The world of copywriting can be a pretty daunting place to navigate as a beginner. There are so many different topics and sub-niches to dive into, without even getting started. The good news is that while it may be a complex sphere, it is also a very welcoming one. There are many experts out there who are more than happy to help you navigate the process of becoming a copywriter, and to give you some sound advice along the way. Hopefully, this article will help you understand what it means to be a copywriter, and how to go about your career in this sphere. Let’s get started.
What is Copywriting?
Copywriting, as its name suggest, is the process of composing words that will be used to persuade the reader to take some sort of action. It is a form of advertising and marketing that can be both creative and informative. Think of all the different types of advertisements you have come across in your lifetime – billboards, magazine ads, online banners, and the like. All of these are forms of copywriting, as they consist of text that is being used to persuade someone to take action. This action can be anything from purchasing a product to visiting a website or logging onto an online community.
Why Should You Care About Copywriting?
In 2019, the digital marketing agency Statista estimated that there were 147.5 million American and European consumers using mobile phones. With so many people connecting online, advertisers are keen to reach this audience with their messages. That’s a potential audience of nearly 500 million people. Add to that the fact that many people today have an insatiable appetite for content, whether it’s articles, magazine profiles, or YouTube videos, and you can see why copywriting is such a vital element of any strategy.
The Many Types of Copywriting
Like with any other form of advertising and marketing, there are many different ways to write a persuasive piece for the sake of converting a reader into a buyer. Here are some of the most common types of copywriting:
Product Reviews and Descriptions
No matter what product you are selling, you are going to need to write a review or description of it. If you are reviewing a book, you might want to check out some of the best book review websites like Goodreads, where you can find honest and trustworthy reviews from established authors and new talent, alike. If you are doing a products review, you might want to consider the type of content your target audience is more likely to value, whether it’s educational information on a food blog, or a detailed review of a popular movie or album.
A feature story is a journalistic approach to non-fiction writing where a journalist will put their own spin on an event or topic and write an in-depth article around it. While this type of content can be found in traditional news publications like The New York Times, it is also common in high-quality magazines, like O,The Oprah Magazine and Marie Claire, where celebrities are often featured in prominent stories. When writing these stories, the journalist will typically cover a number of different angles and give their own unique insights into the matter at hand. In this type of content, you might want to look into including more engaging language, including use of the passive voice, to make the article more interesting to the reader.
Sales and Marketing
You may have come across advertisements that are more like persuasive essays than traditional commercials. These are frequently referred to as digital marketing or online advertising because much of the work happens online. One of the main jobs of an advertiser in a digital marketing agency is to understand the difference between a customer and a prospect, and to write compelling copy in order to get people to click-through to a brand’s website or to take some other kind of action. This is also the job of an in-house marketing or communications person, as they might be responsible for developing and writing sales and marketing materials, like press releases, website content, and advertisements. If you are looking to break into the field, you could also consider getting a graduate degree in marketing or communications, and even then, you may not immediately land a job. That’s one of the many things you have to deal with as a potential or even existing copywriter.
The Elements of Effective Copywriting
Now that you know what copywriting is and why you would be interested in it, it’s time to dig into the elements that make for effective copy. According to Copyblogger, an SEO agency, and HubSpot Blogs, you need to have a clear understanding of the following four elements in order to craft compelling text that will convince an audience to take a particular action:
Language Is Essential
It is essential that your writing is of a high quality, whether you are composing an article for a magazine or you are creating sales copy for a product. If the language you are using is not easy to understand, it will be hard to convince the reader to take any action. While many people think that writers can simply choose their words and use phrases that are easy to understand, it is a very rare case where this is actually true. Most individuals simply cannot write in a way that is easy for the average person to understand. This is why you should avoid using slang and simplistic language when writing sales copy. Your potential customers are not going to be pleased that you did not take the time to properly educate yourself on the matter at hand. A good copywriter will carefully select their words, considering the target audience, and will ensure that everything is thoroughly researched.
Consider the following example:
“If you are looking for a durable, easy-to-use gift for a woman in your life, then you should consider getting her a Kate Spade New York watch. It’s no secret that women love flowers and they love shopping for themselves. This combination makes this particular item a bit of a gift stealer. While many women may want to receive this particular gift, it’s not going to be because it’s easy or basic to use. In fact, the opposite is probably true. This gift is going to be difficult to shop for and hard to give. This is because of its uniqueness, its quality, and its expensive nature. This is why you will struggle to find a suitable replacement if you lose it as a present. And that’s what makes it so special.”
Make It Attractive
Attractiveness is perhaps the most important element of any successful copy. Simply put, you want your readers to be interested in what you have to say, and for this to happen, you will need to make your writing both interesting and attractive. How do you do this? By using proper grammar and stylistic spelling, ensuring that your articles are easy to understand, and making them engaging. As a copywriter, this is one of the first things you will need to focus on. The more you can do to make your work both interesting and easy to get through, the better. Remember, more often than not, your potential customers are probably not going to be particularly interested in your subject matter, which makes it even more important that you stand out from the crowd and make them want to continue reading.
Even someone with a fairly high IQ can struggle with boredom sometimes, and if you want your writing to be effective, you need to make sure that it is both interesting and engaging, otherwise, you are wasting your time. The more you can do to make your work original and interesting, the better. If you want to become a successful copywriter, you need to find a way to stand out, to make your voice heard above the rest, and to compel your audience to take some sort of action. To do this, you will need to constantly identify new ways to make your work original, interesting, and, above all, effective. To ensure your article is all these things, you need to put in the time and effort to make it so.
Convey Your Ideas Clearly
This element of effective copywriting is fairly self-explanatory. You need to make sure that your ideas are clear and that the reader does not have any questions regarding what you are trying to say. If your ideas are not clear, you are not going to be able to convince your audience to take any action. When writing an article for publication, you do not want to include any unnecessary details that could potentially confuse the reader. Remember, you are writing for a lay audience and so you need to make your writing as easy as possible for them to understand. This means you should avoid using jargon, industry terms, and tricky language where there is more than one meaning or interpretation. Choose your words carefully and ensure that your ideas are easy to understand. Use easy, simple language that all can understand. This is not about being clever or using complicated sentences – it’s about being clear.