I’m Jessica Holmes, creator of the baking blog, Sweetest Menu. Before I made blogging my full-time career, I spent 10 years working as a copywriter and UX content designer.
I believe one of the most undervalued skill sets bloggers have at their fingertips is the ability to write well. Words can help you engage your readers and grow your brand directly from your keyboard.
By understanding core copywriting principles, you can easily connect with your audience and solidify your brand identity today.
What is good copywriting?
Copywriting is the art of using words to instruct, engage, teach, and/or entertain your readers. Good copy allows you to connect with your audience on a deeper level by creating compelling blog posts. It also provides an opportunity for you to showcase your personality and your brand’s personality too.
You don’t need a fancy camera, elite video editing skills, or a culinary degree to be able to write well.
Learn these key copywriting principles and you’ll be able to produce top-notch copy that will help transform your brand into a blogging powerhouse.
Readability is the measure of how easy or enjoyable it is to read and understand a piece of copy. Tools like the Hemingway App can help determine your readability score.
It is recommended that you write at a fifth-grade level to engage all ages and learning levels. Avoid unnecessary words, long sentences, or confusing paragraphs. Fewer words, more meaning.
Use headings, bullet points, and other formatting options effectively to help break up your text and improve your post’s readability.
It’ll keep your readers around for longer and clearly demonstrate your expertise.
Develop your brand voice
Words can be a powerful tool to connect with your readers on a deeper level. First, you need to develop your voice and understand your brand’s personality. Who is your brand? Is it playful? Joyful? Sarcastic? Don’t be afraid to weave in your personality too – have a little fun with it.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider asking your audience. Use social media to survey your readers and ask them what they love about your brand and/or your recipes. What is it that keeps them coming back? Their answers might surprise you.
Take a moment to think about brands and bloggers that you find engaging. How do they use their words to inspire their audience?
Audit your existing content
Before you move forward, take a step back to review your writing so far. How could you improve to truly connect and engage with your audience? You may have pages on your site or email campaigns that you can re-write.
Take a moment to step in the shoes of your audience. Bake or cook using one of your recipes. Use the search function on your website. Sign up for your own newsletter. See your business from your audience’s point of view and look for inconsistencies. You are sure to find a copy you could easily improve today.
Five signs of poor writing
The quickest way to improve your website and make your brand look professional is by eliminating poor copy that exists on your site. Here are five common signs of poor writing.
- Long sentences: Keep it short and sweet. Avoid unnecessary words and long sentences that are hard to read. Re-read your posts and look for repetitive paragraphs or sentences and eliminate them. A good writer should be able to get their point across quickly and succinctly.
- Spelling mistakes: Take the time to proofread every piece of copy that is associated with your brand – from blog posts to social media copy. With tools like Grammarly at your fingertips, spelling, and grammar mistakes should be easily avoided. Finding someone who can proofread your work is invaluable.
- Inconsistencies: Choose how you are going to spell certain words and format your posts or recipes and be consistent with your wording. Create a brand guidelines playbook that you can share with any other team members so that every piece of copy published is on brand.
- Passive voice: Your brand has a voice (most likely yours or an extension of yours). Write in active voice, rather than passive voice, and use contractions to make your writing conversational. Read all of your copy out loud before publishing to ensure it flows.
- No personality: Don’t forget to inject some personality into your posts. When you overly focus on search engine optimization or AI technology, you can start to write for robots instead of people. Use words to add warmth to your posts, be friendly or witty – whatever your brand’s identity may be.
Using words to showcase your brand’s identity will prevent your website from being just another blog. Get creative with your descriptions and go a little deeper than ‘it’s really delicious.’ Tell your audience not just about taste, but about textures too. Tell your readers why you created this recipe, and why they will love it.
Not always. Instead of focussing on word count, try to cover your topic comprehensively. There’s no need to write long blog posts just to hit a certain number of words. You should instead make sure every word, sentence, and paragraph is necessary to achieving the goals of your post or page.
What are your top tips for producing top-quality copy over and over?