Copywriting hints and tips
Writing captivating copy isn't always easy - especially when you're up against a deadline. So, we thought we would offer some friendly advice about how to communicate effectively, grab people's attention and make your message memorable.
Who are you talking to?
Take a moment to think about who you want to read your copy. Who is your audience?
How much do they know about this subject? Will they understand in-depth technical terminology, jargon or slang? Should you adopt a formal or informal tone? Do you need to be authoratitive or friendly?
What's the story?
It's sometimes tricky to get started. Our tactic for combatting this is to write out the simplest version of what you want to say. Outline the main points of your story / message. Jot down what you need to write in its most basic form. Then you can be sure you won't miss out any of the details, and you're no longer staring at a blank page!
Keep it snappy!
Good copy is always concise and to-the-point...don't waffle on! Use short sentences and read what you've written out loud. If you get tongue-tied then it could be tricky for your audience to read. Keep the structure simple. Punchy copy is more memorable and keeps people reading. Long, meandering writing will just muddy your message.
Grab their attention!
Whether you're writing copy for an email newsletter, flyer or blog entry, all your lovely words will be left unread if you don't hook people in. Make sure there is something - an arresting image, eye-catching headline or preferably both - to make people want to find out more.
Don't forget the details
Who, What, Why, When and Where - the 5 Ws of information gathering apply to copy too. We've all picked up a flyer for an exciting event that fails to tell you the date it is happening. Make sure you include all the relevant details - and make it easy for people to pick out the essential info. Every piece of copy has several key things to communicate. Always double check to ensure they are all there before you sign off on anything.
Keep writing and keep reading
The old adage of practice makes perfect is undoubtedly true in copywriting. The more you write the better you'll get. Particularly at coming up wth copy against the clock. As well as making sure you write a lot though, why not take some time out to look at the copywriting around you too. Everything from bus stop ads to the back of a cereal box has been written for a purpose. Take a look at the copy you encounter day-to-day: Who is it aimed at? Is it communicating effectively?
Have you read, re-read and edited your piece?
Do it again.
Be your toughest critic. Don't settle for long wandering sentences. Take out every third flowery adjective. Edit yourself as harshly as you can. If you're not good at this, ask for help - especially if it is an important piece of writing. Editing is one of the most important parts of good copywriting.