Copywriting is an art of persuasion. The best copywriters captivate readers and hook them in all the way to the end… no matter how long the blog post, sales page, or email.

Whether you’re doing content marketing, or actively trying to sell products or services through your writing, copywriting is key…

And that’s especially true in 2016, where there is already so much fluffy writing out there.

So today, I’ll give you a few copywriting hacks to help you quickly boost the quality of your writing in the New Year.

  1. Tell a Story
    Look at the best books and writers of the past decade. What have they been able to do? Tell amazing stories.

Tim Ferriss starts off every chapter in all three of his famous “Four Hour” books with a compelling story. Robert Greene use historical stories to drive his points home. Tucker Max tells hilarious “frattire” stories, which led to getting three of his books on the NY Time Best Seller List – at the same time.

Storytelling works. It draws people in and keeps them reading. Keep your eyes open for stories from your own life, and try to start your emails and blog posts with a story. When you know how to tell a story, you can sell anything.

  1. Use Short Paragraphs
    In today’s writing, with shorter attention spans than ever, scannability is key. Avoid long paragraphs and huge blocks of text as much as possible. Anything over 5-6 lines is probably unnecessary, and you can break it up.

Along with shorter paragraphs, use bolded headlines for new ideas. This adds to the scannability and makes life easier for the reader.

  1. Don’t Always Rely on Conventional Grammar Rules
    In grammar school, you’re told never to start a sentence with “and” and not to end sentences with “of”. Plus, you’re always supposed to write in complete sentences.

A lot of people get attached to grammar rules like these, and it actually hurts their writing. You see, the best writing is written like a real conversation. And people don’t talk according to grammar rules.

If you want your writing to flow and hook people in, write the way you talk, and don’t get attached to grammar rules. It will be much more refreshing to read.

  1. Read Your Copy Aloud When Editing
    Your writing may have some clunky phrases – and you won’t always notice them just by re-reading. This is especially true when you read your own writing.

By reading aloud, the errors will jump out and be more obvious. You’ll notice the places where things don’t flow, and you can move forward and fix them.

Make it a habit to do at least one “read aloud” edit to all of your writing.

  1. Ask Questions
    Questions engage the reader. The key is to ask the reader a question you already have the answer to.

For example, I could ask, “Have you ever wondered what goes into high-converting copywriting? What techniques do the master copywriters use that draw your eyes down the page?”

After reading that, you might think, “I don’t know, but I’d like to keep reading and find out.”

Aim to structure your questions in a way that creates curiosity and also hints at a benefit in the answer.

  1. Use Proof
    Anyone can make a good argument. The question is, can you back it up? This is where proof comes into play.

Whenever you’re trying to convince the reader of something, try to use stories and/or studies as proof. For example, if you have a weight loss product and you’re arguing that sugar causes fat gain, you could back up the claim with a study from Harvard Medical School.

The more proof you have, the more legitimate you are, and the more your reader will trust you. And when they trust you, that’s when they keep reading, and that’s when they buy.

  1. Be Transparent
    Transparency is another essential element when it comes to earning your readers’ trust. If your product isn’t for everyone, be honest about who it is and isn’t for. If you’ve got a problem to solve, ask your readers for help. Be vulnerable.

For a great example of this, check out James Altucher’s blog. He might just be the most transparent and vulnerable guy on the web, and it’s led to an extremely popular blog, podcast, and book career.

If you want to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to writing for your business, you need to infuse it with some copywriting techniques. Try out some of the above copywriting hacks to give your writing a big boost in 2016.