oxford comma

The Oxford Comma & Its Place In Your Web Content

Who cares about an Oxford comma?

Good question. You should, if you are in search of being a well-read online writer.

While the Oxford comma may seem like a useless little piece of punctuation, this unique little comma has a major effect on the clarity of a sentence, and can either improve your online content or drive it into the ground depending on how you use it.

How much does it matter to the content writer, and the readability of online content? Let’s dive in and talk about the Oxford comma in relation to online writing.

comma in web content

What is the Oxford Comma, & Why is it Such a Big Deal?

Oxford Dictionaries defines the Oxford comma as an optional comma that precedes the word and, and appears at the end of a list.

It garners it’s name from being traditionally used by readers, editors and printers at Oxford University Press. It also goes by the nickname “serial comma.”

This still from the Oxford Dictionaries “What is the Oxford Comma” YouTube video does an eloquent job at portraying the problem that could occur, should you omit the Oxford comma. (See the highlighted blue circle showing where the Oxford comma would go.)

screenshot youtube oxford comma

Without the comma, the characters in the still – President Obama and the Queen of England – become acrobats at the party.

With the Oxford comma, the characters go back to being who they are, intact, all right in the world.

(I like to say the Oxford comma saves lives, because there’s also this fun old quip: “Eat, Grandma!” vs. “Eat Grandma!” Telling Grandma to eat takes quite a turn, without the Oxford comma.)

According to a 2014 poll that asked Americans in general about their feelings regarding the Oxford comma:

  • 57% reported that they were for using it
  • 43% would rather avoid it

This is a pretty even split, and it provides some insight into why so few people can agree on the Oxford Comma’s place in online writing.

Even though there are a few different schools of thought about how to use the Oxford comma, and where it’s appropriate, anyone familiar with professional writing (either on paper or online) knows that inconsistency looks improper. As such, it’s smart to develop a standard for how you’ll use the Oxford Comma in your online writing.

In addition to being a good practice, learning to use the Oxford comma correctly can have a significant impact on the clarity of your writing.

After all, the Oxford comma has the potential to change the meaning of a sentence completely – as we saw in the earlier image.

Consider two more examples:

  • “Angie went into the lake with her sister, a doctor and a hot-air-balloon enthusiast.”
  • “Angie went into the lake with her sister, a doctor, and a hot-air-balloon enthusiast.”

One simple comma can mean the difference between a three-person lake party with a doctor and a hot air balloon enthusiast, and a quality summer outing between sisters.

So, learning to use the Oxford comma correctly is essential to ensure that your writing is saying what you want it to say, rather than running away with your purpose.

But, Do You HAVE to Use It?

Is the Oxford comma strictly required in writing?

The answer, although I’ll probably debate you on it (;-)), is not at all!

As a copywriter, you’ll find that some clients prefer it and that some could do without. Feel free to cater your style to the preferences and style guides of your clients. Certain brands may have uniform grammar rules that they appreciate and go by, and you want to stick within their voice and style. That’s fine.

Beyond personal preference, there’s also a geographical norm to the Oxford comma. Once you start using it, you’ll find that it’s a pretty standard practice in the US, but far less common throughout the UK. 

How to Use the Oxford Comma: 4 Tips to Remember

While the Oxford comma is necessary, it can be confusing. Here’s a list of key ways to use it.

1. Always use the comma in long, complex lists.

Example: “Alison went to the store and got caviar, cheese, crackers, soy sauce, Sprite, cookies, bread, and toenail clippers.” The Oxford comma in this sentence appears right before the last “and” and helps to simplify the pattern of the phrase.

While it’s fine to omit the Oxford comma in a short list (“Alison went to the store and got cheese and crackers”) it helps to streamline longer lists and is essential in any online content that lists a variety of products, goods, or services, for example.

2. Use the serial comma in any sentence that needs additional clarification or could be confusing without it.

In online content, using the Oxford comma is recommended in any piece that will be confusing without it. Because the Oxford comma helps to break up topics and keep the message clear for readers, it’s an essential way to keep mix-ups to a minimum and help your readers digest the essential meanings of your content.

Here’s an example: “I had toast, eggs and cheese.”

Without the Oxford comma, it sounds like you’re telling your friends, Eggs and Cheese, that you had toast for breakfast. “Great,” they think, and your readers are confused. To make it easier on everyone, insert the Oxford comma:

“I had toast, eggs, and cheese.”

For an example of how the Oxford comma (or lack of it) can create confusion, check out this Mental Floss infographic on the topic:

mental floss infographic

Source: http://mentalfloss.com/

3. In online writing, use the comma before coordinating conjunctions that link independent clauses.

Examples:

“I went running, and saw a platypus.”

“I sat at a coffee shop, and met the president.” Etc.

The reason for this is simple, if you took the implicit “I” from the second sentence, it wouldn’t have a subject, which destroys its meaning and makes it grammatically incorrect. With this in mind, insert a serial comma to help it make sense.

4. Use the Oxford comma before the final item in any list of three or more

This applies to all types of online writing: if you have a list of three or more, insert the Oxford comma before the final item. This helps avoid confusion and streamline your writing. It also helps keep your material consistent, and saves you from looking like an amateur to your audiences.

5. …Except when the concluding element requires a conjunction

The only exception to the above rule is when the last item in a series contains a conjunction. Example: “I had eggs, cheese, coffee and cream for breakfast.” If you put a comma before “and cream,” it would indicate that you had cream all on its own, rather than in your coffee which (We hope) isn’t true!

In Defense of the Oxford Comma

This lovely bit of punctuation is a real grammar life-saver. Lose it at your peril: use it to win! 😉

Knowing just how to use it can help simplify its place and purpose in your online writing. This simple little piece of punctuation is critical for helping avoid confusion and streamline your online writing.

Have anything to add or share about how you use the Oxford comma in your content? Tell me in the comments!

 

express writers cta

creative copywriter

How To Transform Yourself Into A Creative Copywriter (Even If You Have Zero Creativity)

I remember when I first started out. I would read other people’s copy and just say to myself, “Wow!”

I mean, they knew how to strike emotion inside me, get me to follow each word on the page (even if there was 5,000 of them), and they knew what I was thinking. More importantly, what I read was actually entertaining.

I never pictured myself being as creative or having a keen sense for what the average Joe or Jane wanted to read. I shouldn’t have discredited myself though.

We all must start somewhere and surprisingly, the best copywriters out there aren’t born; they’re made. These expert wordsmiths are doing so well because they are constantly improving and looking for ways to be a more creative copywriter.

Taking what I’ve learned from those writing cowboys and gals, I’ve lassoed onto the insider tricks and figured out my own method for revamping myself into a creative, successful writer.

How’d I do that?

how to become a creative copywriter

You Don’t Have To Be Naturally Creative To Be A Great Copywriter

I know what you’re thinking reading that. You’re thinking I’m nuts.

It’s true though.

You don’t have to be some creative genius to churn out excellent copy. While it might take you a little longer, you just have to learn how to tap into your inner creative and let out what has been lying dormant inside of you forever. You have ideas in there somewhere — we all do.

There’s plenty of ways to boost up your creativity capsule inside of yourself and give yourself a leg up on the competition.

4 Methods I Use To Boost My Creativity (& They Work)

I’m going to share with you my four methods for boosting my creativity. Some of these may work for you, some may not. However, I promise just using one of these will already help inspire you for your next assignment.

1. Stop Comparing Yourself To Everyone Else

The first thing you need to do is to stop comparing your writing to everyone else.

You are your own person; therefore, your writing will take on its own personality just like you. That’s a good thing!

If you try to emulate everyone else, you are stifling your inner creative and you don’t even know it.

So, stop comparing yourself to everyone else and work on finding your own voice. Think about how you email friends and family, or even how you chat in person with someone. That is your voice that should be transferred to your work.

Sure, you might have to quash a few things to meet the demands of the assignment, but when you’re guest blogging or writing a piece where you’re given full creative reign, your voice should be loud and clear.

Cori Padgett at Copyblogger shared tips on how you could find your inner voice even if you’re stuck with a very specific assignment:

  • Speak the language of your reader. Talking to business folk? Well, then you need to use business-level speak. Talking to college students? Slang and buzzwords could be your friend, “bro.”
  • Know the reason you’re writing before you actually write. When you have purpose, you’ll naturally develop flow, and your “voice” is more natural too.
  • Develop your own brand. Padgett uses words like “ya’ll” in text and “crikey” because they are branded to Padgett’s style of writing.

2. Want To Be A More Creative Writer? Read More

Yes, you do have to read if you want to be a creative copywriter.

Where do you think writers get their inspiration and outrageous ideas? From reading!

belle reading

Mike Hanski at The Huffington Post states that reading is cool again, and I totally agree. Despite the fact that you’ll look super awesome at Starbucks reading with your pumpkin spice latte (or is that just me?), you are also doing your creative mind a favor.

Reading gives you new knowledge. I personally soak up every type of book I can find. I’m a sucker for self-help and dystopian books though.

I’m also open to reading all sorts of books, including non-fiction. As a copywriter, you need to be open to read almost anything.

Doing so helps you learn from genius wordslingers, but also helps you grasp the understanding of language and how effective writing works.

The vaster your reading library is, the more creative you will be. I have taken inspiration from my favorite books to create spin-off blogs and articles. Such as financial lessons inspired by Game of Thrones or relationship no-no’s taken from Pride and Prejudice to spinning advertisements to attract the Harry Potter crowd.

