Don’t Let Your Copy Let You Down


Whether you are talking about your sales website or your company blog, if your copy is lousy it’s going to let you down – big time.

Remember your school days? How the good looking kids always seemed to get an upper hand; you never saw an unattractive sports team captain, the head boy/girl was always gorgeous etc. Well, your website or blog is going to follow exactly the same trend.

Learn to be attractive

It pains me to have to admit that being attractive is the best way to get where you want to be. At school I was the ‘ever-so-slightly-heavier-than-she-should-be’ kid who was the last one to be picked during PE lessons. To try and lift me, my parents would come up with the old classic ‘looks aren’t everything’ – but the problem is, they are – at least to a certain extent.

To me, as a copywriter, the copy on your website or blog is paramount. It is that that does the hard work in engaging with your reader and getting them to place an order. But the look of your website or blog is going to have an effect of whether your reader actually stops to browse your site.

If you have an attractive looking site, that’s pleasing to the eye, someone is more likely to stick around and have a look. Of course, if the copy on that site is shocking, they’ll leave. Equally, if you have incredible copy on a God awful looking site, they’re not going to hang around long enough to read it.

Getting the picture?

There are many things you can do to make your website gorgeous, but rather than listing all of those, here are some things you should avoid at all costs:

  • Think about your copy

Know who you are writing to. Your audience has specific needs – all you have to do is identify those and satisfy them.

Make sure you don’t try and talk to everyone. Have a single reader in mind when writing your copy. You can’t address everyone because if you try you’ll just end up creating copy that is confused.

Plus, when it comes to the length of your post, be sensible. Although your reader is going to want something that answers all their questions, they probably won’t have the time to sit and read your version of War and Peace. Make sure your copy is measured and complete but keep it relatively brief.

  • Make it easy to read

When you begin to write, think about how it looks. If your reader is faced with a wall of text that extends down their screen which the have to scroll through,  they will be severely turned off.

Break your copy up into manageable chunks. Use sub headings to indicate what information is to follow so they can dip into your copy and read the most relevant parts to them.

Make it easy to read by using a high contrast between text colour and background – go for black on white or white on black. You don’t want your reader to have to strain to work out what you’ve written.

  • Be engaging

Before you even start thinking about the body of your copy you need to come up with a masterful headline that will grab your reader’s attention and make them want to read on.

If you produce dull copy, it won’t be read. Writing about how great you are or producing something that is stuffed with jargon, won’t get read. There is only one thing you have to keep in your mind – what does your reader want to know. To give you a clue it will probably have something to do with ‘What’s in it for me?

At the end of the day, your reader will only spend their precious time reading your copy if they are going to get something out of it at. Harsh but true.

  • Less is more

You will want to make your copy look appealing. But be careful with the colour. Splashing your page with a rainbow of colours will make it look gaudy rather than engaging. Stick with just a few colours that fit with your company’s image.

Also don’t over do the design elements on your site – less is definitely more. If you have too many pictures, logos, flashing images or banners on your site it will be distracting to your reader. Keep it simple.

Why do you need to know this?

Getting either your copy or your design wrong could effectively kill your site. You must make sure you consider both elements and how they need to work together.

If in doubt always go for less is more.

Sally Ormond – freelance copywriter

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