What is Copywriting?
Copywriting is the art of using words to attract or convince people. Different companies, businesses, etc. all use copywriting in different ways. For example, an entertainment company might use copywriting to sell movie tickets while a software company might use it to sell its latest product update.
Copywriting is an important part of many people’s job. It might be part of the marketing team that puts together brochures, magazines, flyers, press releases and any other type of advertising material.
Copywriters write promotional and marketing materials to encourage people to accept a specific offer or action. They might try to persuade people to buy products or services, sign up for membership or give their business information (such as email address).
Writing Techniques for Effective Copy
There’s a lot of psychology behind writing effective copy, but an understanding of some common writing techniques can help you to write great copy.
The most important thing to remember is that you must be able to persuade people to take action. You can do this through a combination of benefit (what’s in it for the customer), authority (why you’re the source for the information) and emotion (how people will feel by following your advice).
There are some basic approaches that any good copywriter will use in their work. These are:
- A simple answer to any question. (“Is a dog a pet or a companion?”)
- Always tell your prospects how they can benefit from your product or service. (“Adblock Plus for Firefox gives you better security and privacy online, so you can rest assured that your privacy is maintained.”)
- Remember to be clear and concise when writing copy for the web. (“Let our team of specialists help you with your content marketing needs.”)
- It’s important to provide a solution to your reader’s problem—even if they weren’t aware they had one. (“Get rid of those negative thought patterns and stop your self-sabotage.”)
- Use a call-to-action in every piece of copy. (“If you want to build muscle faster, download our free workout guide for more info.”)
- Always use humor in your copy. (“Why settle for average when you can be awesomely average?”)
Copywriting is a powerful tool. It can help you to make sales, get more clients, improve your credibility and build trust with your audience. It will even increase your chances of making more money in the long term—even if it takes some time to build a following.
Writing Headlines That Sell
Copywriting students are taught to write captivating headlines with powerful adjectives and nouns.
If you want copy that will entice buyers, use striking phrases in your headline, reinforce the main point of the article or message with a telling adjective and engage emotionally with your audience.
Use powerful statements to make your copy stand out and grab the attention of the reader. See examples below:
- “How To Write A Powerful Sentence”
- “5 Ways to Keep Your Laptop Safe”
- “How to Promote Your Event with a Pinterest Board”
- “50 Ways to Turn Your Hobby Into Your Career”
- “How to Get Your Side Hustle to Make Money”
- “How I Found My Calling (and How You Can, Too)”
- “How To Write a Powerful Paragraph”
- “50 Ways to Make a Living Online”
- “Do You Know How to Write Powerful Copy?”
- “How to Protect Your Phone From Hackers”
- 80 Secrets of the World’s Greatest Copywriters and Marketers”
- “101 Common Writing Mistakes: And How to Avoid Them”
How to Write Great Headlines
Great headlines are short and sweet, very specific and also very clear.
A good headline is like an elevator pitch. You want to tell people what your unique article is about, but you don’t have much time.
You need to grab their attention with a short, snappy line that will make them want to check out the rest of your content. So, when writing headlines, remember:
- Be clear: Don’t be vague about what your article is going to be about.
- Make it snappy: You want to grab the attention of your readers right away. Make sure you use powerful words.
- Keep it short: It’s better to have a short headline than a long one, because a short one packs more of a punch. Attention span is short!
- Be specific: Your headline should include the actual words that will be in the article itself.
- Be alluring: You want to engage with your readers right away.
- Be descriptive: Describe what will be in the article or blog post.
- Use numbers: Readers like numbers, so put them into your headline if you can.
- Make it conversational: The best headlines sound like they were written by real people in a real conversation, not by a marketing robot trying to create hype around a story that isn’t necessarily that interesting at all.
- Use question: You can create a headline using a question, which will get readers to ask themselves if they know the answer to it.
- Use slang: Check out some of the most popular headlines on sites like Buzzfeed, and you’ll notice that they tend to use words like “dude” and “awesome”. It doesn’t mean that you should not use more formal language—you can do that if you want—but using slang or informal language is a great way to add personality to your headlines.
Writing Text for Effective Promotions
How to write a sales letter to sell a product
A sales letter is a letter from a company with a product they’re selling. The letter generally introduces the product and tells people how much it will cost, what benefits it will offer, and any other information that will help someone make up their mind about buying the item.
