Everyone has the ability to write – it might just take a bit of practice to get used to doing it though. Here are some useful tips on how to improve your writing style and connect with your readers.
Think about your customer – it is useful to have a particular customer in mind (they can be real or imaginary). I mean actually visualise that person and pretend that you are just talking to them. If it helps, you can forget the typing bit and just talk into a voice recorder first, then type it up second (or even better, get a virtual assistant to do it for you!). Always use ‘you' when you are writing marketing copy – it helps the reader identify with what you are saying and makes it more personal.
Tell a story – everybody loves a story. It makes things easier to explain and case studies and examples are the best way to explain complicated things. Of course, it has to be a story that they care about…one that they can identify with. You want to join the conversation that they are having in their mind.
Be authentic – you want to put across your persona so don't be bland and boring. Try playing devil's advocate with some contentious statements (maybe that is contentious?!) and inject your personality into your writing. This is why sometimes, it is easier to dictate as you don't overthink the words and you can concentrate on the message.
The devil is in the detail – copywriting is important and people will notice mistakes so it is important to take care with your writing. Also, just a single word can affect your conversion rates – for example: “a $5 fee” vs “a small $5 fee”. That said, don't get so hung up on it that it stops you doing it!
Include power words – try and include power words wherever they are appropriate. Rather than ‘nice' use brilliant, beautiful or fantastic. There isn't a single list of magical power words (see what I was doing there?!) but some words just sound better than others – particularly if they are descriptive. There are lots of words that commonly used in marketing copy because they are known to work – here are some you will see in almost every bit of copy:
Simplify – Keep your text simple. Don't use long words for the sake of it – people will either not understand what you are going on about or will get bored if your text is hard work to read. Research shows shorter, simpler text makes you appear more intelligent. It is certainly a lot easier and more enjoyable to read.
Join the conversation in their mind – when copywriting, you need to strike a chord with your readers. There is no point in talking about technical details and saying how great your product is if that is not what is important to them in their buying decision.
Visual Appeal – It is important to make your text easy to read and part of that is to make it look nice.
- Use a nice font
- Use short paragraphs
- Use bullets or numbered lists
- Use visual cues (such as pictures or horizontal lines) to break up your text
- Break your text up with headlines and sub-headings (sometimes known as chunking) to make it more readable
If you are really interested in improving your writing skills, there are dozens of great short books and free guides online.
Mark Woodroof is a qualified marketing coach who was awarded a BA(Hons) in Business and a Diploma in Marketing (from the Chartered Institute of Marketing) in the early 1990's and has spent the last 20 years working with private and public sector organisations.
During that time, Mark has worked with hundreds of business owners helping them to grow their businesses, launch new products and services, set up and manage their own marketing plans, websites and digital marketing strategies.
Today, he specialises in Digital Marketing, Social Media, WordPress Development and marketing automation systems such as ActiveCampaign & Infusionsoft.
Mark's areas of expertise include:
- Marketing Strategy & Planning
- Software Development Project Management (Microsoft.Net & Laravel)
- Customer Relationship Management Systems (Infusionsoft, Zoho & Insightly)
- Web Design & Development
- Digital Marketing Campaign Development
- Mailing List Services (eg AWeber, Mailchimp)
- Traffic Generation Strategies & Tactics
- Sales Funnels, Squeeze Pages & Online Conversion
- Customer Value Optimization
- BA(Hons) Business Studies (University of Portsmouth)
- Diploma in Marketing (Chartered Institute of Marketing)
- Level 5 in Coaching and Mentoring (Chartered Management Institute)
- DigitalMarketer Certifications:
- Certified Content Marketing Specialist
- Certified Customer Acquisition Specialist
- Certified Customer Value Optimization Specialists