Liz Wilson, Content Strategist and Copywriter, shares with us some of the challenges she’s faced as a digital copy editor and content strategist. To illustrate her varied experience Liz shares with us three case studies and the lessons she’s learned along the way. Littered with helpful examples, guidelines, and resources, this presentation is an excellent go-to for anyone working in digital.
Although many people in Switzerland are multilingual a copywriter will typically write in their strongest language and then see their work translated either by the local markets or by a translation agency. Therefore, when creating copy it is important to keep a certain set of guidelines so that regardless of translation, the message will still come across just as the writer intended. These guidelines will also ensure that the content has impact when posted online.
Liz’s 8 Best Practices for Writing Online
- Be Clear. Be Simple. Be direct.
- Be conversational which means avoid everyday words, jargon, and idioms
- Most important information first
- Satisfy users’ needs quickly
- Speak to the reader
- Scannable text using questions, bullets, numbered lists, sub-headings, block quote etc
- Ensure it is mobile friendly
- Include Links
Want to ensure your text is readable and understandable? Test your text using: http://www.checktext.org/ and learn more about reability tests here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flesch%E2%80%93Kincaid_readability_tests
In concert with Liz’s 8 Best Practices, we’re given guidance on managing a digital environment where there is Too Much Information. It is common to think that the online world is infinite and therefore is the best place to share all the possible information but, alas, no one will read it! Liz needed to be a content strategist and copywriter when she worked with one site that had over 1,500 pages. Far too much! Thankfully, Liz outlines a set of handy questions to guide us on managing any digital environment:
Liz’s Content Questions
- What do you already have?
- Who do you want to reach?
- How do you want to sound?
- What topics do you want to own?
Liz also provides us with a Toolkit to ensure that the content reaches the intended audience. Within the toolkit there are many links to support each element and provide us with a wealth of resources to learn more.
Liz’s Content Toolkit
- Content Audit & Evaluation
What to keep and rewrite? What to archive or delete? Where are the gaps? Learn more about content auditing: https://moz.com/blog/content-audit-tutorial
Personas are fictional characters who represent your website’s users. Identifying your persona provides valuable guardrails when creating content. Learn more about personas here: https://blog.bufferapp.com/marketing-personas-beginners-guide
- Tone of Voice
How should you speak to your audience to keep them engaged. Watch this video to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CljlTSDlf-k
- Messages & Stories
Messages tell people what you do, why it matters and how you are different. Stories bring those messages to life. Learn more: https://gathercontent.com/blog/a-beginners-guide-to-messaging-development
With so much content online it is very important that you use the toolkit to clearly identify who you’re talking to, what you’re saying, and how you’re saying it. As Liz experienced with life coach Doug Manuel, this will help you cut through the clutter.
To review the entire presentation and get even more links to resources please visit the slideshare here: