The words you use matter.
After spending months creating the perfect product and designing the best-looking website, you might think that all the important work is behind you. But trust me – You’re only getting started.
You may know that your product is the best available on the market, but your visitors won’t. You’ll have to convince them.
This is where copywriting comes in.
All of us are copywriters in some way. Whenever you try to convince someone to perform an action using persuasive language, you’re using copy.
But you can still learn it professionally and get better at it.
Here are 5 strategies to turn yourself into a copywriting legend:
Craft compelling headlines
All aspects of copy are important and deserve your attention, but arguably nothing is quite as important as the headline. Without a great headline, people won’t both looking any futher at your ad, article, or whatever. They won’t read the rest of your amazing copy, learn about your great offer, or take you up on your call to action.
Headlines are the hook. Headlines are how we entice an audience to look further. And certain headlines entice readers more than others.
They are broken into seven groups:
Urgency – Stress the importance of an article and the immediate need for action
Curiosity Builder – Teases readers, capitalizing on suspense and mystery to make them feel like they’re missing out unless they read further
Useful – Often “how to” articles. Promise do-it-yourself solutions to complex problems
List – Show your readers exactly what to expect from an article, in terms of the length and structure. Bigger numbers will get more attention.
Newsjacking – Capitalizes on recent news or trends to draw readers. Best for timely that content that can draw huge initial crowds, before fizzling out of style.
Contarian – Sensationalizes topics. Presents an idea that most people accept, and then flips it on its head. Hugely appealing for readers to investigate further.
Self help – Appeal to someone’s need for emotional solace and sense of calm
What type of headline you choose will be situational, but picking from any of these templates will make your headlines irresistible.
Keep it flowing
The goal of every sentence you write is to get your reader to read the next one. That’s it. Until they reach the end.
To do this, each sentence must have a purpose. Whether it be grabbing attention, sparking interest, developing desire, or inspiring action, each sentence must have its place in progressively shifting your readers mindset towards your desired goal.
Use a variety of formatting techniques to help make this happen, by breaking up text and drawing the reader’s eye down the page.
These techniques can include:
Writing lists – Lists are the easiest to read content format around, and numbering naturally provides a sense of progression as readers pass down a list.
Highlighting words – Highlighting words give readers a goal to get too in a sentence or paragraph, and make large walls of text appear more digestible by adding a point of interest.
Using section headings – Section headings allow readers to scan a page before reading it, giving them an idea of what they’ll get from the article.
Adding multimedia – Not only adding color and variety to an article or landing page, multimedia such as images and videos are a powerful way to influence a viewer’s emotions.
Understand your reader
Whether you’re a copywriter creating an ad or a reporter writing an article, your end goal remains the same, which is to persuade your reader to accept your particular view point. In order to do this, you need to understand who your reader is.
Humans are emotional beings, with wants and desires. Think about the kind of person you’re writing too, identify one or more of these desires, and target it. Use some of the Life Force 8’s described in this article to push some emotional buttons and remember that people take action to either increase pleasure or avoid pain.
Hit verbs hard. Notice the word choice? Hit. It’s dramatic and its action-oriented. Use action words to energize your content and put your ideas in motion in your readers mind.
Beginning copywriters have a bad habit of indulging in descriptive words, thinking copy with more dimension increases sales. Though in some cases adding blasé to your words can add color and intrigue, in a lot of cases you want to cut the fat out and get to your main point.
Your greatest nemesis is boredom. You can’t bore people into buying your products. Inject all the hard-hitting action words you can into your copy and progress quickly and on point, to keep your reader motivated and engaged from start to finish.
All offers require “social proof”, reassurance for the consumer that they’re making the right decision purchasing from you.
Think of how you respond when walking into an empty venue. You probably start questioning whether you picked the right location. Now contrast that to a venue that’s jam-packed and alive. Which venue are you going to be most confident in?
The same phenomenon occurs with internet businesses. Your consumers need proof that you’ll meet their expectations.
This proof can come in many forms: testimonials, statistics, accolades, endorsements, customer/client lists, reviews, and so on.
Integrate social proof into specific parts of your copy where largest statements are made, or your consumers are faced with a decision, to keep them sure of your credibility.