Writing great texts is not just a skill. It’s an art. We’ve asked around to find the best copywriting tips from seasoned writers. Find out how to start each piece of text, what to focus on, and how to create your content to achieve a goal.
If you are writing for a website or blog, there are many things to keep in mind as you write. You think about your audience, your platform, and your goals. They also try to choose the right words and put them in the right order to keep your readers engaging. And on top of that, you have to deal with SEO. Balancing everything is not an easy task!
Note: We have added numbers to the tips below. However, the list is not ranked and # 10 is just as good as # 1!
1. Ask yourself what problem this copy solves.
Shared by @katetoon
“Man first. Google second. Take a deep breath and ask yourself: what problem does this copy solve? Then write the most useful, informative, and fun page, product, or post that you can.
Talkative and warm-hearted.
I could go on Copy is my jam !!! “
Putting users first is thinking about their needs. And when people visit your page, they are likely trying to solve a problem. By thinking about your audience’s needs and thinking about how you can support them, you can lay a solid foundation for effective, engaging content. And in addition to the search intent of your users, readability must always be taken into account! We forgive you for putting five tips in one, Kate, but only because they are all great suggestions! 😉
2. It’s about how what you sell changes someone’s life
Shared by @itsjulekim
“If we take into account the Judith Charles quote that a copywriter is just a clerk behind a typewriter, and then the fact that purchases are emotional decisions, then here is my tip: paint a clear picture of the future state and direct your writing trying to elicit strong emotions from it. It’s never really about the features, but how what you sell changes someone’s life. Classic example: Apple iPod didn’t keep talking about how many GB it had, it just said “1000 songs in your pocket”.
These are some really advanced copywriting, we love it! Even experienced copywriters can make the mistake of writing abstract, overly technical product descriptions and using marketing jargon that doesn’t mean much to their audience. Understanding search intent is about more than just knowing that, for example, “people are looking for cars”. It’s about knowing why people look for cars: to get opportunities, have fun, or take care of their families. And knowing that can help you create content that will really resonate with your audience. Great tip, Jule!
3. Use short sentences
Shared by Yoast CEO Marieke van de Rakt
“Reading from a screen is difficult. The subject you are writing about can be difficult. However, that doesn’t mean your text should be difficult. Sometimes you can’t avoid these harsh and difficult words, but you can always shorten your sentences. It really helps your readers understand the meaning of your text. “
We cannot contradict Marieke (and not only because she is our boss!). When you write long, meandering sentences, your readers will have to work harder to understand them. They could just give up and find their information elsewhere if you made it difficult for them. So keep your sentences short and to the point. Your users will appreciate it.
4. Use words that create a clear picture in users’ minds
Shared by @shrutisonasharma
# 1 Tip: If users can’t imagine what you’re saying, they’re not buying your product. Use words that create a clear picture in users’ minds rather than being vague. (Always remember; people buy what they want, not what they need) “
Descriptive language can be powerful and compelling. This is especially important if your use of images is restricted. Using the right words can really bring your text to life – helps your readers imagine what you are talking about, but also helps you imagine yourself as part of that picture! This top tip from Shruti Sona will definitely give you an edge when it comes to writing great product descriptions.
5. Mind map your topic
Shared by Edwin Toonen, Strategic Content Specialist
“My top copywriting tip has to do with what happens before the writing itself begins. It has to do with putting your mind in the right place to write great things. I use mind maps to structure a topic and to reveal connections between different parts of the topic. This brings the thoughts that I have in my head to life on the canvas – and then in my writing. After I’ve structured everything I export and import it into my text editor which gives me a proper structure to start with. My favorite mind mapping tool is MindNode. “
When it comes to writing more on complex topics, putting the pieces of the puzzle together can be a challenge. Fortunately, Edwin’s tip on using mind maps to explore a subject is a great way to understand everything. Mind maps can really help you clear your thoughts, visualize connections between ideas, and organize your information. But not only that! With mind maps you can see your topic in a whole new light and come up with new ideas. Definitely give it a try if you are new to mind maps.
