Tips for writing beautiful blog posts & emails
I had so much trouble starting this post.
My notes were in front of me, but my mind couldn’t organize them into a coherently written article. I’m out of practice! It’s been months since I’ve written anything – work, life and new projects have kept me away from my blog.
I really wanted to get a quick post about copywriting done and out to you because I’ve had the notes on this topic for ages. But instead, I got frustrated with writer’s block and procrastinated even more.
Funny how the very thing I wanted to write about was giving me so much trouble.
Then, I realized I needed to take my own writing tips to heart. When I did that, the words started flowing.
These easy but effective tips should help you, too, even when you’re struggling with writer’s block!
Creating Beautiful Copywriting
Let’s admit it… writing copy for your website and email marketing can be torturous sometimes. It takes a lot of time and creativity, even on a good day. If you’re not in the creative flow – and a deadline is looming – it can become a painful and dreaded task!
Your copywriting makes a huge impression on your audience. Sometimes even more than your web design & branding does. So it needs to look good.
You come across a GORGEOUS website. It’s so visually appealing that you begin to feel major website envy, or you want to crawl inside its pages and make it your new home (or is that just me?). The site’s design & branding has done its job… it has drawn you in.
Once you’re in, what happens next? You check out the About page. You head over to the blog. You want to learn what this beautiful site is all about and who’s behind it!
Then you notice… oh no. The content is riddled with errors, typos, grammar mistakes, awkward spacing, and it sounds totally bland or too salesy. You start to feel a bit embarrassed for the awesome website owner. All that time spent on the design, but it seems the content was overlooked.
Aaand, what normally happens next?
If you’re really intrigued, you’ll ignore the mistakes and keep exploring the website. We all make typing errors! But what if you’re not fully engaged in the website yet? Or you’re a real stickler for good grammar and orderliness?
The “x” on the browser tab gets clicked. Right?
Beautiful copywriting is just as important as beautiful design. The two should walk hand in hand to make a positive first impression on your audience.
7 tips for achieving beautiful, effective and effortless copywriting:
Take your readers on a journey.
Organize your content in a way that makes sense to your target audience. Think about what they would want to see first when landing on your website, opening your email, or reading a blog post, and write the content in a way that helps them find it quickly. You can do this by using bold or different-colored headings to signify where the “guts” of the message is, create buttons that show where you want people to click, and make important hyperlinks more visible by putting them on a new line.
Show your personality when you write. It sets a more relaxed and open tone that makes readers feel more comfortable. People respond better to human beings than human marketing machines! A good way to be conversational is to start with a personal story or experience, then be creative with tying that in to a topic, offer, or sale that you want to promote.
We don’t have very long attention spans these days, do we? This is why it’s best to keep content short and simple. Even if it’s a longer article or email (like this one), you can still be brief in your paragraphs. A long article that is only 2 or 3 gigantic paragraphs long likely won’t be read all the way through. Sum up what you want to say in a few sentences, then move on to the next paragraph, thought, or section.
Use white space.
But not after periods – this practice isn’t really necessary with on-screen reading and writing. So, it’s time to say goodbye to double-spacing after you end a sentence (sorry, Jr. High English teacher!). Otherwise, it will mess up the alignment of your paragraphs on websites and in emails. I’ve used 2 spaces after the periods in this paragraph, and depending on what screen size you’re reading this in, you may notice that something looks a bit off here. It tends to be much more obvious in emails and on Facebook and Twitter posts.
Some ways you can create white space is by writing shorter paragraphs, making sure there is a bit of room underneath headings, and enough “padding” (web coding term for space around an object) around images.
Also, left-aligned text usually works best for paragraphs, as centered text can be difficult to read. You can center text like headings and sections that you want to draw more attention to. Use your best judgement. Or, if you work with a web or graphic designer, ask them what they think will look best for your website and overall visual brand. In most cases, left-aligned text is best.
Add images and dividers.
This simply helps to break up the content, especially if you have a lot of it. Choose quality images and photos, meaning ones that aren’t blurry, pixelated, or too small. And don’t use too many… 2-3 images is best for a page that has 6 big paragraphs. Divider lines work nicely to break up different sections, as well.
Write a clear call-to-action (CTA):
A call-to-action is a statement that encourages people to engage with your website, email or post, whether it be buying something, subscribing to your mailing list… really, anything you want your audience to do! On websites, especially sales or lead pages, you want to start off with a CTA near the top, then repeat it again at the end as a reminder (especially if it’s a long page).
Get a friend or an editor to proofread
When you can! I know it’s not always possible, so at least read your writing over yourself a few times when you don’t have a second or third pair of eyes to look for any mistakes. For really important things, like sales pages, definitely take the time to ask at least one person to proofread and check spelling, grammar, and that all hyperlinks are working properly (broken links happen alllll the time, even to “celebpreneurs”!).
I think you will find that if you use these tips, you will become a more easygoing, intuitive writer. You won’t be worrying so much about how to write, because you’ll be focusing more on what you really want to say.
What are some other (aesthetic and technical) ways you can make your copywriting more readable and engaging?
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