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5 Ways to Strengthen Your Copy


Published on -- Strong, compelling copy has the power to inform, persuade or motivate your readers. It is an invaluable tool that communicates your brand. For a blog, having useful, intelligent copy that provides value is your ultimate goal. If you present such content to your readers, [...]

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5 Ways to Strengthen Your Copy

  1. 1.  5 Ways to Strengthen Your Copy    December 15, 2011By Elizabeth FreyStrong, compelling copy has the power to inform, persuade or motivate your readers. For a blog, havinguseful, intelligent copy that provides value is your ultimate goal. If you present such content to yourreaders, they’ll return to your site, link to it as an authority and share it with their friends, all of which willalso help Google recognize the relevance of your blog and bring it up in the search results. For ad copy,you need language that efficiently communicates to the reader the value of your brand and motivatesthem to take some sort of action, like call your business, visit your website or show up at the store. Hereare some tips to help improve your copy.1. Utilize HeadingsTraditional SEO advice has recommended using keyword-rich headings in your copy, with the idea thatspiders would crawl your page, have a better understanding of what it is about, and be able to directvisitors to your site. While Google is constantly updating their algorithms, it’s still sound practice to useheadings in your copy simply for the sake of your reader. Organizing your content under headingsprovides structure to your post, emphasizes the importance of each point and looks less overwhelming toa reader than a large block of text.2. Perfect Your TechniqueYou want your copy to be exciting, compelling and pleasing to read. The best way to improve your writingis to read as much as you can. You’ll see what works best, and start to realize those techniques in yourown writing. However, here are a few tips in particular that can help your writing:  
  2. 2. Avoid Passive Voice: Passive voice refers to sentences whose structure emphasizes what is happeningto something, rather than what something (or someone) is doing. For example, “the car was purchased bya middle-aged couple.” Another way to say this without using passive voice would be, “the middle-agedcouple purchased the car.” While passive voice can be used effectively at times in order to shiftemphasis, in general it will sound a little bit more awkward.Use Parallel Structure: Parallel structure refers to a technique used by writers where they structure itemsin a list similarly. Here’s an example: Utilizing parallel structure makes your copy sound smooth, gives it arhythm and flow, and emphasizes the equal importance of each item in the list. Each item started with averb in the same tense (“makes,” “gives,” and “emphasizes”). Do this in your copy, and it will look moreprofessional and polished. Use lists of three items for the best effect.3. Speak to the Right AudienceKnowing your target audience allows you to cater your message to the right people in the right way. Askyourself, “Who will be reading this?” The answer will determine what level you should be writing. A how-topiece might have a simpler, straightforward tone, a case study will have a more analytical tone, and adcopy needs language that piques interest initially and compels the reader to follow through with your callto action.If you expect an audience to have an informed understanding of your topic, then you want to increase thecomplexity of your post in order to offer them valuable information.4. Brand Your LanguageDevelop a writing style for your business and continue to use that style throughout your copy. The key tobranding is consistency, and it’s important that your writing style maintains that consistency. Whendeveloping a style, consider the audience you mean to attract. Adopt a tone that would appeal to thataudience.5. Keep It SimpleThe number one rule in writing is always say something as simply as possible. That doesn’t mean to usebasic language, but rather to express your point as efficiently as possible. Your goal is effectivecommunication. Convoluted language will confuse your readers and defeat the whole point of writing.Have someone else proof your copy to ensure you’ve made your point succinctly.