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Insights from a Writer (not me)

Recently, I received an e-newsletter from a writer colleague, Peter Bowerman. I so identified with his process, I thought it might be of interest to you. I am sharing this with his permission of course. 

Although writing is a big hunk of what I do, as a web specialist I do much more. However, the puzzle Peter describes below applies to all I do when working on a project.


by Peter Bowerman

“Musing on the Worthy Calling of Transforming Chaos into Order”

So, I was steeped in a new project recently (yes, some clients are still hiring!), one that made me appreciate what it is that I love most about our business.

The project? An email campaign/landing page for two distinct products, along with a brochure for one of them. For the first project, my source material consisted of an informational website and an interview with my client.

For the second offering—a brand-new technology—they had nothing in the way of printed/online materials (web site coming). Just a short video describing the process, and a longer interview with a subject-matter expert (SME).

With content in hand, off I went to my garret. I love starting with just pieces—like a big puzzle. Our job is to assemble it all in the most effective way possible.

We need to convey what that reader/visitor/viewer needs to know at that point in the process. Clients almost always want to share more information than is necessary at a given point, and our job is to rein them in from that inclination.

Moreover, we need to effectively convey the info within the chosen medium: website, brochure, landing page, etc. All need to be structured in different ways.

My goal? “Build the case” in the most logical and effective sequence possible. There are different approaches, but this is the one I used in this case:

  • Introduce the problem/challenge
  • Discuss the negative fallout that occurs from the challenge
  • Present the possibility of an alternate solution
  • Introduce the solution, and its benefits (i.e., what’s important to that prospect)
  • Discuss some features (i.e., about the product and the company selling it)
  • (Always Begin with Benefits, Follow with Features)
  • Summarize the new reality with the new solution in place, and …
  • End with a call-to-action to take the next step: pick up the phone, order the informational report, set an appointment, view the demo, etc. 

On the back of my book, The Well-Fed Writer, I assert that, “Writing is the engine of commerce.” A bit dramatic? Perhaps, but I absolutely believe it. No product or service gets explained, promoted, marketed, publicized or purchased, and no one gets informed, educated, pitched or sold…without writing.

And none of the preceding gets done well without good writing. 

If you enjoyed the above, you can learn more by visiting Peter’s website.

Easy Web Tip 294: Appreciate the talents a terrific copywriter can bring to your business.

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