Do you want your message to make a difference?
Would you want to write better?
If the answer is “hell yes“, then I’ve got some great tips for you.
When you are writing a piece of content, it needs to trigger the right emotions and persuade the reader to continue to read your content and not hit the “back button”.
Sometimes, this is difficult to accomplish.
In this article, I will show you some proven copywriting techniques that will help you become a better writer, boost your conversion rates, increase search traffic, sales, and turn fleeting visitors into fans.
Let’s get started!
1. Write Epic Content
If you want to build a passionate audience, it begins with writing epic content. Period.
If you are writing something to inspire people and stir emotions, you need to provide value and most importantly, you need to blow them away with your words.
Even with all the promotion in the world, if your content is average, your site content will never become popular.
Have you heard of Ramit Sethi?
He receives over 300,000 visitors every month, but the truth, which no one really talks about, is the amount of time he spends writing his blog posts. Every single blog post takes him 12 to 18 hours to write, and this is why he has grown 99.9% of blogs out there, because his content is epic.
Are you spending that much time on your content?
You may already know there are thousands of sites and blogs who rewrite the same content repeatedly. Believe me, it’s difficult to stand out when using these tactics.
On the other hand, if you have great content, you have a huge advantage and can push your site to a whole new level and stand out from the crowd.
2. You have 15 seconds
According to a study, you only have 15 seconds to grab your audience’s attention. If within 15 seconds you are able to convince them that they need something badly, they will continue to read.
Make your audience desire your product, service, article or other in 15 seconds, that is all the time you have.
3. Find your quiet place
Sounds like a strange piece of advice, right?
This is one of the best pieces of advice you will ever receive as a writer. I always stress out when I have to write every day. I even do this thing whereby I set myself a limit of writing 500 words a day. I can’t remember how many times I have started and never actually followed through and completed it.
Instead of worrying about the daily word count or page count, concentrate by going to your quiet place and focusing for one hour on your writing without distractions. Don’t set any goals for yourself. No word counts, no pages. Just one hour of writing; good or bad.
By continuing this simple habit, your writing will improve more than you can imagine.
4. Kill fear with accountability
When I started off, I was always terrified of what people thought of my writing. What if my writing is bad? What if people judge me? Some days I just couldn’t write and I postponed the writing until “tomorrow”. You know the feeling, right?
One of the ways you can overcome this fear is by finding an accountability partner. It could be your spouse, friend, coworker, anyone – simply anyone who is willing to help you for 30 seconds a day. Every day, report to your partner via email, and include a) how long the writing process lasted. b) what you wrote about c) how it made you feel.
Try this technique. The benefits are great and your fear will disappear.
5. Make your text skimmable
The majority of people who come to a website, leave within 10 to 20 seconds and that’s why you need to quickly grab their attention.
Here is an image of two different posts:
You can probably tell already that you would press the “back” button if you saw a post similar to what is on the right side.
One of the ways to do this is to format your text in such a way that people can quickly understand the message you’re trying to convey. You can use few different methods to make your content digestible with a few glances.
- Break up long paragraphs into shorter ones
- When using a subheading, describe a benefit
- Use bulleted and numbered lists
- When writing important sentences and facts, make sure to bold them
- Use images to bring clarity to your message
- Remove any elements from the webpage that may distract the reader
6. Bucket Brigades
As with the last point, the attention span of people is short and that’s why we need to keep the reader engaged from the beginning.
Bucket Brigades are words and phrases that keep people on your page.
Backlinkto author, Brian Dean, uses this technique often and almost every piece of content he writes starts with a short bucket brigade followed by a colon.
Here’s an example:
It can be used to keep the reader on your site even when the content is long (1500+ words). It’s a technique, which was originally used to keep the target audience reading a sales letter.
It works well, and the average time spent on a page will drastically increase after implementing this technique.
