Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Edit Your Software Sales Messages

Business people should  edit their work in manuscript form, and not on the computer. So says Hank Nuwer in his book "How to Write like an Expert about Anything - Bring Factual Accuracy and the Voice of Authority to Your Writing." Nuwer's reasoning, which made a lot of sense when he published his book in 1995, is that printed pages are closer to how readers will see our articles.

In today's world, of course, the opposite is true. Most articles will be read online. Still, I agree that it's easier to read your printed article and mark it up.

Get out of the office when you read and edit your article, Nuwer advises. Read it aloud. Personally, I've found that reading my writing aloud does two things -
  • Reading my articles aloud lets me find a lot of the typos and other errors that I've made.
  • And reading it aloud frustrates me because it's easy to read somebody else's words slowly, but I find it painful to read my own words aloud at a normal reading pace, i.e., slowly.
Nuwer tells us that early drafts of our articles are usually too verbose.

Don't use too many quotations, Nuwer warns. Don't use a quotation just because you spent time and effort getting it. Make every quotation significant and meaningful. Quotations, Nuwer reminds us, can be used effectively to break up paragraph after paragraph of exposition.

The author is very unhappy about writers' use of the word "very". Very unhappy!

Whether you're writing articles for your blog, website, eBook, or customer emails, you should edit them as carefully as you would if you were submitting them to an outside editor. Your readers will appreciate the extra work. And it's good software marketing.

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