How to Write Copy That Sells… Master These 10 Tips and Avoid These 10 Common Mistakes
Did you know that just one single page of sales copy could earn you thousands of dollars? This is the power of copywriting.
If done right, your reader will be engaged with the text and moved to take action.
Copywriting is used in all forms of media and it’s an important skill that you can learn and develop.
Here are 10 tips to Improve Your Copywriting:
- Keep it Simple. Copywriting shouldn’t contain unnecessary or complicated words. If you want to appeal to a wider audience, avoid technical jargon and if you want to go global, steer clear of colloquialisms that won’t be understood outside of your country. Keeping it simple will ensure the clarity of your copy. If it’s not clear, your message will miss the mark and your copy won’t get results you’re looking for.
- Research Thoroughly. Copywriters spend more time researching than writing. A great deal of information needs to be gathered to write a single page of copy. Research your target audience and their needs along with your product, and the market before you start writing.
- Focus on Solving Problems. The best practice for copywriting is to put your users and their needs first. Think of the product you’re selling as a solution to a problem. Show the reader that you understand the problem they’re facing, and then explain the solution you’re offering.
- Paint a Picture. Your copy should be about the benefits your customers will receive when then buy the product. It shouldn’t be all about the product features. Paint a picture for the reader of what their life will be like after using the product.
- Erase More. The best copy is lean and concise. Wordiness clutters up the copy and makes it harder to read. When you think you’re finished, look again for anywhere you can cut out overused, vague or redundant words that you don’t need.
- Pique Interest and Curiosity. Copywriting superstar David Ogilvy said, “Speak the truth, but make it interesting.” Try to find ways to make your work more interesting and exciting. Use curiosity to get the reader to move down the page.
- Appeal to Emotion. It’s emotion that sells, not cold, hard facts. Identify the emotions that are most motivating to your audience and use them in your copy.
- Develop a Process. Copywriters don’t thrive on creativity and inspiration alone. Each has a process they use to gather information and write their copy. Over time, you’ll learn what works for you and refine your process.
- Hurry up and Get Started. Don’t spend too long thinking about what you’re going to write. As soon as you have a phrase or other idea come to mind, be sure to note it down. Planning and research are important for copywriting but so is sudden inspiration.
- Test Your Copy Before You Go Live. Use A/B testing to perfect your copy. A/B testing means running two versions of the same copy to see which performs better. This will help you figure out how to tweak your copy for maximum performance.
Here are 10 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Copywriting:
- Using the Passive Voice. Language has a subtle effect on the reader so the details are important. Avoid using the passive voice in your copy as it can sound odd and disconnected. The active voice has more energy.
- Stiff and Formal Writing. You’ve always been told that you need to make your writing grammatically perfect and follow the rules. But with copywriting, this isn’t necessarily the case. The worst thing you can do is create copy that’s stiff and formal. This will bore the reader. Instead, write in a conversational tone as if you’re speaking to a good friend.
- Talking about Yourself. People are reading your sales copy because they are looking for ways to solve their own problems. Talk about your story only if it directly relates to the solution you are offering. Otherwise, keep focused on the reader and how you can help them.
- Writing for Everybody. Don’t try to write copy that will appeal to everybody. This is just not possible! You know your audience and the problems they face so make sure you write directly to them.
- Using the Wrong Tone. When researching your target audience, pay attention to the tone of voice and the words they use. This should help you to speak their “language.”
- Writing for Google. Don’t try to stuff as many keywords in as possible for the benefit of the search engines. Algorithms have changed and the best tactic is to write for people. Use some keywords where appropriate, such as in the title and naturally through the text.
- Getting Too Clever. You may come up with a clever headline, but it’s clarity that’s important. If there’s a chance your audience might not understand the joke, don’t use it. Your headline should entice interest and tell people why they should read on.
- Being Inauthentic. People respond to authenticity. They’re bombarded with phony-sounding marketing all day long. Be yourself and show you can relate to them.
- Using Multiple Calls to Action. Don’t use multiple calls to action in the same piece of copy. Decide on one simple action you want the reader to take and then place this CTA throughout your copy at key points.
- Falling in Love with Your Work. Don’t fall in love with your copywriting! There’s only one measure of success – whether it motivates the audience to buy or not. Don’t get too attached to your own ideas so that you can remain flexible.