You’ve probably written a lot of things over the last few years. You may even have written a novel or two, but did you nail your copy? The answer is probably not, and that’s why I’m going to give you twenty-nine rules for a better copy that will make you a better writer.
This isn’t just about style; it also helps with meaning. Writing good copy is important because it gives your work structure and adds value to your work.
It should be used sparingly and in places where it will enhance the content of your piece; otherwise, it can be distracting or take away from what you’re trying to say.
|1. Craft attention-grabbing headlines that resonate with your target audience.|
|2. Focus on the reader’s needs and address their pain points effectively.|
|3. Use clear and concise language to convey your message with impact.|
|4. Incorporate storytelling techniques to make your copy more relatable.|
|5. Highlight the benefits and solutions your product or service offers.|
|6. Create a sense of urgency to encourage prompt action from readers.|
|7. Tailor your copy to match the tone and style of the platform you’re using.|
|8. Provide social proof through testimonials and case studies.|
|9. Include a strong call to action that guides readers on the next step.|
|10. Edit and revise your copy to eliminate any unnecessary or confusing elements.|
|11. Test different variations of your copy to optimize for better results.|
|12. Continuously learn from successful copy examples and refine your approach.|
1. First Sentence
The first sentence of your copy should be a hook. It should draw the reader’s attention and make them want to read more. But what kind of hook is best?
Here are some options:
- Ask a question that compels the reader to keep reading so they can find out the answer.
- State an opinion or fact that surprises or intrigues the reader, piquing their curiosity about how you came to this conclusion.
- Quote someone else (the customer) who has said something that resonates with your brand or product experience, and then show how it uniquely relates to your audience (i.e., “The world is changing,” said [customer’s name], CEO of [company name].)
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2. The Second Sentence Should Reveal The Main Idea
The second sentence should reveal the main idea. The first sentence is a tease: you want to capture the reader’s attention, but you don’t want to give everything away at once.
The second sentence should be the one that conveys your main idea—the most important point, the most interesting fact, etc. and it should be clear what you’re talking about right away.
The trick here is not to try too hard just write naturally and see where it takes you! If there are several ways this could go, don’t worry: just write down whatever comes into your head first (you can always edit later).
3. The Third Sentence Should Be An Opposite Of The First Two
This is important because it helps build a suspenseful story and keeps your readers guessing, which will make them keep reading.
There are several ways to go about this: you can write something that contradicts what you said before.
Or you can write something contrary but still not necessarily contradictory, or even something completely unrelated to what came before it, as long as it’s all connected by some kind of theme (see rule #4).
If you want to make sure your reader understands what you meant by “opposite” in this context and if they don’t get it right away then maybe consider explaining yourself in the next paragraph or two?
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4. Use Direct Language, Not Flowery Prose
Use short sentences. You should aim for one or two sentences per paragraph, not three or four. This allows you to get your point across quickly and clearly, without having to use a lot of convoluted languages.
Use short paragraphs. If you can break up your copy into multiple paragraphs (which you should).
Try and make each one as short as possible while still getting the point across in an interesting way that makes it easy for people who are skimming through the page to find what they’re looking for and keep reading!
When they hit the bottom of one paragraph, let them know that there’s more where that came from by making sure there’s another one right after it!
Use short words/sentences so people can understand everything faster than ever before!
5. Not Only About Style But Also Give Meaning To The Paragraph
Paragraphs should be short. A paragraph is a complete thought, so it should contain no more than one idea. When you introduce a new idea within your sentence, that’s when you end it and start a new one.
A good way to keep track of this is by using numbers. You can write 1., 2., 3., 4., etc., in the top right corner of each paragraph or bullet point as you go along.
If you need another point, then start over at “1” again (unless there’s only one number left). This makes organizing your thoughts easier and helps keep them organized in readers’ minds too!
6. Informative Sentences Are Important
An informative sentence is a sentence that tells the reader something about the world. It’s a little bit different than an engaging sentence, which invites the reader to learn more. For example, let’s say you have a long list of ingredients for a recipe:
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Here, each ingredient is listed with an amount after.
This is an engaging sentence because it invites you to want to know more about what each ingredient does in the recipe, but it doesn’t tell you anything specific about how these ingredients work together or how they might taste together.
It would be better if we wrote something like this: Coconut flour and almond flour both break down into tiny crumbs when combined with water, giving your baked good craggy edges that provide structure and support as well as delightfully crunchy texture.
And their distinct flavors complement one another beautifully! Baking soda (which converts excess sugar into carbon dioxide bubbles) creates small pockets of air between these layers of doughy goodness for even more dramatic contrast between the chewy interior and flaky exterior.”
