Cullen Blog

7 ways to spring-clean your copy

So you’re not a full time copywriter – then again who is? These days we’re all in the publishing game to some extent, producing and packaging content for all sorts of audiences, channels and applications.

Whatever piece of copywriting is on your to-do list, you should always aim to be word perfect. After all, the more value you put on your words, the more likely it is that others will do the same.

So whether you’re the owner of a health food store managing the company’s social media or a full-time PR professional blogging on behalf of your clients, you need to choose your words carefully.

Sometimes, though, that’s easier said than done. So in the spirit of the good old spring-clean, here are our seven top tips to make sure your copy is crafted to perfection.

Does your headline hit the heights?

We could have called this article ‘7 copywriting tips’ but that’s a bit bland, a bit general. What about ‘7 ways to improve your writing’? Better. ‘7 ways to spring-clean your copy’ is definitely more inviting though. Always start at the top and see if your headline can do more.

Put yourself in the reader’s shoes

Before you pen another line, think about who you’re writing for – then make sure your opening paragraph speaks directly to them. Here, we’re talking to all those people who don’t have the word ‘copywriter’ in their job titles, but who write and write and write.

Get to the point

We all have so much to read these days. Emails, reports, notifications, updates, so much to take in – and so little time. Where possible, keep it short. Make your point – and move on!

Give the text room to breathe

While we’re on the subject of keeping things short, try to avoid long, dense paragraphs of text – they’re a huge turn-off to most readers. Short, snappy paragraphs with plenty of white space are way more easy on the eye.

Write as you speak

This is one of the best tests of any kind of writing. Stand up and say it out loud – does it sound natural? Free flowing? Or forced and artificial? If you try and write the way you speak, chances are you’ll come across loud and clear.

But get your keywords in

Always a delicate balance, but it can be done. Look at the first couple of paragraphs of this article – we’ve included words like ‘content’, ‘copywriter’, ‘words’, ‘copy’, ‘blogging’, ‘tips’, all in a natural, unforced way. SEO for the win!

Don't settle for draft 1…

No matter how pushed for time you are, always push yourself to improve on that first draft. Have the thesaurus handy, have you chosen the right words? There’s always room for improvement!

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(Photo via Geraldine)