Writing online copy: Hints and Tips

As you all know from my tagline I earn my crust by working as an Online Copywriter for a British retailer as part of the E-Commerce department and I gained my degree in Magazine Journalism in 2010. I love my job and talking fashion and home everyday, well what’s not to love, but sometimes you need that reassurance that the copy your writing is, well, right. So that said on Friday I took a trip to London Town, (and battled the snow!), to attend a one-day Online Copywriting course and thought it would be fitting to pass on a couple of the tips I learnt in the process.

....Write somethingAudience

Now, I know the opinion is divided when writing ‘How I got my job’ posts and ‘How to write online copy’, but I personally love them. I think it is a great idea to pass on industry knowledge to the blogging community, as every blogger comes from a different walk of life and may not be directly involved in the Marketing/PR/Social Media world, and that in itself I find really interesting.
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The Basics

So the course was designed for Online copywriters with the purpose to pass on tips, make sure you are making the most of your copy, it is making the point intended in a clear, consise manner and it is suitable for all platforms, whether that is writing from an SEO perspective, bloggers, social media, email or like my 9-5 a retail website.

It was really interesting from both a personal and a professional opinion as it helped me to understand how people read. I know that sounds like a really stupid thing to say but you sometimes forget that understanding your readership is the first thing you need to take into account. Whether you scroll, scan or simply click away if the opening paragraph doesn’t ‘grab’ you, as the writer you need to make the reader, want, to read your copy.

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Hints and Tips

The very layout of this post is taking into consideration the tips I learnt on Friday. Breaking up a page, adding headings, sub-headings, an opening paragraph detailing exactly what you’re going to be talking about and a basic heading. All sound pretty straight forward, right?!

Break it down

  • Lists
  • Lists
  • Lists

Dont worry I’m not going crazy- but want someone to digest what you’ve written? Use a list! It emphasises the point and makes the page look a little easier on the eye!

So, there you have it! Just a couple of tips, let me know what you think and any ‘rules’ you use to keep your copy on the right track!

*Images taken from Pinterest

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. A couple of fantastic points here! I write copy every day, whether it’s for my personal blog or work (I’m a PR exec) and making lists is a really good idea. It definitely helps me structure my content and work out what I’m trying to say when. ♥ Claire @ Jazzpad

    1. It was really nice to take a step back and look at the job from another perspective and take tips to improve my writing x

  2. Gentian says:

    Hi Ruth, I’m a new reader to your blog. Would you mind giving me some tips on how to get into writing/ecommerce as a job please? I’m currently an administrator but want to do something word/web related! Your job sounds ideal. Please?!

    1. Hi! I don’t think I have many tips for you unfortunately! I studied Magazine Journalism at University, kept up with my writing through this blog and when an opportunity came up I went for it. Might be worth using Twitter to apply for freelace writing jobs you can do at the weekend/evenings to boost your cv? x

      1. Gentian says:

        Thanks, will give it a go and keep reading 🙂

      2. Great stuff 🙂 Let me know how you get on x

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