My 7 Copywriting Tips That Will Turn Your Readers Into Buyers
All the marketing greats have rammed 3 little words down our throats for years now – ‘Content is King’. And it really is. But what this has done is create a blog world that is crammed with information. Google any topic and you’ll find pages and pages of answers to your questions. So what makes YOU stand out from the crowd? Your copywriting. My seven secret copywriting tips will help you tell a story better than anyone else. I’ll give you the ability to tap into your reader’s psyche and deliver exactly what they are looking for. Do this (and do it well) and you’ll have readers turning into buyers in droves.
‘Write a blog. You need to blog’. How often have you heard this and thought, ‘Yes, I will do that’? But when you sit down to write…crickets…If you’re not a writer, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to do. You totally rock at what you do, but writing isn’t your thing yeah?
I’m here to tell you that there is a writer inside you! You just need a little help. But I think you already know that. That’s why you’ve Googled blog copywriting tips! Thanks for stopping.
Here’s my 7 blog copywriting methods I’m going to teach you in this blog post:
- Know your shit
- Boost reader engagement
- How to write killer headings (and subheadings)
- The psychological secrets behind POWER words
- Tell a story with your blog copywriting
- Create an irresistible call to action
- Copywriting hacks to take your blog writing up a notch
And a quick heads up: If you make it all the way to end of this super interesting, longish blog, you’ll be rewarded with an amazing infographic you can share with your networks.
1. Know your shit
Ever heard the saying, ‘Opinions are like arseholes – everyone has one’? And just about everyone wants to get their opinion heard. This is why the blog world is so packed with information.
In order to be heard, you must become a trusted authority. First, trust in yourself. You know your shit or you wouldn’t be in business. Research what others say about your area of expertise. See who comes up first in Google. Look at their blogs – what have they written? Read everything you can. This will take some time, but it’s worth it. Once you’ve seen what the leaders are doing, better it. Then and only then, will you start to become a trusted authority.
A little word of warning: Don’t be a backyard hack with no experience who copies others. Ick – nothing worse.
The difference between a good copywriter and a great copywriter is that great copywriters not only understand their topic but they also go one step further – they take time to know their readers as well. They spend more time listening than they do writing – they reply to emails, comments, run surveys to see what their readers want.
Creating amazing content is really easy when you know exactly what your readers want. When you start writing what your readers want to read, guess what happens? Your readers start to trust you and they begin to see you as a trusted authority. And as your authority grows another funny thing will start to happen…Your brand will develop and grow as well!
So start to write blogs to display your expertise.
Pipe up in Facebook and LinkedIn groups to give your input. Once people start seeing your name around the town, it will increase your reputation. The more people hear you’re hot shizz, the more people will check you out. The more people check you out, the more traffic you’ll get to your blog and the more conversions you’ll get. Building your brand and reputation are the key to becoming the authority in your industry.
Think about it for a tick. If you see a blog written by a mega company such as Copyblogger, you’re going to immediately trust what they’re saying. Why? Because they’ve successfully built their brand of being a top blogging company whose advice is totally amazing and well-written. Or if you saw a blog written by Kellogg’s about breakfast cereal, you’d trust them as they’re breakfast gods. Humans respect authority – well most of us do…
Authority Do’s and Don’ts:
- Give Yourself a Misson
I bring fun to the serious world of business copywriting, banishing crap copy and fixing brain farts.
- Prove you’re the expert
Start writing with more focussed copy and give away your knowledge freely. Make your content 10 times better than anyone else’s (This is known as 10x content). Stand out from the crowd and be amazing!
- Let others say you’re amazing
Let others say you’re amazing and tell the world how kick arse you are. People tend to believe what others say about you – good or bad. If you’re writing truly amazing content, this will happen naturally.
- Engage with your readers
Answer their comments, respond to their emails, engage with them on social media or in the forums. Yes, this can be time consuming, but make time for your fans.
- Label yourself with one word
You’ll get lumped with everyone else in your industry. I’m so much more than just a ‘copywriter’ (see my mission).
- Be a copy-cat
Fluff around doing the same thing everyone else is doing.
- Toot your own horn
Nobody likes a glory hog.
- Ignore your loyal fans
Ignore your loyal fans who comment on your blogs or social media posts. Giving an ‘air’ of being better than others who aren’t worthy of a response will not bode well.
