Last week, in the first of this three-part series, I focused on social media marketing management. Today, let’s look at writing/copywriting.
2. Writing/Copywriting Management
Whether you work alone, or with others, there’s a good chance that you write daily. Writing activities can include any of the following:
- individual or mass distribution emails
- blog posts
- social media posts
Writing well is a skill that takes years to hone. But, you don’t have years to develop your abilities when you write daily for work. What can you do to ensure that your writing is professional and represents your brand?
At the beginning of your day, make a list of any writing assignments you must tackle. Choose your most productive time of day to begin the piece with the shortest deadline.
Close your office door, reduce any distractions, and take out a writing pad and pen. Yes, old-fashioned pen and paper. Write the following:
- Target audience – to whom are you speaking? Identify their needs, wants, and/or challenges.
- Key message or takeaway – what’s the most important message you want to impart? It’s confusing and overwhelming to readers when you include too many messages in the same piece. (There are some exceptions: newsletters, manuals, or reports that include several pieces of information.)
- Call to action – what do you want people to do after reading this piece?
When I worked in an office environment, I found interruptions distracting. My solution? I placed a sign on my door to dissuade colleagues from interrupting my writing process. 😆
Next, determine how many words your piece requires. Write down a working title or the main point you want to make.
Now, create a list of talking points. If required, do some research to ensure your accuracy.
Don’t worry about finessing your language now; get them all down on paper. At this point, you may want to copy what you have written to a computer before the next step. This is optional and depends which medium gives you the best results.
Organize the list into a logical order. Add supporting evidence or descriptions to each talking point.
Next, review what you’ve written sentence by sentence. Ask yourself these questions and make any necessary revisions:
- Is my writing too formal? Can I make it simpler?
- Is my writing clear and easy to understand? (Ask others to read your piece and report what they believe you are saying.)
- Can I use fewer words to get this point across?
- Can I turn passive sentences into active ones?
- Have I made any punctuation errors?
- Are there any spelling or typographical errors? (Word-processing software programs have spell-checking flaws.) Check out tools such as WhiteSmoke, CorrectEnglish, SpellChecker, Grammarly, and Ginger.
- Have I avoided internal acronyms and jargon?
- Have you framed your writing to your target audience? Have you used “you” instead of other generic terms?
- Have I backed up my facts with proof?
Now, read your piece aloud. You may hear something that you didn’t catch while reading it to yourself.
Developing a structure can help you stay on track and manage your daily writing assignments.
Here’s a good infographic that explains the different types of editing: