Writing copy for print and copy for the Internet differs a bit, and it can be hard to write either if you’re used to the other. To help you write engaging copy I’ve listed 10 tips here, and while the first 5 are general writing tips you can use for both, the last 5 are meant especially for the Internet.
Write with only one person in mind
I know it’s tempting to say, “Line, my text (and product) is for EVERYONE, not just one person!” I can; however, be hard to write engaging copy that appeals widely. Instead, try writing for one person, and pretend that this is a friend of yours, but the person should still represent your target group. That’s why it’s important to know who your target group is. It’s much easier to write a text when you can visualise who you’re writing it for.
Write with passion
Enthusiasm is catchy, so be sure to write in a way that shows how great you think the subject is! The best way to do that is to just start writing without thinking too much about sounding a particular way, or if certain criteria are met. To begin with, just write what’s on your mind, then edit afterwards. Counterintuitive as it may sound, this is also good advice when you find it hard to write.
Steer clear of technical terms
Unless you are writing a technical piece for people who already know a lot about this subject. Don’t worry about sounding less competent because you’re writing in an easier digestible language. Your reader is going to be grateful that your content is easy to understand.
Beware of your sentence length
Again, we are trying to make sure that your text is easily read and understood. Long sentences can be great, but when you’re writing engaging copy try to write concisely. This helps your reader absorb information quickly and easily.
Remember that you (probably) know more than your reader
If you are knowledgable on a subject, it’s easy to forget that everyone else doesn’t necessarily have the same knowledge about it as you do. They don’t. You know a lot about this subject, you’ve spent a lot of time learning about it, maybe even years. Your general reader hasn’t. So even if something seems obvious to you, consider that it might be incredibly valuable for your reader – so include it in your copy.
Don’t forgo a catchy title
We are becoming more and more impatient on the internet. The general reader’s attention span is short, and you could even claim that some people can be rather lazy when it comes to reading articles and blog posts. So be fun, quirky, shocking even, but remember to add a title that is sure to catch the eye of your reader.
Include white space
It is really hard for our eyes to read on a screen, even harder than reading a book or a newspaper. It’s mainly to do with the fact that what we’re looking at are pixels – small blinking squares of light. This makes our eyes tired, and; furthermore, we tend to blink less when we read on a computer screen, and this too irritates the eye.
To help your reader and their eyes, you can create space in your texts by adding sections, using subheads, and refraining from writing sections that are longer than 5-6 sentences.
Remember SEO when you write
It’s important to remember Google when you are writing your copy. Without them, your website will have a hard time getting noticed, and your genius copy sits sad and alone in a remote corner of the internet. By writing a copy that is easily indexable for Google, you make sure that your copy can live long, happy lives on the internet, being found again and again by new readers that are interested in your subject.
Link to relevant information
As mentioned before, we can become a bit impatient on the internet, so make sure that you include relevant links in your text. I struggle to do that too, but a good way to do it is to link to a source whenever you claim something. It is also good for your website’s SEO.
Prompt your reader to do something
Once your reader is at the end of your copy, you probably want them to do something, right? Click to another article, sign up for your newsletter, buy something, book a session, or something else entirely – you’re the one who knows this. So decide with yourself what your intent with your copy is, then help your reader by sending them in the right direction. You can add a link, a button or phone number that’s all it takes.
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