Copywriting Guidelines, 3d installment.
Dress up right, DRESS!
If you didn’t play toy soldiers as a child, you have an opportunity to repair this omission in copywriting business. Actually, the profession of copywriter is multi-faceted by nature: we trill away like nightingales while writing a sales letter and generate buzz like rappers when we create a blog post.
This time let’s imagine your are an officer who drills his/her soldiers, teaching them to take the right stand. Each copy of yours contains a message, and you strongly expect it to be perceived by readers, I mean, scanners – because most of people on the Web just scan through the text. To deliver your message to the destination point you should structure the text, so that any scanner can pick your ideas at once.
Ensure that your words are drawn up in paragraphs like soldiers in battle lines.
Organize your copy:
- Make sure your headline is well-targeted and relevant. Don’t try to deceive your readers by the pretentious “Secrets of Business Letter Writing” if your copy just comments some well-known facts. Keep from headlines like “Useful Tips for Business Letter Writers”: that looks too general and vague. Be honest, concise and, if you like, promising: “10 Business Letter Samples That Helped Cut a Million Dollar Deal”.
- Ensure that the title doesn’t echo the first words of the intro: the web copy isn’t a song, so you don’t need to repeat the refrain twice
- Divide all you have to tell into primary and secondary information. What is the main part of your message that you want to convey to your visitors? Find it and place in the first few paragraphs. The rest is secondary information. If you are a master of vivid details, that’s great, but don’t go in particulars too far: your reader may lose the path.
- For the same reason, saturate your copy with signposts, so that users see the key points of your message as soon as they have uploaded the page. Use:
* bullet points;
boldface and italic;
but try not to overuse them: your words should be like neat soldiers marching in cadence, not like clowns.
- Present all information in a straightforward manner: first you say A, then B and C, and only after this – D. It doesn’t mean that your style should remind of Yellow Pages by its logic and ultimate pithiness: actually you may jump from topic to topic, you may behave like Joyce, enjoying the stream of consciousness, you may do whatever you like – the only condition is that your readers should understand what you are writing about. So, use certain logic while introducing ideas.
- Stick to one idea per paragraph.
- Form up your copy in a way that there are no scrolling pages. That can be achieved by editing content, breaking it into several pages or linking to supporting data.
- Take advantage of what the Internet offers. If you discovered some “awesome” post and fancy sharing it with readers, don’t tear out large chunks to insert them into the text: this way you will overload your copy, and besides, Google may consider it plagiarism while indexing. Place a link to secondary information instead of reproducing it.
This way, step by step, you will be rising to a higher copywriting rank, moving from a modest Junior Officer to a seasoned Marshal. Caught the point? Now: quick march!