Writers tips

Writing Online Marketing Copy: The Dos and Don’ts

Frankly, writing exceptional copy isn’t easy. It looks simple, but it isn’t. But writing content that stands out in the ever-expanding ocean that is the online world is an essential trait that every writer must possess. It’s a skill that editors are constantly on the lookout for. It’s a skill that will enable you to grow as a writer.

Exceptional marketing copy has a single aim: To sell. Yes, creativity, a sizeable vocabulary and a dash of humor always help. But if you can’t get people to pay for a company’s products using compelling words, then you need to learn how to do so. Stat!

Here are some tips for writers in 2018:

Dos

  • Always (and I mean always) write for the audience. What do they need? What are their problems? What are their hopes, dreams, and aspirations? Get to the core of their problem and solve it. And don’t take forever to get to the heart of the issue. Customers have short attention spans, and they need their problems answered soon. In fact, most readers tend to scan text before actually reading it.
  • Keep copy short and simple. Don’t use fluff, fancy words, slang, technical jargon or try to sound clever. You’re writing for an online audience.
  • Rewrite as much as you can. Rewriting is a crucial step in the editing and proofreading process. It’s also one of the most important tips for writers in 2018. Shorten sentences, correct grammar, dust off typos and tweak difficult-to-understand sentences. The simpler the copy reads, the better.
  • Invest ample time in crafting a witty, attention-grabbing Your title needs to stand out in the limitless world of the Internet. In fact, experienced wordsmiths spend as much time putting together an impressive headline as curating the copy’s content.
  • Focus on keywords, catchphrases and other words that might grab a reader’s attention. This also helps in boosting the content’s search engine optimization.
  • Add a generous dose of graphics. It could be a set of high-resolution images, an infographic, pie charts, diagrams or videos.
  • Always write in the second person. Using “you” often in your content (like I did here) makes content more personal and relatable. Readers like it when someone is speaking to them in a friendly, warm manner.
  • It’s a good idea to insert a call to action (CTA) word or phrase in the marketing copy. It’s now a vital component of all online copy and one of the most useful tips for writers in 2018. After all, businesses hire writers to sell their products, subscribe to a mailing list or avail their services. Be creative with your CTA. Instead of using the regular “buy now” or “subscribe,” spice it up a little — “Join free for a month,” “Get started,” “Send me recipes now!” and “Tell me more.”

Don’ts

  • No online tips for writers in 2018 will ever tell a writer to go off-topic. Stick to answering one problem or, at the most, two related problems that your audience faces every day and aim to solve it.
  • Don’t brag about your company’s products or services. Great marketing copy seeks to educate and help readers. It doesn’t aim to obviously sell something. Sure, you can mention a business’ products or services towards the end, but it shouldn’t be the content’s main focus.
  • While it’s imperative to write simple copy, don’t talk down to your audience or insult their intelligence. For instance, if you’re writing blogs for IT professionals, don’t explain terms that you’re 100% sure they already know.
  • Don’t write in passive voice. It makes the read dull and lifeless. Active voice gives the impression of authority and infuses energy in your content.
  • It’s best to avoid sending the first draft of your content to your editor. Spend some time identifying mistakes or making modifications so that the copy is crisp and clear.
  • Although providing information is important, you don’t need to sound tedious. Use emotions, tell stories or just be yourself. A little personality always helps.

Final Thoughts

Writing great copy isn’t rocket science – it just takes patience, hard work, and practice. Several online tips for writers in 2018 urge copywriters to hone their writing skills by taking notes from an editor or listening to feedback from a friend. Whether you’re crafting a social media post, penning an eye-catching landing page, writing an opinion-based blog or typing a succinct article, keep your audience in mind. And before you know it, it’ll come to you naturally. As naturally as brewing your favorite cup of cappuccino every morning.

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