Most people think of copywriting as a tool of advertising where the copywriter engages in the fine art of writing to sell a particular product or service. However, it is actually more than that. According to Copywriting.com, copywriting is "the art and science of writing words to promote a product, a business, a person or an idea; and carefully selecting, editing, weaving and constructing those words in a way that they’ll persuade the reader into taking a specific and measurable action."
The keyword in that definition is ‘persuade‘. Selling your business to potential customers is a form of persuasion, but that kind of advertising is only a subset of what copywriting entails. Blogging about your opinions can be a form of persuasion; to persuade the readers to your view, to increase the traffic flow to your site, to motivate others, etc. As a freelance blogger myself, I firmly believe in the ability of words to inspire and even change people’s lives.
Whatever the purpose of your copywriting is, there are certain fundamentals of copywriting which we can abide to and hook our readers, and here are a couple of them.
Recommended Reading: How To Run Blogs That I.N.S.P.I.R.E
1. Making it Conversational
Unlike other forms of writings like news writing or novels, copywriting tends to get more personal with the reader by making it seem like a conversation. Copywriting for blogs means that it may be read by thousands of people, yet you must assume that you’re writing only to a single person. Why? Because any reader who stumbles across your post would be reading it by him or herself at any one time. He or she is forming that connection with what you wrote and you don’t want to break the reading flow.
That kind of connection is especially crucial when you’re trying to persuade your reader. You need to ‘speak’ in their language and relate to them with personal experience, observations, etc. Emotions are unique to us humans, so be sure to add them to your writings as well. Other ways of maintaining the conversation-like atmosphere is to have short paragraphs and limit one idea to each one. This ensures the flow of the ‘conversation’ remains unbroken and ideas stay absorbable and comprehensible.
2. Clear, Concise & Get to the Point
When it comes to copywriting for blogs, these Internet readers are much more different from offline readers. Given the wealth of information available to them within clicks of their mouse, they can easily skip from one site to another if they find the first one boring. It gets boring when the blog offers many words but little information.
The first rule then, again, is to keep sentences and paragraphs short. This will not only make your ideas clearer, but also turn your entire article into neatly-organized, easy-to-read chunks. Add in headings and subheadings so that the reader can tell the organization of your writings upon first look. If the readers couldn’t immediately identify the general structure of your article, chances are that they would try other sites that are more systematic.
Minimize the use of jargons as well; it hinders the understanding of the article. Just remember that when it comes to the Internet, nobody wishes to waste time figuring out information. Everyone wants it quick and fast.
Although the term ‘customer’ seems to imply that you’re selling a service or a product, it can also be generalized to selling ideas, solutions and knowledge to your customers, a.k.a your readers. Therefore, you need to assess who your target audience is and what their needs are. Remember that you are selling and persuading others, so what you write must emphasize on how your customers can benefit from reading it.
What kind of information do your readers want to receive from your blog? Tips or solutions on how to troubleshoot their computer problems? Something that inspires and motivates their lives? These will be answered once you understand who your target audience is. From then on, you will know what are the topics that are sought after by them, down to the details like how you should structure your articles. Your research (if any) for topics will be more effective in the sense you will know beforehand what interest them and what does not.
4. Start Off with Good Headlines
What is the first thing any reader will notice in any article? The headline! To encourage the reader to read on, your headline must be catchy enough to motivate further reading. As with sentences, keep your headline short enough (preferably seven words or less) so that the reader can figure out what it’s about upon first reading.
There are many ways you can lure the readers on. You may use a witty headline or something that pique curiosity. The most common (and perhaps even foolproof) method is to state the benefit. After all, as per #3, anyone reading the article is wondering ‘what’s in it for me’. Having the benefit revealed right from the start would spur anyone to read on so long as it’s what the readers want. Such headlines are straight to the point and clear to Internet readers, which we all know from point #2, are ‘fickle-minded’ individuals.
Practice makes perfect, so does proofreading. In any kind of writing, it is of critical importance that the writer re-reads the entire thing and make sure that it flows. Without such a flow, it is hard for the reader to establish a connection with the writer via the words, sentences and paragraphs. Persuasion requires the reader to relate to what you say.
Apart from that, the reliability of the article is less likely to be questioned if the spelling and grammar are correct. This has implications on the number of readers who will subsequently return back to your blog for more entries.
Other than proofreading by yourself, why not have someone else read your post? Sometimes when you spend too much time working on a specific entry, your mindset and perspective become rigid. You may fail to see your own mistakes and may not be able to detect a lack of flow. Having another person who has not seen your article in any way would allow the person to provide unbiased, objective and constructive feedback.