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.
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