The Dos and Don’ts of Copywriting

Writing good copy isn’t as simple as just putting pen to paper, otherwise everyone would be a fantastic copywriter.

Good copywriting can be hard to come by and takes an exceptional amount of skill and knowledge to learn.

At Fingertips we have a brilliant team of copywriters who produce great work, I asked them to tell me their list of what to do and what not to do when it comes to copywriting and this is what they came up with.

The Dos:

  1. Know Your Audience – You must know your audience so that you can talk directly to them, in their language and their voice. Never make assumptions that you know the audience ensure you do your research.
  2. Have a Clear Call to Action – While you are writing it is important to remember why you are doing it. Call to action is extremely important, what do you want your audience to do.If your call to action is not clear and noticeable, no one is going to do anything.
  3. Write for scanners – Writing for people online is different for writing for someone who is reading a book. Copy online is read vertically, not horizontally. Selecting the correct fonts, using headers, bold, italics, will create a trail for the eye to follow.
  4. Keep an eye on what your clients competitors are doing – If you have a new client,then before you even start writing, check out what their competitors are doing. After all you want to make sure that any ideas you come up with are unique.
  5. Remember proposition is everything – Differentiate your clients business, by making sure you create a distinctive brand and voice.

The don’ts

  1. Don’t forget to make a plan – Regardless of what you are writing it is important to make a plan. This will allow you to harness your ideas, highlight benefits and ensure that your copy is not jumping around all over the place.
  2. Don’t write for everyone – Not everyone is going to get you, it is a myth that having lots of likes on your Facebook page means you are successful. The best and most successful businesses write for a small subset of your entire audience, making it much more personal.
  3. Don’t create long sentences – This can be hard especially if you have something complicated to say. But long sentences will put off your readers. Ideally you should aim for no more than 10-15 words in a line.
  4. Don’t forget to spell check – A simple rule, I know, but you will be amazed as to how many people forget it. Spelling and grammatical errors make your work look lazy and unprofessional. So spend the few minutes it takes to run the spell checker!
  5. Don’t forget to proofread – Not only should you cast your eye over your text before submitting it, it is well worth getting someone else to have a look too, because sometimes you can be too close to the subject.

So all you need to do now is follow this list of dos and don’ts and you should notice that your copy improves and is more effective. Effective Copywriting is a skill that can be learned, but if you do not have time or do not want to write your copy, we can help you.
Fingertips Typing Services have a team of talented copywriters on hand to help create fantastic pieces of work, from adverts to brochures and websites. Contact us: info@fingertipstyping.co.uk

 

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Six Essential Copywriting Tips

Good copy doesn’t just happen, it takes time, effort and skill to write a great piece of text.

I have so much advice to share with you, but for this post I thought I would keep it short and snappy, giving you the bare essentials to get you started.

Here are my six top tips:

  1. Use plenty of paragraph breaks – No one wants to sift through a large block of text, so embrace white space.
  2. Select the right font – Choosing the right font is important, selecting the wrong one can turn off any potential readers immediately. For example; I cannot bear reading anything in comic sans, I think it looks amateur and unprofessional.
  3. Use everyday language – This will ensure that you engage with as wide an audience as possible. Don’t try to be clever and if you can’t think of an appropriate word, keep thinking or come back to it, never use a thesaurus!
  4. Be emotional – By adding emotion you will make your writing more personal, giving your audience an insight into you.
  5. Become ‘The Master’ in punctuation! – Good copy has good rhythm, make your words flow with the expert use of punctuation, but beware of over using commas and explanation marks.
  6. Use Headings and Sub-headings – These will focus your readers attention and break up the copy (remember point one). It will also point out sections of interest, as we all tend to skim read. In addition headings and subheadings will really help with your websites SEO, so make the most of them.

Keep these tips in mind when you write, great copywriting is within your reach. Following these tips will improve your copy and ultimately make it easier for your readers to understand and respond to your campaigns.

 

Top 5 Tips on Content Writing

I wanted to share with you some of my tips and secrets to writing good high quality content, it is not an art, it is a skill that you need to master and work through daily.

I am lucky as it is my day job to write interesting and compelling articles, but if you are new to blogging, content or article writing it can be a little daunting as to where to start.  It is important to remember that writing quality content takes dedicated effort.

Here are my top five tips to being successful:

  1. Research – Always be on the hunt for ideas and information, as ideas pop into your head write them down or save an audio file of your thoughts so that when you get back to your desk to get writing you can clearly remember what you were thinking of at the time. Choose your research source carefully, when looking for referencing material and accurate information. THINK: Is your source reputable, a respected resource will give your article more weight than several unknown resources.
  1. Use your voice – Don’t try to be someone else, let your personality shine through, after all you are unique, creating your own style of writing will ensure that your work stands out from the crowd.
  1. Organise Your Information – Create an outline of how you want the article and the information you are trying to get across flows, so that it is easy to read and understand. Planning your content and what you are trying to achieve is extremely important, what is your reason for creating the content, if you can’t think of a good reason then park it and come back to it later.
  1. Think of a quality title – Your title is just, if not more important than the content of your article or blog, as it is the first thing your readers will see. If you cannot connect with them straight away, then you content will remain unread.

According to Copyblogger[1] 80% of people will read your headlines, but only 20% of those people will read the rest of your content!

Examples of titles that perform well:

  • Top Ten Lists
  • How To
  • Interviews
  • Secrets of
  1. Edit – You would never submit the first draft of a dissertation or coursework, so why would you do the same with an article or blog. Proof read and edit in several rounds of review to make sure your content is written well.

Final Thoughts

Writing interesting and persuasive content isn’t easy, but by following the steps above you will make your life easier.  It is important to remember that you can’t be everything to everyone, so make sure you know who you are and what you want to do.

Keep your message clear and concise so that it is easy for your readers to understand.

Good Luck!

Author: Cerri Killworth, Fingertips Typing Services

[1] Source: http://www.copyblogger.com/magnetic-headlines/