Are you struggling with your copywriting?
Three top copywriting tips for non-writers..
from Laura Summerhayes
1) Have a clear plan
If there were only three questions I could ask clients when I take a brief from them, they would be:
1. Who is your customer?
2. What is your point?
3. Why should the people you identified in point 1 care about this?
If you can answer those three questions, you have a fair chance of writing good copy. How come? - Because when you know who you are speaking to, you can write in a way that appeals to them.
When you are clear on what your point is, your reader will be too. And when you have nailed the first two, it’s much easier to explain why your point is of interest to your potential customers.
Practical exercise: Next time you write something for your business, whether it’s a blog, social media post or newsletter, treat yourself like a copywriter. Answer the three questions above and give yourself a brief. It’s much easier to write to a framework than to construct sentences out of thin air.
2) Cut the jargon
This affects some sectors more than others. IT and engineering, for instance, are riddled with acronyms and phrases that mean nothing to people outside of the industry. Your reader – the person who might buy from you – is not necessarily a technician. Use plain English. Terms that the general population will understand give you a better chance of selling than when the copy reads like a manual.
Practical exercise: Go through your copy and highlight every word that’s specific to your industry. For each word, ask yourself if there’s an alternative, everyday term that says the same thing. If there is, replace the jargon with uncomplicated language.
3) Get to the point
Long, winding sentences don’t do you any favours. If people land on your website and it drones on and on without ever getting to the point, they’ll leave.
When writing copy, you need to give your reader what they want, fast. If content is King, succinctness is Queen!
Practical exercise: Try writing what you want to say in 20 words. It helps to imagine you are explaining it to a child – simplify it as much as possible. Now do it again, but this time use only 15 words. Now 10 words. Can you make your point in 5 words?
Go on, I dare you.
For more advice on copywriting, have a look at Laura's guide to Copywriting here..