4 Tips for Compelling Copy
Four tips to produce riveting copy online:
1 – Economy. If you can communicate in fewer words, do so. You needn’t always write a lengthy manifesto to explain your perspective. If you want to keep your audience, keep it short and snappy. Save the manifesto opining for your unshaven weekends in the woods. (Or that blog no one reads.)
If you must go long: give your readers frequent paragraph breaks, highlighted main thoughts, and make! it! great!
2 – Personality. Try not to be boring. Think in terms of stories. Ignore the temptation to be formal. Do not attempt to please dead literary critics.
Even boring, “necessary” content has the opportunity to engage. Check out the unsubscribe page at Groupon. But wait! Isn’t that video, not copy? Yes, but copy sets the scene. Copy instructs you to engage. Copy makes you to push the button and “Punish Derrick”.
(Caution: personality injection in legal notices isn’t recommended by my lawyer. Or yours.)
3 – Clarity. Hey, that reminds me of 36 other things I’d like to mention…. No! No! No! Veering outside the lane is fine, but too much weaving and wandering will distract and/or annoy your readers. Buckle up, and buckle down. Narrow your focus so each piece serves a clearly-defined purpose.
Editors pay writers for how they think. Your audience pays you with their time and attention. Can’t clearly convey your thoughts? Find the task too time consuming? Hire a commercial web writer.
(Things to look for: a web writer who understands content marketing, strategy, social media, and seo best practices. Yes: that’s a clarity-rich sales pitch to hire yours truly. It’s also a helpful reminder to be explicit in your copy if you want to direct your reader to a specific action.)
4 – Review. Take the time to review and revise. Then do it again. Your audience will thank you. They’ll also be willing to engage again.
While your version of “compelling copy” may differ based on audience, objectives, or goals, there’s one last secret, a magic bullet: make it genuine.