Have to write some copy but don’t know where to start? Here’s my tried-and-tested process to help you along.
- Do 360-degree research, understanding everything you can about your product/service, your competitors and your target customers.
- Draw a mind map, where you note all your thoughts in a random way then number them in order of priority (also known as a spider diagram or ‘brain dump’).
- To help beat writers’ block, take a blank page and write something, anything, to spoil the scary pure whiteness. It can be your name, the date, a squiggle…
- Write the main content or body text, following the order you identified on your mind map.
- Write the conclusion or summary. This will usually include a ‘call to action’ telling the reader what you want them to do.
- Write the introduction. Yes, it helps to write this after the main content so you can introduce exactly what you are going to say next.
- Write the heading from the reader’s point of view, answering their question: ‘What’s in it for me’.
- Add sub-headings to aid skim-reading and navigation.
- Edit the content. Cut, cut and cut again until you have deleted anything that doesn’t fit your introduction and conclusion.
- Ask ‘so what’ at the end of every statement and rewrite it until all the content is relevant to the reader’s needs.
- Read it aloud to see whether it flows easily.
- Delete some more of your precious word-babies until the text is perfect.
- Sleep on it.
- Read it again and make any final tweaks.
- Proofread it thoroughly, perhaps getting someone else to check it too.
photo credit: Man staring off via photopin (license)
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