There isn’t one formula to craft the perfect piece of copy. That’s the beauty of copywriting. It’s like painting a masterpiece, using different elements for the final product.
Thus, there are many strategies and tips to approach writing copy.
You asked for it. Here is the ultimate list of copywriting tips to use at your disposal.
Without further ado, let’s dive right into the first tip.
Copywriting tips #1:
Know your audience better than they know themselves
This one tops the list before any other tip for good reason.
You could have the ultimate list of tips you want. But, if you don’t know who you’re selling to, you’re throwing a dart in the dark hoping to score.
The same goes for the rule: if you write for everyone, then you write for no one.
You need to spend a significant amount of time researching your audience from the bottom up. It’s no surprise most, if not all, copywriters account research for more than half the time to write copy.
By the end of your research, you should be able to know the following main questions about your audience:
- Their lifestyle, habits, and beliefs.
- Their goals, desires, and needs.
- What’s their problem and the solution to it?
- How will your solution benefit them?
- What are some objections they may have?
Create a persona of your ideal reader if you have to. Jot down their:
- Personality traits.
- Demographics such as age, sex, ethnicity, location, etc.
- What they do for a living.
Copywriting tips #2:
Use paragraph breaks, a lot of it.
Have you ever avoided reading a chunk of text because it was uneasy on the eyes?
Don’t do it to your readers. You’ll shut them down before they read a single word.
Break down sentences and structure your content in a manner that’s easy to view. It’ll create a more enjoyable reading experience for your viewers.
Write your copy with a visual perspective in mind at all times:
- Take advantage of visual hierarchy by using headings. Separate each main point under its heading.
- Limit sentences to no more than 20 words. The fewer, the more practical.
- Limit paragraphs to no more than three sentences.
- Bullet point lists should have no more than 5 points.
Copywriting tips #3:
Active voice is the way to go
Consider these two sentences:
Sentence 1: Business sales were scaled by the copywriter.
Sentence 2: The copywriter scaled the business’ sales.
The second sentence sounds more convincing than the first.
Unless you’re writing fiction, academic articles, or scientific studies for example. These types of writing rely on information to keep a tone of objectivity.
Otherwise, for sales copy, active voice:
- Is less formal and serious.
- Carries a more conversational tone that resonates with your readers. Thus, building a stronger connection.
- It sounds more natural, the way you talk.
- Makes your calls-to-action more commanding.
- Makes your copy easier to read.
Copywriting tips #4
Copywriting, like any other skill, is a practice you get better at as time progresses.
But even the best copywriters can struggle with distraction and creative blockage.
- Create goals for yourself. Aim to write a certain number of words under a specified amount of time.
- Turn off any form of distraction: internet browsers, cell phones, televisions, etc.
- Take breaks. Your creative mind can’t be running all day. Your refreshed mind will have a new perspective.
- Spending hours all day to achieve perfect copy won’t make you a better copywriter either.
Good habits are the foundation for success with any skill.
Copywriting tips #5
Less commas. More periods.
More commas in your sentences means longer sentences. And longer sentences means difficulty in sentence readability.
Check out this verse from The Hydrogen Sonata:
“Ablate was all that was left of a planet destroyed deliberately two millennia earlier, shortly before it would have been destroyed naturally, by the supernova within whose out-rushing sphere of debris, gasses and radiation it remained, like an arrowhead plunging ever downwards into the rising, roiling heat and sparks of a great fire.
Comprehending that is worse than trying to read run-on sentences!
Copywriting tips #6
Write for robots too
Your readers will always be human, and they always come first. But what good is your world-class copy if humans can’t find it?
One main benefit to search engine optimization is it’s free. So, why not take the time to keep SEO in mind to direct readers to your content?
Some ways to optimize your copy for SEO include:
- Performing in-depth keyword research and analysis for your copy.
- Optimizing your content structure with headings and titles.
- User experience including mobile-friendliness.
- Adding alt text to all images.
- Ensuring proper link structure.
Why it’s important?
Google search engine accounts for more than 40,000 queries a second. That statistic amounts to over 3.5 billion search queries every single day.
Copywriting tips #7
Edit, edit, edit… and, edit
Copywriting isn’t a one-time thing where you call it quits once you’ve written the last word. There’s no such thing as a finished piece copy.
