9 Copywriting Tips that will Make YOU a Better Blogger

Wait – I know what you are going to say.

You are a blogger, not a copywriter – why do you need to learn all this stuff?

Don’t go off protesting your little heart out just yet. I understand what you are saying.

And not too long ago, I felt exactly the same way.

Until I started to notice this really fascinating phenomenon: all the influencers and upcoming bloggers are not only really good at blog writing – don’t get me wrong, they are great.

But they have another magic bullet in their arsenal – they are experts at injecting copywriting secrets in their blogs.

They are using all tricks of the trade to persuade you to read, share, subscribe or buy – without you even noticing it.

Hence, this post.

1. Web is a Direct Response Medium

When you write a blog post, you want your readers to do something straightaway.

You want them to tweet, share or pin it. You want them to leave a comment or subscribe if they are paying you a visit for the first time.

If your reader scans your post and does nothing – then you have failed.

You have failed to influence them to take an action. Understanding this will actually help you create topnotch content.

Every content has some purpose, and you better be 100% clear about it before you write. Don’t let your readers do nothing.

2. Remember AIDA

Capture your readers Attention, no matter how annoyingly fleeting it is. Hook them by writing powerful headlines.

Ah – the headlines! A lot – and I do mean A LOT- has already been written about them. You can forget everything and just remember this.

  • Make them curious
  • Offer a clear benefit for reading further

Build Interest. Tell a compelling story, quote a startling statistic or make a shocking claim. Don’t let go of the momentum.

Creat Desire – for your future posts, for your products, for your services.

Call to Action. Now tell your reader what to do.

3. ‘You’ is Your Best Friend

The most important word in copywriting is YOU. As a blogger, you should be using it ALL THE TIME.

  • Get to know your reader well – what keeps them up at night?
  • Address them directly in your posts (Like I am doing here)
  • Be considerate – don’t try to impress them, and don’t try to dumb it down either.

Go over your last post again, do you see a lot of ‘yous’? Or is the content focused on you in the form of ‘Is’

4. Keep it Tight

Long vs short – the debate rages endlessly.

What people don’t seem to understand is this; copy can be both short and highly repetitious in content or long but really succinct.

It is not the length of the post that matters, if the subject matter demands it, write your heart out. But keep it to the point.

Conciseness means making sure every single word counts – but not at the expense of providing complete information.

5. Write for Humans and Search Engines Both

Nobody is insulting you by suggesting that you stuff your posts with key words. However, placing them strategically will surely help.

The best places for them are headlines, title tags and meta tags.

Write your headlines for the search engines, and content for your readers. This is what I go by.

6. Position Your Product/Service Well

People do not care about you – that is the harsh reality of things.

They care how you can help them. Position your product or service as the answer to their problems.

While trying to create a unique selling proposition, always remember that features tell, benefits sell.

Your blog is about travel – is a feature.
You help people go on great holidays on a tight budget – is benefit.

You are trained in copywriting – is a feature.
You write copy that sells more for your client’s business - is a benefit.

7. Stop Living in Fear of Your Old High School Teacher

Learn the rules of grammar and then break them with confidence.

Doing this doesn’t mean that you start getting sloppy. You can’t substitute ‘effect’ with ‘affect’ or use its when you mean it’s. You can’t confuse ‘whom’ with ‘whose’ either.

That’s just plain confusing and risks making you look like an ignorant fool.

You can, however, start your sentences with conjunctions (And, but, Or etc.) if you wish, or use fragments to make your point. Like this one.

You could also get away with ending with yours with prepositions. For example Spam is something we need to get rid of.

You still have to write well, you can’t publish your first draft. Edit it like you would do normally for any print publication.

And be conversational. Write like you talk – only better.

8. Psycho Mumbo Jumbo

Doing a crash course in psychology won’t hurt either. And there is no need to go to Uni for this. You want to focus on learning more about persuasion and understanding motivation for starters.

  • Read Robert Caldini’s classic; Influence: The Power of Persuasion’
  • Read a lesser known Maria Veloso’s Web Copy that Sells for a crash course. A caveat; some people have expressed disappointment in her choice of website examples she has used. Some feel there is some sleaze factor. I still feel that the infomation is solid.
  • Follow Social Triggers and Sparring Mind. My two top favourite blogs that combine psychology and blogging.

9. Make Your Readers Believe in You

Remove all doubt from their minds. Use social proof (number of comments, shares, testimonials, any awards, list of guest posts) to establish credibility and authority.

Assure they are in the right place.

Have a clear ‘core message’. Something that you stand for. Give people a reason to believe in your cause.

That’s it, folks. This has turned out to be longer than expected.

Tell me, what is the one thing you think can make the biggest impact on your blog writing?

Over to you.

Have you taken my 3-minute Client Attraction Quiz? Check it out now, it’s awesome! :)

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33 Responses to 9 Copywriting Tips that will Make YOU a Better Blogger
  1. Shouldn’t it be 9 copywriting tis? Well, maybe the title was for search engines, not me :P

    BTW I also do it all the time… adding more bullets than I promised in the headline:)

    I don’t think Meta Tags still matter, especially after Google publicly stated that they are going to ignore them.

    Anyways, I’d call it yet another great piece of copy by a great blogger. Out of these 9, I already follow some rules, some are just a new notion while some are not feasible for me, at least at this stage.
    Ali | Writers Blog recently posted..The Most Amazing Present For A Writer That Keeps On Giving

    • marya

      Hey Ali, long time no see ..:)

      You make a vaild point about the meta-tags. I have heard that google doesn’t pay much attention to them anymore but apparently other search engines like yahoo and Bing still do. I reckon more people will agree with you on this one.

      Did I say 7 Tips? *smacks head* Well, I’d better go and fix it now..

      Thanks for commenting. It’s always a pleasure.

      Marya

  2. For me I think if you want blogging to be your other career, you should learn the basics of writing and the things surrounding it such as copyediting, copywriting, the rules and principles. It’s just like writing for a newspaper or magazine only with more freedom and different medium.

    When you know these, you can be confident that people will read your blog. Nice post by the way. Thanks!
    -Sheila
    Sheila Domingo recently posted..check this out

    • marya

      I agree with you Sheila. Nicely said! Thank you for your kind words. :)

      Marya

  3. MA Jan

    Very useful (and practical) tips. I like AIDA especially. And catching the attention of your reader is perhaps the crux of the matter. Once this is done the rest I believe is cakewalk.

    • marya

      I knew it will catch YOUR attention for sure. :) you were the one to teach me this concept in my Business Communication class. Only a decade ago …

  4. “Always remember that features tell, benefits sell.” Thanks for the helpful post. My primary takeaway and what I hope to get better at is making sure that my writing offers a clear benefit to readers. People have limited time and limitless reading material. I want my site to teach, inspire, or at least make them stop and think for a few minutes.
    Nicole Robinson recently posted..Book Review: Tiger Mother Proves Unsettling and Intriguing

    • marya

      Thanks Nicole. When you first hear about benefits vs features, it is often an aha moment. I Know it was for me. Glad you dropped by! :)

  5. I am so glad I’ve discovered your blog. As a new blogger, I find your posts extremely valuable.

    • marya

      Thanks Valerie. Let me know if you need help with anything. And welcome! :)

      Marya

  6. I totally agree with all of this! I dream of being a fiction writer, but I work as a copywriter and everything you wrote should be taken as gospel for bloggers, authors and beyond.

    Even if there isn’t a physical product someone is trying to sell, they should still have a “sales” mindset when blogging. Even if you’re only trying to sell an idea or concept, you have to keep the same persuasive elements of copywriting in mind.
    Christelle Hobby recently posted..Have No Fear

    • marya

      You are spot on! Often people say to me, oh no, I am not selling anything. Well guess what, you are selling your ideas and yourself as a writer no matter what you write about.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Christelle. Wish more people understand this …

      Marya

  7. Great post Marya – I love the tip about ‘psycho mumbo jumbo’! I should probably read more resources along those lines! As mom to five kids, and because I have my masters in social work, I take for granted that I know these things. But truth be told…I’m CLUELESS!
    Ruth Zive recently posted..3 Questions You MUST Answer Before You Can Write Engaging Content

    • marya

      Thanks Ruth. I guess it won’t hurt to explore cosumer psychology a bit. I am surprised though, that you haven’t already. I guess you are a natural huh? ;)

  8. I think one of the best habits that anyone can get into with blogging is to follow a routine! If you have a plan and a routine laid out there’s a much higher chance that you will actually get stuff done!
    Becca recently posted..Skip Bins Wyongah

  9. I am very much into the AIDA. Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. I love the way how you describe them like that because it makes copywriting so much easier to understand.
    Dillard@Elevation Group recently posted..Diversification Provides The Greatest Returns

  10. Rob

    Good Titles: My all time most visited blog is one titled “Bob Dylan Revisited on Wall Street.” I wasn’t trying to be tricky or clever. While watching some OWS clips on YouTube, I kept flashing back to the Vietnam War era and early Bob Dylan albums (like Hwy 61 Revisited – get it?)

