Copywriting for web and print

Alastair Crompton 'The Craft of Copywriting'

Read this book !

My background

I was lucky enough to have a good education in England, where we learned correct English. Since starting work in the early 1970s I have written effective copy for print media. I also used to proof-read for a distance-learning education study materials supplier which trained my eye for detail. I’ve written for the web since around 1998.

Learn from the experts

I have studied advertising copywriting and writing for the web – two very different skills. The best book on the former is Alastair Crompton’s ‘The Craft of Copywriting’. If you want to write your own print media copy, buy the book. A lot of it applies to web copy too.

Copywriting for the web

Many of the websites I’ve created have been written by me. In the early 2000s, many Irish websites were outsourced and I frequently perform a makeover on these relics, which includes writing new body copy & headlines. I can set a tone which conveys product quality and authority. From what I’ve read on the web, this is a dying art. I always picture someone when I write copy. It helps me not to become too highbrow or patronising. You’re lighting a fire, not filling a bucket.

How people read online

In my experience, people appreciate well-written print copy. Online, they tend to scan through text so you’ll need to emphasise your main points in bold so they get the message very quickly.

 

Google will pick up keywords within copy, but there’s a lot of skill in keeping it readable for humans too. After all, humans will buy from you and Google won’t – so don’t turn people off with tacky sales-speak and false promises.