10 tips from the author of ‘On Writing Well’

Words, sentences, paragraphs: Simply assembling them is not enough. Follow these guidelines to electrify your copywriting.

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If you are a marketing copywriter, your ignoring this book would be akin to a medical student’s not having read a copy of “Gray’s Anatomy”: You would look like a newbie quack.

In no particular order, here are 10 lessons that I took away from a first reading of Zinsser’s book. I am sure that I will easily be able to write 25 more points after revisiting it.

1. KISS: Keep it short and simple.

Brevity is at the core of Zinsser’s writing philosophy. The use of every word has to be justified, and, wherever possible, more should be done with less.

This advice is especially important when you are writing to sell something online, given the extremely short attention spans of readers.

An overuse of abbreviations, jargon, and clich├ęs is the easiest way to ensure that you will bore your readers and make them click elsewhere. The first two are as sneaky as pickpockets, especially when your copywriting niche is something like B2B IT.

Eternal vigilance is the price of persuasive copywriting.

2. Obsess over word choices.

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