When a diamond is found it looks like a piece of coal or carbon. Take that black, ugly stone and polish it and it soon becomes the world’s most beautiful gemstone.
And just like that, it takes a lot of editing to make a raw advertising idea into an effective and persuasive copy.
So, today I will share some editing techniques that I have learned from the adweek copywriting handbook.
The Secret to Editing
Well, there are many different approaches to editing copy that are certainly acceptable.
In the editing process, you refine your copy to express exactly what you want to express with the fewest words.
You want to maintain the same emotional feel, the same thought process, the same vibration that you had in mind when you wrote the copy. It’s just that you want to do it in the fewest words.
- You can do it by rearranging the words you wrote to make the thought more direct.
- Or it may mean cutting out words that have little contribution to the overall feel of the ad.
- It may mean substituting new words that express your thoughts better.
- And it may even mean adding words to clarify a thought.
But the goal in writing ad copy is to express the thoughts you want to convey in the most powerful way but with the fewest words.
Why is it necessary?
Your AD has a very focused purpose—to motivate your prospects to exchange their hard-earned money for your product or service. And everything you do or write must lead to this one goal.
And unnecessary words, make your ads;
- It shift’s your prospect’s attention.
- With less copy, your ad will look less imposing to the prospect and he or she will be more likely to read it.
Let me give you one example from an ad that Joseph sugerman wrote.
Let’s take a look at his first draft. It contains 66 words. And then look at his final draft which contains 43 words.
Headline; Losing weight is not easy.
Ask anyone. And, if you’ve tried it, you know that part of a good weight reduction program is your bathroom scale.
A bathroom scale is like a report card. It’s a feedback mechanism that tells you how well you’ve done. In fact, one of the few pleasures of losing weight is stepping on your bathroom scale and seeing the positive results.”
Now let’s take the same ad and condense it to reduce the word count while still maintaining the same meaning and emotional feel.
Losing weight is not easy.
Ask anyone, One of the few pleasures of losing weight is stepping on your bathroom scale and seeing positive results.
Your bathroom scale is like a report card—a feedback mechanism that tells you how well you’ve done.
In the second paragraph there is a reduction from 59 words to 36.
But, the meaning and emotional appeal of the second version is exactly the same as the first or even better.
Some Principles of Editing.
Look for any “that” words,
And, if you’ve tried it, you know that part of a good weight reduction program is your bathroom scale.
One of the few pleasures of losing weight is stepping on your bathroom scale and seeing positive results.
Consider combining sentences,
Take a look at Example1 and 2 once again.
In the edited version,
“A bathroom scale is like a report card. It’s a feedback mechanism that tells you how well you’ve done.” Part was condensed into;
“Your bathroom scale is like a report card—a feedback mechanism that tells you how well you’ve done.”
Eliminate unnecessary words
Look at the word “the” in the phrase “and see the positive results.” The word “the” can easily be eliminated without changing the meaning so that the final sentence will read, “and seeing positive results.”
Rearrange thoughts so they flow better.
Note that in the first draft, the flow of the copy pointed out that the scale was a report card and the second thought was that part of the pleasure of a weight loss program was stepping on a scale and seeing the positive results.
By reversing these two thoughts, M.r sugerman made the ad more emotional by focusing on the pleasure of using a scale when losing weight and then he explained why.
This sounds a lot better and more logical from a flow standpoint than the first draft.
Read the Periodicals.
Periodicals violate almost all the editing principles I have just talked about.
So If you want to practice editing copy, you can copy-paste a bunch of paragraphs from periodicals and then try to edit them.
Take a look at the examples that follow and edit them yourself, or read any periodical and edit the copy by seeing how many extraneous words can be eliminated. Or write a draft and practice this critical skill.
About the only redeeming feature of this product is that we don’t have huge quantities to sell. The importer is afraid to order too many for fear that nobody in their right mind would buy it let alone sell it. So we only have a few hundred to sell as part of this test program.
I was sitting in an office in New York City talking to a very successful friend and businessman whom we’ll call Stuart. I told Stuart that I had to make a very critical decision in my business. I needed some guidance and advice.
I know that many online gurus say that even if english is your fifth language you can still become a 10 figure copywriter.
But all they care about is money. If you want to become a great copywriter, you need to have extremely good English.
It is important that you do make your copy as free from error as possible.
If you don’t, it reflects badly on the integrity of your offer.
It raises doubts in the minds of your readers.
They may think, “If this guy can’t get his grammar straight, how do I know he runs his business right?”’
My english is not that good but my bro is really good at it, So I would have him proofread all drafts.
And a chrome extension named grammarly spell and grammar checks all my stuff.
English is not my first language. So I have a lot of grammar problems. I was never really grammar.
So I personally use a chrome extension named grammarly.
There is nothing wrong with the free version. But the paid version is better.
So go to the web store and download grammarly if you haven’t already.
Thank you for reading.