You can simply use Budget brigades at the beginning of your blog posts or even in the middle. The most effective way to find where to place it is to consider at what point in the text your reader might hit the browser’s “back” button.
Here are some effective Bucket brigade classics:
- Here’s the deal:
- This is crazy:
- What’s the bottom line?
- You might be wondering:
- It gets better/worse:
- But here’s the kicker:
- Want to know the best part?
Just pick a few and add them to your blog post. I’m confident that the average time people spend reading your content will increase.
7. Make amazing headlines
You probably spend many hours writing your content, but how much time do you spend crafting your headlines? Probably not enough.
A headline is important because 8 out of 10 people will read your headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will continue to read.
ViralNova and Buzzfeed are most famous for their “clickbait” headlines, but even though they receive a lot of hate, their meteoric growth speaks for itself.
You have probably seen these headlines:
Obviously, some headlines are too much and slightly over the top, but they catch the attention of readers.
Here are some examples to draw inspiration from.
15 ___ That Will Change The Way You ___
This ___ Makes ___ 3x Better
Use These 3 Simple Hacks For More ____. #2 Is Awesome
When You Learn About ___ You’ll Never ____ Again
Here Are 6 ___ That ____. And They’re Backed By Science
I Tried ___. And Even I Was Surprised About What Happened Next
When you have crafted your headline, you may want to test it with Headline Analyzer. It’s really simple and accurate.
8. Use the word “you”
You should get rid of every line of copy that begins with “we”, whether it is on your website or in an email newsletter.
Instead, begin with “you”.
People don’t want to hear about others, they want to hear about themselves. They have enough problems and questions on their own and they are looking for answers.
If you want to start conversions and write copy that gets results, then you need to start thinking of the word “we” as a word to never use.
9. Write conversationally
The act of writing is a conversation between the author and the reader. We have so much information from all mediums that if we don’t feel connected with the content, we will search for something else and click away to better content.
If you want to get your message across, then keep your copy as conversational as possible. Try using words and phrases that you use in everyday conversations and writing in the same way, as you would talk to a friend. If you can do that, your copy won’t end up being dull and uninteresting.
10. Use power words to trigger emotions
You have definitely read articles or books from writers who have written with a magical ability to toy with your emotions. This kind of writing takes us on an emotional roller coaster ride, making us feel a certain way about that information.
You might want to consider doing the same thing. The easiest way is to use power words. The 20 most influential words, via David Ogilvy.
You can try using these words in your headlines, bullet points and subject lines. Of course, it takes time to get used to using “new” words, but try adding a few to your existing posts right now.
11. Use simple language
If you went to college, you were probably taught how to write using complex sentence structures and a use of vocabulary that a 7th grader couldn’t understand.
Forget all that…
Nobody wants to read long and complicated essays. We just don’t have the time and patience for that.
One important thing to remember is that you don’t want to write at a level that’s too high. This kind of copy might lose you customers.
For example, I could’ve used “syntax” or “diction” instead of “vocabulary”. Instead of showing off your extensive vocabulary, trying to impress others, choose words that readers will understand.
12. Write for ONE person
Instead of having a general audience in mind, try writing for one specific person. You have probably heard of this technique before, but have you tried it?
First, pick one person and visualize them in your mind. You can give the person a name if you want. It may be someone you already know.
The next time you are writing a piece of content, try using this technique and see if it helps. I personally have a friend who helped me at the beginning of my entrepreneurship, and each time I write something, I’m writing to him.
13. Offer personal value
If you want your post to actually deliver value, you need to make it personal. People are tired of reading generic posts that are vague and not relevant.
The goal is to answer your audience’s questions, as well as inspire and nudge them to take action and implement what they read.
Obviously, the more you are able to write actionable posts over and over, the more power your site has to pull in traffic. This will lead to increased search traffic, leads and community engagement levels.
14. Show statistical results
If you want to drive sales, acquire more customers and generate more social shares, then write in a data-driven. Research shows that data-driven digital marketing triples conversion rates.