Copywriting is an art that takes time to hone the masterpiece.
It involves refining your work, testing metrics on what’s working, and a lot of editing. To develop good editing habits:
- Use a proofreading tool to catch your grammar, spelling, and pronunciation errors. Hemingway App and Grammarly are popular tools.
- Read your copy out loud.
- Have someone else read or proofread your copy. People perceive your copy different the way you do.
- Take a step back and sleep on it. A refreshed mind with new sets of ideas performs better.
Copywriting tips #8
Unlearn writing rules you learned from school
You’re not writing a fictional story or an academic piece of research. You’re writing for the everyday average person looking to buy something.
If anything, your traditional education didn’t teach you how to write to make profits.
Though, stick to good grammar, spelling, and pronunciation. Your readers will appreciate it when your sentences make sense.
Don’t be afraid to break the rules of traditional academic writing. In fact, ignore them. Focus on getting your readers to the next line.
- Use shorter sentences.
- Make your content readable and conversational
- Appeal to your readers’ needs
- Take out formality
Copywriting tips #9
Stay on top of grammar and spelling
If you have the time to wait for your coffee every morning, then you have the time to check your grammar and spelling.
Spelling and grammar are important, as it can make or break your sales.
Your customers want to buy from someone credible and professional.
Would you trust flying with an airline pilot who doesn’t have their pilot license?
The same concept goes with a copywriter who isn’t on top of their grammar and spelling game.
Tips for perfect grammar and spelling:
- Use a grammar and spelling checker tool. But don’t rely on it 100%. There are some things these tools still get confused about, such as context.
- Use an extra set of eyes such as a friend to look over your work.
- Read your copy out loud.
Copywriting tips #10
Create a content style guide
What is a house without the foundation to hold it in place? You would have different windows, colored walls, and shapes.
The same goes for creating a style guide for your content.
Style guides keep your content consistent and maintain the voice you wish to portray.
- Write down the goals of your copy.
- Write down what you believe in. Such as your values, ethics, and mission.
- Distinguish your tone of voice on how you want to sound like to your readers.
- Do you have any taglines, buzzwords, or slogans your brand uses?
Copywriting tips #11
Avoid adverbs and adjectives
Adverbs and adjectives weaken your copy by acting as filler words. And filler words kill your credibility. Making your copy sound unconfident.
They’re vague words. Check out these two sentences:
- With adverb: you’ll massively learn a lot with these copywriting tips.
- Without adverb: you’ll learn a lot with these copywriting tips.
The latter of the two sentences suffice without the adverb.
Copywriting tips #12
It’s a form of testing your copy. You don’t have to do anything but ask.
What’s the best part about it?
It’s invaluable information that’s free.
Ask for feedback from two sources:
- Your readers
- Your clients
You’ll be able to dissect what’s working and what needs improvement.
After all, it’s your job as a copywriter to bridge the gap by solving people’s problems.
You can create a survey. And open-ended questions work well in gathering more information.
Copywriting tips #13
Become a student of everyday advertising
Copywriting is all around us. And there are free resources of adverts that are working and making bank.
It is up to you to use your resources around you at your disposal.
Not only should you be researching up on your competition, but ought to see what’s working. It’s in front of your very eyes.
- Subscribe to email lists
- Click on adverts
- Read advertorials
- Look into newspapers and magazines
- Listen to commercials
If you’re seeing an advert, chances are it’s working.
Copywriting tips #14
Make your readers skim
Make your readers skim People don’t read anymore. They skim. They look for information that matters most on what they are looking for.
The amount of information thrown out there is too much to digest. With not enough time in a day anymore, people seek instant gratification.
Help your readers get the answers they seek in the most efficient manner possible.
- Use visuals like graphs, images, or infographics.
- Add no more than 5 bullet points.
- Highlight or bold important key information.
- Break up your content with headings.
- Incorporate more white space.
Skimmable content is more likely to stick with your readers.
Take a step back and see how you could improve your content on a visual level.
Copywriting tips #15
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’ve accomplished nothing by lacking focus.
Pressure can be a good thing, as long as you let it drive you. When timing yourself, it keeps you on top of your writing game. It also:
- Motivates you to tackle your writing goals.
- Gives you room to work on other projects.
- Keeps you organized.
