3 Rules for Writing Copy that Converts
Copywriting has become a highly important skill for anybody who wants to reach an audience online. You may want to make people patronize your business, or write an effective headline so others can read your blog. It might just be for social media posts, like writing better Instagram captions to drag attention. For all these reasons and more, you need good copywriting skills.
But since a million articles exist that to teach you how to develop this, why read this one?
Well, most blogposts, videos and other content provide a long list of things that may be hard to follow. And you really don’t need to read long stories for this. From all I have read/watched, there are three major rules for writing better copy.
My challenge to you is that, after reading this article, stop trying to do the ten different things to improve your copywriting and just focus on these three first. Maybe for at least three months.
So, what are these rules?
1. Use Simple Language
Keep it Simple Stupid.
I heard this phrase in a movie I watched years back, when a manager was emphasizing to his team the importance of keeping their discussions on business strategy as simple as possible, so that anyone at the table would understand. He called it ‘KISS’ (Keep it Simple Stupid).
Whenever you want to talk to an audience, remember they may not understand some language jargons. Avoid complex and ambiguous words, except you’re writing for an academic journal. If you have a product for sale, imagine how you’d tell a 10-year-old to buy it. You wouldn’t say too much or use words they haven’t learned yet. Now, apply the same rule to adults.
Also, don’t try to prove your ability to construct long sentences or use words only the dictionary knows. Remember — talking too much about product features is still language jargon. Using too many adjectives is a no-no. Every time you write copy, read it out to yourself and if possible, check for anything that could make your writing too complex for the reader.
2. Make it concise
Your writing should be brief, but comprehensive. Avoid unnecessary words or wordy phrases. For instance, instead of writing “it would take a period of 10 days for your skills to improve”, use “your skills will improve in 10 days”. Also, try to use an active voice whenever you can. This usually leads to shorter sentences.
You should also avoid “filler words”, which take up extra space but give no additional meaning. Words like “that” or “of” are common filler words. Sometimes it may be difficult to remember all the rules to make concise wring easier. For a start, every time you write copy, ask yourself if that’s the shortest way it can be written.
Adjusting your writing for conciseness should change a sentence like “get the best fitness gadgets from us at the most amazing prices” to “Get affordable, quality fitness gadgets now”.
3. Have a Call-to-Action
Having a Call to Action (CTA) is important for all types of written content, not just for landing pages or product advertisements. When people don’t know what to do after reading your copy, they will forget it pretty soon. By writing this article, my CTA to you is that you take note of all these three points when writing your next copy.
There should also be urgency in your CTA, so your audience has reason to do it almost immediately. Even if that doesn’t happen, they should at least recall what you’ve said when they need to.
Imagine a visually compelling ad for ice-cream that says: “treat yourself when its payday”. If you’re exposed to such frequently enough, you might begin to associate treating yourself to ice-cream whenever payday comes. Of course, so many other factors are involved, but the copy is a key element that passes the message.
Finally, remember that writing copy is way different from professional writing. The latter sometimes requires those longer sentences and technical vocabulary. This is common in academic writing. If you’re switching from professional to copywriting, consider exploring additional resources. But these rules are an amazing starting point for anyone seeking clarity on how to write copy. I hope this helped.
Thanks for reading!
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