17 tips for great copywriting

1) Write with your eraser

You get 100 bucks for every word you rub out from your title:

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2) Don’t exaggerate

An honest line always feels warmer:

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3) No one cares what you can do

Everyone cares what you can do for them.

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4) Avoid the passive voice

It’s indirect and awkward:

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5) Don’t kill your personality

The best brands feel “real”:

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6) Avoid “landing page words”

Unlockunleashenhanceexceedempowersupercharge, etc.

Real people don’t use them.

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7) Find the tension

“Pleasant” gets forgotten. Conflict creates interest:

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8) Write how you talk

Casual. Colloquial. Full of pronouns:

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9) Avoid “contained” titles

Write something that pulls your reader down your page:

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10) Write scannable copy

Formatting matters:

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11) Stories make you memorable

I couldn’t list The Ten Commandments. I could tell you what happened to Adam and Eve:

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12) More periods, fewer commas.

Periods mean short sentences. We like short sentences.

Commas mean long, painful sentences, like this one, which New Yorker writers think are clever, but real people find torturous, because they wind on and on without actually saying anything.

h/t David Perell

13) Kill adverbs. Kill adjectives.

They’re flowery. They’re vague. They try too hard:

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14) Think slippery slide

Every line of copy should lead to the next.

Watch this ad. You won’t be able to stop:

15) Fence sitters don’t buy

Go to the edge:

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16) Your first line is crucial

If people don’t read it, they’re not going to read your second line either.

Keep it short:

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17) Copywriting is selling

Don’t romanticize it. The goal isn’t to be clever or cute.

The goal is to inspire action:

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