5 Tips for Creative Copywriting
It’s a Catch-22: most small business owners know a ton about what they’re doing, but they can’t communicate their knowledge and passion to audiences. In most cases, they get started by throwing up a website with informational text that is more boring to read than Chaucer (because let’s be honest; Chaucer isn’t all that enjoyable to read unless you’re an Old English fanatic). Even if you’re selling the cure to cancer, no one wants to read a boring list of sentences haphazardly strung together.
The good news is no one has to. Even novice writers can craft compelling narratives. The trick to making people love what you write is to follow five easy steps—creative copywriting sells.
1. Know your topic (and you probably do, because again, you wouldn’t have opened the business if you didn’t).
2. Know your audience and make them smile. If you’ve started a company for computer coding, your potential clients will smile with the standard binary joke, “There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those who can read binary, and those who can’t.” The same joke won’t work if you run a non-profit agency that serves the homeless. Make the effort to understand and cater to your target audience.
3. Don’t waste words. Many people got the idea in school that more words made a bad situation better, but it doesn’t—it makes it worse. More bad writing won’t cancel out anything and your message will be lost. Many times an article or blog that is moderately bad can be made better just by following the rule-to-live-by of E.B White, the author of Charlotte’s Web: “Omit needless words.” It improves your writing, and the extra white space on the webpage helps the eye process the necessary information.
4. Embrace “failure”. This rule sounds absurd, but it’s crucial. Some of the best professional copywriters woke up one day after years of disheartening writing and decided they’d write for broke. They thought, “I’d rather get fired than write one more boring article for a boring business,” and all of a sudden their box was full with work. When you think failure, you end up taking risks that often lead to success.
5. Ignore the rules. No, don’t throw grammar out the window; people need to be able to understand your ideas. But just because you’re offering a product for a bank or financial firm doesn’t mean you can’t toss in a contraction or some happily-placed, casual lingo. Rules don’t always stifle creativity, but creativity always breeds excitement.
If you follow these five rules, you may have copy on your page that isn’t perfect, but when someone laughs they remember. When someone remembers, they return, which leads to buying. Make customers laugh or tug their heartstrings; move them with powerful rhetoric and creative copywriting.