Writing web copy can be tricky: you need to set it up in such a way that you are able to address the needs of your target market. Moreover, web copy is not like any other written or printed piece of writing: it has to be written concisely, with all the pertinent details shown so that the person reading the copy will pick up all the main ideas immediately. In the world of the Internet, writing the right web copy is important: people do not visit a website and read every single word in it, but they do need to get the right information in the least amount of time. You, as a copywriter, need to address their needs.
In particular, you need to answer four basic questions when writing web copy. First, why are your visitors at that website and why should they be there? Are they in need of a product or service? Do they fit a particular demographic that needs your help? Second, what should they do? Should they buy your product or service? Should they call you? Provide your visitors with a road on which to travel instead of telling them that they should get to a destination by their own terms.
Third, answer why your visitors should even do anything. Should they buy a product or service to get themselves out of a financial rut? Should they buy something from you so that they can enjoy life better? Finally, what should they do next? Should they go out and buy things, save money, ask for more help? What should they expect from you?
Remember these four basic questions when you set up your copy. You will need maintain consistency in your look and tone, moreover, so that when people read through your copy, they will feel comfortable and not have their brains scattering all over the place, what with the multitude of ideas that you present.
When setting up your copy, remember that you need to keep it from looking like a sea of text. Break up your pages and format information your information into smaller pieces of text. If you have a well-formatted page in a single font that is easy to read, it can be more inviting, and can actually beckon potential customers to start reading. Moreover, provide some white space: don’t have very large paragraphs so that your customers’ eyes can be soothed and relaxed as they skim over the page.
When formatting between paragraphs, leave two empty lines beneath the paragraph, as well as after every title and heading, in order to mark off and delineate ideas. This can provide white space, as well as a logical division of information that can tell your customers what to think and how to organize their thoughts. If you must use large amounts of text, keep them in narrow columns so that your customers do not have to read from one end of their computer screens to the other.
Subheadings can help you out and make your work more interesting and accommodating. In fact, they can aid visitors in scanning through the text and knowing what ideas to expect and where to find something that they are looking for. Have attractive titles, too, so that you can better catch your visitors’ attention.
These are only a few tips that you may want to use in setting up your copy. For more tips, look through effective web copies and see what makes them tick. Moreover, practice so that you can produce better copies every time.
Having great website content is a must in today’s crowded Internet arena. You always need to write well, and present a lot of information in a manner that will not only allow people to learn, but give them some amusement and entertainment as well. This latter part is very important: amusement and entertainment keep people glued to a website and can keep them coming back.
Therefore, you need to plan your website content so that it catches your prospective visitors’ eyes. In particular, you need to plan your copy: this is what will meet your visitors when they get onto your website, and you need to hook them at first glance.
You may be raring to put pencil to paper or start typing your website away. However, the problem with writing for the web is that it is built for people who do not read word for word: web writing must be done with the thought in mind that the target audience will skim through the sea of words and look for something interesting. You must be of the mindset, therefore, to attract your customers’ attention.
When you are starting off your plans, you also need to remember that you are after a certain segment of the market, or your target audience. This member of the target audience is going to be far more focused than any ordinary person hopping onto your website out of curiosity: this member of the target audience is expecting something, and has specific questions that need answering. You are to provide those answers.
When planning your copy, you need to practice targeting: this means that you have to fashion your statement so that visitors of a specific demographic and with specific needs can have these same needs filled by the products and services that you provide. You need to have this target market in mind: when you know what your target market is like, you will better know how to fashion your statement. How is this so? When you know your target market, you can step into its shoes better. You will know where to look for it online. This includes going to the proper online forums and mailing lists in order to see what your target market wants, how much money it’s willing to spend for certain products and services, and the language that it speaks.
It is this language and attitude that is especially important for you. You need this information in order to get a profile of your market, and know what your prospective customers should be like. When you have this profile, you can better make web copy that is targeted toward the needs and tastes of this target market. So now that you have the target, you can start sharpening weapons: you can outline your plan for making that precious web copy.