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7. Keep Your Copy Under 2% Of Your Page Length
You’ll do better if you keep your copy under 2% of your page length.
You could manually count how many words you’ve written, but there are better ways to measure how much copy is in your writing. You can use a word counter and get an estimate, or use one of these tools: Hemingway App, which helps writers identify passive voice, adverbs, and more.
Readability Test Tool (RST), which tells you whether your writing is too difficult for most people to understand. Paragraphs app, which helps writers create well-organized paragraphs. Word Count for a Chrome browser extension
8. Introduce The Topic At The Top Of Each Page
Introduce the topic at the top of each page. The most important thing you can do when writing copy is to keep your audience in mind, which is exactly what you should do when defining what “topic” means.
Every page of your document should be an introduction to that document and its purpose. Think about it as if you were hosting a dinner party: You wouldn’t start talking about how great soup is without first letting everyone know that they’re going to be eating soup!
Similarly, whenever you write copy (or any other kind of prose), make sure that readers know what they’re getting into from the beginning don’t just assume they’ll figure it out on their own!
9. Present Each Idea As A Question Or Challenge
This is a great technique for making your writing stand out. It’s a simple and effective way of getting the reader to pay attention and engage with your content.
You’ll also find that this strategy makes the reader more likely to read further, remember what they’ve read, and share it with others.
You can use questions or challenges at the end of sentences or paragraphs to make them memorable and get better results from your copywriting efforts.
- Use questions at the beginning of sentences (or even paragraphs) to create curiosity about what comes next in the story:
- Ask for a decision: “Do you want this item?” “Would you like me to call back?” This gives readers something specific to do which means they’re more likely than usual (if at all possible) to follow through on doing it!
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10. List Key Points And Make Them Stand Out By Bolding Them
BOLD IT, BABY!
This is the first rule of writing, and it’s so simple that many writers don’t even realize how important it is. If you want someone to read your content, you need to make sure that it’s as easy for them as possible. And one way to do this is by bolding key points in your writing.
Bolding the important parts of your copy makes them stand out and since people are more likely to remember what they see than what they hear (or read), this can have a big impact on how well they understand what you’re trying to say.
It’s not just that you should bold key points because they’re important; when done right, bolding will help readers understand what those points are and why they matter.
11. Feel Free To Add Footnotes Or Endnotes In A Way That Enhances Your Content
Footnotes and endnotes are primarily used to help you cite sources, but they can also be utilized for other purposes.
For example, if you want to include an interesting fact in your copy that would be distracting from the flow of the text if it were placed directly in the body, feel free to add a footnote or endnote that includes this information.
If you need guidance on how many footnotes/endnotes are appropriate for every document (such as a blog post or essay), it’s best practice to consult your instructor before making any decisions about where and when they should be used.
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12. Writing Is An Art And You Should Try To Write Things That Interest You
Writing is an art, not a science. As you write your copy, try to find the right words that will express your ideas in the best way possible.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with it! You should never feel like you can’t use creative ways of expressing yourself or being creative because the whole point here is that writing is all about expressing yourself in the most creative manner possible.
Writing allows us to communicate our thoughts and ideas with others through words on paper (or screens).
It’s one of the best ways we have of communicating because it allows us to connect with other people even if those people are far away from us physically speaking and allows us to share what we know about certain topics so that other people can learn from them too!
So there you have it! 29 rules for better copy. Every one of these rules can be applied to your writing to help you become a better writer and make your work more effective at conveying the message you want it to convey.
If you found this list helpful, feel free to share it with others who might find it useful as well.
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How can I improve my grammar skills?
Enhancing your grammar skills involves consistent practice, reading, and utilizing resources like style guides and grammar checkers. Incorporate these practices into your writing routine to see significant improvement.
What makes copywriting effective?
Effective copywriting involves understanding your target audience, crafting compelling headlines, highlighting benefits, and creating a clear call to action. It’s about engaging and persuading readers to take the desired action.
What are some essential rules of writing?
The twelve rules of writing encompass various aspects, including character development, plot structure, and maintaining consistency. These rules provide a solid foundation for creating engaging and coherent narratives.
How do I write engaging content?
Engaging content combines a strong narrative, relevant information, and a unique perspective. Captivate your readers by addressing their needs, providing valuable insights, and maintaining a conversational tone.
Can I improve my writing style?
Absolutely. Improving your writing style involves studying different authors, experimenting with varied sentence structures, and focusing on clarity. Consistent practice and a willingness to adapt will help you refine your personal writing style.
Costantine Edward is a digital marketing expert, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who helps people attain financial freedom. I’ve been working in marketing since I was 18 years old and have managed to build a successful career doing what I love.