One of the biggest benefits I’ve received from reading is the vocabulary. You wouldn’t believe all the odd words that are out there and when you branch out with reading, you’re exposed to the different ways to use those words that are hidden in the English language. I almost find myself giddy to run over to my computer the next day and find a way to inject that word into my latest work.

Regardless of how you utilize what you read, you must read more.

3. Give Your Brain Some Time Off

Brain breaks are a must for any writer.

Not only will they help you avoid the dreaded writer’s block, but they are a necessity so that you don’t become a typing drone that stares blankly at the computer screen while your hands go haywire on the keyboard. I’ve been there…

I personally walk away from my desk throughout the day. Granted, I have kids tugging me away more than I would like, but in the end, they are doing me a favor. By forcing myself up from the desk, I walk away and my mind has time to think, chew on some details, and churn out something fun when I return later.

I get inspiration from everyday things — right down to mixing up baby oatmeal and cutting my daughter’s hotdogs in the required lengthwise method (because cutting them in circles somehow makes them taste “different”). Your inspiration doesn’t have to come from the oddities of parenthood, but you get the gist.

One of my favorite brain breaks I do at the end of the day is to sit down in a quiet room with an adult coloring book.

Sure, you could break out the Crayola’s and go to town, but I take it a step further and make a hobby out of it. I’ve purchased every coloring pencil type (water color, blenders, etc.), gel pens (including glitter!), and fine liner.

I also have a library of adult coloring books that span from mandalas to paisleys to fun patterns to life scenes and forests. Depending on my mood that day, I pull out a book and sit down to color.

Adult coloring books have been shown to relieve stress, says Elena Santos at The Huffington Post. It’s true. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I find myself dragged deep into the world of color, and suddenly I’m no longer fretting over the little stuff.

Adult Coloring Books Boost Creativity Too

It’s not just a stress-relief tool either. I use adult coloring books to activate my creative side. Adult coloring lets you create something without being a natural artist. Dana Dovey at Medical Daily agrees with me here too.

You can use whatever colors suit your personality that day.

I use it as a creative exercise and challenge my brain. I start by picking out a picture I want to color. Then, I pick my medium (i.e. coloring pencils, crayons, pens, or fine liners). Then, I have my organized set in front of me and I close my eyes to pick colors at random.

After I’ve picked four colors, I force myself to find a way to make those four colors work on the page I’ve selected. It’s a fun exercise I created myself to stimulate my inner creative side.

Try it. You might surprise yourself with how it works.

4. Embrace Research

Say you’re hired to write copy for a topic or industry you’re unfamiliar with. While this may make you groan, a creative copywriter is one that gets excited.

Seriously, I jump and wiggle in my seat when I’m assigned something new. It’s like I am getting paid to learn something. How can you get upset by that?

I embrace the fact I have to research and I soak up everything there is to learn.

Since becoming a copywriter, I have ventured into so many unknown paths and topics that I’m a world of knowledge. Someone will talk about something and I instantly refer back to all of the research I’ve done on topics similar to it in the past. These days it seems rare someone brings up a topic I haven’t at least heard about once or twice.

Research boosts your creativity, too.

The more thoroughly you research a topic, the easier it is for you to put yourself in the shoes of the reader and educate them on what you’ve learned. You are not afraid to go in-depth, because you know the topic well now. You also aren’t afraid to add in a little personality, because you know just how much you can inject without turning the target audience away.

Research is your friend, people.

Now You’re Ready To Mold Into A Creative Copywriter

Okay, I’ve shared my secrets.

Now you know what I do to tackle assignments, relax my brain, and break those barriers.

I’m not a super creative person, but I don’t let that hold me back from writing any longer. Instead, I embrace the fact I’m not naturally savvy with ideas and find ways to stimulate the creativity lying dormant inside of me.

You can do it now too.

Just remember, a great copywriter is one that is constantly adding to their inner library. The more you seek out, the more creative and awesome you will be.

Express Writers is all about creativity. We employ the most creative minds to generate content just for you. Check out our Content Shop now to explore your options. Request Shailynn on your order form!

how to write a cta

How to Write a Sensational Call-to-Action to Boost Your Content Clicks & Revenue

Every good writer knows that there are few lines more important to the inbound content creation process than the call-to-action, or CTA.

A CTA motivates a visitor to take immediate action by saying things like “Click here to learn more,” “subscribe to our email list for daily updates,” or even, “buy the product you’re reading about here.”

Essentially, a CTA tells the audience what it should be doing next, which serves the incredibly important marketing purpose of increasing conversion rates and boosting sale numbers.

For the content marketer or copywriter there are few skills quite so important as learning to craft a strong, compelling CTA.

Today, we’re here to help you learn how to write a CTA that will boost the ROI of your online content, beyond a doubt.

Ready?

how to write a cta ig

Why You Need to Worry about How to Write a CTA

I don’t need a call-to-action if my content is really good, right?

This is a fallible fallacy that I believed once. Would you believe it?

Yes, I debated marketers and said once that good content can stand by itself. Then, after a great conversation with Guillaume from Scoop.it, I created some CTAs and I saw more readers click, follow through and visit my services page. You do need to nudge your visitors to action! Unfortunately, that will remain the truth.

Do not, do not make the same mistakes I did.

To prove why CTAs are so efficient, check this out:

  • Over 90% of visitors who read your headline will actually read your CTA, as well. (Unbounce)
  • Emails with an non-convoluted single call-to-action received an increase of 371% in clicks, and in sales, a whopping 1617%. (WordStream)
  • Adding a CTA to your Facebook business or public figure page can increase your CTR rate by 285%. (AdRoll)
  • Marketer Kimberly Snyder increased conversions by 144% by making her visitors watch an informational video on her services before giving them a CTA. (QuickSprout)

Finally, ready for this one? From Grow & Convert:

cta stats

There you go. Without a doubt–CTAs are crucial to the growth, ROI, and value of your online content. Now, let’s talk about how to create them!

Defining What Makes Up a CTA

Think about the time you spend cruising the web every day. Maybe you read a few blogs, subscribe to an online journal or two or do a bit of shopping.

Now, think about how often you see a pop-up window of some type that implores you to please “buy now!” “subscribe!” “sign up!” or “click here.”

These are CTAs.

A CTA serves the purpose of directing a business’s customers to their next step and helping the business enjoy increased conversion rates and more sales. CTAs are an important marketing tool and can be found in everything from website landing pages to television commercials.

But what makes a CTA actually work? Inspire people to take that action of clicking through? The answer may surprise you: there’s a real psychology behind it all.

The Inner Psychology Behind Why a CTA Works

In addition to serving a marketing purpose, a good CTA serves the distinct psychological purpose of drawing upon people’s desire to act immediately. Because of the sense of urgency in a CTA, people are much more likely to take a specific action than they would have been had there been no CTA to give them a specific and definable nudge in the right direction.

This nudge works, because humans aren’t often eager to take action if left to ourselves. This is not to say that we lack the ability to dress ourselves and decide what we want to eat for lunch but that, when it comes to larger decisions, we often need help to determine which direction we will take.

This is called perceptual set theory in psychological speak.

Perceptual set theory: the theory that our human mind perceives the world around it in a three-fold process, that helps discern, develop expectation, create drive and motivation.

This is why we often consult our friends and loved ones for advice in the event of large decisions or purchases.

A CTA caters to this need for validation and direction in a somewhat subdued way.

Because people expect a nudge from the company or product with which they are flirting, the CTA is both expected and effective at encouraging a desired outcome.

7 Key Fundamentals You Need to Know to Write an Awesome CTA

1) Be Short, Sweet, Direct

A CTA is not a platform for the long-winded discussion of benefits or “here are the top 10 reasons you should click here” explanations. Tell your visitors what you want them to do and leave it at that.

Utilize strong command verbs like “download” “submit” or “subscribe” and avoid wishy-washy words that convey a sense of uncertainty, such as “try” or “see.” When it comes to marketing, people want direction and the entire purpose of a CTA is to tell them what to do next. Don’t be afraid to be direct.

2) Write In First-Person

This simple trick goes a long way.

ContentVerve saw a tremendous 90% increase in clicks by simply using first-person in their CTA content: “Start my free 30 day trial” vs. “Start your free 30 day trial.”

When your reader clicks the button, they’re claiming a benefit for them–and writing in first person solidifies that positive feeling.

3) Use CTAs Throughout Your Content, Not Just Once

HubSpot discovered that anchor text CTAs increased their conversion rates by 121%.

What’s more, between 47 – 93% of incoming leads from a post came only from anchor text CTAs: and 83% to 93% of all leads from a post came from anchor text AND internal link CTAs.

Don’t just stop with a CTA at the bottom of your content: incorporate a few well-worded call to actions throughout your content.

Example: if I was writing a tip about creating great meta content, I might link to a useful blog on our site about meta content for additional reading, or straight to our meta content writing services to catch service inquiries from interested leads.

4) Give Readers Something Valuable

In order for a CTA to be effective, it needs to convey a sense of value and VIP-like inclusion.

You don’t want to just demand a click. The visitor needs to believe that bypassing the CTA will result in a loss of information, deals or promotions.

This approach is used to no end in television infomercials during the infamous “But wait, there’s more! Call now…” spiel. By attaching a sense of value to the decision to opt-in to your CTA, you increase the chances that visitors will click, convert or purchase.

5) Inspire Enthusiasm

No visitor to your blog or web page is going to sign up for more ho-hum junk mail in their inbox, so you need to be certain that your CTA inspires a sense of excitement. This goes hand in hand with cultivating a sense of urgency, inclusion and value but also exists separately in that, to inspire enthusiasm, you need to know what your target audience cares about.

