If you ask a professional copywriter how to write for the web, many will say, “Conversationally.” But what does “conversational” actually look like? How do you have a conversation with someone you can’t see, hear or talk back to?
If staring at a blank Word doc makes you feel anxious, you’re not alone. Creating web content, a blog post, an email, an e-book or a press release can be intimidating even for professionals. But once you understand some of the basics, you’ll find your fingers flying across your keyboard in no time.
Start with these seven tips:
- Write one-to-one. Even a magazine ad or a billboard that reaches millions of readers is seen by only one person at a time. People always read as individuals, not as a group. One of the most common mistakes is writing as though you’re addressing a room full of people. Instead, imagine a one-on-one conversation as you write—actually picture an individual in your mind. That will keep your messages personable.
- Make your marketing copy others-focused. Unless you’re writing to your mother, your message should typically not be about you. Materials like emails, brochures and direct mail should be less about what “we offer” and more about what “you’ll get.” When you write, try changing most of the sentences that use the words “our” and “we” to include words like “you” and “your.”
- Follow the rules of engagement. Engaging copy addresses the wants and needs of its target audience. But it’s not just what you say—it’s how you say it. The best copywriting is direct and to the point, uses an active voice and often creates mental images. Professional copywriters rarely use a long word when a shorter one will do.
- Write for your audience. For example, if your audience is not into slang, don’t try to be too hip. They won’t relate or you’ll come across as fake, and you’ll turn people away instead of engaging them. It’s hard to write compelling conversational copy when you don’t know the demographics of your audience. Be sure you have a clear picture of your audience.
For three more tips, check out the full article on Firespring.org>>