Improve your Copywriting with this Quick Checklist

If you want writing that sells what you do, you need to make sure it checks off certain boxes.

A lot of attention is paid nowadays to creating thumb-stopping imagery & producing entertaining videos.

It’s true that these visuals help to capture the attention of the mindless scrollers on Facebook and Instagram. But what happens once you convince someone to stop the scroll?

Copywriting is such an important component of your business success. It’s a key ingredient on your website, in your email and social media marketing, in your paid digital advertising, even in video descriptions on YouTube and Vimeo…

It’s everywhere. And if you want to capture attention and close sales, you need to dedicate time to growing your copy skills.

Don't forget this marketing tip!

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Good copywriting is more than good grammar. It needs to be compelling and clear.

If you want writing that sells what you do, you need to make sure it checks off certain boxes:

#1: Copy should be clear

On your website, a client or potential client should always know where they are, what they can do on your site, and why they should care. This is clarity at work.

#2: Copy should be concise

Keeping copy short and sweet is important for getting your message across in a digital landscape. Don’t provide more detail than you need. Keep single paragraphs to a single thought. Avoid overloading your writing with adverbs.

#3: Copy should be conversational

Keeping your copy conversational makes people feel more connected to you and can reduce the length! Easy ways to update your language to make it more conversational: 

  • Use contractions, like don’t or won’t
  • Reduce or eliminate jargon.
  • Use active voice instead of passive voice. 

Always remember, there’s a human at the other end of that screen!!

#4: Copy should be simple

We are creatives. We like to create. Sometimes the amount and size of our ideas is overwhelming. But in our writing, we should always aim for keeping things simple. What is the heart of the matter?

Research says:

“According to research performed by Jakob Nielsen, of the Nielsen Norman Group, only 16% of people online read word-by-word. Just about everyone else is a scanner, picking text apart for the bits that are valuable to them.”

— Hubspot

#5: Copy should be scannable

  • Keep paragraphs short and celebrate white space.
  • Use headers and subheadlines to break up copy.
  • Make use of bulleted lists when possible.
  • Make use of repetition.

#6: Copy should be purposeful

The most important thing is that your copy is there for a reason. Why do you want someone to read it? What should they do after reading it? Why should they care? When you’re writing for the web, you are trying to prompt action. If you’re creating an email opt-in or writing a Facebook ad, you want someone to give their information or click! Always ask yourself: does this copy inspire action?

Knowing your audience’s pain points and desires will help you craft compelling copy that converts.

Highlighting the exclusivity of your offer or the importance of their participation also increases your chances of conversion. Creating urgency can prompt someone to act, because it encourages them to make a decision quickly (and yes, draws on their fear of being left out!)

At the end of the day, even this grammar nerd knows the clarity, simplicity and purpose of your message are more important than your sentence structure. Write with intention and everyone wins.

I strategize, consult and manage digital marketing and communications for small businesses and creative entrepreneurs. I’m based in Brooklyn, because I have a thing for exposed brick, cozy, local coffee shops and the can’t stop, won’t stop energy of New York.

Because I work with small companies, I get the chance to really know my clients – what makes them tick and how and why they should stand out in a crowded marketplace. A lot of my clients have a smaller staff, a limited budget and are already stretched thin for time. This leads us to tailor marketing strategies and solutions to each company’s unique needs and actual capacity.