The Writing is in the Rewriting. Seven Steps to Getting it Right

Written by Walter Burek

Writers who are so fluent, facile and sure-footed that they can write their stuff down and that'srepparttar way it runs are rare.

Ernest Hemingway rewroterepparttar 108164 last paragraph of THE SUN ALSO RISES 28 times before he got it right. David Ogilvy confessed that he'd done as many as 19 drafts on a single piece of copy before presenting it to anyone.

What we're talking about here is good writing for easy reading. Writing that doesn't puzzlerepparttar 108165 stranger, but clearly conveysrepparttar 108166 meaningrepparttar 108167 writer intends.

It's a sweaty proposition, this rewriting, because it demands that we serve as our own critic, editor and teacher. And that means being able to spotrepparttar 108168 problem areas before we can even beginrepparttar 108169 revising, polishing and cutting.

Here are seven questions you must ask about your copy before you begin another round.

1. Are your sentences short enough?

Experts say that a "short" sentence is anything under 17 words. That doesn't mean you can't write longer sentences, just don't fill uprepparttar 108170 pages with them. Too many long sentences slowrepparttar 108171 reader down; a good mixture of sentence lengths acutally heightens interest.

2. Is your sentence structure varied?

Starting every sentence with "a" or "the" makes your writing read like "duh." Varyingrepparttar 108172 beginning of your sentences with nouns, adverbs and -- even an occasional conjunction -- keeps your reader from getting bored.

3. Have you been too passive?

Userepparttar 108173 active voice, instead ofrepparttar 108174 passive. Make it a habit. It makes your writing more direct, more energetic. And, usually, your sentences shorter.

4. Are your verbs active?

Action verbs rule. Use verbs that describe physical or mental activity instead of a state of being. "Our widgets outshinerepparttar 108175 competition" is more vigorous than "Our widgets are ofrepparttar 108176 highest quality."

Nip and Tuck – Three Quick Tricks for Writing SEO Copy

Written by Karon Thackston

by Karon Thackston © 2003

Have you ever been to one of those sites that has obviously been written to get high search engine rankings? You knowrepparttar ones… they have copy that sounds like this:

“When you buy quality silver jewelry from us, you know your quality silver jewelry is ofrepparttar 108163 highest quality because we only sell quality silver jewelry that is top-notch. No other quality silver jewelry site onrepparttar 108164 Web offersrepparttar 108165 selection of quality silver jewelry that we do!”

Want to take a wild guess at what keyphrase they’re targeting?

Copy like this simply doesn’t sound “real.” It’s very forced. Yes, it may very well get ranked high inrepparttar 108166 search engines, but what then? When visitors click to your site they’ll be faced with stiff copy that sounds like a robot. It doesn’t flow… and it doesn’t sell, either! With a little nip and tuck, you can create copy that appeals to your target audience AND ranks high withrepparttar 108167 engines.

So just how do you get your keywords and phrases into your copy and still have a nice, flowing sales message? It’s really easier than you might think.

Here are a couple of strategies I use when writing SEO copy.

Headlines and Subheadlines

These makerepparttar 108168 ideal place for keywords. Why? Because keywords are normally descriptive by nature. Since headlines describe whatrepparttar 108169 site visitor is about to read, it makes perfect sense to include keywords within them.


Create a chart, or a list, and give it a keyword-rich title. Just as with headlines, titles should be descriptive… another perfect keyword/copy match.


In your chart or list, include keywords inrepparttar 108170 headers and withinrepparttar 108171 list descriptions. For example, if your keywords include softball trading pins, employee recognition awards, lapel pins, and lapel pin you could create a list that reads like this:

Creative Lapel Pin Uses ·Baseball and Softball Trading Pins - Lapel pin trading among baseball and softball teams has dramatically grown in popularity… be sure to support your team with custom-created baseball and softball trading pins. ·Employee Recognition Awards - Employees take great pride in wearing lapel pins that show their achievements, and they will treasure employee recognition awards that they can frequently show to others.

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