Do they visit your site for the content? For exclusive sales? Figure out what drives your target audience and use that to inspire excitement in your CTA. Unless you’re talking directly to your clients about their desires, there is a solid chance your CTA won’t be very effective.

6) Make Your Call-to-Action Obvious

Now that you have a CTA, you need to decide where you’re going to put it.

In addition to changing what you will write, the placement of the CTA will also alter how you present it. The importance of the CTA’s location is not to be underestimated and it goes without saying that the CTA be somewhere your viewers will see it without having to dig through various webpages. This could mean a bar at the top of your website or even a small pop-up window programmed to appear after a visitor has been engaged with your site for ten seconds. The CTA should be obvious, easy to click and visually appealing to your visitors.

7) Optimize for Devices

With an estimated 63% of all adult Americans using their cellphones as their primary Internet access point, it makes sense to think about the mobile platform when crafting your CTA. A CTA that doesn’t show up, or shows up poorly, on a mobile device is guaranteed to cost you business so it is well worth your time to do your homework before deciding on a CTA format for your site. Try on several different CTA options such as pop-ups, home page bars, embedded links and sidebars to determine which works best in both mobile and desktop view. The CTA should be obvious and easy to access for all of your users, not just those on PC’s.

How to Write a CTA that Wins: The Formula

Great CTA’s adhere to a very specific formula that allows them to be effective. In addition to meeting all of the above mentioned guidelines, a CTA needs to be constructed a specific way in order to pack the most punch when it comes to grabbing attention and demanding action.

The formula for a working CTA is as follows:

The problem + the solution + the action

Example: “Are you sick of boring content? ExpressWriters.com/write-blog is dedicated to rising above the mediocre on the web. Subscribe now for fresh, exclusive content delivered directly to your inbox!”

The above example fulfills the goals of being direct, exciting, valuable and inspiring enthusiasm in several ways.

By stating the problem, “are you sick of boring content?” the writer simultaneously customizes the CTA to the presumably content-hungry visitor and gains an immediate opening to propose a solution.

When that solution (“subscribe now”) is presented, it serves the purpose of tapping into the aforementioned workings of perceptual set theory, which states that people process new information in a three-fold pattern that helps them decide when and how to act. Finally, the assertion that subscribing will result in high-quality, exclusive content delivered directly to the subscriber’s inbox imbues the new subscription with a sense of value, which makes people more likely to opt-in.

Although there are literally millions of different ways to fill in these three blanks, it’s true that writing a great CTA in five minutes or less truly boils down to clearly stating the problem, the solution and the action.

In the world of inbound marketing, there is nothing quite as important as the well-crafted CTA. In addition to helping fulfill business goals like increased clicks, conversions or sales, a CTA helps direct new customers towards the actions you want them to take. When a CTA is well written, it can be a truly powerful marketing tool that has the power to transform a website landing page.

Write a Fantastic CTA and Earn More Clicks, ROI, and Revenue

Fortunately, great CTAs are easy to write when you take the above considerations and formula to heart. Although the information included in a CTA is relatively simple, it is important to remember that the CTA must be obvious, easy for new visitors to find and properly optimized for the mobile platform so as not to hamstring yourself on account of poor placement or difficult forms.

If you keep these things in mind, you’ll be writing effective, compelling and exciting CTAs in no time.

Although they may seem complicated, CTAs are simply a formulaic marketing tool that anyone can learn to craft. Get started on improving your content conversions now with what you’ve just learned about how to write a CTA, and start changing your business for the better.

Need great CTAs written? Hire our ad copywriters and have us write conversion-oriented call-to-actions for your content! 

creative copywriter

How to be a Creative Copywriter: 5 Unique Tips From Inside the Industry

I got my degree in Literature.

In school, my days were spent waxing poetic about Russian authors and attempting casual leans with boys in skinny jeans and black turtleneck sweaters.

It’s understandable, then, that when I graduated and became a full-time copywriter, I got some raised eyebrows from the Foucault-worshipers of my alma matter. I’ve actually had some of my art-school friends tell me, in no uncertain terms, that being a copywriter is “selling out,” and that it’s certainly a “disappointing waste of creativity.”

I, however, respectfully (and vehemently) disagree.

While many people regard copywriting as a boring industry that’s as devoid of creativity as Joan Rivers was facial expressions, this simply is not true.

In fact, I’d argue that being a great creative copywriter requires an entirely different type of creativity – one that very few people master. Copywriting requires rabbit-from-a-hat sleight of hand, and it takes a massive level of creativity to muster that.

After a few years of writing marketing copy, though, creativity can atrophy a bit – especially for writers who haven’t found a copywriting niche they love. If we’re to succeed as creative copywriters, though, we need to find ways to continue being as creative as possible. That’s what I’m here to talk about today.

how to be a creative copywriter

Creativity & the Copywriter: A Love Story

Without creativity, there can be no great copywriting.

While copywriting is synonymous with marketing, marketing is changing faster than the speed of light. Because of this, people who sacrifice creativity in the name of mass-produced, boring material risk getting lost in the stampede of companies, consumers, and search engines who want something different.

Today, more than 27 million pieces of content are shared online every single day, and there’s no sign that this trend will slow anytime soon. In light of this, the only way that marketers, writers, and brands can get noticed is to be creative.

Think about companies like Poo-PourriDollar Shave ClubInnocent Drinks, and ModCloth. They didn’t get where they are by scraping content and recycling ideas.

Instead, they rose to the top by being creative in every aspect of their marketing – from their visuals to their copy – and it’s because of this creativity that they continue to stand out as some of the most unique brands in existence.

As brands like this prove, you can’t climb the ladder without creativity. People get bored and leave if you fill their pages with boring content, and your chances of staying afloat on the content sea decrease every single time you sacrifice creativity in the name of traditionality.

How to Be a Creative Copywriter: 5 Essential Tips

So…creativity matters. What next?

Even if you are a creative person with an artistic background and unique ideas, creativity suffers fatigue, just like everything else. Fortunately, these five tips can help you be a more creative copywriter, starting right now.

1. Channel Your Inner Don Draper

If you watched the hit series Mad Men, you know that Donald Draper is an idol to the marketing world. If you want to succeed as a creative copywriter, one of the best things you can do is channel him. Feel free, however, to leave the alcoholism and adultery out of the picture.

Instead, what you want to channel is Draper’s ability to identify a story in any campaign.

It doesn’t matter if you’re writing ad copy for an insurance company or helping a startup build their website content – identifying the story within the campaign is the most essential thing you can do to keep your creativity alive.

Fortunately, there are dozens of ways to do this. Put yourself in the company’s shoes: why are they passionate about what they do? How do their products make the world a better place? If that doesn’t shake anything loose, put yourself in the customer’s shoes: how will this product help you enjoy your life more? What would draw you to the company in question?

Within every campaign, content order, and keyword sheet, there’s a story, and it’s up to you as a creative copywriter to draw it out.

Don’t believe me?

Consider this meme. It pretty much tells you everything you need to know about why channeling your inner Don Draper is so critical to good copywriting:

Don Draper Meme

2. Take a hint from print copy

While many people believe that print copy and digital copy exist on different planets, they overlap more frequently than people understand. You can come out on top as a creative copywriter simply by taking some hints from the world of print copy.

Since I’m a lit major, here’s the example I’ll give you: the opening lines of major novels. And since I already mentioned my love of Russian authors, here’s the one I’ll call out: Lolita.  Considered by many to be one of the greatest novels of all time, Lolita opens like this:

“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms, she was always Lolita.”

Is that literary? You betcha. A little too clunky for marketing copy? Absolutely. But is it compelling? It is, without a doubt, one of the most compelling things I’ve ever read.

While Lolita is a great example, there are others like it. Consider “Call me Ishmael,” or “As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.” Both of these are equally attention-grabbing, and there’s a lot that a modern-day copywriter can learn from them.

While we’ve all heard that the headline and opening sentence of a piece of copy are two of its most critical parts, too many copywriters bulldoze through these things with no style or grace.

As this selection of opening lines demonstrates, however, to take that approach is to cheat yourself and your reader out of some good material. And to smack creativity in the face as you do it.

While it’s true that times have changed, copywriters can still learn from books. With this in mind, incorporate some elegance, fantasy, alliteration, and magic into your opening lines. We’re confronted with so much short, harsh copy that fleshing out your opening lines and making them beautiful and informative is the ultimate gift to both yourself and your readers.

3. Write a “show up and throw up” draft

This term, while colorful, is not my own. It was coined by Ann Handley, in her book Everybody Writes. If there’s anything that gets in the way of creativity, it’s too much self-editing. Because of this, it’s essential that every first draft be a “show up and throw up” draft.

What’s this mean? It’s simple. You show up at your computer, you sit down, and you throw up all of your ideas, connections, and awkward phrases onto the page, and whatever you do, you do not go back and re-read, edit, or alter until it’s all done. You don’t even stop to correct your spelling. You just write.

This approach serves a few purposes. First of all, it’s incredibly freeing. In an industry where we’re often under immense pressure to deliver professional, shareable content, giving yourself permission to just show up and write is the ultimate act of kindness. Secondly, it removes all of the artificial roadblocks, barriers, and obstacles you put in your own way and allows your real creativity to escape.

The next time you sit down to write, give this approach a try. Once you’ve completed your first draft, walk away. After a day or so has passed, come back to the piece and edit it. More likely than not, you’ll find that your own insights and creativity surprise you.

4. Build an inspiration board

People do it when they’re planning parties or decorating homes, so why not develop an inspiration board when you’re working to become a creative copywriter?

