I always considered myself a strong writer. I had a good grasp of grammar, was always an excellent speller and earned a Bachelor’s degree in journalism. However, when I started working at Fathom nearly three years ago and my job duties included writing all day about a variety of topics, I soon realized that there were areas of writing that I’d need to improve in to become a more effective online marketer and writer.
- Conciseness. Although I thought I learned all about writing in a concise manner in my journalism classes, after being out of the habit of writing that way for a few years I found it difficult to snap back into it. I thought adjectives were my best friend and that every adjective I added to a sentence made it even more powerful. What I didn’t realize was that all those extra adjectives actually made my writing difficult to read and confusing.I learned that writing for the Internet meant writing in a style that’s concise. People don’t want to spend time reading something that doesn’t get to the point fast.
- “What’s in it for me?” Conciseness was something I had already learned about at one point in my schooling, but the concept of “what’s in it for me” was brand new when I started working at Fathom. I never had to put myself in the reader’s position like that when I wrote. It just never occurred to me that when people search the Internet, they want to arrive at a webpage that directly addresses their needs.
- Persuasiveness. I’m sure at some point in school I had to write a persuasive essay or two, but it was never a major focus of my classes. Even when I was in my first job as a marketing communications specialist I didn’t think about developing marketing messages that were persuasive. I always assumed that the features of the products themselves would be persuasive enough. That’s the trap I fell into with my writing at Fathom. Until I started learning more about online copywriting, I didn’t understand how important it was to write about benefits and differentiators in addition to product or service features.
Being able to write well is a skill I’ve learned that I need to constantly search for ways in which I can improve. Are there ways you’ve improved your writing for the Internet? Share them with us!