How to write great copy

…and why there’s more to writing great copy than writing good copy.

“Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes it’s an ad.”

Howard Gossage, AKA the Socrates of San Francisco

Good Copy

As a rule, good copy ought to…

  • Be written clearly, avoiding flowery language.
  • Every. Single. Word. Must. Count.
  • Reflect that less is nearly always more.
  • Written by a writer who understands what you are offering.
  • Written by a writer who can explain clearly what you are offering, no matter how complicated the product or service that you provide.
  • Contain all essential facts.
  • Be clear.
  • Be fair to the reader.
  • Not be misleading.
  • Have a great heading.
  • Have a navigable structure, including sub heading, bullets and numbering if helpful to the reader.
  • Considerate of SEO.
  • Prioritise authentic, natural writing over being a slave to SEO.
  • Written for the reader.

Great copy

No matter how good your copy, it is more likely to have impact if the person reading it already feels they have a positive relationship with what you have to offer.

Great copy will not jar, annoy, nor demand. It will encourage. It will elegantly balance the fact that you care deeply about your potential customers and that you also need to make money/increase footfall/promote your cause.

Great copy is a part of your story. It is authentic. It is proud. Without being too humble, it recognises that it is privileged to have the attention of the people that you want to reach out to.

Great copy is what is going to get your audience to click, like, share and maybe part with their money or their time for you. But great copy does not stand in isolation: it is part of your organisation’s narrative and should sit comfortably among your real time conversations, your ethos, your social media presence and how you hope to be perceived.

If you want to step a little beyond good copy and get to great copy, you need to listen – really listen – to your audience, your potential customers, the people you know your venture can help. You also really need to understand your product or your service.

Once you understand all this, then you can think about writing great copy. Or, you can think about contacting me and I will write great copy for you.

Published by Abby

Social Media Management, Blogging and Communications

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