Here’s what you need to do: build a Pinterest board dedicated solely to the content that inspires you. Once you’ve constructed the board, give yourself a few days to cruise around the web and collect the things you love.

At the end of the few days, take a second look at your inspiration board. You’ll likely see a series of patterns, approaches, and voices you can adapt to make your copywriting more creative.

5. Check in on a regular basis

We’ve all had the experience of writing something and cringing, knowing that it’s simply not that great. Instead of letting these moments go, though, stop to check in with them. This is where creativity begins to atrophy and catching these moments as they happen in mid-stride will help you stop them once and for all.

Instead of just finishing the piece and walking away, put yourself in the reader’s or company’s shoes. How can you take that “blah” passage and make it moving? In addition to making you a more creative copywriter, this will also help you deliver better content for all of your clients.

The Case for Creativity in the World of Content

While writing the next great American novel isn’t on my immediate to-do list, I do believe that creativity plays a critical role in online copywriting.

Creative copywriters are mastering an art form that is different, yes, but no less magical than the creativity present in books like Lolita or Moby Dick.

As copywriters, we’re not sellouts: we’re creative people doing the tough, tough job of taking dreams, ideas, and emotions from companies in all industries and turning them into material that’s virtually universal. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.

Want to hire Ashley to write your content? Head on over to the Content Shop!

authority content cta

copywriter for hire

What to Expect from a Copywriter for Hire

If you’re in pursuit of a copywriter for hire, you’re probably wondering what to expect from the process. That’s especially true if you’ve never hired a writer before.

Luckily, copywriters for hire don’t bite, and they’re much easier to work with than you may be imagining.

As a copywriting agency that hand-picks and mentors each of our writers, we know what it takes to see a successful project all the way through to the finish line.

Here’s what you can expect from choosing to hire your copywriter. Keep reading.

what to expect from a copywriter for hire

7 Things to Expect from a Copywriter for Hire

While hiring a copywriter is a foreign concept for many people, here are seven big things to expect from the process:

1. Custom content designed to fit your needs

The entire purpose of finding a copywriter for hire is securing custom, online content that’s designed to present your business in a positive light. When you find a copywriter you love, that person will work closely with you to gain an understanding for what you’re looking for in online content.

Once a direction has been established, the copywriter will develop custom content that suits your pre-determined goals or objectives. In some cases, the copywriter might even develop custom visuals to accompany your content online!

Check out the visuals our team can create: here’s an infographic we did.

2. Open, two-way communication throughout the process

Good copywriting thrives on good communication. While many marketers assume that they’ll hire a copywriter and then not hear from him or her again until the project is submitted, this simply isn’t true.

In most arrangements, copywriters and brands maintain open communication as a job is in the worlds. If a project is going to take more than a week to complete, most copywriters offer frequent check-ins and progress updates.

If a project is long or ongoing, it’s not at all uncommon for copywriters to submit drafts and execute alterations as needed. When communication is open and flows freely in both directions, copywriters and business owners can ensure a positive and streamlined experience.

3. SEO integration catered to your company’s goals

A modern copywriter for hire understands that the best online content is optimized for SEO. By including SEO optimization priorities like long-tail keywords and relevant links in a piece of content, a copywriter for hire can help you boost your site’s SEO and earn better rankings in prominent search engines.

This, in turn, helps businesses get found online and develop a reliable, predictable presence that customers can count on.

4. Research designed to increase content authority

A good copywriter for hire understands that research is an essential part of online copywriting. Most of today’s best copywriters have research methods in place and will happily dig up the best facts, statistics, and bits of information for your content.

By including these things in your online copy, a good copywriter for hire can help boost your authority, relevance, and trustworthiness. This, in turn, makes readers more likely to rely on your content and can help your brand stand out as a leader in the industry.

Need authority content? We have it, here as an exclusive service at Express Writers! Learn more.

5. Edits, as needed, on content

Companies who have never worked with online copywriters before often assume that, once a project is submitted, that’s it. Luckily, this isn’t the case.

A good copywriter for hire is happy to conduct edits on submitted pieces! Once you know what you need, most online copywriters will gladly work together with you to edit the piece until it fits your expectations perfectly.

With this in mind, don’t fret if the initial submission isn’t exactly what you had in mind. Your copywriter for hire will likely be happy to work with you to rectify the problem.

6. Industry expertise harnessed for your company

Let’s face it: online content can be tough to get right, and it’s even harder without a good copywriter for hire. Luckily, professional copywriters understand what it takes to rank well, and can help you develop a winning content strategy that helps you get noticed online.

Don’t know what it takes to rank in Google? That’s okay, your copywriter will. Not sure how to integrate visuals into your online content? Your copywriter will lend a helping hand. Unsure of which keywords you should be targeting? Ask your copywriter.

To put this another way, today’s copywriters for hire are experts in virtually all aspects of online content, and they can help you create a well-rounded content strategy that utilizes modern industry expertise for a reputable end product.

7. Professional, high-quality work that helps you get noticed

Many brands who have never worked with copywriters before assume that they specialize in sales-y content, or that they’ll use black-hat techniques to rank a page. Luckily, this just isn’t the norm anymore.

Today, copywriters for hire deal in high-quality online content and they know how to help a brand put its best face forward. When you work with a copywriter for hire, you can expect quality work to be delivered.

Whether you want to develop an online presence, drive more sales, boost your social interactions, or just stand out as a leader in your industry, a good copywriter for hire will have the skills needed to put out professional work you’ll love, and that will help you meet your goals.

Working with Skilled Copywriters for Hire is the Way of the Future

Even if you’ve never worked with a copywriter before, it’s time to start considering the prospect. Copywriters are popular with brands ranging from lifestyle to food and beverage, and they’re becoming the norm in the world of online advertising.

While not all copywriters for hire are created equal, finding a reputable copywriter or copywriting agency that you trust can work wonders for your marketing pursuits. By drafting professional, high-quality content that’s meant to reflect your company’s unique goals, value propositions, and positions, a copywriter can easily take your content strategy from lacking to successful in no time.

Plus, since a copywriter’s main job is to write, hiring a copywriter can allow you to shuck the burden of content creation and focus, instead, on things like running your company and building your brand!

Even if you’ve never worked with copywriters before, Express Writers can help! Check out our Content Shop for more information on our unique offerings today!

direct response copywriting

What Is Direct Response Copywriting? 6 Real-Life Content Lessons From This Form Of Copy

Today we live in the online era of shock and awe.

Content rules of the past have been tossed out the window. Today’s sales copywriter is all about sparking a response, making a scene, causing immediate impact.

You’ve probably already seen examples of our topic today, direct response copywriting, online.

Direct response copy is writing that invokes a reaction from its reader. It hits you at your core, and makes you think about what you’re reading. After you read an expertly crafted piece of direct response copy, you almost feel as though you have no choice but to engage.

There is no doubt that this is an artful form of copywriting. It requires a keen sense of the target audience and ability to craft words that hit the soul of the reader.

Whether you are a marketer or aspiring copywriter, it is critical that you understand how direct response writing works, and what we’ve learned from the superior minds that have used direct response in the past.

direct response copywriting tips

6 Real-Life Takeaway Lessons From Direct Response Copywriting Masters

1. It Is All About Powerful, Provocative Headlines

A copywriter will spend more than half of their time thinking up the best headline possible to complete their piece.

After all, the headline is what reels people in to read in the first place. But, these headlines are more than just 10 to 12 carefully chosen words.

Instead, these headlines are designed to provoke a response and give readers the first impression into what they will see if they continue reading.

A magnetic headline, according to Dean Rieck and Copyblogger, is what will sell just about anything. After reviewing the fantastic headlines of direct marketers, there are a few takeaways we can employ.

What We’ve Learned From The Pros For Crafting Killer Headlines

  • Keep It Simple: There’s no room for fluff in a headline. Instead, it should be direct, simple, and key readers in on the point of what they’re about to read.
  • State The Benefit Clearly: There’s a benefit to reading the copy. Otherwise you wouldn’t be writing it. So, to get people to come on over and continue reading, you need to state the significant benefit of clicking through to read.
  • Announce Something Exciting: Any topic can be wrapped up and turned into something fun. Make a headline seem like it is news, which means stepping into your journalistic shoes and picturing yourself as Walter Cronkite announcing the latest.
  • Appeal To The Human How-To Instinct: As humans, we want to know how to do something and do it right. Appeal to that desire to learn by using a “how to” to guide readers into your piece.
  • Pose Something Provocative: Asking questions instantly engages a reader, but the question has to be something a person is seeking out. It must be powerful enough that a reader would answer “yes” in their own
  • Give Commands: Tell the reader what to do and don’t be shy about it. Be direct, give the reader a benefit, and be commanding.
  • Offer Up Something Useful: People have enough facts. Instead, they want predictability. You can do this by providing tips and hints that are easy to read.
  • Use A Testimonial Approach: Testimonial headlines, according to Copyblogger, present a reader with an endorsement to a product but also capitalize on the fact that you know what they’re looking for.
  • Authenticate: Add something that people wouldn’t expect to your headline, such as applying the headline toward a particular

Direct Response Copywriting Is About A Compelling Call To Action

There’s no point to your copy if it doesn’t have a compelling call to action.

By the end of their read, people should know what you want from them, and they should take action. You should be able to convince them to move forward, even if it is just signing up for a newsletter.

The entire purpose of direct response writing is to compel someone to take action.

Professional copywriters often overlook the call-to-action statement (CTA). Instead of using it as a valuable opportunity to push someone in the right direction, it is a paragraph of random, uninspiring words slapped together.

