How to do copywriting when you're not a copywriter
I know, I know. You're not a copywriter. And you don't want to be one either. But unfortunately, as a business owner, you need to know at least the basics of copywriting
Why? Because copy is EVERYWHERE in your marketing. It's on your website, in your emails, on your social media posts, and in your ads. In other words, if you're not good at writing copy, your marketing will suffer from it
But don't worry – I'm here to help!
Today I'm going to share with you some tips for doing copywriting even if you're not a writer. Let's get started!
Steal from the best
I'm not actually condoning stealing… or plagiarism. But, as anyone who does any form of writing knows, coming up with ideas for new content can be challenging.
Thankfully, there's no need to reinvent the wheel every time you sit down to write – you can steal (without stealing) from the best instead.
Simply go look at existing blogs, ads, landing pages, websites, etc, etc, etc from high-profile businesses and people in your industry who have the same or similar ideal clients to you.
Look at the topics they are covering. See how they're structured. The tone of voice being used. And use that content for ideas for your content.
Of course, you don't want to copy someone else's work word for word – that would be plagiarism. But looking at other writers' work can give you a good sense of what works and what doesn't.
So next time you're feeling stuck, try taking a look at someone else's work and see how they're put together. Chances are, you'll find some inspiration for your writing.
And another option for coming up with content ideas is to check out Answer The Public. It's an awesome free tool you can use to find out what people are asking about on the interwebs – and it gives you topic ideas to write about from those questions.
If you've ever tried to write like everyone else, following the rules and using all the right words, did your copy work? Probably not.
Probably because your words just felt so fake. It didn't feel like you, and people could tell.
That's because one of the most important rules of copywriting is to be authentic and true to yourself. And that means writing in your voice and personality, rather than trying to imitate someone else or follow a formula that you don't really agree with.
While it can be tempting to try and fit in with what's popular or “trendy,” in the end, it's better to be yourself and speak authentically to your audience. This will make your writing that much more powerful and engaging, and help you connect with people in a more meaningful way.
Why? Because your readers connect with you on a deeper level, and your writing becomes more powerful and engaging.
Whether you're promoting a product or service, writing sales copy, or crafting content for your blog or website, being genuine in your writing will help you stand out from the crowd, build credibility with your ideal clients, and ultimately reach your goals faster and more effectively!
So don't try to be someone you're not – just be yourself, and let your authentic voice shine through. It's definitely worth it!
Caveat: Now when I say be yourself – I'm talking about your business brand, your business personality. For most small businesses these are entwined. However, if your business personality and own personality are quite different, then you will need to adjust your writing style according. It can be tough to adjust your writing style to match both personalities, but it's important to do so if you want to connect with your ideal clients.
So how do you go about it? Well, first of all, try to find the tone of voice that best matches your business personality. Then, focus on writing in a way that feels natural for you. If you force yourself to write in a stiff or formal tone, it will only come across as fake and unauthentic.
The key is to find the right balance between being true to yourself and adapting your writing style to match your business persona. With a little effort, you can create an online presence that feels authentic and engaging – no matter how different your personalities may be!
Dot, dot, dot…
So I'm just going to give you an example here. The below bullet points:
- it's tough to know where to begin
- use dot points to outline your main ideas
- outline your piece
- help to organise thoughts
- paragraph looks organised
- writer's best friend.
- if you're stuck conclusion
get turned into…
No matter what you're trying to write for – website, newsletter, advertising, etc, it can be tough to know where to begin.
But one way that is really helpful to kickstart your writing is by using dot points to outline your main ideas.
Outlining your piece with dot points helps you to focus on the main points that you want to make
And dot points help to organise your thoughts in a logical order.
Plus, they make your paragraph look really organised and professional.
With their simple structure and effectiveness in conveying key information quickly and succinctly, dot points are a writer's best friend.
So, if you ever find yourself stuck on how to start a paragraph, just remember: dot points are your friend!
Did you see what I did there?
Go with the flow
Now to the fun part!
Once you've gathered your main points, it's time to start fleshing them out (like the example above).
What's the fun part you say?
Now's the time when you can let your creative juices flow and really start to play with the words. Start adding more detail and expanding on your existing points
Your tone of voice can be funny or serious, as long as it reflects what you're trying to say and resonates with your audience.
So go with the flow and see where your writing takes you!
In the end, your goal is to create content that resonates with people and motivates them to take action. So stay focused on that, and you'll be well on your way to writing stellar copy.
Remember though, don't get so caught up in making your copy sound good that you lose sight of what you're trying to say.
At the end of the day, it's still important to communicate your message to your ideal clients. If you can do that while also making people laugh or think or feel something, then you're really on to something.
Above all else, remember that you're writing for your audience, not yourself. So do whatever you can to make them happy.
Make some mistakes
A lot of people think that copywriting is all about being perfect. But the truth is, it's actually about making mistakes.
That's right – mistakes can be your best friend when you're trying to come up with great content.
Why? Because each time you make a mistake, you learn something new. And as you keep learning, your skills as a copywriter will continue to improve.
So don't be afraid to make a few mistakes along the way. After all, what's the worst that could happen?
You could end up with a boring, uninspiring piece of text that no one will want to read. OR, you could create something truly memorable that people will want to share with their friends. The choice is yours!
Try new things and see what works.
And remember that the more mistakes you make, the closer you will get to be a great copywriter! So go ahead – take risks, experiment, and don't be afraid to fail.
Get the scissors out!!!
Not literally though. I'm talking about the metaphoric scissors where you review and edit your copy (read and slash all those extra words out).
Editing is the final step to good copywriting.
It's really important to take the time to edit your work. Not only will it make your writing look more professional and reflective of your brand, but it will also help you to avoid embarrassing errors.
One of the best tools to use for this is Grammarly. Seriously, get around it.
This blog was originally over 1800 words. Grammarly, identified all the superfluous words and sentences, helping me bring it back to about 1600 words and keeping it clear while still staying true to my brand & personality. BTW – don't you love the word superfluous? It's just so much fun to say… superfluous. But I digress with superfluous content! Back to the subject at hand.
Also, while you're editing, do your proofreading at the same time. It's great to make mistakes and learn from them, but not necessarily those typos. Look out for them and fix them too.
Six tips on how to do copywriting when you're not a copywriter.
So there you have it, folks – six tips on how to do copywriting when you're not a copywriter.
- steal (not literally) from the best
- be you
- dot, dot, dot
- go with the flow
- make some mistakes
- get the scissors out
Go forth and wordsmith.
If you follow these tips and your writing still sucks, don't sweat it. Some people just aren't born with the gift of gab… or in my case, the gift of jauntily (and stylishly) wearing a wordsmithing hat. The good news is that if you need someone to do your copywriting for you, I know a girl. Just shoot me an email and we'll chat.