No wonder you’re looking for tips on business writing. There’s a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. You need to produce copy that sells your products and services, presents your company in a professional manner, builds relationships with your customer base and attracts traffic to your website and blog—all at the same time.
Where do you begin?
Although many high paid copywriters out there don’t shout it from the rooftops, the truth is that writing great business copy is actually quite simple, provided you follow a set of basic rules. Luckily for you, we’ve summarized these rules into 14 basic tips on business writing. Follow these, and you will never stare aimlessly at a blank sheet of paper ever again.
14 Tips of Business Writing
1) Write for your reader
Many writers make one fundamental mistake: they write for themselves. If you have a target audience, you should write for them. Look at the topic from their point of view and incorporate information that they need to know.
2) Write actively
Put your subject at the heart of every sentence and make it do something. The active voice is usually far more effective than the passive voice because it is more direct and concise. See our article on tips for maintaining an active voice.
3) Keep it simple
One of our top tips on business writing is to keep it as simple as possible. Get to the point and avoid using unnecessary words that clutter the writing.
4) Tell them what to do
The whole point of business writing is to get your prospective customer to actually do something. Decide upfront what it is that you would like them to do and make sure you ask them to do it.
- “Buy online now”
- “Subscribe to our RSS feed”
- “Follow us on Twitter”
5) Make sure it’s grammatically correct
Proofread your writing carefully and make sure it is completely free of errors. Writing doesn’t have to be formal and stuffy, but it does need to be grammatically correct, otherwise you’ll look like an idiot — and that will certainly put off your customers.
6) Grab attention
You only have a few seconds to grab people’s attention. Use a headline and the first few lines of your copy to draw people in.
7) Handle objections
As your customer reads your business communications they will be looking for reasons not to buy your products. Make a list of what all these reasons may be and address every one within your written copy.
Don’t knock out a quick written document and publish it immediately—edit it, edit it again and then edit it once more. The more times you review it, the better it will get. If editing and proofreading isn’t your thing, try our business editing services.
9) Write as you speak
Not every piece of business writing needs to be adorned with formal phrases and embellished discourse. Written copy is a substitute for having a personal conversation with your customer. Use natural, plain language that is warm and welcoming.
10) Encourage your customers to imagine
One of the quickest methods of getting your customers involved with your message is to encourage them to use their imagination. Instruct them to imagine the positive outcome of using your product or service and you will encourage them to develop a deeper connection with your key messages.
11) Know that size does matter
Make sure your writing is legible and can be easily read on all the mediums upon which it will appear. Aim for a 10-point font as a minimum and avoid any bright colors that will not transfer well in print or on the screen.
12) Avoid long words and lengthy descriptions
Call a spade a spade, not a long-handled instrument for the manual manipulation of the earth.
13) Love lists
Write lists. Customers like lists of reasons, benefits, features etc. Why are you reading these tips on business writing? You like lists too.
14) Be unique
The majority of things that are labeled unique rarely are. Don’t think for one minute that declaring that your products are services are unique will convince your customers. Explaining why they are unique may just get you somewhere.
Do you have any tips on business writing? Let us know.