Tips and tools to improve your copywriting

Does your copywriting grab readers by the short and curlies?

If not, try the TAKE ‘EM approach. So you can attract readers and take ‘em where you want ‘em to go.

T is for Target.

Before you even start, be clear who’re you’re writing for. I’m always amazed how many business blogs have posts which are written for their competition, not for their target market.

Take wedding photography on a rainy day.

If you’re a wedding photographer, all your client wants to know is that the photos you take of their special day will be great, whatever the weather. Write about how you have a back-up plan, tell them what that might mean for them on the day and how you’ll handle it. And show them examples of great rainy day wedding photos.

But don’t write about how to keep equipment dry, adjusting settings and lenses, portable lighting equipment and so on. That’s what the camera company writes about to attract wedding photographers.

Tip Number 1: Write about things which matter to your customers and target customers.

A is for Attract.

Attract attention. Make sure people know what you’re talking about and draw them in.

Subject lines and headlines matter.

Sub-headings matter too. People skim-read. Sub-headings give skimmers the key points of your copy. They also help them focus in if they’re interested in a specific aspect of your topic

Tip Number 2: Test your headlines and subject lines using the Co-Schedule headline analyzer.

You’ll have to provide your email address, but it’s completely free and it will improve your headlines.

K is for Keep.

Once you’ve got their attention, make sure you keep it.

A conversational tone is far easier on the reader than an academic textbook or an insurance policy. One way to achieve this is to record yourself speaking, then transcribe and edit. That’s what I did for this post, using

Use the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Scale to see how easy your copy is to understand. For marketing copy or web copy, your goal is a readability score of 60 or over.

Tip Number 3: Check the readability for free on this page. Or use the Hemingway App (also free) for more advice on how to improve it.

And while we’re on the subject of checking copy,

  • Try reading out loud. If you stumble, it’s time to edit.
  • If you’re concerned about your spelling and grammar, try Grammarly.
  • Ask someone else to proofread. It’s really hard to spot your own mistakes!

E is for Engage.

Easy to read is all very well. But a shopping list is easy to read – unless it’s in my husband’s writing. It’s just not very interesting.

If you want readers to care about your content, you need to get them engaged.

Tip Number 4: Use ‘power words’ to trigger an emotional response and engage readers.

Here’s a super-short list of top power words:

  • Because
  • Free
  • Instant
  • New
  • You
  • Imagine
  • How to

Find more power words, sorted by the emotion they trigger, in this post from SumoMe.

E is for Entertain.

Use stories, examples and humor. Have a personality and don’t be afraid to show it.

For me, this is one advantage smaller businesses have over huge corporations. There isn’t a legal, HR or PR department trying to control the way you speak. You are free to be you. And authenticity is great.

My company’s called NoBull Marketing. Because I will tell it how it is and I have been known to use AngloSaxon monosyllables in a work meeting. Some people don’t like it. Fine. They’re probably not good fit clients for me. On the other hand, a lot of people love it – and they’re the ones I want to work with.

Tip Number 5: Have a personality. Be real. Use the stories, examples and humor you would in real life. (Within reason!)

M is for Motivate.

Motivate people to keep reading – but also motivate them to take action when they’ve finished.

Good copywriting should get people to do something.

  • Find out more.
  • Try it free.
  • Call for more details.
  • Talk to an expert.
  • Book a meeting.
  • Make an appointment.
  • Share your experience.
  • Share your opinion.
  • Sign up now.
  • Join now.

Tip Number 6: Include a call to action. Make it as specific as possible.

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There you go. Six simple steps to better copywriting.

Or if it’s all too much, pick one and start there.

Good luck!

And please tell us all how you get on.

About Your Guest Blogger: Bridget Holland is a marketing focused manager and leader who’s been running and helping start-ups and small businesses for over 25 years. She now heads up NoBull Marketing, and works mainly with service businesses to get more leads, more revenue and more profit.