2. Boost reader engagement
The last thing you want to do is direct readers to a blog that looks like a deserted pub in the middle of nowhere. You’ve seen those horror movies yeah? The creepy deserted hotel in the middle of nowhere where people mysteriously disappear… This is NOT what you want your blog to be. You want your blog to look like a bright, shiny casino in the middle of the bustling Las Vegas strip. Somewhere everyone wants to hang out.
Your readers are the foundation of your blog
Without them, you’d be writing for nothing. And what a big fat waste of time that would be. Who are you trying to help by sharing all your wisdom? Take some time to understand your readers, who they are and what they want. You can then tailor your content to exactly what they are looking for.
The biggest mistake you can make is asking yourself, ‘How much money can I make from my blog visitors?’. Successful bloggers ask themselves, ‘What value can I give to my readers to make their lives easier?’.
For me, I just love copywriting (some call this my guilty pleasure…). So my mission statement is this: ‘My blog helps fun loving business owners who need help with their copywriting’. I know who I’m writing to so I can target my copywriting to my audience – because I know who you are!
Create viral content people WANT to share
There’s heaps of information available out there so you need to make your copywriting unique. Stand out in that crowded content marketplace by trying the following:
- Covering existing topics in more detail – bigger is always better (*cheeky smile*)
- Use amazing images
- Make your blog layout clean and readable
- Use the 7 proven copywriting techniques in this blog post
- Have social media share buttons
Use quotes from experts and other bloggers
When you mention others in your content, they are likely to share your blog with their own networks. You’ll find you’ll get more traffic, engagement and build relationships with other bloggers. A quick tip – drop them an email and let them know you’re going to mention them – you’d be surprised how many times this will generate a nice backlink for you (wink wink!). And don’t just mention them for the sake of it. Make sure it fits in with what you’re saying.
Keep it real
I was called the ‘Poster Girl of Unique’ by the LinkedIn Demystifier, Jo Saunders. Not only do I write copywriting blogs, but I sometimes write personal blogs. I love my audience to know who I am. I also use personal examples in my blog posts and relate to my readers. There’s nothing wrong with letting your personality slip into your copywriting.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. There’s only one you. So bloody embrace it!
Add statistics and charts
They stand out, make an impact, and are a great way to make boring statistics and facts look sexy! They are also proven to keep readers on your site longer.
Remember not everyone loves reading
Images and infographics are great to captivate readers. Our brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it does text. If you don’t use images in your blog content, you are missing out on the huge opportunity for your blog to be shared. You can create images by using online tools such as Canva and PicMonkey.
3. How To Write Killer Headings (and subheadings)
Your heading MUST rock. It has to grab the reader’s attention and be so irresistible, they just have to click it. A great heading will make the difference between a ‘clickable blog’ and a ‘can’t be fucked reading blog’. Headings are the first thing people read and assess to see if you’re blog is worthy of their time.
Copyblogger quote: ‘On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest’. This shows how critical your heading is. The secret to compelling copy is to get your reader to read the next sentence, then the next, and the next. So if your reader stops at your heading, your blog is wasted.
We all know readers scan your blog (just like you scanned this blog when you first opened it – didn’t you?). Your headings and subheadings are what turn scanners into readers. And if you entice them with a great heading, they will come back to (or stop) to read that section. You should also make sure your headings are accurate and match what you talk about in the following paragraphs. Often when you’re editing, you’ll change words, so just quickly check that your heading is still relevant.
My editor asked me to add a quick note from him (he’s pretty cool so I’ll allow it this time). He says it pays to have a really good looking editor to review your work (*sigh and face palm*). You don’t need a professional (and they really don’t have to be good looking) – ask a friend or your partner – anyone who will read it for you. You’ll be amazed what a fresh set of eyes can pick up. And he’s out, back to me…
The Google gods also read your headings, so use your keywords. But remember that you’re writing for humans. If your keywords make no sense in your heading, don’t use them just for the sake of it.
You’re going to find thousands of blogs telling you how to write ‘killer’, ‘magnetic’, ‘amazing’ headings. So here’s my top 15 Monstar methods that I use to write killer headings:
Your heading is the promise of what’s to come, so make sure your content lives up to the promise! If your content is crap, you’ll annoy your reader. You don’t want to risk leaving a horrible, lasting impression on your reader.
