I was inspired by the article Chris Kostelec wrote last week on website voice. It ties into the important and difficult topic of content. We are all guilty of it, creating fantastic websites and impressive looking ads, but then letting up on the throttle when it comes to content and copy. It's often looked at as a daunting chore. We tend to push it off, wondering if there's an intern in the house that can do it for us.
Here are a few suggestions to getting the content chore done:
- If you hate to do it. Don't. Hire someone who loves to write and is good at it. It will cost less in the long run and save hours of headaches.
- Delegate it: Is there a hidden gem on your staff that has the writing gift? A word of caution here, make sure their voice (as Chris spoke about last week) fits the project. An English major may write a bit too formally if the project is web or blog copy. To find the gem, simply ask your staff.
If you choose to take a stab at writing your own content, here are my 3 favorite tips. By the way, most of these come from copyblogger.com. Alan introduced me to this blog. It's my favorite source for writing great copy.
Tip #1-Subject, Verb, Object
Write Subject, Verb, Object.
Passive sentences bore people.
Not Object, Verb, Subject
People are bored by passive sentences.
Tip #2-Cut the Fluff
Very, Rather, Much, Really, Some and So are fluff words that make your writing amateurish. Reread your copy and delete every Very, Rather, Much, Really, Some and So. Really, it will make your writing so much better. Oops, what I meant to say was, It will make your writing better.
Tip #3-Short and Simple
Write short sentences and use simple small words.
Get not acquire
Use not utilize
Help not facilitate
My favorite tip, and I just did this before pushing publish, reread your copy and eliminate every unnecessary word. Simple is best.