Monday, February 15, 2010

5 Writing Tools No Internet Marketer Should Be Without

Writing compelling content is difficult at the best of times. You have to use a target audience’s hot buttons, emotions, and deepest needs to convince them to buy. But, unless you’ve got a real knack for this type of thing, it just isn’t as easy as it sounds. Thankfully, there are a few tools that can make it a whole lot easier.
Fair Warning: ‘easier’ does NOT mean these tools create ‘foolproof’ copy! (A hammer only works when you miss your finger!)

Once you’ve identified YOUR target audience, you need to learn from them, and who better to learn from than one of them? These Social Networks and searches make it easy to find someone in the perfect target market, learn a bit more about them, gather ideas, and see what the product or service’s competition is up to. You’ll even find it easier to write or sell because you can pretend you’re selling to one of them.

One of the best ways to learn how to write better copy is to practice writing and reading someone else’s sales copy. So, when I find a good piece of copy, I clip it and put it in on my desktop! Then, I can write them out and get to learn how to improve the results of my copy. These bits can also act as a guide while providing you with ideas for handling certain situations. Lastly, it’s also a good idea to keep information about the various products, services, and their competitors as well as examples of good titles and ideas.

ReadPlease

Finding mistakes is tough enough, but things such as awkwardly worded phrases can be almost impossible to find unless someone else reads the copy to you. That’s exactly what ReadPlease does. It’s robotic sounding, but you’d be amazed at how many mistakes you can catch with it.

Whether you choose an online whiteboard, or the more freeing real-life version, writers need a spot to track site structure, concepts, facts, and develop ideas. And with the freedom of a whiteboard, there are no limitations. Trust me, after using one to structure a piece of copy, you’ll wonder how you ever wrote something without it. (It’s also good for jotting down quick notes, but so is Sticky Notes, if you’re interested.)

WYSIWYG, Keyword Analyzer & Email

Off all the tools listed here, I rely on these three the most. The online WYSIWYG makes it pretty easy to code up your text and leaves it nice and clean. The keyword analysis tool is one of the select few online you can use to calculate keyword density simply by copy and pasting.

Your email program can also be extremely helpful. Now, I know you’re going ‘duh’, but it’s actually a great code cleaner. You see, MS Office has a habit of loading text full of useless code that seems almost impossible to get rid of. To fix this problem, email the file to yourself. Then, preview the file in the email program, select the text, copy, and paste it wherever you need it. You’ll find it keeps the HTML without all the junk.

Oh! One last thing! I’m testing out a Firefox addon called ‘After the Deadline’, which is a spelling, grammar, and style checker. You might like it!

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