Look at National Geographic’s CTA. It’s fun, playful, and gives you a reason to sign up without any scary commitments.

national geographic

Crazy Egg’s Kathryn Aragon decoded some of the best call-to-action statements out there and found that they all had three things in common:

  • Each featured a no-obligation statement. People are offered something for free or without cost to them for taking action.
  • All contain a direct action, such as “click,” “call,” or “mail.”
  • The reader is encouraged to take action immediately — meaning the writer has made it seem that time is of the essence to take advantage.

While the use of a proper CTA is necessary, placement is also critical. According to Moz, 80% of website visitors never scroll to the bottom, which means a well-crafted CTA may never be seen.

ConvertVerve tested placement of CTAs above the fold and found that it received a 304% conversion rate increase. So, something to consider.

3. It Is All About Long-Form Copy

It is a common misconception that people don’t have time for long copy.

While it is true people don’t have time for mundane reads and boring facts, as long as a piece is crafted correctly, readers will continue to read it (even if it is 10,000 words).

According to QuickSprout, a good piece of copy is one that uses as many words as it needs to compel the reader and get the point across. This could be 500 words or 3,000 words. As long as each word offers value, it’s a good read.

Long copy is useful as long as it is engaging. It is engaging as long as the reader thinks continuing on will help them in some way.

long form content

According to Neil Patel’s study, he ran a test to see if long form copy was performing well. His results revealed that long form was reaching more conversions than his short form copy.

Also, he goes on to show how long form copy gives a copywriter a chance to persuade more, answer reader questions and dispel objections. The longer a piece is, the more time the copywriter has to delve into the benefits, advantages, and reasons why the reader should eventually take action.

SerpIQ shows that search engines also favor long-form content. So, direct response marketers may be on to something when they use long-form content to sell their product or service.

4. Direct Response Copywriting Is About The Customer, Not The Company

There is no first person or the third person writing in direct response copywriting. Instead, it is all about the customer (i.e. “you”).

Most branding copywriting focuses on the company, but direct marketing is there to reach out to the customer individually. This is a critical difference that many copywriters miss.

To be successful at direct response copywriting, you have to be obsessed with your readers. You need to get into their minds, think about what they are concerned with, and find a way to speak on their level.

Most importantly, you have to reach your consumer without insulting them.

All too often copywriters make the mistake of insulting the intelligence of their readers.

They assume they don’t know the basics or speak to them as though they are a kindergartener asking about the cycle of life.

The only way you can reach your customer is to know your customer. Direct marketers are some of the best researchers out there. They know what their target audience wants, and they know how to write to them and compel them to take action.

When your customers are engaged with your content, they are 300% more likely to recommend you and 300% more likely to become a repeat customer, according to Neil Patel. But, how do you keep someone engaged?

Neil Patel cites three triggers that create happy customers — and each of these should be implemented into your content:

3 Triggers For Happy Customers

1. Personal Touch: Your writing should have a memorable moment that helps customers personally associated with your writing. When a client feels that personal touch in the content, the content performs 81% better than the competition.

2. Reciprocity: A customer should be motivated to share their experience with your content with a friend, family member or social media.

3. VIP Status: When a customer feels as though they are a VIP, they spend more time with your business because they feel as though they are valued.

What can you learn from these three triggers?

By understanding what your customer wants, you can better tailor your content to compel them and encourage them to stay with your brand. You need to speak to their desires, worries, wants, fears, and loves.

A reader should feel special and feel as though you are talking to them and only them.

To do that, you need to research your target audience thoroughly. Know the age group, know what that group is into, and think of the common concerns that target audience would have; and how you can resolve those concerns for them.

5. Keeping It Concise And Simple

Readers should not need a dictionary on hand to read a great piece of copy.

Big adjectives and SAT-level words are only going to confuse the reader. While you have a target audience, you still need to tailor your wording to ensure that it is read and understood by the masses.

Buying decisions or taking action on a CTA only occurs when your reader knows the benefits of your product or service. The content you produce should be clear and concise when spelling out the benefits.

The Flesch-Kinkaid Reading Ease is a scale of 0-100 that determines the readability of your work. When scaling your reading to meet the needs of the masses, you want to aim for a readability that suits the “average.”

According to Holly Hartzenberg at Search Engine Journal, there is no clear measurement for how Google determines if a site is “readable,” but it is a factor they use to determine page rankings nonetheless.

Overall, the readability of a piece is broken down by the number of words in a sentence and the number of syllables in a word. The more words in a sentence, the more complex it is for your readers. Same goes for excess syllables.

MarketingProfs broke down readability by sites online to put it in perspective. For example, comics have a 92 score for reading, while Time Magazine has a 52 score. Consumer advertisements, on the other hand, feature a reading score of 82.

The lower the score, the higher level of difficulty.

So, when it comes to readability, you want a higher score — so just about anyone can read, enjoy, and understand your copy.

You can use WebPageFx.com’s Readability Test Tool to try and test your own site’s readability score.

WebPageFx readability tool

They break down your site into a number of sentences, words, and then compare you to all of the readability scoring systems out there.

6. Create A Serious Sense Of Urgency

A piece of copywriting is worthless if you don’t get people to act.

The best way to push people into action is by making them think that they have a limited amount of time to move.

Most likely you have already been reeled in with similar advertising. Think about local sales deals where the announcer screams at you “only a few left in stock,” or “hurry before they’re all gone!”

These types of announcements tell you that if you want to enjoy the deal, you need to get moving. And, you most likely did. This is creating a sense of urgency, and the best copywriters out there know how to do it without making you realize they just made you take the plunge.

Now, there is an art to this copywriting. You don’t want to seem pushy, and you don’t want to come off like that annoying sales advertisement on your TV (regardless if you ended up caving). The point here is to create that sense of action, without scaring away the reader.

Dan Tyre at HubSpot created 26 questions that you can ask yourself to help prompt a good sense of urgency. These questions help you highlight critical factors from the company, product or service you’re selling and help you identify ways to make people hurry up.

For example, you could ask yourself what would happen if someone didn’t take action right now.

Say you are offering a discount on your products for today only. Obviously, if they don’t take action today, they won’t get the discount on their product. So, that should be the sense of urgency you create.

Alan Harris at VerticalResponse also created a guide for creating a sense of urgency in your emails, which is a critical component of direct response copywriting. If you are using email marketing in your campaign, you need to compel people to take action from the emails they read.

Creating A Sense Of Urgency In Emails

  • Give A Deadline: Nothing says “get moving” more than a time limit. Tell people how much time they have left so that they get up and take action. If there’s no expiration date or you don’t want to have one, use terms that hint at an end, such as “limited time.”
  • Remind Them Of Scarcity: When readers think there are limited supplies or only a few left, they are more apt to get up and take action now rather than
  • Keep The CTA Brief: You can’t create a sense of urgency with a paragraph for your CTA. Instead, you need to keep it short, simple and to the point.
  • Be Clear: You need people to know what they want to do and to make it abundantly clear, use a button or highlight the action (i.e. bold the letters). That way they know what steps they have limited time to take.

What Great Direct Response Works Look Like

CoSchedule.com shared a fantastic guide focusing on the most significant sales letters of all times that was written by John Jantsch of DuctTapeMarketing.com.

They pulled letters from across the web to bring you ideas, styles, and examples of direct marketing that actually works.

They feature some of the most compelling sales letters from Popular Mechanics, Newsweek, and even The Wall Street Journal.

Target Marketing’s Denny Hatch also shares his ideas for great sales letters that work. While they may be seen as “spam” to some, he highlights how brilliant these letters are — and how they influence direct marketers today.

Create Your Own Direct Response Copywriting Or Hire Someone Who Can

Creating content that speaks directly to the reader does take time (as you can see here).

You have to research, understand your reader, and know how to craft words that speak to them on an emotional, spiritual and intellectual level.

While you can create your own copywriting and dabble in direct marketing, why not hire the professionals?

Here, we employ some of the most talented copywriters on the web, and they can whip up truly compelling direct response copy for your website, product or landing page.

See what our writers can create by requesting direct sales copy for your next project from Express Writers today! 

professional copywriter services

How Professional Copywriting Services Can Keep You Sane (& Save You Time)

If you work in online marketing, you probably know what it feels like to have too much to do, and not enough time.

While this applies to virtually all sectors of running a business, it’s especially true for content creation.

We live in an increasingly digital world, and there have never been more platforms to maintain than there are today.

Between a website, a blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and marketing content like ebooks and whitepapers–it’s amazing all marketers don’t just pull their hair out, really.

Luckily, there’s a solution.

While it’s true that the content demands of today are more intense than they’ve ever been before, it’s also true that the popularity of professional copywriting services has exploded, and that using quality copywriting services is an excellent way to put out great content without going nuts in the process. Read on to learn more.

copywriting services

How Professional Copywriting Services Can Save the Day

need a writer superhero

Flyin’ through words, shaping them up.

Professional copywriters are the heroes of online content–no joke about it.

While brands everywhere want to produce the kind of quality material they read on the websites and blogs of influencers, virtually nobody has the time, skill, or resources to do this on their own.

Right now, only 42% of B2B marketers report that their content marketing is effective, and most experts believe that this is, in large part, because most marketers simply don’t have the time to create the content their brands need.

This is where copywriting services come in.

For businesses ranging from startups to major enterprises, copywriting services have the potential to fully overhaul a marketing strategy and help founders, CEOs, and CCOs reclaim their sanity in a fast-paced world.

