Here are some copywriting tips, based on 30 years’ experience.
Firstly, let me ask you a question
Do you love to write?
If you answered ‘yes’ to this question, you have a considerable advantage as a marketer.
The ability to write fluidly and quickly will help you when it comes to writing website content, blogs, articles, newsletters and social media posts.
Here is my top tip
Write quickly. Edit slowly.
During my copywriting training sessions we always discuss this.
It is all too easy to get stuck, early on in a writing session, with editing issues.
My advice is to leave the editing to later.
To begin with, ‘just write’.
You can return later on and edit to your heart’s content.
Write better headlines
The headline is the most important part of any marketing communications piece.
Here is an article on how to write better headlines.
Use Twitter to practice your writing
Use Twitter to practice your writing skills. You only have a small amount of space to get your message across. You will have to choose each word carefully.
Overcoming writer’s block
If you are continually facing a blank page and ideas are not forthcoming, keep a notepad and write down ideas as soon as they come to you.
An alternative is to capture your ideas via www.evernote.com which is a useful resource.
Write short sentences.
They are much easier to read than long sentences.
Aim for 16 words per sentence (this is harder than it may appear to be).
Use the word ‘you’ more frequently
When I was an apprentice copywriter, my boss would ask me to print out the draft text and hand it over to him.
He would take out a red pen and mark all of the instances of ‘you’ and ‘your’.
He would then ask me to circle ‘we’, ‘us’, ‘our’ etc in blue.
I had to count up the reds and blues.
The rule was simple: 4 yous to 1 we.
Here is an article on using the word you sufficiently with your copywriting.
I suggest that you keep a close watch on the word ‘you’ within your marketing copy. 🙂
Write in the language of benefits
Create a list of benefits. Consider how your product or service will simplify, improve or make life easier for the customer.
Also consider how it might save time and money and what would happen if the customer didn’t buy the item.
During the writing process, refer to the benefits list and ensure that you are continually referring to benefits
Simplify your message
Everyone is busy. They don’t have time to figure out complicated messages.
Your job as a copywriter is to continually simplify your message.
Call to Action
Include a call to action (CTA), where it is appropriate to do so.
The joys of English grammar
English grammar can be a challenge, can’t it?
Take the time to get to grips with it.
This knowledge will serve you for a lifetime.
Professional writers are avid readers.
Read novels, business books and quality newspapers.
Interestingly, The Economist refers to itself as a newspaper, not a magazine. (I feel more intelligent when I pick up a copy of The Economist).
I wish you all the best with your copywriting.
Nigel Temple provides copywriting training.