How do copywriters conduct writing analyses?

9 replies
Hey Warriors, I recently received a request to research successful science writers and figure out what they're doing, that aligns with the client's tone, that can be picked up and used to guide the client's written content. This was a pretty vague ask for me, so I wanted to see if anyone's encountered a similar situation and found a way to successfully navigate it. The results will be applied to web copy, product descriptions, longform articles, and op-eds.

I'm familiar with analyzing authors (in the context of books, short stories, or poems) and conducting script analysis, but this one has me stuck.

Aside from analyzing voice and tone, or maybe comparing the lexical density of successful science writers, I'm short of ideas. After several meetings and attempts to narrow down the request, looking for a more direct outcome or desired result, there's been no luck. So I need to proceed with the vague directive.

I'd greatly appreciate any ideas or insights that anyone may have.
#analyses #conduct #copywriters #writing
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    In my personal view - it's a lose-lose. If the client cannot specifically explain what the goal is - what he wants in the end...chances are nothing you do will be good enough.


    That's just my experience after years of writing. A client with only a vague idea of what he wants is very hard to satisfy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Medon
      You are right. I worked for a certain client whose instructions were vague. My effort to seek clarifications from him bore no fruits. He told me that he did not have any idea. What surprised me is that after nights of research and writing, he dismissed what I had written as inadequate and it lacked merit. I learned my lesson the hard way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Science as a topic is just too broad. It covers numerous disciplines in which the writing and other content extends from the populist to the ultra technical.

    At least get your client to provide you with one or two names in their chosen field.
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    • Profile picture of the author leilanirose
      Thanks for your reply, Frank. The client provided a few examples, a couple of which do align with their chosen field. However, the most notable example and the first that the executive director called attention to was a science blog that was about as far from their content as you can get.

      With the similar example though, is there a way that you would come up with a "game plan" to contour content to match?
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  • tbh for copy to be a super smart performin' animal, it gotta have a real defined hoop through which to leap.

    Nowan applauds a random dog wandrin' round the street or an equally random dolphin makin' out in the ocean.

    Throw in a hoop an' a stunt ... an' a suitably receptive crowd, an' you got sumthin' worth shoutin' about.
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    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff together.

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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    As it happens, in pre-internet days I once researched successful science writers for magazines and analyzed the techniques they used to make their science writing vivid and understandable.

    This was not a quantitative analysis, it was a qualitative analysis. I saw things like the kinds of explanatory metaphors they used, the mixture of informal and scientific language and so on.

    It was eye-opening to me and would have been really helpful had I wanted to become a successful science writer myself.

    If you have money to throw at the problem, contact me by PM or email and I can help you please this client.

    Marcia Yudkin
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    • Profile picture of the author leilanirose
      Hi Marcia, thanks for your reply! I'm not in a position to be contracting out this work, but any insight that you're willing to give from one writer to another is greatly appreciated!
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    Hi Marcia, thanks for your reply! I'm not in a position to be contracting out this work, but any insight that you're willing to give from one writer to another is greatly appreciated!
    I sat in the library for at least 10 hours, analyzing the writing techniques used in top science magazines. You can do the same. I was amazed how well written some of the pieces were.

    I can tell you that the very best science article I have read in decades (I normally don't read all that many, though, I admit) was written by Douglas Preston in the New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...dinosaurs-died . Analyze that and it will give you a head start on your project.

    Marcia Yudkin
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    Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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  • Profile picture of the author MaxFeerden
    Scientific topics are difficult to learn. They use the scientific format of the language in which you need to know a certain terminology. If a person is not aware of this, he will not be able to conduct research.
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