“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” – Leo Burnett
Admit it — no matter how good online marketer you are, being asked to write a blog post chills your spine. Marketers prefer to stamp their fists on walls than to work on a compelling blog post that would convert – but why?
Content marketing has been growing as the most important skill required for marketers to land a job. Having copywriting skills is surely a benefit because writing compelling articles is intimidating and not everyone can do that. However, there’s always some room to make improvements even if you feel that you are not good at writing. Your writing does not need to be agonizing and there are several small hacks you can use to hone your skills and all you require is a little discipline and a will to learn.
Check out these 10 sure-fire ways to improve your copywriting skills.Advertising
1. Write for one
You need to treat copywriting just as if you are writing to one person and trying to grab his attention. Copywriting is all about sharing your knowledge in the best possible way to make your marketing campaign effective and if you grab attention of just one person, the rest will follow. Write as if you are writing an email, be personal, add humor and try to include details as much as you can. Consider your copy as a cover letter and you surely will see a lot of improvements in your writing.
“Someone once wrote that all novels are really letters aimed at one person. As it happens, I believe this. I think that every novelist has a single ideal reader; that at various points during the composition of a story, the writer is thinking, “I wonder what he/she will think when he/she reads this part?” For me that first reader is my wife, Tabitha.” — Stephen King
2. Brush up on the basics
Before you start writing an incredible copy, you need to learn the basic principles of writing. This does not mean you need to have an university degree in literature, but you surely should have a strong grasp of grammar and spelling. You need to go through good books and learn their styles and try to refine them and add your touch to your copy. Improving your grammar and spelling will make your copy more compelling as well.
3. Work in groups
Writing is basically a solitary activity, but when you work in groups and have a reasonable sized company, you learn from them and gain much-needed feedback to make improvements. Find someone who is also trying to improve his writing and work together. Talk to your coworkers or friends and ask if they want to check your work. This will ensure if your copy has mistakes or points that you overlooked.Advertising
4. Write a killer headline
If your headline is not powerful, all you get in return for your copy is crickets. Try to hone the skill to write headlines that attracts; learn the art and master it. You can start reading different popular journals and magazines and see how they prepare their headlines. Analyze the work of others and see what works best to your readership.
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” ~ David Ogilvy
5. Keep it short and interesting
Most people don’t go through paragraphs that are long, no matter how stellar the content might be. If you keep it short, it sounds simple and sweet, of course. Generally, when you keep the first paragraph short, chances are people will find it interesting and read through the complete post.
The opening of your copy should be hypnotic and you can do what you feel best; include an intriguing question, show stats or an outrageous claim that will keep your reader interested.Advertising
6. Imitate writers you admire
Wait there, imitation is not the same as plagiarism. There’s no way you can rip off anyone’s work and call it yours, ever. What you can do is try writing like the same writers you read on regular basis. Dissect what part of their work you enjoy best and see if you can use similar strategies in your content.
If they add humor, do that if you like it. If they are always serious, try that too and see if it will impact your readers as much as it did on you.
7. Use bullet points
Try different search query about foods you want to eat or travel destinations you want to visit this summer, the search engines are filled with list posts. Believe me, such posts have been successful since…forever. Yes, from the very early days of copywriting to now and in the future, copies that have bullet points guarantee success than copies filled with paragraphs only.
Using bullet points will make it easy for readers to scan the article and if they oblige to your readers, they’ll oblige you too.Advertising
8. Edit ruthlessly
You have to do this for once and for all if you want to become a great copywriter. Editing is a tough skill and is considered a waste of time by many. But in fact, editing is what can place immense value to your copy and you don’t require a lot of rewriting as well.
Editing copies will give you tons of ideas about your writing level. Start eliminating extraneous words and try making sentences short. Make sure to get your message to the point and wax it lyrically. You need to be harsh on yourself and the more ruthlessly you edit your copies, the better results you’ll see.
9. Do your research
Most articles I read today are plagiarizing someone else’s work. Well, they even credit the source and if they don’t, they make sure that no sentences in their work is present in someone else’s article; that’s cheating. You can rewrite any articles, rephrase sentences and make them yours, but that is still plagiarism. Learn the fact that there are no shortcuts when it comes to success.
Try doing your own research, add statistics to your copy and make sure you source or attribute the details. Even if you are an amateur, researching and adding them to your articles will make you look like a professional.
10. Find a good editor
Everyone needs an editor, even the best writers in the world. If you are trying to improve your content strategy or looking to guest post on your favorite site, make sure you are working with a good editor. This will ensure that you deliver the best content and see improvements in your work where necessary.
Featured photo credit: condesign via pixabay.com
Last Updated on December 10, 2019
How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life
It is hardly a secret that the key to successfully accomplishing one goal after another is staying motivated. There are, of course, tasks which successful people may not like at all, yet they find motivation to complete them because they recognize how each particular task serves a greater goal.
So how to stay motivated most of the time? Here are 5 simple yet effective ways on how to stay motivated and get what you want:
1. Find Your Good Reasons
Anything you do, no matter how simple, has a number of good reasons behind it.
You may not be able to find good reasons to do some tasks at first but, if you take just a few moments to analyze them, you will easily spot something good. We also have many tasks which don’t need any reasoning at all – we’ve been doing them for so long that they feel natural.
If you’re ever stuck with some tasks you hate and there seems to be no motivation to complete it whatsoever, here’s what you need to do: find your good reasons.
Even when you set goals, there needs to be reasons behind these goals. They may not be obvious, but stay at it until you see some, as this will bring your motivation back and will help you finish the task.
