Copywriting tip: the importance of asking the right questions

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A feature article I wrote for IHS Jane’s Airport Review was published online last week.

Before embarking on this 3000-word project, I spent time researching the areas my piece needed to cover. Part of the research time involved forming the right questions which is a crucial part of any writing, including feature articles, and an important process to go through to create accurate, interesting and relevant content.

Questions covered for my piece were mainly open ended to get a more detailed response. They included; what plans are in place to cope with expected growth in passenger numbers?  How is the airport handling environmental issues concerned with development? What is the capacity of the new runway once it is built? What are the major challenges to overcome in the runway construction process? You can click here to read the article in full.

Whether you’re writing a blog post, media release, feature article or copy for a new website, the process of researching and asking the right questions is important to get the best result.

Question markHere’s another example of when asking the right questions is key.

A few months ago I started property copywriting for a real estate agent in Wantirna.

It’s a straight forward gig but still needs a comprehensive brief to cover all my bases. Questions are mainly closed which means they need either Yes or No answers or a single word or short phase: How many bedrooms are there? Is there a security alarm? Does the property have a garage? Are there any water saving devices?

Correctly answering these factual questions is important so that information is accurate and potential buyers aren’t misled. Open ended questions are also needed such as: what’s the general feel/ambiance of the property? Describe the target market of the property? What amenities are nearby? How close is it to schools, shops and public transport? Accuracy is still important but these open ended questions provide longer, thought provoking answers that allow me to be more creative in my writing and produce interesting and appealing property profiles.

A final example of when asking the right questions is important relates to my client briefing documents.

Before I start work with a new client, I always ask them to complete a comprehensive briefing document which contains lots of QUESTIONS!

These questions are really important because the answers form the basis for the work that follows. It may seem a bit tedious to complete but it’s worth it. Again, there’s a mix of open and closed questions, with closed questions usually the easiest (and quickest!) to answer.

Open ended questions, however long they take to answer, are just as important. Examples on my briefing document include:  Describe what your company does. What makes your business unique? What benefits do your clients gain from your service? Why would someone choose your products or services over those of a competitor? Comprehensive answers to these questions helps me understand the nuts and bolts of a client’s business enabling me to do the best possible job for them.

If you need help writing content for marketing or business material, give me a call on 0411 889283 or send a message on the Contact page.