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30 copywriting tips to write better content
Going through writer's block way too often? You know how important crafting quality content is; otherwise, you wouldn't be here. Sometimes coming up with ideas or knowing where to start is draining.
As a professional content writing agency, we've written over 8 million words, so we know all the tricks to get the creative juices flowing. That's why we've put together a list of the best 30 copywriting tips to overcome those obstacles and write better content objectively.
Copywriting skills are essential for anyone in business. If you learn to do it the right way, you'll be able to sell anything, impact your audience with your message, and get the desired results.
1. Figure out the exact problem you're solving
Before you write anything, you need to understand the problem that your client's product or service is solving. What need does it fill? What pain point does it address?
- Are they looking for a new job in tech?
- Trying to save money on their car insurance?
- Desperate for a romantic date night or trip?
Once you have a clear idea of the problem, you can start crafting a message that resonates with the target audience. Use empathetic language to show that you understand their pain, and then offer a solution to make their life easier.
That's when the magic of persuasion happens.
2. Set a clear goal to guide your writing
You'll likely find your mind meandering and getting sidetracked without a clear goal. So, what should your goal be? That depends on the writing project at hand.
Maybe you're trying to persuade your reader to purchase a product, sign up for a newsletter, or download a white paper. Or you're looking to educate your audience about a particular topic. Whatever the case, it doesn't have to be overly complicated.
Ask yourself what you want the person to do after reading your article.
Whether you're writing an email campaign, a landing page, or even a blog post, having your clear goal front and centre will help you produce a laser-focused copy.
3. Map out your content with a logical flow
This means structuring your ideas, points, and angles in a way that makes sense to the reader. You want to lead them through your argument with no friction.
Here’s how you achieve this:
- Identify the key points you want to make, and arrange those in a logical order.
- Write a few sentences about each point, showing how one point leads to the next.
- Fill in the details around each point, flesh out your argument, and add examples.
This way, you save time and effort and level up your copywriting skills.
4. Do extensive research to gain better input
Put in the extra effort to learn everything you can about a subject. The more you know about your topic, the better equipped you'll be to find the right words. You'll also be able to anticipate questions and objections and address them. It'll pay off in terms of quality.
5. Think about search intent when doing keyword research
What are people looking for when they search for this keyword? Are they looking for information, or are they looking to buy? Knowing the answer to this question lets you fine-tune your SEO content writing to meet the searcher's queries better.
For example, if you're selling something, you'll want to use modifiers that indicate that people are ready to buy. "Buy now", "Discount", and "Free shipping" are all good examples of keywords that signal purchase intent.
On the other hand, if you're into educating with your message, using keywords that signal that intent, like "How to", "What is", and "Best", are ideal.
6. Keep sentences short and to the point
In the world of copywriting, conciseness is fundamental. Long, winding sentences take up more space and make the text harder to read, ruining the content.
Working on straight-to-the-point and short sentences doesn't mean every sentence has to be just a few words long. But you should aim to remove any unnecessary words or phrases. This makes your writing more readable and holds your readers' attention.
When writing, go for an average sentence length of 17 words or less. And when in doubt, break long sentences into shorter ones. Remember, clarity is key.
7. Speak your target audience's language
You're writing for an audience, not for yourself. This means that you need to use language that they'll understand. Using industry jargon and technical terms may be intimidating and off-putting.
Instead, try to use words, phrases, and expressions they'd use when talking about their problem or situation to connect with them.
Let's say you're writing for web developers; terms like "API" and "backend" will be fine. Now, if you're working on a marketing message for local restaurants, they don't necessarily know about "CMS", "programming languages", and so on. They know they need a site, and they'll use more general terms like "website design for restaurants".
8. Inject personality as long as it makes sense
Adding a bit of personality doesn't translate into writing like teenagers texting. Just use approachable language. And make sure that it's consistent throughout the piece.
There's a fine line between adding personality to your writing and coming across as inauthentic. People can tell. It's a combination of criterion and common sense.
9. Control the dormant clever inside of you
We all have that clever side that comes up with witty one-liners and puns. And while being clever is a fantastic attribute, overusing it can clutter a message.
As a copywriter, finding a balance between clever and clear is important. You want to be original without being esoteric to a point where readers can't follow your train of thought.
So how do you strike that balance? Here are a few tips:
- Keep your audience in mind at all times. Who are you writing for? What are their needs? What will resonate with them? When in doubt, err on the side of simplicity.
- Don't be afraid to experiment. Brainstorm a variety of ideas and test them on friends, family, or coworkers. See which ones get the best reaction.
- Trust your gut. If something feels too complicated or convoluted, it probably is.
