Compelling copywriting is a mystical beast that only the brave can conquer. Sound farfetched? OK, maybe, just a little, but you must be brave to pull it off.

compelling copywriting

By day I am a professional copywriter, but by night (or afternoon), I am an avid reader. I am a sucker for a psychological thriller, but I can’t stand literary, hyperbolic nonsense.

As a reader, I want to be shown what’s happening in an enthralling way that keeps me engaged right up to the last page. What I can’t be doing with is fluffy prose that follows grammatical rules to its death.

I want to read something simple, unpretentious, and honest.

What am I telling you this?

Because that’s the formula for s*** hot, compelling copywriting.

The formula for compelling copywriting

compelling copywriting

Before I get down to the nuts and bolts of the matter, let me say two things:

The most compelling content taps into the mind of your reader. It’s all about them (and not about you). It must address their challenges, how your product or service will resolve them and how they will make their life easier (more profitable etc.).

The next thing to realise is that simple language is more effective than complex language and words. Multiple syllables don’t make you sound impressive.

With all that in mind, the formula is:

Simple language + benefits + honesty = compelling copywriting


Honesty is always the best policy

It’s tempting to stretch the truth a bit to make you sound great.

How often have you read that a company’s products are market-leading or ground-breaking? And how many of those claims have been backed up with solid facts? I’m willing to bet not many.

Terms like that tend to be used when a company runs out of things to say. It thinks the reader will be fooled into thinking it sells the best of the best just because its website says so.

If you are the market leader, great. But if you make that claim, back it up with facts. If it’s illustrated in a survey result, link to the survey to prove it.

Don’t sell by overtly selling

No one likes to be sold to. Every consumer wants to believe they have made the decision to buy. That’s why overly salesy websites don’t work.

The best way to sell is to show the reader the benefits of using your product or service. That way, your reader can make up their mind (or at least they think that’s what happens).

Copywriting is one of those things that sounds simple, but in practice, it’s tricky. Getting the balance right takes time and experience to perfect.

To create compelling copywriting, all you need to remember is the following:

  • Don’t try to be clever
  • Tell your readers how you’ll help them
  • Focus on the needs of your readers, not facts about your company
  • Be honest
  • Use simple language


Sally Ormond – professional copywriter.