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5 Simple tips for brilliant writing your customers will actually read

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In our previous blog “Your cheat sheet of 30 killer content marketing ideas”, we have focused on how to start a conversation with your customers and provided you with suggested topics to keep them interested in what you have to say.

Which is great, but none of that matters if your writing skills are so poor that the reader can’t make sense of what you have written and stops reading straight after the first couple of sentences. 

Here are our top tips to improve your writing and ensure that your readers come back for more.

1. Your English teacher was right

Unless you have chosen to communicate with emoji’s or txt speak, the rules that your high school teacher droned on about every lesson, really are the building blocks of great communication.

For those who have forgotten, here is a quick reminder of what those rules are:

  • Punctuation: Get it right otherwise your sentence can take on a whole different meaning. E.g. Let’s eat, Grandma or let’s eat Grandma. Without the comma, you just have the beginnings of an apocalypse movie, sorry Grandma.
  • Grammar: Sentences are a lot easier to read when you have the right words in the right place. E.g. Their car is being repaired, so they’re taking a taxi to get there, is so much easier to understand than There car is being repaired, so their taking a taxi to get they’re.
  • Spelling: The odd spelling mistake will be overlooked by the brain but have too many in the one paragraph and your reader will look way. E.g. Am sure your principle often remarked that is the principal that maters. Just because you were not scene, does not mean you were not at the seen of the crime.
    • Most spellings errors can easily be avoided by turning on the spell checker. Make sure you have it set to the version of English that your audience is used too, or you could start an international incident over whether it is the color or colour of the dress that is important.
  • Syntax: Otherwise known as sentence structure. In the English language, a simple sentence usually follows the flow of subject, verb, object. E.g Harry is going live in Canada. Unless you are writing the script for the next Yoda movie, sticking to recognised sentence structures is advisable. In Canada, Harry will live – Ok Yoda.

 

2. Keep sentences short and to the point.

 But not so short that your point is lost. Rambling is to be avoided at all costs, especially when you have been given a word count to adhere to by your editor/newsletter template.

 

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 3. Know your audience

Write as if a ten year old was reading it is good advice if you are writing for the general public and need to avoid the use of technical jargon. But if your audience all have PHD’s and you are trying to convince them that your new invention is the bee’s knees, then you might want to use words of more than one syllable and the correct terminology. 

 4. Do not skip the proof read

Never, ever publish your first draft! Getting someone else to proof read your work is highly recommended. If you don’t have anyone else to proof read your work, always take a break and come back later to edit it. Do something different in between so your brain has had time ‘to forget’ what it wrote and is more likely to see any mistakes made. Try reading your work out loud as your external voice is different to your internal one, and more likely to pick up errors than ‘the original author’.

 5. Fonts matter too

You might have grown up with Times New Roman but others haven’t and just like a pair of jeans one size does not fit all. Studies have shown that some fonts are easier to read depending on the type of communication. Before you publish it may pay to check that the font you are using is one that your intended audience is used to.

Nb. This last point was written in a different font, did you find it easier to read than the rest of the text?

 If incorporating our tips into your writing sounds like too much hard work or you don’t have the time to write good copy yourself. Talk to us to discuss how we can help. We have professional copy writers on standby who can start from scratch, or give your own work a bit of a ‘spit and polish’ before publishing. 

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Lee Retimana is the Chief Marketer and Brand Strategist at Muritai Group. With 25 plus years in sales and marketing across a diverse range of industries including IT, manufacturing, health and business services, Lee saw a huge gap in the market for providing small business owners with strong and actionable marketing advice. With a focus on fresh thinking; Lee challenges her team at Muritai Group to use their experience and expertise to challenge ineffective marketing with creative ideas, strategic thinking, and common sense to deliver marketing that works. Lee says "We are experts at finding customers and keeping them. We know how to craft the right messages to get you noticed, make you relevant, interesting and ultimately loved! Our whole business approach links every single marketing tactic to your business objectives and is how we develop a marketing strategy that works – so your business can thrive". Give Lee a call (021 321 747) or email (lee@muritai.com) to see where her fresh approach can take your business.

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