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What Is Ethical Copywriting?

So many small business owners struggle with writing copy because they’re fearful of coming off too strong.

Which, honestly, fair.

There’s a lot of icky sales tactics out there that make me — and just about everyone else — cringe when I scroll past them. And when you’re putting effort into sharing your services with your audience, it makes sense that you wanna avoid that ick-factor. 

Because your business and services are anything but. 

But you still do have to market yourself so that you can actually get in front of your target audience.

And that’s where ethical copywriting comes in. By being intentional with your strategy and leaving out language and tactics that are less-than-ethical, you can bring people to your services in a way that feels genuine and never grimy.

The good news is that it’s actually so much easier than you think!

What is Ethical Copywriting?

To me, Ethical Copywriting is a way of writing that gives your audience all the information they need to make a buying decision. But it does this while being honest and transparent, never making your audience feel bad about themself or their situation. 

Honestly, shouldn’t this be the standard anyway?

I believe that writing ethical copy is one of the most important things that we can do for our businesses.

For me, the foundation of my business is to provide genuine support to small-businesses. And so every single decision I make is centered around that goal. Incorporating any unethical components into my copy just isn’t the vibe, you know?

And if I had to guess, your business probably has a very similar foundation.

This is what ethical copywriting looks like

Let’s take a peak at what it means to write ethical copy so that your copy is dripping with honesty and reader-focused language. Ie. copy that people simply can’t stop reading. 

And still sells your services.

It uses SEO strategies carefully

You’re familiar with SEO, I’m sure (and if not, check out this article to read up on all the juicy basics), and are obviously trying to get your website ranking on Google so your people have no issues finding you.

And while that’s an important strategy to be maximizing on, it’s gotta be balanced with prioritizing your potential clients first. On providing them value and not coming off as someone who asked just AI to write their copy.

The biggy here is no keyword stuffing. It’s always obvious to your readers because it messes with the flow of the writing. Make sure that when you’re incorporating your keywords, you’re doing it in a way that feels natural. When in doubt, choose your reader over Google. 

It doesn’t harp on pain points

When you first learn about Copywriting, there’s a lot of talk around identifying the pain points and then agitating them. Making readers feel the pain and discomfort of what they’re going through and then painting the picture of how you can make it better. 

But the thing is, that doesn’t feel good. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to use fear as a way to encourage people to work with me. 

First off, it doesn’t attract aligned clients. And second, playing on people’s insecurities is a yucky thing to do. You can bet your bottom dollar that they’re already well aware of their insecurities. Calling it out in your copy doesn’t do any good in terms of making them feel good. 

Instead, focus on the benefits and the transformation. On how they want to feel. This brings a refreshing energy to the copy and feels refreshing to read.

It values services honestly

You know when you’re reading a sales page and you see the real value of each item that’s included, but somehow you’re getting it for a much lower price? 

For instance: “Access to the community Slack channel — Value: $200.” Like, no it’s not

And okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but you know exactly what I’m talking about. 

Overvaluing what’s included in your services to make it seem like a steal isn’t ethical. It’s being dishonest.

Now, I do get it. Many services, courses, masterminds, coaching programs, etc. out there do have a whole lot of value. For me, though, I find it more powerful to go deeper into the value of these features and extras.

Instead of using pricing to highlight value, focus on the details of why the actual item is actually valuable. It tells your readers so much more and has a stronger impact.

It doesn’t make exaggerated claims

Anytime you see advertising claims that seem too good to be true, it’s cause they probably are. 

When writing about your business, you know how amazing you and your services are. And while you want that to come through (not selling your services enough is a whole different story), you want to keep it accurate. 

Attempting to hook your audience with embellished benefits is misleading. Even if it does attract clients or buyers, they’ll eventually see through the claims. And that’s no way to build a solid base to your business.

When you lead with genuine benefits, touching on how you can help your audience, you’re positioning yourself in a much more ethical way.

At the end of the day, ethical copywriting is rooted in honest communication. It doesn’t need all of the hustle-focused, bro-y marketing strategies you’ll see on Instagram. 

The way I see it, we’re all on this wild entrepreneurial journey to, yes, make money, but to mainly connect and help like-minded people. 

And when you approach your marketing and your copy from this genuine and human-first mindset, you go so much further. 

Hey, I’m Kristie! And besides writing website and email copy for the best businesses, I also help business-owners like you feel grounded and less chaotic. 

Here’s how we can stay connected:

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Send me a message! You can reach out to me right here with any questions, inquiries, or just to say hi!

So glad you’re here! XO

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