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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

9 Qualities of Good Writing, syndicated from @marketingprofs



The following is syndicated from annhandley.com and is posted here with permission.

Cover links to Amazon.com
1. Good writing  anticipates reader questions. Good writing serves the reader, not the writer. It isn’t indulgent. “The reader doesn’t turn the page because of a hunger to applaud,” said longtime writing teacher Don Murray. Rather, good writing anticipates what questions readers will have as they read a piece, and (before they ask them) it answers them.
That means most good writers are natural skeptics, especially regarding their own work. They relentlessly think of things from their reader’s point of view: What experience is this creating for the reader? What questions might they have?
(I did this above, when, before listing the qualities of good writing, I thought, “Why does good writing even matter to you? Why should any of us care?”)
George Orwell said the “scrupulous writer” will ask himself at least four questions in every sentence: “What am I trying to say? What words will express it? What image or idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he or she will probably ask himself two more: Could I put it more shortly? Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?” (Hat tip to The Economist style guide for that one.)
Here’s where marketing can really help add value in a business context, by the way, because “simple” means “making it easy for the customer.” It means being the advocate for them. As Georgy Cohen writes, “The marketer should be identifying (and ruthlessly refining) the core messages and the top goals, then working with the web professionals to create a website supporting them.”

To read the other 8 points (and a bonus point), an introduction to the subject, as well as quite a few comments, click HERE.

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