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Top 25 tips for great copy

Established in Bath in 1987, and now based in London and Bristol, we’ve worked our way through economic ups and downs, the rise and fall of everything printed, and the rise and rise of digital… everything. During this time we’ve learned a great deal so here are our top 25 tips for great copy.

  1. Know your audience.
  2. Remember them throughout.
  3. First and foremost, understand your brand’s values, inside out.
  4. Know your proposition.
  5. Choose your words carefully.
  6. Use your words sparingly.
  7. Use short sentences.
  8. Use short paragraphs.
  9. Be active, not passive.
  10. Tone of voice matters… be unique.
  11. So does correct grammar and spelling… hone them to perfection.
  12. Never stop asking ‘so what?’, because your reader certainly won’t.
  13. Use plain English, always.
  14. Repetition is a no no (see what we did there?).
  15. Structure is vital – much like fishing, copywriting always starts with a hook!
  16. Your headline is your first impression so make it count.
  17. The first paragraph should be used to give your headline some legs.
  18. The proof’s in the pudding – always substantiate your claims.
  19. Remember the benefits – every point you make must have one or it’s probably not worth mentioning.
  20. Don’t leave them hanging – always tell your reader what to do next.
  21. Your website is a VERY powerful selling tool, use it well.
  22. But always put the reader first and Google second.
  23. Avoid metaphors, similes or other common clichés.
  24. Don’t use jargon – it’s not big, clever or cool!
  25. Never underestimate the power of words.

Throughout our 25 years we’ve provided websites, social media strategies, corporate reports, tone of voice consultancy, translation, writer training and sustainability communications, so we’re confident we can help you too. If you’d like to discuss your next project, please feel free to contact us on 020 3301 3300 or email copy@strattoncraig.co.uk and we’ll get back to you.