Copywriting, Video

How to write better: Simple checks to produce your best work every time

A foolproof way to make sure everything you write is worthy of publishing

At GrowthLab, we use a simple checklist to guarantee that all of our copy is the best it can be. Doesn’t matter if it’s a blog post, email, or sales page — we use this checklist every time before we hit “send” or “publish.”

I’d love to share it with you. Just enter your information below and I’ll send it over. Then, after you crank out a draft, run down the list. You’ll know right away if it’s any good.

Create error-free, high-quality content and hit “publish” with confidence -- every time

Here’s a question every online business owner struggles with at some point:

“How do you know if what you’ve written is good?”

It’s not always easy to tell.

For example, I used to write a comedy column back at Stanford. Sometimes I’d write an article and think, “This is gold!” I knew it was hilarious and people would love it.

But other times, I was surprised. I’d write something I thought was amazing, and it would bomb. Or I’d turn something in I didn’t like, but it turned out to be popular.

Since it can be tough to know if what you’ve written is good, it’s helpful to have guidelines to check your work against. That way you’ll know if it’ll resonate with your readers.

I reached out to a few of my friends who run successful online businesses to see what guidelines they use to tell if what they’ve written is good. Let’s take a look at what they said.

How top bloggers know their writing is good

John Romaniello runs the popular site Roman Fitness Systems. He has a simple practice for writing better and knowing when to hit publish.

“Read everything you write out loud. In fact, have someone else read it out loud. If there are sentences that cause them to stumble or if the article does not flow well, be willing to go back and edit a lot. If it sounds like shit, it reads like shit.”
— John Romaniello, RomanFitnessSystems.com

I do this with almost everything I write. Reading your copy out loud is one of the best ways to make sure your writing is clear.

The next tip comes from Steve Kamb. Also in the fitness industry, his site, Nerd Fitness, helps desk jockeys, nerds, and average Joes get healthy. He writes some of the best case studies.

“The articles that I enjoy writing tend to resonate best with my audience. Sometimes I’m off in my predictions. But when I’m writing something and saying, ‘I can’t freaking wait to publish this,’ it’s almost guaranteed to go over well.”
— Steve Kamb, NerdFitness.com

That’s a great point. When you write something that excites you, it shows in your work. Chances are good it’ll hit the mark with your readers as well.

Now I love these answers, but I want to add 2 bonus tips to what John and Steve said.

Bonus tip #1: Write for only one person to create engaging content

First, when you’re writing a blog post or email, it’s easy to start thinking, “Oh, I’ve got to write to all these different people.”

But when you try to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one.

What I do is think of a few specific people I know who read my site. It could be one of my successful students or someone I met who told me, “Oh, I subscribed to your site three years ago.”

Once I pick a person, I close my eyes and imagine what it’s like for them to read what I wrote. I ask myself, “Would this resonate with them? What would they say if they were reading this?”

This exercise helps me understand if my copy is engaging and if my examples are going to hit home.

Bonus tip #2: Use the Bar Test to ensure your writing is relatable

One of my favorite writing frameworks is the Bar Test.

When reading your copy, ask yourself, “Would I say this to someone at a bar?”

This will take your writing from “stiff” to relatable because you sound like a real person.

A foolproof way to make sure everything you write is worthy of publishing

Now, I just gave you a lot of information here. It’s hard to remember to do it with every single thing you write.

So one of the things I did was to put together a checklist. At GrowthLab, we use it to guarantee that all of our copy is the best it can be. Doesn’t matter if it’s a blog post, email, or sales page — we use this checklist every time before we hit “send” or “publish.”

I’d love to share it with you. Just enter your information below and I’ll send it over. Then, after you crank out a draft, run down the list. You’ll know right away if it’s any good.

Create error-free, high-quality content and hit “publish” with confidence -- every time