Sitting down to write content can be a daunting process, even for experienced copywriters.
If you’re taking your first steps into the world of copywriting – perhaps you’re just launching your business, or have heard that content can drive more traffic to your site – you may be feeling anxious about what to write. Copywriter’s block is a very real thing, we know.
Looking for inspiration? Then look no further.
Need tips on honing your approach? We’ve got those, too.
Let’s get those creative juices flowing: what are the essential techniques you should be using in your blog?
Essential copy technique #1: Always put your reader first
In your early days of blog writing, it’s tempting to write the sort of content you find entertaining and easy to create. Grappling to overcome writer’s block takes time, and you’re a busy startup entrepreneur with a million other things to be getting on with!
But, if you want your content to really have impact, you’ve got to prioritise your readers’ needs over your own.
So how do you check you’re doing this?
It’s easy: utilise the ‘You’ technique.
In just a few minutes, the ‘You’ technique can take your website, social, email and blog copy from ‘meh’ to ‘YEAH!’.
Once you’ve written a post you’re happy with, go back through and add ‘You’ as the first word in every sentence. Yes: every single sentence.
You may feel a little crazy doing so, or sense you are wasting your time. But trust us on this one: you’ll soon see the transformation occurring.
When you’re done, revisit and rephrase everything that sounds robotic or try-hard. We aren’t suggesting you leave every sentence starting with the word ‘You’; no, not at all. Instead, use this as a way to check that you’re putting your reader first.
What’s the issue with writer-centric copy? Well, it’s natural to default to a first-person perspective when you’re writing, but this won’t do much to really engage your audience.
Getting into the habit of double-checking who your copy is prioritising – the writer, or the reader – will improve the quality of your content in no time at all.
Soon, you won’t need to use the ‘You’ technique, you’ll be putting your reader first quite effortlessly.
Essential technique #2: Front load your copy
User Experience researchers have found that readers digest digital content by scanning across the page, often darting around and jumping between the first few words of each new line.
It’s often referred to as the ‘F Pattern’, because the a reader’s eye movement sort of makes the shape of an ‘F’; along a line, down to the next one, along a little bit, down to the next.
So what does this mean for your copy?
Understanding how a reader will view the content you post, will help you lay out your copy for optimal impact.
How do you start your sentences? Do you tend to pre-amble, with a little filler at the start before you get to your main point?
Or do you hit hard with important keywords up front?
The latter is certainly the most useful style for stellar copywriting.
You can check your copy by focusing in on the first two inches of content, from the left hand side. This is your ‘front loading’ zone – where readers will scan, on the hunt for useful information. As such, make sure the most important words and phrases needed to land your point can be found here.
Do you need to reorganise, so your crucial content is front loaded?
Strong, convincing and effective copy features as little filler as possible. But, as with technique #1, you’ve got to make sure your copy sounds human and natural. A little fluff, here and there, to add warmth and real-ness is required.
Essential technique #3: Show empathy, with ‘Even if…’s
We’ve already spoken about putting your readers’ needs first, and about making sure the start of each line has some killer phrasing, to capture your audience.
The third, and final, essential technique is about showing you truly understand where your reader is coming from, and what are they are thinking as they read your blog post.
For instance, as you read these ‘essential copy techniques’ you may be thinking; “Well sure, this all sounds great… if I had the time to put this much effort in”, or “I’m not a good enough writer to pull these tricks off”, or “I’m still not even convinced that a content strategy is worth my money or resources”.
Because, here at Scribly, we’ve got years of combined experience in copy and content writing, we want to do our best to make sure you feel confident in your ability, and finish reading this blog post incentivised to invest in your digital content marketing.
Even if you feel like you’re a sub-par writer right now. Even if you blog is far down the bottom of your ‘to do’ list today. Even if your brain is muddled with all the various copywriting advice there is to read online.
We’ve all been there. It can be overwhelming. Don’t worry; practice makes perfect!
And the ‘Even if…’ technique is perfect to start practicing with right away. It works because it brings in proof, to support the benefit you are promoting. You can improve your blog by using these techniques, even if you didn’t know how to until just now.
You try it yourself: take the benefit you want to convey, add an ‘even if…’ and highlight something your reader might actually be thinking or feeling.
By referencing issues and doubts head-on, you not only quash them in your readers’ minds, but position yourself as a source of help and knowledge.
Time to get cracking…
With these three essential copywriting techniques under your belt, you should see a noticeable difference in the quality of your blog content, and the ease at which you continue to write it.
Still feeling unsure?
We love to talk shop, so why not send us a message with any copy or content questions you might have?
And if you’re really feeling stuck, let Scribly take some of the weight off your shoulders. Delegation is critical in a startup, and we are more than happy to help!