7 Tips On How To Be Your Own Copywriter
You can hire a copywriter or a content writer for your blog, website pages, or social media posts. However, if you are a smaller business, or your budget currently doesn’t allow you to hire an extra team member, you can do a lot yourself. Let’s look at some easy tricks to improve your own writing, shall we?
#1 BALANCE SHORT AND LONG SENTENCES
Writing long and comprehensible sentences requires skill. Also, even if your long sentences are grammatically correct, it doesn’t mean your readers want to chew through them.
There is awful lot of content out there – blog posts, social media posts, adverts, books, e-books, etc. An average person reads a lot during the day! An attention span of your readers is incredibly low. I’m not trying to make anyone sound stupid – it’s not our fault.
Due to the overwhelming amount of content out there, people rush through most of it. If they see long sentences or a huge chunk of text, there is a good chance they won’t read it.
You will obviously have to include some complex sentences in your content if you’re explaining something. That’s fine! But your content should not consist of just long or just short sentences. There has to be a balance.
If you only write long sentences, you’ll be too complicated and tiring to read. Short sentences will make you sound like a child.
Balance between short and long sentences create flow.
That said, however, I suggest looking back at every sentence you write and think about whether it can be shorter. Easy way to make text comprehensible is to break up a complex sentence into two, or even three!
Don’t be scared of starting your new sentence with a conjunction (and, but, or, between, etc.), or conjunctive adverb (however, finally, etc.).
A lot of rules they taught you at school don’t apply anymore. You can use contractions such as can’t, haven’t, etc. And you can end a sentence with a preposition.
Great way to shorten sentences is using active voice when you write. Active voice clearly says who does what, as opposed to a sentence which implies that something has been done by something. Let me give you an example.
Active voice: Search engines prefer text with active voice.
Passive voice: Text with active voice is preferred by the search engines.
See? The passive voice sentence is a lot longer.
This was my first mistake when I started out my fitness blog. I thought that talking in a passive voice sounds clever and authoritative. I haven’t realised that nobody wants to read that. And, most importantly, nobody speaks like that!
People want to read text that sounds like a conversation.
Which brings me to number two tip.
#2 USE THE WORD YOU
Talk to your reader. Imagine he/she is sitting across to you and you’re having a cup of coffee together.
Do a little research and create your ideal customer’s persona. You can be as specific as you want! Include details like brown hair, 43 years old, reads The Times. Anything you can think of!
If you write for a person in mind, you’ll attract them. Writing content is all about connecting and showing that there is a person behind the text.
By using the word you, like I’ve done in this article, you’ll be able to connect with your reader on a personal level. They will come back for more because they’ll feel like there is a real person talking to them.
#3 PROOFREAD WELL!
I know this sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people hit publish without checking, or after a simple check by Grammarly.
Grammar tools are amazing but not 100% accurate. They don’t distinguish between typos like to, two, too. All three are grammatically correct but only one fits your sentence. This is one of the most common typos out there!
Read your content back out loud. If you trip up on a sentence, good chance is your reader will do too. Consider rewriting it – breaking it up in two usually does the job.
Look for abundance of certain words we often overuse such as:
I’m not telling you to avoid them. Use them sparingly. Especially the words this/that are incredibly common and you can probably get rid of 70% of them. Doing so will make your content sound professional and easy to read. I will probably cut many of them out when proofreading this article! We all use them and it’s good to spot them in your text. Look at every single one and ask yourself if it needs to be there.
#4 INCLUDE IMAGES
People love visuals! There’s a reason why Instagram and Pinterest are the most popular platforms.
Nobody wants to read a huge chunk of text. Include relevant images and don’t forget to add alt tag and description for SEO purposes. And if the description contains one of your keywords, you’ve done an amazing job!
If you are not doing any keyword research, just make sure the description contains a word that’s in the text around the picture. For example, my next image has a description of A man reading newspaper and there is the word newspaper in the text below.
Search engines can’t see images the way human eye does, they look at the descriptive text. A lot of people forget about this, or simply don’t know.
Images are a great way to break up a long text or take a weight off a complex topic. They allow the reader to take a second and breathe.
#5 AVOID LONG PARAGRAPHS
If you look at old newspapers from early 1900s, you’ll find huge blocks of thick text. That’s because people had a lot more time then and reading the newspaper was a significant part of the day. People wanted to fill their free time – there were no smartphones or TVs.
As the time went, paragraphs and articles in general were becoming shorter and shorter with every decade.
We are now in an age of content overload and we are extremely busy – we commute to work farther than ever and our work/life balance has drastically deteriorated.
Make the most of time you have and don’t make the reader work too hard.
Also, people skim content these days, rather than read it. Having many short paragraphs help them find the one relevant to them. This brings me to my next point.
#6 INCLUDE ENTICING HEADINGS AND SUBHEADINGS
Heading is the first thing your readers see and if it’s not good enough, it doesn’t matter how great the content is, they won’t read it. It’s harsh, but it’s the truth.
You only have a couple of seconds to attract your reader’s attention. Use them well.
Subheadings help break the text up in topics, so that your readers can skim the content and find a relevant part they want to read.
If possible, don’t just use one-word subheadings.. Use full sentences if the type of content allows it.
For example, I broke this article into 7 topics, followed by a conclusion and call to action. I used full sentences for the subheads instead of using:
- Short and long sentences
I chose to use full sentences because it reads better. It may not be always possible, however. You may be writing a post where you’re comparing different products. This way, you’d probably just list the products to make it simple and easy for the reader to scroll.
#7 HAVE A CALL TO ACTION
Depending on the purpose of the content, it’s a good idea to include a call to action at the end. Have you just been explaining a new product you’re launching? Include a link that’ll take the reader to a page where they can buy the product.
Decide what is your content supposed to do. You’re not just writing because everyone else is doing it. You want the content to help your business, otherwise it’s a waste of time!
Do you want the reader to follow you on social media? Comment on the blog post? Contact you? Buy a certain product? Sign up to your newsletter? Call you? Book an appointment?
Tell them what you want them to do! Otherwise they’ll do nothing and move on.
Before you write a piece, you should know what is it supposed to do.
I hope you’ll find these easy tips helpful – you can let me know down below in the comments section.
You may also find this a lot of work and you may want to outsource content creation to a professional.
You can contact me in many ways and I’ll be happy to give you a personal quote for your articles. I don’t have prices on my website because every project requires different amount of research on my part.
You can get in touch with me through email:
You can use the Contact Me form here on this site.
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I’m looking forward to meet you!