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What is Copywriting? A Beginner’s Guide

In today’s world, everyone is a publisher. From journalists to bloggers, everyone has a way of communicating with the masses. But what exactly is copywriting, and how does it relate to the other forms of writing?

Different Forms Of Writing

While we usually think about writing in terms of paragraphs and essays, copywriting can take many forms. For example, the way you phrase something can make all the difference in the world. It is said that you can write good copy for different platforms just by changing a few words and phrases. So, while you may write an article for a newspaper, you could adapt it to create a webinar topic or a pitch for a TV show.

Here’s an example of how copywriting can vary based on the form it is taking. If you’re writing for a newspaper, you’ll be asked to write a short piece about a new restaurant in town. You may be tempted to write something like, “Finally, a decent cup of coffee! My friend and I were driving around looking for a place to eat, and we decided to stop by this newly opened restaurant. Although the service was a little slow, we really liked the food and will be back for more!”

But if you’re pitching a TV show, you may be asked to create a few engaging sentences to express the idea of the show. To keep the attention of the editor, you could write, “Imagine a world where people are passionate about their coffee. Where every coffee lover wants to have their own coffee shop, and where every shop owner wants to promote their passion for the perfect cup of coffee. For the best cup of coffee, visit Cupcake Cafe today!”

Of course, these examples are just that, but they show how different writing styles can be applied to different situations. This is key to becoming a good copywriter.

The Importance Of Effective Phrasing

One of the most important things to keep in mind as a copywriter is effective phrasing. This refers to choosing the right words to describe something and the right order to use those words in. Sometimes, the smallest change in a word or phrase can make the world of difference in how someone interacts with your content and whether or not they even bother to read it. Here’s an example of how effective phrasing can change the way a reader sees an article:

Say you’re writing an article about the top 10 luxury fashion brands. You could describe each of the brands using synonyms or antonyms grouped in the following way:

  • luxury
  • fantastic
  • stylish
  • exclusive
  • iconic
  • famous
  • popular
  • high-end
  • premium
  • top-notch
  • high-quality
  • world-class

Each word or phrase you choose and the order you use will make a difference in how your target audience responds to what you’re writing. This is why effective phrasing is so important.

How To Write Effective Headlines

Another important thing to keep in mind as a copywriter is the headline. The headline for your article or email campaign can be used to grab the attention of an audience and get them to read your content. In general, your headline should not be longer than eight words. If it’s less, it may not be able to fit in a standard advertising box or a space in LinkedIn’s algorithm.

Here’s an example of a powerful headline for an article:

“10 Rules For Effective Habits Change That Will Help You Become More Carefree”

This is a short, sweet, and to-the-point headline that does exactly what it says it does. It grabs the attention of the reader and encourages them to continue reading.

As a headline writer, you have a short amount of time to engage with someone reading your content. From the second they click on your article to the second they decide whether or not to read it, you have less than a minute to engage with them, interest them, and make them want to read your article. To do this, you need to write headlines that are both interesting and engaging.

The Anatomy Of A Perfect Paragraph

If you’re reading an article on a website or in a printed book, the layout and design may mean that you have to scroll down to read each paragraph. While it is not vital that each paragraph be short, it is always preferable if it is. Ideally, you would like each paragraph to be about a single idea or concept and to include plenty of supporting evidence.

Here’s an example of a perfect paragraph from an article I wrote about email marketing:

“Do you struggle with weak open rates and high unsubscribe rates in your email campaigns? If so, you’re in luck because I have a proven strategy that will help you fix your broken email marketing.

To start with, grab your list of prospective customers and analyze it. Is there a common element that binds this group of people? What do they have in common? Commonalities such as gender, age, and income are all important. But you should also be asking yourself deeper questions about why these people are on your list in the first place.

The next step is to create buyer personas. The more you know about your target audience, the better you can tailor your strategy. Creating buyer personas will help you identify your most valuable customers and determine what they want. It will also help you anticipate their needs.

So, you’ve created a strategy and you know precisely what you’re going to write about. Now, you need to lay out the facts and figures to support your claims. Remember, you’re writing for a defined audience. The more you know about them, the better you can craft your argument. In some cases, you’ll need to dig a little deeper and learn a few things about your audience that you didn’t know before. Never, ever copy paste from other sources. Instead, find the sources that can teach you the most and use those to build your case. Your references should be authoritative and a good balance of both academic work and practical experience. Finally, make sure you learn from the best and stay ahead of the curve. This way, you’ll always be able to write persuasively about any subject.

Types Of Copy

As a copywriter, you’ll be asked to write everything from marketing material to website content to ad copy to product descriptions. Naturally, the style and tone of the writing will vary based on the type of content you’re creating. For example, marketing material such as websites and ebooks will probably be more formal than a simple blog post. Here’s a short but informative video on the different types of copy and the types of writers who work in each field:

As you can see, each type of writing field has its formal and informal variants, and it is important to know the difference. Being able to write effectively in all fields is what makes a good copywriter. Being able to adapt your writing to fit different situations is also key.