10 ways to smarten up your online writing

A content marketer offers guidelines for sharpening your web posts.

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I’ve heard this question from workmates many times. People in the business world are often plenty smart, but when it comes to writing down their thoughts, they’re not sure they “sound smart.”

Most of us don’t get formal writing training after college. Social marketers, in particular, focus more on short phrases, imagery and metrics than on full pages of copy.

I want to share some writing tips I have collected in my 10 years in the content marketing business. (That’s the equivalent of 70 human years, by the way.) They come from former bosses and colleagues, as well as from my own struggles in the daily grind. They should help you streamline your copy for readability and impact.

In other words, if you do these things you’re more likely to “sound smart.”

1. Cut back on adverbs

People use adverbs to really add emphasis. We all should significantly cut back on adverbs. I suggest, instead, that you offer more information or simply trust the reader to get your point.

Don’t: Metrics are extremely useful for social marketers.

Do: Metrics are useful to social marketers.

Do More: Metrics help social marketers track and optimize their campaigns.

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