The Four Most Powerful Writing Lessons I Learned On The Job


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Writing is one of many jobs marketers must effortlessly perform. These four powerful writing lessons, hard-won over nearly a decade of painstaking experience, are essential enhancements for a marketer's daily writing responsibilities.

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The Four Most Powerful Writing Lessons I Learned On The Job

  1. 1. The Four Most Powerful Writing Lessons I Learned On The Job By Mark Sherbin “My ambition is handicapped by laziness.” - Charles Bukowski
  2. 2. Bukowski couldn’t hold down a job for most of his adult life. But he was one hell of a wordsmith. He’d be the first to tell you that becoming a career writer is a trial by fire.
  3. 3. Higher education just doesn’t prepare you to sell ideas, products, people and brands with words alone.
  4. 4. Marketers tend to acquire writing experience slowly because they’re also expected to be... DesignersStatisticians Technologists Salespeople Branding Experts
  5. 5. You wear a lot of hats. You know much about the discipline of marketing. But becoming a strong writer takes more than crafting the occasional brochure, press release, or weekly blog post.
  6. 6. I had no idea what I was doing when I started writing. A small public relations firm threw me overboard into a deluge of writing projects. Man, did I hate that job. But I sure feel lucky to have had it. The high-pressure environment taught me some tough lessons. Without them, I wouldn’t be the writer I am today.
  7. 7. Here are four of those lessons.
  8. 8. Lesson 1: Shorter sentences hit harder.
  9. 9. Painstakingly long sentences won’t win you any friends. They slow down your reader. It’s hard to find the crux of the idea. Keep your sentences simple and sweet. Every thought will have more impact. Every paragraph will fly by.
  10. 10. Lesson 2: Show, don’t tell.
  11. 11. Showing is more powerful than telling. People don’t want to be told what to do. They want to learn from experiences. Don’t tell someone to buy something. Show them why they need it.
  12. 12. Lesson 3: “I” should mostly be about “you”.
  13. 13. There are only a few reasons to use the personal pronoun “I”—to establish credibility, show something through a personal story, or create empathy or an emotional connection. Writing should always be about the reader. Writers must become invisible.
  14. 14. Lesson 4: Clear is better than clever.
  15. 15. Clever writing is fun to read. But if you’re clever at the expense of being clear, what’s the point? Above all, your writing should always mean what it says.
  16. 16. Mark Sherbin is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. Contact him via one of the channels listed below. @MarkSherbin Thanks for reading! More at