Friday, February 22, 2008

Writing for the Web

Writing for the Web
Your opening words must tell people how they will benefit from visiting the site. You must also give people a brief idea about the nature of the site - what specific product or service is it selling / what free product or service is it offering / what can people expect to find at your site?

The Heading
On the Web, there isn't time for cute headings - people want information and they want it now!
So you need to let your readers know exactly what you're offering in your heading. Your heading should be no more than four or five words - the fewer the better.e.g.

Free Software
Web Design
Improve Your Writing
A Joke a Day
Learn HTML
How to Relieve Pain

Words that Appeal
There are a number of words which have been shown to appeal to readers, some of these are:

Free - New - Proven - Secret - Success - Instant -- Fast --
Simple -- How to -- Save Easy-- Limited time only

Always try to include at least a couple of these words in your ad.

Personal Pronouns
We're all most interested in ourselves, so direct all your comments to you, the reader.
Use you, your, yours wherever possible.

Include we, our, ours throughout your ad, but use I, me, mine very sparingly.

Give Facts. Don't say: make "thousands of rupees" with this scheme, say: we'll "see a 20% increase in sales within the first year" - and it will be more likely for people to believe you.

Use numbers if possible - "101 Uses for Plastic Shopping Bags" is more likely to gain attention, than "Things to do with plastic shopping bags".

Don't use adjectives and adverbs.

Don't be clever if it means some of your readers won't understand your ad.

Organization of Ideas
You should always start with the greatest benefit to the reader:

Expected improvements in finances, health, career, romance, appearance, security, self-esteem

Removing worry

Eliminating unpleasant tasks

Reducing physical, mental pain

End with an Appeal for Action
Always finish your ad by telling your readers what you want them to do:

Click here for more information

Act now

Go to our secure order form

These simple rules will help you create engaging and relevant web content. 

How does one become a copywriter?

Copywriting one of the few professions where a degree is not required.

That means anyone can become a copywriter, irrespective of their age, experience, background and educational history (or lack of it).

A background in English helps. You should also have an enquiring mind, store a lot of information and be able to make lateral connections.

Good copywriters are curious and don't wear blinders. Knowing how to write helps, of course.

But be sure of one thing: while the business of advertising can be fun, it's business, not art.

Ultimately, the clients pay the bills. The goal is to sell the clients' stuff. And, although there are many important things you know about advertising that your client might not, you'll never know as much about your clients' businesses as they do.

Part of your job is to draw that knowledge out of the client. And to distill that knowledge down to a key point that speaks directly to the needs of their prospects, catalyzing a message that's more than the sum of its parts.

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