Hey, want to know the secrets of great copywriting?

Peta
The communications sector relies on competent, persuasive copy and, naively, I didn’t realise that these skills were so important when I embarked on a career in comms. Networking and people interaction were what first attracted me but I soon realised the significance of good copywriting skills; from creating stand out press releases, preparing marketing materials and writing website copy to drafting presentations and strategy documents.

 

Over the years my writing confidence has grown and I enjoy constructing words into interesting and engaging copy.

Here are some of my top tips for successful copywriting:

1. Understand exactly what you are trying to convey – have a clear message and use the most effective way to engage your key target audience with it. You need to write in a language and style they will respond to and will draw them in.

2. Write copy that resonates with your audience – this may seem simple but people are used to being ‘sold’ to. Be savvy and creative in catching their attention and holding it. For example, if you are selling fry pans, what information would you find more compelling - the pans are 32 inches in size and conduct heat effectively, blah blah, yawn, yawn; or learn some great fry pan recipes perfect for wowing your family and friends? You need to form a connection with the audience so they want to read on.

3. Do your research – you need to understand not only your audience but also the subject matter. You have to have the same, if not more, product or service knowledge than your client. Once you have done this, you will find it easier to draft your copy and ensure it stands out.

4. Headlines – these are not just natty one liners used by newspapers but also vital for copywriters. A great heading will catch a person’s attention and encourage them to read on. If you can’t get them hooked by your headline, then they will never read the rest of the copy, however good.

5. Listen – the most important part of communications is listening. There is no point telling people something they don’t want to hear! Know your audience, find out what interests them, what they want to know and how they want the information. People are time poor, so information has to be accessible and readable. It must also either resonate with them, teach them something or stir emotions or the copy will be ignored.

6. Avoid jargon and exaggeration – good copywriting will speak to the reader in human terms and not be patronising or complicated. This can be far harder than you think if it is a complicated subject!

7. Keep it clean and concise – get rid of any useless words that add nothing to the copy. If a word or words can be removed and the sentence still makes sense, then leave them out. Words matter and you have to use them wisely

8. Don’t be boring – enough said! Life is too short for boring copy (and bad wine but that’s another topic!)

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