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10 rules of copywriting

June 2017

10 rules of copyrighting

1 – Spell things correctly (unless it’s deliberate, see point two).

2 – You can spell things wrongly, when you are copywriting, if you are making a point by doing so.

3 – Don’t go on too long. Once you have made your point, nobody is going to be impressed if you bang on for sentence after sentence. In fact you will turn people away. You should know when to shut up. I should have stopped after the first 5 words.

4 – There is no rule 4.

5 – Don’t leave people disappointed, they should learn what you said they would learn. But you can tease them a bit (Hmm… I wonder if there really will still be 10 actual rules?).

6 – Break longer pieces into easily-digestible chunks, like the paragraphs below.

7 – Take readers on a journey, supercharge their train of thought so it forges, unstoppably, over viaducts of wonder, easily turning aside the cold rains of indifference to fall in forgotten puddles beside the tracks of…. err, also remember point three, and don’t get carried away and lose the context of what you are writing about.

Because imparting information should be a bit like a good waiter delivering food, where the service is so seamless that you are hardly aware that something delicious has been delivered until you look down and… there it is!

And don’t draw ridiculous analogies that nobody gets.

8 – Yes, I know we started the last two sentences with a conjunction, which isn’t textbook grammar, but you don’t need to follow grammar rules too hard when you are writing copy.

9 – And, just like that, above, give people a bit of further reading, so they can drill down for more content if they want.

10 – Try and make your final sentence bring your reader back to the beginning, for a nicely rounded piece.

© Copyright David Hartley 2019 (see what I did there).

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