Over the last few months, I have quickly learned how to write compelling marketing copy that converts. As a freelance writer, I gained more confidence to go for more challenging projects once I mastered the art of writing persuasive copy.
So, here are five rules I follow to write compelling copy for my clients:
1. Keep your reader in mind as you write
When you write marketing copy, use first-person narration, such as ‘you’ and ‘I’. Doing so helps marketing copy to sound authentic. Authentic writing is what helps companies to sell their products and services. Customers need to feel like the content is talking directly to them and meeting their pain points.
Before I start writing for a new client, I research their customers and their pain points. During the briefing process, I learn how my clients’ services work to solve customers pain points. Then, I make sure that I link the two as I write.
Tip: Google the topic you want to write. The people also ask questions is a great place to look for potential customers pain points. This reflects what real people want to know. When you write, include these questions, then answer them in much detail.
2. Stop using fluff and filler words
Fluff and filler words do not add value to a sentence. This is usually a long-winded thought process that needs to be broken down into a shorter digestible sentence.
Some clients request a word count of over one thousand words. If you are new to writing, this may seem like a lot, especially in the early days. That’s why you might be tempted to fill the sections with fluff and filler words to meet the word count.
To reduce the using fluff and filler words, try asking yourself the following questions when reviewing content:
- How can I say this better?
- Is this word adding value?
- Does this sentence need to be here at all?
- Can this sentence read better?
Tip: As a rule of thumb, make sure your sentences are no more than two lines. Following this rule will ensure that what you write will be easy to read.
3. Don’t use idioms
Idioms are phrases of expression that don’t have a literal meaning. They are words that have symbolic meanings.
Some clients will be translating their content into other languages. Let’s say you are writing marketing copy for an international company. Your original copy will need to be simple and straightforward sentences that can easily be translated. Idioms and local sayings are hard to translate to other languages because they don’t have a literal meaning.
One of the idioms I have heard so much lately is, ‘hindsight is 2020.’ If I were to say this to a non-native English speaker who is just learning to speak the language – they might not understand me.
Tip: If the copy you are writing will later be translated to another language – review the content already on your client’s site to understand how to word your content.
4. Write with the intent to add value
When you write with the intent to add value, it makes the copy compelling.
Writing about a topic that has already been covered? This is normal. What you have to say will already have been covered in some way or form. You can still make it unique by adding a unique flair to it.
Start by reviewing existing content that covers your topic.
Then, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is there another angle I can cover?
- What do I think about this?
- Can I add my own experience here to make the point more compelling?
Tip: As you write, keep your eyes peeled for opportunities and content gaps that competitors have not covered.
5. Keep learning
I am consistently doing one writing course after another. I also Google everything and sense check my work as I go along.
I also do the following things:
- I have a paid Medium account and read articles every day. I read essays, stories and thought-provoking essays about every topic under the sun.
- I also do ongoing online training courses for editing and writing fictional pieces.
- I watch YouTube videos and listen to podcasts from writers I admire.
- I am also reading start your own freelance writing business by Laura Briggs.
The more I write, the more I realise that there is a lot more to learn. If you are new to the freelance writing game, take your time to master your skill. Put yourself out there and challenge yourself. That’s the only way I have been doing it, and so can you.