If you have heard of the term copywriting and you are a beginner, then this copywriting for beginners article is for you. Copywriting? Surely you mean Copyright? No, Copywriting.
Copyright – “The right by law to be the entity which determines who may publish, copy and distribute a piece of writing, music, picture or other work of authorship.”
Copywriting– Ever heard an ad’s creative catchphrase? Or the online stores offer that seem hard to resist? Chances are that’s copywriting in action.
Copywriting is basically creating short, catchy, sometimes emotive texts that inspire, motivate or induce people to take certain actions that they might not have taken normally. It is vital in the sales industry, advertisements, charity organizations, and social media posts.
Copywriting still plays a major role despite the popularity of podcasts and videos. Its effects aren’t diminished by these factors (videos, podcasts), rather, it improves every aspect of marketing and in generating traffic to your video/podcast.
Copy – The short/medium statements created by copywriters to motivate, induce or inspire people to participate in an activity, purchase a product/service or join a community.
Landing Page – A web page in which a user first arrives at a website. This usually introduces what the site offers in a catchy, fun or interesting manner. It is a copywriter’s job to create content for landing pages.
We will be reviewing some basic activities of a copywriter, techniques good copywriters use and general knowledge you need to know before venturing into the exciting and vibrant world of copywriting.
Basic Activities Of A Copywriter
Copywriters write. You were probably not expecting something wild anyway. Writing is a major part of the life of a copywriter. Always finding ways (words) that will resonate with folks.
Just “writing” does not cover everything copywriters do though. Copywriters are always learning about customers of the “product” or “feature” they want to write about. This helps good copywriters determine the words to use, how to phrase it and the form the phrase will take (Could be emotive, funny or other forms).
Whether you’re copywriting for your own products or for other people, it is essential you find out what the products/features/organization provides. You will also need to know how customers and outsiders view this product. All of this information will help you create exceptional copywriting content.
Is Copywriting Important?
Recently, it was shown that employers have started indicating a preference for employees with good writing skills and knowledge of copywriting can only aid you in getting a job or even promoting your own content.
It is important to point out that becoming a good copywriter doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, practice and patience. But it is a very marketable skill as a freelancer or even for padding up résumés.
Important Skills Copywriters Must Have
Copywriters don’t usually need to get a formal education but it helps if you’re familiar with writing techniques, you like writing or you’re an English major.
But you can just be plain (like me) and still be a very good copywriter. You will need these skills, they are vital to your success as a copywriter.
- Grammar/Spelling – Grammar editing apps like Grammarly will help do the heavy lifting but you will still need to improve on our grammar. It plays a major role in deciding whether our content will be effective or not. People tend to distrust content with bad spelling and for good reasons too.
- Customer Research – As earlier mentioned, the more information you know about the customers of the product you’re creating content for, the more chances you’ll have of creating something that will resonate with them.
- Content/Sentence Structure – For some copywriters, writing comes naturally and they just flow that way. But professional copywriters also learn more about how to make good sentences and content structures. This gives your work an element of professionalism.
- Power Of Persuasion – Somewhat like “the gift of the gab”. Good copywriters must be able to persuade with words. You can improve on this by practicing different forms of writing on friends and see which form in a particular situation elicits the response you want.
There are other skills you will need as a copywriter. Some of these are included but not limited to, Web Copywriting and Advertising. These skills will come with practice and experience.
There’s a Copywriting task to be done. What do I do?
We’ve got you covered. You might not necessarily land a home run or three-pointer on your first try but you will create something you can build on with practice.
Step 1 – Research
It is not so complicated, in fact, the bulk of the work lies in the research part of copywriting. Getting to know the product, the customers or would-be customers and the general perception of people about the product is vital in ensuring you create good content.
You’re probably wondering where you will find all of this information you desperately need. Here are four important sources of information you should use.
- Amazon Reviews – A place where no holds are barred. It can be filled with golden nuggets especially if the product you’re describing is physical and reviews have been made about it already.
- Customer Surveys – Mainly used for the creation of new products, researches, and other sales activities but can also be used to create the perfect copy. Knowing exactly how customers feel about the product can help you better get across to them.
- Reddit Threads – A good copy must contain phrases or words that customers can relate with. Here is where Reddit threads are vital, if copywriters want to know the phrases/words used to describe particular products, then Reddit threads are super useful.
- Social Media – Social opinions about products really matter. Check out competitors and learn what customers want that they don’t have. Find out if the product you’re writing for has it and then totally emphasize it in the copy if it does.
Step 2 – Choose A Form And Write Examples Based On It
For example, let’s say we are writing a copy for a cancer research foundation on their anniversary. The information about the foundation is that it is religious(Christianity) and it also offers counseling for patients as well as research.
We will need to write emotive statements that show how the foundation feels towards cancer patients and what they(the foundation) are trying to achieve.
- Cancer sometimes can seem like Goliath but cancer patients have shown the courage of David over the years and Spoiler alert – David beat Goliath.
Yes, we can. Yes, we will.
- There’s nothing stronger than cancer, except cancer patients and we at (insert foundation name here) stand with you in your fight against cancer.
The examples above are not perfect examples of a copy but at least now we have ideas on the forms of writing we could use.
In the case of creating landing pages, you might want to check out this list of awesome landing pages for references. The same methods described above also works for the creation of landing pages.
Step 3 – Use Friends That Might Have Interests/Stakes In The Product As Sounding Boards (Beginners)
For beginners, it is essential to listen carefully to the reviews we might get. A copy might seem perfect to the copywriter because he has all the information to understand it in his head but it might not necessarily appeal to the product audience.
Try to take into account many factors about the consumers when choosing your soundboards.
Based on the feedback, decide on the best copy that describes what customers feel about the product and what will resonate with them. Hurray! You have made your first copy.
Last Words – Copywriting For Beginners
Copywriting is an art and you will have to practice a whole lot to perfect this art. Every good business is born on the back of an excellent copy. Landing pages, blog posts, social media posts and the like should be crafted to reflect your business in the best way possible to drive sales and conversion.
If you enjoyed this Copywriting For Beginners guide, here are a few resources for you –