Great advice from great copywriters: 7 tips for success

Your quick reference guide for better writing from great copywriters.

Several years ago, Sonia Simone, then the Chief Content Officer at Copyblogger, published an amazing list of the seven things great copywriters wish you knew. It’s an incredibly useful collection of thoughts on the potential and pitfalls of great copywriting.  Below is a quick summary, each point with our own ADG spin on it.
1. Headlines

If your headlines are weak, then so is your content. To avoid this, create a simple statement that makes a gigantic impact.

"On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy." –David Ogilvy
2. Don’t be so darned clever

Wordplay. Puns. In-jokes. We all love them. However, our clients don’t. These are different from craft, which our clients truly appreciate.

3. Big ideas are big for a reason

Instant communication with a huge benefit – that’s what makes big ideas work and those big ideas keep our clients coming back for more.

4. Research, research, research

Great copywriters are obsessive students of their topics. If you’re writing copy for a science lab, know your DNA from your RNA; if you’re writing for a law enforcement agency, know the difference between an arrest and detainment. Whatever topic it is you’re writing, just know as much about it as you can.

“The best copywriters are the most tenacious researchers. Like miners, they dig, drill, dynamite, and chip until they have carloads of valuable ore.” –Gary Bencivenga
5. Pay close attention to the masses

The masses are your audience and your audience needs to know you value its opinions. When you both understand and respect your audience’s needs, you achieve a precarious balance that allows you to create the perfect product and think like a publisher.

 "Copy is a direct conversation with the consumer." –Shirley Polykoff
6. Where are you going?

Experiment, test the limits, but always understand this: writing that stimulates a specific, desired behavior is winning; anything else is failing.

7. No matter what, don’t be boring

Use imagery, personality, humor, great formatting, big ideas, and throw in some controversy for a little rumble – that’s how you garner attention, provide excellent advice, and ultimately make content both interesting AND readable.

It seems like we’re always reinventing the wheel, whether we set out to do so or not. The great thing about these pieces of advice is that they assure us we don’t NEED to reinvent that circular thingy that goes round and round. Instead, they teach us how to create our own versions of the wheel that work best for us–and our customers.

Original Post: 7 Things the Great Copywriters Wish You knew (from Sonia Simone)

Feature photo by Georgie Cobbs on Unsplash

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