Before we get into the specific side of trying to sell to your audience or get them to want your product, it makes sense to start by looking at writing more generally and at what is required for your content to be considered ‘well written’.
Writing is art and as always, art is very difficult to define and to judge. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that…
But perhaps the best way to judge a piece of writing is to look at it in the context of what it is trying to achieve. What is the goal of the writing and how well does it complete that goal? Because ultimately, nothing else matters.
If your goal is to spin a good yarn and entertain an audience, then good writing is writing that achieves that. If your goal is to convey a specific piece of information, then readers should come away now knowing what you wanted them to know.
So the first thing to ask when looking at your existing copy and trying to judge its quality is:
Does it achieve the desired objective?
Good writing has a specific goal and it sets out to accomplish that goal.
The next question you need to ask on top of this, is how efficiently it does this. If your objective is to teach someone what the word ‘battery’ means, then you could publish a dictionary to your blog and that would effectively achieve the objective. But it wouldn’t be very efficient…
Think of your words as being finite, or of each word as having a ‘cost’. Your objective is to increase your
ROI and to conserve those precious resources. So if you can say the same thing with fewer words, you can often improve your writing by cutting out the excess.
So maybe you have the following sentence:
“The very best type of writing, is writing that is concise and succinct.”
We could improve that a lot by saying:
“The best writing is concise and succinct.”
This conveys the exact same information but does so in a much more efficient and succinct manner. This in turn means that it’s quicker for the reader to absorb that information and it means they’re getting more reward with less effort. It also allows you to get to the point before the reader leaves the page!
The next way to assess a piece of writing or copy then is to ask