Most of these letters use language to create urgency for potential buyers, giving them reasons why they should purchase now rather than later. They also tend to create a sense of urgency by describing the good feelings people will experience when they use the item.
The language of these letters is often very different from that of a normal letter, because it’s centered around getting people to buy things rather than being informative for the sake of being informative. When you write your own sales letter, you should follow some of these tips:
- Tell your audience how amazing their lives are going to be if they buy your product. This will create an emotional connection with your readers so they are more likely to follow through and purchase it.
- Create a sense of urgency by telling them how much sooner they can have the product if they buy it now instead of later. This will also help get them to spend money faster, because it creates a feeling of urgency about buying right away for fear that the advertised price will be increased or that a deal that won’t be repeated won’t happen again soon.
- Give them a guarantee that if they are not happy with the product, then they can return it for a full refund. This will also help them feel safe about spending money on your product instead of letting it sit on their wish list forever.
- Make sure to give them clear instructions about what to do to purchase your product. You should also include all of the payment and shipping information that they need in order to make the transaction happen.
- Give your buyer the option of making the transaction through a payment processor like Paypal or Stripe that will allow them to use a credit card to make the purchase, or through an E-junkie service that will allow them to make a purchase directly from your website.
- Offering special discounts for buyers who buy in bulk and/or multiple products at once is another way you can drive sales. This is particularly useful if you have other products or books that are related to your main one.
How to Make Your Copywriting More Conversational
It’s important that your copywriting sounds like it was written by a human and not a marketing robot. When you write your own copy, you should follow some of these tips:
- Have personality: One way to do this is by using informal or slang words in your writing if appropriate. You could also sound conversational instead of robotic by using contractions like ‘I’m’ or ‘we’ll’. This makes the text sound more natural and less stiff than typical writing style.
- Keep it short: It’s better to have a short headline than a long one because a short one packs more of punch.
- Be specific about what readers will get out of reading the article, not just what the article is about.
- Use numbers: Readers like numbers, so put them into your headline if you can.
- Use question: You can create a headline using a question, which will get readers to ask themselves if they know the answer to it.
If you want to make your copywriting more conversational, try using contractions in your sentences. This will help you sound more like a real human instead of someone trying to use marketing tricks on their readers.
Read the following sentence out loud and notice how you think it sounds different:
- “You are going to love this new diet.” (formal and unemotional)
- “You’re gonna love this new diet.” (informal, personally written letter)
The second one sounds less like marketing jargon and more like a real person discussing something they feel strongly about. That’s how you want your copywriting to sound.
You can use the same kind of contractions in your writing that people use when speaking with each other.
If you don’t know what they are, just watch a few TV shows or movies and you’ll notice them quickly. These contractions keep your language from sounding too high-brow and busy, and they help get the message across to people effectively.
What is a call to action?
A call to action (CTA) is any point in your copy or ad where you tell people to take a specific action. These are almost always demarcated with bold lettering and usually include a button that leads people to a page where they can do what you want them to.
These buttons can be clicked on, pressed, or tapped anywhere within the ad space you’re using – depending on the platform.
A call to action often includes copy suggesting urgency or scarcity, because a good CTA should be able to send the message that unless you take action, time is running out and you won’t be able to find the product or service again at the same price.
You can also have multiple calls to action in an ad; for example, if you’re selling a video game. You could have a Call To Action that says “Buy Now!” and then one that says “Tell A Friend!” underneath it.
Copywriting for a video script
Video is a great way to get your message across and to keep your audience engaged. The best way to get the video you’re making to connect with people is to have them engaged right from the start.
You can do that by including a powerful and emotionally-charged opening sentence as soon as the video commences.
The rest of the script should be written in a conversational manner, with brief sentences and lots of adjectives to help readers envision what you’re talking about in their mind’s eye, but preferable on the screen – very powerful for reviewing products!
Explain how easy it is to use or apply the products or services you’re offering – make your customer want it because it makes sense. Life will be easier/more cool/save money, etc
There’s nothing worse than having an informative video that no one wants to watch, because it has a boring or lackluster script.
Copywriting is key to engaging your audience. So take the time to write an engaging script that will keep your audience on the edge of their seats and wanting more.
Writing sales copy that sells
Answer the reader’s unasked question about the product, such as “How will you benefit from this?”
You want to convey your product’s most important features in a very short, easy-to-read format. Sell the benefits to the reader, not the features.
