When you’re writing for digital it’s good to remember that it’s different than writing for print. More importantly, the words you write can often reveal (inadvertently) how you feel. Emotion is present through the ‘tone’ and can often transfer the same energy you are feeling, on to the person reading it.
Knowing this can help you understand why copywriting is one of the most essential elements of effective content marketing. Writing digital copy well involves strategically written words that are optimised to make sure your customer takes some form of action.
‘YOU NEED TO CREATE SOME FORM OF DESIRE FOR THE READER TO OPT-IN TO YOUR WEBSITE’ – MARIE FORLEO, INTERNATIONAL MARKETEER
To become a truly proficient and profitable copywriter is a craft that requires the investment of time, money and energy into studying a writing courses that offer comprehensive training.
There are many writing courses available. So how do you know which one to take? The best method is to research and read recommendations. Listen to what your gut tells you. If your stomach lifts then it’s the right choice, if it drops or you have a sinking feeling, then it’s obviously the wrong choice.
There are plenty of great course options such as a university degree, marketing copywriting, holistic copywriting or just plain web writing courses. All are perfect in their own right. It really depends on where you are on the writing journey.
This article is written to help you get some of the basics right. Here are some tips to help you improve your writing skills as a marketer.
#1 Get the first sentence read
This may seem pretty simple, but many people get this part completely wrong. When I first started writing I spent hours trying to master the art of writing a perfect headline, or properly conveying product benefits, or learning how to craft a compelling call to action.
It all made more sense when I read this quote, by copywriter Joe Sugarman; “Every element of copy has only one purpose – to get the first sentence read.”
If no one reads the first line, all is lost. The key to getting the audience to read all of your content is tackle one sentence at a time. Give them enough information that keeps them completed to continue to the next.
# 2 Keep it simple
Good writing is clear, concise and uses plain English to get the point across. It’s often direct and conversational. Using big words or cleverly constructed sentences often turns readers away. Write so that anyone can understand it.
Remember you can use bullet points and numbered lists to break down important key points. Don’t assume the audience is too sophisticated for this.
#3 Headlines create lasting impressions
Keep your audience intrigued. A compelling headline can turn a browser into a paying customer. The purpose of a headline is to grab the attention and communicate the body of your text.
Here is a bad example headline: Two Hundred Reasons Why Open Source Software Beats Microsoft – as you can see, it isn’t necessary to include the words ‘reasons why.’ This technique is actually the underlying strategy behind the rich blogger list posts, such as 200 Ways to Beat Microsoft.
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