4. The psychological secrets behind POWER words
There’s nothing better to entice your readers than using power words. Words with punch that silence the voices of doubt in their heads. Words that add meaning and trigger an emotion deep down inside the reader’s subconscious. And as a professional copywriter, I’ve learnt some of the best power words in my 7+ years.
Power words carry their own emotional wallop.
Reader’s hearts beat a little faster, their mind explodes with old memories, or at least, a tiny part of them takes notice. For example, ‘humiliate’. Everyone has felt humiliated at one point. It’s not great. When you read that a middle-aged lady, ’slightly overweight and crippled with knee issues’ runs a marathon and humiliates younger, fitter athletes – you get a sense of real drama with a fascinating story. Whereas if the story simply said that a middle aged lady runs a marathon with younger, fitter athletes, you wouldn’t relate to this.
Abandon adjectives. They’re pointless. Replace them with action verbs.
Using action verbs, together with power words will pump up your copywriting. You will capture your reader’s mind and won’t let go. You’ll never be boring. Even using a few power words in your copy will instantly increase your reader’s interest. It’s the gold of great, compact, intense writing that compels your reader to take action.
There are hundreds of power words. Feel free to use some of my Monstar favourites and take your copywriting to the next level of amazing:
- You – the foundation of customer-centred copywriting, the kind that converts readers into customers. The best power word you can use.
- Because – gives people a reason to do something (and it doesn’t even have to be a great reason).
- Words about newness – Introducing, welcome, unique, special, announcing, surprising, breakthrough.
- Urgent words – Now, discover, new, results, only, hurry, fast, quick
- Reassuring words – Proven, guarantee, easy, care, simple, can, lifetime
- Caring words – Love, children, family, health, dream
- Words about saving or making money – Win, save, money, cheap, free, reduced, discount, lowest
- Exclusivity words – Hidden, never, special, secret, exclusive, limited
- Pain words – Humiliation, guilty, lazy, afraid, failure, stress, reject
Use your power words to make your reader feel something, to think, to remember an experience. Think about what you want them to feel and use a power word to tap into their psyche.
Here’s a couple of examples:
- This one-time discount offer is only available during July. Act fast!
- Download this free power word eBook to discover 15 easy tricks to writing compelling copy that converts.
- Revealed! A proven method that is helping millions to write better blog…Can it help YOU too?
If your headings, call to actions or offers are not converting your readers, you haven’t convinced your reader WHY they need you. They’re bored. Use these examples to spice up your copywriting. Remember, any time you’re writing, focus on your reader, and thank them for visiting and reading your blog.
5. Tell a story with your blog copywriting
From a young age, we learn to love stories. As a kid, I wouldn’t go to sleep without my mum sitting on the edge of my bed, reading me my favourite book. It’s how our imaginations grow, how we learn new things, and for me, how I unwind. From the ‘Very Hungry Caterpillar’ to ‘True Crime Stories’, I love a good story.
Perhaps our love of stories is ingrained in our being. From as far back as time is recorded, people told stories. The cave men and pharaohs carved pictures on walls. Our grandparents tell us amazing stories of the ‘olden days’ – some good, some bad (bad memories of a headless chook story, but I’ll leave that for another day). Our parents often start a story by saying, ‘back in my day…’. We tell tall stories to our own kids (I loved this part of parenting). And we love hanging off every word our friends tell us about their juicy weekend adventures.
Words are your weapons. If you suck a reader into your story, they’ll believe you. They’ll relate to you and you’ll build that trust. Stories allow us to experience new things without leaving our comfort zones. It’s why we love watching movies and TV, and have a need to constantly scroll through Facebook to see what’s happening. Just like a good book, your blog should capture the imagination of your reader at the start, slowly build, giving the reader more and more and finish with a bang. You want you reader to walk away thinking, ‘Wow, that was an amazing blog’.
