The vast majority of people reading this can write. The key is knowing what makes your written word effective.
The question is can you really write well? When writing copy for websites do you connect with the target audience? Do readers feel engaged, compelled and willing to scroll down to read more? Does your writing inspire action from the reader?
If your answer to all of the above questions is in the affirmative, then you have a potent skill. Your ability to influence the free will of readers is like magic. Plus, you can make a lot of money too!
A good product copywriter goes a long way
David Ogilvy famously wrote in a memo “The better you write, the higher you will go,” The memo was meant to inspire his management team to think clearly because it directly influences how well they write, “People who think well, write well.”
The note dates back to 1982, and appeared in The Unpublished David Ogilvy, a collection of letters and various speeches of whom we hail as “The Father of Advertising.”
Ogilvy most famously said that good writing was not a natural gift, it’s important to learn how to write well.
How do you write well?
Well, in his memo he outlined 10 hints which anyone could use to write effectively. Though there are 10 hints, I’ve gone ahead and squeezed them into 3 tips while modernizing their context.
Tip no.1: Write what you talk
Ogilvy was a down to earth character.
As a copywriter, Ogilvy was known to write as he spoke. But he was very well spoken. His vocabulary was perhaps more expansive than most educated Americans mainly because he wrote for a living.
However, whether you are writing content for websites, or are moonlighting as a product copywriter the key is connecting with your audience. If you write in a way they can’t understand and use words which require a college degree to read chances are the product will not sell as well.
Point worth noting: Good copywriting has to be informal.
Here are a few tips to writing informally:
- Use Active voice: “We have seen…” vs. “It has been observed…”
- Use Abbreviations: “TV” or “telly” vs. “”
- Use Colloquialisms: “kids” vs. “”
As you can see writing like this is easier both on the copywriter and the reader.
Tip no. 2: Short Words, Sentences and Paragraphs
Reading is a tough job. It takes up time, energy and concentration all of which are in finite quantity.
So, long-winded texts that only go to stroke the ego of the author does not serve the purpose. When you’re selling a service, idea or product, consider that the reader does not have the time or the concentration. Get to the point quickly, and they will take action.
Takeaway: Get to the point!
Here are a few tips to writing concisely:
- Edit to remove: recognize wordiness and eliminate.
- Discipline: Always be willing to cut words.
Tip no. 3: Get rid of the jargon
Copywriting website content should be about making it easier to read. That means throwing out words like reconceptualize, judgementally, demassification, etc.
Writers tend to be snobs because they can use big words. But you’re not just a writer, and this isn’t a book. Your job is to write effectively. So, you need to make every effort to ensure that the reader isn’t confused.
Copywriters have a small window within which to capture attention. Don’t waste it by using complicated words.
Takeaway: Good text is instantly understood.
Here are a few tips to writing coherently:
- Replace ‘reconceptualize’ with ‘’
- Demassification with simply ‘breakup.’
- ‘Judgmentally,’ with just ‘’
Copywriting website content requires that you don’t stroke your ego but peddle the product!