Copywriters easily get wrapped up in rules, and lose sight of a fundamental part of good writing: being interesting. It’s no good offering benefits, writing actively and compellingly, addressing the reader directly and appealing to their deep-seated desires if your words are boring.
‘Being interesting’ is a vague challenge. What is ‘interesting’ anyway? There’s no simple answer to that question, but I think interesting writing can be defined as:
- Energetic – free of tired clichés and full of the writer’s energy. If you feel flat and miserable writing about something, that mood may carry over into your copy. Sometimes using a slightly unusual word or a familiar phrase (a cliché!) is enough to make copy interesting
- Different – sometimes being weird is all you need
- Appealing – it’s easy to write interesting copy if your clients have interesting products
- Humorous – making your reader smile is a good thing, though it’s tricky to get right
- Resonant – chime with your reader’s experience to get them on your side
- Honest – bullshit-laden copy is rarely interesting
- Timely – give people the right information at the right time. The question of timing and ordering content is one of the trickiest bits of being a copywriter. What should you say first? And then…?
- Appropriate. Similar to being timely – make sure your copy is also relevant to your reader. Help your readers determine if your content is appropriate for them with clear signposts and labels.