So, What Exactly is Copy Writing?
You know all those pamphlets and emails you get that sell you something? Those were written by a copy writer somewhere. Not just these, but a copy writer writes what comes on websites, billboards, advertisements, a catalog or a brochure tempting you to go on vacation to Bali or Norway…
What is a Content Writer?
Glad you asked that question. The content writer is there to write stuff that will entertain you and keep you on a website longer. So they hope to maybe even gain your confidence enough to buy something from them or to keep you loyal to the brand you already buy from by giving you information that you value.
What Skills Do I Need to Be a Copy Writer?
Today, with the Internet bringing people together you need to be really good at writing. So, don’t let that get you down, it’s a skill you can develop. Because you can train yourself to be better or even the best. Polish up your English grammar, vocabulary, your spelling and punctuation or sign up for a refresher course if you must.
You could be a college graduate or even a high school kid or drop-out. What’s necessary is passion, interest in developing your skills, and the ability to learn from your mistakes. Either you could work from home or work in a sophisticated multi-million-dollar agency. Ultimately, the choice is yours.
There are a lot of good training courses online. This means, do some research and find one that suits you.
Here are a few skills you need to be a great copy writer:
Learn where and when to use verbs and adverbs for greater effect. But use adverbs sparingly, if you can find a verb that fits, then use that instead of a sprinkle of adverbs. It makes your copy stand out and gives it clarity.
Learn to write like you are having a conversation with a close friend or family. Your sentences shouldn’t be stilted. A good trick is to say it out loud and see if it sounds casual. If not, then return to the keyboard and keep at it till you get it right.
Use simple words, and don’t be ambiguous. No one uses complicated words in real life, so don’t use them when you are trying to connect with an audience.
Flow: Time and time again you would have heard how sentences have to flow into each other. Indeed, even paragraphs must. So, what do they mean by that? Just make sure that you finish talking about an idea and then go onto the next. Don’t jump from random thought to random thought. By having a connecting sentence that links a paragraph with another, it makes the meaning clearer. This is where smart editing comes in, as a beginner, you may need several drafts to get the right placement of sentences and paragraphs. Thank goodness for cut and paste right? Today, with good document software like Google Docs or Word, you can easily move words and sentences around.
Be Prepared to Do Some Research
Don’t think you need to know everything before you can write copy. What you need to have is research skills. So, be ready to do enough research, so that you have enough knowledge about the topic you need to write copy for. Finish up reading whatever you can about the topic, ask questions, understand and then start to write.
In this way sentence flow is easier, you know what you are writing about, and even better, you are writing the truth and not some myth or story.
Remember that you shouldn’t promise something you cannot provide.
Know where to go to find information. It may not always be in a Search Engine, but you may need to read up a book or magazine, ask questions to the right person and you need to find the truth. Is the person, book or website telling you the facts? Are they reputed? Know where to look for accuracy.
Finding Great Ideas
After you have done all the research and learned everything you need to learn, now you need ideas. How do some people come up with an idea all the time? One way is to look at websites of your competitors. Look at blogs on the topic, see what’s trending in the industry. Make notes as you go. What makes their words interesting? How can you improve on it? How many photographs will you need? Write down a list of ideas. Now, take a break, come back and decide what you want to talk about.
Think Of Your Customer & Empathize
Think of what your reader needs. Find the words to empathize with them, fulfill their needs. How can your product be useful to them?
Use words that play on their emotions – their happiness, their fears, beliefs, successes. Things like:
- What motivates them
- Have solutions to objections they may have
- How can the product could help the customer?
- Pointers to how much better your product is compared to XYZ competitor.
- Its critical to put yourself in the customer’s place and forget about your own prejudices.
Now you know how to get to the top, but remember that change is always happening and keep improving your skills. Innovate, adapt and be better.