You’re not a writer, but you need to write in your job or to grow your own business. The thing is, writing business and marketing copy is often a critical part of a job, whether you’re an official copywriter or not. At least, you’d need to write business letters and e-mails to correspond with vendors, colleagues, and other stakeholders.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to write business copy well without being a copywriter by trade or profession.
1. Perform Freewriting
Freewriting is an overlooked crucial step in producing any piece of writing, including business writing. The image of “freewriting” is more “magical” than structural. However, it’s actually an essential part of creativity and thinking processes.
In the 19th century, “automatic writing” has been adopted to contact spirits, ghosts, and other unseen beings. In 1992, Julia Cameron in her best-selling book The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity incorporated freewriting her morning rituals, where she churns out streams of consciousness on paper.
For business writers, freewriting can free your inhibition from thinking freely without any interruptions. Don’t edit or think through what you want to say, as everything can be revised and edited for proper grammar, punctuation, and flow later. This way, you can express all the points you wish to convey without being stopped.
2. Talk and Record
Don’t overthink, just talk and record with your smartphone or a digital voice recorder. You’ll be surprised at how clear your writing when you don’t think that much about grammar, punctuation, and editing. Simply convey your messages like talking to an educated friend.
Many people thought that they need to have a more formal voice when they write for business. It’s true to an extent, but for the most part, writing for business requires a natural flow, which can be achieved by talking regularly to a recorder. The recording will be transcribed, and the text will be edited further for clarity and conciseness.
3. Write a Three-Paragraph Letter
You can try writing a 3-paragraph letter or e-mail: the introduction, the body, and the closing. The opening includes a salutation and a brief paragraph on why you’re sending this e-mail. Usually, it explains the purpose of the letter.
The body of the e-mail or letter describes the points of discussion. In one paragraph, explain the issue and how you’re approaching it. It can be a description or a request for the recipient to do something. At the end of the description part, you can include a conclusion, a recommendation, or an expectation for something to be done or sent. The closing part will follow your signature with “best regards” or “sincerely yours.”
4. Write a Five-Paragraph Copy
By “copy,” it can mean an article, a letter, a memo, an e-mail, or anything that you need to produce. Start writing a 5-paragraph copy with an introduction or a background story, 3 main points, and a conclusion. It’s more suitable for a long-form article or a report.
The introduction can include information on the issue being discussed, recent statistics, problems to solve, or a background story. Ideally, it also states the thesis statement or premise to describe the significance of the issue and tells the readers on what to expect. Conclude the copy with a conclusion, a recommendation, or future steps to take.
5. Check with an Editing App
Whether you choose to talk and record, write a 3-paragraph copy, a 5-paragraph copy, or any other format, the next step is editing it with an app like ProWritingAid, before sending it off to a human editor. It provides a comprehensive 25 types of report, not just grammar, punctuation, and plagiarism.
Writing copy for your business and marketing can be a rewarding learning experience. As soon as you’ve made this activity second nature, your writing will flow more effortlessly. The key is practice often and uses editing software to polish your works.
About the Author
Jennifer Xue is an award-winning author, columnist, and serial entrepreneur based in Northern California. She is also a digital strategist for several e-commerce and app companies. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, Fortune, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Business.com, Business2Community, Addicted2Success, Good Men Project, Positively Positive, and others. Her blog is JenniferXue.com.