We know how you feel. We do it to. Copywriter by day; DIY plumber by night.

There are times when you simply want to, or have to, handle the copywriter work yourself.

That’s okay. We get it.

Here are a few of our best tips to help you be a better DIY copywriter.

(Just in case you end up with a leaky headline or a call-to-action that doesn’t work, our emergency copywriter number is 01803 865 025.)

Begin with a plan

Most DIY copywriters want to start at the beginning and just write. It’s how we were taught to write at school: beginning, middle, end.

But it’s the wrong way to approach copywriting – especially web copywriting.

Why?

Because without knowing where you’re going, you’ll never get your reader to do/buy/respond in the way you want them to. They’ll be ‘lost’ in your rambling words.

You need a plan.

Take a look at the post from Monday, A copywriter with purpose. Read David Ogilvy’s letter. Do you see why you need to know the plan?

What problem are you solving for your customer? What does the brochure, web page or email need to do? Write down that goal and keep it front of you.

Now make a step-by-step plan for the case you need to build to get the reader to agree with your goal (i.e. get them to do what you hope/want them to do.)

Write everything twice

Let’s just assume that being a copywriter is not your regular job. That’s cool. We’re not plumbers, lawyers, designers, engineers or shopkeepers.

Plan on the writing taking twice as long as you think it should.

If you think you can write a good blog post in an hour, plan to write for two hours.

We suggest this not because you’re slow, but because this isn’t what you do every day. It’s a way to be realistic about how long it will take to write enough good copy to get a post out of it.

In fact, write the post, then walk away from it for a day or so.

Come back, sit down and re-write the post again. Make it better than the first draft.

Now edit it. Tighten it up.

Remove and get rid of redundancy.

Throw away cliché.

Find you’re errors that get threw spell and grammar cheque.
(They will sneak in there if you don’t review your writing carefully.)

Read it out loud to yourself

Seriously. Your ears are better than your eyes at understanding language.

Don’t be embarrassed; you’re being a copywriter. We do quirky things like this.

If your writing sounds at all like advertising, re-write it until it sounds like you (read this for guidance: It’s not me! The voice of a copywriter).

If you hear awkward phrases, fix them.

If you hear mistakes, correct them.

If you aren’t sure how to fix them, try re-writing the whole section.

As a last resort, start over again.

Good luck!

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