Great Website Content
Your website advertises something. Whether it's a business, a portfolio, or just an idea, all websites aim to persuade visitors to read more or take some kind of action.
From the 1950s through the 1980s, no one was better at getting potential customers to take action than the late David Ogilvy, colloquially known as the father of modern advertising and founder of the multi-national ad agency Ogilvy & Mather.In September of 1982, Ogilvy wrote a memo to agency staff titled simply "How to Write."
Within he listed 10 tips that are still shared in writing circles and should be required reading for anyone trying to build a business online. They apply remarkably well when writing for the web today. Here's all 10:
Clarity, Brevity, Accuracy
Ogilvy's list leaves little to the imagination. His strong belief is that clear, concise copy is what serves clients and consumers best. Scientific research says that he's right.
- Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times.
- Write the way you talk. Naturally.
- Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
- Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious [fool].
- Never write more than two pages on any subject.
- Check your quotations.
- Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning—and then edit it.
- If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.
- Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.
- If you want ACTION, don't write. Go and tell the guy what you want.
Buy the Book
Writing That Works, 3rd Edition:
How to Communicate Effectively in Business
by Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson
Writing That Works will help you say what you want to say, with less difficulty and more confidence. Now in its third edition, this completely updated classic has been expanded to included all new advice on e-mail and the e-writing world, plus a fresh point of view on political correctness.
With dozens of examples, many of them new, and useful tips for…