Ernest Hemingway once said, “We are all apprentices in a craft no one masters.” Coming from a Nobel Prize winner in Literature, you have to assume there’s truth to his words.
No matter how long you’ve been writing, you can always improve. There are always things you can do to make your work more interesting, more captivating, and more enjoyable to read.
In business, your writing can always work harder for you. You can always format it better, include better information, and connect more effectively with your audience.
Although I’ve been writing for years, I’m always looking for ways to improve.
In fact, my writing style has changed drastically from the day I wrote my first published piece until today. Sometimes I’m embarrassed looking back, knowing what I know now.
But how can you improve your writing to make it work better for you? We’re not talking about how you can improve your college essay, but what techniques can you use to make your business copy better? What can you do to improve your Shopify store’s blog?
You’ll never have all the answers, but we’re here to offer some help. Let’s take a look at the techniques we recommend to improve your Shopify store blog.
Tip #1: Practice Makes Perfect
Some things you can only learn through practice. Writing in particular.
As an English teacher of mine once said, “You can teach someone grammar and spelling, but you can’t teach them how to write.”
The only way you can truly improve your craft is to practice. The more you write, the better you’ll understand your audience.
With each article, try to make it better than the last. Read your past articles and look for ways you can improve. Never pretend that you’re the best writer you’ll ever be, because you can always get better with hard work.
Your first few articles might not attract any attention. You won’t get thousands of shares or dozens of new customers right away. But what you will get is a learning experience.
What did your readers compliment about your article? What didn’t they like?
Always ask for feedback on your work to learn more about your reader’s needs. Prepare to write a lot – it can take many years to create highly effective content for your blog. Don’t let the time discourage you. The more you write, the faster you’ll improve.
Tip #2: Learn From Others
As you’re establishing your Shopify store blog, you’d probably like to have a roadmap.
What kind of content works?
How should I format my post?
What can I do to attract readers?
Fortunately, you’re not the first blogger. Nor are you the last. There are millions of blogs online, many of which you can look to for inspiration.
Look for bloggers who publish work you enjoy reading. Find stores and brands with a powerful content presence.
When you find blog posts with hundreds or thousands of social shares and views, you’ve found a veritable source of inspiration. Ask yourself, what are these bloggers doing right? How are they attracting readers with their work, and converting them into customers?
Read as much work from others as you write. The more you read, the more you’ll learn about writing and content marketing. Keep a notebook of things you’ve picked up from other bloggers, and implement your findings into your own work.
By following in the footsteps of other bloggers, you can create a sort of roadmap for yourself. You’ll still have a lot of things to learn on your own, but good inspiration can point you in the right direction.
Tip #3: Be Thorough In Your Research
Half of writing a good article is capturing your reader’s attention. The other half is providing them with valuable information relevant to their interests.
You can be a great writer, but poorly researched content has no place on your blog. Readers can rightfully disregard your content if they think it isn’t sourced.
When your research your content, it becomes more authoritative. It shows the information you’re sharing isn’t based strictly in opinion, but in fact.
Well-researched blog posts resonate much better with readers than opinionated posts. Readers appreciate content with sourced, factual information.
As you write any content, it’s vital you do thorough research. Look in-depth for facts to back up your claims or advice – don’t choose the first source that backs up your opinion.
Verify your sources, too. No one is obligated to tell the truth online. It’s largely up to you to determine which sources are credible and which aren’t.
Never include false information in your articles. If you can’t verify a source, try to find the information somewhere else. Presenting false information only for a reader to catch it and call you out is the last thing you want to have happen.
The more well-researched your content is, the more professional and authoritative it will be. This will go far whenever your readers are presented with the option to share your article or go back to their search results page.
Tip #4: Understand Why Buyers Make Purchases
Whenever we’re placed with a decision, our mind runs through certain processes to evaluate the situation.
This happens anytime we’re faced with a purchase.
Before you can convince someone to buy your product, you need to get inside their head. You need to know why people buy things.
You don’t have to be an expert in psychology to predict your shopper’s buying patterns, but some basic knowledge helps. Without going into much detail, customers buy products that make them feel better – for one reason or another.
