
- How will it be sent? Postcard? Email? Social media? Know your medium so you know how much you can say – don’t cram information onto a post card or social media post. Summarize it.
- What’s its purpose? To sell, inform, or something else? Different purposes require different phrasing, so make sure you know why you’re sending/posting content.
- Does it look right? Not just the composition, but the actual fonts and spacing. Sans Serif fonts are preferred online; serif fonts work best in print. Are colors needed, or – if it’s a press release – is it black on white?
- How does it make me feel? A 3-day only sales flier needs a sense of urgency. Announcing a change in location does not. I should have appropriate feelings when reading the content.
- Why do I feel that way? Which words give me the rushed/lazy/excited/lonely feelings? If they’re conveying the right message, keep them. If not, delete.
- How do I extend/change that feeling? Look for ways to enhance or change the emotional tone of the content. You’re expanding on #5 – adding more of the right words or figuring out which ones you need to create the right emotions.
How many of these questions have to do with grammar or punctuation?
That’s what makes professional content writers so valuable – they see past the words to get to the message, the same way an artist sees past the paint to get to the picture. When you can identify the answers to these questions and figure out the solutions, you’re on your way to creating copy that sells and content that says what you want to say in the way you want to say it.
Until then, contact me. I can help.