5 mins

17 tips for great copywriting


1) Write with your eraser

You get 100 bucks for every word you rub out from your title:

Trello landing page

2) Don't exaggerate

An honest line always feels warmer:

Volkswagon old ads

3) No one cares what you can do

Everyone cares what you can do for them.

Apple iPod original ads

4) Avoid the passive voice

It's indirect and awkward:

Passive voice

5) Don't kill your personality

The best brands feel “real”:

Andie's CEO email

6) Avoid “landing page words”

Unlock, unleash, enhance, exceed, empower, supercharge, etc.

Real people don't use them.

Frontend mentor copywriting

7) Find the tension

“Pleasant” gets forgotten. Conflict creates interest:

Lemonade landing page copywriting

8) Write how you talk

Casual. Colloquial. Full of pronouns:

Basecamps landing page copywriting

9) Avoid “contained” titles

Write something that pulls your reader down your page:

Zenbu landing page copywriting

10) Write scannable copy

Formatting matters:

Everyone scans Frank Kern

11) Stories make you memorable

I couldn't list The Ten Commandments. I could tell you what happened to Adam and Eve:

Adjective and verb tips

12) More periods, fewer commas.

Periods mean short sentences. We like short sentences.

Commas mean long, painful sentences, like this one, which New Yorker writers think are clever, but real people find torturous, because they wind on and on without actually saying anything.

h/t David Perell

13) Kill adverbs. Kill adjectives.

They're flowery. They're vague. They try too hard:

Adjective and verb tips

14) Think slippery slide

Every line of copy should lead to the next.

Watch this ad. You won't be able to stop:

15) Fence sitters don't buy

Go to the edge:

Ernest Shackleton copywriting

16) Your first line is crucial

If people don’t read it, they’re not going to read your second line either.

Keep it short:

Joe Sugarman copywriting

17) Copywriting is selling

Don’t romanticize it. The goal isn't to be clever or cute.

The goal is to inspire action:

Drift copywriting

You made it!

Damn. This was a long one. I won't lie.

If you enjoyed this, you'll like my new project Copywriting Examples. It's the world's best copy. In one place. 330+ handpicked examples. All free.

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