- Have a sound grasp of nouns and verbs – use dynamic verbs as much as possible. Use modifiers (adjectives and adverbs). These will increase the impact of your writing. You should also include how long it takes to get your results or benefits.
- Write the headline first. This will help you focus on what your potential customer wants to hear from you, and it will set the tone for your sales copy.
- Write a short introduction and get right into the benefits section.
- Keep it simple – use short sentences that are easy to read.
- Use bullets when appropriate for visual impact. Use active verbs to capture reader’s attention and interest.
- When writing ad copy: Describe what you have in a simple, recognizable way. Be specific about the benefits your customers will obtain from using your product or service.
- Use claims that can be backed by facts, figures or other evidence. “We have many endorsements on file” is more effective than “We have been in business for over 20 years.”
How can I learn to write sales copy?
A great approach to learning copywriting is by copying successful sales letters and videos.
Just like we copy the sales letters and videos of well-known companies, we should create our own brand by learning from the best copywriters out there. These are just a few of the renowned copywriting professionals who can give us a great head start:
- David Ogilvy: Ogilvy was a copywriter famous for using wit, skillful phrasing, and branding to sell advertising space to clients like Rolls Royce or BMW.
- David Platt: This copywriter is known for writing catchy headlines and sales letters that are full of energy – so much so that they have been used in movies, books and TV shows. Examples include “Buy the way you are” by Platt and Slater, and “The very best”, which was featured in the film “Good Will Hunting.”
- Michael Brenner: Michael is a copywriter who has worked with over 2,000 companies to help them reach their sales goals. He shares his expertise by writing articles and more on his website, which include things like “How to Write an Attention Getter to Drive Sales.”
- David Hyde: This copywriter has written more than 500 books that are available for purchase on Amazon.com, and has sold millions of copies of those books worldwide.
- Gary Halbert: Halbert has been a copywriter for over 50 years, which gives him the experience he needs to advise clients on how to sell their products and services. He also teaches classes to help others learn how to write sales letters faster and more effectively.
Copywriting is an essential skill for anybody who wants to create their own successful business. Whether you’re marketing products or services, if you want people to know about them, you need good sales copy that reaches their hearts as well as their minds.
Copywriting about me page
An about me page is an essential part of any website as it gives people a chance to learn more about the person behind that site. Here are some pointers on how to write about me page copy that will make Google love you!
- Use your name in the headline: Since this is an about me page, it should be obvious that you will be talking about yourself. Using your name in the headline will make it stand out from other pages, and help people quickly find what they need to know.
- Tell the reader a little bit about yourself: Tell them who you are, what your website is about and what you offer. It’s important to make sure that it is clear that you are a real person and not a robot.
- Tell them how to get in touch with you: Make it easy for people to contact you through social media or any other method they prefer to use.
- Include an image: Adding a picture of yourself will help you to stand out, and it boosts credibility if people can see that you are real.
- Make it easy for them to find what they need to know: This is an about me page, but make the content on your website easily accessible by putting links in this page that people can click on and navigate through your site. It’s a great way to use the about me page as a way to drive traffic to your other pages that will boost sales through more targeted marketing. Be sure to add social proof.
What is social proof?
Social proof is a form of persuasion that uses the notion that people or things that have received positive feedback from others are more likely to be followed.
This can lead to the development of an emotional response from your readers when they see other people commenting on and sharing your content.
People often decide to follow what others are doing because they want to be like those in their peer groups, so people who share and comment on your social media posts will be seen as popular by your target audience.
Copywriting above the fold
Copywriting above the fold is slightly different because reader’s attention span is short and they are looking to surf on, but fast, within a few seconds.
It is important to make sure that your copywriting is clear and easy to read, because most people scan their way through a site, checking out the sub-headings first. If one interests them , then they’ll delve a little deeper into that section.
What usually happens is that they check out the upper-left hand side of the browser window first. This is verified by heat maps, so this is the first place to begin your powerful headline!
(And, incidentally, where one of your ads should go.)
So, what do you think is at top left of the page?
Yes, that’s right – often it is a big fat ad. You need to take advantage of these precious seconds. Don’t waste them with fluff or words that won’t engage your audience.
Get them involved and interested in what you are talking about! Make them feel like they have made a great decision by visiting your website and want to see more and scroll down.
Copywriting as a side hustle
Side hustles based on copywriting can earn you side income by writing ad copy or blog content for web site owners who don’t have the time or the skill.
