Online writers may find themselves called upon to write about all sorts of topics, often persuading the reader to take a particular course of action. Knowing how to do so effectively may be a very valuable skill for an author to have, and it doesn’t have to be a complicated process.
Identify the purpose of your piece
Before you begin writing, give some consideration to what its purpose will be. Are you trying to sell a product or service, raise awareness of a cause simply trying to inform? Using an active voice may be a lot more persuasive than a passive one, so keep this in mind right from the start.
Consider your call to action
If you have any sort of knowledge of marketing, a call to action is a term you may already be very familiar with. It simply means encouraging your reader to take a specific activity, such as buying a product or subscribing to a service or donating funds to volunteer hours to a not for profit group. What is it you want people to do and what are the advantages for them in doing so? Make sure you tell them.
Stand apart from the crowd
There are more than one billion websites on the internet, and this number is only expected to grow over the next few years. This makes it vital that your work includes a “hook” that catches the reader’s attention and won’t let go. It’s smart to put this close to the beginning of an article so the reader sees it early on before they scan and click on another site.
Let’s get personal
One way a piece of web copy can stand out is by making it about the reader. If they feel like it is specifically written for them and their concerns, they may be more likely to engage.
Engaging someone’s emotions can be a very powerful marketing tool. This can range from appealing to a person’s desire to be part of the crowd to their need for safety and security.
How will you meet the reader’s needs
Most people want to know how an item or service will meet their needs better than the other options on the market. Exploring how yours can do so in a way that makes the reader feel as if a piece is speaking directly to them may really appeal to their desire to be attended to.
Appeal to the senses
Many don’t enjoy reading large blocks of text devoid of emotion or insight, and including lots of sensory words may really make your piece pop. You can include descriptions of smells, sounds, sights , touch and tastes to craft an item people enjoy. Scientific studies have shown that sensory words tend to activate different ports of the human brain, and we tend to process them more quickly. This often translates into increased engagement.
Remember the importance of the K.I.S.S. principle
When reading online articles, many people scan and decide quickly whether or not they wish to continue reading. Keeping your piece simple, with short sentences and a strong “hook” at the beginning will be less intimidating for the reader, and as many people will be reading your work using a phone, tablet or other mobile device with a small screen, it’s smart to keep your paragraphs short.
Take care when crafting your title and headline, and if an article is long enough, break it down using subheadings. Bullet points or a numbered list may also be useful, and any image captions can incorporate your sales message.
Take time to consider the tone of your work
While you’re writing, give careful consideration to word choice and your audience. Slang may or may not be appropriate, and any jargon or terms that may not be widely understood should be defined.
Include lots of links
People today tend to be quite busy, and they expect value for their time spent. Including relevant links in an article may encourage reader engagement and also provides an additional source of formation that backs up your words. It can be smart to place them near the end of a written item so that the reader will be sure to take in your most important messaging before they click an external link that takes them away from your site.
Don’t be afraid to blow your own horn
When you’re creating a piece of web copy, it’s quite okay to brag a bit. Just be sure to be honest, and it may be helpful to give specific examples. If you have an infographic that illustrates the point you’re trying to make, include it, as some people respond better to a visual element than a written one.
Describe the benefits
As stated above, people reading an article often only take a small amount of time before deciding if it offers value to them. Describing the benefits of a product or service and giving tangible examples may encourage the viewer to keep reading on. The goal is to convert the reader into a customer or client, and the longer they stay, the greater the chance that will happen.
Objections can be overcome
A job you may often be tasked with as a copywriter is to find a way to overcome the objections of the reader. One way to do this is to recognize their concerns about price and their budget and explore how an item may be quite economical and actually save money. Other concerns can be addressed in a similar way.
Spin a story
Storytelling may be a very effective marketing tool, especially if a product or service is new or relatively obscure. This technique appeals to the reader’s emotions and imagination, and can be a good way of showcasing intangible attributes such as personal value.
Telling a story with lots of descriptive, high-energy language and emotional appeal that includes a challenge to respond may appeal to many. This technique can be especially well suited to web copy that markets food, wines or other similar products.
Most companies would like to keep and expand their current customer base, and creating trust can play a big part in this. Even if what you’re selling is pretty much the same as other companies, if your customers trust you, they will be more likely to give you a try and remain loyal to you once they do.
There are several methods at a writer’s disposal for building trust. These include persuasive testimonials from satisfied clients, using statics or stories that back up your claim and providing technical details.
The importance of being honest cannot be overemphasized. While it’s okay to be somewhat boastful, only do so if it’s done honestly and can be backed up. Don’t exaggerate, and let the service product sell itself. This may be a vital step in building a long-term relationship with a customer.
Walk readers through their next steps
Now that you have the reader hooked, what’s your next move? Tell them what to do next. This can be anything from telling them to subscribe to a particular podcast for more information to advising them to visit other pages on a company’s website. Brightly coloured buttons that make it easy for someone pursuing your piece to complete its included call to action are another example.
Take advantage of the power of visual elements
It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and they may be very powerful tools. They can help to reduce the number of words used, and may also illustrate a particular point in an easy to understand way.
Another way to make reading a written piece more exciting is by using different font sizes for titles, captions and other elements. Some writers choose to use highlights, bolded or italicized text to emphasize important points. Whatever visual components you decide to use, the overall goal should be to both improve readability and offer more value to the person pursuing your piece.
Keep SEO in mind
Making sure your copy is optimized for web browsers is another step in making sure it will be effective. While many of these techniques may be common sense, others, such as keyword election and placement may be a bit more complicated.
Choose effective keywords and place them throughout your work, including the title and any meta descriptions. Using bullet points, subheadings, and headings is also important.
Review your work
Once you have created your article, it’s time to give it a thorough review. Make sure all your facts and figures are correct, and ensure the grammar and syntax are spot on. It’s vital that you incorporate easy to find and follow contact information, and if you have any professional qualifications or affiliations or other credentials, make sure you don’t leave them out.
It can also be a wise move to have someone you trust give your article a second look. Ask them to be one hundred percent honest and accept their critique and suggestions with grace as constructive criticism that will help you to grow as a writer.
As an online either who crafts web copy, you will likely find yourself tasked with preparing articles that are intended to persuade members of the public to take a particular course of action once they have finished reading a particular piece. This is an important skill to have for those who want to earn money from home by taking on writing jobs. If this sounds like it is up your alley, contact us now at Words of Worth. We want to hear from you.