Descriptions, blogs and similar texts are a massively underestimated part of online business. People read the stuff you write and the quality of your words will make or break the sale. This blog sheds light the secret techniques that professional copy writers use to effortlessly create inspiring and effective text, every time.
Whilst amazing photography can really make a brand stand out, the writing that frames the images is too often overlooked. But it’s only when we sit down to write our first description, blog or ‘about us’ page when we realise how truly difficult it can be to express a point succinctly, let alone in an inspiring, exciting and unique way. More often than not, people find writing very tough – and avoid it if possible.
Text (or copy, as it’s called by the pros) gets read by customers who are serious – customers who are looking to buy, and just need convincing.
Poor product descriptions, rambling blogs or typos and bad grammar are all that’s needed to put the customer off in today’s hyper competitive online marketplace. That’s why most companies employ professional copy writers.
So how can I do it myself without hiring a pro or struggling on? There are some easy to use tricks to get the most out of your time and rapidly improve the quality of your copy.
If you think you get writers block, you’re doing it wrong
There’s a fantastic book called How to Fly a Horse which focuses on normal people doing extraordinary things – and how some of the people we consider to be genius does their hard work a disservice. In it, Woody Allen (one of the most successful screenwriters in history) debunks the myth of his genius. He talks about how he throws away many pages for every one he keeps, and that writers block doesn’t exist: It’s just the first hurdle of writing where most other people give up. He writes 2 pages, throws them away,and tries again until he has something to keep. Remember this:
The majority of what you write will be rubbish. Delete it and try again, and again, until you have some great copy that you’re happy with.
If you don’t know what to write, start writing and keep going, like Woody Allen does. Writers block is just another word for giving up. Don’t.
Unlock the value bit with trick questions
There are some great tricks you can use to unlock more great sentences when you’re writing. Often it’s hard to know what to write, where to start, or what part of a product to focus on.
It may help to build you sentences as bullet points, and connect them all up later. To get those bullet points, these are the trick questions you can ask yourself to extract more words from your brain.
And why should I care about that?
So what should I do about it?
Sometimes you need to ask yourself this a few times to really dig out what you mean. Introduce one of your products. Then try these questions
If you’re using a comma, consider a full stop.
Sentences that go on and on like this one are very hard for customers to read especially when you’re trying to make a convincing point about a product feature or if you’re trying to explain something amazing without losing your trail of thought and when the customer reads this they tend to lose focus on the last thing you just said whereas breaking it up into smaller little chunks gives you the best chance of making a point and sounding authoritative without losing your customer along the way so it’s important to use more full stops and make your sentences punching. Shorter sentences are easier to read. On average, twelve words per sentence is a good guide. This is particularly true of product descriptions. Give it a go!
Exemplify the antithesis of overcomplicated language
Or in other words, why use complicated words when you could use simple ones? Some words like luxurious might be better understood as soft. A great product is a great product, an exemplary product is a distracting sentence. Keep it simple.
Write it… then Delete the first and last sentence
One of the most useful ways to tidy up your writing is to consider, at the last moment, whether or not deleting the first and last part makes the whole piece more powerful.
Often we start by talking about what we’re going to say in a loose sort of introductory tone. We make our most powerful points in the middle of our paragraphs. And at the end we try and finish it up with a few extra words.
By deleting the first and last sentence, we can strip back on waffle and really make our words have impact.
We make our most powerful points in the middle of our paragraphs.
Next time you get to a finished piece of text, imagine if it could be more powerful without the first and last sentence.
Write on brand, relate to your catch phrases. talking points
Lastly, one of the most effective tricks is to develop some catch phrases or talking points that are on-brand, which you can refer back to time and time again. You’ll see the politicians doing it because it helps them say the right thing and relate everything they’re saying back to some well-rehearsed lines that are guaranteed to be well received. There’s no reason you can’t use the same tactic for more positive outcomes. During the course of your writing, you might come out with a sentence or two that you really like. Keep it. Next time you’re writing some stuff on the subject, these lines are a handy way to bring your sentences to a conclusion.
“And that’s why we choose to manufacture our products in an ethically accredited, wind-powered factory. With traceability from Seed to shop people can find out where clothing comes from, how it’s made and who made it.
Before long you can start writing consistent paragraphs that include your catch phrases, and mixed with all the other tips in this blog you will be creating heaps of SEO-friendly, on-brand content that’s punchy to read and effective at turning your copy into paying customers.