So, you’ve decided that you want to become a digital copywriter? To be successful, there are many important skills to master and considerations to address. However, none are more important than creating a positive connection between you and your audience.
If you don’t, then your audience loses interest in what you’re writing, which will lead to your client losing interest in you.
To create a positive connection in the digital world, you need to go against conventional wisdom.
Breaking the Rules
Essentially, you need to ignore two fundamental writing ‘rules’ that are ingrained into our minds right from the time we first start studying English in primary school:
1. Communication involving text requires a writer and a reader.
2. The writer has the active role (creating language) and the reader has the passive role (understanding language).
Both of these rules are turned on their heads in the world of the digital copywriter.
Digital World Rules
1. People who view text online are USERS, not readers.
2. Online users have an ACTIVE role, rather than a passive one.
The role of user, rather than reader
People don’t see the internet like they see a printed book, magazine or newspaper. Printed material is for reading. The internet is a tool to be used – used for getting information, social networking, research, buying and selling, transfer of files, entertainment and of course, marketing.
And because people who use the internet are users, digital copywriters must understand the attitudes and emotions they have and experience, a field of learning called User Experience (UX).
What exactly is UX?
While UX can be discussed in terms of using any product, service or system, it’s particularly relevant in the digital world, specifically with how an internet user interacts with the internet. To be ‘UX-friendly’, digital copy needs show a deep understanding of the user, what they think is important and why.
Less is More
The first and most important thing to understand is the way in which users access the internet is changing. More and more people are using smart phones and tablets. With this move towards smaller screens, the need for long text has shrunk.
When using these devices, users are just not interested in poring through dense blocks of text. The saying ‘Less is More’ has been around for more than 150 years, yet it would be hard to find an adage more apropos for the current digital landscape.
Maximising the user experience
UX is all about maximising the quality of the user experience, and thereby improving the perception of the content you’ve written. In addition to less is more, you need to address aspects like ease of use, accessibility and efficiency.
This adds an extra level of persuasiveness on top of what’s achieved through writing quality and creating an authentic message. Which leads us to the concept of the active role…
Online users have an active role
Think about all the options that are available with internet content, options that print content doesn’t have. To heighten the user experience in the most positive way, you need to make your content…
Every word that you write should be written with an SEO strategy, including key words so that Google will give your content a high ranking.
Multiple unbroken external links to your website are a must.
The user wants to be able to comprehend quickly and easily, so you should use headings, sub-headings, indents, short paragraphs, bullet points, numbered lists, bold print and italics.
Research which digital platforms your intended audience uses and learn how to post content on those platforms.
If you’d like to read more about the art of copywriting, look out for more blogs in this series. Or if you’d like to share your thoughts, contact me at [email protected].