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5 Simple Tips for Professional / Business Writing

Whether artfully crafting a perfect social media post or coming up with witty copy for your website, owning a small business often requires a lot of writing. This can be daunting for some, as small mistakes like grammatical errors and poor wording can make a business look sloppy and unprofessional. To help, we’ve put together the following simple tips to help your words shine:

1. Walk Away & Read Out Loud

When you read something over and over again, your brain will automatically start to fill in missing pieces and make corrections. This can lead you to glaze over misspellings, grammatical errors, and sentences that just don’t make sense. An easy way to fix this? Give yourself a break. After you have completed your copy, walk away and take a break from looking at it for several minutes. When you return, read it out loud so you can hear if what you’re saying doesn’t make sense.

2. Find a Friend

No one knows the ins and outs of your business like you do, and it’s easy to take your knowledge for granted. When writing copy for websites, flyers, or other advertising, have a friend, partner, family member, or some other person outside of the business review it for you. They can tell you if what you’re explaining makes sense to the average person who is not in the business, and can give you feedback on how to make it more appealing to those outside of the industry.

3. Keep it Simple

Clear and succinct language is always preferable to long sentences and big words. In today’s fast-paced world, the average person can only spare a few seconds to read an advertisement or website before they move on to something else. Grab their attention and then get to your point quickly to keep it.

4. Get Active

No, you don’t have to pick up your running shoes (although exercise has been shown to increase brain activity), you just have to use the active rather than the passive voice when writing!

If Freshman English class was a while ago, here’s a refresher: using the active voice means that the subject of the sentence is something or does the action in the sentence. For example, “Jamal owns a business” is in the active voice.

The passive voice means the subject receives the action of the verb. “The business is owned by Jamal” would be in the passive voice. Along with the active voice being more concise (see #3 above), it’s also better for clarity. In addition, active voice focuses on the your business, products, and services. Check out these examples:

A variety of writing services are provided by Alpha Moose. (Passive)

Alpha Moose provides a wide variety of writing services. (Active)

Incredible customer service is provided by Becky. (Passive)

Becky provides incredible customer service. (Active)

The attention to detail Michelle shows is incredible and her wedding planning abilities are amazing because of it. (Passive)

Michelle’s attention to detail is incredible and it shows in her amazing wedding planning abilities. (Active)

The dog toys Bella sells are fun and even the most active canines are tired out after playing with them. (Passive)

Bella sells fun dog toys that tire out even the most active canines. (Active)

First time travelers will find that Mark’s travel agency is perfect for them. (Passive)

Mark’s travel agency is perfect for first time travelers. (Active)

5. Go to Oxford

The Oxford comma is a comma placed before the conjunction near the end of a list of three or more items.

For example, in “Alpha Moose’s services include copywriting, social media management, and professional development”, the Oxford comma would be before the “and”. A topic of many internet debates, the Oxford comma promotes clarity in sentences and removes any potential confusion your reader might experience. Plus, as we learned from this case in Maine, not using the Oxford comma could cost your business millions!

We hope these tips have you feeling ready to conquer all of your small business writing challenges. Need more help?

AME is here for all of your copywriting, social media management, and professional development needs. Contact us today:

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