On the average day:
With so much content being written every day, the competition for readers is fierce. As a result, it has never been more important to make your copy stand out from the crowd. Whether you’re putting together a press release, building a blog, or writing website copy, make your content a cut above the rest by checking out our top 5 tips!
“It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing
(Doo wah, doo wah, doo wah, doo wah)
(Doo wah, doo wah, doo wah, doo wah).”
Duke Ellington, It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)
To avoid a run in with the grammar police it’s important to check your copy for punctuational oversights. Not only does poor grammar affect the rhythm of a piece of copy, but it can also completely change its meaning. A common example of the power of punctuation can be seen in this address to Grandma:
“Let’s eat, Grandma” – here, the writer is inviting Grandma to come and eat with them.
“Let’s eat Grandma” – without the separating comma, this speech has a much more sinister meaning. Save a life, consider commas.
From newspapers to billboards, examples of poor grammar are everywhere. Check out these 29 photos that prove punctuation is very important.
To transform your copy from grammar mare to grammar yeah, avoid these 14 most common grammatical gripes.
“C’mon, strip that down for me
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.”
– Liam Payne, Strip That Down
French aviator and accomplished writer, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, said “a designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”.
According to statistics, a whopping 43% of people admit to skim reading blog posts (HubSpot). If you want these content surfers and blog browsers to pick up on all of your key messages, strip your content back until it is ultra easy to absorb.
N.B. When it comes to writing press releases, it is particularly important to don your no-nonsense writing cap as journalists always edit from the bottom up. If you don’t want to risk journalists cutting important information, make sure your release is carefully composed.
“Yo pretty ladies around the world,
Got a weird thing to show you,
So tell all the boys and girls,
Tell your brother, your sister and your mamma too….Word Up!”
– Korn, Word Up
word up– a slang phrase meaning “listen to me”.
In an increasingly busy world, people simply don’t have time to read something that doesn’t excite them. But how do people determine whether something will be of interest to them or not? Predominantly by the headline. To capture a person’s interest and draw them towards your copy, take a look at our tips for writing attention-grabbing headlines!
“In the day,
In the night,
Say it right.”
– Nelly Furtado, Say It Right
The English language is constantly expanding. At its last count, the Oxford English Dictionary had around 228,132 entries. With so much vocabulary to choose from, why limit yourself to the same few words? To help you on your way to vocab victory, check out some of the synonyms at thesaurus.com.
And while we’re on the topic of ‘saying it right’, be sure to use the right form of words. Here are a few starters for 10:
Practice (noun) The actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method, as opposed to theories relating to it.
Practise (verb) To perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to acquire, improve or maintain proficiency in it.
Stationary (adjective) Not moving or not intended to be moved.
Stationery (noun) Writing and other office materials.
Affect (verb) To have an effect on; make a difference to.
Effect (noun) A change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause.
Principle (noun) A rule or belief governing one’s behaviour.
Principal (adjective) First in order of importance; main.
“Give me a little more time, I need to make up my mind.”
– Gabrielle, Give Me A Little More Time
We’ve all done it at one point or another, hastily writing content the night before it’s due. While it is sometimes unavoidable, copy written at the last minute is never really going to be your best work (despite what caffeine-fuelled you thinks at 2am in the morning).
Rather than break the stress barometer, start your work a good few days in advance to give yourself time to revise, perfect and let someone else run their eyes over it. Do this, and you know that your copy is the best it can be.