Earned Media

The 10 Commandments of Writing Great Copy

6 Mins read

In every success story, there are principles responsible for the success people see and appreciate. No matter how lucky the person might seem, there are principles responsible for success. If it was absolutely based on luck, the success will be short-lived, and will never or hardly re-occur.

The same goes with Copywriting. There are principles that produce the great copies you can find out there. Even when it seems as if a great copy was produced by inspiration, in such moments, the writer applied these principles without realizing it.

This article will be discussing 10 of these key principles that will always help you write a great copy anytime. However, before we get into the nitty-gritty of the principles, let’s find out what copywriting is all about.

What is Copywriting?

According to CopyBlogger, Copywriting is the art and science of strategically delivering words (whether written or spoken) that get people to take some form of action. Visit https://copyblogger.com/copywriting-101/, for the details.

Awai.com describes it with simple words – Copywriting is the process of writing persuasive marketing and promotional materials that motivate people to take some form of action, such as make a purchase, click on a link, donate to a cause, or schedule a consultation.For more details, visit https://www.awai.com/what-is-copywriting/.

Therefore, we can conclude that Copywriting involves persuasive writing directed at politely urging our audience to take a preferred action.

So what does it mean to write a great copy?

Writing a great copy simply refers to producing a copy that resonates so much with the audience, that a majority of them take the preferred action suggested in the copy. For instance, if I produce a copy urging people to visit my Gym house, and lots of them eventually turn up, it can be said that I produced a great copy.

Therefore, a great copy is any copy that produces a high rate ofresponse from its target audience.

How You Can Write a Great Copy

To write a great copy, there are principles that you must apply to ensure your copy turns outright. Here, we will be considering some of those principles, and they are as follows:

Know Your Audience

All though it may sound like a cliché, the success of your copywriting efforts rests a lot on this factor. The question is how are you going to write a great copy when you do not know the little things that sway the emotions of your audience?

Before you write the first line, first research on what your audience loves/hates, what can sway their emotions at a moment’s notice, etc.? When you know this, you are 50% ready to write a great copy. This is because these are the information needed towrite that great copy that will move your audience to place an order with your organization.

Identify Your Value Proposition

According to Investopedia, a value proposition refers tothe value a company promises to deliver to customers should they choose to buy their product. Visit www.investopedia.com/terms/v/valueproposition.asp, for more details.

Before you start writing that copy, first identify what value your products or services will bring to your audience if they choose to use them. It is on this basis you are to write your copy.

One ingredient that makes a copy stand out is its ability to clearly point out what the audience stands to gain when they choose your product. Always start by identifying your value proposition, before writing your first line. It will help you create a unique copy that will bring about lots of conversions.

Set an Objective

What goal do you wish to achieve through the copy you are about writing? This is so important to identify before you write the first line of your copy.Why?

Identifying your objective, will help you plan and write the copy in such a way that it could achieve that goal. A person who plans to attract 5,000 new customers through a copy will definitely invest more time and resources into writing it, than another who just wants to write a copy.Therefore, outline your objectives before you commence writing.

Use a great Headline

According to Seth Godin in his book “Purple Cow”, nobody stares when they see a white, black, or striped cow in a field in Texas. However, everyone stares when they see a purple cow grazing on the field. Why? Your guess is as good as mine!

The same goes forheadlines. If they are drab or like every other headline on the internet, very few persons will be interested in reading through. However, if they are new, fresh, creative, inspiring, etc. a lot of folks will open them to see what it is about.

Write as a Conversation

Have you noticed that you can still remember lots of the conversations you enjoyed having at the time? This is because most people prefer having conversations to being lectured.

Use this to your advantage. Avoid the trap of writing as though you were in a classroom delivering a lecture. It only leads to poor results in your copywriting. Write your copy in a conversational tone that will appeal to your audience.

This will ensure your copy is interesting to your audience, and increase the chances of making them buy your products.

Avoid vague/unclear expressions

Vague/unclear expressions refer to words that avoid a direct command, promise, or makes a claim that is difficult to determine or measure. For instance, if a pharmaceutical company says this: “our drugs may be helpful for malaria patients”. This type of statement will leave many persons confused about the ability of the drugs.

This is the challenge with using vague/unclear expressions. They end up confusing your message to your audience, or water downthe effect your value proposition might have had on them. Ensure to always use definite words like “will”, “can”, etc.

Avoid Using a Passive voice

What does it mean to write with a passive voice? Writing with a passive voice simply refers to writing sentences in which the subject receives the action, rather than taking the action. An example is, “Football is loved by most boys”.

The challenge with this kind of sentence is that they are not clear and may confuse your audience. Always write your sentences with an active voice.

Know the difference between features and benefits

Knowing the difference between the features and benefits of a product goes a long way in determining how many conversions your copy will generate. Truth is, very few are moved to make a purchase when you tell them the features of your products. But a lot more persons feel the need to pay for your goods or services when they know what is in it for them.

For an analytical mind, there is little or no difference between the features and benefits of a product. However,consumers are completely different. Their buying decisions are based on their emotions per time. They will only buy your products when they feel good about them.This is why it is necessary to write your copy in a way that makes them feel like using your products.

For instance, a feature of a product could be:

  • This wristwatch has a heart rate monitor.

However, when this same feature is written as a benefit, it could sound like this:

  • Getting this wristwatch means you will no longer need to buy a heart rate monitor because this wristwatch comes with a built-in state-of-the-art heart rate monitor. Which will help you keep track of your heart rate and to exercise at just the right intensity.

Although they are both based on a feature of the product, the benefit is most likely to convince the consumer.

Add a customer’s quote

Research has shown that consumers are more likely to trust another consumer’s opinion about a product or service than the adverts of an organization. This should be good news for you if you have a product or service that consumers are excited about.

Simply get one or a few testimonials from your customers and incorporate them into your copy. However, ensure to add their names, picture, and the city they live, to the testimonial. This will make it credible. Adding quotes from customers to your copy gives more credibility to your copy, and increases its ability to pull in customers.

Proofread & Edit

The purpose of proofreading your work is to identify areas of inconsistencies, errors, etc., so they can be corrected. This is why proofreading is so important to ensure your work turns out just right.

As you proofread, try to reduce the volume of your work, to be just as long as necessary. In addition, try using lists, bullet points, and subtitles, as they make your work easier to read and to scan through. Truth is, many readers first scan through a page before deciding whether or not to read the copy.

It is, therefore, necessary to optimize your copy to be scan-able (that is for readers to be able to scan through quickly).


These points discussed above are critical for great copywriting. As you write your next copy, ensure to apply them, and watch just how high the quality of your copy jumps. However, like most things, it takes some time to master it. Rest assured that as you consistently apply these principles to your copywriting, it would consistently improve the quality of your copies, and your ability to apply the rules. Wishing you great success as you apply these principles in producing your next copy!

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