For example, if you’re selling ergonomic women’s shoes, you could strike a chord with your reader by talking about how bad heels are for a woman’s body. Your readers will start to feel concern for their own feet and knees as they read about the health issues posed by heels. Then, you offer your comfortable, healthy shoes as an alternative. They’ll be more like to buy them because they don’t want their feet to end up as you explained in your article.
Remember, your business isn’t just about you. It’s about helping your customer. If you make your articles about how great you are as a brand, your audience will never feel a strong connection with you. Instead, write your work so it makes them feel valued and in good hands, and they’ll have a more favorable view of your brand.
Tip #5: Write Better Headlines
Many writers fail before they ever begin.
You can have the best content on Earth, but it won’t go anywhere without a great headline.
Because your reader doesn’t craft their first impression from your introductory paragraph. They have to get there, first.
Without a good headline, your reader will never make it to your content to make a fair assessment.
This doesn’t mean you need more clever headlines. In fact, it means you need less.
The best headlines are straightforward and tell the reader exactly what they can expect when they read your article. They should be unique, and offer very specific information.
Avoid creating “clickbait” headlines. It’s okay to create a sense of urgency, but don’t lie or leave out key information in order to attract views. Readers will know within a few seconds whether or not your title is clickbait, and you’ll lose credibility quickly.
Tip #6: Avoid Grammar and Spelling Mistakes
According to QuickSprout, poor grammar in online content turns 59 percent of readers away.
What seems like a small mistake to you may resonate with your audience. Readers know professionals don’t make spelling and grammar mistakes. Many, many scam sites do, though.
In fact, spelling and grammar errors are how many online readers discern white hat from black hat content. One of the best ways to catch a scam is to look for obvious spelling and grammar mistakes.
Take the time to edit your work. With dozens of free spelling and grammar checks online, there’s no reason your content can’t be mechanically perfect.
Tip #7: Learn to Craft Flawless Opening Sentences
Much like your headline, your blog’s opening sentence is crucial.
Your reader knows you have the information they want. They learned this from your headline. Now it’s time to keep their attention.
This is where your opening line comes in.
Great opening lines have three things in common: they’re short, engaging, and they’re able to capture the reader’s attention quickly.
Asking the reader a question is a great way to open your article. It immediately captures their attention and makes them reflect back on themselves before reading.
Ultimately, practice is the only way to improve your opening lines. Read work from your favorite bloggers, and see how they reel in their audience from the first line. Use what you learn to start crafting your own attention-grabbing opening lines.
Tip #8: Use the AIDA Formula
If you’ve been writing for a long time, you’ve probably heard of the AIDA formula.
Copywriter Gary Halbert created the formula in hopes of helping other writers improve their craft. The acronym stands for:
Ideally, each of your posts should follow this formula for maximum effectiveness. Each step defines a goal you should achieve in your article.
Capturing your reader’s attention is the first goal you should achieve. Do this by writing an effective headline, a stellar opening line, and an interesting introduction.
Once you have your reader’s attention, you need to capture their interest. Do this by discussing how your content can help them. Talk about their needs and wants directly – make it about them, not about you.
After you’ve gotten your reader’s interest, they need to want your product. Present your product or service’s benefits, and discuss exactly how they can help fulfill your reader’s wants and needs.
Finally, you want your reader to take action. They want your product, they know how it will help them. It’s up to you to close the deal.
Encourage your reader to take action by asking them. Use calls-to-action in your post to ask them to buy your product, sign up to your email list, or follow you on Facebook.
If you’ve effectively shown your reader how following your CTA will help them, you’ll find more and more readers will take action with your brand.
You can be a great writer, but that doesn’t mean you can create effective content. Writing and copywriting for the web are two very different skills, and require very different techniques.
Most of your learning will come with time and practice. Today’s best copywriters started out exactly where you are, knowing they want to get better but not knowing where to start.
Fortunately, there are successful copywriters who can help you start your craft and progress in the right direction. By incorporating these 8 techniques into your Shopify blog posts, you’ll create better connections with your readers, achieve more shares on social media, and make your content work better for your brand.
Special thanks to Neil Patel and QuickSprout for the post inspiration.