- Boosts your productivity.
- Makes you deliver work on time, maintaining your professionalism.
Go buy yourself a timer with an alarm. There are many free websites or apps that do the job as well.
Copywriting tips #16
What sets your copywriting services apart from others? How do your clients stand out from a sea of competition?
Mastering your and your client’s unique value will distinguish price from value. People will not see price as a deciding factor once they see the value of your services.
For starters, here’s an easy template you can apply and craft to your liking:
We/I help [X] to [Y] by [Z].
Here’s the formula in action: “I help businesses to scale their sales by irresistible copy.
Keep it simple. The more words and sentences you use will add less credibility for what you stand for.
Copywriting tips #17
Use “we” and “you”
Your copy is for your readers. So make them feel welcomed by using inclusive language that speaks to them.
The words “we” and “you” inform your readers exactly who you’re speaking to.
Consider these two sentences:
- “Finally, reliable cell phone coverage.”
- “Finally, cell phone coverage you can rely on.”
See how the first sentence seems impersonal? It doesn’t speak to anyone. Whereas the second sentence targets its audience.
Copywriting tips #18
The best things come in threes
There’s a reason to why there were three:
- Little Pigs
In writing, the rule of three states concepts or ideas are more impactful when presented in a trio.
The magic number – simple yet rhythmic – allures to your readers’ memories.
- Slogans: “Just do it”
- Law: “Tell us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”
- Value propositions: We/I help [X] to [Y] by [Z].
Another impactful way to use the rule of threes is the three-part structure.
We like things with a beginning, middle, and end.
First, set the reader up for what they’re in for. Then build anticipation once you’ve hooked them. Finally, surprise them with a punchline or call-to-action.
Consider this example using the three-part structure quote by Jon Stewart:
“I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.”
What a shocking ending!
Copywriting tips #19
Do it first thing in the morning
First things first. This tip is for productivity and work efficiency.
From time to time, we all have certain tasks we don’t like doing.
Start your day by getting it out of the way.
Once completed, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. This leads to starting your day on the right foot with confidence and momentum.
You’ll have more time tackling other tasks on your list.
“Put first things first and second things are thrown in. Put second things first and you lose both first and second things.”– C. S. Lewis
Copywriting tips #20
Throw spam trigger words out the window
No one likes spammy content in emails. Not even robots.
Spam words are words that trigger spam filters. Sending your email to the abyss of lost emails that will never get read.
Be wary of these words in steering your credibility and trust down the drain from your audience.
Make sure to avoid using these words in your email subject lines:
- Commerce: Clearance, Buy Now!, Click Here, Don’t Delete, See For Yourself
- Marketing: 100% free, Billing Address, Cancel Anytime, Free Gift, This Isn’t Spam
- Sales: Act Now!, Bonus, Free Consultation, No-Obligation, It’s Effective
- Special Offers: Amazing Stuff, Limited Time, Free Quote, Lowest Price, Best Offers
- Miscellaneous: Miracle, Freedom, Congratulations, Hidden, Real Thing
Copywriting tips #21
A/B Test, Update, Repeat
Copywriting isn’t a one-time thing where you call it a day after your last word. In fact, your copy is never done.
Copywriting is an art. Thus, it’s a continual process of crafting and updating to meet your readers’ needs.
So, how else will you know if your copy works unless you test?
By A/B testing, it takes out the guessing and assuming out of the equation. Leaving your copy optimized for scaling. Compare two versions of the same copy and see which performs best.
- Write down your goal(s) for the A/B test.
- Decide which copy is your control group and which is the treatment.
- Perform testing by analyzing performance, metrics, and growth KPIs.
- Analyze your findings.
- Update your copy as needed.
Copywriting tips #22
Tell them what they need to hear
Part of copywriting is covering all your bases when it comes to being clear.
Don’t make your readers look for information or have them assume key points.
Be upfront about what they need to hear:
- Who the offer is for
- What the offer is in it for them
- Where they can get the offer
- When the offer is available
- Why the offer matters
- How the offer will benefit your customers
Concluding copywriting tips
It’s no wonder why copywriting is a science. These strategies and tips have worked for decades. Proven to compel readers when it comes to selling with words.
What tips that work for you that aren’t included on this list?
What copywriting tips surprised you the most?