Telling a story will supercharge your blog. There are lots of ways to tell a story. Here are the different types of stories you can tell:
- You’re the main character – write about your personal experiences, draw from your own experiences
- Rehash stories you’ve heard or read – what did you hear at the office, what did your friend tell you, what did you read in the paper and so on
- Stories you find on the internet – they’re never ending! Use your keywords and find a relevant story. Make Google your friend
- Stories from your reader’s life – try to walk in their shoes and write a story about what would be on their mind
- Made up stories – totally cool and allowed! The point is entertainment, to draw your reader in. A story doesn’t have to be true to do this – never let the truth get in the way of a good story
The method of storytelling. Please don’t start your blog with ‘once upon a time’ but rather with an amazingly enticing heading to draw your reader in. Build up your characters (you, your product, your service) and get your reader to start thinking about what’s coming up. Continue to build your story with more details (your benefits, awesomeness, values, emotions). This middle section is your action movie plot – make it exciting. Finally, start to wind down your blog. Summarise and re-cap the amazing information your reader experienced and then close the deal (using your offer).
Next time you write a blog, tell a story and see if your engagement increases. You’ll soon attract a loyal following of readers who love you.
6. Create An Irresistible Call To Action
You’ve taken so much time to write a blog and you’ve managed to keep your reader engaged. You’ve convinced your reader to go a bit further, then a bit further, and another bit further until they reach the bottom of your blog. Great job! You’re an absolute super star.
But what happens when your reader gets all the way to the bottom of your blog? What’s next? All your hard work could be wasted if you don’t tell your reader what to do. And how do you do this? With a call to action. Your content marketing lives or dies based on this.
A call to action that converts readers should:
- Be specific and use power words
- Tell your reader exactly what you want them to do
- Encourage your reader to take action
- Create a sense of urgency
Your call to action can be simple: buy an eBook, book your service, buy your product, download a free eBook in return for their email address, or sign up to your newsletter. Whatever you use, tell them why they should do this and why they should act now. And make it easy to do. If it seems difficult, your reader won’t take action.
Here’s a simple Monstar structure for writing a call to action:
Start with verbs (action words) and power words, add a few adjectives (filler words) and keep things simple (short words).
For example, ‘Start now and convert 50% more readers with your first blog post’.
Use powerful motivators:
- The fear of missing out appeals to our emotions of panic, greed, comparison, curiosity and pride. Use words such as: ends tomorrow, urgent, one-time offer, last chance and registrations close today.
- Offer hope that you can fix your reader’s problems – problems you’ve outlined in your blog post. Use words such as: safe, proven results and risk free.
If you’ve done everything else to make your reader reach the end of your blog, then a powerful call to action should convert your reader into a customer. Give it a go!
Here are some amazing call to action (CTA) examples to inspire you:
This CTA was written for the sale of spy cameras. It starts simply, saying, ‘Best price on Amazon’. The reader now knows it’s the best price so can stop looking. Then it goes on to tell the reader that it’s the ‘BEST price’ and they can ‘have it in two days!’. So it’s not only the best price, but it’s quick delivery. Then the final CTA button makes them feel like they’ll miss out as everyone else has one…’ I want one too!’.
This CTA is a brilliant example of being brutally clear on what you want your reader to do. It’s simple and it’s very clear. The reader fits into one of two categories. They either want to ‘Grow my Traffic’ as they’re a blogger, marketer or startup founder, or they want to ‘Coach my Clients’ as they’re a consultant. Simple!
7.Copywriting hacks to take your blog writing up a notch
Copywriting is a learned skill. It is something that is taught and takes years to hone to perfection. And even then, copywriters don’t always get it right. It’s the art of making words so believable that people are in awe of your amazingness and start to throw money at you (faster than throwing balls at stupid Pokemon). Let’s run through some basics.
As we’ve already covered, your headings, subheadings and power words are your first weapons. Practice and use them wisely.
