Write better copy in less time
Five ways Rev Up Readership will help you
Having a writer’s toolbox stuffed full of tricks can help you:
1. Write better copy.
Now, don’t tell my clients this, but the truth is, as a writer, I’m not all that talented. Put 10 professional writers in a room, and five of them will have more natural writing ability than me.
Still, companies like Readers Digest, the Mayo Clinic, H&R Block and Sprint call on me to handle their special print and online writing projects.
Organizations like NASA, Nike and Nokia pay me thousands of dollars to share my writing secrets with their professionals. Clients from as far away as Helsinki, Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels and Basel fly me to their organizations to hear what I have to say.
To become successful, I’ve had to do something that 97 percent of writers haven’t done. In order to build my international writing and training business, I’ve had to assemble hundreds of tricks for improving my writing.
I have tricks for finding the story my readers want to read. Tricks for organizing my copy. Tricks for making my copy a pleasure to read. Tricks for writing copy that’s easy to understand. Tricks for writing leads that draw readers into the story. Tricks for getting skimmers and scanners to absorb my material. And more.
The truth is, tricks trump talent every time. And the great thing about those tricks — a side benefit I would never have predicted when I was first struggling to collect them — is:
These tricks not only make copy better, they also make writing faster and easier.
2. Slash the time it takes to write.
The same tricks that help you improve the quality of your writing also help you speed the writing process.
That’s because the more tricks you have, the more confidant you are. You’ll make decisions faster because you know what works. The less time you spend agonizing over your copy, knowing something’s wrong but not really knowing how to fix it.
3. Stop spending your life begging for approvals.
The approval process can be the most tedious part of a communicator’s life. I know: When I worked at one company, I once had to have — no lie — 100 people approve an article I’d written for our employee annual report.
So I empathize with writers and editors who have to fight comma by comma for approval from people whose only writing credential is that they didn’t flunk out of Mrs. Brown’s 10th-grade English class. But I also think that one reason we’ve inherited such an unbearable approval process is that, as a group, we haven’t done a very good job of explaining the art and science of what we do.
The ability to talk about what works in communication and why — and to back that talk up, when possible, with proven evidence — is one of the best ways I know of to gain more power in the approval process. (After all, “Sentences should be short.” is hardly a compelling argument.)
And the more you know about the craft of writing — not just the techniques, but the foundation underlying the techniques — the easier it is to explain to management why you do things the way you do.
4. Fireproof your career.
As one wit says, great writing skills are so valuable that no skillful writer need ever miss a meal. (I obviously haven’t!)
5. Earn more money.
The most successful writers enjoy raises, promotions, new clients — even extra money from freelancing.
I earned thousands of extra dollars a year writing magazine articles and teaching graduate writing courses on the side while I was working full time for employers. Today, my writing business has the happy “problem” of having to turn down work because we have too many great writing opportunities.
What are you waiting for? Join Rev Up Readership now.
Learn more about the Rev Up Readership toolbox.