Are you forgetting these 7 web copy clinchers?
Finished writing your content? You sure about that? Examine how we round off our copywriting jobs and add that extra polish…
“Art is never finished, only abandoned,” said Leonardo Da Vinci… probably. It might have been Picasso or Paul Valéry. To quote Plato, “the internet makes it easy to muddle up who said what.”
But if art is only ever abandoned, it isn’t abandoned lightly. Is there more you can do to polish your blog, web copy, brochure, or similar masterpiece before you forsake it?
At Sookio, we’ve abandoned bags of art over the years, but never before subjecting it to these essential finishing touches:
Sleep on it
If you’re not up against a killer deadline, let your copy breathe before you upload it. Give it another read tomorrow morning and you’ll more than likely spot a few quick improvements you can make.
Similar to how napping helps you juggle, your brain reorganises and consolidates learning while you sleep. Recent research links the process to learning language; this trick is especially useful when explaining complex ideas.
If you are up against a killer deadline, perhaps some digital marketing tools could help with time management?
Read it out loud
Numerous rounds of drafts and edits widen the gap between your inner and outer monologues. What once flowed beautifully can be torn apart and stitched back into a technically accurate but hideous verbal Frankenstein.
Stand up, take a deep breath, and read what you’ve written out loud. You will sound like a wally, but you’ll also spot bits which risk making the reader stumble and lose the thread. Worth it.
Take your favourite bit out
Does your writing have one bit that you’re mega proud of? A juicy stat? A touching anecdote? A thigh-slapping joke?
Remove your favourite element and see if the whole thing still stands on its own merits. Is every word adding value, or is it all merely a delivery system for that one bit?
If the piece still works, you can keep the best bit in good faith. If not, consider restructuring or backing up weaker points.
Purge weak words
Certain words do nothing but take up space in a sentence without paying rent. If you’re truly ready to release your work, make sure it doesn’t house these squatters:
Just (“this thing is insignificant”)
Innovative (“I don’t understand why this thing is good”)
Etc (“this list of things doesn’t matter”)
Passionate (“I can’t be bothered explaining how this makes me feel”)
Very (“this thing is not ‘very’ anything but I can’t think of a better superlative”)
Great (nothing great has ever been described merely as ‘great’)
Trim out anything apologetic or woolly. Be specific, not abstract. If you’re unsure about something, get rid of it. Better to release 730 words you absolutely stand behind than thousands of words of jibber-jabber.
Compare it to the brief
Ideas evolve. The beauty of writing copy is the journey it takes you on, but beware of straying too far from the path.
A clear brief should outline the job your writing performs, and who it’s for. Sit with it and the ‘finished’ piece side-by-side; can you demonstrate how every single line of that brief manifests in the work?
Have the audience read it
This is another one for those with the luxury of time. It’s all well and good us sitting in our marketing bubble talking about best practice, but if you’re writing a piece for plumbers: find a plumber and have them read it.
All the research and workshops in the world can’t replace context and experience. Listen to what your audience is saying; if they suggest something that flies in the face of all your highfalutin learnings, you might have picked up something valuable.
Write it again
Let’s finish on an extreme one. If you’ve written something and you’re unsure if you could have done better: try to do better. Clear your head, then rewrite the piece you just wrote with a different structure, tone, and set of contents.
Not only can you chop and change the bits from each version that work best, you learn exactly how creative you are when all your ideas go into one piece and you have to write the second truly from scratch.
We’re Sookio and we’re flipping brilliant at writing content. Need some of that for your business? Contact us today!