When you’re staring at a blank page and the daunting task of creating copy that engages readers and promotes your company, it’s hard to know where to start. Copywriting is an art and it takes time to develop your skills. The tips below are a good place to start.

Know Your Goal

With copywriting, every piece you write will have a specific goal. Determine what that goal is before you ever start writing, and keep it mind throughout the process. There’s no need to get complicated. Your goal might be to collect email addresses to send promotional material or to convince readers to sign up for an e-course. Whatever your goal might be, it should be clear in your copy.

Do Your Research

There’s a lot to learn from competitors, whether it’s what to do or what not to do. When you’ve set your goal, look into which companies are running a similar campaign and see how they’re doing it. What’s appealing about their ads? What would you change if you were writing the copy yourself? How effective is the copy at achieving the goal? All of this information will be valuable to you as you write.

Focus on Benefits

Copywriting is essentially a promotional tool for a brand. When done well, it can convince those reading to take action, whether that’s signing up for a newsletter or purchasing a product from your website. Whatever action you want your reader to take, be sure to focus on the positive aspects of what you’re offering. Use positive language while you’re doing it. Research shows that readers are more like to respond more favorably to positive wording. Avoid talking down about competitors or using negative wording to get a reaction.

Use Plain Language

When it comes to writing copy, simple language is the way to go. Your writing should be easy to read and easy to understand for a wide audience. Avoid jargon unless you’re writing for a very specific audience within a particular industry. Don’t use a six syllable word when a two syllable word would work just fine. Finally, eliminate flowery language that doesn’t serve a purpose.

Grab Attention (and Keep It)

Unlike content writing, copywriting usually involves writing short pieces. That means you’ll have limited space to get the attention of your readers, and few words to keep them engaged. When you’re writing, get to your point quickly and concisely. Make your copy unique, useful, and relevant. Remove filler and anything that strays from the point of your piece to avoid losing readers’ attention.

Incorporate Keywords

Google performs over 60,000 searches per second according to the live data from Internet Live Stats. When those searches are completed, its keywords that lead the person searching to the website they’ll land on. Research short and long tail keywords before writing, and incorporate them into your copy when possible to improve your search ranking and direct those clicks to your company website.

Draft and Edit

No matter how long you’ve been writing professionally, it will always be nearly impossible to write perfect copy on the first try. Start with a draft and an open mind. Editing will remove the clutter, keep the content that matters, and turn your good copy into a great marketing tool.

There’s a lot to think about when you’re copywriting, but when it really comes down to it, the best advice is just start writing.