Starting a career in any industry can be daunting if you have no idea where to begin. The same is true for copywriting.
While professional copywriters offering expert services might make it look easy, it can be a bit challenging to gain the same level of conversion when you’re just starting out.
For one, writing a good copy is a different form of art than penning fiction. This means that you should base everything that you write on facts and convince people to act on them.
Fortunately, there are ways how you can improve your copywriting skills, even as a beginner.
So, without further ado, here are the top seven copywriting hacks you can try on your first project:
1. Rethink Your Language
Copies that tend to turn readers off are those that use the “buy it now” hard-selling language. When people feel pressured to decide on something, they probably won’t.
This is also the very reason why people get a negative perception of certain products, which can further cause the conversion rates to plummet.
Keeping that in mind, make sure that you adopt a more relaxed and friendly tone when writing a compelling copy. The key is to keep it conversational.
Think about it like this: Your prospect is sitting across from you in a coffee shop and asks why she should buy from you.
Naturally, you explain the benefits of the product you’re selling and how they can get it. Then, minutes later, the person you’re talking to is looking afar with a blank stare.
Instead of telling them directly why they need to buy your product, speak to your audience using friendly everyday language.
Share information that they can use without making the copy too “salesy.” Maintain a relaxed tone, but add just enough industry jargon to show your expertise in the industry.
2. Use Headlines to Draw Them In
Although every part of the copy is important, the headline is arguably more vital than most since it will be the first thing the readers see. This means that it should persuade the audience to continue reading.
This alone is enough reason for you to work hard on your headlines.
Some of the most popular tactics in writing headlines include using questions that you think people would ask about the particular topic you’re writing about.
If you’re writing lists, you can also include a number in your headline (like the title of this article). Many people find it interesting to know how much information they can get from articles online.
You can also use rhymes to make your copy look more appealing. Aside from making your headline look quirky, rhyming has also been found to add validity when placed anywhere in the piece.
Based on a 2000 study conducted by psychologists from Lafayette College, poetic rhyming affects people’s perceptions of accuracy.
The researchers discovered that rhyming can help the brain process statements more fluently, thereby adding a perception of truthfulness to it.
If all else fails, you can run it through web apps that break down and analyze headlines. These often provide an easy-to-digest report on what makes your headline great (or why it isn’t).
3. Craft a Story, But Don’t Beat Around the Bush
After you pique your reader’s interest, it is time to deliver them what you have promised with a straightforward story. When making a point, it is best to avoid beating around the bush.
But instead of just stating the facts, it is better to craft a story to prove your point. Not only does it make your copy more interesting, but it also helps the readers understand the point better with some examples. Plus, copies with clever stories sell.
Use the first sentences to deliver what you’ve promised. Think of it as the abstract or the declaration of what the piece is all about. This will make them want to get more details and read until they reach the end.
4. Limit the Word Count
Many people think that longer posts are always better, but this is a rookie mistake. Although long-form copies tend to work in certain situations, it’s not a universal formula that applies to all.
In fact, it might be better to deliver a more concise piece by limiting the word count, especially considering the gradually shortening attention span of the average reader. This is also the main reason why people turn away from long posts on social media.
While there’s no single number that works for everyone, some people usually set a word count limit to 500. Keep in mind, however, that it will still depend on the story you’re going to tell and how you plan to deliver it.
5. Break Up Blocks of Texts with Various Formatting Styles
When it comes to writing copies, formatting is your best friend.
Remember the readers’ shortening attention span. Since most people get bored easily with big blocks of texts, you should break it up as much as you can with bullet points and subheadings.
This also works with images, but if you’re only responsible for the article itself, you can keep the paragraphs short and use bolds and italics when highlighting an important point.
6. Always Check Your Grammar
Grammatically correct sentences not only make it easier for readers to comprehend what you’re saying in the piece, but they also show how reliable and professional you are. Plus, excellent grammar also makes the copy sound credible.
7. Reap the Fruits of Your Labor by Adding a Call-to-Action (CTA)
When writing the bigger chunk of a copy, it’s easy to forget to reap the fruits of your labor. Never make this mistake.
To make sure your copy converts, add a clear Call To Action (CTA) at the end of the piece. This should be something that will convince them to act on what they have just read.
But instead of writing “next” or “submit,” opt for a more powerful statement like “Send me my free copy” or “I want to enroll now.” It is also better to focus on a single CTA to avoid confusing your readers.
Whether you’re building brand awareness or increasing company profit, writing an excellent copy will always be necessary to achieve your goals.
Make sure you engage readers well, not only for conversion but also to show your client the value of a well-written copy to his success.
Hisham Wyne is an award-winning copywriter, brand consultant and content creator based in Dubai. He has over a decade’s experience in helping brands get their messages right.
From crisp web copy and zippy brochures to in-depth company profiles and analytical annual reports, Hisham makes words work for you – so you can sell better, gain visibility, and give your brand a unique voice.