5 Signs You Need Professional Copywriting Services

Still not convinced you need professional copywriting services? Take a moment to consider whether any of these five signs apply to you.

1. You’re behind on publishing blog posts, social posts, or website updates

If you have an editorial calendar or plan, but you’ve found that you’re so busy you can’t keep up with it, you need copywriting services STAT!

Neil Patel wrote a blog this August on what happens when you stop blogging. In the study, Patel took a look at Robert Ryan, who didn’t post anything for 251 days – 8 months, 7 days.

His traffic…

  • overall fell by 32%
  • organically dropped by 42%
  • contact page traffic was down by 15%
  • total site conversions were down by 28%

That’s an awful lot.

Don’t be that person that stops blogging, because you don’t have time. Instead, turn to copywriting services to help take some of the stress of content creation off of your shoulders. If you choose the right solution, you’ll come across copywriting experts who have a real interest in helping your brand succeed–so you may even learn a thing or two by hiring copywriting experts.

2. Your online content isn’t converting the way you want it to

Maybe you’re keeping up with your content creation responsibilities, but you do not see much engagement in return. If this is the case, copywriting services are a very good idea. Online marketing is tough, and it’s easy to miss the mark without knowing exactly how it’s happening.

If you’re not seeing conversions, shares, or likes, an online copywriting expert may be able to come in and give you some insight into why. What’s more, they’ll likely be able to help you turn the trend on its head.

3. You’re starting to receive negative comments

If you’ve noticed that the engagement your content is seeing is taking a turn for the worse, it’s time to enlist copywriting services. Every marketer goes through growing pains with content, and as long as you catch negative engagement early, it’s easy to turn it around and reclaim your positive interactions.

Keep in mind, though, that it’s critical to act quickly. Hire professional copywriting services as soon as you start to see negative online comments, rather than letting it persist for weeks or months at a time.

4. You’re starting to repeat yourself

If you’ve noticed that you’re repeating topics, a few things may be to blame. One common cause is a stagnant keyword strategy. If you haven’t researched new keyword opportunities recently, copywriting services can often provide in-depth keyword analysis that can provide new life for your content.

If your keyword strategy is up to date, the issue may simply be your proximity to the topics. As you think and write about a subject regularly, it becomes harder to keep the content fresh. Because of this, hiring copywriting services is often an excellent way to add a new perspective and continue providing value to readers.

5. You’re running out of time or getting stressed

Content creation is too important to sacrifice, but it still shouldn’t come at the cost of your well-being or sanity. If you’re finding that you don’t have enough time for content creation, or that the responsibility of populating all of your various platforms is driving you crazy, hire copywriting services to help.

Because a copywriting service is dedicated specifically to content creation and distribution, it can help you bear the burden of content creation without sacrificing other aspects of your business in the process.

Simple, Streamlined Content Creation Starts Here

Let’s be frank: content creation shouldn’t be as difficult as everyone makes it out to be!

While it’s true that great content takes time, effort, and work, marketers can have their cake and eat it, too, by hiring professional copywriting services.

Dedicated to crafting quality content for brands, copywriting services are ideal for helping your brand build its online presence, create higher-quality content, develop material readers love and want to interact with, and build a level of authority and relevance online.

While many brands assume that they don’t need copywriting services and that they can manage their online presence on their own, the fact of the matter is that copywriting services apply to everyone and that every brand has something to be gained from hiring copywriters.

So, whether you’re too busy to create quality content or you aren’t seeing real results from your content, expert copywriting services can help you strengthen your brand and improve the functionality, relevance, authority, and interest of your online content.

This, in turn, is something that’s good for both your brand and your readers!

Need professional copywriting services to boost your business? We can help – we have some of the best copywriters in the industry!

online content improvement

7 Surefire Ways To Improve Any Piece Of Online Content You Create

Ever written something, and walked away from it?

If not, you should try it—today.

Coming back to the same piece after an hour or a full day gives you a whole new lease on your content. Typos, grammatical whoopsies, and flow issues are a few things you’ll spot in a literal second after you give your eyes (and fingers) a break from the keyboard.

In today’s content world, delivery is critical.

It could mean the difference of someone reading your content, or not.

So, whether you’re a seasoned writer or a novice, it’s important to know where you need to improve — all without wasting too much of your time.

Self-editing is your key. This not only catches those pesky grammar errors and typos, but it could dramatically improve the delivery—and ROI—of your copy.

Learn 7 quick edits that will make your copy fun, engaging, authoritative, and 100% better than the first time you drafted it. Save this and next time you craft up new content, come back to our list.

online content editing

Self-Editing Is A Must No Matter What Online Content You’re Writing

It doesn’t matter what you’re writing.

Landing pages, web content, blogs, or your email responses to your bestie.

Taking the time to edit and make small (but necessary) changes will make a dramatic difference in how your copy is received.

WordStream highly recommends self-editing. In fact, they recommend editing your work ruthlessly and as if you are your harshest critic.

Why?

Everyone else will read over your copy with just as much scrutiny. If you do so first, you can catch the errors and potential lackluster statements that will turn readers away.

7 Genius Edits That Make You A Copywriting Superstar

Readers today are hard to grasp. So, you need to get their attention (and do so quickly). Once engaged, you have them at your fingertips. Of course, all it takes is a single error or loss in flow to lose their attention for good.

To avoid this very hazard, here’s what we suggest:

1. Go With The Flow

Have you ever visited a website only to see a wall of text and tap the “back” button as quickly as possible?

Most internet readers will do the same when they see such a wordy travesty.

The idea of sifting through such a massacre of words isn’t appealing to even those with tons of free time on their hands. So, don’t bombard your readers. Instead, give them what they crave.

What is that?

Readers today crave organization, easy-to-digest sentences, and small tidbits. They want it all to soak in slowly.

Nothing kills it for a reader more than improper flow, and improper flow wastes an excellent article to boot.

When you’re self-editing, purposely press that “Enter” key every few sentences. Aim for one to three sentences per paragraph max. Your grade school teacher may groan, but she’s not writing online for today’s reader; and, you’re not trying to get an “A” in English Literature 101.

A few ways to improve your flow:

  • Vary your sentence lengths.
  • Avoid choppy, awkward sentences.
  • Get rid of fluff or needless words.
  • Utilize the power of transitional words and phrases.

2. Open With Something Relatable And Oh-So-Yes-Worthy

Have you ever read an opening paragraph that made you nod in agreement?

That’s your goal here.

Open up with something relatable to the reader. They found your article or blog, but now you need to remind them what they were looking for.

Touch on emotional value here, but be honest and sincere.

Susan Gunelius at Forbes wrote an excellent piece on creating brand stories with high emotional value. In her words, stories are the perfect catalyst to building brand loyalty and brand value.”

3. Break It Up — But Keep It Organized

The more you break up the content, the easier it is to digest.

By that we mean, use sub headers. Organize your thoughts into main advantages and topics, then use those key advantages for creating sub headers.

Bold them too.

Bolding points out to the reader what they need to know and what they will learn if they stick around to read what you’ve written.

4. Don’t Be Shy With The Bullet Points

Bullet points are magical for copywriting.

They break up walls of text and make them easier to take in.

Even better, they let you jet out your ideas while keeping the reader focused.

When making bullet points, think of an outline. You’re not writing a novel here.

Organize the text and make it scannable. You can bold key points and then add tidbits after that to highlight what you’ve just said.

Copyblogger’s Robert Bruce wrote an excellent blog on creating bullet points people want to read. He recommends bullet points because they keep people reading and provide a clear benefit to the reader.

5. Avoid The Clichés and Buzzwords

cliche

Clichés are used so often that they can lose their impact.

The same goes for buzzwords. Buzzwords are overused and may irritate some readers; forcing them to leave the page.

Avoid distracting people with unnecessary wording and just stick to the facts. Sure, you can add in your own personality, but if you see a cliché or buzzword in your writing, remove it immediately.

Get extra guidance on what words to use (and which to edit out) from Oxford Dictionaries Top Tips for Word Choice.

6. Convert The Passive To The Active

Passive phrases are pesky — and we’re all guilty of using them.

Sometimes you can’t help it.

But, passive voice (or the overuse of it) can kill your content.

Purdue’s Online Writing Lab defines passive voice as the subject that is “being acted upon.” You can quickly identify a passive phrase by looking for forms of “be.” Note passive voice isn’t a grammatical error; it is a style choice.

An active voice provides brevity, clarity, and assigns responsibility. So, when active voice makes sense, use it.

7. Use Second Person Instead Of The Third Person

The third person is robotic and sterile.

It doesn’t speak to the reader.

Pronouns, like “you,” “your,” and “yours” (i.e. the second person) will help the reader picture themselves in what you are saying.

Your writing becomes more intimate, and creates a connection between you and your reader when you use the second person.

Now It’s Time To Tackle Your Work With Your Copywriting Knacks

You officially have our inside secrets for better self-editing.

Of course, now is the time to take what you’ve learned and implement it.

We recommend writing up your copy and taking a break. That way you are more apt to catch pesky errors, but also you have a break from the creative role so you can hop into the editing role.

Just remember, self-editing is a skill. Similar to your writing, you need to perfect that skill over time.

By implementing these seven quick tips, you can refine your editing and improve your writing; making you one marvelous copywriter.

Need incredible copywriters for your next project? Express Writers has a team of talented writers and equally remarkable editors to create beautiful content for your site. Visit our Content Shop to see what we can do for you!

sales copywriter

13 Glorious Tips & Tricks For The Aspiring Sales Copywriter

Picture this..

You have a natural knack for writing.

You can string words together and create something fun and engaging.

