The basic rules of copywriting
Meet Lydia, one of our account managers.
She specialises in content and social media, and most definitely trained with the grammar police before joining us!
Here are a few of her top tips on writing engaging copy (without typos and grammatical errors, of course)
Know your audience
When I’m briefed to write a piece of copy – whether it’s for a website, blog, social media post or advert – the first thing I do is ask myself, “who will be reading this in the end?” Considering your target audience is the first basic rule of copywriting, in my opinion. By putting yourself into the head of your reader, you write in a tone and language that you know they’ll understand, avoiding jargon and technical words.
Unless of course, you’re writing about something technical, in which case those words might be pretty essential!
Research is key
We can’t be experts in everything, unfortunately. Sometimes I’m required to write about a topic or industry that I previously knew nothing about. In these cases, research is absolutely vital. When I read articles and blogs, I can tell instantly whether the writer has done their research. Attempting to blag it without understanding what you’re talking about will 100 per cent come across in your copy.
It’s a bit like when you do a presentation – if you know the topic inside out, you talk naturally and feel far more confident. The same rules apply with writing!
Short but sweet
This rule doesn’t always apply, but generally speaking copy should be as short and punchy as possible*. We can access information so easily now as consumers, that we don’t want to scroll through loads of text to find what we’re looking for. Less is more…quality not quantity…all the cliches! I’m not suggesting you cut out important content if that needs to be included, but try and keep it as concise as you possibly can. Get to the point early on to engage your readers, then stay focused.
*Unless of course, you’re writing an article with a specific word count… in that case, follow the word count and please don’t listen to me.
Proofreading is everything
Nothing bothers me more than seeing brands post content that has clearly not been proofread first. And it happens more than you’d think! There’s one particular restaurant chain (who shall remain nameless, because I’m feeling kind today) that constantly sends me marketing emails with spelling errors. I just don’t think there’s any excuse these days, and for me personally, it just looks completely unprofessional. I mean, if you really don’t have time to proofread it, at least use spell check.
Bonus tip: If you don’t do it already, print out your copy for proofreading. It makes the biggest difference…take my word and try it.
We offer copywriting as one of our services at CAKE, so please holler if it’s an area you could do with some support or guidance in. We’d be more than happy to help.