Copywriting has been a major industry for as long as humans could write. So why do we have such trouble writing copy that hooks our readers?
We personally have not been writing for centuries. If you’ve been working on copy for that long, you’re immortal and don’t need any of the tips below. But if you’re like the rest of us, here are some simple ways to improve your copywriting and keep your readers interested:
- Play on the wants of your readers. We aren’t logical by nature, so why should our copy be?
- Confused on what to write? When in doubt, use the golden 60-30-10 rule: 60% Education, 30% Relation, and10% Saturation.
When I’m convincing my friend to dye their hair bright pink, I don’t just list every color. Selection alone won’t make my point. I hype that friend up and say “You’ll look so cool”or “you’ll stand out”.
Will they actually? Who knows. I certainly hope so, I told them to do it! But they listen because they want to feel special and different.
There are many different emotions you can use to elicit want, but there are two that stand above for writing copy.
This is at the core of every war, every political maneuver, and every Jane Austen novel. Ok, so one of those is less intense than the others, but my point still stands. Everyone wants to be recognized and respected, and it’s at the root of almost all our major choices. We want improvement in how people treat us!
Status copywriting can include the promise of business growth, beating the competition, and impressing clients.
There’s an old saying that goes “don’t let perfect get in the way of good”. Smart, right? It’s too bad that we want perfect anyway.
As we strive for perfection in our everyday lives, we often find ourselves falling short and that can be incredibly frustrating. The promise of finally achieving perfection, progress, and becoming more than human makes for powerful copy.
More On the 60-30-10 Rule
Interior design has a set of rules known as the 60-30-10 rule. It’s how they decorate without having overwhelming color schemes or patterns. Your business pitch and copywriting should look the same to avoid overwhelming your reader with your sales pitch.
As long as you promise your reader will learn something and deliver, they won’t mind when you name drop your business.
This is the learning portion of your article, blog post, or landing page. Your main goal is to teach! 60% of your article should be imparting knowledge your reader wouldn’t already know. That’s paragraphs, bullet points, and all the fun data that takes up the page.
Now that your readers are learning, you want them to feel like peers and not like students. It’s tricky to sound helpful rather than condescending when imparting knowledge. The best way to mitigate that is to scatter in why you understand your audience. When you relate to your reader and throw a proverbial arm around their shoulder, you have them hooked. The 30% of your article are the introduction paragraphs, the conclusion, and the intro blurb to each smaller section.
Now we get to the sales pitch! You can gracefully thread your company name into subtle sentences when mentioning the industry you’re writing about. When you talk about a fun new feature in texting apps, be sure to drop that your company offers that exact service! This can’t be done often, but those few moments are worth their weight in gold. 10% of your article is once every few paragraphs. Be sparing. They know what you want, the article is on your website after all! You don’t have to push.
What can we learn from human nature?
People as a species don’t change. We all want the same security and power that we’ve always had, and that’s not something to be ashamed of!
When we sell something, it’s ok to admit we’re human and play on basic wants. In fact, it’s preferred since that’s how we make decisions in general. When you add on the special 60-30-10 rule to write by, you get solid and convincing copy.