How to write engagingly

by Tom Albrighton 7 November 2018 Copywriting, Digital and social

When digital marketers talk ‘engagement’, they usually mean certain online behaviours, like sharing or liking on social media.

But writing engagingly is something much broader and deeper than that.

Writer and reader illustration

When you write engaging copy, you talk to your reader as an equal – just one person telling another about something they might like.

You appreciate that they’re probably busy, bored or tired, and you remember that they probably didn’t ask for your message.

Basically, you treat your reader as you’d like to be treated yourself.

What does that mean for your writing?

First, respect the reader’s intelligence. Use their language, but without talking down.

Address the reader as ‘you’ and refer to yourself as ‘we’ or ‘I’, so your copy becomes a conversation.

See things from the reader’s side, not your own. Start where they are, and end up where you want them to be.

Finally, use concrete, active language, favouring verbs over nouns and adjectives, so your writing is rooted in the real world.

There’s a whole chapter on writing engagingly in Copywriting Made Simple.

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