As a small business owner, you know that attracting new customers is vital and sometimes must be done without a large advertising budget. While hiring a professional copywriter is certainly a cost-effective component to any seo marketing campaign (yes, I am biased…),there may be times when you’d rather take the bull by the horns and write your own copy.

With this in mind, here are five tips to help you get started:

1. Good copywriting is NOT synonymous with good literature.

Writing that sells usually has little or no regard for what your English teacher taught you. Sentences simply need to make sense when read – they don’t always have to conform to ‘THE RULES’.

Except for spelling (see below).

2. Spelling is important.

Nothing will detract more from your written message than spelling errors. This is because the reader’s attention will be drawn more to the errors than the message you are trying to convey. It also implies a lack of professionalism and care. The solution? Always proofread your work and don’t rely on Mr Spellcheck – he often gets it wrong. When in doubt, consult a dictionary.

3. Write for your reader.

Whether an ezine, sales letter or some other form of business communication, you must write with the reader’s interests in mind.

Picture this: You’re promoting a new health product to consumers. Which is the best approach?

a) Write a sales letter extolling the wonders of ‘Elixer 107’, illuminating in great detail the clinical trials that identified its effectiveness to within the 98th percentile on ‘molecular pain prisms’ and displaying all the graphical data.


b) Identify with the reader’s daily struggle to live a normal life while crippled with arthritis, illustrate how Elixer 107 can help alleviate that struggle and what that will mean for her everyday life.

4. Don’t forget a strong Call to Action

Everything you write has a reason. After all, if it didn’t, you wouldn’t write it…right? You wouldn’t write a sales letter if you didn’t want anyone to respond.

Sometimes, however, the Call to Action can get a bit lost and muddled by the time the last sentence is drafted. Whole chapters could be written about the Call to Action but for now, remember these few points:

  •  Know what you want your reader to do before you start writing.For example, do you want them to visit your website, give you a call or come into your shop?
  • Write with the end in mind. Take your reader on a journey that ends where you want them to be. (Eg: clicking a link on your website or making a phone call)
  • Some copywriters find it helpful to write the Call to Action first.
  • Keep it simple and to the point.

5. Headline! Headline! Headline!

Without an attention-grabbing headline, your masterpiece won’t receive the kudos you know it deserves.

  • Don’t be too cryptic – clever isn’t always smart, especially if your reader doesn’t know what you mean.
  • Spend a lot of time on it. More time is often spent writing a good headline than the whole piece.
  • Write the headline last. That way you will spend more time on it and have the whole work in context.

Writing effective copy is a valuable skill to have and, for the business owner who finds herself not too time-poor, can even be fun! Of course, these five tips are simply ‘tips of the copywriting iceberg’ but they do give you a solid place from which to begin.

So, start writing. Follow the tips and hone your technique. And remember, if you get stuck, there’ll always be a friendly copywriter somewhere (‘Pick me! Pick me!’  ;D) to give you a hand.