6. Don’t hesitate to get started
Shared by Michael Wangard
“Don’t hesitate to start – just write down what you want to say, what’s on the tip of your tongue, in words that you would tell a friend. Feel the magic while writing – it’s all in you, just let it out “
Some writers like to make a really thorough plan before they start writing. There are many benefits to planning your content, but it doesn’t always help you get those words out when you’re staring at a blank page. But we think Michael is right – it can really help you first of all to write down all the thoughts you have, as if you were telling a friend. It doesn’t matter if what you’re writing isn’t perfect the first time around, you can always edit it once you have some good pieces to work with.
7. “Only write when you have something to say” does not work
From a blog post by Ann Handley
“The problem with this approach is that you find excuses not to write.
It is an end. An alibi. You will decide that all you have to say isn’t very illuminating, no one is going to miss you anyway, and you might as well sit on the couch and inhale Bridgerton.
Ann makes a big point (which she elaborates on in her blog post) – you can’t just sit around and wait for ideas to come up! Even if you have a lot to say at first, these simple topics will eventually dry up. You need another solution if you want to write regularly. Ann recommends that you actively look for ideas to write about and stick to a schedule – even if you’re not sure what to write about. We think that is excellent advice; After all, practice makes perfect!
8. Start with a problem or statement that your audience recognizes
Shared by Nils van der Knaap
“Start with a problem or statement that your audience recognizes and agrees with. This makes them feel understood. If your readers don’t like the headline and intro, they won’t read the rest of your content. “
Many writers focus on the main substance of their content, but Nils is well advised to remember how important the headline and intro are too! Your headline (which is likely your title, and your SEO title in search results too) is the first thing users see – and possibly the only thing they’ll see of your content if they choose not to click through. It’s important to write a headline that catches users’ attention and lets them know what your content has to offer. By starting with a relatable situation or statement, you will already be convincing these users that your content contains the information they want. Don’t go so far as to make clickbait headlines, however!
9. Don’t just think of Google, think of people too
Shared by @valentinaturchetti
“Don’t just think of Google, think of the people as well. It means doing amazing keyword research AND writing properly for the web – I mean – paying attention to grammar, punctuation, and so on. I sometimes find some SEO articles that are written with SEO and web copywriting criteria, but they are unreadable with no meaning to the user. “
We like to emphasize that thinking about people should come first! It can be tempting to write with Google rankings in mind, especially if your keyword research is fantastic and you can’t wait to get started. But if people can’t understand your message, what’s the point in creating that content? Put your users first and give them easy-to-read content at all times.
10. Good copywriting is like good driving – you shouldn’t notice
From a blog post by Amy Harrison
“Good copywriting is like good driving – you shouldn’t notice. … Good copywriting should get a client to think about the outcome, what happens after the sale, what is possible, what the transformation is, and not about the writing. “
Last but not least, this excellent advice from Amy Harrison’s blog is absolutely spot on. When your writing attracts attention, it will divert attention from the message underlying the words. And that’s not what you want. Make your writing effortless to read so your reader can sit back, enjoy the ride, and really connect with what you’re talking about. Check out Amy’s blog (Marieke is a big fan of this) for more great copywriting tips like these.
The # 1 Yoast Copywriting Tip: Make It Readable!
Phew, those were some great promotional tips! You may notice one point that keeps popping up: putting users first. One of the most important things you can do for your users is make your content readable. And when it comes to readability, the Yoast SEO plugins are every copywriter’s best friend. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, our plugins can help you easily check the readability of your content and also give you advice on how to make improvements. Find out more about our readability checks and how they are structured – or get the Yoast SEO plugin and try it out yourself!
Willemien is the content manager of yoast.com. She loves creating user-friendly content and making it easy for people and search engines to find.