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Copy the write way

Seven steps to get copy right

Copywriting isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone. Some people have a flair for putting pen to paper and crafting a convincing collection of communications, but there are times when the words don’t flow for even the most gifted copywriter.

Whether you write your content in-house or hire an expert copywriter, you need to ensure the content you publish is compelling and represents what your business, company or department is all about.

Here are the most common copywriting pitfalls or mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Speaking to yourself rather than others
It's crucial to make sure the copy speaks to your audience so they can relate to it. You may be across the ins and outs of your company but your audience isn’t. Content needs to be specific, but not boring, and be able to tell your story in a way in which anyone can relate.

2. Forgetting about SEO
As more copy ends up online, copywriters should remember even basic search engine optimization (SEO) when crafting their words. It may mean only a slight tweak to how you phrase a paragraph. If you want your brand or message to be seen by as many people as possible, knowing how to get content to the top of any Google search is a must.

3. Making assumptions and using jargon
Using too much jargon or writing copy without a true understanding of what your target audience cares about can easily alienate readers. Bizspeak, or using language that only a select few can understand may make new customers or clients feel like they’re not your main priority.
4. Optimising your headline
When writing headlines, you must use keywords and phrases that people will search on. Make sure your title gives enough information about the article's content to be useful, and use headline tools to make sure your title has the right level of urgency.

5. Lacking consistency across platforms
With so many digital platforms on which to post content, finding the best way to deliver your message is paramount to attracting as many readers as possible. But it’s no good using all the available options if there is no consistency in your communications. Consistency fosters brand trust and builds fluency in your products and services.

6. Not telling readers what's in it for them
It doesn't matter how improved or cutting-edge your product or service is; for readers to care and engage, they need to know what's in it for them. Find a creative way to tell them, up front, how your product/service will make their lives better.

7. You don’t follow a proven process
Proper planning prevents poor performance even in copywriting so prepare before publishing.

To write persuasive copy, follow a proven copywriting process. Start with research to understand who you’re writing for and gather the right arguments to persuade your audience. Plan your copy to put the most persuasive arguments at the start. Write a rough draft and then edit it for rhythm, punctuation, grammar and spelling.
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