One of the most valuable “real world” skills that college students can learn is how to write effectively. The ability to write outstanding copy is important in any field or in any career. Grammar and readability are an important part of this, but it’s also important to take in consideration the quality of the content. If your writing isn’t interesting, no one will care if you used their, there or they’re. You can proofread all you want, but when it comes down to it, effective copy should grab your audience’s attention. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing for a television ad, a press release or a speech. Your audience’s attention is essential. So, here are the most important factors of interesting writing that I’ve learned in my three and half years at Miami.
Simple: This concept is one of the most important things I’ve learned, and it ties back into readability and grammar. One major key to writing is knowing your audience and writing at their reading level. Using an SAT word may seem impressive, but if someone in your target audiences doesn’t know what it means they’ll stop reading. Don’t overcomplicate your writing.
Unexpected: Drop some bombs, blow peoples’ minds! If your story is well written and unique it will go far. People love ground breaking stories and innovative writing.
Concrete: Don’t beat around the bush or make your writing too abstract. Stick to hard facts and solid key messages to keep your copy succinct and to retain your readers’ attention.
Credible: Credibility is important for a number of reasons. If you are advertising for a product, people won’t buy it if they do not believe you’re telling them the truth about it. If you send a pitch that isn’t credible it won’t get picked up. Believability is important to building strong relationships with media and your audience.
Emotional: A tried-and-true writing tactic is to appeal to peoples’ emotions. Humor, sympathy, anger and sorrow tug on readers’ heartstrings and really make them pay attention. Emotional stories also make the audience much more likely to spread the story and share it with other people.
Story: Create a narrative in your writing, no matter what you are writing for. Telling a story makes your content more interesting and relatable. People will stick around to hear the ending if you tell a good story.
Keep these different factors in mind when creating your copy and you will have great success in all your writing.