No one reads endless columns of text. It’s a real turn-off. I’ll keep your sentences and paragraphs brief and to the point. The same applies to the big picture. ‘The fewer the words, the better the prayer,’ as the saying goes.
I’ll also lead the eye from one point to the next in a logical manner, building interest as we go. It’s the only way to keep your audience on side and exceed your conversion targets.
Saying what you need me to say in ways your audience can relate to is vital. Which is why I write more like people speak. Contractions are normal in everyday English. That’s why I use them in your content.
And why say ‘whilst,’ when ‘while’ trips off the tongue far more easily? Nothing wrong with the occasional split infinitive, either. I find them useful for adding emphasis. Sentences beginning with ‘And’ or ‘But’ do the same.
Slavishly following old-fashioned rules of grammar doesn’t necessarily make things clearer. It can make you appear stuffy and out of touch. If it sounds right and reads right, it is right – even if it’s a one-word sentence. Right!
Words become more involving and even more effective when you talk directly to your audience. Which is why I like to address them as ‘you’ whenever it makes sense to do so. ‘You’ also sounds friendlier than impersonal references to ‘customers,’ ‘clients’ and ‘users.’ I also avoid being gender-specific, by using ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she,’ or a job title.
Most visitors quickly scan content for relevance. I’ll make certain they understand the main thrust of your offer from glancing at your headings and sub-headings. That way, your audience can quickly decide if they want to dig deeper. Which they always will, of course, as long as they’re reading content I’ve written for you.
Before I send you the first draft of copy, I’ll check out each sentence for ambiguity. While I’m at it, I’ll remove any words and phrases that give an illusion of meaning but often mean nothing. We’re all guilty of overdoing it at times, me included.
I don’t rely on spell checkers to proof read. They can’t handle context. I prefer to read what I’ve written out loud to myself. It’s the best way to assess the true flow of the copy and conduct a pukka, nit-picking exercise.
It’s vital to work closely with you from the outset – immersing myself in your brief, getting to grips with your strategy, and understanding what makes your target audience tick. Given the opportunity, I would also like to liaise with your preferred design agency.
Words and design should complement each other. Sadly, that’s not usually the case. Words tend to be parachuted into the design at the last minute, which can result in your messages being cut or diluted to fit the format.
What if the traditional roles were reversed? What if you decided to get the words written before you approached an agency? Final text, or a draft at an advanced stage, would give them a heads up on the creative front, saving you time and dosh.
Either way, when everyone’s on the same page, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.