Most of the time, readers don’t care about your opinion. Data-driven posts work as they attract hyper-targeted blog readers. I personally try to use at least 10 outside sources in every blog post I publish.
15. Write quickly, edit later
I don’t know about you, but I really hate the beginning of the writing process when I have a completely blank page in front of me. The easiest way is to just start. Get every thought you have down on paper and edit it later. Do not worry about spelling or headlines in the beginning. Doing so may cause you to lose you some great ideas.
You probably spend quite a few hours writing every single article, but how much time do you spend proofreading? You can get away with a few mistakes when you are just beginning, but once you have an audience, you don’t want to lose readers due to poor grammar.
I personally write my content within a few days and then come back to it later. The good thing about using this strategy is that you will see everything with fresh eyes. If you proofread your paper right after you finish writing, there is a chance you will miss something important.
You can always hire a professional quite cheaply. If you are on a limited budget, people offer proofreading services for 5 dollars a time on Fiverr.
You get what you pay for, but every now and then you may come across someone who does a great job of proofreading your writing.
17. Image Use
Images are important. Period.
Humans process images 60,000 times faster than they process text. It’s an incredibly high number, and we can conclude that it’s just ridiculously faster than words only.
Hubspot has found that pages with images draw 94% more views.
Visuals are clearly important, so every time you write a piece of content; make sure to add at least one graphic per 250 words. I personally get images from Google and Unsplash. When using Google, be sure to only use images that are labeled for reuse.
You don’t want to get sued for using images that you don’t have permission to use. Believe me, it happens.
Here is a list of places to find free stock photos that don’t suck.
18. Avoid Distractions
How many tabs do you have open in your browser right now? One from YouTube? Reddit? Maybe some articles? Anyway, we all love to have multiple tabs open. The more tabs you have opened, the less likely you are to be as productive as possible.
Working on many things at once is a recipe for inefficiency.
Single tasking might be something you haven’t considered before, but it might help you to write more, and write better.
Sometimes we can feel stuck when writing. The problem isn’t a lack of ideas or words, just that we get easily distracted.
This leads me to the Pomodoro technique.
This means simply focusing on single a task for 25 minutes then taking a 5-minute break. Rinse and repeat until your work is complete. You can adjust the time based on your own workflow.
When using this technique, go to a quiet place, silence your phone, close your email and turn off notifications from phone and web apps. Try writing in a distraction-free editor with no sidebars or menus whatsoever.
There are many Pomodoro apps for tablets and laptops. Here are 9 free pomodoro timers.
19. Avoid using passive voice
During my college years, there was this one religion professor who always went crazy about passive voice. He never explained why it bothered him so much, but the truth was that passive voice really weakens your message. The best bet is to avoid it all together.
“Our Company was chosen to receive new funding” vs. “Our Company received new funding”
“We had 8 new products arrive” vs. “Eight new products have arrived.”
“Five new designs were created” vs. “We created five new designs.”
20. Keep the copy clean
The number of words you have in your content don’t matter if they provide little value. When you complete the first draft, don’t just hit “publish”. The goal is to make everything as clean and concise as possible. It’s important.
Something that really helps me is to read the first copy out loud, and then edit and cut any unnecessary words and ideas.
Great copywriting is about making your point using the least amount of words possible. It takes practice, but we have all read those long articles that just go on and on, never getting to the point.
21. Don’t be afraid to change your style
It’s important to keep the same tone throughout your blog posts, but sometimes you need to change your copy to something that resonates better with your customers.
For example, if you’re in the medical industry, your copy should be straightforward with lots of facts and figures. If you’re in a “soft” niche, you might need to build a familiarity and show your own personality.
The importance of writing for your reader is crucial. Do some research about your reader and adopt a writing style that your audience will enjoy the most.