Remember: you need to catch attention within seconds, so get straight to the point. Keep your tone even, and make sure that it adheres to the tastes of your target market. This will make you appear as though you are engaging them in convincing, enlightening conversation. Moreover, don’t beat around the bush: be straightforward and easy to understand. The key is to talk to your target market and meet its needs, and to be in this specific mindset at the very beginning.
If you plan your copy right, you will be able to come up with great content that will not only get you visitors, but have you keep them coming back to your home online.
You’ve probably read enough articles, news stories, press releases and books to distinguish different tones and moods in the writing style used by the copywriter or author. Simply by changing a few words, adding punctuation and pauses for effect and using a different way to separate related topics, a writer is able to change how the reader feels about the write-up. So you think you’re too serious, businesslike and ‘heavy’? Here are ways you can make your copy upbeat and fun:
When writing copy, avoid wrapping your content in a veil of secrecy and enigma. Being mysterious is fine for puzzle makers and fortune tellers but it doesn’t always work with writers. Use an unassuming tone in writing instead. Avoid being overbearing or condescending. Just write clearly and use a light, undemanding tone.
Humor is very nearly a universal language, which means that with the right words, you can affect the way people see things and even cause them to break into a smile or even laughter.
To make your copy upbeat and fun, inject humor into your writing. Be lively and write with enthusiasm. If you’re bored, it will be reflected in your finished copy. Don’t be afraid to make people laugh because it’s often the easiest way to show them what you mean.
Don’t overdo the words
Some of the best and well-loved writers of the past and present centuries used simple, easy to read language. Anne Rice, Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Paulo Coelho and Isabel Allende are the kind of writers that did not require their readers to read their works with a dictionary next to them. As a result, their readers find it easier to understand and appreciate their efforts.
To keep the mood of your copy upbeat and fun, don’t try to exert too much effort to impress your readers. They want to be entertained and to be informed – not bewildered or confused. Don’t make it too hard for them. Use long, complicated words only when necessary or as a requisite in the article you’re writing.
Lighten up the language
Very often, to make your copy upbeat and fun, you might have to use colloquial terms or slang. This is often the case when the term you’re considering is too technical for your readers to appreciate.
Do not use offensive words
Sometimes, in an attempt to make writing upbeat and fun, some writers make the mistake of using words that are entertaining only to a few but highly offensive to the majority. Words that reflect bigotry, hatred or prejudice can seem upbeat but may not be effective in the context of the whole write-up. Avoid these words.
Don’t try to please everyone.
There is no way your writing will be able to appeal to every reader. Not even the best and brightest writers have been able to do that. This is why writers have target audiences or niches and why write-ups are characterized by genre.
Can you imagine if horror master Stephen King wrote a romance novel in the style of Harlequin books? Of course not. Writers will always have their own styles and a segment of the audience who admire them.
To keep your copy upbeat and fun, avoid trying to cover several genres or styles of writing in one article. Use one or two at most. Whether you’re writing a humorous story, a satire, a critique or are simply offering your opinion, stick to a tone of voice that is the best vehicle for the message you want to share.
Writers often depend on headlines to create appeal for their write-ups. Headlines, after all, are often the first line of writing that a person reads when he comes across an article, news story or book. A headline can create curiosity, stir up interest and generate wonder. The tone of the headline also affects the readers’ response and elicits reactions right then and there. For proper headline creation and tone testing, here are some things to keep in mind:
The headline should set the tone
Whether your write-up is upbeat, formal, businesslike, provocative, engaging or a call-to-arms kind of thing, the tone of your headline should reflect it. Very often, your goal as a writer helps set the tone of the headline and the subsequent body of the write-up.
Are you trying to give information? Raise a question? Intrigue the reader? Create a sense of urgency? Decide on the goal of your write-up first and this will help guide you on finding the tone for your headline.
Write down the keywords that define your article
This is especially important if you will be writing for the Web and quite useful even if you will be writing for print. Keywords are words that reflect or represent the main idea or topics that will be found in your article. These keywords should then be found in your headline.
Although some keywords are rather neutral in tone, there are some that best express the feelings or emotions that you might find appropriate for your write-up. Write these words down so you can decide later which one to use to achieve the best effect. When you go through tone testing later, this effect will be easier to determine.
