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How to write better at work

There are few things that can create the same quandary among entrepreneurs as writing. It could be a letter to customers, quotes, advertising texts or other texts you have to produce for a commercial reason. This is often troublesome for many people, I know. Today we will talk about writing - and to write in a selling manner.

Part of the problem is getting started
In fact, if people who work with writing had been waiting for divine inspiration to occur every time they have to write a text, they would never accomplish anything! The best trick is to find out and define what you want to accomplish before you sit down at your computer and start writing. You have found out all the facts you need to use, you have thought about motives and arguments. You have a target text. You have decided what kind of work the text should do.

Ernest Hemingway had a specific cure for his writer's block and it was deciding to write one true sentence on the paper in front of him (the simple tip has also helped me hundreds of times). Everyone has their own way. Mark Twain used the smell of rotting apples from a desk drawer (ahem) to get him started.

Here are eight tips on learning to write better at work:

1. Say what you want to say. Nothing more. Cut to the chase. The target group is attacked by so many messages every day that you have to catch the attention wherever your competitors leave gaps. Right on!

2. Write as if everything you write will be read by the ”common people”. Use the kind of English that everyone understands, without internal words and stupid technical terms. Respect that there is a gap between what your company wants to tell and what the receiver in practice is willing to absorb.

3. Let the text rest. Leave the text to rest at night and read it again the following morning. You will find new perspectives, but above all you'll  notice where you can improve the text.

4. Avoid clichés. Using clichés is to insult the only person that really matters: the reader. Here are a couple of clichés that I particularly hate:”Nothing is impossible for us.”And ”Tailored solutions.”

5. Proofread. And proofread. A text should never contain any typos. Period! Yet it's so easy to slip up ...

6. Let your colleagues read your text, but also let other people who don't work at your company read it. The best reflection often comes from a person who doesn't care about your offers or who doesn't know anything about the art of copywriting.

7. Have someone else read the text out aloud to you. Reading it out aloud is the final test. Only when you hear the text read out aloud, will you notice if it's good enough.

8. Remember that it takes time to create great texts. The target audience might spend 30 seconds reading your text, but you need to put down a lot of hours and thought at work to find the right combination of words and sentences to make it attractive and interesting.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.