I’ve never been a huge fan of outlines because you know, high school? Don’t think of it as a “typical” outline, but as something useful, like a map for the copy. Try spending just a few minutes on the front end, and believe me, this will save you many hours in the long run.
Besides that, if you outline your content, you’ll always be sure that your content has lots of value and is conversion focused.
23. Clichés suck
Have you heard the saying “it’s raining cats and dogs”? You probably have. Many people are using phrases like these in their blog posts and sales copies.
The smarter option is to come up with unique metaphors and expressions, which together will capture the reader’s attention better than an overused phrase.
24. Sound positive
There is so much constant negativity today coming from different mediums. If you view the biggest news site, the majority of the news has a negative tone. A negative copy might get more shares but it still doesn’t produce as many sales and conversions as positive copy.
Your goal as a writer is to create memorable content that gets a reader’s attention. If you make your audience feel good, positive and upbeat, they will continue to come back.
25. Cite Experts
Whatever niche you are writing about, it’s always a smart idea to draw upon the expertise of others. Sometimes it’s interesting to hear personal opinions, but the majority of the time, you want to include some experts in your copy.
Simply perform a Google search every time you want to make an argument, and cite experts who can help to prove your point.
26. Write a conclusion
I’ve never really created a conclusion for every thing I wrote in the past. I learned this technique from Neil Patel, and the reason why I started doing it was simple. People skim text and there are a lot of people out there, who read the beginning, the headings and finally the conclusion.
Typically, the conclusion is the only thing people give their full attention to, because it wraps things up neatly, and doesn’t leave readers confused.
You should provide a conclusion to any article, landing page, homepage you write, etc.
27. Funny is good
Funny is not required, but if you can pull it off, it can make your copy better. Would you rather read a dull and boring text or one that has character?
You don’t have to have jokes similar to The Oatmeal, but don’t stop yourself from being funny.
28. Offer free bonuses
For example, when you are writing a post about the 10 most efficient ways to do something, you could offer your reader the option to download the whole file as a PDF.
This way you can receive their email as well as provide additional value.
29. Have a genuine interest in helping people
It’s hard to connect with your reader when you’re writing about something that you genuinely don’t care about. James Clear, who writes about behavioral psychology in his blog, appeals to people because he is transparent.
If you don’t have a genuine interest in helping people and you write just because you need to get it out there, there is a chance that the reader will ignore it.
The easiest way to show you really care is by writing about topics you are interested in. If you do that, people will keep coming back.
30. Make them feel like they belong
People love belonging to a group or a community of some kind. Universities in America are a great example. Attending a university makes you feel like you are part of a large community. The longer people are part of these communities, the more they start to identify themselves with the college’s values. Not long after, people begin to feel like they are a “Titan” or a “Rad Raider” and students wear shirts printed with “Wreck ’em Tech.” and so on. People love to feel like they belong somewhere.
This happens with brands and products as well. Mini cooper owners identify themselves with a bigger community. Apple buyers identify themselves as an “Apple person”.
Create a sense of belonging whenever possible.
31. Make your mom proud
This is advice that I received years ago. Don’t publish any piece of content online that you wouldn’t show to your Mom or anyone else who you respect.
Every time before I hit the “publish” button, I ask myself, is there anything I can improve and make better?
You don’t want to waste your Mom’s or your audience’s time with poor writing, right?
32. Start a blog
Finally, after these tips, are you blogging? Blogging is one of the best outlets through which you can express yourself. It’s an amazing way to provide value and communicate with like-minded people. In addition, the consistent nature of blogging strengthens your writing.
You can see my entire step-by-step process on starting a successful blog. Believe me, it’s a lot of fun and you will learn a lot.
You don’t have to be a professional to write a powerful and strong copy. You just need to know your audience, your service or product and add a few stylistic firecrackers.
Sitting down and actually writing something every day can be challenging, but the more you write, the better you’ll get.
What is your number #1 copywriting secret?
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