Writing Tips for YOUR Business

January 23, 2010 § 2 Comments

As you may or may not know (although you probably do being as I have been almost famous this week with my appearance on the Guardian Careers forum and Enterprise Nation site. OK shameless plug over) I am a writer and have my own business Sam Thewlis Copywriting Solutions.

Recently, my good friend Joanne at Charlie Moos asked me for some tips on writing as she has (quite rightly) been asked to contribute to some exciting writing projects.

At first I was a little baffled, after all I don’t have a formula for writing I can share, I just write what comes out of my head, but with a little further thought, I have come up with some quick tips to share with you and your business.

  1. Before you start writing, have a clear idea of why you are writing, and what you aim to achieve with it. If you are writing home page copy, you want to keep your visitor and lead them to your (paying) services. If you are writing text for a flyer, you want people to read it (and not throw it in the bin) first of all, and then remember your name even if they don’t call you straightaway.
  2. Never assume that what you first come up with will be the best you can do. Put it down for a day, or even just an hour, and come back and look at it with fresh eyes, like your potential audience, and see what can be improved.
  3. If you are writing a personal piece, drawing on your own experiences, don’t try and over-formalise it; your readers will want to hear your real voice in your writing, although if your spelling and grammar is shocking, maybe ask someone to check it for you.
  4. Writing a blog or useful articles is a great way of building back links to your site and gaining renown as a helpful expert. Blogs don’t even have to be ‘useful’, just telling people about your day, or your feelings can suffice (so long as it’s interesting that is!). If you want to write article or guest blog posts- write about what you know, issues important to your business, or an area into which you would like to expand.
  5. Remember that writing is a skill and that not everyone can do it, or do it well. I can’t draw to save my life. But it is worth bearing in mind that if you are making a significant investment in a shiny new website, or thousands of brochures or flyers, it may be a foolish economy to think you can write it yourself if you can’t. A beautiful website will not have the impact you want if your copy doesn’t engage, direct and sell to your visitors. A badly worded flyer will be money in the bin if people don’t read it.

As a last point, more and more people are thinking of trying their hand at writing. Creative writing communties can be found all over the web, and one I recently joined is  Judith’s Room. But if you are thinking of trying your hand at writing or copywriting, then do it! Have a go! You can always use your own sites and businesses as guinea pigs before venturing into the paying market.

A tip for those who may be at that stage, is, in general, steer clear of bidding sites. The reason for this is that often, people posting projects on these sites are more concerned with price than quality, and even as a newbie you are unlikely to be competitive in that market; unfortunately £1 or £2 an hour does not go far for us, but its equivalent value can make it worthwhile for Indian or  contractors from similar cheaper economies, who are therefore able to place lower bids.

And if you think you are ready to take the plunge? I used to get so tired of searching lots of different places to try and find contracts or projects (before I was famous and they all came to me, of course 😛 ), I decided to set up a site dedicated to listing UK writing jobs. It’s called The Write Jobs – see what you think.

Hopefully you’ve found this useful and if you have, or if you haven’t, please leave me a comment below 🙂

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