But, when it comes to sales copy, writing those pieces that are meant to convert every time, you can’t seem to convey what you’re thinking into the right words.

Is that you? I get it. Writing content is not the same as writing sales copy.

As a sales copywriter, you need to speak to your reader, compel them, and force them to take action.

Think of that infamous hypnotist trick. You have a group of people the hypnotist gets to cluck like a chicken, dance funny and do just about anything they want. They are the puppet master.

You want the same power, but via words.

You want someone to read your sales copy and feel entranced. Without thinking, they will click through, sign up, or call.

While we can’t teach you how to make readers cluck like a chicken (or can we?), we can share some insight and tools that will help you transform your marketing drivel into compelling copy.

Might take a little time, and practice, but once you use these tips, you will be well on your way to sales copywriting mastery.

sales copywriter tips and tricks

13 Ingenious Tools And Tips To Improve As a Sales Copywriter

1. Learn How To Build Trust

No one is going to do anything you ask if they don’t trust you.

You don’t have years to gain that confidence; you have seconds. So, every word on your sales copy has to count, and it has to compel the reader to believe what you’re saying.

Tossing in a “you can trust me” statement isn’t the way to go about this either.

Instead, you need to be authoritative and savvy. Georgina Morshdy at Copyblogger shared her ten tips for building trust with the audience, and it’s quite compelling.

How Does A Sales Copywriter Build Trust?

  • Give away
  • Be reliable and don’t disappoint the audience on what is promised.
  • Be consistent in quality.
  • Incorporate customer testimonials that are genuine.
  • Use case studies to show success.
  • Do not plagiarize the ideas and styles of others.
  • Avoid jargon.
  • Give an apology when it is due, such as correcting errors if they’re present.
  • Offer guarantees to customers (i.e. a money back guarantee).

2. Be A Virtual Salesperson

You have a goal to make a sale, so you need to act like a salesperson.

Put on your suit and tie and pretend you are on the sales floor talking to that customer. What would you say if you were face-to-face? What features, benefits, and reasons would you be throwing at them to get them to buy?

Whether you’re selling a car, washing machine, or a service, you need to picture yourself talking to one customer (not a mass).

According to Demian Farnworth at Copyblogger, all it takes is one bad salesperson to ruin the company; and you certainly don’t want to be that guy or gal.

So, picture yourself talking to one, but selling to many.

3. Use Compelling Headlines

A great headline is one that touches on a person’s spiritual, emotional, and intellectual levels.

What sounds great to you might not sound so great to others, and it is hard to tear yourself away from your copy and look at a headline as an outsider.

Luckily, you don’t have to.

There are tools out there that help you analyze the quality and power of your sales headlines.

Take Advanced Marketing Institute’s free headline analysis tool.

ami headline

They don’t just give you a score; they tell you what you should aim for as a sales copywriter, why you’ve received the score you did, and how to improve.

CoSchedule also has a headline analysis tool that is also worth trying.

coschedule

They break down your headline based on the number of words, keywords, emotional value, type of headline, and even preview it in the Google search results.

They dive into your headline, tear it apart, and let you know how it performs at every angle.

Do you have to use all of this information? No.

But, if there is a particular group or emotion you’re trying to strike, they may help you identify how successful you are in doing it.

Why does all of this matter?

According to Neil Patel, 90% of your advertising dollars go to the headlines. All it takes is a single word to change the click-through rate by as much as 46%. That’s rather important.

A Few More Tips For Attention-Grabbing Headlines

  • Include numbers
  • Add a creative adjective
  • Use call-to-action-worthy words

When you’re struggling, HubSpot’s Marina Barayeva has shared her formulas for crafting better headlines. She shares six formulas (i.e. Call-to-Action + Keyword + Promise = Headline), which help you create a compelling headline from scratch.

Give them a whirl and see if that improves your headline creation.

4. Give Readers A Reason To Act

A great sales copywriter doesn’t just tell people what to do; they give them an overwhelming reason to do it.

Your content is designed to make someone happier, healthier, richer, more successful, etc. So, use that when creating your call-to-action statement.

Tell them what they’re getting from you for taking the action you’ve requested of them.

Example:

You want people to sign up to receive your free ebook on marketing. You’ll use those email addresses to send out your monthly newsletter and hopefully receive click-through purchases later on.

Sure, you could say “sign up to get a free marketing book,” but what reason did you give other than a free product?

Instead, focus on what that free marketing book provides the user.

“Sign up to receive a free marketing book and use these tips to transform yourself into a sales expert.”

Now, you’ve provided them with their benefit and reason.

5. Quit Being So Cute With Your Words

You’re all about the cutesy phrases and words.

You love to be buzz worthy and toss in a few clichés.

Too bad your readers aren’t a fan.

Sure, you can toss in a few clever phrases here and there, but look at it as a cherry on top of a sundae. There’s no need to throw in the entire jar of cherries here. All it takes is just one to sweeten the deal.

6. Stop Yelling At Your Readers

Exclamation marks are the enemy.

You may think you’re making one killer point, but all your reader sees is you yelling at them; or worse, coming off like that obnoxious salesperson on TV.

Enchanting Marketing’s own Henneke discusses how the exclamation mark is not as powerful or useful as you think; in fact, she calls it the mark of a lazy sales copywriter. Instead of the exclamation mark, she recommends:

  • Using strategically placed pauses in your copy.
  • Adding more spaces in between sentences and experimenting with the flow of your content.
  • Posing questions instead of using exclamation marks. 

7. Use Your Word Count Wisely

As a sales copywriter, you may be bound by a particular word count.

This shouldn’t strike fear in your eyes (especially when you’re being pigeon-holed into a short word count).

Instead, it should be an opportunity to build up your sales pitch while not getting too wordy.

When you’re writing short sales copy (i.e. something under 1,000 words), you don’t have a lot of white space to convince your reader to take action.

Instead, you must:

  • Know your target audience
  • Remember the power of tight and compelling copy
  • Be clear about what your goal is and the benefits
  • Tell the reader the promise early on
  • Include a rock-solid guarantee
  • Remove fluff and cut the excess

When you’re working with a longer copy, you have the opportunity to build up your audience and build up their interest. But, you have to do this wisely.

According to a stat sheet provided by HubSpot, when a post has more than 1,500 words, it receives 68.1% more Twitter shares and 22.6% more Facebook likes than a post under 1,500 words. This is a lot of power!

As we’ve already said before when you’re a sales copywriter, you’re speaking to one, but selling to many. So, if you structure and present your information just right, a long form sales copy could potentially reach more readers and customers.

Putting The Right Information Above The Fold

The term “above the fold,” used to apply to newspapers. This was the information that showed up after you opened the paper and kept reading past the captivating front headlines.

According to Moz’s Tim Allen, above the fold is highly relevant for online writing and the theory still applies today.

You must put your most interesting, captivating information above the fold so that readers scroll down to continue.

With long-form sales copy, this is a must.

Moz suggests leaving clutter out. Instead, your above the fold region needs valuable information, a strong value proposition, and a clear definition of what the user is going to get from the page if they continue to read.

Be “My Person”

The inspiration here comes from Grey’s Anatomy (true fans would already know this).

be my person

To write excellent copy, you need a bond like Christina and Meredith Grey. No, we’re not saying you need to become long-term best friend’s and survive plane crashes with your readers, but it might help to picture a bond with them that has gone through all of that.

Your readers need to feel as though you know them.

You should establish a close bond with them that lets them know you understand them. Your writing must convey how you know them, dig deep into their problems, and offer solutions.

Most importantly, you should speak to them as though they are your person (e.g. your best friend). You should have a natural conversation, the words should flow, and you shouldn’t sound like a disjointed robot trying to sell an entirely unrelated product.

How Can You Be Their Person?

  • Boost their self-esteem
  • Ask questions that you know they’ll answer “yes” to
  • Make them feel special; as if you hand-selected them
  • Make the opportunity seem exclusive (even if it’s not)
  • Add emotional value and sentiment to your writing

9. Drop The Weasel Words

Eddie Shleyner at HubSpot said it best when he suggested to his readers to drop the “weasel” words.

Weasel words are statements that are definitive and promise something.

While you want to make guarantees to gain trust, you have to be careful about what you’re guaranteeing.

Never guarantee what cannot be delivered.

heartbreak

For example, promising a product will “fight” acne. What if it doesn’t?

They are empty promises that cannot be validated.

The statements themselves are delicate, and your content is weak and useless.

If you use a weasel word, make sure you can back it up with real data showing that you’re doing more than fluffing up a phrase. If you can’t, get rid of the word.

10. While You’re At It, Drop Superlatives Too

Superlatives are adjectives or adverbs that exaggerate.

Unfortunately, these are useless fluff that weakens the copy and are a common copywriting mistake.

While you make think a superlatives add power to your words, your readers take them as insincerity.

Here’s a superlative-filled statement:

“We’re here to provide you with the best service in town.”

Can you prove that you are the best?

Instead of using an empty superlative, tell the reader why they should come use your company’s service without just tossing in the word “best.”

Example:

“With us, you will receive responses within 24 hours or receive a 10% discount off your order.”

Now, you have just told the reader what they can expect, and what they get if you cannot deliver the best service.

11. Be Persuasive In Your Call To Action

The best call to action statements are irresistible.

You feel compelled to click.

Most likely you have already seen great call-to-action statements out there, and some may have already tricked you into clicking.

Take Evernote for example.

evernote

They pull you in by reminding you of something simple: inspiration happens anywhere.

As a sales copywriter, you probably already know this fact.

