7 Essential Copywriting Tips for Business Owners
Copywriting can be an overwhelming task for any small business owner. You’ve already got a million things on your to-do list - more often than not, writing falls by the wayside.
As a professional copywriter, I’ve picked up a lot of tips and tricks over the years to make writing copy and content a less stressful task.
Here are 7 essential tips to make writing easier for small business owners.
Give Yourself Enough Time
The first thing you need to do is set aside enough time to complete the task. Don’t try and squeeze it in during a free half hour between meetings!
Rushing your copy will result in poor structure, spelling and grammar mistakes, and an unclear message, which leaves your reader unclear about what you can do for them.
It’s hard to make time for a task that doesn’t feel like your top priority, especially when you’ve got a business to run, but carving some out for your copy is worth the effort.
And if you don’t have enough hours in the day to get it done, it might be time to outsource.
Create a Structure Before You Start Writing
When it comes to communicating your message, structure is everything.
If you were asked to speak about any topic spontaneously,without a structure, it wouldn’t be long before you started rambling. The same thing can happen in your writing.
Take the time to plan out your structure before you start writing.
What is the best way to introduce the topic?
How can you most effectively describe your product or service to your audience?
And most importantly, how can you motivate them to take action?
Find the right structure for your copy or content and your words won’t be weighed down with filler or repetition – so your message will reach the customer directly.
Go to your Audience for Content Ideas
If you’re writing a blog post, make sure you’re covering the right topics.
The best way to generate content ideas is to go to your audience.
Blogs can be based on:
· The questions that come up most frequently from your customers
· Comments that you’ve received on social media.
· Discussion points that are trending in your industry
AnswerThePublic is another great tool to find out what questions potential customers are asking about your product or service.
These questions turn into perfect blog post titles, allowing you to answer customer queries and bring them straight to your website in a keyword-friendly way.
For more ways to generate fresh content ideas, check out my recent blog post.
The Post-It Trick
It’s very easy to lose sight of your message when you’re writing.
It might feel like you’re on a roll, but when you read it back, you realise that your point is lost.
That’s why I love the Post-It Trick! All you have to do is write down the central message that you’re trying to get across on a Post-It note in 10 words or less.
Stick it close to your screen so that you can refer back to it throughout the writing process. If you feel yourself going off track, re-read your work in line with the Post-It note, and you’ll know if you’re achieving your aim.
It’s a simple way to cut out filler and tangents and transform your writing into a clear, concise message that your reader will love.
Get Your Presentation Right
Have you ever clicked on a website hoping to find an easy answer to your search query, only to be met with a wall of text?
Most of the time, you’ll click onto another website straightaway rather than try and decipher endless long paragraphs.
Making your content easily scannable is an effective way to keep visitors on your website.
That means plenty of white space…
· and bullet points or lists to get the point across quickly.
The easier your text is to read, the more likely it is that your reader will stick around.
Keep It Simple
You’re an expert on your business, which means you have no problem talking about it.
But don’t get carried away by including loads of technical detail in your copy.
Always think about your audience and what they’re going to enjoy reading. In most cases, keeping things simple is the best course of action.
Avoid jargon and complicated descriptions, especially if your target audience includes customers with limited knowledge ofyour product or service.
Unless you’re pitching exclusively to experts in the field, there’s no need to overcomplicate your copy. Keep it conversational and friendly instead.
Take a Break Before You Edit
Always take a break between writing and editing.
Launching straight into the proofreading stage makes you much more likely to miss spelling and grammar mistakes and lose clarity in your message.
Ideally, you should edit your content at least a day after writing it, to revisit your work with fresh eyes.
If you have a strict deadline, take a break between the writing and editing stages and complete an unrelated task in between.
I hope these tips have made the prospect of writing your copy less daunting than it was before. I want to give you the tools to feel empowered about your website copy and take some of the stress out of the process.
If you don’t have the time to write your own copy or you feel completely stumped, you can check out my Copy and Content Services to find out how we can work together to make the words on your website the best they can be.
Get in touch – I’d love to help!