How often do we find ourselves facing a blank sheet of A4 waiting for divine intervention to kick-start our creativity? Sound familiar?
Writing effective copy is all about persuading in print, so if you find yourself deliberating over descriptions, here are my top tips for writing effective, persuasive copy.
- Before you start, be clear about the purpose of the piece. This could be to enhance your reputation, provide information or increase sales of a particular product or service. Every piece of copy should have a purpose. The clearer this is, the more likely it is that your copy will do its job.
- Get yourself in copywriting mode. This is unlikely to be five minutes before your deadline or in-between serving afternoon tea to visitors! If you want your creativity to flow, find time when you are relaxed, away from your normal place of work and free of distractions.
- Find it impossible to get started? Instead of staring at the screen waiting for complete sentences to appear from nowhere, make a start by jotting down key words. Writing anything (even words which may not end up in the finished piece) is a great way to kick start your thoughts and avoid “writers’ block”.
- Keep your reader in mind. Whether your writing is aimed at young professionals, a retired couple, group travel organiser or family on a budget, it’s vital to write as if you are actually talking to them. Imagine your reader stood in front of you and consider what they will want to hear and how they’ll want to hear it.
- Remember to sell the benefits. Your restaurant may have a stylish interior and a great selection of cocktails, which are features. However, what you’re really selling is a great time, the chance to celebrate, indulge or relax with friends. Your writing needs to sell benefits, as well as highlight features.
- Never forget that the most important word is YOU. The more you focus your copy on the reader, the more powerful it will be. Replace “We have wonderful views” with “You’ll love our wonderful views” and so on. A great test of good copy is to check your web site or latest brochure for the word “we”. Too many references might mean your copy is focused on your business and not on your reader.
- Structure your copy with a short and engaging opening sentence, succinct paragraphs and a logical flow of ideas or information. A good piece of copy will lead the reader on a natural, step by step journey.
- Finally, allow enough time for editing and proofing. If possible, put your final draft to one side and come back to it again later. You’re more likely to spot errors when your copy appears fresh to you.
To chat to us about how we can apply our copywriting skills to your website, newsletters, reports or marketing collateral, please get in touch.
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