On… copywriting tips

Let’s face it, most of my blog posts are the dillydallying type. I ponder, and
chat, and wander off point, and put in little asides. Then I have to use a lot of ‘So,’ or ‘Anyway,’ type words, to get back to the point. And then the point itself tends to drag on.

But that’s okay: it’s a blog. It’s not ad copy. Blogs are all about the dillydally.

Anyway (see?), I got an email from a would-be copywriter today, asking for copywriting tips. And so I thought perhaps I’d post them here. I wrote them like ad copy, so they’re nice and short. Enjoy.


1. Get to the point. I probably won’t read more than the first line.

2. Use the shortest possible words and sentences. So I can skim it and still understand.

3. Don’t bore or confuse me. Use active words and straightforward syntax.

4. Tell me why I should care. How will it make a difference to my life?

5. Don’t overdo it. No exclamation marks, no hyperbole, no grand promises. Smart copy tells, not sells.

And yes, you can do all this and still keep within the brand guidelines and tone of voice. Whether you’re being formal or friendly, medical or mummyish, selling BMW or Bovril, good copy is good copy.

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