Below, find a general description of my style of how I assemble a written project. For a detailed description of my marketing philosophy and writing style, please read the article Relevant Content Marketing.
For a detailed overview of how I communicate with you during a project, please ready my Copywriting Methodology page.
How I Write
For my style of writing for business copywriting ─ all marketing pieces ─ I usually follow this routine:
1. I brainstorm my thoughts and jot them down as I read through relevant material. I may watch several videos and take extensive notes. I read, read, read relevant business content from the copywriting masters. As well as current successful copywriting people.
But I always, always gather more-than-required research about the topic or product at hand.
I’ll then take a look my massive list of thoughts, research, and notes and copy them into a new space. (The beginning of the white paper, article, web page, blog, etc.).
2. I’ll then cull any obvious unrelated material from the topic at hand. But, even if the stuff there is somewhat related, I’ll keep it.
Because, obviously, this stuff has jogged my thought process in to thinking that parts of it must be valuable for the project at hand.
Headline, Big Idea, Lead
3. Then I’ll begin working on the headline. I’ll start by thinking about the Big Idea for the project, the idea that I want to get across. I’ll work with many headlines and see if I like that idea.
If I like the idea, I’ll create several different headlines that use the most powerful words. Then look at using the least amount of words. It needs to perfectly convey my Big Idea.
4. Next, I’ll work on the lead. I might have already been working on the lead at the same time as the headline. Sometimes, early headlines become leads.
No matter, the idea is that the headline and lead embodies the Big Idea that I want to convey. Most often the headline is equal parts intrigue – interest. Short and sweet. And the lead fully supports the message of the headline.
The idea with the headline is to generate enough interest that it gets read. Enough that the reader is hungry to read the lead.
Then hopefully they want to read the first line of copy, and so forth throughout the article or letter.
There is no more important a principle than One Idea. All the material after must follow the single idea presented in the headline and lead. If it doesn’t, it gets cut.
The Golden Thread
There is no more important a principle past the One Idea principle than the Golden Thread. While using powerful words and short sentences is key in keeping the reader involved, the Golden Thread says the main emotion, or complex set of emotions, conveyed in the Big Idea must keep going. Throughout the article or letter.
5. So, I’ll continually read back what I’ve written to make sure that I continue the Golden Thread. Any of the material I’ve written (that I want to include) must comply with this or be edited to fit. Or it goes on the cutting room floor.
I’ll read through from the top. When I feel that the Golden Thread is running slack, I’ll cut back to where it’s still tight. Then adjust or cut from there. Keep it tight!
The Editor Comes Out to Play
6. Next, I’ll read from the top and have more of a mind to make sure that what I’m saying makes sense. Each sentence is scrutinized to make sure it’s within the One Idea and the Golden Thread.
If it can be said more simply and with fewer words, I’ll do that.
I’ll use a couple different editing software programs to get second opinions. It's amazing how ridiculously complicated I can make sentences, sometimes.
And I’ll check to see if I’m picking up the next sentence where the previous left off. Idea A hands off to B, B hands off to C, C hands off to D. Readers appreciate this.
7. I’ll then whittle down the number of words. I look for useless words and phrases, trying to understand why I used them in the first place. So, before cutting them, I may make sure that what’s left still conveys the thought and emotion.
After that, I’ll edit for clarity, brevity, powerful word use, spelling, and grammar (not perfect grammar, mind you. Conversational grammar, depending on the voice that I’m using in my writing).
8. All the while throughout these processes, I am editing the content for readability (white space, short sentences, and short paragraphs).
And scan-ability. I like to use many sub-headlines, so the scanner can skim the article, read the headlines and still get the gist of the article.
I'm always thinking about visual elements, fonts and font sizes, graphics. Although I do a lot of my own graphics on the website, I don't offer graphics work on client websites.
One of the most powerful tools to use is to make sure the important info is ‘above the fold’. This is a big key for internet scanners.
(Above the fold is an old newspaper term, meaning that the eye-catching and important information is at the top of the newspaper page. It applies to web pages. The most important stuff should be at the top. That's the only guarantee that your stuff will catch eyeballs).
Sometimes, important elements like testimonies or side stories can break up the Golden Thread or break readability. These items are best placed in boxes on the side, or similar.
9. Then I'll scan the piece again, with all the above in mind. I'll start from the beginning, as if it's new to me. Asking questions like:
Do you like reading this? Would anyone like to read this? Why should the reader keep on reading?
And I read to make sure that I'm conveying the intended message. Sometimes when editing for clarity and brevity, it exposes weak sentences. You can begin to see where the thought process can unravel at these points. So, it's important to be sure that all messages are conveyed in a clean, concise, precise, and sensible manner. All the while maintaining voice and conversational tone.
Now you know. I'm a writer with a very critical eye.
Relevant Content Marketing
First of all, I follow your direction for the writing that you've hired me to do. But I have suggestions for the marketing direction you should seek.
I follow a Relevant Content Marketing philosophy. And I advocate this type of thinking to every client.
This philosophy says that you can't gather enough info about your target market! For that's why I write. And that's why you're in business.
There is no other reason.
I've written this philosophy in the white paper, 3 Marketing Challenges and 1 Vital Solution for Wire Harness Manufacturers, Suppliers and OEMs.
This philosophy is called Content that's Optimized and Relative for your Target Audience, or CORTA. This is a simple strategy and tool for you as a manager to gather all the information necessary for you to write your own marketing plan.
The pinnacle of my offering to you as a marketing manager or business owner is the Relevant Content Master Plan.
The RCMP takes CORTA to the next level by really digging in to the information about your product or service, and how you offer that to your target audience.
It's a single document that contains all your marketing messages so you'll show strength and consistency to your target audience.
That's how I write.
Thanks for reading! If you'd like more information about me, please visit the About page and Services and Fees page. The FAQ page is there to answer any questions that aren't covered. Contact me if you'd like to hire me.