You risk sounding amateurish if you lean too far into the “clever” territory. So next time you're sitting down to write some copy tempted to let your clever side run wild, take a step back and ask yourself whether it's really necessary. Chances are, it isn't.
10. Present facts and data with storytelling
When you present information in the form of a story, it becomes memorable. Storytelling can bring data to life and make complex things understandable.
For example, rather than just sharing statistics about how many people are affected by a particular issue, you could tell the story of one person and how they were affected. This will make the message relatable and connect with readers on a more personal level.
Take a look at the analysis shown by the BBC in this article about diet's carbon footprint.
Or this one with data storytelling animation: How much warmer is your city?
11. Show easy-to-follow examples
You're not alone if you've ever felt lost in the middle of a long explanation. When we're in front of too much information all at once, it's overwhelming. That's why it's often helpful not only to tell but also to show - and show with examples.
For instance, consider including screenshots in your content if you're explaining how to use a new software program. Or if you're giving instructions on assembling a piece of furniture, a diagram and your written explanation are the way to go.
People are more likely to remember what they see than just what they read, so illustrating your points with examples will embed what you're saying in their minds.
12. Avoid distractions to really focus
Getting focused isn't easy when you're constantly being pulled in different directions by email, social media, the internet, and general distractions.
The thing is to learn how to focus despite these distractions.
For some people, that's working in a quiet place. Others prefer to work with regular breaks to allow their mind to wander. However you do it, make sure you do it.
There are a lot of things that can distract us during our writing time, including our own thoughts. We personally love two apps for this: Brain FM and Forest.
Brain FM produces neural music designed to boost your concentration. You can personalise the music based on what you're doing: deep work, learning or creativity. It adapts as you go, keeping you in the zone for as long as you need. Forest App allows you to block websites and apps and plants a virtual tree every time you stay focused.
13. Reframe content with unique POVs
A fail-proof strategy to spice up your content is to look at it from different angles. It's easy to get stuck in a business writing rut, using the same phrases and churning out the same old thing day after day.
But by approaching your topic from a well-argued, original point of view (POV), you help readers see things in a new light and engage them with the material. This is especially effective when you're collaborating on long-term projects where you may be starting to feel burned out.
14. Write multiple headline options
Not every headline will be a winner, but sometimes the more options you have, the better. Headlines must accurately reflect what the content is about and are important because they're what people first see.
Having multiple and diverse headlines lets you test what works best. Plus, it's always good to have a backup plan in case your first choice doesn't perform well. Be creative and experiment with lengths and styles but make sure they're crystal clear. All. The. Time.
You know those businesses that have this type of headline on their site.
"Business Solutions for Enterprises"
Now that is going to leave any reader with many "??????"
What do they do? Who are they? We don't get it. You don't get it. Nobody does.
Now, what if it was... "Legal Compliance for Startups in the UK"?
That's different. It's clear and tells you what the company does.
15. Simplify the message without dumbing down
In fact, oversimplifying does more harm than good. When you try to reduce a complex idea to its most basic elements, you risk losing important nuance and detail. You must be clear and concise while ensuring that your message is still packed with value.
Some recommendations to keep in mind:
- Use short, simple sentences.
- Reduce the technical jargon.
- Focus on one idea per paragraph.
- Go with active voice instead of passive voice.
- Use strong verbs to convey action and emotion.
- Be specific and concrete rather than vague and abstract.
- Edit ruthlessly to remove any unnecessary words or phrases.
- Ask someone to read your copy aloud to see if it's easy to understand.
16. Highlight benefits as pain-point tacklers
It's your job to sell the benefits of a product or service. But listing the benefits alone isn't enough. You need to show how those benefits address specific pain points your potential customers face. Otherwise, they'll just see a list of features, not solutions.
Let's say you're selling a new type of toothbrush. Rather than listing the features of the toothbrush (e.g. it has soft bristles, it's ergonomically designed, etc.), focus on how it can serve the customer (e.g. it'll help them avoid cavities, it'll make their teeth cleaner, etc.).
Indeed's Editorial Team listed some cool Features vs Benefits Examples. Check them out.
17. Appeal to emotion to encourage action
It's human nature to be motivated by feelings. Whether you're trying to get someone to order a product, sign up for a newsletter, or even just share your content on social media, tapping into emotions will drive your audience to take action.
Laughter, sadness, joy, fear, anger, surprise, or something else entirely. All of them are valid.
For example, if you're writing an ad for a product release, take advantage of the feeling of excitement that comes with trying something new. Or, if you're promoting a sale, emphasise the sense of urgency yet satisfaction that comes with getting a deal.
18. Pay attention to the information architecture and formatting
Optimise the information architecture and formatting to make the navigation as easy as possible to increase the overall conversion rate of your copy. This includes subheadings, bullet points, tables, number lists, fonts, etc.
