The Only Copywriting Post You’ll Ever Need

The manner in which you present your business to the world is pivotal to your success. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Capturing the attention of a potential customer has to be done the instant they click on your website. Copywriting is essentially a written form of marketing. It’s an essential tool for all business owners, with no exceptions.
 
So what makes effective copy?
 
Good copywriting should guide a potential customer through the purchase path of your shop smoothly and consistently. Proper copywriting should be clear, concise, and audience appropriate. Throughout my years as a professional copywriter I’ve worked with dozens of business owners to help craft copy that works. These are my expert tips on how to make your copy the best it can be.
 
 

Word Play

According to this article from Copyblogger, the most powerful words in the English are:
 
1. You
2. Free
3. Because
4. Instantly
5. New
 
 
Based on my own research and experience as a copywriter, I’d like to add a few of my own favorites to this list:
 
Proven
Because: Results driven examples are always a big hit.
 
Safe/Healthy
Because: It diminishes or removes potential concerns.
 
Imagine
Because: It gets the wheels of possibility turning.
 
Valuable
Because: It lets us know something worthwhile is forthcoming.
 
More
Because: Who doesn’t want more?
 
Opportunity
Because: It indicates a unique chance to do/get something.
 
 

Make It A Conversation Piece

Conversational copy is easy to read and absorb. Because it’s fluid, it flows freely and makes connections. Engaging your audience with questions is a great way to keep them interested and involved.
 
For best results, ask open ended questions that require thoughtful, experience and/or opinion based responses. Ending with a statement or a closed ended question leaves no room for your readers in the conversation. You’re talking at them, not ‘with’ them. It feels uninviting.
 
 

The most engaging questions start with the 5 W’s:

 
1. Who Who else feels this way?
2. What What would you do?
3. Where Where do you stand on this issue?
4. When When was the last time you felt that way?
5. Why Why should I care?
 
 

A Formula For Success

To help craft a compelling outline, use one of these three popular copywriting formulas:
 

PAS (Problem, Agitate, Solve)

Identify a problem
Agitate the problem
Solve the problem
 
 

FAB (Features, Advantages, Benefits)

Share the unique features of the product or service.
Explain why they may need it by showing them the advantages they can expect to gain afterwards.
Detail the benefits and why the offering is better than all the rest.
 
 

BAB (Before, After, Bridge)

This is what your issue is now, before you encountered the solution.
Imagine how much better your life will be after you’ve solved this issue.
bridge the gap with your offerings.
 
 

Setting The Tone

The way in which a reader perceives your meaning can have a lot to do with not just what you’re saying, but how you’re saying it. It can be difficult for a reader to discern your intent and meaning when they’re forced to rely solely on the written word. With no inflection and no facial or body language cues to work from, things can get lost (or confused) in translation. That’s why your tone is so important. It denotes your attitude regarding the subject. Your tone should assert your views on the topic, and should also speak to the reader in a voice that’s as informative as it is comfortable. And it should be consistent. Any deviation from your flow may come off sounding contrived or insincere. Not unlike a friendly conversation, a tone that resonates is a tone that connects.
 

These are a few of my own writing philosophies:
√ Explain, don’t assume.
Connect, don’t convince.
Compel, don’t persuade.

 
 

Breaking The Rules

Guilty as charged. You’d be hard-pressed to find a piece of my writing that doesn’t contain sentence fragments, neologisms, or other traditional grammar snafus. And I like it that way. The conversational feel of my work has served me and my clients well. It keeps readers engaged and interested. It makes them feel as though we’re chatting over a cup of coffee, not like they’re being talked at or sold to.
 
 

The Red Pen

My absolute least favorite part of writing is editing. I always feel like I’m second guessing myself or being critical. But, when it comes to putting out exquisite work, it’s a necessary evil. Even a single error can distract your reader, or worse yet, compromise the integrity of your work.
 
Even the best of us can fall victim to some very common copy blunders.
 
Ask yourself:
 

  • Is it redundant?
  • Have I switched between writing in first person and third person?
  • Or from past tense to present tense?
  • How about my spelling and grammar?
  • Does this sound a bit too familiar?

 
 
Even if you’re pleasantly surprised and thrilled with your first draft, you should still check it over. Let it sit for an hour, a day, or even a week as time allows. Look at it again for the first time.
 
But copy editing for writing errors is only half the equation.
 
As writers, we’re also readers and researchers, and as such, we take in a lot of information. It’s natural that some of what we’ve absorbed can unintentionally come off our fingertips as our own, original content. To make very sure that your words are yours and yours alone, you could scour Google forever looking for similar phraseology, hire VA to do it, or you can use Grammarly. As a time-for-money service provider, every minute I spend not writing, is a minute I spend not making money. Grammarly lightens my editing load considerably on both fronts by doubling as an automated proofreader and a plagiarism checker, pitting my writing against over 8 billion websites to ensure nothing looks ‘a bit too familiar’. It was love at first sight.
 
Side note: There will be instances where Grammarly will cringe at some of your terminology and sentences if you abide by my ‘it’s ok to use fragments and made up words’ advice from above. And that’s fine. Consider this your permission slip to take the warnings, and proceed to not heed them. What you’re really looking for is proper spelling, terminology, usage, and structure. As long as you know when a red flag is intentional and when it isn’t, you’ll be all set.
 
Need to sharpen your skills? Check out some of the classes on Creative Live for tips. They’re all fantastic, and some are even free.
 
 
Do you have any copywriting tips of your own to share? Let us know in the comments.
 

Follow

Melissa Bolton

Brand Therapist™ + Copywriter at Melissa Bolton
Melissa is a mompreneur and brand therapist™ providing neurobranding and conversion copywriting services to solopreneurs and micro-business owners looking to truly connect with their right people. Leaning on proven psychology principles, she helps clients create a brand presence that's not only explicitly unique, but highly memorable. She offers 25 years of extensive sales and marketing experience through her proprietary brand therapy™ methodologies. You can learn more about her and how she can help you grown your own brand, right here: MelissaBolton.com
Follow

Latest posts by Melissa Bolton (see all)

Previous

Next

2 Comments

  1. Mariana

    Great post!

    Loads of valuable tips. I use Gramarly as well and I love it!

    Reply
    • Melissa Bolton

      Thanks, Mariana! Glad you liked the article. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting.

      Reply

Leave a Reply to Mariana Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest