In order to craft effective copy, it is important to know what it is and what people are searching for. Copy is essentially a specimen of writing, whether this is an article, a blog post, a chapter in a book or an advertisement. In the interest of building better copy, it is important to know what you are writing about and how best to write it. The following are some guidelines that can help an individual craft copy that is both effective and highly regarded, especially in the case of sales copy.
Be an authority
Having a site or blog that is rich in content will help one build their authority. The content itself will act as a demonstration of the type of authority or expertise that the writer has. One might claim to know what they are talking about, but the content must back this idea up. The best way to prove expertise, is to do as much research as possible, and then share what has been learned. This is basically taking one’s knowledge and what they have learned and building content with this new-found education.
Have substantial content
No matter what type of writing is being done, there needs to be substance to that writing. Facts that can be checked and backed up, matter. People will continue to read a blog or news site if they know that there is factual information being presented, and that when they read the work there is substance in every piece. Even an opinion piece needs to have meaning and facts backing up that opinion. Real, in-depth information is needed to create vital copy.
Know the audience
No matter what a person writes about it is crucial to know who the audience is. In advertising, if one does not know who the audience is, then there is no way to get the message to them. When writing news pieces, knowing who will be reading the piece can dictate what type of information gets added in to the article. Blogging is the same thing, knowing who will be reading that piece can shift the style of writing.
Have one main idea
Too many ideas can ruin the copy, because it then becomes too much to handle. If one sticks to a single main idea with smaller ideas that revolve around the primary, the writing will stay focused and tight.
Have a writing goal
No matter what type of copy is being built, there needs to be a writing goal. Know what the ultimate goal of the writing is, whether that is selling something, giving ideas or telling a story. Then the writing can be built from there. Knowing what the goal is allows the words to have a direction and a flow.
Keep it simple
Keep the writing concise and to the point. Writing copy itself is about cutting out the excess words and getting the point across. Do not write a fluff piece. Instead, work on establishing facts without unnecessary words.
Building better copy is about more than just a few steps or guidelines. As a person writes, their style and abilities improve. Figure out what will work best for what needs to be written, and build off of that.
By Kimberley Spinney
Personal Experience and Research
Photo by alexkerhead – Flickr License