The advertising industry has evolved significantly over the past decade. It is no longer about eye-catching one-liners on posters or TV ads. These days, brands are looking to create an identity and a journey they can share with their consumers. And the way they deliver this is through brilliant copywriting. With the changing trends, the style of copywriting has also undergone a few shifts. Although becoming a freelance copywriter is easier than ever, it is becoming increasingly difficult to grab the audience’s attention. Below, we have combined a few expert tips to help you hone your copywriting skills.
Study the Marketing Language
You might assume that copywriting is easy; after all, you have been writing assignments since school. However, according to the professional writer, Ana, from Writepaper, copywriting is entirely different from academic writing. With copywriting, the main and only intent is to sell. So, improving copywriting skills is also different from pure, academic writing.
While copywriting might seem simple, it requires analysis and creativity, and certainly, a way with words. It also requires understanding what the brand wants and translating it into writing an effective and persuasive copy.
So, the first step is to make sure that you are well-versed in the language you use for copywriting. You will not only need a good command of the language, but you should also be familiar with colloquial terms, slang, idioms, and more. In other words, you should have a native-level mastery of the language.
Bend the Language to Match the Brand
A good grasp of the language is not enough to excel in copywriting. Instead, the key is to ensure that you know how to use the language creatively to match the brand’s voice. For instance, if you are writing for a brand that caters primarily to Gen Z, you should be fluent in the slang, making the copy more relatable to the readers.
Sometimes, the copy might not technically hold up under grammatical scrutiny, but it might still get the message across and might even do a better job. However, if and when using slang and taking liberty with the language, you should be clear about the reasoning behind it.
Research the Brand
For a copy to be truly compelling and persuasive, it needs to reflect the brand’s voice and values. As a copywriter, you must do the homework and understand what the brand stands for. This can go a long way in helping you create a good copy for the company.
Be Clear About the CTA
Understanding and clearly communicating the desired action is one of the more difficult copywriting skills to master. In fact, the whole point of writing a copy is to encourage the reader to take action. However, it is easy to get carried away with the content. So, there is no point in spending hours discussing a product if it finally leaves readers in a lurch.
Instead, you should have a clear idea of what the purpose of the copy should be. Not all copywriting is about selling a product. Some might require the readers to sign up for a program, or others might be about persuading the reader to visit a page.
Regardless, the reader should be given comprehensive information on what their next step is. The copy won’t serve its purpose if the CTA is too vague or out of context.
As a copywriter, you would be working with clients across a range of industries. This means that one day you might be writing for a sports brand, and the next, you will have to get creative for a baby food product. To do this successfully, you will need to learn how to adjust your vocabulary, tone, and perspective to serve the target audience.
This might require you to deviate from your writing style, or kill some brilliant ideas, especially if the client doesn’t like them. So, you will have to learn to be comfortable with different ways of writing.
Some copies need to be funny, whereas others need to be more professional and series. In other words, you might just have to be the Jack of all trades.
Learn About SEO
With the onset of digital marketing, the lines between content writing and copywriting are becoming blurry. With millions of web pages out there, the challenge is to get your ads seen by the right people. This is where search engine optimization, or SEO, comes in.
Copywriters do not necessarily need technical knowledge of how SEO works. However, they should have a working knowledge of how to make their content SEO-friendly. Often, this requires finding the most common keywords that are searched by their target customers and incorporating them into the content. However, these words should naturally integrate and shouldn’t look out of place.
Additionally, writers should be aware of the different content formats and how much word count they should use. They might also have to link their web content to other pages to establish credibility. That being said, SEO tricks and rules are also constantly changing – which means copywriters will have to ensure they keep up with the current trends to make their work more marketable. But because SEO and copywriting skills are so closely aligned, you should understand this aspect of the profession well.
Read, and Then, Read Some More
When you immerse yourself in good writing, your brain will pick up on it. You will remember specific phrases and nuances that help you write copy skillfully. The best way to find inspiration and improve your writing skills is to read the high-quality work of other writers. And we don’t mean just copywriting. Feel free to work your way through fiction, magazines, non-fiction, and even writing guides.
In addition, you might want to familiarize yourself with the current pop culture. These days, people tend to resonate more with digital content. It would also be helpful to keep yourself up-to-date with the trends.
Be Stern with Editing
It can be challenging to create a perfect copy on the first try. In fact, according to the most experienced copywriters, editing can add value to the copy. Over time, as you edit, you will learn how to improve, and you wont’ have to do many rewrites.
Editing is a tough skill to master. No matter what kind of copy you are writing, it needs to be concise and persuasive. Too much fluff can bore the reader, which is the last thing you want.
While the points mentioned above can help, remember that being a skilled copywriter requires practice and patience. The more you spend time writing and editing, the faster you grow in your craft. And the more you invest in copywriting skills, the easier the whole process will become.
Blog guest written by Robert Chapman.
Last updated March 23, 2023