Did you ever think back in college writing those dreaded essays that writing would actually be one of the most important business skills in your tool belt?
Think about it: no matter what industry you’re in, you need writing to be successful as an entrepreneur.
You need to write emails.
You need to write text messages.
You need to write invoices.
You need to write marketing material.
You need to write a lot of copy.
You need to write social media posts, email marketing copy, landing page copy, ad copy, video script copy, blogpost copy, and website copy.
In fact, you’re writing so much copy, it feels overwhelming to stop and improve upon anything old.
For instance, if your website isn’t performing as well as it could be, that’s the perfect opportunity to take a look at some copy improvements.
But, when faced with the idea of re-editing an entire page or — gasp! — an entire website, most entrepreneurs put that task way at the bottom of the ol’ to do list, just above “dust the baseboards.”
I’ve got a secret for you: there’s a simple way to update your copy.
Here’s a bigger secret: I’ve got EIGHT ways to update your copy that’ll blow your old content out of the water.
Wanna hear ’em? Keep reading.
The Top 8 Business Copyediting Hacks That Will Blow Your Old Content Out of the Water
1. MOVE SENTENCES AROUND.
I can’t count the number of times when I copyedit my own work or a client’s work and I realize that all the sentences are amazing…but they’re out of order.
For example, you might end a paragraph with an impactful statement when it actually works better to start the paragraph. Switch ’em around and you’re good to go!
2. USE THE THESAURUS.
When I first created the title for this blogpost, I used “improve” instead of “blow…out of the water.” Improve is OK — it gives clear direction, but it has no impact because we hear it all the time.
Consider where you could switch simple words out in your copy. “Devastate” instead of “decrease.” “Obsessed” instead of “love.” “Unconventional” instead of “unique.”
Try words and phrases that aren’t commonplace and overused. In fact, pull out the ol’ Thesaurus and do searches for the best option.
3. USE VISCERAL LANGUAGE + STORYTELLING.
Try to avoid common metaphors and cliches in your writing too. Just like common words and phrases, they’ll get looked over.
Instead, try to infuse impactful story or phrases that are just as unprecedented as your business. Consider how you can set the scene or convey a feeling in the most unique way possible.
4. USE KEYWORD RESEARCH.
It’s no secret that using the same keywords that your ideal audience is searching for on the search engines will mean more success in your Google rankings.
Using the power of SEO to enhance your copy is just one more way to ensure your website, blog, etc. gets found by the right people.
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5. DELETE, DELETE, DELETE.
You know why Twitter became so popular so fast? It forced us to be succinct and people like that. What started as 140 character snippets (and now become 280) forced users to get to the point.
Do the same in writing for your business. If you need to, get everything out of your head and down in your page or post. Then, be ruthless about what you cut. Get straight to your point and give readers exactly what they need; not what you want to tell them.
6. IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM IN EXPLICIT DETAIL.
Since we’re talking business copywriting, we’re also talking sales copywriting.
While that can get really uncomfortable for many of us, it doesn’t have to be. Here’s why: your customers have a problem; you have a solution.
Some of the best sales copy out there simply gets explicitly detailed about the customer’s problem — so much so that, when we’re the potential customer, it feels like the business is in our head.
7. SAVE THE “ME” TALK FOR YOUR ABOUT PAGE.
No potential customer wants to land on your homepage and hear about your mission statement or how many awards you want. Sure, that might be of interest, but not until later on.
For now, stick to “you” language or all about the customer. Identify those problems and get specific with the challenges they’re facing; that way, they feel seen and heard reading your copy.
Then, showcase the solution and how you can solve the problem. But still, stick to using “you” as much a possible.
So where do you talk about yourself and tell your story? The About page.
8. SELL THE WHY, NOT THE WHAT.
If you haven’t seen Simon Sinek’s TED Talk on this topic, you’ll want to watch it…
The solution to your customers’ problem isn’t just about the physical, digital, or service-based solution itself. It’s about the emotional benefits that we get.
So for instance, women don’t buy shampoo that just cleans their hair. They buy shampoo that makes them feel sexy (their hair will look fuller and have more volume), saves them money (protects hair her latest investment in a $318 balayage coloring), or feels safe to use (uses organic and nontoxic ingredients).
Which of these 8 hacks are you going to start using to blow your old copy out of the water?