Do you ever wonder how ads or copies convince people to buy a product or patronize a service? That’s copywriting in action. It goes beyond the mere stringing of words; it involves the understanding of human psychology and the incorporation of different writing elements to achieve persuasion. Copywriting is a highly sought-after skill, which makes it very lucrative.
Marketers, advertisers, and business writers use copywriting to convince their target audience to pay for a product or service without uttering a word. Being an in-demand skill, a lot of newbies are delving into the field. There are certain basics to know for those who are just starting and want to develop into good copywriters.
Table of Contents
- The Concept of Copywriting
- The Copywriting Industry
- Key Elements of Good Copywriting
- How a Budding Copywriter Can Separate Himself From Other Beginners?
The Concept of Copywriting
In simple terms, copywriting is the process of using textual content to persuade your target audience. It involves proper research and highly persuasive writing. It has the potential to generate a lot of money for business owners and this makes it high in demand. A copy is usually written to take a prospective buyer through a sales funnel and then persuade them to finally take action, which eventually results in them making a purchase.
Your copy converts prospective buyers into leads when they take certain actions such as contacting you or registering for your newsletter. A copy is written with the intent to sell and it addresses and tackles possible objections that a lead may have before it comes up.
So How Does Copywriting Differ from Content Writing?
Firstly, the intent. Content writing and other forms of writing have different intents. For instance, content writing aims to inform a target audience. Academic writing aims to discover new areas of knowledge by conducting research and documenting the findings made. On the flip side, copywriting persuades an audience to make a purchase.
Secondly, copywriting adopts power words and emotional words aimed at sparking the curiosity of your target audience and addressing a problem they have in common.
Copywriting can be used on website landing pages, email copies, and ad copies.
The Copywriting Industry
The copywriting industry is relatively new, but it’s one of the fastest-growing industries globally. There are two types of copywriters; those who are employed as full-time staff at a company and those who freelance. Some copywriters combine both; they get copywriting side gigs while being employed at a company.
There are different ways for a beginner to learn how to be a good copywriter. The first way is to look for a professional copywriter to mentor you by enrolling in their free or paid courses or reaching out for personal training. An alternative way is to learn the ropes yourself. You can do this by buying a professional course to learn on your own, and attending seminars or webinars.
Now, let’s begin with the copywriting guide itself.
Key Elements of Good Copywriting
Good copywriting has to incorporate various elements which are discussed below:
Every budding copywriter has to know that your headline is one of the most important elements of your copy. In some cases, a good headline alone can land you that sale or conversion. The purpose of the headline is to attract the attention of your target audience and urge them to continue reading. There are some effective ways to craft a captivating headline, but one of the best ways is to make your headline text inquisitive or probing. Good examples are:
- Would you prefer to…
- Who else desires…
A question-like headline never fails to draw in an audience.
Your copy must have a good opening because your headline is not enough to keep your target audience. If you have a strong headline and it’s followed by a weak opening, you’ll lose the interest of the reader and this means no conversion. While your headline entices readers, your opening should further entice them, keep them curious and make them want to keep on reading.
An ideal introduction shouldn’t reveal much, just enough to sustain interest. Keep it brief since it’s just the introductory part. Also, ensure your introduction hints at more juicy details to be revealed only if they read on. This gives your readers the feeling that they will miss out if they stop at your opening text. Your opening can include imagery, questions, and hypothetical sentences.
3. Establish Yourself
After the opening, your target audience should know about the writer of the copy. This makes you perceived as credible, especially when you assert yourself as an expert or authority in the field. People love listening to an expert. The best way to assert yourself and establish your credibility is by addressing possible questions such as:
- Why should my target audience listen to me?
- What’s my expertise?
- What stands me out from other copywriters?
4. Your Offer
This is the meat of your copy. Make your target audience understand it and how it can be of benefit to them. Humans are inherently lazy and we desire things that will make life easier for us, even though it might yield negative returns in the long run. Your offer should highlight the easy way out of their issues.
Use bullet points or numbered lists to make the major points and benefits of your offer stand out.
Testimonies are a powerful way to sell and it is much more credible than what you say about yourself. The inclusion of people’s testimonies in your sales copy or landing page copy exposes your target audience to the experience of other people and this makes you reliable and trustworthy.
This is where you’ll state your price and justify it. You can justify the price by including problems and comparisons or case studies. For instance, you can show them the conventional way to achieve something they want and compare it to your method which will be way easier. Enhance the value of what you’re selling and make them believe the value you’re offering is worth the price they are paying for your offer.
A well-crafted justification makes something expensive look affordable and worth buying.
