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The seven golden rules of copywriting

I’m sure there are hundreds of different ways of defining the ‘golden rules of copywriting’ – but here’s one ways, for starters:

1. What’s your proposition? You need to know the key messages.

2. Who are you talking to? You need to understand your audience, what they’re interested in, and what motivates them.

3. How are you communicating? You need to know the media. Is it print, the web, TV etc. The messages and execution will need to be adapted to suit the media.

4. Marshall your thoughts, make notes, have a plan. Structure your story or argument.

5. Create a hook. This is a theme or concept that brings the message alive.

6. Write clearly, so people understand and want to read on. Get to the point, and stick to the point. Use short sentences with active language and a conversational tone.

7. Don’t forget to sell.

OK, that last one is a bit of a tease. It’s a subject of its own. Hey, it’s probably a lifetime’s study. But it’s something some copywriters seem to forget. Everyone’s selling something, even if you just want people to subscribe to your RSS feed (mine’s up the top there, by the way), or come back to your website for another look sometime.

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