The Copywriter’s Green Cross CodeJune 16th 2011 Sally Ormond article writing, blogging for business, content generation, content marketing, copywriter, copywriting tips
STOP – LOOK – LISTEN
Those three words were probably drilled into you when you were a child.
You would also do well to remember them when copywriting.
That might seem a strange thing to say but when creating sales and marketing content, many people just dive straight in. That’s because it’s usually one of those jobs that is squeezed in between other projects.
And there’s the problem – content creation shouldn’t be seen as one of those jobs you have to fit in now and then. It’s vital for your business from an SEO perspective and for getting your message out to your audience effectively.
Before you start to put pen to paper or finger to keyboard, stop and think about what you are doing and why. Every piece of copy must have a purpose so ask yourself:
- What is going to be the best platform for your message?
- What do you want to achieve from your copy?
- How do you want your audience to react?
- What do you want to tell your audience?
- What end result do you want to achieve?
Creating content is like creating a new product. You wouldn’t dream of making a new product without carrying out R&D first, so why just sit down and cobble together some half hearted sales copy?
Although your content is important, so too is how it looks.
If it doesn’t have instant readability appeal, no one will read it. In which case there wasn’t a lot of point in writing it in the first place.
Using headings, subheadings, bullet points and images will make your content more attractive and accessible. A solid wall of text is a real turn off but a page with plenty of white space, bullet points and small chunks of text, is a far more interesting prospect.
You not only have to listen to the needs of your business and customers, you also need to listen to yourself.
Your content has to tell your reader what’s in it for them and represent the voice of your business.
Once you’ve written your content, read it out loud. This will help you make sure it flows, makes sense and will provoke an emotional response in your reader.
As you can see, content creation is much more than just stringing a few sentences together. A lot of thought, planning and shaping has to go into every piece of content you produce.
So remember – stop, look and listen before you publish.