The purpose of this, the final part of our material is to tell about the most important things that the editor should pay attention to when working on the text, common mistakes and shortcomings. We will tell you what to avoid in the materials, what to look for when editing, give practical recommendations and examples. We hope this material will be useful to everyone whose work is related to writing and editing texts.
So, what things are important when working on content, designed to help the brand expand its audience engagement area and its sphere of influence?
The target audience
The most important thing to which it is necessary to pay attention not only to the editor, but also to each copywriter is whether the text meets the expectations of the target audience. And for this you need to clearly imagine it. Who is your target audience? What is its age group, gender, social status, wealth, etc.? The form of your contact with her depends on it.
For example, an online store for low-cost women's clothing for women creates a blog, the materials of which are designed for girls from 18 to 25, students or office workers whose wealth can be called average or slightly below average. The form of contact with this audience is chosen appropriate - trustful, emotional, using youth slang; You will talk about what your audience cares about: which shoes are fashionable this season, what color of dress to wear to a student party, how to choose a stylish winter jacket, etc.
Whether the content meets the expectations of the target audience - it is on this point that the editor must first evaluate the text, and for this he should have a clear understanding of the brand's CA.
Truthfulness, accuracy of presentation
Everyone knows about the method of Stanislavsky and his famous "I do not believe!", Which he shouted at rehearsals to actors who were not sufficiently reincarnated in an image: no, this character could not turn around and say with such intonation, you did not reincarnate, you play!
The main thing that we must learn from this: the need for complete immersion. In our case - in the subject. In the text, each statement must be authentic, the topic itself must be studied well, that is, the author must understand perfectly what he is writing about. The material can not be unverified statistics, incorrect dates, untrue statements, not a single unreliable fact. Only in this case, the text can be evaluated as an expert and useful audience.
What kind of unreliability can an editor encounter? There are serious distortions: for example, the author incorrectly describes the technology for producing engravings, painting a car or installing plastic windows, etc. There are errors in historical dates, names of people, etc. There are also such unreliability, which can and not be noticed at first glance. For example:
"Judging by the images found in the ancient Egyptian pyramids, the inhabitants of this country existed a large number of ways of tying shenty (Ed.: A loincloth in men), which differed in the arrangement of the folds and the length of the material."
In this case, we are dealing with semantic inaccuracy. Ancient Egypt, referred to in the article, is not a country, but a historical region.
Based on this, one of the fundamental rules of the editor is: there should be no places in the text that are not clear to him. The material should not raise any questions, if something is in doubt or not clear - the editor is obliged to check the information.
Sophisticated text structure
At the heart of any construction are the parts that need to be arranged in a specific order. A thoughtful composition is a very important component in the work on the text.
The materials published in your blog or on third-party sites are usually small in size (for example, the average volume of articles that our agency creates for client projects is 7000 characters), and the architectonics in them is especially important, since each is small The item has its own function.
Naturally, the key role is assigned to the plan when writing an article. Not always the plan is recorded, but in the author's head, in any case, it should exist as a well-thought out sequence of judgments: approach, disclosure of the topic, conclusions. When starting an article, a copywriter should be well versed in the topic, present the main problem that he will affect, and the main elements of the composition: the title (the path in the working formulation), the lead, the input to the problem, the order of presentation in the main part, the ending. In the process of work, you can deviate from the plan, find interesting moves, examples, give fresh, just found facts, but you still need to have a plan in your head, the basic outline of which must be followed.
In our agency, the editor at the stage of creating the technical assignment often offers the copywriter a sketchy outline of the article. The author should only develop its parts, find the necessary information, vivid methods, convincing facts and state the main idea according to the general plan.
What is important for the composition
Work on the composition is an assessment of the integrity of the text, analysis of its fragments in terms of their logical coherence. The editor analyzes the links between parts of the whole, identifies shortcomings and offers compositional techniques that are more interesting from his point of view.
Significant compositional elements - this is the title, lead, the initial phrase, ending.
In more detail about the creation of headings we have already written in this article. Here we will tell shortly. On the one hand, the heading is an independent element, and on the other hand, it is an integral part of the text. It cannot exist in isolation from the material, there is always a logical connection between the text and its title. That is why the main requirement for the title: it must carry a meaningful message. Yes, it can be bright, trusting, unexpected, but at the same time the “creative side” of the title should not damage its main, meaningful, function.
The best headline for any material in your blog is one that immediately indicates questions from the audience and makes it clear that they will be answered in the text. Simply put, in the title it is best to work out the query that interests you in Central Asia: how to choose a washing machine, how to care for a budgerigar, etc. If you manage to combine this meaningful function and the element of creative in the heading - even better.
Lead - a concise presentation of the material. In two or three lines, the essence of the text should be conveyed to the audience, the accents should be correctly placed, and done precisely and specifically. The task of the editor is to ensure that the lead not only reveals the essence of the material (about what), but from the very first words could interest the audience. Use in a lead, for example, sharp questions, to which, in your opinion, your audience would like to receive answers.
You only have a few seconds to interest the reader and prevent a refusal (Yandex, for example, considers leaving the page as a refusal for the first 10 seconds), is it worth it to spend on a wordy introduction? No, you need to start with the essence. And so as to interest the reader immediately.