Readers should be able to quickly catch the most critical points within your content—even if they only skim through it.
Gill Andrews has a splendid blog post on Painful Web Content Formatting Mistakes. WE'VE ALL COMMITTED ONE OF THESE CRIMES AT SOME POINT, OKAY?!!
19. Turn off passive voice whenever possible
Active voice is when the subject of the sentence performs the action: "The cashier counted the money". Passive voice would be when the sentence's subject is being acted on: "The money was counted by the cashier". While there are times when you can use passive voice, in general, it's recommended to avoid it because it weakens the message.
Plus, active voice is more direct, engaging, and natural. It's also shorter and easier to understand. So, whenever you can, turn off the passive voice. You'll end up with a cleaner, more lively style that'll be more efficient in getting your point across.
20. Instead of weasel words, go with imperatives and promises
Weasel words are those words and phrases that water down your writing and make it sound wishy-washy. They include qualifiers like "sort of", "kind of", "probably", etc.
These words add nothing of value to your writing and only serve to hedge your bets, make excuses, or leave room for interpretation, thus weakening your message.
So what's the alternative?
The next time you're about to use a weasel word, go with an imperative. Make a promise. Be bold. Instead of saying, "You should probably try our new product", say, "Try our new product and see for yourself how awesome it is". Made promise? Be sure to deliver on it. Nothing will lose your audience faster than making a claim you can't back up.
See the difference?
Imperatives are strong and compelling. They demand attention and spur action.
Ditch the weasel words unless they're part of the tone of voice.
21. Support the content with factual data
Data come in many forms: statistics, research findings, surveys, reports, testimonials, case studies, expert opinions, and the list goes on. All these elements build trust and credibility, a powerful persuasion tool.
And who's against data? Not so smart people.
Backing up claims with data shows that you're not just making empty promises or statements out of nowhere – you're truly confident in what you're saying. This will go a long way toward building trust and convincing people to move forward.
Of course, ensuring that the data you use is accurate is essential. Including irrelevant or outdated information will damage your authority. Similarly, using false or misleading information will backfire badly, so take your time to check sources.
Let's imagine you're writing something about UK Credit Card Usage. You have two options to introduce an insight. Which of the following would your reader go for?
In 2022, there was a drop in the UK's number of credit cards issued compared to 2020.
In 2022, 59.9M credit cards were issued in the UK, representing a 7.4% drop from 2020.
We bet you know the answer. You'd choose that one too.
22. Use visual resources to enrich the content
A picture is worth a thousand words, and that holds true when it comes to a copywriter's arsenal. When we say visual resources, we talk about images, graphics, photos, infographics, videos, social media posts, and basically anything that can...
- Give a break from dense blocks of text
- Highlight insightful points to remember
- Add another layer of information to the content
This will inevitably make your content more attractive, more helpful and most certainly more memorable.
When adding images, less is more. A couple of hand-picked images can have a much bigger effect than a barrage of images, so be selective in using visual resources.
23. Create attention-grabbing calls to action
A call to action (CTA) is an indispensable component of any functional marketing material. It's the part of the message that tells the person what to do next. Robust CTAs are clear, relevant to the content, and will use persuasive language to drive action.
Here are some tips for creating calls to action:
- Use strong, active language that commands attention – E.g., instead of "click here to learn more", try "discover the secrets of eCommerce logistics success".
- Make it personal using the second person "you" – E.g., instead of "sign up now", try "it's time for you to get started on your copywriting journey".
- Set a sense of urgency to take action – E.g., instead of "join our mailing list", try "join our mailing list today and get access to exclusive tips and resources".
Test multiple CTAs to see what works best.
24. Leave superlatives for actual super stuff
Superlatives are words that denote the highest degree of something, like "best", "greatest", or "biggest". They're the brightest stars in a copywriter's toolbox. You should use them sparingly because superlatives lose punch when overused.
Here's the thing. When every other sentence tries to be the best, readers will start to tune out. So, save your superlatives for when you really need them. If you've got something that's truly exceptional, that's when you break out the big guns and go for it.
Otherwise, your writing will end up sounding like hyperbole, and no one likes that. Instead of using a superlative, try to be specific about what you're bringing to the table.
Following the previous dental example, if you're selling toothpaste, don't just say it's the best in the market. Explain why it's the best, such as how it whitens teeth better than any other toothpaste or how effective and gentle it is on sensitive gums.
25. Work with a word count limit
Although this may seem counterintuitive, it forces you to carefully consider every word, sentence, and paragraph, with precision, without leaving out any key points.
Setting this limit varies based on the piece, the medium and the target audience.
Sometimes you may need to adhere to the client’s decision on word count, while other times, the subject or format may dictate the length of the piece.
