WDG’s Copywriting Guide of 2015: Part 3

Copywriting
Good copywriting is a lot like learning good etiquette. For every situation, there are a slew of different responses you can make. Like knowing what to wear at a wedding versus a backyard barbeque. Or knowing when a comment is appropriate and when it is not.

With copywriting—just like everything else—what works for one brand might not work for another. In part-3 of WDG’s Copwriting Guide, we’ll be honing in on how you write copy. There are many, many different style of copy out there, but today, our focus is on 3 types that are most useful for your brand.

Plain Writing

Plain writing should not be confused with boring writing. Rather, it is concerned with the Three C’s, as I call them: clarity, conciseness, and communication. It’s about taking your message and making it as succinctly as possible.

As someone once told me: plain copy tells it how it is, without the fluff.

So, where should you use plain copy? Informational websites with instructions and step-by-step guidelines are the most ideal places, since you’re first priority is getting information across. (Think Google Webmasters.)

To Do: Plain copy is all about front-loading the most important ideas first. When you write, start with the information that your audience wants to see, and then provide secondary details later.

Conversational Writing

Conversational writing should speak for itself: you write how you talk, like a normal, in-person conversation would sound. Of course, it’s not as straightforward as that.

The key principle here is that conversational copy must be consistent with the needs of your audience. If your website caters to an older demographic, for instance, using modern colloquialisms will not be effective. The same is true in reverse.

Want to use a conversational copy style? All great copy aims at persuading readers, but it works particularly well with this type. For everything related to sales and converting users, conversational copy is your best bet.

To Do: One exercise I’ve found to be helpful when writing conversational copy is learning how to write a good story. Once you’ve done that, add another layer by challenging yourself to write a story in a given word limit. Conversational writing and brevity, in one go!

Authoritative Writing

Endorsements sell, and that’s a fact. Whether you sell photography equipment or build out spectacular websites, creating trust between your audience and your brand is key. And what other way to do so than direct communication between your brand’s leaders and the user?

Authoritative writing legitimizes services and products, for sure. But they also level the playing field, so to speak, between the head honchos and the audiences that user their products.

Use discretion, though. If your entire site is written from the president’s or founder’s perspective, the exclusivity will lose its luster.

To Do: Rolling out a new exciting product? Have a new company campaign? Bringing attention to special occasions are the best times to user authoritative copy.


There are even more valuable tips and tricks about copywriting in part-1 and part-2 of our copywriting guide. Have a question or interested in getting a project started? Get in touch today.

Created by Zaff Studiofrom the Noun Project