These business copywriting tips can help keep you motivated, on the right track, and producing the type of content your audience will love.
As a business owner, you’re constantly faced with prioritizing your time. You may want to get around to rewriting that outdated website content, but the reality is other items keep taking prioritization on your to-do list. It’s understandable, and marketing your business was likely not why you started your efforts in the first place.
That doesn’t mean your business copywriting efforts aren’t important. If you want the type of website that helps you sell while your sales team is sleeping, it will take some effort to produce it.
Below are 24 Business Copywriting Tips for Increased Efficiency
Whether you’re working on website content, blogs, brochures or any other kind of business copywriting, these tips are designed to help keep you on track.
Block out Time – This may be the most obvious, but also the most important thing you can do. If you have to wake up an hour earlier to get the writing time, do that.
You may have to shut the office door and not take any emails or phone calls. Make sure you have the dedicated time within your day to be able to spend undivided attention with your business copywriting. Writing your marketing copy on your own is a matter of prioritizing your day the right way.
Break Larger Projects into Smaller Chunks – It’s unrealistic to tell yourself that you’re going to write a 25-page website or a 20,000-word eBook in a week. Give yourself an appropriate amount of time, and that way you can write a web page, or a chapter at a time. It’s easier, and more encouraging when you start seeing realistic progress being made.
Have an Already Formulated List of Ideas – There’s nothing worse than looking at a blank page and not knowing what you want to write about, or what you want to say. This is especially true with blogging. See if you can come up with 10 ideas in advance, and then work through them. This will save you the hassle of first having to figure out the subject matter every time you set out to write.
Keep an Editorial Calendar – An editorial calendar can keep you motivated for blogging. It’s the same general planning tool that newspapers and other media outlets use to fill their pages on a daily or weekly basis. Essentially, you’re making a commitment to yourself and your organization that you’ll publish a blog post on a given day. It’s marked in the calendar. It’s a great way to remain accountable to yourself.
Strive for 400 Words a Day – You’re a busy person with other aspects of your job that need to be addressed daily. If you set a completely reasonable goal – say 400 words – you can feel like you won simply by writing a page-and-a-half of material. It’s easier than you think and can keep you from feeling frustrated and defeated. Maybe it’s not immediately publishable. But if you can produce content on that level, you’ve won the day.
Look through Competitor Sites – The goal here is to stay inspired and motivated. Looking through competitor sites can give you an idea of what needs to happen for your business copywriting to stand out and have a significant impact. Reading everything you can get your hands on both inside and outside your industry (and tying in new ideas from what you learn) can help make your marketing materials more compelling.
Block Out Distractions – The demands of the day may not stop, but they can be addressed on your schedule. Not every email, phone call or office drop in needs to be handled in real-time. You’d be surprised what simple tasks can wait an hour. You can close your office door or put on a pair of headphones as you write. You can close out Facebook, Gmail or other distractions. It’s the best way to ensure your time is productive.
Run it Through a Second Set of Eyes – Your business copywriting doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should be professional. It’s understandable that what is written in a last-second dash to the finish line may not be in tip-top shape. Is there someone else at the office who can help you carry it over the finish line? It may be time to get some additional feedback before it’s published. You can ask a friend or colleague, or hire a copy editor.
Schedule a Meeting with Yourself – You wouldn’t blow off someone else’s meeting. You’d want to be respectful of their time. If it helps, you can consider time blocking, and treating the window that you give yourself for writing as a meeting. It may sound a little cheesy, but this slight psychological mind shift may be what you need to understand the importance of getting your much-needed marketing copy completed.
Stop Putting It Off – Are the reasons you haven’t gotten to your website copy truly valid? That’s an honest question that only you can answer. There’s no judgment. But if you’re simply putting it off because it’s hard, or because you have to answer the emails or the phones, it may take a re-prioritization.
Use a Timer – You may need the help of a prop such as a timer to keep you on task for short bursts of time. You may be surprised how much you can accomplish in a window of 10-20 minutes if you’re racing the timer, and don’t stop until it goes off. This approach can also help you from getting bogged down in research or editing as you write – two potential pitfalls that will be addressed.
Complete Your Research Beforehand – If you know that you’ll need to find specific statistics, dig back into company background, or research additional ideas, do these things before you sit down to write. If you have an idea of exactly where the facts are, and how to incorporate them into your business copywriting, then the process will go much easier as you sit down to formulate your thoughts.
