Lesson 2: Tips for Polishing Copy

Tips for Polishing Copy

Your copy needs to be logical and easy to read. Your number one task when you polish your copy is to make sure the layout is clean and clear.

Learning Outcomes

To learn how to write clear and easily-digestible copy.

Basic Copy Flow

In an earlier lesson, we looked at different layouts that deliver. Let’s recap on the basic flow for most copy regardless of length:


Copy Flow

  • Headline
  • Text
  • CTA

There are other steps to take before you decide your copy is good to go:


Steps to Polish Your Copy

  • Add whitespace   
  • Increase impact with visual elements such as colors, different fonts, graphics, and images to stop people scrolling by
  • Don’t overdo it though — readers don’t like busy or confusing layouts
  • Check mobile layout. Make sure that you check how your copy looks on a mobile device (e.g., a two-column layout may look great on a PC but not work on a smartphone)
  • Remove clichés and overused words
  • Don’t use jargon or business-specific language if you want wide appeal
  • Keep sentences and paragraphs short
  • Beware of colloquial expressions which won’t be understood outside your country if you’re attracting a global audience
  • Use action verbs to increase impact rather than passive verbs
  • Include “because” to explain why and increase conversions (e.g., why your product is cheaper or why they should buy it today)
  • When you think you’re done, cut, cut, and cut again
  • Eliminate unnecessary, vague, and redundant words:
    • Unnecessary and inaccurate words, for example: "It’s almost unique in the world." Unique means there’s only one and can’t be qualified
    • Vague, imprecise words such as really, a lot, always, never, absolutely, truly
    • Redundant adverbs, for example:
      • "Tina shouted loudly at the taxi as it drove away." It’s not possible to shout quietly, so the word ‘loudly’ is redundant
      • "The spooked horse bolted hastily across the field." It’s not possible to bolt slowly so ‘hastily’ is redundant
  • Check that your language is objective and not exaggerated, for example avoid phrases like "Best in the universe"
  • Check for grammar and spelling mistakes.

Your copy should read naturally. When you think you’re ready, read your text out loud to check that it’s conversational in tone. If you’re struggling, there are tools to assist such as Hemingway Editor which will help you with readability and WordHippo to find synonyms.

Don’t forget the purpose of this type of copy is to get people buying, so they must be able to do so quickly and easily.

Action Steps

Consider adding or improving visuals for your chosen piece of copy, noting what you could add to increase the impact.

Take your chosen piece of copy and check it for language complexity with Hemmingway Editor.

Use Your 20-Point Copywriting Checklist for your chosen piece of copy.

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