My son is in his fourth and final year studying law and German law at Warwick and he gave me the idea to write 6 things he taught me about writing for the web and more.
His energy, determination and resilience are inspiring, and he has helped me with a variety of contractual issues, negotiations and re-written contracts during his time at home.
What are the 6 things my law undergraduate son taught me about writing?
I am amazed at the knowledge and extent of his vocabulary and his ability to craft great emails, letters and, university assignments.
Jokingly I said do you go to some particular school to learn lawyer-speak and writing?
The more you read and study, the more you learn to write like a lawyer.
I asked him what he thinks are the most important things you must have as a lawyer when drafting contracts and legal documents and why this is directly linked to me writing this post.
Be concise and to the point.
Lawyers must know how to write and speak for a living.
They work with a diverse range of clients and need to adapt their writing style to suit the reader.
Writing concisely and using language that the reader understands is essential, so your message doesn’t get lost in words.
- Consider the impact of every word
The above are essential components that make your content unique.
If the message isn’t understood, the reader will leave your website, appreciating the reader’s point of view by trying to put yourself in their shoes helps in the writing.
Look at your writing from different angles; is it demeaning or patronising to the reader.
Take a step back and ask how the article, sales letter, blog post or new product description helps the reader.
Project confidence and authority and be precise.
Be purposeful with the words you use and their meaning writing confidently and authoritatively helps your reader gain confidence in your services.
They want to know that you have the experience and understanding, and you are an authority on the subject.
Write for your reader – imagine there is only one.
You can write for yourself and not for your visitors, but it won’t win over readers or buyers.
Maybe you enjoy writing about your business; who understands it better than you?
You think you know your audience, but unless you write in a way that engages with your audience and piques their interest, they won’t take action.
No action = no enquiries = no sales.
Start at the beginning.
Well of course where else would you start, but…
If you find yourself finishing a blog or completing a sales letter and realise its pants. Maybe it doesn’t read or sound the way you intended then abandon it and hire a freelance SEO writer.
Don’t waste more time on content when you could be out there talking to customers.
Content writers aren’t magical creatures, but they know how to conjure up the right words that fit your business objectives.
They also know a lot about writing for the web and what works.
Forget jargon-busting vocabulary
Don’t ever hornswoggle or discombobulate your readers with convoluted buzzwords. Your masterpiece of prolixity will fail; writing perspicuously encourages the reader to stay.
The above nonsense shows how easy it is to confuse writers with too many words when simple works better.
Grammar and punctuation are important, but…
You can break the rules as writing for the web is not the same as submitting an English thesis or a legal document, but hair raising typos misspelt words are a turn-off.
Content with poor grammer and terribel speligs will inevitably tarnich what might otherwize be a grate bit of content.
Good content writing adds to the UX (user experience).
You’re finding a bit of background on a product you want to purchase and the content your reading is great but riddled with poor English and spelling mistakes.
You end up correcting it as you read while not really absorbing the context eventually you give up and leave the site because you can’t be bothered.
Keep an eye on the grammar and keep it simple. But don’t get too hung up or let it stop you from writing your next blog.
Use subheadings to break up the text.
Subheadings are a good way to break up the text and ease your reader through the text passage. It also helps them find a section you’ve highlighted that they are interested in reading.
Finally, keep paragraphs short(er). This helps with readability and structure.
Subheadings should clearly state each paragraph’s content, and the text is then divided into paragraphs that reflect your ideas.
The above is a great reminder that when it comes to writing sales pitches, proposals, website content and emails, keeping it simple and concise helps engage the reader and prompt action.
Do you need help coming up with ideas for your blog? Are you struggling to find the right words for your website?