Three Tips for Professional Writing

I thought I’d kick off this blog by looking at my writing process and giving you some advice that I’ve learned as a writer, editor, and marketer. (Since writing styles vary so much depending on the writer and the content medium, these tips are pretty broad, but later articles will go further in depth.)

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Photo courtesy of Pete O’Shea (Flickr)

1) Specify a Target Market

This should be a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how often people forget that before writing anything, you should know your target market. Try to learn (or at least conjecture) as much as possible about your audience: their ages, backgrounds, education levels, interests, reasons for coming to your website, etc.

For any marketing and writing work I do (including this blog), I always create one or two consumer profiles that list out the characteristics above. I try to look at this before writing any content to remind me what sort of diction and tone to use.

2) Polish Your Rough Drafts

It’s amazing what a pair of rested eyes will do for your copy. Try to finish your work a day ahead of a deadline so that you can look it over with fresh eyes the next day.

3) Proofread.

In Nike’s words, just do it. After you’ve sat with a piece long enough, it’s tempting to just send it off, but don’t. In a world where we have websites like Grammarly, no one really has an excuse for typos in his or her work. (And if I hadn’t re-read that last sentence, I wouldn’t have remembered to fix my pronoun/antecedent agreement. I rest my case.)

Any fellow writers out there? What advice would you offer?

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