How to become better at copywriting
No matter how good a copywriter may feel they are, there’s always room for improvement.
The significance of website copy, particularly within blogs, is growing. As sites rely more and more on blog posts to draw in potential customers, and as demands for higher quality writing increase relatively, copywriters are faced with ever-increasing competition.
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There is a huge amount of advice out there with suggestions as to how writers can improve, but here is a round up of some of the main recommendations and tips:
No matter how full of amazing content an article may be, if it doesn’t grab the potential reader’s attention with an interesting headline, it won’t get read.
Create one that will attract readers.
For example “Why a garden room can save you thousands” comparing the costs of building a garden room to an extension. The opposite, a real no-no for a title would be something like: “A discussion of the merits of purchasing a garden room rather than a home extension”.
Creating curiosity can really pay off when it comes to crafting good headlines. One of our most read articles is UK startups to watch in 2017 because it naturally makes you wonder which startups you should actually keep an eye out for.
Keep it simple
People don’t read blog posts for great literature. They want to be entertained, informed, and helped. Simplicity does not mean patronising or stupid; it means readability, quick delivery of useful information, entertaining phrases.
One of the copywriting practises that we’ve seen used and talked about recently is the use of ‘bucket brigades’ — essentially using a short sentence to make the reader want to skip ahead to the next line.
Clarity of goals
Understanding what an article or blog post is out to achieve is essential. Clarity of purpose is all. Driving exploration of other content on the site, informing about a product, process or issue, entertaining, gathering email subscriptions; all of these are very different and require different types of writing and content.
Should be reader-friendly. It should be easy to read but not patronising; uncomplicated so that the intended communication is effectively delivered without clutter; broken down into quickly-readable chunks.
Research, research, research
Know what you’re writing about. This means fast, effective and extensive research. The more information available, the more to choose from. Even if it isn’t used straight away, information can be stored, retrieved and used later. The more a writer researches a subject the more confident they can be writing about it. Deep research pays off in the long term.
Don’t get distracted
Many copywriters work at home or in isolation. It is easy to get distracted. Focus on the writing task to hand completely by turning off email, external websites that aren’t part of the task to hand, and turn the ‘phones on to mute. Do this for 30 minutes, take a 10 minute break then repeat as necessary. Eugene Schwartz did similar and was one of the most successful copywriters ever.
Lead with strength
Most readers will be struck most by the start of an article rather than what comes later. Get to the point with strong messages right up front at the lead-in to the article rather than leave them to the end.
Use anecdotes, stories, and quirky facts to add entertainment value, but make sure they are relevant to the subject and add something else, such as information.