Write down the words that reflect the tone of your headline
Some words, like adjectives such as ‘truly’, ‘really’ and ‘absolutely’ set the tone of the headline, making it seem like what you have to offer is the ultimate. These words give a sense of exclusivity and can help your headline stand out. ‘How to’, ‘Guide to’ and ‘Tips for’ are often used in headlines to set the tone for an instructional article. Action words, on the other hand, set the tone for enthusiasm, making the headline sound urgent.
So how do you know that you truly have the right tone for your headline? Test it. Go online, use at least three search engines and type the headline you’re planning to use. Use the exact words initially to test the headline.
Once the search engine has produced a listing of results, go to the top 3 or 5 of these links and check how relevant your headline is. Read the articles as well and check if the tone is similar to the tone of writing you wish to use.
As part of the audience, you should be able to tell if the tone of the headline works. Test it against your reaction and how you responded to the headline and the subsequent body of the article. Check reader reactions in the comment section as well. There’s a good chance you’ll find frank assessment of the write-up there. Then use what you’ve learned to apply in your own writing.
Test the tone with a limited audience. Try showing the headline to friends and ask them what they think. More importantly, ask them what kind of emotion/s the headline produces. If the answer is exactly what you intend the headline to create, you’re on the right track. If not, revise the headline.
You could also tone test the headline by posting it online. Then change the words strategically to see the kind of reaction you receive. Once you achieve what you want, stick to that headline.
There are effective ways on how to infuse your visitors the sense of urgency your page is trying to convey. Since the most crucial part of your site is the part where the visitors land, headlines are very vital to bring to them your point at the most immediate time possible.
Writing the best headline is not too complicated as many marketers would think; it can be simple if you will follow the right process. Rather than thinking of how you should write your headline, think of what it should say to your visitors. To help you think about a possible headline, listed here are the types of headlines to choose from:
- News Headline. If your service or product proposes something newsworthy, publicize it on your headline. You’ll naturally use this to present your new product or an enhancement on your existing product. You can make use of words like Now, New, Introducing, Just Released, Finally, At Last or Announcing to make your News Headline more appealing. For example: Finally! A New Diet Pill that Can Work For Just Seven Days!
- Benefit Headline. Features do not sell but benefits do. To compose a winning benefit headline, you must be overly familiar with your market. This will let you offer them a compelling and powerful benefit driven headline that will easily entice your audience. Research on every little benefit that your prospects are looking for on a product or service. En example of a benefit headline is: Cleans and Whiten Your Teeth…
- Guarantee Headline. These are headlines which present appealing benefits and guarantee results. If your product or service gives powerful guarantee, let your would-be customers know it by showing it on your headline. For example: Whitens your Skin in just 10 days… Money Back Guarantee!
- How to Headline. There are many “How Tos” present either in books or sites so you wouldn’t be wrong on this type. Try placing “how to” on your headline and it will really be enticing for your prospects to know what solutions, information and advices you have for their problems. For example: How to Win Back Your Husband…
- Testimonial Headline. This type of headline utilizes testimonials of customers for the headline. Your customers will sell for you since they will be talking of the benefits they gain from your products. For Example: I Earn A Lot By Just Purchasing this Self-Help Book
- Question Headline. You must be cautious when using this type. You must be well informed of your market or you may blow your chances of winning them by this advertising drive. The good types of question headlines are those that encourage your prospects to be involved. For example: Have You Turned Your First Date into Disaster?
- Command Headline. The type of headline which instructs your costumers on what they will do. The command must encourage action through benefit offerings that will really help them. Most effective headlines must start with action verbs. For example: Stop Your Financial Problems!
- Reason Why Headline. This headline will give your prospective costumers particular reasons why they need to read your sales letter, your website or your ad. These headlines are effective since they include specific numbers and facts. For example: Easy and Fun Ways to Earn $500 From Home.
You can model your headline from the types listed above; but be sure to sizzle your headlines to compel your prospects to read your site. Move beyond the usual and create your headline at a different angle. Add up some new attention grabbing terms and see your sales surge up!