One of the goals a writer has in copywriting is to convince the reader. And that holds true whether the writer is writing for print or the web. Good, authoritative copy is very easy for readers to trust because it sounds more honest and caters to their wants, needs, interests and desires. As a result, response rates are better and there is a higher likelihood that the results you want will be achieved. Integrating a tone of authority in writing copy is a process- one you must practice, test and retest.
Writing for the web should be simple and easy to read and easy for search engines to find and ultimately index. People should understand what your writing is about, the purpose from the very first paragraph. In fact, because an online reader’s attention can be significantly shorter than someone reading print, you have to get to the point and do it quickly. You have to tell them what the writing/the story/the text is about so they don’t have to guess. Because they won’t. In most cases, unless your writing is intriguing and captivating, chances are the reader will leave after the first few sentences if they do not feel the information is what they were searching for.
Here are the top 8 ways you can improve your copy to increase your credibility and your expertise:
I. Know your topic
Never write copy about a subject you have little or no knowledge about. If you want to prove you have authority in writing that copy, you should be able to show your audience or readers that you know exactly what you are writing about. Your readers can tell if you’re only bluffing.
II. Write User-Friendly Content
- Put the important information at the beginning of the writing. Support the rest of your copy with the details
- Unless you are writing a technical manual, you can be more casual and friendly when writing.
- Use words like you and we to establish rapport.
- Use words your reader is searching for (keywords). This article uses copy, copywriting and writing.
- Keep your sentences short and to the point. When it comes to writing for the web, whitespace is your friend.
- Use bulleted or numbered lists
- Use graphics that support your main idea or theme.
III. Prove your experience
Another way to show you have authority in writing copy is by proving you have experience on the subject. You can’t write about rocket science with authority if the closest you’ve ever come close to a rocket is by watching a fireworks display.
IV. Use your USP
Every product, idea or statement has a USP or unique selling proposition. Find out what your USP is when writing copy. This unique selling proposition will help define your statement and make you stand out from content written by others in your industry. Use this content to your advantage to create authority.
Make the statement clear so your readers will immediately understand the message you are trying convey.
V. State the benefits and advantages
There will always be disadvantages or limitations to your product, idea or statement. Instead of detailing them for your readers, focus on the advantages and benefits. Tell your readers what it can do and what it can’t do.
If you’re promoting a bicycle, for example, you don’t have to state that it’s not as fast as a car. It can’t fly but it will help the rider reach her destination. It’s cheap, doesn’t pollute the environment and can even be a fitness tool.
VI. Use facts
Yo may have heard the comment “lead with benefits, follow or substantiate with facts. Embellishing (or in some cases exaggerating) your writing may sound harmless but the effect on your readers may backfire on you. Consumers and readers are much more savvy and sensitive to copy that “oversells. There is nothing that works as fast as an exaggeration to decrease your credibility.
If you want to have authority in writing copy, state the facts – writing those things that are easily verifiable.
VII. Back up your claims
Authority in writing copy is similar to writing news stories – you need to be able to verify those claims by offering proof. If you make one, make sure it’s backed up by details and figures that can be corroborated. If there is a study, research or statement made by an expert that supports your claim, include that information in your copy. That way, if and when someone asks, you can point them to the reference that will support what you said.
VIII. Don’t mess with the language
If you want to be trusted as an authority in writing copy, make sure your writing demonstrates authority. It should be well-written, with proper grammar and spelling. Don’t allow bad grammar to undermine your authority. Use a site like Grammarly to check your writing or hire a copy editor to proofread your work before you put it out there for all to read. If you want to be seen and acknowledged as an expert, show your readers by writing well.