    Relevant Titles: On the downside, while the title was highly relevant to me, 1000 or so people must have thought it was a blog about Bob Dylan making an appearance on Wall Street. The bounce rate on that blog is close to 100% and readers stay for about 10 seconds, just long enough to realize they’re not going to get what they want. Let’s revise that to something like Relevant to Readers Titles.
    Rob recently posted..Reflections on the Harlan Ellison Rant about Writing for Free

  11. My readers don’t have to do anything. If they learn something, or if they are amused for a while, it’s good enough for me. They can browse through my posts, or look at some of my favourites, or leave a message by mail or by a contact form. And while they are doing that, I am learning about their behaviour, which posts are visited the most, how to make contact forms, etcetera. So it’s a two way street. The best way to learn about internet is to participate, and although I’ve visited lots of blogs there are not many blogs resembling mine, so I’m still motivated enough to continue and try to improve.
    Rob Stevens recently posted..The Provost Marshal

  12. These are some interesting tips you have given. I think AIDA approach is excellent because it helps in copy writing and also in marketing whether it’s online or offline. :-)

  13. Claire

    The best way to learn about internet is to participate, and although I’ve visited lots of blogs there are not many blogs resembling mine, so I’m still motivated enough to continue and try to improve. Thanks for sharing.
    Claire recently posted..Ski Chalets

  14. I can think of numerous times I come up with an idea of what I wanted to write about, only to end up creating a drawn out post. It’s easy to try and squeeze a lot of information on one page, but it seems to be more effective to break a long stint of information up into shorter multiple posts. At least in my experience it is.
    Elana G. recently posted..Western Subterranean Termites

  15. While it is important to learn grammar rules, breaking them is not the conclusion to learning the art of writing. The rules are there for a reason and too much deviation can ruin a blog – even just one poorly worded sentence can turn a reader away. I recommend staying within the lines for producing a blog with creativity and clarity.

  16. Great points to remember, thank you. I particularly like number 2. I am sure I have heard it before but had forgotton it, so I am very glad of the reminder!
    Shona Easton recently posted..New Video: The Large Leather Shopper

    • marya

      Thanks Shona. AIDA is usually the first thing you learn when you start looking into principles of effective communication or persuasive writing. Glad you like it.

      Cheers,
      Marya

  17. Bob

    I think bloggers can learn from copywriters and I like the tips that you have given. Even I think that we should follow the AIDA approach. The title of the post should be good so that It attracts attention and creates interest. :-)

  18. “What is the one thing I think can make the biggest impact on my blog writing? Reading this post numerous times till it sinks in!

    Paul
    Paul recently posted..Making your blog search engine friendly

  19. [...] Writing Happiness – 7 Copywriting tips that will make you a better blogger [...]

  20. [...] Writing Happiness – 7 Copywriting tips that will make you a better blogger [...]

  21. [...] don’t know anything about the basics of copywriting. If you are running a blog, some things are mandatory. Clear benefit (niche and [...]

  22. Thanks for this. I’ve found it very helpful. What stood out for me in particular is the emphasis on using the word “you”! I have heard it mentioned before but I’ve let it slip too far to the back of my mind. I went straight away back over to my blog to see if we’ve been using it there – the answer is yes, but nowhere near often enough. I shall certainly be thinking about this the next time I’m writing an article…

  23. Great copywriting tips. I would like to Include in my blog. Thanks for sharing!

  24. The most important thing in marketing is the AIDA effect. Couple that with compelling storytelling that really engages people, you’re on to something good. Make that writing pleasing to search engines too — without diluting your message — and you’re on to a winner!
    Wesley Young recently posted..How social signals will affect search rankings in 2014

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