Write great copy, not just content
Content vs Copy
Content describes the topic, Copy feels the content. Rather than list examples I’ll point you to a site that gives some great examples in it’s home page slider… abccopywriting.com
So we have one example on this page, say the content writing for some new software was “Multisite networking and collaboration solution”. The copy writing would go something along the line of “Work together even when you’re apart”.
Some handy tips for converting content to copy:
- Remove long introductions
- Avoid word heavy descriptions
- Write clear and concise copy
- Use clever headings
- Add bullet points to break up the copy
- Stay on topic and relevant
- Aim for the heart not the brain – that is induce feelings not fact analysis in your visitor
Now don’t confuse blog writing with web copy writing, they are 2 different beasts. This article is about the basic of Web copy writing.
Deliver the most important points first, then add supporting details. The average user will read the first paragraph at most be deciding if they want to read on. Stress the important points first and grab their attention as quickly as you can, but be relevant. No point grabbing a visitors attention with a catchy off topic beginning to your copy. Catch them with what your page is about. Catch them with what your business is about. Find that shared value where your business’s values intersect with your users values.
Ask these before starting
What do you need to know before you start writing your copy?
- Who will read this copy? Knowing your audience is vital as it will affect the style of the copy
- Why would they read this? Would this be something your audience would be interested in?
- What should the user FEEL when they read the page?
- What are you trying to achieve with this copy? What is the end result you want from the user.
- What benefits and/or features do I really NEED them to really understand?
Write with the above questions and their corresponding answers always at the front of your mind. Write your copy, then once you’re finished try halving it. Compare the two versions then add to the shorter version ONLY what is absolutely required to answer the above questions in your copy.
Wa-la … great copy. Well if it was only that easy, but using this as a basic guide and with practice you’ll get better before you know it.