We have all been there. You think of an inspired article or marketing campaign. You write it all down, knowing it's a great idea and that people will be interested.
You click post. You're excited and can't wait for it to be published and successful.
Three days later a colleague takes a look. Said colleague points out a grammatical error and a spelling mistake in the first paragraph. Your heart sinks. It's already had thousands of views.
Were any of those views' potential new clients, existing clients, your boss? Any of whom (instead of enjoying your article) may have stopped reading and judged you to be someone who cannot spell or is not fastidious enough to proofread your work.
Have you indicated that you deliver rushed, inaccurate, or worse, sloppy work? It's impossible to really know. Some may not have noticed, whilst others may be instantly turned off.
Regardless, you haven't given your article a good send-off or the best chance to impress and succeed.
No one produces perfect work all of the time. We all make mistakes, rush and get excited during the creative process. This is why proofreading is so important, each and every time.
Proofreading is not the same as 'normal' reading. In fact, it is rather slow and you should not follow the flow of the text. You have to break the flow and really digest each word in isolation, as well as checking all punctuation and grammar. I have to be honest, proofreading is not much fun. Highly important, but definitely scoring low in the fun stakes. That said, a little pain is definitely worth it before you publish because unfortunately any kind of mistake damages credibility.
This is the only method that I trust and is a version of the method suggested by Andy Maslen, published author and copywriter.
You can blame him. It does work though.
Or (if that all sounds a bit much), hire a copywriter. A good copywriter ensures your article is published and viewed in the best possible light, giving it the send-off you deserve and need.
If you would like a quote or any assistance, then I can be reached at:
SEO (search engine optimisation) isn't about littering your article or website with an excess of keywords. It is a combination of things. Write your site for the user and their experience, then improve your site or article with these top tips!
So, you have finished writing and think your copy looks good and reads well, but how can you be sure? It is easy to get caught in the trap of writing long sentences and paragraphs, or using industry-specific jargon.
There is actually a simple way to check that your copy is easy to read and understand by checking its, "Flesch Reading Ease" and "Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level." This may sound complicated but is done very easily by checking a box in Microsoft Word.
The Flesch Reading Ease was developed in 1948 by author, readability expert and writing consultant Rudolph Flesch. Fleschs' formula tests your copy for its readability and is considered one of the oldest and most accurate methods. Your score will be between 1 and 100, although a score can be in the minus figures (note to self, this is not a good thing). Flesch is also the co-creator of the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level.
Text with a score of 100 is very easy to read and said to be understood by the average 11-year-old. The Harry Potter books have an average score of 72.83, whilst The Harvard Law Review has a general readability in the low 30's.
The "Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level" was developed in 1978 under contract to the US Navy by J. Peter Kincaid. It was also used by the Army for assessing the difficulty of technical manuals. It soon became a United States military standard and is used by authors and writers all over the world.
Text intended for readership by the general public should ideally have a score around 60 to 80 and a reading level grade of 8 to 9. This will ensure it is easy to read and will be enjoyed by a wide and varied audience. The accompanying picture is the Flesch reading score for this copy.
Learn how to change your settings and assess your copy's readability here.
On a final note: you should not have any passive sentences. This will ensure you grab your audience's attention in an active voice.
Failing all of that, I can always write it for you.
When pitching your concept, product or service, brand recognition and appealing to your target audience is essential.
To do this you need to:
Missguided's collaboration with Love Island over the summer was genius and saw their sales increase by up to (a whopping) 9000% on outfits the contestants wore on the show. Apparently, the islanders were very cleverly offered a free 'gifting suite' of clothes by the brand before they packed their bags. Love or hate the show, it is a huge hit with their target audience of 16-30 year old's and a campaign bang on point. You can read more here: loveislandeffect.
Regardless the size of your campaign, some savvy marketing and writing is proven to increase brand recognition, loyalty and sales.
Your website and social media are your silent sales partners and should be converting customers. If your visitor cannot easily understand your site and find what they are looking for, they move on in a matter of seconds.
When launching your campaign, tell your creative team exactly what you want. Have comparisons, demo the product and go to town describing the features and benefits to your team. That is your version of the canny 'gifting suite.'
I was invited, by a lovely client of mine, to a meeting last week and a spot of lunch with the creative team. Whilst pleasant, this was very clever.
Before we went for lunch, the client took the time to show me the new product they wanted me to help launch. I was given a demo of the product, in fact we took it apart and rebuilt it, and said client showed me its many impressive and market-leading design features.
I went away from the meeting with a visual experience to rival any written brief. I was able to write a nine page brochure rather effortlessly, that truly captured the essence of the product and the tone of the client. Most importantly, I really understood who would want the product and why.
Copywriting is different to other forms of writing. Copywriting is the ability to sell, persuade and engage. It is not to be confused with creative writing. Long words, stories and paragraphs have no place in copywriting. You must try and appeal to everyone and be clear and easy to understand. Use short, punchy sentences that elicit interest and hold focus.
Copywriting is the ability to keep readers on your page and convert them into customers.
How is your silent sales partner performing?
If there is anything I may assist with, the first hour is on me:
As always, warmest regards,
I love writing, but writing isn't just words. It is the ability to stir feelings, spread your message and unite people.