This isn’t so tough to learn
Effective Writing Basics
What is not so tough to learn is writing like your reader is in the fifth grade, what is tough to learn is the consistency of doing it. But, wait, let's go back to the basic idea here and explain the concept and let you learn some writing technique.
As literate as we think we are, most of us have never learned the basics of writing copy. We may be fair, good or even great at writing fiction or even non-fiction in a technical manner, but writing copy is an animal of a different order. Writing effective copy means conveying your point in a manner that a fifth grader could understand.
What??? You disagree??? Pah!!! I will explain more and “close the deal” on this.
I recently saw a mailing by a very smart financial planner/insurance expert and was totally baffled by the time I read the second sentence as to what the message was supposed to be. He forgot that his target market (the readers he sent that to) didn't have his knowledge of the industry or products and was explaining things as if he was talking to a colleague and not a customer. AND his was not the only example of this I've seen lately.
YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER WHO YOU WANT TO READ WHAT YOU ARE WRITING and so the simple solution is to write as if you were telling the information to a fifth grader. And while it may be ok to use some big words, the general flow of information is to engage your reader in the “tail you want to tell” and entice their “desire to finish reading” the thing you spent a bunch of time writing.
Basic Rules for Writing
- Keep it simple – make sure your target audience can understand your point.
- Keep it brief – too much information is as bad as that lack of clarity.
- Use bullet points – they make it easy for your reader to understand the wrap up.