Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.
The top online copywriting tip is simply this: write conversationally.
But this writing tip is not just for online writing. A conversational style is fast becoming the norm in all types of media.
I wondered why until I began to think about how I respond to conversational writing.
Maybe it sounds silly, but I like respect. I don’t like being “sold” and I don’t like being talked down to. When I read, I like to feel I’m having a two-way conversation.
My guess is that you feel that way, too.
It’s a mindset that’s a result of the Internet. The web has empowered readers like you and me, because we interact with others online all the time. We’ve come to expect that kind of two-way connection.
Traditional copywriting – “hard sell” written in corporate-speak or marketing-speak – is more of a one-way experience. When you read a print ad or a direct mail letter, you can’t talk back.
But the online experience is two-way. It allows for all kinds of interaction, like a conversation. When I read an email, a website, or a social media post, I can respond – even just to click “Like.”
Traditional copywriting, no matter what media, has a singular goal: writing to sell.
When you write online, you have a different goal: you’re writing to build a relationship. When you write content this way, you share helpful information with your reader to meet her needs. You build a relationship with her and she begins to trust you. When she trusts you, she’ll respond or give or buy. Selling comes later, but relationship is central.
For me, it’s a relief to write to build a relationship. It’s authentic. It’s real. It’s genuine. It fits my personality because I like to help people, not “sell” them.
You’ll be most successful at web writing when you foster that kind of conversational, two-way interaction with your reader.
Along with the change in my mindset about writing online – the move from traditional “marketing-speak” copywriting to more conversational copywriting – I’ve learned some tips. I hope they help you.
But for now ...
Remember the top tip for writing online: write conversationally.
That approach allows the reader to build trust. It makes your reader feel respected and valued.
Which is what building relationships is all about, isn’t it?
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