Fine art of copywriting: be interesting

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.

A place for copywriters to find inspiration…

Screen This is a quick follow-up on my blog post, “Where do copywriters go for inspiration?“…

The website I had in mind when I wrote that post is up and running, and a few keen copywriters have been adding examples of copy.In a few weeks, once the big wrinkles have been ironed out, we’ll go public!

So what’s this website for?

  • It’s a place for copywriters to share great copy. Scratch that. It’s a place for anyone to share great copy. Anyone interested in building a better web, or anyone interested in marketing and advertising, can share great examples of words in action.
  • It’s a place for copywriters, web workers and marketing types to find inspiration
  • It’s a place for copywriting to be discussed and considered
  • It’s a place for copywriters to show off their own best work – and maybe even find clients

If you like the idea of having a dribbble for copywriters, send me your email address.

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