Whether you’re writing on the web or creating a piece of marketing copy; whether you’re writing a blog or an article there are some basic rules that will give your reader a good experience.
1. Always remember who you’re writing for – great copy is about them and their challenges, not about you and what you do.
2. The first paragraph must be sharp, polished and clear. Focus on engaging the reader, not on telling them what you do. Tap into their problems and start them thinking about either the pain they experience or what it would be like if that problem would go away.
3. Follow the AIDA approach: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. Your headline should get attention, great copy creates the interest, so make sure it’s interesting!
4. Draw the picture of what it would feel like to have your product, experience your service – get emotional engagement. Imagine someone buying a new TV – a good salesman will ask them where they are planning to put it and get them visualising it in a particular location in their lounge – use the same techniques with your product or service. Great copy creates the ‘Desire’.
5. Bullet points work (we like reading lists), but don’t put more than 5 bullets or they lose their power. Bullet points that are benefit rich are particularly good.
6. In longer pieces introduce subheadings with interesting content to keep people reading. This is particularly good on the web where people just scan the copy picking up key words.
7. Don’t ramble and turn people off before you’ve asked them to do something.! Great copy is short, sharp, to the point and asks for action.
These are just a few things that help you to write great copy that keeps your reader connected to your message. However, it’s a good start and will put you ahead of most people who tend to be focused on what they do, rather than what the reader gets.
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