what is copywriting

A Complete Guide to Copywriting

Copywriting is one of the most in-demand skills of 2020. It is one of the highest-paying jobs. Why? Every business can benefit from people who write great copy. From Fortune 500s to startups and everything in between, copywriting can easily make or break the success of a business. The reality is anyone can become a copywriter. For this, you do not need a degree or special training to master this skill.

So, no matter whether you are planning to become a freelance copywriter or just want to enhance the copy for your own company, this guide will help you know more about copywriting.

What is copywriting?

Copywriting is the practice of creating written text to inform, inspire, and persuade. In most cases, copywriting is used for increasing sales and maximize conversions.  Mediums, where copywriting is implemented include blogs, sales letters, social media posts, and advertisements.

The main intention of copywriting is to convince people to take a specific action, whether it is buying, signing up something, or any other kind of conversion.

Copywriting comes in various forms.  Web pages, advertisements, white papers, brochures, company taglines, and social media content all come under the copywriting category, and that is just scratching the surface.

However, copywriting is much more than simple words. A great copy tells an interesting story and represents your brand image. It pulls on strings that trigger the decision-making procedure for whoever reads whatever you are writing.

Copywriting does not sell products or services; it sells lifestyle and emotion.

As per Google Trends, the worldwide interest in copywriting is presently an all-time high, depending on search data over the last 10 years.

That is why it is so significant today, more than ever before, to improve your copywriting skills.

Important Elements of Copywriting

If you want to write a copy that converts, you must master one simple rule:

  • Write as if you are talking to your customers
  • When you do so, your prospects will say, this product is for me

The dilemma is how to do it?

While writing a copy, make sure your copy contains these below-mentioned elements

Grammatically sound

This must go without saying, if your text has grammar or spelling errors, it will affect your goal negatively. When people find a mistake in your copy, mainly short-form copy, it provides them a negative perception of the product, brand, and service.

We all know that nobody is perfect. As someone who writes more than 25,000 words, there are chances that you may make mistakes. But one or two grammar errors in a 3,000-word blog can be ignored. A spelling mistake on a sales email or homepage that is just a few lines long is more important.

So, ignore the urge to fasten this process. Check your text using editing software. Read it loudly. Check it double or triple time before you publish it. Have some else read your work if required.

Persuasion

A great copy is persuasive. You must write in such a manner that convinces your audience to complete the right action.

Have you ever thought about why should someone buy a product from you? Why should they sign up for an email newsletter?

You are not simply selling insurance, rather you are selling protection. You are not selling watches; you are selling luxury. You must identify the emotions that you want to trigger from your audience and find the correct combination of words to reach those feelings.

Jargon-free

Make sure you do not use industry-specific terms in your content. If you are a lawyer, someone who has undergone any type of legal training should be able to understand it. If you are a doctor, ensure anybody outside the medical field can understand your copy.

Try to avoid acronyms and slang at all costs. Slang is usually considered unprofessional and you cannot presume that everybody is familiar with the acronyms that you are using. Experienced copywriters know how to take a difficult subject and define it in terms that a fifth-grader can also understand that easily.

Strong Call-to-action

Defining your brand, products, and services, or the company’s mission is just half of the way. You must leave your audience with a clear set of actions. What is the ultimate objective of your copy? It must be clear to the person who is reading it.  If you want people to buy something, make sure that the correct message is conveyed. People should not be left confused about what to do. Write Call to Actions (CTAs) that will drive conversions.

SEO-friendly

This element is exclusive for website copy. It is always in your best interest to write a text that makes your copy search-friendly. Use keywords that will help your pages rank high in the Search Engine Results. Many factors contribute to high-ranking content; one among them is keywords. While SEO-friendly content is important, it will not break or make you. So, do not use keywords forceful if you feel that it is ruining the quality of your content.

Direct

A great copy must be straight to the point. You should be able to convey your message in as few words as possible. Use short paragraphs, short sentences, and avoid fluff phrases. Learn how to create a punchy copy. If you use long sentences, it becomes easy for the audience to get distracted after a long way. If you are being direct, there are a few exceptions to grammar rules.

Fascinating Lead

The best copy starts with a stunning lead. Whether it is a subheader, headline, introductory phrases, or subject line, you must find a way to capture the reader’s attention. Try to use action words in the form of an attention grabber. You could start by using a number, statistic, or interesting fact.

There is an age-old adage associated with copywriting that says the main objective of a headline is to get a person to read your first line. The purpose of your first line is to make people read your second line, and so on. So, if your lead does not attract your audience, the rest of your copy will not be read.

Audience awareness

In addition to the distribution process, you must have a clear understanding of the audience who will be reading your copy. A person on your homepage might not be accustomed to your company. On the other hand, an email subscriber knows everything about you. So, you don’t have to give your introduction and share your story in every email campaign. That is a mere waste of text, and the repetitive nature can lose the attention of your customer.

Create content that is appealing to your certain niche. Do not try to target all. A business that sells skateboards and surfboards does not have a similar audience as a B2B selling enterprise SaaS. You must know the difference between the two.

A clear understanding of what you are offering

It is a common mistake for fresher copywriters to dive directly into the writing procedure. But you should not start writing until and unless you have a strong grasp of the brand, product, or service.

Let us assume that you are a freelancer who gets appointed by a brand to create their landing page copy. Based on the complexity of the offering, it could take you a few hours or days you would even consider writing anything.

If you do not have a clear understanding of what the company is offering, it is not possible to convey the message to somebody else.

What is the role of a copywriter?

Needless to mention, a copywriter spends most of his or her time in writing. However, there is much more to a copywriter’s job than putting just words. Experienced copywriters spend a huge amount of time learning about their audiences. Also, they invest time in understanding how the product about which they are writing can help their audiences.

If you are writing a copy of your products or services, then you possibly already know what it is, how it works, and how it is compared with the competitors. So, your task is to learn about your audience’s thoughts, desires, and fears. And how they keep these things in mind. This way, you can write a copy that speaks to them directly.

How to Become a Copywriter

Luckily, you do not need any formal training or education to become a copywriter. Instead, you must get good at the below-mentioned skills:

  • Sentence structure
  • Customer research
  • Persuasion
  • Spelling and grammar
  • Web copywriting
  • Online Advertising
  • Content structure

To become a good copywriter, you will require some time. But it is a marketing skill that you can use to get customers as a freelance copywriter or to enhance your job prospects.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, nearly 73% of employers want to appoint people who have strong writing skills. If you are a small business owner, you can use copywriting to enhance your marketing and expand your business.

Tips for improving your copy

Just like anything else, the best way to enhance your copy is a regular practice. Every piece of content you write will not be the best every time. But, with regular practice, you will become better.

As a fresher, you must start with short copies first and then move on to large projects. Start with headlines before you move to huge white papers and landing pages.

Be conversational. Write the way as if you are talking to your audience directly. Spend some time researching and planning rather than spending your entire time in writing.

 

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