Quick Tip:
4 Simple Secrets to Energize Your Writing

Persuasive copywriting uses active words, draws mental pictures, and gets to the point quickly. Passive writing saps your writing’s strength and makes it less convincing.

Simply put: Active writing makes sales. Passive writing loses them.

Here are 4 strategies for strengthening all your writing … not just sales copy.

  1. Put your copy on a low “to be” diet.

    We can’t get away from “to be” verbs – words like “is,” “was,” and “were.” But these verbs make it difficult for the prospect to get a mental picture. Replace them with active, visual verbs.

    Compare these two sentences:

    • “JointWonder is strong defense against joint pain.”
    • “JointWonder builds a wall of antioxidant protection around your joints.”

    Which draws a clearer, more convincing picture? The second one, of course.

  2. Eliminate unnecessary introductory phrases (even in the middle of the sentence).

    In my first draft of this article, I wrote this sentence: “The way to do this is with strong, active sentences.” A better choice: “Do this with strong, active sentences.” I finally wrote: “Active writing makes sales.”

  3. Hack out “of” and other prepositions. While you’re at it, get rid of “that.”

    I could say: “One of the ways to strengthen all of your writing is to get rid of all of the prepositions that you don’t need.”

    This says it better: “One way to strengthen your copy is to eliminate unnecessary prepositions.”

    Better yet: “Search for sentences with more than two prepositions. When you find one (it’ll be easy), rewrite the sentence to eliminate as many as you can.”

    As for “that” … I’ll bet you can eliminate two-thirds of them in your copy. When you come to a “that” read the sentence without it. If it still makes sense, take it out.

  4. Edit in your second and third drafts.

    Don’t disrupt the flow of your thoughts by editing as you write. Do it in your second and subsequent drafts.

    By following these strategies, your writing will slowly change from soggy to solid … even in your first draft.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: February 4, 2008

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