As the digital world grows, more and more jobs are popping up on the market. What is copywriting is a question a lot of newbies are asking. Writing has been introduced as a crucial part of the growing tech world. Without writers who are able to properly translate a brand’s message, a business can surely count its days.
Although there are many different types of online writing, copywriting is probably the most prevalent. Technical writing, UX writing, and more share similar characteristics with copywriting, but each is unique in their own ways. Read on to learn more about copywriting and all that it entails.
What is Copywriting?
Copywriting is a job that is in high demand due to the increasing migration to the internet. Nearly every business, company, or brand has a digital presence, meaning that hiring a copywriter is essential for online success. Whether it is a small, local business or Google, copywriters are necessary.
Copywriting can come in many different shapes and sizes depending on who you are specifically writing for, but the general concept of copywriting remains consistent. The concept of copywriting dates back to centuries ago because it is essentially the process of writing persuasive promotional and marketing materials. The goal of a copywriter is to motivate people to take some sort of action such as purchasing something, donating, clicking on a link, and more.
Copywriting includes written material through print or online as well as spoken material such as scripts for videos and commercials. The text that is involved in this material is termed “copy.” If you go anywhere, look anywhere, or see anything, you are most likely encountering some form of copywriting. This is because we live in a consumption-heavy world, and it is all around us.
An example of copywriting you may encounter in your daily routine is a promotional card stuck in your door, advertising some sort of service. It may seem like trash to you, but a copywriter is behind formulating the right words in the right way to optimize how many people actually take the advertisement into consideration.
Most writing you come across is considered copy written by a copywriter. This includes simple words like “Get Started” on a website’s homepage to redirect you to more information or a “Read More” button that brings you to a long article. This is considered persuasive copywriting.
If you have ever found yourself on YouTube or Facebook, you may be familiar with “how-to” videos. These types of videos are considered spoken copywriting rather than written copywriting. It just goes to show all the different forms of persuasion and promotion you can create with the right words.
Day-to-Day Life of a Copywriter
It may be difficult to actually imagine what someone who works as a copywriter does in his or her daily workday. Whether you are a freelance copywriter or an on-staff copywriter, your objectives are typically the same. If you are thinking of hiring a copywriter, it is important that you are able to picture what his or her daily tasks should look like.
First off, copywriting involves as much writing as it does research. An on-staff or contractor copywriter will typically begin the day with a meeting where he or she is given a project of some sort. The copywriter will most likely review progress, get feedback on work, and work to get projects approved.
From here, the day will be spent working on these different projects as well as collaborating with the creative and marketing teams to fulfill all that needs to be done. Many people do not realize how good at collaboration a copywriter must be to succeed at his or her job because they assume it is lonely, cubicle work. The reality is that a copywriter will most likely be one of the most connected positions in an office.
Freelance copywriting differs in a few ways. On one hand, a freelancer can work at any time he or she wants to. A freelancer will not be required to go to an office or adhere to a company’s politics. He or she will most likely have check-ins and calls with clients, gathering all the work that must be done. Unlike on-staff work, a freelance copywriter is responsible for finding his or her own work and garnering his or her own clients to write for.
Why Is Copywriting Important?
As the world changes all around us, it is important to stay up to date with new market trends, evolving technology, and consumer preferences. Good copywriting has many benefits that are not overlooked by most successful companies today.
A talented copywriter can get a company higher conversion rates on important pages, improve the structure and flow of articles, create more engagement on social media posts, incline more people to share your content, and truly understand the needs and wants of your customers. When considering all that needs to be done for a successful marketing campaign, copywriters are essential to the equation.
Copywriting can improve practically every element of your business’s marketing strategies. Copywriters equip themselves with all the necessary information before taking on the task of communicating effectively with clientele and potential customers. This communication is key to a business or brand having a long, successful future.
Copywriters are also skilled and responsible for creating video scripts for commercials, posting blogs, maintaining the brand’s voice in outreach emails and in YouTube video descriptions, and creating interview questions, press releases, and more. Copywriting is a way for a business to speak to its customers as well as spread the word of the brand identity in a way that is most consumable to the public.
At the end of the day, the job description of a copywriter includes driving profitability to the company. Copywriters are responsible for convincing the world that your business is essential to people’s lives, something that is not easily done. Whether it is through a podcast description or a full-fledged press release, copywriters are meant to be the best communicators in the room, which is why their roles are crucial.
Becoming a Copywriter
Becoming a copywriter entails much more than some people may think. Upon hearing the name, it is common to assume all copywriters do is write, but copywriting involves impressive communication skills, attention to detail, research knowledge, creativity, and more.
There is no singular way to become a copywriter. Your course of action is highly dependent on what kind of writing you want to do and where. If you prefer the independent route, freelance copywriting may be your cup of tea. If you prefer more structure and working under a large company, getting hired to be a copywriter on-site would be more up your alley. If you do not mind and know all you want to do is be a copywriter for websites, you can consider finding contract work.
Before diving into this profession, though, there are a few things you must do first. Understanding copywriting and its basics is at the top of that list. You have to have a deep understanding of customer needs, writing, marketing, human psychology, and research strategies before pursuing a job like this.
You must also be aware of the niche you want to fall into. There are many different companies, brands, and people looking for copywriters, but if you do not know what kind of content you are best at writing, you may find yourself lost in all the demands. For example, if you love traveling, you may want to focus on writing for different travel blogs rather than for an auto company.
