Great copywriting is essential for converting fresh leads to your business and keeping your loyal customers interested.
But it’s harder than it sounds. Sure, almost everyone can write – but writing to sell is another thing altogether. Rather than just stringing a few grammatically correct sentences together, copywriters must craft content with their audience in mind.
Sound tough? It is, but the tips outlined below will send you well on your way to developing your copywriting muscle. If you’re still stuck after reading, get in touch with us. We’re a copywriting agency, so if anyone knows what they’re doing, it’s us.
Understand what copywriting is
If you’re reading this article, you’ve already taken the first step toward dismantling the jargon and figuring out what copywriting is all about. Now, it’s time to give you some answers!
A question on the tip of many people’s lips is: what’s the difference between content writing and copywriting?
Generally, a content writer creates content like blog posts and articles. This forms part of a content marketing strategy to raise awareness for a brand, business, or product. Although the end goal is to sell, it’s a much less direct approach.
In case you’re interested, we have a content writing service, too.
Copywriters try to prompt buyers to take action and make a purchase straightaway. They might craft website pages, emails, or other kinds of promotional materials. To achieve success, it’s essential to study the arts of convincing and persuasion.
There’s a lot of overlap between the two fields. Blog posts often contain a call to action (CTA) that prompts the reader to buy something, for instance.
Don’t get too hung up about the labels – just focus on learning to write in a way that gets the results you want.
Master the basics of grammar
The natural follow-up question is: how can I learn to improve my copywriting? Before you perfect your persuasion skills, you need to get your basic grammar skills up to scratch. Grammarly is the most popular piece of grammar-checking software available, and it has a free version. ProWritingAid and HemingwayApp are two alternatives.
Whichever you use, you’ll find there’s a focus on cutting out unnecessary words and making your writing as simple as possible. After using them for a few weeks, you might be surprised how many redundant words and phrases you’ve been using in your writing.
If you still don’t feel confident in your writing or grammar skills, why not ask for a second opinion? Asking a friend or relative to proofread your work might sound daunting, but it will help you take huge strides in improving your writing.
Study copywriting tools and resources
Once you’ve mastered the basics of writing well, you should start thinking about your SEO strategy. It’s no use writing a fantastic piece of copy if it ranks so low on the search engine that nobody sees it.
One tool we can’t recommend enough is WordCounter. Don’t be fooled by the name – it does far more than just count how many words you’re using.
This website also recommends keywords based on your content and lets you know if you need to include more of them. This is essential for letting Google know what you’re writing about.
Although it’s generally not a good idea to work backwards with your SEO strategy, this is a less intimidating way to start than carrying out keyword research before writing.
Like all serious writers will tell you, you can’t improve your writing unless you read. Even if you think you don’t have the time, it’s time to make it a priority. Amongst the most acclaimed books on copywriting are The Boron Letters by Gary C Halbert, Ogilvy On Advertising by David Ogilvy, and Triggers by Joe Sugarman. They all contain useful copywriting examples, too.
Of course, there are many more. As you’ll soon see, inspiration could strike you in strange places.
Take notes from inspiring writers
Reading books about copywriting and related topics is useful, but it’s not the only way to improve your copy.
Becoming a truly great writer is all about developing flair and your own voice. That involves experimenting with your writing and consuming many types of content.
Comedy, memoirs, and young adult fiction are all on the table. Maybe reading Charles Dickens helps you add some flow into your writing and trying some humour teaches you to be less formal and rigid.
Whatever you’re reading, take notes and think about how you can learn from it.
Don’t hold back with your editing process
Many people struggle with editing, but let’s get real – you can’t be a good writer without it. This is true of all kinds of writing, but you have to be especially ruthless with your copy. If your first sentence doesn’t hook the reader in immediately, you can kiss goodbye to your sales.
If you’re struggling, a common tip is to read your content out loud. It might seem tedious, and you might feel slightly crazy doing it at first, but it’s one of the best ways to figure out if something sounds good.
Copywriting is a difficult skill. You can’t just pick it up overnight after reading a book or watching a few videos. If you truly want to improve, you have to make a long-term commitment to mastering your craft.
If you already have a business or an idea and you need to start making sales now, you might not feel you can afford to wait that long. That’s okay, too. A great alternative is to use a copywriting service that’s already put in the time and can do the work for you. You can also use working with an agency as the perfect opportunity to learn more about copywriting.