Copywriting – are you missing the wood for the trees?
Philippa Lowe
Published: 14th March 2017

Copywriting – are you missing the wood for the trees?

It can be easy to get caught up in all the little details of copywriting. Don’t get me wrong, the little details in spelling, grammar, sentence structure etc. are all significant in their contribution to the final product but getting so consumed by those details can leave you missing the big picture altogether.

Perspective? Get some.

It’s easy to have your own perspective as a writer; of course you’re focused on how you’re going to get your reader to respond. While still maintaining your own perspective, it’s also crucial to take your readers’ perspectives into account. What are their needs, their concerns, and their history? Find out who your audience is and get to know them as best you can so that you can understand the kinds of eyes they’re reading your copy through.

A strangely common mistake is for copywriters to get so caught up in the copy itself that they forget where their words are actually going to be seen. There are countless examples of newspapers including articles with call-to-actions saying ‘click here’ – impossible when not on the internet! These kinds of mistakes can be costly for reputation (it’s not a great look) and with sales – if a reader has no way to respond, they simply won’t.

So, what IS the big picture?

You’re writing to share something, to have someone take action, to have them engage. You want to elicit a response. It’s as simple as that. There’s a chain of events that need to happen before you get your reader over the line. If you are selling something, then your reader needs to engage with your call-to-action and follow it through to the sale. Everything you write should be pointing towards that chain of events in some way.

Your job is to make it easy for your readers. The layout needs to be easy to read, the words need to be easy to understand and the readers need to be able to easily respond to the writing through a call-to-action.

Every word and every little detail in your writing is important – they all serve a purpose, but it’s the purpose you need to focus on more, rather than getting bogged down in the little details. Focusing on your big picture will mean the words will flow into the purpose naturally.