Outline in Advance – This one is closely related to doing the research beforehand. For some people staring at a blank screen with no potential roadmap or direction can be overwhelming and intimidating. An outline that covers each point you want to hit can drastically speed up your efforts, and keep your writing focused. For some, the flexibility of writing as you go can be freeing. It’s important to understand what kind of writer you are, and adjust your process accordingly.
Write First, Edit Later – When you slow down to edit every word as you write, the process can become excruciating. This “self-editing” approach can result in ideas that never completely get fleshed out, and your writing can suffer for it. Instead, try getting the first draft out on paper, and edit it later. Chances are, it may not be as bad as you initially thought. If it is, it can still be changed, tweaked and improved after the fact.
Clarify the Objectives – Make sure you know what you want your piece of business copywriting to do. For example, a blog post will be very different than a landing page. A website page will be very different than a sales letter. Make sure you understand the objective of the piece and stay focused on what will matter to the reader. When you can hit the high points with precision, you’ll end up with a better product in the end.
Stop Worrying About the Details – It’s easy to get caught up in the look of the piece. What fonts are you going to use? Where are the photos going to go? All these things are important, but the first order of business is to write something that will persuade your readers to act. The message needs to be persuasive, and it needs to allow your readers to get to know you in an inviting way. The rest of the work can follow the message.
Install the Right Apps – There are plenty of apps out there designed to keep you focused on the task at hand and keep you away from distractions such as email or Facebook. I’ve been experimenting with one called Be Focused for the last day or two, and it helps you concentrate for a given block of time, by setting an alarm. You can enter your task and it’ll ding. If you can keep your habitual Facebook and email binges to outside these writing intervals, you’ll get more done.
There are a number of free and paid versions of productivity apps in the app store, or on Google Play.
The Pomodoro Method – I’ve also been experimenting with different variations of this technique over the last week or two, and I have to say my writing productivity has gone up. It’s essentially focusing in on a given task for 25 to 50-minute intervals with a 10 to 20-minute break between. This is another way to space out your distractions and remain productive in the interim.
I’ve seen different variations on this method for the length of time, but I’d say do what’s right for you.
Go for a Change of Scenery – If you’re stuck in a rut or trying to accomplish your writing in a hyper-busy environment the best thing you can do might just be to get out. A change of place might just be what you need to feel more productive and finish that piece of business copywriting that’s been bogging you down. Maybe it’s time to find a neighborhood coffee shop with a different view.
Planned Rewards – If getting started is your problem, you may just need to figure out a reward system. If you get something done that you were having a hard time completing, it may just be time to do something nice for yourself. Food is nice, but it can also be checking email, or Facebook in your scheduled break time.
Have a Marketing Plan – Your marketing pieces and business copywriting should be more than a simple shot in the dark. A marketing plan can give you larger goals to aim for, and offer specific objectives for a given piece of collateral. When you have a big picture understanding of what a given piece of marketing is supposed to do, your motivation will increase.
Be Accountable to Someone – It can help to simply have someone to report to. Whether it is a colleague, friend or family member, sharing your daily goals can move you to action.
Be Realistic About Expectations – You probably got where you are because of your motivation and focus. It takes hard work to run a business. But you have to stop and be realistic with yourself for a minute. Are you really going to write 15 pages of website copy in a day? Is that eBook going to be published by this afternoon? Probably not. Some days it may not be realistic to publish a single blog post. But keep at it and adjust those expectations. It’ better to accomplish something small every single day than to burn out thinking you should have done more. The small amounts of progress will add up to something large in the long run.
Hire a Marketing Copywriter – Business copywriting can take time. That may not be something you have a lot of these days. A professional marketing copywriter will be able to write the copy you need with a fresh perspective. They’ll understand what it takes to communicate your message in a way that resonates with the audience. It doesn’t have to be an hourly employee, or an ongoing gig. You can hire a marketing copywriter when you need the work done, and that’s it.
Running your company comes with so many ancillary tasks. There’s all the additional accounting, management, HR, and marketing. It can be difficult to find time for the tasks that are at the core of running your business.
Hopefully, these strategies can help you produce better business copywriting – and free up some much-needed time while doing it. Again, the best strategy may be to simply hire a marketing copywriter.