Writing Content That Sells
Learn how to write content that sells, just like a professional copywriter.
Copywriting is promotional writing. It's the art of promoting a person, product, company, organization, opinion, or idea by using words.
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Like any other field related to making money online, you could outsource the creation of content and copywriting to professionals. However, it's better to understand the basics before you do. Furthermore, you don't actually have to be a professional copywriter to write good content. Learn the basics, and take it from there.
Crash Course in Online Copywriting
I couldn't possibly cover all aspects of online copywriting in one single article. That's why we've added some resources for you at the bottom of this page. However, what I could do for you is to go through the basics and the most important aspects of online copywriting. Here they are...
When writing for the web, be aware that users scan rather than read text. People read differently on the web than when reading from paper. This has been proven scientifcally in several studies. For example, see useit.com: How Users Read on the Web (They don't).
Say the Important Things First
Start with a summary or a conclusion in the beginning of your text. Don't wait until the end at the very bottom of your page – not all readers even get that far.
Say the most important thig first, always. This goes for the meta tags (title, description, keyword), the headline (the most important words first), the first sentence of your paragraph, etc.
Adjust for scanning
Most of your readers will scan, not read. Thus, to get your message across you will have to adjust your text to this fact.
Use headlines and sub-headlines to make it easy to understand the structure of your text. Furthermore, use keywords that make sense both to the search engines and to your readers. Use bold and emphasis in your text to make it easy to find important words and phrases. This practice is good for Search Engine Optimization as well.
Underlined text and colored text could also be used to help the reader to scan the text.
If you help the reader to scan the text, he or she might actually bother to read everything, eventually.
Use graphics (photos, graphs, illustrations, etc.) to help your readers easily graps the content and to help they focus on the topic you're writing about. For example, a photo of the earth could be useful when discussing the atmosphere, but you could also show an illustration of the atmosphere (the Wikipedia article about the atmosphere contains both a picture of the earth and further down an illustration, which demonstrates excellent usage of graphics).
Adjust for Goals
Adjust your text to the goals your readers have. There's a reason for why someone would read your text. What do they expect to find? What do they want to learn?
Present The Hard Facts
People don't want to read text that sounds like Shakespeare online. Present the facts instead of beeing poetic or cryptic.
Check for gramatical errors and spelling errors. Use buildt in spell checkers to make this quick.
Read Your Copy Aloud
As a final step, always read your copy aloud, as this is perhaps the best way to spot incorrect wording or awkward phrases.
Great Copywriting Resources
Here are a few resources for you if you want to learn more about copywriting:
- Copyblogger.com - a great blog and excellent resource on copywriting. Perhaps the one and only resource on copywriting you'll ever need.
- Real Writing Jobs - write articles for other people as a way to excersise your skills, and at the same get paid for it! Write articles in any language. Check out the link for more info.
- The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman
- Online Copywriter's Handbook: Everything You Need To Know To Write Electronic Copy That Sells by Robert W. Bly
- Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples, it's a classic.
- The Copywriters Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sells by Robert W. Bly, another classic.
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