Copywriting Isn’t Fiction – FactOctober 28th 2010 Sally Ormond copywriter, copywriting tips, freelance copywriter, Website copywriting
Many people believe that writing is just writing. It doesn’t matter what it’s for, it is basically the same animal. It can range from fiction, sales writing, promotional writing, poetry…
But if you treat every form the same you’ll come unstuck. Your writing style must be adjusted according to its format and desired effect.
For example, if you’re writing the next best seller, your writing has to entertain, enthral and envelop your readers’ curiosity to hold their attention until the last page.
But website copywriting should be interesting, relevant, engaging and must sell. It should also be search engine optimised too.
Fiction writing is all about painting a picture with similes and metaphors. But website copy is about selling and driving traffic – there’s no room for arty language; it should be simple.
Once upon a time, a website copywriter…
When someone lands on your website, all they want to know is what’s in it for them? That sounds rather selfish but it’s true. After all, they landed on your website because they are looking for something. So it is the job of your website to satisfy that need.
It is vital you get your message across quickly, clearly and without fuss. So leave your flamboyant fiction tendencies at the door and stick to good old fashioned plain speaking.
- Don’t use arty similes or metaphors – tell the reader what your product is, what it will do for them and how to buy
- Don’t use jargon – it should only sneak in if it is absolutely necessary, but even then keep it to a minimum
- Be brief – only use as many words as you need to sell.
- Use simple language – big words and complex sentences will not result in greater sales. Instead of using terms such as ‘in the interim period’ stick with ‘between’
If you want your website copy to sell keep your writing simple and conversational. This will help build rapport with your reader and so build that all important trust.
If you want to write flamboyantly, write a novel. But make sure you keep that style of writing away from your sales writing.