Everything about a write-up – its perceived value, efficacy and message – rests upon good copy. Copy is substance and without it, even the most skilled and well-meaning writer and his article will be ignored or derided, the article’s message lost and considered worthless. Is it still any wonder why people go through great lengths in order to produce a good piece of writing? Learn the ways you, too, can make copy good:
Know what you’ll be writing about
There is nothing worse or even more pathetic than a writer who bluffs. True, many writers have written well-fabricated tales and passed them off as genuine but they were able to do so only because they backed up their writing with plenty of research.
If you were asked to write about cryptozoology right now, for example, how much would you be able to produce without using a single reference? Probably not a lot even to convince your 7-year-old niece.
To avoid groping blindly about regarding your subject and make your copy good, do research. Use at least three good references for your write-up. If you have to interview someone for it or try something yourself, then do so. This will allow you to gather enough information to use with your write-up.
Think about your readers
Your readers or audience have different voices. To make your copy good, consider carefully what it is they like and are interested in and then zero in on those. Speak their language so they become much more comfortable with what you have to say.
If you’re writing for kids aged 9 to 12, for example, you wouldn’t use the kind of language you write with if your audience were men and women in their 20s and 40s, right? Remember that you’re trying to sell an idea through your writing, so speak to your readers in a way they can easily relate to.
Watch your grammar
If you were a good listener during your grammar class, you might want to heave a sigh of relief. A high premium is placed on good grammar and if you want to make copy good, make sure you avoid hideous grammatical and spelling mistakes.
Be careful with subject-verb agreement, punctuation marks, tenses, sentence completion and clauses. Bad grammar is never viewed as good copy and is even dismissed as very amateurish and unreliable, even if it’s an expert talking.
Mind the headline
The headline serves as the introductory statement to your write-up. Without a good headline, there’s a good chance your target readers might ignore your article and look somewhere else. This is something you can’t allow to happen. Imagine having to miss 7 out of 10 readers just because your headline doesn’t work.
Make sure your headline is effective, clear and concise. It should interest the reader, make them wonder, raise their curiosity, even intrigue them so that they have enough reasons to want to read more.
Make copy easy to read
Finally, to make copy good, it has to be relatable and easy to read. If you’re writing about planting roses for beginner gardeners, for example, don’t make it sound like an instructional material for producing fossil fuel. Read your work out loud – if it sounds like normal speech, then you’re on the right track.
Mind your readers. They are, after all, the end users of your work and they should be able to like what you offer them.
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