Go Ahead…Break The Rules of Grammar!

by Julie Barnes

When I was going through my copywriting training, I couldn’t believe what I was learning. I should write marketing material in a conversational tone. But…in my previous writing classes, I learned to follow strict grammar rules when writing prose. What’s a writer to do?

Writing in a conversational tone in your marketing copy will allow you to connect with your target market in your tone of voice. They will “hear” you speaking to them about your product or service.

This is where breaking the rules of grammar is ok…just as long as you don’t go overboard. Here are five rules for you to break.

1. Get personal – When writing to your target market, it’s ok to use “you,” “I,” and “we” as a way to connect with your readers and pull them in to the conversation.

2. Repeat – It’s ok to repeat the benefits and advantages of using your products or services. And to place your call to action throughout your copy several times.

3. Be friendly – Write in an informal tone by using contractions. This makes your tone sound more conversational. Like you’re talking to a friend. You want your target market to “feel” like a friend.

4. Short sentences – Nothing is harder to read than a huge paragraph with sentences that seem to go on forever and ever. Most readers will zone out, get bored, and move on…not even finishing your brilliant copy. So… write in short snappy sentences and keep the paragraphs short.

5. Use a cliché – This seems to be one of the harder rules to break for writer. Depending on your target market…some readers will understand your point better when you express it by using a cliché, then…writing your point out in a long, boring sentence.

So go ahead…break these five rules of grammar and your target market will start “hearing” you… while reading your copy.


Julie Barnes is a Writer specializing in Business, Travel and SEO Copywriting, while traveling the great USA full-time in a 42 ft RV. Her newest book “How They Did It…36 Entrepreneurs Tell How They Launched The Business of Their Dreams” is available here. Visit her website at http://www.onewhowrites.com//. Follow Julie on Twitter at www.twitter.com/juliebarnesusa.

Julie Barnes is a regular contributor to the Secrets of Success blog.

5 comments

Baby Diaper Cakes and beyond by LaTersa said...

this is a great article and so true. I'm learning more and more about speaking directly to my targeted audience

Julie Barnes said...

Thank you so much LaTersa! I'm glad you found the article helpful! It's so important to "speak" to your target audience in your copywriting.

Zsa Zsa said...

Hi Julie, love your article! It really is important to speak the language of your audience. And when it comes to writing for the web, brevity is crucial. I've always loved the conversational styles in the stuff i read on the web.:)

Zsa Zsa said...

Great tips Julie! when it comes to web writing, brevity is really important. And yes, very important to speak the language of your audience!

Julie Barnes said...

Thank you Zsa Zsa! It's amazing how conversational writing can pull the reader in.

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