Keep It Simple, Not Stupid!

Now, that we’ve got your attention… Are you still struggling to prevent jargon and those less-important details from seeping into your marketing messages, thus diluting the calls-to-action you crafted so carefully?

If you have grappled unsuccessfully with those problems in your creative life, you’ve probably forgotten good marketing writing travels down a two-way street.

Effective marketing messages convey and share essential facts in interesting, persuasive ways that push the message or story outward via the most effective vehicles to the right audiences.

The hoped-for conclusion down that two-way street: A subscription, an contact request or, even better, a sale.

Keep It Simple, Not Stupid!

Never Fall for Shortcuts!

All of us struggle, at times, mightily to get that balance right. Maybe, you don’t understand the subject you’re writing about or have enough time to do a deep research dive, so you rely on a recitation of facts – we call it fluff – to live until another, better day when you can get it right.

So long as you’re always looking for shortcuts in the writing, however, “getting it right” never comes.

Good writing is so much more than that. It’s possessing the ability to avoid the fluff that strangles the flow of the message and gets to the point you’re wanting to make succinctly and convincingly.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, a key figure in the development of American literature during the 19th century, once said very famously, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” No truer words have been spoken.

Easy Reading is Damn Hard Writing!

Making a living putting words into sentences that accurately convey facts in persuasive, artful and understandable ways, which then prompts audiences to take an action beyond passively consuming content, isn’t the least bit easy.

In fact, it’s one of the hardest ways to make a living, especially when you’re guessing. Too often, without depth of understanding or lack of time, writers depend on their nameless, faceless audiences to decipher those facts as if they could mind-meld with them.

Probably the clearest signs a writer is taking the easy road: Hiding behind industry jargon that perpetuates the facade that he/she did the real work behind the scenes to research and analyze the facts carefully, only to spit out conclusions that serve readers superficially at best, if at all.

No Dummies Allowed!

Maybe, this sounds as if we’re telling you to “dumb-down” your writing process, like this awesome Ragan.com blog post suggests. Not at all.

When you understand, not only your own process but the subjects about which you’re writing, you’ll quickly discover that writing comes more easily, simply and effortlessly.

Try this exercise: Open a new word processing file or a virgin legal pad, then write all that you know about a subject you understand well for no more than 30 minutes. At the end of that half-hour, read how much you’ve written, keeping in mind how quickly you committed keyboard clicks to file.

Did the words come quickly? Did what you wrote take the form of a story fairly quickly or at all? Did you think about the writing too much? Were you too focused on facts over form?

Even for the seasoned marketing writer, the task of filling up a blank page with coherent yet simple-to-understand stories can be daunting. The one important thing to remember about marketing writing: It’s all about sharing stories.

If you don’t have the time or manpower to develop compelling, creative marketing materials for your business, we are always here to help.

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Written by Wayne Beamer

A writer with a 20-year career, Wayne Beamer is responsible for esd’s Content Development. Wayne works with healthcare clients to deliver blogging, social media, white papers, and more. Wayne brings extensive experience with the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, AOL, Affiliated Computer Services and Mercola.com. His experience as a freelance writer for a broad spectrum of industries gives him an unmatched expertise.

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