How to write copy that people will actually read
Copywriting can suck. No seriously, it can. There’s nothing more annoying than sitting in front of your computer with a blank Google doc open and nothing to say.
And to make matters worse, the stats aren’t in your favour. According to Copyblogger, 80% of people will read the headline but only a mere 20% will read the rest. That’s a huge problem if you’ve got a message to share and a business to run. So how can you increase this percentage, so that you have more eyeballs on your page?
I’ve prepared 6 tips to help you write copy that people will actually read. Let’s dive in!
1. Write in your voice
I don’t know about you, but I can kind of sniff things out when someone is showing up fake. Whether it’s in a face-to-face conversation over coffee, on a podcast episode or even online. You need to create trust with your audience, and inauthenticity is a sure fire way to lose that valuable trust. I know it can be tempting to read every article under the sun to gain inspiration for your work, but please don’t do it. I remember a time when I gained way too much inspiration from someone else’s content, and it totally threw me off course. Instead of creating with my own voice, I mish-mashed together other people’s styles. And the result - well, it wasn’t received nearly half as well as my other content. I learned that lesson the hard way!
I don’t want you to ever make the same mistake I did. I want you to write in your authentic voice from the get go! If you’re stuck with how to get started, spend some time thinking about what makes up your authentic voice. Here are a few questions to ask:
How do I speak to my friends?
Do I use humour?
Do I keep things light hearted or am I direct and to the point?
What are my favourite buzz words?
How do I want people to feel when they read my words?
Open a Google doc and start writing down your answers now. Use this information as a guide when you write. And as you write your copy, read over it and check if it sounds like something you’d say. If something doesn’t fit, take it out! If everyone else uses the word ‘babe’ but you don’t, ditch it! Use language that feels right to you. As you share in your unique voice, your audience will get to know the real you - and you’ll gain their trust.
2. Tell stories
Remember that story I told you about the time I took on board other people’s writing styles and it didn’t end well? That’s a simple example of storytelling in a post. I also do this every day on my Instagram account, where I share lessons I’m learning (like the time my husband and I got stranded on the cliffs of Positano). Stories engage your audience, and make your message personal. And most importantly, they help your audience to get to know you - and this builds (you guessed it), trust!
3. Make it scannable
Notice how I’ve used headings throughout this post? That makes it easy to digest, and means that time-poor readers can quickly scan down the page and take in the key points. Scannable posts include headings, subheadings, dot points and pull-out quotes to make the content easy to read!
The truth is that most of your readers are going to quickly scan your page and scroll down to the bottom to take in a summary of your main message. If you haven’t summarised your key points, you might be missing out on getting your point across. To get your message to stick, include a couple of punchy sentences that remind your audience of exactly what you’ve covered.
5. Imply value
Your readers click on your content because you’re promising them value. But not everyone will realise that they’ve received that value. Go the extra mile by explaining to your readers exactly how they can put the content you’re sharing into practice. For example, when I talked about telling stories in point two, I reminded you that you can put this into action in your Instagram captions and email newsletters. And in point three, I told you that you can make your blog posts scannable right now by re-formatting old posts on your website.
6. Include a call to action
This is one of the most forgotten elements of copywriting, yet it’s truly the most important part. Including a call to action allows you to create a deeper relationship with your reader. This is as simple as inviting your reader to comment on your blog post, reply to your email newsletter, or respond to your Instagram post. This provides you with an opportunity to answer your readers’ questions and build the know, like, and trust factor. Another way to add a call to action is by inviting your audience to grab a free, valuable resource that you’ve created. In fact, I’ll show you how to do this right now.
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So, there you have it! 6 keys to writing copy that people will actually read. Now, it’s over to you. If you write in your own voice, tell stories, make your content scannable, summarise, imply value, and include a call to action, you’ll have loyal readers in no time.
If you found this post helpful, it would mean the world to me if you could spare a second to comment and let me know. And if you have any more questions about writing catchy copy, ask away!