The 10 Cs of Online Copywriting

Let’s talk copywriting. More specifically, let’s talk copywriting for the web.

The old dogs of advertising and copywriting know their stuff, and they know it well. But writing for the web is a different beast, and though you may need to employ many of the old tricks, there are also some new ways to pay attention to.

  1. Concise – keep it short, and keep it simple. I don’t have a lot of time to read what you’ve got to say so get the point and let me move on.

  2. Clear – you have very little time to get someone’s attention, and even less time to keep it. Make sure I know what you’re talking about in the first few seconds of reading.

  3. Creative – this applies with any kind of copywriting, but people on the web are much more apt to read what you’ve got to say if it’s interesting.

  4. Captivating –once you’ve got my attention, keep it, building on your creativity (above). Use bullet points, numbered lists, and other techniques to highlight key words and phrases to keep my interest.

  5. Casual – formality, for the most part, has no place on the web. It’s a naturally informal medium, and you should communicate the way people expect you to, or risk throwing them off.

  6. Catchy – similar to most other forms of advertising and copywriting, keep your wording and your headlines catchy. Leave a lasting impression so that I know who you are and what you’re marketing.

  7. Colorful – literally, full of colors. I don’t mean use colorful language, I mean highlight key terms, use color to draw my attention, and fill your text with hyperlinks.

  8. Cheerful – the web is upbeat for the most part (don’t mind the comments on YouTube). I’m a firm believer in marketing in a positive way instead of a negative one, and you should play off of someone’s likelihood to be in a good mood when they come across your emails, website, or ads.

  9. Current – search engines, social networks, and repeat visitors all have one thing in common. They like it better when everything is up to date, and more, updated frequently. Write, publish, and then write again. That’s the name of the game.

  10. Careful – this is true of all copywriting, and not any more important online. But it is important to understand and appreciate the web as a marketing channel, and don’t be any more careless or sloppy just because it’s the internet and you can always change it later.

Got any more C’s? I’d love to see them in the comments!