So You Want To Write…

Lets say you wanted to learn how to cook. You go out, you buy a couple cookbooks that clearly explain they’re for people who previously only have microwave experience. You go home, and after reading through them, you marinate the meat, slice the veggies and preheat the oven.

You’re on your way.

Same goes for writing. For whatever reason, people get mired down in the doing. There are so many websites with so much advice that it’s easy to stay on the theoretical side of the fence. But there’s more to this thing, and we both know it.

If you’re wanting to write your own marketing copy, then…

Pick Up A Pen

Or keep typing, or write however you write. Don’t make this the only thing that you do and expect it to be great. No matter how many blogs, articles or books you read on writing, it’s that practical knowledge that provides the real kick in the pants. Trust me, I’ve learned so much more writing for newspapers in my life than sitting in a classroom talking about writing.

Don’t Get Discouraged

Test out different headlines. Rewrite paragraphs. Tinker until you find something that you like. But remember…

Marketing Writing Provides Results

The goal of journalism or fiction is to inform and entertain. Marketing writing needs to do these things as well as provoke the reader to a call to action. What’s the best way to get the reader to do something?

Make Them Feel Something

That’s right. It’s emotion. If I ask you to please donate to my hypothetical charity, you don’t care. Maybe you care a little, but you don’t know enough to be informed. If I outline the problem that my hypothetical charity addresses by telling you that every day more and more people in the USA are finding themselves homeless because of the economic downturn I’ll at least have your attention.

If I tell you the story of a hypothetical guy named Bob at my hypothetical charity who recently lost his job and his family has nowhere to go, well, you get the drift.

Don’t Just Believe Me

You really do have to put these things in practice. You have to learn for yourself. A doctor with all the theoretical knowledge in the world hasn’t proven himself until he’s had a successful operation. So write!

Matt Brennan is a Chicago-area marketing writer and copy editor. He is also the author of Write Right-Sell Now.

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