Use Magazines to Improve Your Copywriting Skills

Copywriting isn’t a skill that’s only useful to professional writers. In fact, you don’t even need a blog to benefit from copywriting. Every business owner can benefit from sharpening their copywriting skills and then applying those skills to their business website. While many of the changes you will eventually make to your website may not seem like that big of a deal, they can actually have a significant impact on your overall conversion rate.

Because there are so many different ways to approach copywriting, figuring out how to get started can be one of the hardest parts. If you’re not sure where to focus your attention, an easy way to simplify this process and dive right in is to use magazines as a guide of what to do. Although they’re obviously a print medium, the techniques they use are just as effective when applied online. Let’s take a look at the key copywriting lessons you can learn from magazines:

Write One or More Strong Headlines

The goal of a magazine cover is to grab your attention and pique your interest so that you will pick up the magazine and open it. When someone first visits your website, your goal is to give them a reason to stick around and continue exploring what you have to offer. You can accomplish this goal by writing one or more strong headlines for your site’s main page(s).

Depending on your site, there are several ways to write a strong headline. One option is to ask a question. Another is to make an interesting statement that compels visitors to continue reading. If you’re writing a headline for a product page, you can center your headline around a benefit the product offers instead of one of its features.

Use Short Chunks to Break Up Longer Pieces of Content

Magazines almost always use quotes, lists or other additions to break up longer stories and make it easier for readers to digest them. You should use this technique on your own landing pages. Instead of hitting visitors with huge blocks of text, interject and emphasis key pieces of information throughout your pages. This will allow visitors who are only skimming your pages to still pick up important pieces of information about what you’re offering.

Tell Visitors Where to Go

When you open a magazine, one of the first things you’ll see is a table of contents. This section of the magazine tells readers exactly where to go to find the story they want to check out. Making it as easy as possible for readers to quickly find exactly what they want ensures they don’t throw down the magazine in frustration and move on to something else.

You should take this same approach in guiding visitors around your site. Instead of simply adding a link, explicitly tell visitors to click it so they can go to wherever it leads.

Have you tested any popular copywriting techniques on your site?

About The Author

Brian Waraksa

Brian Waraksa, founder of Raxa Design in Houston, Texas has been in marketing and small business branding since 2002. He writes the Raxa Design blog on issues affecting small business marketing and corporate brands.

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