When people begin to wonder things such as “what will happen if it doesn’t work as expected?” “Will that be the end of my investment?” It means that your copy is persuading them and making them consider buying. This is where you assure them that they are making the right decision and that their investment is safe.
Assurance statements include sentences like, “You’ll get 100% refund if you’re not satisfied with the results” or “there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee period that comes with your purchase.” This puts prospective buyers at ease and makes them more willing to make that purchase.
If out of 100 sales, 2 to 3 sales are not satisfied, the loss to you will be insignificant because you will still have earnings from 97-98 sales.
8. Call to Action (CTA)
A copy is incomplete without a CTA. Ensure you make it obvious, not subtle so that your target audience doesn’t miss it. A CTA can trigger them to make payments or sign up for a newsletter. You can add urgency to your CTA by making it time-bound and adding attractive incentives to the purchase.
Something like: “first 10 people to buy get a 10% discount” or “buy now at a 20% discount, offer goes back to the original price after 3 days.”
How a Budding Copywriter Can Separate Himself From Other Beginners?
Every beginner should adhere to the following tips to be unique and stand out from the crowd. They include:
1. Guest Post Publication
Publishing guest posts is an effective way to market yourself and your portfolio through another brand. You’ll be exposed to a wider audience which you can leverage by embedding a link in your guest post that will direct traffic to your page. Publishing guest posts can boost your organic rankings.
There are tools to help you draft a guest post before publication. You can draft several guest posts and compare documents side by side.
2. Ensure Your LinkedIn Profile is Current
LinkedIn is the ideal social platform for professionals of various disciplines. This makes it the best place to exhibit a portfolio containing your best works, publish articles containing links to your page, and share your expertise. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is regularly updated.
3. Settle For a Niche and Master It
Don’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none. That will only make you drown in a sea of emerging copywriters. To stand out from the crowd, get a niche, stick to it and be very good at it. Gradually, people will recognize you as an authority in the field and you’ll easily build an engaging audience. Having a niche will also be key in getting jobs that you’re a specialist in and give you the leeway to charge higher.
4. Create an Online Platform
Aside from social media, you can create a platform that you’ll use for sharing knowledge with your audience. It can be a YouTube channel or a blog. Regularly post content (articles or videos) that are relevant to your niche to keep your audience engaged.
As you do this, you showcase the value you have to offer and when you want to sell a product, it becomes way easier to earn from sales because you already have an active audience.
5. Read Widely
To become a good or even great copywriter, you have to make reading a hobby. The more you read, the more you discern and understand how people convey or communicate their messages, opinions, and thoughts. You also become very knowledgeable and improve your vocabulary. Your grammatical prowess and writing fluency will improve as well.
A well-written copy can go a long way in distinguishing you from a crowd of competitors. A wide reader will know the exact words that will fit into the context of a certain copy and make it appealing. In summary, voracious readers make great interpersonal communicators.
6. Study your Client
It’s important to have an in-depth knowledge of the individual or organization you’re writing for. Knowing your client can be essential to the copy you’ve been hired to write for them. Perhaps your client has a bias or preference for a certain style or format.
For instance, if your client is an art gallery, they may have a bias for illustrative or descriptive words. Knowing this, you should incorporate that writing style into your copy. You have to write a copy using words that paint a picture or an illustration.
7. Study Your Target Audience
Learn how to tailor your copy to fit the makeup of your audience. A copy that your target audience can’t relate to won’t persuade them and your CTA will be ignored. That’s even assuming they read your copy to the end. Every audience has a set of common traits that separates them from others.
For instance, you’ve been hired by a skincare brand to write a copy. Your client’s target market automatically becomes your target audience. Let’s assume your target audience is teens between the ages of 14 and 19. It’s common knowledge that the young generation is into social media, memes, and trends. So while writing your copy, you have to creatively infuse all these to create a catchy copy.
Being able to create a copy that appeals to an audience puts you in a different league of copywriters.
8. Study Your Competitors
Good copywriting doesn’t end with studying your client and target audience, you also have to study your client’s competition. Study the competition to have an idea of how they appeal to your target audience and look for loopholes in their copy.
Armed with ideas from their copy and the knowledge of their loopholes, you can draft a better copy. Ensure that your copy addresses every loophole you’ve observed.
For instance, their copy may lack facts and statistics to back up their persuasion, ensure you dig up the relevant data and include it in yours. In another instance, their copy may be lacking “assurance,” one of the key elements in copywriting. When writing your copy, ensure that yours includes that to make your target audience at ease.
Author’s BIO: Lori Wade is a journalist and content writer from Louisville. Lori creates news and informative articles about copywriting, freelance, and creative writing. You can find her on LinkedIn.