6 Tips to Write Copy that Sticks

August 5, 2020

Showing up online as a business owner these days takes GUTS. When you have passion coming out your ears, it’s easy to put up what I call “drive-by posts.” 

Drive-By Post (n.): When you’re in the moment and you feel something BIG, and words—a caption or blog post—just come POURING OUT…

Here’s the thing: When you drive-by post all the time, it can feel frustrating and hopeless that you’re not actually reaching anyone.

If you’re hearing crickets when you share your message, today’s blog post is for YOU.

I don’t want your courageously crafted message to get lost in the mix, okay?

Let’s learn to write copy that sticks.

✨STICKY COPY 101✨⁠⠀

I’m gettin’ back to my high school teacher roots today for a legit lesson on how to write copy that STICKS.⁠

Sticky copy: When you think “content” you might think about WHAT you’re going to say, but writing “sticky copy” is all about putting effort into HOW YOU SAY IT.

Instead of just “providing value,” like all the gurus are shouting, I want to help you learn how to provide value that captures attention, KEEPS it, and then STICKS with them when they’re gone.

1 | Tap into the unexpected

Nix those industry buzzwords and start explaining things in PLAIN. DANG. LANGUAGE.

Even better? Try using an analogy to explain a buzzword your audience may be confused by.

Try spelling words phonetically, to mix it up. Yes, I’m telling you to spell things WRONG. It might help people grab hold of your true spoken voice as they’re reading your written words. That’ll make ‘em feel like they’re having a gab sesh with you over coffee rather than reading your encyclopedia entry.

2 | Slang it up

Stop freaking out about your brand voice, okay? Instead, just try to write like you talk. Are you really “excited?” Or are you “SO. STINKIN’. PUMPED?”

If you’re having trouble not sounding like a total robot when you write, try recording yourself as you talk. Then, take note of words and phrases you say over and over (and how you say them!).

(But, if you are freaking out about your brand voice, we’ve got you covered.)

3 | Repeat yo’self

Stop worrying about saying the same thing all the time. Brand recognizability is about recognition.

Pro Tip #1: Repeat yourself across your website pages. Common threads and consistent core messaging throughout your site will STICK with your new visitors.

Pro Tip #2: Things stick in 3’s. It’s better to have a list of 3 than one of 2… or even 4.

Pro Tip #3: Repeat structure and format. Which brings me to…

4 | Use parallel structure

This is a type of repetition you’ve seen before, you just don’t know it. Ya know that phrase floating around on EVERY about page in the industry?

“Mom of 2. Wife to 1.”

That’s just using parallel structure to say you’re a mom and a wife. That means the format (name → preposition → number) is the same in each sentence.

Cool. But there are other ways we can explore that technique (ways that don’t have us blending into the crowd like melted vanilla ice cream).

What’s another way you could say it?

Try this:

My husband calls me “sugar booty.”

My 2 kids call me “hey I’m hungry.”

My clients have called me “a total lifesaver.”

You can start by calling me “Jess,” and we’ll see how things go, okay?

Same concept of parallel structure, same information communicated, but wayyyyyy more creative. Just repeat the same sentence structure, and it makes it stickier. Cool, right?

5 | Draw on pop culture

You know what’s SO COOL about today’s world? At any point, we can find out what people are watching, listening to, obsessed with.

How?

You follow them. Just kidding. I’m not a stalker. Promise.

But, in all honesty, just look at the “most popular” on Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, etc. and you can get inside the heads of… well… the world.

If you take a look at popular GIFs and memes, it’ll tell you a lot about what people are thinking.

So, write a headline using a reference from Tiger King. Draw an analogy from Lizzo’s latest hit.

Some of you may think that would date your content, but I really believe your audience is craving UNEXPECTED RELEVANCE over anything right now.

Plus, if your references become dated, that’s tapping into nostalgia which brings me to…

6 | Nail the nostalgia

If you know your audience well enough, you should know what feels nostalgic to them. Most of my audience members have had a crush on Justin Timberlake at some point in their life. If you speak to mostly 30-somethings, think about this: What kind of music did they listen to when they were teenagers? What makes them feel old right now (in a funny way!)? What makes them feel young again?

Nailing the nostalgia of your ideal audience is another great way to help your ideas stick while you get that “dang, she’s my PEOPLE” kinda reaction from your audience.

So, which of these are you gonna start using PRONTO?⁠⠀


Don’t forget to save this blog post for future use, ’cause these are the copy secrets you need in your business content creation life on the daily so you can write copy that sticks.

Trust me. When you put just a little more effort and intention into your content on the front end, it will payoff BIG TIME in carrying your content further faster instead of getting lost in the noise.

And, if you struggle with crafting copy that connects and converts when it comes to social media captions, check out our Social Media Promptlate! You’ll get tips and tricks to help you wrap your mind around writing words that truly work for your business, plus prompts (55!) to get the ideas out of your head and templates (7!) to put them into action quickly.

Head here to snag the Social Media Promptlate!

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