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 "7 Devistating Writing Mistakes..." 
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Post "7 Devistating Writing Mistakes..."
Title: 7 Devistating Writing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Author: Jason A. Martin

Article:

Writing engaging articles and energizing ad copy takes more than
just typing out what you want to say. By correcting these major
mistakes, your copy will soar to newfound heights. While there
are many common mistakes made by copywriters, seven in
particular are deadly.

<strong>Mistake One: </strong>Don’t take that tone with me!

Many writers fail to write to their intended audience by writing
in a general or wrong tone. Either way is costly. It is
important to identify and write to the intended audience. Review
the following two statements to see how the same information
differs based on the intended audience.

<em>Audience One is comprised of computer neophytes.</em>

Move your mouse pointer over to the START icon, which is located
in the lower left area of your computer screen. Next, click your
left mouse button one time. Your start menu should now be
displayed.

<em>Audience Two is comprised of knowledgeable computer users.
</em>

Open up your START menu.

Notice the stark contrast between the two examples. If we
continued with the examples, “Audience Two” would be spoken to
in more technical terms whereas “Audience One” would be spoken
to in very simple terms with every action described in full
detail.

<strong>Mistake Two: </strong>Welcome to the claims department.

Most non-fiction writing, especially ad copy, makes a claim of
some sort. Hard to believe claims destroy credibility. The
golden rule of claims: Always support your claims fully.

<em>I can’t believe it! </em>

When a claim sounds too good to be true, credibility is lost.
Perhaps the ad copy is claiming that a person can lose up to 300
pounds in 30 days on a certain type of program. The more
substantial the claim, the more support required. Still, if the
claim is hard to believe, all the support in the world won’t
help much.

<em>4 out of 5 dentists agree. </em>

A claim made must be supported. An article reporting that 4 out
of 5 dentists agree about using a certain product must include
the supporting evidence. Never expect people to take your word
for it, because they won’t.

<strong>Mistake Three: </strong>So enough about you, what about
me?

Have you ever visited a website or heard an ad that chimed in
with “we here at [insert company name] believe…?” The majority
of people will react by simply ignoring the copy all together.
It is important to build up a rapport with the reader before
talking about yourself—if possible. The reader must first be
given a reason as to why he or she should care. This mistake is
most common in ad copy. Focus on the reader first and foremost.

<strong>Mistake Four: </strong>Could you repeat that?

Repetitious wording occurs when a word is used that was
previously written in close proximity. Try to keep sentences
fresh and flowing with new words. This is a great reason to pick
up a thesaurus and learn some word alternatives. In ad copy it
is sometimes necessary to use a word more than once for effect.
An example of this would be: Excellent service. Excellent
selection. Excellent prices.

<em>Don’t do this </em>

<em>I really like the quality of the shoes and the overall
quality of the store. Store X is an all around high-quality
establishment. </em>

Notice the word “quality” was used three times quickly. These
two sentences should be rewritten with the world quality being
used only once.

<strong>Mistake Five: </strong>At this present time, the fact of
the matter is, you are reading this article.

This mistake plagues us all because our normal speech is full of
redundancies. Some redundancies are simply two words that say
the same thing, while others are phrases that repeat something
previously mentioned in the sentence. Fluffing up text does not
make for good writing or reading. Let’s look at some examples.

<em>“It is a true fact.” </em>

Is there a false fact? Revised: “It is a fact.”

<em>“I found a total of 927 websites with my name on them.” </em>

Eliminate “total of”. Revised: “I found 927 websites with my
name on them.”

<em>“The future to come is full of surprises.” </em>

The future is something to come, which is why it is called the
future and not the present or past. Stating “future to come” is
wordy and does nothing to enhance the reading experience.
Revised: “The future is full of surprises.”

To find out more, visit your favorite search engine, and look
for results under these terms: <ul> <li> Pleonasm</li>
<li>Redundant writing</li> </ul>

<strong>Mistake Six: </strong>You’re its owner therefore it’s
yours.

It is amazing how four simple words can become a virtual
wrecking ball to the prose of so many. The four words are: its,
it’s, your, and you’re

<em>Its </em>

This is possessive and has no apostrophe. Example: Put your hand
on its mouth.

<em>It’s </em>

This version has the apostrophe and means “it is.” Example: It’s
mine.

<em>Your </em>

Again, this is the possessive and has no apostrophe. Example:
Your car is stalled.

<em>You’re </em>

With the apostrophe, it means “you are.” Example: You’re smiling
at me.

Many writers make this mistake because it’s simple to do.
Writing fast will increase the possibility of making this
mistake, which is why rereading your copy many times is crucial.

<strong>Mistake Seven: </strong>I think I can. Well, maybe I can
try.

It is important that the reader feels secure about the author,
which is why writing in a passive voice will render the prose
helpless. It is very easy to use passive writing without knowing
it because everyday speech is filled with passivity. Recognizing
passive writing and replacing it will make a tremendous
difference in your copy.

<em>Passive: The final exam was failed by over half of the
students. </em>

<em>Active: Half of the students failed the exam. </em>

Notice the difference between the two sentences. Overcoming this
mistake takes practice—as does learning to write well.

Ad copy should be dripping in confidence. Word selection and
order are extremely important. Using words like “try” should be
omitted when possible.

<em>Common Example: </em>“We work to make our clients happy.”

<em>Rewrite: </em>“We have satisfied clients.” or “We will make
you happy.”

In the “Common Example”, it implies that you might not be happy.
The company will “work” to make you happy, but there is no
guarantee they can. In the rewrite, the implication is removed
by altering the text.

Crafting solid prose takes practice. By running this checklist
against your copy and correcting mistakes, it will become more
effective. Every printed word is priceless. A single word or
sentence can cause decent copy to fail. Should you require a <a>copywriter</a>, visit my
website.

©2005 Jason Andrew Martin LLC All links must be included to use
this article on your website.

About the author:
<p> Jason A. Martin, a <a>copywriter</a> and
entrepreneur, has been conducting business on the Internet for
11 years. His Internet business website: <a>Internet
Business Entrepreneur</a>.</p> <p>Official web site, which
contains articles you can use for your web site: <a>Jason A Martin</a></p>

[Note: Due to size restriction, the subject line's title had to be truncated. Appologies to Jason A. Martin. - Admin.]

This article was posted by permission.


Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:43 pm
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