3 Tips to Add Power to Every Word You Write Online
By Rebecca Matter, American Writers & Artists Inc.
Well-written online content adds “oomph” to all your monetization efforts. It helps capture random eyeballs and convert them into repeat visitors who know, like, and trust your site. Yet many site owners tell me writing this kind of powerful web copy is a challenge.
It doesn’t have to be that way for you. Today, I’ll show you three fast, simple changes you can make to your writing to add power to your words — and I’ll even show you how to turn these tips into a major new income stream, too.
Change #1: Start using “The Power of One©”
“The Power of One©” is a simple but life-changing rule for online writers. Not only will it make it easier for you to create great online content, but it will also help you dramatically boost your clicks, shares, and conversions.
You see, what happens to many site owners is that they have a ton of information they want to share. So, they pack their blog posts and websites with piles of ideas.
But that’s not what readers want … and in an age of divided and limited attention, that’s not the best way to get your most important ideas across.
Instead, you want to focus every piece of copy you write on just one single idea. Where you have more than one idea, write more than one article, social media update, or web page.
Why does this help?
On your side, it helps you focus on one clear goal at a time, making it easier to know what goes in or is left out of your page or post. Without distracting ideas, or trying to force multiple things into one piece, you can create new content faster.
For readers, it also eliminates confusion. As they look at your piece, there’s one thing to understand … one key point being made … and just one action being suggested. And while it seems simple, this added clarity can dramatically boost shares, Likes, and offer responses.
(You can learn more about “The Power of One” in AWAI’s foundational copywriting program, The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting.)
Change #2: Zero in on your audience
Another simple but powerful change you can make to your writing is to zero in on your target audience. I see many site owners trying to be all things to all people, but in reality, when you’re trying to build a meaningful relationship with readers, a narrower focus is better.
Why does this matter so much? Well, focusing in on a specific target audience helps you prove to that audience that you truly understand their problems, fears, and key desires. And when an audience feels that you “get them” as people, they are more likely to spend time with you and eventually buy your products.
So how can you tailor your writing more specifically to your audience? It helps to build a profile of your ideal customer. Also known as an avatar, this profile makes it easier for you to understand what will or won’t sound natural, authentic, and relevant to your targeted audience.
Building an avatar of your ideal reader can take as little as 30 minutes. Start with basic demographic data, like age, gender, and ethnic background. Follow it up with a belief profile. For example, is your ideal reader religious? Does he or she like animals? Enjoy politics? Enthusiastically root for a specific sports team?
Round out your avatar by building a “life story” for your ideal reader. It doesn’t have to be long:
Angelo Brown, 42, was born in California but later moved to New York to work for the Metro Transit Authority as a civil engineer. He’s a very loyal person, still following the Raiders instead of the Jets. His family is important to him, and he’s always looking for new ways to help his three young children do better in school.
Just with these few short sentences as a reference, you could evaluate your current writing to see how “on point” you really are with your marketing voice. And, with a strong guiding reference, you can ensure your future content speaks more directly to your core audience.
Change #3: Write more like you talk
When you’re doing your website, the temptation to write very formally is strong — after all, you want to look professional! Yet the most powerful and effective writing isn’t formal. In test after test, advertisers and marketers have found that friendly, conversational writing does better with customers.
So how can you make your writing more conversational? Write more like you talk!
This is also known as “The Bar Stool Test©.” Whenever you’re putting together a new piece of content, take a moment and read it out loud. Does it sound like conversational English — the sort of natural, everyday words and phrases you would use telling a story to a friend at a bar?
Some phrases will immediately jump out at you as sounding too stiff and formal. In other places, watch for where you stumble over your own words — chances are, these spots could be reworked to use shorter, simpler sentences and more conversational words.
If you need more help, ask a friend to read over the piece. Ask them to highlight places that “don’t sound like me” in the text. They’ll help you catch overly formal language and spot awkward phrases.
By combining these three simple, fast changes, you can add power to your online writing. The Power of One will give you greater clarity. Targeting a specific audience will make your content feel more relevant to your ideal customer. And, writing more like you speak will help you make your content feel warmer and more inviting to everyone who comes across your site.
The net result? A site that performs better across the board, helping you reach your traffic and monetization goals faster.