How to write good copy when you’re not a copywriter

When it comes to your communications strategy, you can spend all the money in the world on marketing and design – but if your words don’t work, you’re fighting a losing battle.

Writing copy that sells is the ultimate goal

When you’re working in the charity sector, your copy still has to make sales, though it might not seem immediately obvious how.

What you’re selling is opportunity: the opportunity to get involved with a great cause; to make a difference to somebody’s life; and to feel good about yourself by helping others.

But in order to sell, your copy needs to be easy to read, engaging, and free of errors. If your copy doesn’t check these three boxes: keep reading – I can help.

Learning how to write copy

Good news: copywriting is a skill, and with the right amount of dedication, skills can be learned.

I’ve compiled a list of free tools that’ll instantly improve your writing. No, they won’t have you writing copy like Apple, but they’re extremely useful resources and if you use them properly, you’ll see a noticeable difference in your writing.

 1. The Hemingway App

The Hemingway App is an editing tool that examines how easy it is to read and understand your writing. It tries to get you to write as simply as possible, in keeping with Ernest Hemingway’s style of minimalist writing.

You write a paragraph, then copy and paste it into the app. The tool will highlight sentences or words that it wants you to change, including sentences that are ‘hard to read’ and ‘very hard to read’. Have a look at the example below.

It’s great for making your writing clear and to the point. Readers will definitely leave understanding your message, but it doesn’t really allow you to be stylistic, which can be a little annoying. I have to pre-warn you about its hatred for adverbs, while I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the odd adverb.

Overall, it’s a handy tool that will only improve your writing. I use it a lot for my own work, and I find it’s really good for highlighting over-complicated and wordy sentences.

Give it a try! You can find it here.

2. Coschedule Headline Analyzer

It’s estimated that eight out of ten people only ever read the headline of blog posts and articles. That means just two out of every ten go further and read your copy. Your headline needs to be engaging enough to make people want to read the full post.

That’s where the Coschedule Headline Analyzer comes in.

Once you’ve come up with a range of potential headlines, put them through this analyser and see which gets the highest score. Coschedule scores each headline based on word balance (whether you’ve used power words, popular or emotional words), length analysis, and keywords.

It’ll help you choose a headline that’ll resonate with readers, so you can get those vital click-throughs.

Try it here.

3. GrammarlyAre your social media posts littered with spelling mistakes?

A study conducted by Global Lingo found that 74% of people notice when a company has spelling or grammatical errors on its website or marketing materials. In fact, 60% say they wouldn’t trust this company to deliver a high-quality service.

Grammarly helps you avoid embarrassing typos and errors. It’s a spell checker for everything. As a cloud-based tool that integrates with your web browser, it’s not just limited to checking your word documents; it can check your emails, your Facebook posts, and your blog posts as you write them.

Grammarly calls it a writing assistant, and it really is. It does a great job of proofreading for you, so you don’t have to.

Get it here.

Want more posts like this?

Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing tips on how to improve different styles of copywriting, including writing for email, video, and blog posts. To stay in the loop, follow InkHouse on Facebook and Instagram.

Got questions? Leave a comment!


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Eman Ismail - copy expert and founder of InkHouse - writes conversational copy for businesses that want to sound more human, less robot. Through her services and online course, she helps brands Marie Kondo their messaging so they’re loved and understood by their ideal customers. When she’s not running her biz or hosting copywriting workshops for Lloyds Bank, you’ll find her bouncing around (probably injured) at soft play with her not-so-baby boy.

There are 2 comments
  1. Thank you!
    Especially the headlines are so hard to get right. Great tips mashallah!

    • Eman

      You’re welcome! I’m glad you found it helpful. I completely agree – coming up with headlines is my least favourite part of writing! I plan to write an entire post just on headlines, so keep an eye out for it 🙂

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