#TrustYourProcess; The Secret Step-by-Step Stupendous Writing Method for Clean Copy
I am talented and creating compelling copy sets me apart from other writers but I get my consistency from my reliable process.
I begin with my instincts to formulate an idea.
That idea is crafted through my writing process into copy that is perfectly balanced.
The only way my content can be extremely impressive is by paying attention to every single detail.
Check Out the Stages of How My Copy Becomes Stupendous.
I brainstorm using a creative brief (if applicable).
I do research if there is no creative brief.
Research includes reading, asking questions, and gathering specific information that is useful.
The goal of the research is to describe the premise, define the premise, and answer every question the audience will ask.
Ultimately, I find great sources of information.
I create an outline that has:
I can explore all the ideas and shape them into a presentable form with the structure of the outline as a basis.
The outline establishes structure so I create a temporary headline and develop subheadings.
I find a focal point of the copy and make it a lead (generally, the premise is always the focal point).
All the details are added to create the body of the copy and after that, I incorporate the call to action.
I make it succinct so the premise is presented on a pedestal.
The skeleton draft is born and I share this with you to ensure we should move forward.
Skeleton draft – a physical document showcasing the initial ideas on paper. It focuses on the language and layout.
Once we all agree on the concept, I walk away from the skeleton draft for at least 24 hours (if time persists) then I move on to the draft stage.
Draft Stage (Revision time):
I create a live version of the document to edit while I compare it to the dead version.
I print it out and I read it out loud the first time.
I dedicate a period of time to reading the document word by word from the end to the beginning.
– Then –
I read it a lot more times.
The main things I look for at first are:
Unanswered questions or points.
Opportunities to strengthen the copy or create lists which make the copy more readable.
Complicated thoughts that need to be simplified.
Major areas of weakness and missed opportunities to strengthen the writing and structure.
Immediately after, I read the document from the beginning to the end from the perspective of the audience.
- How does this information help the audience?
- Is the content memorable?
- Does each paragraph/ section have an element of:
providing comfort, being memorable, sharing knowledge, and listing resources.
If the document passes those three questions then I proceed to the “Traffic Light Revision Technique.”
I read the document sentence by sentence and:
Highlight good sentences with green.
Highlight decent sentences with yellow.
Highlight horrible sentences with red.
Then I redevelop yellow and red sentences until they are up to par.
(Deeper look at how the information and ideas are presented):
I focus on:
making the copy easier to read, better organized, and more suitable for the audience.
the overall structure and the quality of the copy.
the document as a whole and in sections.
enhancing the use of language by getting rid of the useless and misspelled words.
light proofreading to eliminate the spelling, grammar, and other common language errors.
the amount of “Passive Voice” being used.
if the tone appropriate?
Finally, I identify weak phrasing.
ideas you don’t need
unnecessary points or examples
anything that doesn’t strengthen the document
Tools Used for Editing:
My Stupendous Brain
Check out the Compete list here.
I ensure the Key Goals for Editing are met before it is proofread.
I ensure the document:
is coherent and consistent
forms meaningful whole
is clearly expressed
has accurate information
has the appropriate tone
has a clear purpose
is targeted towards an audience
I create the final headline at this moment by summarizing the content of the document in 25 words, and then I reduce the number of words until the headline is succinct and touches base with the four U’s.
I also use headline tools until I the find the perfect one.
(correcting errors in spelling, grammar, syntax, punctuation, and formatting):
Proofread it backwards (fresh eyes).
Stop at every punctuation (attention to detail).
Check out the first word of every paragraph (word choice creativity).
Verify spellings of the company, product names & titles (professional).
Verity days, dates, and time of events (confirmation).
Check if the hyperlinks work.
- I check for misspelled words using a spell checker but also check for commonly misspelled words manually.
- I check for typography (the style and the appearance of the printed manner).
- I check for grammar.
- I use the search function of the computer to look for common mistakes.
- I check for common mistakes separately.
- I check for grammatical, spelling, punctuation, and other errors.
- I check the names of people, places, products, and companies to verify they are spelled correctly.
- I check the days/dates/years.
- I check the times.
- I check the hyperlinks.
I make sure the document is polished.
Finally, I use the Copyblogger’s Content Confidence Checklist
I am a longtime fan of Copyblogger.com.
Check out the original article.
Does the content speak to the right audience?
Does it move the business towards their larger goals?
Does it display your knowledge as a business?
Is it polished and professional?
Does it convert the audience into loyal customers?
If the answer to all these questions is YES, then I move on.
If the answer to any of the questions is NO, then I go back to the drafting stage.
I print out the final copy and do one more proofreading session to ensure everything is perfect.
I mainly look for inconsistent alignments, the positioning of elements, missing elements, spacing, type density, and broken characters.
If everything looks good then I Publish it!
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