18 business writing tipoffs to keep tucked under your hat

18 business writing tipoffs to keep tucked under your hat

Biz-writing tipoffs to keep under your hat…

Here are some business writing tipoffs developed on the basis of professional business writers’ skill and experience.

Keep them tucked under your hat ready to use the next time you need to write for your business or other organization…

  1. Think not about what you want to say, but what your message must achieve. Often the two can be very different, but the second one is much more important.
  2. Identify your target audience and get to know them very well. Understand what matters to them; what keeps them awake at night; what will make them appreciate your expertise.
  3. Be aware of how people will receive your message. How to approach writing a blog, an email, a social media post, a newsletter, an article, a brochure, etc…they’re all rather different.
  4. Online text is as different from offline text as a PC screen is from paper. Even many young people who grew up with screens still prefer to read longer text on paper. Bear that in mind when choosing your communication medium.
  5. Add in the magic ingredient … “what’s in it for them.” Readers are selfish. That’s a fact. Unless you tell them very, very quickly what they’ll get from what you write, you will lose them.
  6. Now, start writing. Remember that one of the mistakes we all make is that we try to get it right first time. Hardly anybody does and if they do, it’s probably accidental. So you’re in good company.
  7. There is no need to practise economy if you’re using a computer to write. Provided you know how to use a keyboard and know where the delete key is, don’t hold back.
  8. If you don’t yet feel confident about writing down your message immediately, don’t try. That will just be a waste of your time and will stress you out unnecessarily.
  9. You don’t have to explain every last detail. Direct is beautiful. But don’t worry too much about being direct at this stage, although it’s worth trying to be as direct as possible as soon as possible.
  10. Work through the message development process by writing down its key points. Doesn’t matter if those points are mis-spelled or ungrammatical – not now, anyway.
  11. Narrow your focus on essential key points only and write them up in as many words as you want. Be liberal and just keep writing. It’s a lot more effective to edit your piece down than it is to find yourself with sparse, under-written text that doesn’t explain properly.
  12. Edit hard and you get a final message that works. Now is the time to dump all the surplus adjectives and adverbs, repetitive phrases and sentences, etc.
  13. It’s easy to see where you’ve over-worded, so replace that with concise, unfancy English. If it isn’t direct and easy to understand now, edit it until it is.
  14. Phrase your message in your audience’s language. Make sure, when you’re editing, that what results falls in with the way your target audience speaks – and thinks.
  15. Remember a few grammar rules you need to follow. Especially with online writing, a few goofs in grammar, spelling etc. are forgiveable. But too many make you look unprofessional.
  16. Organize text so browsing readers get the key points very easily. People scan text, especially online. Break yours up with short paragraphs and sub-headings that tell the key points of the story and include your main keywords.
  17. When you write yourself a speech or other spoken material, make sure you write it for yourself – not the person you think you should be as a speaker. Now more than ever is the time to make sure you write informally and for spoken speech.
  18. If you’re out of your depth call in a professional writer. By all means search this site and you’ll find plenty of help to write for business yourself, but don’t drive yourself doo-lally. Decide when it would be more cost-effective to pay someone else to write for you so you can spend the time on what you’re  good at.

What other business writing tipoffs would you keep tucked under your hat?

Please share!