Promotional Writing: Do's & Don'ts
Promotional writing is one of the most common forms of writing, but also one of the most difficult to do well. Unlike any other kind, promotional writing has to strike a balance -- you have to sell, but not too much. You have to be informative, but not to a point you render the item or service you are promoting irrelevant.
Achieving this balance is undeniably challenging, and one that many writers struggle with every time they try. However, while promotional writing is tricky, it’s also undoubtedly rewarding. If you can master the art of promotional writing, you can leverage this to your benefit; you could create and monetize a blog in order to generate a reliable income stream, or even look into copywriting for businesses. In order to help you achieve these goals, below, we’ve put together a list of “do’s” and “don’ts” that form the backbone of all good promotional writing…
Do… give people a reason to read
The key to promotional writing is to… not write promotionally.
This statement may sound like nonsense, but there’s some real truth behind it: good promotional writing shouldn’t immediately be identifiable as promotional writing. Try to write as you normally would, rather than focusing on “converting” - readers can tell when they’re being sold to, so subtlety is always the best choice.
If you’re promoting a product in order to earn revenue via affiliate marketing, then you’re going to want to write positively about that product - but don’t overdo it. There’s a difference between “positive and enthusiastic” and “laying it on too thick” - emphasize the good points you want to talk about, don’t write paragraph after paragraph about small, unimportant features or how a product or service changed your life. Again, subtlety is the key.
Do… make it useful and/or entertaining
When you write a promotional piece, ask yourself why someone would read it. If the only reason is “because they would learn more about this product or service I’m promoting”, then that’s a problem. All promotional writing should also be fun to read to read, or useful to the reader outside of the promotional information.
Don’t… fail to disclose
If you are writing copy directly for a company - as in, the company are paying you directly for the piece - then you don’t need to worry about disclosure.
However, if you are writing for the purpose of generating income through affiliate links, then you do need to disclose this. The laws regarding how you should disclose vary from country to country, so double-check for your specific area and ensure you follow the recommended disclosure policy accordingly.
Promotional writing can be one of the best ways of earning an income from your work, but can be notoriously difficult to get right. If you keep the above “do’s” and “don’ts” in mind, and keep practicing and refining your technique, you should find that you are able to master promotional writing once and for all.