Back to the copywriting basics

Written by Mark Laing

You've probably read lots on effective copywriting strategies, how to utilise keywords, and various tricks ofrepparttar trade for making sure your copywriting is as effective as possible. This is good stuff ... anything that results in a better website is worth reading and absorbing.

However, before you learn to walk, you need to learn to crawl. Before you begin focusing onrepparttar 108203 technical aspects of copywriting, it's a good idea to get a handle onrepparttar 108204 basics.

With that in mind, here are a few things to keep in mind when you're pecking away at your keyboard, trying to come up with effective copy for your site.

* Catch your visitor's attention right away. They'll be gone in two seconds otherwise. * Keep it short. Keep it simple. Keep it torepparttar 108205 point. * Alongrepparttar 108206 same lines, focus. Don't try to do too much with one article or one page of copy. You're not a novelist - you're selling your services or product. * Userepparttar 108207 active tense ... don't say "the product can be bought by clicking on this link", say "click on this link to buyrepparttar 108208 product". * Don't use jargon. You're writing to inform, to convince and to sell, not to confuse. * If you have a choice between a small word and a big word, userepparttar 108209 small word. * Keep a dictionary at hand, and use it. * Know your audience. If you're targeting university professors, you won't writerepparttar 108210 same kind of copy you'd aim at skateboarders (unless your target audience is skateboarding university professors - in which case you've got problems). * Keeprepparttar 108211 tone consistent. If you're writing using an informal, conversational style, don't switch in midstream to a formal legalistic style. It'll throw your readers off.


Written by Craig Lock

What is copyright? No one can reproduce your work with- out your permission - not even a personal letter. How much of a writer's work can be legitimately used? A poem of 40-50 words is generally considered to be OK. Usually one is not allowed to copy substantial amounts of another writer's work without their express permission.

* But then what is meant byrepparttar word "substantial"? It is widely open to interpretation and opens up a literary and legal "minefield" (that's a metaphor, byrepparttar 108202 way!).

There are no hard and fast guidelines aboutrepparttar 108203 rule of copy- right. The following is a rough 'rule of thumb':

You can take approximately 300 words from a book or any other lengthy work of writing. You can also quote 150 words from a magazine article. Fifty (50) words quoted from a news- paper article is generally considered to be "fair use" without requiring either permission or a fee. Copyright lasts 50 years after your death.

You can use what is termed 'fair dealing' in writing reports, or researching material. I always advise acknowledging sources in your reference section (the bibliography - I tried very hard to bring in that impressive long word) .

It's all very unclear -repparttar 108204 entire subject of copyright; so I won't say too much. My simple words of advice are: Just use your common sense and discretion (if you have some)... and be HONEST by fol- lowing your heart. Don't copy other author's material and purport (nice word, eh?) to berepparttar 108205 author. One should not paraphrase a substantial amount of another author's writing, nor use that writer's points (or theme of their writing) without due ACKNOWLEDGMENT. Hint hint!

If you get into a dispute (oops!), there are specialised trade and copyright laywers (or solicitors as they call them here in 'civilised' NZ) inrepparttar 108206 big centres. If in doubt, get advice...then DON'T infringe copyright.

Send requests to use "borrowed" material torepparttar 108207 permissions editor of a magazine, newspaper or book publisher. Book publishers usually have a small department which deals solely in this. Give them as much information as possible about your article or book, your publisher, as well as other books or articles written by you. Tell them what quotes you want to use and why and so on. Say you will give them due acknowledgement in your writing. They'll usually oblige.

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