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Copywriting 101: 5 Secrets to Effective Writing

  1. Have a plan.

Never attempt to write copy for your website without first doing your homework. Who is your target audience and what do they really care about? What three takeaways should a visitor glean, and what actions do you want them to take as a result? Knowing these answers will help hone your message and ensure your copy drives results.

  1. Less is more.

Most readers lack the patience to wade through long explanations, so keep their attention by eliminating unnecessary details, repetitive phrases, or run-on sentences. Get creative - there is almost always a shorter way to express the same idea. And be brutal - as much as you are enthralled with the technical details of your new widget, ask whether your target audience really needs to know all of the nitty-gritty. If not, cut it out.

  1. Use creative analogies.

One of the most effective ways to capture a reader's interest is through the use of a "word picture" or analogy. Instead of explaining a concept in detail, try thinking of an appropriate comparison that readers can quickly grasp. For example, instead of writing, "We treat our customers very well" try "We treat our customers like royalty."

  1. Variety is the spice of writing.

Find ways to vary your sentence structure - a change in rhythm and order can help prose feel more engaging. If most of your sentences start with a subject, try opening with a prepositional phrase instead. Make some sentences short, while keeping others longer. If you have used a certain word too often, pull out the thesaurus and find a different one.

  1. Get active.

Active verbs will help your prose come alive with energy. Instead of saying, "The new opportunity was used by consumers" try "Consumers used the new opportunity." Even better, replace less interesting passive verbs with more unusual active ones: "Consumers exploited the new opportunity."

Before

Elaine Smith is the Research Director for Consulting Incorporated. She helps our customers in their efforts to identify market gaps and opportunities for growth. She notices little details that others miss and which provide invaluable insights for our customers. In particular, she is appreciated for her deep knowledge of a large variety of research methodologies.

Elaine came to Consulting Incorporated from Corporation A, where she spent 11 years. She worked in various roles at Corporation A, including working as the market intelligence lead in charge of market insights for the electronics industry as well as working as an account manager for customer service.

Elaine was awarded an MBA from the University of California in 1999.

After

As the Research Director for Consulting Incorporated, Elaine Smith identifies market gaps and highlights opportunities. With her hawk-like eye for detail, she consistently delivers invaluable insights. Our customers particularly appreciate Elaine’s deep knowledge of various research methodologies.

Prior to joining Consulting Incorporated, Elaine spent 11 years with Corporation A, most recently as the market intelligence lead for the electronics industry.

Elaine earned her MBA from the University of California in 1999.