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The Top 3 Rules for Writing Copy That Captivates

Updated: Jan 3, 2023

Marketing pros will tell you that it's hard to break through the noise these days. Even harder if you're slingin' ink as a copywriter. To reach the hearts and minds of distracted people, you've got to understand your audiences' most pressing challenges, desires and needs, then write copy that makes them stop what they're doing and give you their most precious commodities - time and attention.

It's no easy feat, yet the team at Bond Studios does it well every day. Want to know our secret? We apply journalistic principles to brand storytelling. Here are our top three rules to write by:

1 - Turn on your bullshit detector

Start by using news criteria – the same "who cares?" filter that journalists and their editors swear by – to determine what will become a top story. Is your idea topical? That is, are you sure your audience is talking about this a lot, and can you point to evidence of this hot dialogue via social media, online forums, events, etc.? Is it trending? Does your topic shine a light on something emerging fast, or is the momentum going downward quickly? Is it timely? Is there interesting action taking place right now or is this old news? Is it unusual? Like Halley's Comet unusual or just kinda different? If it's truly uncommon, you may have a story. Does your idea line up with a buzzy anniversary in pop culture or cult fandom, or does it involve a national commemoration on the horizon? (The Big Lebowski turns 25 in March 2023, just sayin'.)

2 - Build an outline Once you've identified a bona fide story idea, use the three A's – Action, Angle and Anecdote – to build your outline. Show what your subjects are doing (action), give context to these actions (angle) and allow real humans to give voice to their specific experiences - the tiny human-interest tales that drive home your story (anecdote). Anecdotes are your story's takeoff and its landing.

3 - Write tight

When writing, ensure that your copy is concise, clear and factually accurate. And, if your goal is to be service-focused, make sure that your copy truly offers helpful insights, tips or information. Consumers don't read as much as they used to, especially long-form features. So, when they do take time to dig into a story, they want to be rewarded with content that quickly entertains, enlightens or both. Reward your most devoted readers.


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