A paper first published in Professional Manager, UK, March 2007 issue.
© Professional Manager and Lindsay Camp. Reprinted with permission.
Published here April 2008.

Editor's Note | Introduction | So What is Good Writing? 
Writing for Results: Very Briefly Indeed | Make Three Assumptions 
Better Writing: Next Steps? | Top Ten Copywriter's Tips

Top Ten Copywriter's Tips

  1. Start with a bang. Remember, if your opening does not give a busy person a compelling reason to read on, he or she almost certainly will not.
  2. Splurge, then edit. Don't agonize over every word. Just get it all down, fast - then go back and cut and shape and polish.
  3. Write, as you would speak. Don't be chummy or jocular, but do write as if you are talking, articulately and knowledgeably, to another intelligent person.
  4. Read it aloud. Hearing what you've written is a foolproof way to spot clunking phrases or convoluted sentences.
  5. Use the "y" word. Is there at least one "you" in your first few sentences? If not, your reader will be feeling neglected.
  6. Is it a good idea to use questions? Yes.
  7. Put a figure on it. "Customers in 37 countries, not customers all over the world".
  8. Go for a walk. When the words won't come, leave it and come back later. In my experience, it always does the trick.
  9. How does it look? Make things easy for your reader: break it up with headings; pull out key quotes; include a bullet point summary.
  10. Never stop editing ... until you finally hit "print" or "send".
Better Writing: Next Steps?  Better Writing: Next Steps?

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