How to improve your writing: toss feeble words and discover your power pen moves

Do you loathe copywriting? It’s time to stop agonising and start enjoying the writing process.

Copywriting is using the written word to sell your service or product. Selling is about enticing… dropping juicy morsels in front of your prospect until they can’t resist any longer.

When you write, don’t think about ticking a box on your business checklist. Instead, imagine you’re in a coffee shop with your customer. Picture them smiling at you and nodding along as you describe your wonderful offer.

Thinking about one person makes it easier to focus on how you can convince them to buy.

Also take time to notice how you talk to your customers.

If you are a personal trainer, how do you describe performing a deadlift? Do you tell your client to bend at the hips like a door hinge? Notice phrases you often use and add them into your copy, it will help make it sound more natural.

I’m giving you three power moves to strengthen your writing:

  1. Stop wandering down a side path. First, you need to help the reader by cutting back on unnecessary details. Include only relevant information, or your reader gets lost trying to find their way through your sentence. Example: We spent hours playing with different shades and tones in the factory so we ended up with so many colours for you to choose from for our new protein shake bottle. Do you want the reader to care about the hours you spent spinning a colour wheel or the colour options they have? Try this: Our new protein shake bottle comes in many colours for you to choose from. With a small tweak the intention becomes clear.

  2. Hunt down weak words. Look for words which don’t add anything to your sentence and kindly slay them. Example: Our new protein shake bottle comes in many colours for you to choose from. Taking out ‘for you to choose from’ doesn’t affect the sentence because it wasn’t needed in the first place. A stronger version is born: Our new protein shake bottle comes in many colours.

  3. Give your sentence a set of dumbbells. Adding weight helps your reader to feel, rather than just skimming through your copy. Find words which feel a bit ho hum and swap them for ones which create a strong image. Example: Our new protein shake bottle comes in many colours. Are you imagining all the beautiful colours? Thought not. How about: Our new protein shake bottle comes in a different colour for every day of the week. Or perhaps you like this better? Match every gym outfit with the myriad of colours of our new protein shake bottle. Giving an association to the colour options makes buying it more exciting.

If you work through the above steps every time you write, it’ll soon become a habit. You won’t feel the need to write in an officious style or badger your readers into purchasing. You’ll also discover your tone of voice. Your style will become the brands personality which connects with your reader.

Need more muscle in your copy? Throw out any ambiguous words and get specific. Your reader wants to know how your product will make their day better. Giving them a hint of what it might do someday, won’t get them to buy.

You know what your product does, tell it with vivid, enticing detail. Get specific and be sure to add in all the fabulous benefits they’ll get from this purchase. Knowing what they’ll gain (the benefits) helps them forget about what they’ll lose (their money).

Next time you sit with fingers poised, remember your power moves and get ready to bin the weak.