Do you have a fear or phobia? Maybe it’s spiders, or snakes, or enclosed spaces like elevators.
Mine is boredom. Specifically, being stuck in a boring conversation. One where there’s no escape.
We all know that one person (or if you’re unfortunate enough to know more) who makes us run when they approach. Because we know the conversation will make you want to stick a fork in your ear.
Same goes for writing.
But unlike a conversation, where you’ll know you’ve lost them when the person walks away with a fork sticking out of their head, you won’t know when your reader bails.
This hurts conversions if you haven’t even reached the point you’re trying to make.
I’ve talked in the past about too much “warm-up” or “throat-clearing” copy, words that add nothing to the conversation.
Along with eliminating warm-up copy, which I talk about HERE, keep in mind these other ways to keep your audience captivated…
1. Alternate sentence lengths
Using sentences of all the same length is the equivalent of speaking in a monotone.
Mix in short sentences.
A single word or two words add punch to your copy.
And check lengthy sentences for ways to break them up so people read them.
Ditto for paragraphs.
2.Keep it simple
Avoid using difficult words that make the reader pause and try to figure out what you’re saying.
A good test?
Imagine you’re at a bar, the gym or wherever you hang out. You’re having a casual conversation.
Would you use those words? If not, eliminate them and go for a more conversational tone.
3. Get off your high horse
I had a friend who did this. He spoke normally in real life but was a different person on his website. He sounded as if he was giving a speech to royalty.
He spoke “down” to his audience in a way that sounded more like a lecture than a helpful post.
No one I know responds to being spoken to in a condescending way.
Like #2, just be yourself.
4. Use metaphors, colorful descriptors, and vivid details
Metaphors and colorful words add texture and visuals to copy.
A master of this is one of my favorite fiction authors, Jess Lourey.
An example from her book, Bloodline, reads, “… she’d giggle so hard, her laugh like marbles thrown up into the sunshine, that I’d laugh along with her.” You can visualize the glassy beads sparkling in the sunlight. It lends so much more dimension than if the author simply said, “… her laughter was contagious.”
Or in a scene from Unspeakable Things, “… Sephie and I planned to turn as brown as baked beans and bleach our dark hair blonde.”
How can YOU add color and flavor to your writing?
5. Be passionate about what you’re writing
Take a stand.
Stir the pot.
Maybe even create controversy by arguing an unpopular point you know will get your readers riled up.
It gets people talking, engaging, and interacting. You want that.
Which tips will you try this week to step up your copy game and wake up your readers?
Let me know by leaving a comment below! Or drop me a line at email@example.com.
Other posts you may enjoy:
Got questions? Drop me a line at Linda@TheCopyWorx.com and the answer may appear in a future post.
Until next time,
P.S. Please share this post with your social network if you think they’ll find it helpful!