Some ideas for what a good reason can be:
- A material reward – quite often, you will get paid for doing something you normally don’t like doing at all.
- Personal gain – you will learn something new or will perhaps improve yourself in a certain way.
- A feeling of accomplishment – at least you’ll be able to walk away feeling great about finding the motivation and courage to complete such a tedious task.
- A step closer to your bigger goal – even the biggest accomplishments in history have started small and relied on simple and far less pleasant tasks than you might be working on. Every task you complete brings you closer to the ultimate goal, and acknowledging this always feels good.
2. Make It Fun
When it comes to motivation, attitude is everything. Different people may have completely opposite feelings towards the same task: some will hate it, others will love it.
Why do you think this happens? It’s simple: some of us find ways to make any task interesting and fun to do!
Take sports for example. Visiting your local gym daily for a half-an-hour workout session sounds rather boring to some. Yet many others love the idea!
They like exercising not only because they recognize the good reasons behind it, but simply because it’s fun! At certain time of their daily schedule, they find going to gym to be the best thing to do, simply because nothing else will fit their time and lifestyle so perfectly.
Depending on how you look at it, you can have fun doing just about anything! Just look for ways of having fun, and you’ll find them!
A simple approach is to start working on any task by asking yourself a few questions:
- How can I enjoy this task?
- What can I do to make this task fun for myself and possibly for others?
- How can I make this work the best part of my day?
As long as you learn to have the definite expectation of any task being potentially enjoyable, you will start to feel motivated.
Some of you will probably think of a thing or two which are valid exceptions from this statement, like something you always hate doing no matter how hard you try making it fun. You’re probably right, and that’s why I don’t claim everything to be fun.
However, most tasks have a great potential of being enjoyable, and so looking for ways to have fun while working is definitely a good habit to acquire.
3. Change Your Approach And Don’t Give Up
When something doesn’t feel right, it’s always a good time to take a moment and look for a different approach for the task.
You may be doing everything correctly and most efficiently, but such approach isn’t necessarily the most motivating one. Quite often, you can find a number of obvious tweaks to your current approach which will both change your experience and open up new possibilities.
That’s why saying “one way or another” is so common — if you really want to accomplish your goal, there is always a way; and most likely, there’s more than one way.
If a certain approach doesn’t work for you, find another one, and keep trying until you find the one which will both keep you motivated and get you the desired results.
Some people think that trying a different approach means giving up. They take pride in being really stubborn and refusing to try any other options on their way towards the goal.
My opinion on this is that the power of focus is great, but you should be focusing on your goal, and not limiting your options by focusing on just one way to accomplish it it.
4. Recognize Your Progress
Everything you may be working on can be easily split into smaller parts and stages. For most goals, it is quite natural to split the process of accomplishing them into smaller tasks and milestones. There are a few reasons behind doing this, and one of them is tracking your progress.
We track our progress automatically with most activities. But to stay motivated, you need to recognize your progress, not merely track it.
Here’s how tracking and recognizing your progress is different:
Tracking is merely taking a note of having reached a certain stage in your process. Recognizing is taking time to look at a bigger picture and realize where exactly you are, and how much more you have left to do.
For example, if you’re going to read a book, always start by going through the contents table. Getting familiar with chapter titles and memorizing their total number will make it easier for you to recognize your progress as you read. Confirming how many pages your book has before starting it is also a good idea.
You see, reading any book you will be automatically looking at page numbers and chapter titles, but without knowing the total number of pages, this information will have little meaning.
Somehow, it is human nature to always want things to happen in short term or even at once. Even though we split complex tasks into simpler actions, we don’t quite feel the satisfaction until all is done and the task is fully complete.
For many scenarios though, the task is so vast that such approach will drain all the motivation out of you long before you have a chance to reach your goal. That’s why it is important to always take small steps and recognize the positive different and progress made. This is how your motivation can sustain in long term.
5. Reward Yourself
This is a trick everyone likes: rewarding yourself is always pleasant. This is also one of the easiest and at the same time most powerful ways to stay motivated!
Feeling down about doing something? Dread the idea of working on some task? Hate the whole idea of working? You’re not alone.
Right from the beginning, agree on some deliverables which will justify yourself getting rewarded. As soon as you get one of the agreed results, take time to reward yourself in some way.
For some tasks, just taking a break and relaxing for a few minutes will do.
For others, you may want to get a fresh cup of coffee and even treat yourself a dessert.
For even bigger and more demanding tasks, reward yourself by doing something even more enjoyable, like going to a cinema or taking a trip to some place nice, or even buying yourself something.
Your progress may not seem to others like anything worth celebrating but, take time and do it anyway! It is your task and your reward, so any ways to stay motivated are good.
The more you reward yourself for the honestly made progress, the more motivated you will feel about reaching new milestones, thus finally accomplishing your goal.
Mix and Match
Now that you have these five ways of staying motivated, it is a good moment to give you the key to them all: mix and match!
Pick one of the techniques and apply it to your situation. If it doesn’t work, or if you simply want to get more motivated, try another technique right way. Mix different approaches and match them to your task for the best results.
Just think about it: Finding good reasons to work on your task is bound to helping you feel better; and identifying ways to make it fun will help you enjoy the task even more.
Or, if you plan a few points for easier tracking of your progress and on top of that, agree on rewarding yourself as you go; this will make you feel most motivated about anything you have to work through.
More to Boost Your Motivation
- 8 Steps to Continuous Self Motivation Even During the Difficult Times
- 9 Types of Motivation That Make It Possible to Reach Your Dreams
- How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up
Featured photo credit: Lucas Lenzi via unsplash.com