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Copywriting Tips for Small Businesses #4

Be Brief.

‘Vigorous writing is concise.’ This is a quote from a classic book about writing, The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. And it’s something every small business owner who writes their own copy should bear in mind.

Rupert cut, cut and cut again until there wasn’t a superfluous word

Your customer is probably going to give you seconds to tell him or her why they should use your product or service. Get straight to the point.

Some tips on keeping it brief.

• Try cutting your first draft by half.
• Consider losing the first paragraph if it’s not relevant.
• Almost always delete jokes, puns, and nice turns of phrase. In fact, anything you’re particularly proud of should be considered up for the chop, because very often writing that draws attention to itself is drawing attention away from your messages.
• Read your copy line by line, deleting any words you can do without.
• Hand your copy to a friend or colleague and ask him or her to strike out anything they think is unnecessary too.

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Martin Philp is a freelance copywriter who provides web and print content for high street brands and small businesses.