Copywriting: Techniques for a Great Body!

By: Wild Bill Montgomery

1) Think about your Readers

When writing ad copy be sure that the average reader can easily
understand and relate to it. Put yourself in their place. Would you
understand? Would you say, "That's me"? One way to help you write for your
readers, is to write just as if you were saying it to their face. Address
the reader as "you" in your copy. Just like a one on one conversation.
Sometime take a closer look at some of the advertising around you. How many
times do you see them using "you"?

Make your copy interesting to read, almost story-like, all the time
generating enthusiasm for your product or service. Find ways to place facts
in your copy without sounding like an Army Service Manual. The trick is to
convey the hard dry facts and numbers, while making them interesting to
read.

Don't talk about yourself. Readers don't care what you like, what you
did or what you think. They want to know if they will like it and how it
will benefit them.

2) Organize your Copy

When you write your copy you should always know what your primary
message or selling point is as well as all the secondary selling points. You
might want to use your primary message as part of your headline and then
dedicate a few lines or paragraph to expand on it. Then fit in your
secondary selling points in lines or paragraphs after that. Whether they are
a few lines or a paragraph would depend on the size of your copy. How much
space you can set aside for your selling points? Before you start writing
your copy write down all your selling points. Sort them in the order of
importance. When writing your copy, move smoothly from point to point, one
leading into the next.

3) Short is Better

Everyone knows that short sentences are easier to read and comprehend
than long sentences. One thing that all writers have in common is that they
are taught to write short and to-the-point sentences. Read back through your
copy. If you find a sentence that has more then 12 words, find a way to
break it down. Break all long sentences into 2 sentences. If necessary,
break them down again. You can also use hyphens to help separate long
sentences. This is not to say that all your sentences should be the same
length.

Copy can become boring when the sentences are all the same length.
Vary their length. Just keep them under 12 words. Remember you are writing
copy, not fiction. Sentence fragments, as long as they sound good to the
readers ear, are completely acceptable in copywriting.

4) Don't be a Dictionary

Use simple and easy words. That's what a reader understands. Consider
the mindset that you are communicating with. This reader is not trying to
dissect and devour your copy. This is someone, who for one reason or another
has been distracted from their primary goal to read what you have to say.
It's only a short pause they're taking to quickly read your words. If you
use complex words, you will either annoy or completely lose your reader.
Keep It Simple Stupid! Ad Copy is Communication. Don't think that you are
impressing them with words they probably couldn't spell and would never use
themselves. Make it easy for the reader to understand and keep up with the
copy.

5) Keep Clear of Tech-Terms with Wide Audiences

If your copy is to be read by a wide audience, don't wrongfully assume
that they will know what you know. If you feel that these facts must be
used, find a way to convey these terms in the best way that they can be
understood. Don't use a technical term unless it is the best choice.
Sometimes you have no other route than to use technical terms. Lets use
"software" as an example. What other way can you put it? It's software. But
then again you wouldn't want to say "C++ Software" just Software. The
average reader has no idea that C++ is a programming language and could care
even less.

6) Clear & Concise

Keep your ad copy free of clutter. Don't use words that aren't needed.
You are wasting your readers' time, weakening your sales message and taking
up valuable space that could be better served in your interest. Your readers
' attention span is short and they are usually in a hurry. Avoid
redundancies, over-worded phrases and other poor writing mistakes that serve
no other function than taking up space. Provide specific and concrete
information in a clear and straightforward manner. The more specific you are
the less chance your readers have of misunderstanding you.

7) For God's Sake, Get to the Point

Be direct and to the point. There is not time for beating around the
bush or to keep your reader guessing.

Next to the headline, the first paragraph of your ad copy is the most
important text in your work. The first paragraph, better known as the "Lead"
paragraph, is what draws in the reader. If your lead paragraph is
uninteresting to the reader, they will surely move on. Move right into your
primary selling point. Don't waste time with introductions and explanations.
If you must use them, use them later. Your ad copy should be the essence of
sell from the first word to the last. Loose the fluff and fringes. They're
for weddings not ad copy.

8) There's No Place for Sexism or Racism

I was listening to an ad on a college radio station in the middle of the
summer semester. It was an ad for a local business. During the course of
this 30-second ad they managed to insult the Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Thai
and all women everywhere. Now needless to say that any type of racist or
sexist attitude doesn't go far in advertising. But here we have a student
population, which during the summer, by the statistics taken each year, is
almost 30% of oriental origin and 65% female. Not only was this commercial
poor advertising, but just plain stupid.

Gender bashing, racist remarks and general rudeness offends people. You
don't sell by offending others. The hardest of them to deal with is the use
of gender in your copy. How do you handle it? Instead of "service man", it's
"service person". Instead of "his", it's "his/hers". There are however a
couple of other ways to help deal with this problem. One is two use plurals.
Instead of his or her, try they, them or theirs. Another is to rewrite your
copy taking out any reference to sex at all. You may even try alternating
sexes through the ad copy.

Well, that's it for now, hope you're walking away with more than you came
with.

Listed above are just a few techniques that you can use to help you write
better ad copy.

Remember good copy sellsComputer Technology Articles, but great copy sells well!

Copywriting
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