If you’re trying to start a business, you can use this same method to launch a web-based business writing copy for others who may need help getting their name out there.
Mainly, the type of copywriting that will be the most helpful is short but effective sales text (websites, landing pages) or blog posts. Blog posting, or content writing, also involves SEO integration and in many cases has a strong word count requirement.
Psychology behind copywriting
Copywriting is based in human psychology and how it affects people on an emotional level. Understanding how people react to certain words and images can help you connect with your readers and make a lasting impact by appealing to their needs and interests.
Copywriting is a powerful way to communicate with people, but it isn’t as simple as just coming up with the right words; you have to keep in mind how people will interpret them based on how they feel about the situation when they read them.
Difference between copywriting and content writing
Content writing is slightly different, in that it informs while persuading the reader. The main difference is that content writing delivers more facts, while copywriting and sales writing are based on words that appeal to feelings.
Copywriting gets its name from the fact that you are writing “copy” (for example: an advertisement, a press release, an article). If the words resonate with your reader on an emotional level, then they will to take action – this is the job of copywriting!
Copywriting for social media
Social media copywriting is more precise because the copy tends to be much shorter. The trend is for short, catchy hooks that can be shared and linked to.
The goal is to engage your target audience on social media quickly, or on your website, so the words have to be as catchy as possible.
The good thing about social media marketing is that you can connect with an incredible amount of people for very little money.
Copywriting for websites
There are a huge number of website created every day and they all need copywriting.
Depending on the purpose of your website, you may also need to improve rankings in search engines. This process is called Search Engine Optimization and it uses copywriting skills to help you get ahead of your competition.
Copywriting for SEO, or content writing, is about much more than adding the right keywords and making the copy read well. Google search bots can measure user intent and many more factors that go into the writing of a good page.
It’s essential to write unique copy packed with unique information and original research.
Breaking into copywriting
If you are looking for more than just a side hustle, you can use copywriting as an exciting way to build your business and your reputation.
If you are a gifted writer with a passion for online marketing, then copywriting can be a great niche for you. Many blog owners and marketers out there need copywriters to create content for their websites and blogs.
How to start a career in copywriting
The best approach to a copywriting career is to start small and build up your client list, and this is one of the reasons why online businesses are so successful.
If you are really keen to start a career as a copywriter, and you have marketing skills, then you may want to consider starting up an online business such as a website.
There are many disciplines that go into writing good copy for websites or blogs. You will need to be able to create good content in the areas of marketing, SEO and conversion rate optimisation (CRO).
Many writers have made a lot of money by developing their own blogs and running paid ads on them. If you have a blog with a lot of visitors and the ads are performing well, then you could make it as a blogger!
There are many places to get started in copywriting, such as freelance sites like Upwork. On there you can find tasks and projects, and there’s also an option for freelancers to work together in groups.
Go where the money is, but develop your own site – it will turn into a valuable resource, if you post good content regularly and don’t give up.
Best copywriting tips
My most important copywriting tips are :
- Make the copy as easy to read as possible. This will not only increase the CTR, but also will help people remember what you have to say in the future.
- Use hypertext links within your text. This is a useful way of directing people to more pages of information on your site, so they can get more out of reading your content.
- Think about the target audience and think about how they will respond. Write for them, not for yourself.
- Keep the writing simple. Don’t use complicated words that people will have trouble with.
- Don’t be afraid to use humour in your copywriting – it’s a great way to connect with your readers and keep them entertained.
- Write your copy fast and then edit it. This way, you can get rid of things that people will find hard to understand or won’t have any interest in reading.
- Use bullet points and numbering to help people get your point.
- Read, read, read successful copywriting such as Neil Patel. Copy success!
What is email copywriting? Email copywriting tips
Emails have to grab attention fast because people get so many junk emails. A good email must be brief and to the point, but it also needs to be intriguing and fun to read. It has to stand out from the constant flow of emails that you get in your inbox every day.
The most important thing in any email is the subject line. The subject line has to be different, relevant and interesting enough for people to open the email straight away just by reading it.
It should be short and to the point and it should be memorable. You want the subject line to stand out from all of the other emails that you get in your inbox.
Can you be a copywriter without a degree?
The great thing is that you need no qualifications to be a copywriter. However, many people do choose to study copywriting courses and some universities offer a degree in this subject.
There are lots of online resources that you can use for self-study to learn about writing for the web, such as Copyblogger and Problogger.