A few handy tools for copywriters (and why they matter for print)
Copywriting is a major part of print marketing. Writing copy for your flyers, product manuals or direct mail can be an overwhelming task, and each communication channel needs a different approach to mirror the reader’s commitment. Copywriting is a great skill to have but takes training and practice to get there. Hiring a professional copywriter may not always be a feasible option for businesses, so we’ve compiled a quick list of handy tools for copywriters to ensure effective and efficient print:
Hemingway is a simple and free tool to use through your browser, or $10 for the desktop version that works offline. It has all the basic requirements for the simpler writing tasks. Hemingway is ideal for blogs, copy for print or website updates, and helps writers be concise, make simple bold sentences and hold their reader’s concentration.
In Hemingway, you can write, upload or paste your piece and alter any spellings and typos as you go. There is the option to add text style (H1, H2 etc), format the text and add bullet, indents, links, etc. When you switch to editor mode, the program highlights any problems. It will offer simpler alternative words, adverbs and passive voice.
Why it matters: Confusing sentences drenched in industry-heavy terms will leave your readers lost and disinterested. Hemingway will help you recognize sentences that might be difficult for your readers to understand.
Idioms are words, phrases, or expressions that are either grammatically unusual, such as, “Long time, no see!”, or their meaning cannot be taken literally, “It’s raining cats and dogs!”
The Free Dictionary’s Idioms Dictionary, compiled from the Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms, features more than 7,000 idioms that you can use for richer, more breakthrough content. You simply type in the keyword you are writing about, then see what idioms pop up that feature that word.
Why it matters: Your print might start to all sound the same or maybe you work in a boring industry—adding some fun content will keep your readers on their toes and excited to learn more.
Words to Use is essentially a copywriter online. Content is arranged in familiar, award-ready categories: apparel and accessories, body care, food and beverage, seasonal, global good, love and emotions, etc. The way this site can assist you is with word association. Instead of grouping words together by their meaning (i.e., Thesaurus.com), this site groups together subject-related words by parts of speech.
This site started out as a collection of word lists that the site creator was keeping for her personal writing pursuits. She began passing the lists around to copywriter friends and eventually they asked to be able to access the lists online.
Why it matters: It’s easy to get into a writing rut where you feel like you are using all the same words and phrases. Words to Use will help keep your print copywriting fresh and engaging.
Good copy has the power to convince your customers to buy your product or service and encourages them to take action. Take the time to use some of these tools when writing your next print marketing piece, then give us a call for all your print needs!