In advertising and journalism, text content is called "copy". Good copy is riveting; it ties us emotionally to the material we read. When we read good copy we hardly realize that we are being cleverly manipulated by the words. We buy the "sizzle" along with the "steak" without further thought.
By working with a professional copywriter when creating or upgrading your website, you are assured of wording that is not just grammatically correct, but is written to attract and interest your niche target market. Good wording also affects your Page Rank on Google. Banner graphics and flashy applications might attract attention but it's the words that change opinions and drive sales!
If you have a business and want to sell products or services, you need decent copywriting skills. It will make all the difference to your bottom line - your profits. The following tips will help you to become a better copywriter.
1. Identify Your Target Audience
Before you can even think about your copy, you first need to work out who are are talking to. Is it kids, teenagers, work from home moms or pensioners. Does your audience have a specific need that drives them to your product or service? What is their problem, how does your offering solve that problem.
My tip: write down the demographics of your target audiences, and then picture someone you know who fits that demographic. Then write your copy based on what you would say to that person.
2. Speak The Same Language
Your audience needs to feel as if you are their friend. By speaking their language, you establish a connection; your own conversation. Unless your reader is able to make this connection, chances are he or she will never buy from you.
My tip: read your text out loud preferably to someone else. You will find yourself cringing if your wording is too formal, "cute" or verbose.
The KISS rule stands for 'Keep It Short and Simple.' As a foundation of good copywriting, KISS translates to short and simple sentences. It also means to stay on topic while keeping the information presented in a bite-size length.
My tip: after you have finished your text and it's perfect, try to reduce it by 10%. If it fits on a page, save the file, increase the font size and cut out superfluous words until it fits on the page again. Read both versions and pick the best.
4. Avoid Jargon
If you want to make an impact, don't use jargon or important sounding technological and management buzzwords. Arrogance is annoying and confused readers don't buy. Just because you hear and use those words in meeting every day, doesn't mean that the rest of the world finds them meaningful. If you have a complex topic to explain, the web is ideal to handle it - create a link to a separate glossary.
5. Tell nothing but the truth
If you lie about product and service facts in your copy, your business image will become tarnished in the industry. Don't assume that you have to exaggerate to get noticed - you will come across as pathetic. Unless you sell to ten-year-olds, your prospect has been cheated so often by unscrupulous (or incompetent) businesses that he is extremely suspicious of anything that over-sells.
My tip: Always use real contact information - not just an email address or even worse an anonymous contact form (only spam engine still actually fill them in!). Have FAQs that actually answer genuine concerns and give clear, reassuring reasons to buy. Don't carry testimonials unless you have actual testimonials to show. All these things build trust and credibility.
6. Write from the heart
The first mistake most amateurs make when faced with writing text is to Google their topic and see what other people have written elsewhere. They then copy-and-paste bits of good sentences together. The end result often sounds impressive, but tends to be meaningless, highfaluting waffle.
If your text contains words like "service excellence", "unsurpassed product quality" or "competitively priced", it's time to cross it all out and start again.
My tip: imagine explaining the idea to your mother - someone smart and worthy of respect, but not particularly knowledgeable about this specific topic. That will give you the basic "bones" to work with.
For one final tip: If you can put yourself into the shoes of your prospective client or customer, you are already halfway there in making more sales than ever before.