Copywriting is the art of selling with a typewriter – or in today’s terms, a word processor. Or maybe, you’re just writing the sales pitches out longhand. I do that for some of the email marketing pieces I am working on. I noodle better with a pen. I find it easier to dash off 10 headline ideas on paper than the PC. However, when I write my final copy on the PC, I usually end up changing it because for me, the PC brings out more structure in my writing. I don’t know why. It just does.
Copywriting isn’t the same as novel writing, but it is storytelling. The long sales brochures, mail products or sales copies are more like the original full page ads that have told stories and sold elixirs for years. Today, those are still around, but much of today’s copywriting is about writing for the web and emails. I will write more about the different types of copywriting later.
There are so many ways to use copywriting skills, even if you never write an ad for a company. Persuasive text is needed for product descriptions, SMS, MMS, social media posts, and any other format that your client wants to use to connect with their buyers.
Do You Like to Write?
If you like to write, then copywriting can be a ton of fun. It’s a lot like putting a puzzle together. You find out what the company is selling, who they are selling it to and use that information to write something very clever. You need to persuade the reader to buy the product. There are hits and misses like all forms of writing, but it is never personal, so keep going.
Do You Like to do Research?
Research is the key to the art of copywriting. You cannot sell something to someone if you don’t know 1) anything about the product and 2) anything about the prospects. Some of copywriting is learning about the product, but the bulk it is learning about the prospect. Is it a man or a woman? Do they like dogs, cats or butterflies? What is their income? Demographics play a big part in how you tailor a message.
Do You Have a Good Sense of Humor?
Under all of the ‘technospeak’ about a product, it helps to have a sense of humor. Everyone knows that sex sells, but humor connects people in a more casual and relaxed way that is important when it comes to sales. You don’t have to be able to write humorous dialog, but it helps if you can be more lighthearted. All you have to do is think about the television commercials that made you smile or even, laugh out loud.
How Do You Know What to Write?
Writing for a client is a lot different than writing for yourself or your editor. All clients should give you a content brief about what they want to see in their copy. They may have the keywords ready for you or give you topic ideas, but whether writing copy or content, a brief keeps you on target, as well as gives the client a way to track progress. Here is a link to an article on creative briefs.
If you think this might be something you would enjoy writing, then I recommend a couple of courses to learn more about copywriting. I have taken and studied courses, and they have all helped me move forward in a side job that I enjoy.
Udemy Complete Copywriting Course: Write to Sell Like a Pro from Tamsin Henderson