WARNING: The following copywriting guide contains terrible baking puns that some readers may find distressing. It is recommended that you do not continue reading if you are hungry or avoiding cake because you will almost certainly want cake. Reader discretion is advised.
Okay, jokes aside (for now), in this copywriting how-to, I want to talk about all the essential ingredients you need to whip up a delicious piece of content or, as I like to call it, “a content cake.” Why cake, you ask?
During one of my many cake craving attacks, I started pondering the parallels between excellent copywriting and excellent cake. And, if you haven’t guessed by now, I really like cake and don’t know anyone who doesn’t. So, I thought it would be a universally digestible (I did warn you) analogy.
Why not mix two things I love and write about them to help people improve their copywriting skills? Whether you’re new to copywriting, a perfectly seasoned professional, or a business owner looking for inspiration, I’m sure you’ll find some golden nuggets in this copywriting guide.
Wish there was a “skip to recipe” button? First of all, I’m offended. Second of all, you don’t need one because we’re getting straight into the recipe right now; get those content writing aprons on, folks!
1. Know your audience’s palette
Just like with cake, you need to know who you’re writing for to deliver something they actually want. There’s no point toiling away baking a chocolate fudge cake when your audience’s favourite is lemon… or a birthday cake when the occasion is a wedding.
Do the research. See what your audience really wants from your copy. What problems do they have that you can resolve? What type of language resonates with them? What sort of content cakes are they searching for on Google? Once you know what kind of content they want – it’s so much easier writing for them!
2. Create your signature copy flavour
Ever pick up a pre-made cake in your local supermarket, and it just tastes a bit ‘meh’ compared to your delectable home-baked cakes? It’s the same with copy. If you’re not putting in the time and effort to develop your unique flavour, recipe, and creation method, your content will always seem a little bland.
Copying competitors, taking a shortcut approach, or GOD FORBID using an AI copywriting generator might serve up a “just okay” piece of cake. Still, it will never tempt your audience as much as the lovingly-baked homemade version.
Take the time to develop your own flavour, a.k.a tone of voice. Is it traditional and elegant? Quirky and modern? Knowing this is your copywriting superpower. It is the thing that will make your content so unforgettable, your audience will share it with others and keep coming asking for “just another sliver, please.”
3. Get inspired by other content cakes
We all have those moments when we get stuck in a rut with baking. Maybe you don’t know what colour you should make your icing or can’t figure out what sprinkles to choose. These creative blocks happen in copywriting, too. But there’s a ton of ways to unlock creativity and get the ideas flowing. One of the best ways is looking outside your industry.
When writing copy for a website, blog, or email, it might feel natural to look at people writing on similar topics or competitor websites. The thing is, they’re likely all stalking each other for inspo, too – leading to a lot of people saying the same things in similar ways. What a snoozefest. Read copy that has nothing to do with what you’re writing about, and it’ll spark something unique, promise.
4. Give your content a strong structure
Just like a three tier cake that goes topsy turvy because the layers are uneven or too warm and causing a slippy slidey mess, your content needs proper structure too. Even though a cake is still yummy despite its “Leaning Tower of Pisa” flaws, I cannot say the same for content.
Like a story has a beginning, middle, and end, every piece of content needs to have a coherent, logical structure. For example, like this blog, we have an intro, six key points broken down into paragraphs, and a conclusion (rather than a chunky, rambling mess). This content structure makes it easier to read (I hope!).
5. Portion your content correctly
Make sure your blog, website copy, or email doesn’t offer too much or too little information. Though I’d love to say there’s no such thing as too much cake, there kind of is. If you overeat, you’re not going to feel great. Too little, and you’re not satisfied. Somewhere in the middle? Yum! No post-cake comas or insatiable appetite.
Treat your content the same way. If your content is far too wordy, difficult to digest, or just annoyingly long, you’re going to overwhelm your audience. And if you’re not giving enough information, your audience might feel dissatisfied and look elsewhere for a more informative piece. So, say everything you think your audience will care about, but do so in as few words as possible.
6. Decorate your copy with power words
I think we can all agree that the most entertaining stage of baking a cake is the decoration, right? Piping that perfect swirl atop a vanilla cupcake, a sprinkling of chocolate flakes, a drizzle of caramel sauce – utter perfection.
If you’re not craving cake by now, you are not human and you need to leave. I joke. You can stay.
If you’re struggling to give your content that extra ‘oomph, try adding a final flourish with a dash of power words. These are words that can trigger a certain emotion and help you engage your audience. Just be careful not to overuse them, or your content can look a little “too much,” just like cake decorating. See? So many similarities!
Now mix it all together and bake that cake!
Now that you know my top 6 ingredients for baking a divine content cake, I hope you try these out today to make your copywriting extra tasty. Get baking today and let our team at The Content Lab know what you thought of the final result.
Don’t have time to bake your own content cake and think it’s better left to the professional copy bakers? Well, you’re in the right Content Lab, where we merge science and art to cook up on-point websites, blogs, emails, and social media posts your audience will love. We’re content-obsessed word nerds, so you don’t have to be.
Ready to get started? Chat to our head honcho, Bosco, the dog. If Bosco is too busy barking at cats to pick up the phone, email our Head Content Strategist and Founder Abby.