The Write Stuff Spring 2010 Volume 6 Issue 2

Are You Compelling?

Those of you who’ve seen me recently at networking events know that I’m focused on trying to communicate the difference between writing that’s compelling or merely competent. Most people can achieve the latter…but it takes a little work to create compelling copy.

Here are a few “compelling” tips:

  • Keep it short. After you’ve written something, review it with a critical eye…removing words, phrases and even sentences that aren’t necessary to get your message across.
  • Ask for a second opinion. It’s challenging to be your own editor, so ask someone else to take a look at your copy…focusing on the message as well as any writing miscues.
  • Use active voice. Don’t back into sentences; put the subject up front. Right: “The Sharks are the #1 seed.” Wrong: “The #1 seed is the Sharks.”
  • Banish errors. There’s nothing compelling about having to pick through copy that’s riddled with spelling, grammar and syntax mistakes. Spell check will only take you so far…and your image can take a dive if your copy looks like it was written by a sixth grader. (No offense intended to my niece, Jenna!)
  • Think about page layout. This doesn’t mean you need to have design skills, but you should consider how the page looks as you write. Break up long blocks of copy with subheads, use bullet points and ensure your spacing is consistent.
  • Get in the right mood. Postpone your writing session if you’re not in a “writing mood.” If you labor over your copy, it will be fairly evident to your readers.
  • Stick to subjects you love. Writing about something that bores you is hard to do; it’s even harder to communicate excitement about a subject when you aren’t compelled by it. (Kudos to my third-grade nephew, Gabe, for his first published article about a subject he loves: sports.)

Don’t stress about your written materials by hiring me to write or edit them for you! Learn more at or contact me at or (619) 291-4645.

Published On: May 25th, 2017 / Categories: 2010 /

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