There is such a term "entry into the text." Psychologists studying this phenomenon have shown that the duration of a reader's sympathetic response to a text is determined by two things: does he find guidelines at the beginning of the text and in the heading that help him quickly understand what he is reading, and whether he is interested in it.
The task of the editor is to assess how unambiguous and accurate the conclusions made by the author, how clearly they are formulated, and whether the ending is a real coda, convincing the reader in the author's position.
The logical side of the presentation of the material
Inaccurate use of words, violation of logical connections in the text - this should be paid special attention. Judgments can be illogical in their essence. For example:
"In the tug-of-war competition, we lost only to the winners."
The logical connection between adjacent text links can be broken. Like here:
"Early morning. Border guards begin to wake up after a night service."
Violations of logical connections can manifest themselves at the level of trifles - in the use of the wrong words. For example:
"In some cases, it is enough to simply carry out a small redecoration to refresh the interior. Sometimes more serious intervention is required."
"Intervention" in this case cuts off the ear, the author’s stylistic negligence in the choice of words is visible. If the author uses off-site unions (because, because, as a result, because, etc.), this is a signal to the editor that the logic of the judgments in the material is broken, there are signs of illogical thinking.
There are no trifles in the text. Therefore, the task of the editor is to identify and correct all logical inaccuracies.
Simplicity and conciseness
Often confusing syntax, the use of "abstruse" words, incomprehensible to a wide range of people of terms, through which one has to wade, like through wild thickets, is a sign that behind all this "entanglement" hides a meaningful void. You need to be guided by a simple principle: the more accessible and clearer the text is written to the audience, the better it will be perceived, the more likely it is that readers will appreciate it.
Therefore, the editor must be proficient in the technique of convolving judgments to the most concise and simple, expressed in one sentence or one phrase. We must be able to abandon unnecessary details, wordiness, and particulars, if the text will only benefit from this. Example:
"The climate in a country like France is mild enough."
Obviously, if you remove the expression "in a country like" and say simply "in France", the proposal will be better, an annoying note of completely unjustified clericalism will leave.
Find one exact word for detailed judgments. For example:
let me argue - I object
seems to me insufficient - not enough
produce multiplication - multiply
give assessment - evaluate
Readers can not be drowned in cliches, common places, unjustified verbiage and other water. He does not forgive. With the concept of "meaningful speech," wordiness is incompatible. It is an unconditional speech deficiency and points to the stylistic negligence of the author, and sometimes to the uncertainty of his ideas about the subject of the article.
Moreover, sometimes verbosity borders on idle talk. We found such an example to illustrate this statement:
From the speech of the sports commentator:
"Participants from Russia came to these international competitions to take part in competitions where athletes from foreign countries will also participate."
To speech redundancy is the use of the author of extra words:
Last week there was snowfall and the streets were covered with snow.
He came back.
The book fell down.
Speech redundancy can manifest itself in the form of pleonasms (excesses), when the author uses words that are close in meaning. For example:
rose up, an extraordinary phenomenon, the main essence, the first debut, snowstorm, vain precipice, cozy and comfortable, courageous and courageous, etc.
"All men's underwear presented in our online store, created specifically for men and takes into account all the physiological features of the body" (if underwear is designed for men, then it cannot ignore the peculiarities of their body; moreover, the body cannot have any other features besides physiological ones).
"Spinning machines began to appear at garment factories, which led to mass production of men's underwear, including intimate elements of men's wardrobe" (underwear - this is the "intimate elements of the male wardrobe," as the author intricately put it).
"This detail of the wardrobe is absolutely universal: it can be put on both at the dacha, at work, and even at a party. All sorts of shapes, cut and colors allow you to create a unique style, and lightweight material lets air through and saves from heat ("form" and "cut" in this case mean the same thing, since the form of clothing depends on the cut).
One of the manifestations of pleonasms is tautology, the repeated designation of the already mentioned concept by another word. Examples: resume again, a souvenir, etc.
It is necessary to get rid of wordiness, to clear the phrase from the superfluous, taking care of its harmoniousness, avoiding the following expressions: to the extent that it is important to note, with the help. Not to allow a number of such words as "became" and "ceased", etc.
Read good lyrics. Seriously!
One of the problems of the editor is an eye blinking while reading a bad text. If day after day you have to look at materials in which the same inconsistencies are repeated, the same stylistic flaws, the editor gets used to them, and they no longer seem to him so terrible. He stumbles only on serious speech errors and frankly ugly syntax.
This can be corrected only by adding good texts to the diet. So, pity your editor, look for talented copywriters.
In conclusion - a few words about really good lyrics. Talented texts exist in a very strange system of coordinates, where there are, on the one hand, rigid rules, and on the other, these rules are constantly violated. They are not written for the sake of formal purposes — for inquiries or for the sake of informing the public about a new product that has arrived in an online store (although all this, of course, is also necessary). Smart texts have great viral potential, with unexpected thoughts, unique content that resonates with people. Talented text is written contrary to the rules, without any rules. But - paradox - only when the author perfectly knows these rules. The measure in this is his own taste. Please your audience with such materials.