1. Overcoming the blank page
A writer’s worst nightmare is the dreaded blank page – starting from scratch without anything to say. The best place to start is to think about the 4 Ws – what you are saying, who you are saying it to, why you are saying it and where you are saying it. Having a clear idea about these aspects will guide your copywriting journey and ensure that you always have your target audience and tone of voice in mind. Jot down some key words, phrases and ideas to get the creative juices flowing… you might just be surprised where this takes you.
2. Grammar, grammar, grammar
You don’t have to be a languages expert to make sure you are using the correct spelling, punctuation and grammar. Yes, we all make the odd typo, and you hope that a friend or colleague will pick them up before your piece makes it to print or publication, but if you are making regular and consistent errors, it can damage the credibility and reputation of your business. Would you trust a website full of spelling mistakes? Probably not.
3. Features vs benefits
If I told you I had an article that would tell you about the importance of brand storytelling, would this entice you to read on? How about if I told you I had an easy five step method that could revolutionise your business? For good copywriting, you need to think like both an acclaimed journalist and a best-selling fiction writer – creating hooks and headlines that will sell newspapers, whilst engaging readers in your story from sentence to sentence. Focus here on the benefits of your product or service as opposed to the features – we don’t really care about what things do, but what they can do for us.
4. The end goal
Always write with an aim. Without one it makes it difficult to maintain structure, flow and purpose. What is your call to action? Is it contact our team to discuss your content marketing needs, book into our free workshop to learn more, sign up to our mailing list for exclusive offers, etc? Tell the reader what it is you want them to do, but be delicate with your pitch – think about the level of ‘sales chat’ you would accept from a friend before switching off and use this as your guide.
5. Simplify for copywriting success
There is nothing more alienating and isolating than overwhelming your readers with industry jargon and buzzwords. It is also confusing, time-consuming and boring when you tell your readers what they need to know in 15 words instead of 5. Yes storytelling is important, but don’t fall into the puffery trap (when you write with more fluff than fact). Be honest, upfront and conversational with your reader. Be their friend, not their foe, and you might just build a relationship with them – the ultimate copywriting success story.