Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Five Tips for Writing Great Copy

There is no one single thing or magic formula that can be applied to producing great copy. The fact that each piece of copy you write or read will have its intended audience, and unique message and purpose, by default makes it tricky to apply a one-size-fits-all trick.

If you need to take a second to read up on what copy is please feel free to do so on my copywriting page. If you'd rather not, then I can tell you, in short, that copy is simply written material, produced to promote a product or service. See, it has nothing to do with imitation or trademarks!

So if writing good copy is not down to a simple formula, then how can it be achieved? There are general guidelines that can be followed.

I will share five of those guidelines with you. Let's elevate your writing skills from good to great!

1. Use interesting headings - Aside from images, the heading is the first thing a reader or consumer will see. It is estimated that two to four people out of ten will continue to read the body of the copy after the reading the headline. So to ensure that your copy exceeds this figure, it's important that your headline is interesting, informative and intriguing.

2. Check, then double-check for typos and grammatical errors. This is so obvious that I don't think I need to say much more about this.

2. Make your message clear - This is a very broad discussion topic, but essentially this is what I mean: a) try to not load your copy with too many puns and literary acrobatics. By this I mean rhyme, alliteration, and double entendres, which can all be great when used cleverly, but bear in mind that in this day and age not many people have time to decode all that jazz! b)Be consistent with your language. For example, if you are writing in the present, then don't all of a sudden switch to the past tense. c) Make your sentences simple in structure - not too many clauses

3. Use keywords - These days most of what we write is intended for the world wide web. Fortunately (or unfortunately) this has impacted on the way we produce copy. As the internet becomes more inundated with content, it's important to find a way to make your material stand out. Do not underestimate the power of SEO; use keywords and phrases throughout your copy, write good quality content, and tag your images and blog posts appropriately.

5. Keep it relevant - People like to read what they are affected by. They like to think that a need is being fulfilled. So never write copy without a clear understanding of your audience, message and purpose. Once you have this, you will be able to write great copy that will entertain or inform your reader (or both!) without sounding like waffle. Whilst on this point, your copy should always be rounded off with a call to action. Ie. lead your audience to take action, be it buying a product, visiting a web page, or filling out a survey.

I hope this has been useful. For more useful writing tips, check out my blog post on Brands of Colour website.

Please share your own tips below.


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