Banish abstract words
All these do are add fluff without meaning. They are words that are so overused that they have lost all meaning. Too many abstract words will confuse your reader. Here are some examples with what to switch to:
- Cessation – Stop
- Confidentiality – Secret
- Employment – Work
- Motivation – Keen
- Indication – Sign
- Remuneration – Pay
- Implementation – Do
- Understanding – Know
Long words make you sound like a tosser
They are difficult to read and you’re likely to lose readers. Remember one of the golden rules – easy. Make your blog reading easy. People can be lazy suckers so hard work can make them cranky. We’re all waaay too busy for hard these days. Here’s a list of long words and how to replace them:
- Achievement – Success
- Advantageous – Good, cheap
- Appreciation – Thanks
- Concerning – About
- Communicate – Tell
- Discover – Find
- Purchase – Buy
- Select – Choose
Grammar nuts will punish you for using the wrong word
Every writer’s enemy is the grammar nut. They’re the ones who will pick up every little error and let you know about it. So it’s a great idea to ask someone to proofread your work before you put it out to the world. Trust me, it’s really hard to do this for yourself! Here are some words to look out for:
- Advise (to suggest) – Advice (a suggestion)
- Affect (to change) – Effect (a result)
- Ensure (make sure) – Insure (protect against)
- Its (belonging to) – It’s (it is)
- Compliment (flatter) – Complement (the completion)
- License (to permit) – Licence (a permit)
- Loose (not tight) – Lose (misplace)
- Stationary (motionless) – Stationery (writing materials)
- There (over there – here) – Their (belonging to them) – They’re (they are)
- Too (also) – Two (2) – To (towards)
- Your (belonging to you) – You’re (you are)
- Bought (past tense of ‘to buy’) – Brought (to carry something)
Use beneficial words
Your reader will pay attention to words that benefit them. Here’s just a few of the hundreds of words you can use:
Beautiful, bright, cheap, gentle, healthy, safe, high quality, simple, strong, easy to use, efficient, modern, quick, powerful, exciting and stylish.
Write as you speak
My favourite rule. For all of you who say I can’t write, I ask you, can you speak? Of course you can. (Unless you’re the mute dude who turned up on my doorstop, shoved a sign in my face and asked me to buy your painting). So before attempting to sit down and write your blog, record yourself spewing all of your thoughts out of your head. It’s a method that works for some. Then you can either polish it, or ask a copywriter to help you. Easy peasy. A couple of rules:
- Use simple words (I feel like a broken record)
- Contract words – you’re, they’re, it’s, here’s, I’m
- Use well-known expressions – rip-off, turn on, sick and tired
Your blog copywriting should be conversational. Don’t be boring and starchy. No one has time for that shit. And your grammar doesn’t have to be perfect. We’re not in school anymore and people won’t take a red pen to your blog post. Except maybe if you have an editor like I do who has a serious fetish for red (pens, wine, undies)…
Vary your sentence lengths
Keep your content interesting by changing your sentence lengths. But don’t make them too long! Long, boring sentences will lose your reader. Here’s a guide:
- 8 or less words – Very easy
- 9 – 11 words – Easy
- 12 – 14 words – Fairly easy
- 15 – 17 words – Standard
- 18 – 21 words – Fairly difficult
- 22 – 25 words – Difficult
- 26+ words – Why fucking bother!
Readers don’t have time for crap. They want information and they want it now. Picture a pack of protesters – ‘What do we want?’, ‘Good Content’. ‘When do we want it?’, ‘Now’.
Use odd numbers
This is one of those weird human psyche things. We are more inclined to believe an odd number when quoted, rather than an even or ‘rounded’ number. Humans are odd little beings. For example, ‘97% of copywriters have trained in the art’ is more believable than 90 or 95%.
Never go with your first draft
First drafts are where you have a brain fart and blurt everything onto the page. Let it rest and then slash and burn. Rewriting is the key to producing killer copy. And a great editor if you’re a professional copywriter – absolutely worth their weight in gold.
Mon’s Editor Tip: (Sorry, another valid point so I’m letting him add his bit again). Everyone should have an editor, whether it’s a partner, colleague or friend – just someone with fresh eyes and a different view point. Ask whoever it is to be 100% completely honest, even if they think every word you wrote is completely shit. There’s nothing worse than someone telling you your work is great even when they know it’s not.
And we’re reached the end of our copywriting lesson
If you’ve made it all the way through, you’re my gold star student – I like you. I know this has been a lot of info to take in, so bookmark this page and refer back to it next time you’re ready to write your blog. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect first time around. Just start, get something done, and then edit/rewrite until you love your final version.
Over to you
Go forth and spread the Monstar copywriting love. And don’t forget to check in occasionally to let me know how you’re going. I am the queen of copywriting (in my own world – I even have the tiara) and happy to give you more advice should you need it.
If you’d love to take your blogs up a notch, contact me and I’d be happy to have a chat about what you’re currently doing, and how we could rev up your writing (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Until next time, keep smiling,
My 7 Copywriting Tips Infographic
You made it! Thanks for sticking with me and making it all the way to the end of my super long blog. If you enjoyed it, please feel free to share the below infographic and direct your network to this blog post.