Creating a portfolio is also crucial in becoming a copywriter. A portfolio is where you can show off your work and cater it to the client’s interests and needs. A copywriting portfolio is called a Minimum Viable Portfolio or MVP, and it consists of your sample work that is targeted for that specific business. It is usually carefully constructed, about 200-500 words in length, and represents the quality of your writing to your clients.
Lastly, to become a copywriter, you must learn and thoroughly understand the market in order to brand yourself correctly. You are hoping to persuade people with your writing, so product placement, marketing strategies, target audience, brand identity, and general knowledge of people are all things you must be an expert at. This is how you gain clients or get people to fall into your company’s marketing campaign.
Skills of a Copywriter
If you are looking to delve into the world of copywriting, it is important to reflect on if you have the skill set necessary to pursue the profession. Copywriting is not just writing a few articles here and there, and if it is, your writing skills have to be stellar. Your voice should be able to reflect the brand, there should be little to no grammatical errors or mistakes, and your writing should be persuasive and engaging.
It is also necessary as a copywriter to have amazing research skills. Nobody in the world knows everything about anything, which is why research is necessary when it comes to speaking on the company and its brand as well as facilitating a marketing strategy that most appeals to its clientele. You must know the most about the brand’s voice as well as what the brand’s customers are looking for.
Copywriters have the ability to take something that is old and make it sound new again. Based on the demands of search engines, internet users, and the company you are working for, your writing has to adjust accordingly. Sometimes this means that you will be tasked with taking old, boring information, and making it sound new and fresh. In a way, copywriters must see the beauty in even the most boring of subjects.
User experience is essential in copywriting. This is why a copywriter must be proficient in understanding user experience. You should be able to use keywords to focus on the user’s needs, create headlines that cater to the clientele, and tailor the content to what the reader is hoping to hear. Rather than simply appealing to search engines, you must also be able to appeal to anyone who stumbles upon your work.
There are many different strategies that copywriters utilize to remain consistent in their work as well as set them up for success no matter what they are writing. Whether you are writing for a client who works in the food industry or a client who works in the aviation industry, your basic strategies should remain the same.
Firstly, it is important that you map out your audience personas. This means that you must create an idea of who is in your audience and cater to them. Some copywriters like to make up a person in their head that fits that company’s target audience perfectly just so they do not forget who they are writing to. This strategy helps in the long run when you are evaluating your writing and its effectiveness.
Another strategy is to use all the persuasive hacks that you know of. Subtlety is important in copywriting, but it is not harped on. This is because most people know when they are being marketed to and do not mind it as long as it is hitting the right spots. If your persuasive writing is forceful but effective, that is all that matters. An example of a strong persuasion technique is implying reciprocity. This means making customers believe that they are doing as much for you as you are doing for them.
Another copywriting strategy is writing clear, concise headlines. Most people do not want to use their time reading an article to determine if it answers their question, so they will often opt to skim through the headlines to find what they are looking for. Try making the first and last three words of your headings and subheadings contain the most crucial information. This way, readers will assume that your writing has the answers they are looking for without having to scan the entire article to find it.
The AIDA model refers to the format and structure of a copy. ‘A’ stands for attracting attention, ‘I’ stands for triggering interest, ‘D’ stands for creating a strong desire, and ‘A’ stands for calling to action. The AIDA model is a sure way to capture the interest of readers and maintain their attention throughout your writing.
Writing Like a Copywriter
If you have never worked as one, it can be difficult trying to emulate work that would be done by an experienced copywriter. There are a few ways to create a voice similar to that of the most experienced copywriters in the game. You can do this by utilizing the strategies and skills mentioned above as well as finding your sweet spot.
A sweet spot refers to where and when you work best. Most copywriters do not suddenly know exactly what to write upon hearing the project or objective at hand. Most of the time, it takes collaboration, brainstorming, and meticulous research to achieve the best writing possible. If you want to be a copywriter, you will have to employ these strategies as well as find out what works for you.
For one, it is important to ‘read the room.’ Awareness of what is being asked of you as well as what will most appeal to a target audience is essential when writing. It may be unnatural at first, especially if you have already established a specific voice with your writing, but adaptation is the key to copywriting. You must be able to receive information and then change accordingly.
To write like a copywriter, practice is crucial. People who have been working as copywriters for decades claim that the increase in online commerce created a whirlwind of change for them, but because they had already been used to pivoting dependent on the client, they had no trouble adapting to the new changes.
There will not only be changes to market trends, but you can also expect changes from search engine optimization and skills that need to be implemented to be at the top of a search engine results page. In most industries, this change can be overwhelming, but as a copywriter, you must embrace it in order to do your job completely and effectively.
Copywriting is a profession that you must be willing to adjust and learn for. The different skills required to get into copywriting are being able to explain, inspire, and persuade through writing; having a knack for researching; and having the ability to communicate effectively. If you have these skills and a desire to learn every day, being a copywriter is right up your alley.
Copywriting is not a simple job to get into, and that is evident in the dedication necessary to get into the field as well as keep up with all its changes. Not only do you need specific skills, but having experience is crucial in understanding how the online world and writing world intersect. By honing your skills and learning the ins and outs of copywriting, you can be one step closer to becoming a copywriter.