Today, every writer needs basic copywriting tips, because your writing must get results. Copywriting is writing to persuade, and sell. “Copy” is used for a copywriter’s creations: marketing and advertising materials.
Copywriting means writing clearly, for a purpose. You start by thinking like your audience. So, even if you write fiction, you need to think like a copywriter, because you want your content to entertain: to create an emotional response in readers.
Basic copywriting tips help you to make the most of ALL your writing
A couple of weeks back, a writer told me that he’d given up on his website. He uses the site as a writing portfolio, to attract freelance writing clients, but he decided his site was useless. Why spend money? He opted for a free single-page website, using Carrd.
Whatever platform he uses, he’ll need copywriting tips. I scribbled these tips in my notebook while we were chatting. Then I snapped a photo of the page, and emailed it to him.
Here are the tips: they’re short. And effective. Try them.
1. Write from your audience’s viewpoint: WIIFM?
Of all copywriting tips, this is the most vital. Write each page from the point of view of your audience—your ideal audience.
Everything depends on our perception: we see life and people from our own point of view; it’s impossible to do otherwise. We all want to know What’s In It For Me (WIIFM)?
As a copywriter, you step into your audience’s shoes.
2. Get results: ensure you have a CTA (call to action) on your copy
Years ago, Steve Krug published a book one with of the best titles ever: Don’t Make Me Think!.
Your audience may be absorbing your copy, BUT they can’t read your mind. If you want results, tell your audience what to do.
Apropos of great titles: William Manchester’s A World Lit Only by Fire is brilliant too.
3. Choose clarity over creativity: say what you mean
Clarity sells. Creativity is indulgence: you’ve stepped away from your audience.
Avoid puns, humor, and wordplay, unless you’re certain your meaning is plain. Try out your copy on your kids.
I love playing with language too, but as my copywriting hero David Ogilvy said in Ogilvy on Advertising: “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.”
All your copy, from taglines (slogans) to novels, must be written for results. You can’t get results if you confuse your audience.
Choosing the right words for clarity is always a challenge, but the struggle is worth it.
4. More clarity: keep your words positive
Want to write effectively? Be positive.
Basically, “be positive” means you should say what something is rather than what it isn’t.
In copywriting, we’re aiming for clarity. Negative statements capture attention, in the wrong way. We don’t want our audience to wonder what we mean, nor do we want to arouse negative emotions.
Here’s a good article about positive language:
Negative statements… often make people feel blamed or criticized…
These vital copywriting tips are easy to remember
Use them today. 🙂
You CAN write. It doesn’t matter why you think you can’t. You can write, and writing will become easy for you.
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.