Do you know the Best Copywriting Secret? Stop Using All The Words!

There are two questions I hear the most when people find out I'm a Freelance Copywriter. The first is "what exactly do you do?" The second is "So you're good at writing a lot of words, right?"
Yes...and no.
Writing words IS what I do...and I do tend to write a lot of words. But the secret to great copywriting is being able to make an impact using LESS words.
Sounds counterintuitive I know, but it's true.
Most people think they need to use more words to explain their product or service when writing copy. They think they need to come up with continuous clever lines. They use jargon or big words to impress and sound like an expert.
What you're doing is making your customers or readers tune out.
So how do you deliver an effective message without using "all the words?" Stick with the "Less is More" approach to each of the following:
Research shows you have about 8 seconds to capture attention. Research also shows that the most effective headlines are 8-12 words long. So how do you capture attention and get the message across with so few words?
  • Show your customer that what you are offering is useful
  • Show that your product or service is UNIQUE
  • Provide a sense of urgency
  • Trigger an emotional call to action
  • Make it intriguing and believable
Much like headlines, your sentences need to stay short to keep customer attention. Using big words or jargon, or creating long sentences doesn't make your message better. It makes them hard to read. It makes it easier for your customers to become confused or bored.
  • Keep sentences to 17 words or less for increased attention spans
  • Simplify your ideas along with your words. Keep your content at or under a 7th grade reading level. This doesn't mean you're talking down to your customers. There's a good chance they might not know anything about what you're offering. Writing at a simpler level makes your topic easier to understand.
  • Ditch the jargon. This goes back to the idea that your customers don't know as much as you do about your product or service. You aren't impressing them by saying things they have no knowledge about. Speak their language, not yours.
  • Skip the "empty words." Empty words are like empty calories. Even though you're taking them in, they aren't giving you any benefit. An example would be "We give you a customized personal experience. We only work with the cream of the crop- those who need a little extra "oomph" to hit their goals. We won't treat you like a number. You will become 'one of the family' when you work with us." What does any of that even mean? What does it tell you? Are they inviting you to Sunday dinner? They work with successful people? Who knows. It doesn't tell you what they offer or why you should work with them. It's nothing but fluff, devoid of anything useful to potential customers.
Body Content
Once again, you're looking for quality over quantity. Keep your writing clear and concise. Cut the "crutch" words you use repeatedly. Don't use words and phrases that have been overdone by everyone else.
  • Write your first draft, then go back and edit out the "fluff" and "empty words" described above.
  • Edit it again to remove jargon or unnecessarily big words.
  • Limit adverbs. Most of the time they aren't necessary and only add to your word total.
  • Don't go overboard with adjectives either. Remember, you can be descriptive while being concise.
  • Add some "pop" to your copy by peppering with a little alliteration or thoughtful imagery.
Don't be afraid to "cheat" a little with copywriting tools. Examples are the Coschedule Headline Analyzer and the Hemingway Editor. Both will help you increase the power of your copywriting.
Using these tips will definitely help you improve your copywriting messaging. It won't come overnight. It takes time and experience to write great copy. But these steps will help you improve your writing game.
And if you still are struggling, you always have the option of hiring a freelance copywriter.