But, imagine being able to capture that inspiration on your phone, computer, or tablet? Evernote highlights that concern and tells you how they can fix it.

Brilliant.

Elements Of An Enticing Call-To-Action

Jeremy Smith at CrazyEgg shares his insights for creating killer CTAs after comparing tons of call-to-action statements on the web and in print. He suggests:

  • Including a no-obligation statement; people like when they have nothing to lose.
  • Encouragement to respond immediately because there’s little time to take advantage (i.e. sense of urgency).
  • Offer up a “why not” argument that can help you create a great CTA even when there is no sense of urgency.
  • Make it all about the benefits.
  • Lead with the CTA too — meaning toss that CTA in your headline.

12. Incorporate Stellar Sound Bites

Have you ever watched a news interview and observed how they have taken away bits that trend all over the web?

Sound bites apply to copy, too.

The best sales copywriters out there know how to sneak in these creative sound bites that make the copy easy to remember, and in some cases, easier to share.

A sound bite is easy to quote, and will be shared by other bloggers and websites, according to Social Triggers. Derek from Social Triggers highlights a particular article in their post that had a stellar sound bite. This post was shared more than 200 times on Twitter, 100 times on Facebook and took over 9,000 hits.

To create sound bites, Derek suggest:

  • Using the power of contrasting statements
  • Using the power of three (i.e. I Came, I Saw, I Conquered)
  • Violating the user’s expectations

13. Find Your Writing Mojo

The best sales copywriters aren’t sitting at their keyboard waiting for the words to spew out. Instead, they’re moving, thinking, and going about their lives.

They also find that magic writing hour.

Whether it is 2:00 AM or 7 AM in the morning with coffee brewing in the background, they sit down and write their first draft of copy when their writing mojo is at its peak.

Only you can decide when your writing mojo hour is, and you may have to play around with different times of the day. When you write during your optimum time, you may notice the words flow easier, you’re more conversational, and your writing is effective.

Be The Best Sales Copywriter You Can Be: Write Up Something Crafty Today

Now that you have learned 13 tidbits to improve yourself as a sales copywriter, now is the time to put them to work.

These best practices are designed for copywriters of all levels; seasoned and novice alike.

When you find yourself struggling to write something brilliant, come back to this guide and see what you might be missing.

And, always look for areas where you can improve.

If you implement these tips and activate your drive for success, you will notice your copy turns from boring drivel into compelling works of art.

Express Writers employs some of the most talented sales copywriters, and they are ready to create inspiring content for your website. Check out our Content Shop to see what we can do for your company today.

david ogilvy

7 Timeless Copywriting Lessons from the Legend David Ogilvy

If you’re in the market to improve your copy and make your digital advertising more effective than it’s ever been, there’s one man who can offer some serious inspiration.

David Ogilvy.

One of the most successful advertisers of all time, Ogilvy is considered the father of information-dense advertising.

First, let’s look at his life story–how he started one of the most famous, industry-shaping agencies of all time without prior experience writing a single line of ad copy, and one of his most famous high-ROI ads. Then, we’ll delve into 7 key lessons Ogilvy has left with us.

Sit back and enjoy! 

lessons from david ogilvy

A Nutshell Life Story of the Inspirational Copywriting Hero, David Ogilvy

Born in 1911, the man was a literal genius, despite being a “college dropout” at England’s Christ Church, Oxford.

He could sell anything, to anyone–a skill he learned at 24 years old when he decided to quit working at his “slavish” job in a hotel kitchen. Ogilvy started selling stoves, and got everyone to buy — from nuns and drunkards. In 1935, he wrote a guide that’s been named “the best sales manual ever written,” by Fortune. One of the best quotes from the guide:

“The more prospects you talk to, the more sales you expose yourself to, the more orders you will get. But never mistake quantity of calls for quality of salesmanship.”

In 1938, he emigrated to the US from England, and worked for George Gallup’s Audience Research Institute in New Jersey. This is where he learned meticulous research methods and unique copywriting techniques. In WWII, he worked with the Intelligence Service in Washington, where he wrote a ton of high-level content, making recommendations on matters of diplomacy and security.

He applied techniques he learned at Gallup into a report for the fields of secret intelligence, which was picked up by Eisenhower’s Psychological Warfare Board and successfully put to work at Europe during the final year of WWII.

Without a single ad penned in his lifetime, but simply a natural talent in sales, he came on and dominated the ad copywriting scene in the early 50s. After a quiet few years living with the Amish in Pennsylvania, Ogilvy founded the New York-based ad agency Hewitt, Ogilvy, Benson & Mather in 1948 (which later evolved into Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide). He launched with financial aid from London-based Mather & Crowther. He had never written an advertisement in his life, and in their first twenty years, Shell gave him their entire business; Sears hired him for their first national ad campaign; and other clients included Lever Brothers, General Foods and American Express. It became to a point where Ogilvy said:

“Getting clients was like shooting fish in a barrel.”

One of his most famous ads was also one of his most unorthodox ones. He believed in spur-of-the-moment inspiration, and on a whim decided to take on a small-budget client, a shirtmaker from Maine, in 1951. Within a week after the following ad went live, featuring Ogilvy’s “whim” of using an eyepatch on the model, every Hathaway shirt was sold out.

hathaway

He passed away in 1999, at 88 years old. Sadly, his two greatest dreams never came true: he wanted ten children (he only had one), and he wanted knighthood (he was made commander of the British empire, close enough, in 1967). He was also inducted in the US Advertising Hall of Fame in 1977.

The copywriting lessons he’s left with us have stood the tests of time and apply just as much today as they did in Ogilvy’s lifetime.

Let’s dissect a few.

7 Mantras for Better Copywriting, Courtesy of David Ogilvy

Prepare to be inspired by some of Ogilvy’s finest statements.

1. Invest the time in continually learning how to write well

 good writing is not a natural gift

If there’s one quote he’s said that rings 100% true with the process of my writing career, it’s this one.

Most people who are attracted to copywriting have at least some experience with writing.

Whether that’s an English degree or a past as a high school journalist, writing experience comes in all shapes and sizes.

However, even the best writers need continual practice in order to hone their craft and excel at writing.

With this in mind, never stop working to improve your craft. Read books, take seminars, and study the masters. Not only will your writing improve, but your scope of knowledge will, as well.

2. Learn who you are writing for

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According to Ogilvy, researching the competition, product, and customer is critical for long-term copywriting success.

While virtually anyone can create copy, only truly skilled copywriters who have invested the effort into learning their market can create targeted, highly effective content that influences audiences and sells things.

3. Do your homework and know what you’re writing about, but don’t be afraid to break the rules

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Good writing is harder without a great plan and the right research, which Ogilvy says so well.

Yet, as Ogilvy puts it (and as he put to real life use in his work), don’t be afraid to break the rules–never abide by one set of rules:

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For best results, ensure your outline has the following components:

1. A headline. Your headline should capture your reader’s attention and make them want to click into your content. Boring, dry headlines need not apply here.

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2. A sub-headline. This sub-headline is designed to offer a simple explanation of what you (or your content) does and for whom it does it. Perfect for converting the on-the-fence reader, this can help boost your conversions hugely.

3. Plenty of quality visuals. Use your outline to determine where you’ll place visuals and what the visuals will support. In addition to boosting your audience’s understanding of a topic, visuals also make content more compelling and can serve to improve its shares on social media.

4. A bulleted list of key points. To make your content outline as effective as possible, include a bulleted list of key points. (You can focus on creating a listicle or how-to, two hot forms of content, this way.) This helps you ensure you’re not leaving anything out while also serving to organize your content.

5. An outline of your call to action. To cap your outline off, include a sketch of your call to action. Remember that each call to action you write should be unique to your content and relevant to the specific piece you’re publishing.

4. Avoid being a bore in your writing

In the words of Ogilvy himself, “the worst fault a salesman can commit is to be a bore.”

david ogilvy worst fault a salesman

With this in mind, take pains to ensure that your content is interesting and engaging rather than uninspired and boring.

While this makes your content more fun for your readers to interact with, it can also serve to strengthen your brand voice and help you define your tone, approach, and audience.

Keep in mind that peoples’ attention spans are limited, as is their time, so they don’t have the resources or energy to wade through dense, dry content. As such, it’s your job as a copywriter to create unique, meaningful content they want to interact with.

5. Make your content as specific as possible

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Specific content performs better, and Ogilvy learned throughout his career that being more specific provides more value for the reader and more relevance for the audience.

With this in mind, bring specificity into every facet of your content creation – from your headline to your body copy.

This will boost your authority and help you stand out as a leader in your industry. In the words of the master himself, “The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be.”

6. Write to one person and one person only

9

Possibly the most valuable lesson Ogilvy has to teach is to write your content as if you were writing to one person.

Here are his words on the matter: “When people read your copy, they are alone. Pretend you are writing to each of them a letter on behalf of your client.”

By breaking your target audience down into individuals rather than one massive group, you can create more personalized content that serves your readers more effectively.

7. Write to your readers’ level

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I don’t think this could have been said any better.

Seriously: the best advice any content creator starting out could get is the tip where they should create to their audience’s level. Speak in their words.

Not speak down, or up, or some other descriptive nonsense—but in their language.

Improved Copywriting: Be Inspired, Have Fun, & Break Traditional Rules Starting Now

There you have it!

Seven amazing tips from the living, breathing legend that is David Ogilvy.

Remember:

Being a copywriter means being a lifelong student.

Improve your online content and your skills as a writer all at once by taking inspiration from the greats.

In need of expert copywriters to improve your online content? Contact Express Writers today!