What Makes Good Copy by Callender Creates


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What Makes Good Copy by Callender Creates

  1. 1. What makes good opy? Copywriting: a beginner’s guide When copy goes horribly wrong OK - so you know that copy is the Imagine: you’re stumbling through the web, single-most important aspect of your searching for a solution to a problem. Your website, and that weak copy not problem? Huge phone bills. So you go looking for cheaper calls. You know that only makes your organisation look Skype, or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) unprofessional, but actively sends offers cheaper telephony. So you search... customers racing towards your You click a link, and start reading the copy: competitors – but do you know exactly what makes good copy? “VoIP Solutions for Business and the 21CN We provide Business Critical VoIP Solutions. Copy, by its nature, has a job to do Our Hosted PBX VoIP Solution provides You pile on a heavy load: great everything a small business requires. We also provide SIP and IAX trunk services, expectations and ambitious sales Telephone Numbers and all supporting targets, and the copy carries you services.” there. At least, that’s the idea. You are left bemused and confused by a To explain what makes good copy series of unexplained acronyms: “21CN”, (the stuff that sells) let’s first look “PBX”, “SIP”... You click back to the search at bad copy. results and try another website. Missing the point This example demonstrates several common copywriting mistakes: • Unexplained acronyms • Focussing on product features rather than benefits. Who cares about ‘hosted pbx solutions’? People just want cheaper calls! www.callendercreates.com • Forgetting what’s important to the customer. You may care about the fancy technology, but your customer doesn’t.
  2. 2. Good copy – a recipe Copywriting Dos & Don’ts Writing copy isn’t about amazing people Do with clever word-play or an impressive ✔ Write in plain, simple English. vocabulary. It’s about clear, purposeful ✔ Break down complex ideas into short communication. Good copy has the following: sentences. Vitality ✔ Make clear, compelling offers. If your copy has energy, your ✔ Write about a product’s features as well readers will be propelled towards as its benefits. your beautifully-timed call to action ✔ Use sub-headings to separate chunks (call to action is the marketing jargon of text. for a command such as ‘buy now’ or ‘subscribe here’). ✔ Turn lists into bullet points. Clarity Don’t If you start talking about IPX and QWZs, people will tune out. Give ✘ Use jargon or management-speak. people language they understand, ✘ Write in long sentences. and talk about the things that matter. ✘ Forget to think about your reader. Persuasiveness ✘ Try to hide behind fancy-pants language that To achieve your aims, copy must persuade you think makes you sound important and an audience. There are well understood methods clever. for achieving persuasive copy, ✘ Write about what matters to you, using the which copywriters should understand. language you use in-house. ✘ Overwhelm people with large chunks of text How to judge copy Whether you’ve employed a professional By Guest Writer - Leif Kendall copywriter or had copy written in-house, it’s Freelance Web & SEO Copywriter always a good idea to personally review the words that work for your organisation. You don’t have to be a professional copywriter to assess copy. When reading, ask yourself these questions: • Does it grab my attention? Further reading/links: • Does it makes sense? • Writing for the web www.kendallcopywriting.co.uk/wp/wp-content/ • Will it be understood by all the people we uploads/2009/01/writing-for-the-web.pdf want to communicate with? • Copywriting Tips for Online Marketing Success • Does it answer my questions? www.copyblogger.com • Does it alleviate my concerns and fears? • Divine Write Copywriting Blog • Does it ask me to do something (like www.divinewrite.com/blog buy or subscribe)? • Does it provide a compelling reason to buy?