Writing powerful copy comes more easily to some people than others. But almost anyone can improve their writing by keeping these simple rules in mind:
Use Short Sentences. Short sentences are easier to grasp than long ones. Vary sentence length for the sake of interest, but keep most sentences under twenty words.
Keep Paragraphs Concise. Long paragraphs encourage the reader’s mind to wander. For best readability, keep most paragraphs between three and six sentences. Sometimes, a single sentence is all that’s called for, and provides more impact.
Rely on Subheads and Bullets. Use techniques that make it easy to comprehend key points at a glance. Bold subheads (such as used here) or bulleted lists help readers grasp your message quickly.
Create Interest With Verbs. Verbs connote movement, and movement holds our interest. Paint word pictures with verbs instead of long strings of descriptive adjectives.
Avoid Unnecessary Prepositional Phrases. Prepositional phrases tend to slow things down, and can frequently be eliminated. For instance, compare these two sentences:
Plant flowers in containers on the patio for bloom in the summer.
Planting patio containers offers summer-long blooms.
The four phrases in sentence #1 – in containers, on the patio, for bloom, in the summer – slow the sentence way down. The second sentence reads much faster.
Throw Away the Opening. After you’ve written your first draft, re-read the first paragraph. It’s amazing how often the copy reads better without the first sentence, or even the first paragraph.
Be Conversational. Stilted language requires unnecessary effort to comprehend. After you’ve finished writing, read your copy aloud. If you can’t image yourself using those words in everyday conversation, rewrite.
Keep these 7 tips in mind and you’ll be well to writing that grabs and holds your reader’s interest.