We all want great copy on our websites. But when you’re a solopreneur or a small business, done is sometimes good enough. You have only so many hours a day, and you’re already doing more than you reasonably can, right?
So you draft a quick blog post, give it the once over, and publish it. You write a listicle off the top of your head. You skip adding an image because who has time to research that? Maybe you also skip keywords, meta descriptions, and other SEO elements.
You wrote something, gosh darn it. Another item checked off the list. It’s good copy, so it must be good enough.
In 2020, Orbit Media surveyed 1,279 bloggers about how they approach blogging. Not only are more bloggers spending more time on their posts, but those who do get better results. Nearly 60% of respondents spend at least three hours on a blog post, and 20% spend more than six hours.
Is all that effort worth it?
Respondents say it is. They experience “strong results,” with results being self-defined. Of those who spend four to six hours on a blog post, 26% experienced strong results, and 31% of those who spend more than six hours experience strong results.
Good copy might get you noticed, but great copy is more likely to nudge your audience toward conversion.
What’s the difference between good copy and great copy—the kind of copy that actually attracts perfect clients and nets more income?
Great Copy Is About Your Audience
Great copy isn’t about you; it’s about your readers. If you can scan your copy and see a lot of I–I–I or we–we–we, for example, revise that copy to make it more about your client. Try putting your reader in the subject position of the sentences.
In “Grammar Bite: Don’t Dangle Your Participle,” I could have written: English teachers use the term participle once or twice, which students immediately forget. It presents the problem that many professionals who write don’t remember this term.
Instead I put the reader in the scene: Participle. Your English teacher used the term once or twice but it didn’t really stick with you. Now the reader can visualize themselves in a long-ago English class and experience the problem, just a bit.
Great copy is also:
- Trustworthy. Back up assertions with facts or examples. We’re all tired of reading biased pieces with no basis in fact.
- Well organized. Online, we’re mostly skimmers, not readers. Make it easy to skim for the information the reader needs.
- Edited by someone else. I have a business because it’s hard to see our own mistakes. Our brains see what we expect to see. You know what you meant to write, so that’s what you see without extra care.
Create Copy That Attracts Your Ideal Client
Blog posts and other website content can use many formats. News items and analysis, interviews, opinions, roundups, and, yes, lists are all worth adding to your tool box.
But the most common? How-to articles. People want to know things. Of Orbit Media’s survey respondent, 77% create blog posts that teach readers something.
To write a how-to article, you’ll want to use what’s often called the problem-agitate-solve(PAS) structure:
- Introduce a problem or question your audience has. What do prospects and clients ask most often? What keywords do they use to research your product or service? It doesn’t have to be a big problem, but it should be one related to your client’s need and your business.
- Discuss the problem, highlighting why it’s a problem. Readers should recognize the situation and have an emotional reaction to it. What are they missing out on because of this issue? What further problems does it create?
- Share the solution in a way that puts the reader first. This is the how-to part. Relieve the agitation you created with the solution to the problem.
For example, one of my most popular posts right now on style sheets—what they are and what you’re supposed to do with them. The primary audience is our clients and prospects, some of whom receive a style sheet from us and wonder what to do with it. The post explains style sheets and highlights the level of service they get from us.
A secondary audience is other editors, who can (and have; thanks, edibuddies!) share it with their clients and on social media. The post gives them an easy response to client questions about style sheets and valuable content to share to a broader online audience.
Building an Audience Takes Time
Creating great copy is a long game, though. While it’s nice when something you created goes viral, no one piece of content is going to lead to an increase in leads. It takes repeated exposure for information to make it into our long-term memory. And while solving a small problem builds trust, it builds a small amount of trust.
You’ll build your audience and their trust by regularly offering great content. Keep publishing. Keep promoting. Promote older content. Cross-promote older content within newer content. Engage with readers who have commented on your posts.
Be persistent and patient.
You can’t always draw a direct line between your content and a new lead. It’s a rare prospect who says, “I read your blog post and knew I had to hire you!” It’s much more likely that however they discover you, they’ll look at the sum of your online content and form an opinion.
If your copy is read and commented on and shared, and your leads grow, call that good enough and enjoy it.
And if you still don’t have time to create great copy? We can help! Contact us today for help writing and editing great copy for your audience.
Let’s talk about how Right Touch Editing can help me.