Often budgets don’t stretch far enough to cover professional copywriting services so it’s left to you to create the content, Liquid Creativity offers their top copywriting tips to help you through the writing, editing and designing process.
Focus on ‘you’
By using the word ‘you’ throughout the content you will begin to establish a relationship with the reader and bring them into the story you are telling. The use of ‘you’ makes the copy personal and easily allows the reader to place themselves in the scenario you are writing about.
Don’t make it all about you or your client
Copy that engages and sells is that which focusing on the benefits and solutions of the product or service rather than the features. Tell, through your writing, the reader about how the product, service or business will solve their current problem and provide a solution. You know that the product is fantastic but going on and on about it won’t engage a reader. Put yourself in their shoes – what would you want to know and discover about how the product will enhance your life.
Don’t be too clever
Using big words might make you feel better, smarter but it probably will serve to just alienate your reader. The exception is technical documentation aimed at a very narrow market but for the general population you should aim for copy that can be read and understood by a grade five student. This certainly doesn’t mean you should ‘dumb down’ your copy, just make it easy to read. There’s no point having copy that no one understands or connects with, or worse still, copy that requires a dictionary to decipher.
Read out loud
This is the number one editing technique used by professional copy-editors and proofreaders. Reading your content aloud will allow you to determine any sentences that are too long, too wordy or just don’t flow well. This technique will also ensure that you pick up on any missing ‘little’ words that detract from your message.
Be brave with your editing
Some people suggest cutting 50% of the copy each stage of the editing process and while that may not be a practical approach, we do suggest being somewhat ruthless in your editing. Remove ambiguous statements and anything that detracts from or doesn’t add value to your messaging; no more and no less.
Understand the difference
There is a vast difference between writing and editing. Ideally the two processes will be conducted by two separate team members. It’s often difficult to editing work that you have written yourself and a fresh set of eyes will provide objectivity and can easily see any errors that the writer misses being too close to the subject. If your project does not offer the advantage of two different people to view the content then you can employ this technique – write the copy and then leave it for a while. Go away and work on something completely different. Come back to the copy with refreshed eyes for the editing process.
03. Design and copywriting works together
Being involved in both the writing and designing process requires a specific set of skills. Here are our top tips for integrated both in a seamless way:
- Focus on portraying your message through clear and attention grabbing headings and banner text
- Embed links in descriptive and relevant language – ensure that the reader knows exactly where that link is going to take them.
- Design with the content in mind – there are different schools of thought as to which should come first – the design or the content. If you are unsure keep this guideline in mind; if the product or service is completely new or unfamiliar to the market you will probably need more content in order to explain the benefits, how it works etc. If the product or service is familiar to the market then less content often works and this is when the design itself will aid in selling the brand.
- Scale the page to the topic – if designing for an industry where engagement is decided based on the people behind the brand then the ‘About’ information is more likely to be longer. Contact information is likely to be only a matter of a few lines so design accordingly.
If writing all isn’t your strong point and the copy you are creating is pulling down the quality of your design work then it may make more sense to outsource the copywriting to a professional or work with an agency that offers this as an in-house service.
To learn more about how an agency has designers and copywriters working together to create engaging work, contact your local branding agency Liquid Creativity today.