For example, writing a recipe on How to Fry an Egg and a piece covering The Current State of the Property Market in the UK are two different things.
When considering the medium, a Facebook ad of 1,000 words wouldn't make sense, but it would if you're writing web content where there's more leeway.
Your chosen word count will always be dictated by the project.
This isn't to say that you always have to write within a strict word limit. Sometimes, you must go over that limit to get your point across clearly or let the creative juices flow—but keep in mind that this may require more editing work afterwards. But generally, working with a word count limit helps you hone your copywriting skills.
26. Break text into digestible sections to improve readability
When you divide your text into smaller chunks, you make it easier for readers to digest the information and break the monotony of large blocks of text. To further elevate readability, place subheadings, bullet points or numbered lists to guide readers through your content. Typographic elements like whitespace and bold are also a must.
27. Have a style guide to keep things consistent
A style guide assists with writing consistency. It can be as simple as a document that outlines the basic rules of your preferred spelling and grammar conventions.
Or it can be a more comprehensive guide covering everything from tone of voice and formatting to the use of images and multimedia.
And, if you work with a team of writers, a style guide keeps everyone on the same page.
HubSpot explains How to Create a Writing Style Guide. Worth bookmarking.
28. Play around with copywriting frameworks
What if you need help figuring out where to get started? Or what if you're looking for a new way to approach your ideas? Give these copywriting frameworks a shot. These pre-determined structures help you organise your thoughts and produce copy faster.
Once you've chosen a framework, play around with it. Experiment with various types of content, formats, and strategies. See what works best for you and your client's business.
This is a method for crafting effective marketing messages. It starts with getting your audience's attention (A), then moves on to creating interest in what you offer (I). Next, you work to build desire (D), and finally, you motivate them to take action (A).
See this hypothetical example of Zoom, the on-demand video conferencing tool.
- Attention – Tired of juggling multiple tools to communicate with your team?
- Interest – Zoom unifies all the ways you need to talk to your team in one place. You can chat, make calls, and have video meetings – all without leaving the app.
- Desire – Stop wasting time switching between infinite apps. With Zoom, you'll work faster and more efficiently with your team than ever before.
- Action – Sign up for a free trial now.
The Problem-Agitate-Solution (PAS) framework is a three-step process to identify and solve the audience's problems. First, spot the challenge your audience has. Next, agitate by highlighting the implications of that problem, which means stirring up emotions. Lastly, offer a solution, and present it logically and believably.
Following the same hypothetical example of Zoom.
- Problem – When it comes to a team scattered across the globe, there are many moving pieces. You need something that helps you keep things aligned.
- Agitate – You can't just walk over to someone's desk to ask questions, and it's complicated to know what everyone is up to when you can't easily communicate in person. Not to mention trying to schedule a meeting that works for everyone can be dreadful.
- Solution – Zoom is what you've been looking for. Your all-in-one app to chat with your team, hold phone and video meetings, share screens and documents, and more—from anywhere with just one click. We make it easy for you to get work done with minimal disruption.
29. Master the use of power words
Power words are the ones with strong emotional impact and influence. They can be incredibly potent in content messaging to increase conversions when used in the proper context. Overusing them can quickly make your writing seem gimmicky and inauthentic.
Exclusive, Stunning, Magnetic, Brilliant, Vicious, Dangerous—we can't list them all right now. But OptinMonster did and classified 700+ power words for you to enhance your copywriting skills. From greed and curiosity words to vanity, trust, anger and fear words.
Use them in headlines, CTAs or wherever they'll impact your copy most.
30. Clear up all potential objections in advance
Addressing objections head-on helps you build trust, credibility, and, most importantly, authority. Do this by taking some time to list possible objections across your content. Then provide a response upfront to any of those barriers your reader might have.
In a nutshell, here's the process:
- Determine the main objections. What is it that they're afraid of? What are they sceptical about? Once you know their main objection, you can begin addressing it.
- Back up your claims. No matter the claim, your reader will want to see some proof. Add testimonials, studies, or statistics that support your argument.
- Give readers a reason why. In other words, explain why it's in their best interest to overcome their objection and take action.
Picture this, you're working with a skincare product. Ideally, you want to address common concerns, such as "Does this product really work?", "Is it safe to use?" and "Is it worth the price?". Take care of this, and you'll have a more compelling argument.
Copywriting tips to make your content stand out
Good copywriting follows a set of rules that help it convert. By figuring out what problem you're solving, setting a goal to guide your writing, mapping out your content with a logical flow, and speaking your target audience's language – among the rest of the tips – you can nail your message.
Like all good things in life, effective writing takes time, practice, and patience. If you're just getting started or looking for professional assistance, Strategically connects you with world-class copywriters who can help turn your ideas into relevant content.