6 steps for better copywriting

Copywriting seems simple, but can easily fall flat. Creating a persuasive, engaging piece of writing which takes your reader towards a specific action is harder than you think. With that said, here are our 6 steps for better copywriting.

Step 1: Focus on your hook(s)

Each line of copy that you write has the role of persuading your reader to read the next line: from the headline to the sign off. And to do this, you need to ensure that your copy is engaging throughout, hooking your reader in to find out what’s next.

Some ideas for hooks are:

  • Start with a thought-provoking question which your reader wants to know the answer to. This will keep them reading until you reveal the answer.
  • Use a quotation as a spark of interest.
  • Include a striking statistic – similar to quotations, this will grab your readers’ attention.
  • Use an anecdote or real-life story to bring readers into the piece, helping them to relate to the issue at hand.

Step 2: Know your audience

The number #1 rule of copywriting: always keep your audience at the front of your mind.

Whatever you write, you’re writing it to be read. But your reader could be different every time, depending on the topic you’re writing about and the type of post you’re creating. So every time you sit down to write something new, re-consider who the exact audience for that piece of writing is. Then tailor your writing to fit this. This may mean that you use different words, including or avoiding jargon. It might be that you change the tone of your writing to be more serious or playful. Or maybe you tweak the focus of your writing to fit with the passions or concerns of your particular target audience.

Step 3: Use less words

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” – Mark Twain, author

It might seem paradoxical, but it’s true that it’s easier to produce a long piece of writing than something short. This is because when you’re writing a short amount of copy you’re forced to choose your works extremely carefully, to get your point across succinctly and still convey the desired meaning. With more words, it’s easy to waffle and repeat ideas. So, try to condense your ideas into fewer words, distilling the essence of what you’re trying to say into a piece of writing which is accurate and to the point. Clarity is key!

Step 4: Include a call to action

What is the key piece of information you’re trying to get across in this piece of writing? What do you want your reader to do next?

It might be that you’re trying to increase the number of subscribers to your email list, get readers to sign up as volunteers for your charity, or persuade them to contact you for further information. Whatever the aim of your writing, make sure you include that clear call to action at the end of the piece – so that you, and your reader, are fully clued in about what the next steps should be.

Step 5: Break your writing up

Most people will not read every single word that you write in a piece of writing. This is especially true if you’re writing for websites, as we’re now used to scrolling through webpages and stopping if something catches your eye. So, assume that most of your readers are scanning and skimming your writing for the points which resonate with them, and use stylistic elements to bring the focus onto these key points.

You might try:

  • Headings and subheadings
  • Bullet points and numbered lists
  • Bolding text for important points
  • Short paragraphs for ease of reading
  • Choosing a word for the first word of each paragraph which is significant and punchy.

Step 6: Cite your sources

You always want your copywriting to seem accurate, authentic, and trustworthy. To achieve this, you need to ensure that you have evidence to back up any claims that you make. For instance, if you include a statistic you should link through to the research paper which discovered the statistics. And if you aren’t sure of the source, don’t include the fact – you risk losing your reputation with your readers.

If you’re writing marketing copy, it’s also good to steer away from overused superlatives such as ‘the best’ ‘everything you need’ ‘ground-breaking’ ‘revolutionary’ ‘market-leading’ ‘innovative’. All of these terms have been used and overused so much in adverts and copy that they no longer hold any meaning to your audience. Plus, if you use terms like this without being able to offer proof (industry awards, customer or volunteer testimonials, to back up your claims, your audience is likely to dismiss your product or service as a scam.

We’d be thrilled to support you with copywriting for your business or organisation. Contact us and one of the Monchü team will be in touch soon.