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15 copywriting tips to engage your reader

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Writing great copy can be time consuming and requires some forethought to be effective. Read on for our top 15 copywriting tips to make your life smoother, and write engaging content that people will love to read.

Action

The first tip is to remember that the main point of copywriting is to get the reader to take some action. So, make sure whatever it is you are writing engages and creates enough desire for the reader to follow-up to find out more.

Keep it simple

Cut out unnecessary words.

Cut out any unnecessary words.

If there are two options available to you regarding how you write, one wordy and complex, one more concise and to the point, always choose the simplest, most straight forward route to say whatever it is you need to say.

Or more concisely…

don’t be tempted to overwrite, avoid word salad!

What is SEO word salad

Take time to review

Don’t just write and then publish, remember to review and adjust before committing.

You’ll always see areas for improvement if you take a step back.

People like free…

Remember, we want people to take some sort of action, and ‘free’ is a great attention grabber.

For example ‘Sign up to the newsletter and get a free…’ eBook, theme, sample etc.

Watch your speelling (Sp?)…

There is nothing more off putting than reading something riddled with spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. Always read, re-read and then read your copy again before publishing. Ideally have someone else proofread if practical.

Tone

Unless you are publishing something very technical, a relaxed and conversional tone works well. People like to feel as if they are being spoken to directly.

So for example address the reader directly, such as “you may be thinking that…” rather than the plural “some of you may be thinking that…”

The power of your title

A strong title will grab attention, and get people reading more. A lot of people only skim headlines, the more engaging you can make your headline or title the better the chance of securing a reader.

Grabbing interest

Don’t over promise and then under deliver with your headline or title. If you are going to grab the reader’s attention, then there needs to be a payoff.

Using placeholder text

One of my favourite copywriting tips if to use placeholder text when you’re writing.

If there’s a particular word, phrase or citation you’re reaching for, don’t give in to the temptation of heading straight off to Google to look things up. You’ll find what you need, but may get distracted along the way, breaking your writing flow.

One tip is to use ??? in your writing, and keep your writing flow intact. You can always do a search for ??? after you have completed your first draft, and pick up on the details later.

Keywords

Keywords, and more keywords. Use the language of your audience, and make sure that your copy is using keywords properly to attract the attention of the search engines.

The importance of linking

If writing online then good copy needs links. Linking to other places on your site, but also to other websites is essential in helping with your SEO.

Find out more about SEO in our article What is SEO? How to rank your page for success

What is SEO? ProfitAbility Virtual Assistance

Punctuation

Keep an eye on you punctiation and for any mistakes, especially for the classics such as using apostrophes incorrectly. A badly used apostrophe can damage your credibility in the eyes of the reader.

Be precise with your punctuation and make sure you are in fact conveying the meaning you intend. Do you know about the panada with a gun who eats, shoots and leaves?

Remember to answer people’s questions

People are reading to find answers, some of which may be ‘why do I care about this?’ or ‘can I trust the author?’

It’s important to address the questions your writing is directly about, but also important to think about the questions a reader may have outside of the immediate scope of your subject, and make sure to address these as well.

Scarcity and urgency

If your writing is designed to sell a product or a service, then introducing an element of urgency can really help… ‘For a limited time only…’, ‘10% off for the first 10 buyers’, ‘Only limited stock available’, ‘Selling fast, get yours now’

Have you ever been in a shop, seen there is only one item left, and that’s the thing that convinced you to finally purchase?

Have you kept an eye on the time left on a special offer, convincing yourself to purchase as the clock runs down?

Using scarcity and urgency in your writing is a technique that works really well, but be careful about not sounding too scammy when using scarcity or urgency.

Social proof

That’s right – testimonials.

People want to know what other people think, not just what you as the writer are saying.

Think about the number of times you have tried something new on the strength of a personal recommendation.

Honest testimonials go a long way in helping people accept what you are writing about.

copywriting for small business owners - Blog Testimonial for SmartHub

Copywriting tips for sales

When writing engaging sales copy where you want to convert a reader to a buyer think about what will appeal most to them.

Try not to overly focus on the features.

Instead focus on the transformation, the feelng, the emotion that your customer will experienec when they use your product or service.

Your writing is not for you…

My final copywriting tip – consider your audience before committing words to paper.

Are you writing for a fashion brand or a lawyer firm? Are you selling something, or writing something to help people understand more about your topic? Is you audience older or younger, male or female?  

Think about the sort of language you are using, your choice of words and the tone you use.

Successful copy reaches out to the reader, and using the ‘language’ of the reader is sure to help them feel comfortable and in tune with what you are saying.

In summary – copywriting tips

Do you have any copywriting tips you would like to share? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear them.

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