In today’s world, online marketing for most types of businesses simply cannot be conducted without the wonders of professional copywriting. That being said, copywriting is no walk in the park and requires proficiency in a number of key skills from understanding the material to having a very wide and versatile vocabulary. Here are a few tips you can use to improve your skills and have a career (or a part-time job) as a copywriter.
Get The Foundation Right
It is pointless to believe that one can be a good writer in any shape or form without cultivating the habit of reading. The best place is to start with topics and genres that interest you personally while keeping up with regularly perusing the type of copywriting you are looking to do. If you are into taglines, brand profiles, advertising language, and so on, it is best to save good examples on your phone or keep screenshots or photographs.
Another part of building a formidable foundation for a career in copywriting is to read books that are related to it and preferably ones that allow you to work on suitable vocabulary as well such as through exercises. It is important to focus on style and tone and the best copywriters have their own. As a beginner or amateur, you can develop a signature style and structure over time with practice. If possible enlist the help of a professional copywriter who can check your work initially and tell you how to improve it.
Practise, Practise, Practise
They say excellence cannot be acquired without practise and they’re right. As any expert will tell you when you’re getting into copywriting you need to put in the hours to get the results. Effective and impactful copywriting changes consumer opinions and is a massive weapon in any company’s marketing arsenal. Practice handwritten copywriting such as sales letters as opposed to typing because some writers think that helps jog the writer’s block and lead to some terrific ideas.
Rewriting great sales promos, posts, sales letters, and articles is a great idea for some active practice. Pick styles you admire and practice rewriting them yourself before you try for publication or a position. When rewriting blog posts and articles always seek synonyms online to complement your expression for example ‘nice’ can always be replaced with ‘exquisite’, ‘mesmerizing’, and so on.
Analyze, Elaborate, Reason
Much of the scope of copywriting deals with purpose. Why is the writer writing the way he\she is, what is the purpose of this piece of writing, and what does the writer want to achieve with this message? Identifying the purpose and tailoring the writing to fit it is almost as important as the quality of the writing. One of the main reasons why copywriting is a modern online and print necessity is because of the ‘call to action’ purpose which is essentially convincing a consumer they need to invest in certain products or services.
Furthermore a ‘call to action’ is achieved not just by words but also by elements such as colour, bold letters, and other graphics. When you are reading professional copywriting whether it is promos or articles, make notes on the aspects you think make all the difference. This type of analysis can go a long way in helping you ascertain how to improve your own writing to have the same impact.
Get Free Feedback
Remember free feedback is still feedback. Ideally, find editors, copywriters, and blog writers to access and give notes on your work but if you know no one who is willing to oblige you, there are many platforms where you can submit your work that will provide free feedback. Find online portals and platforms where anyone can submit for free feedback such as Medium.com. Await answers and use constructive criticism to improve.
Apart from writing platforms like this, you can also submit to sales pages where feedback might be more specific and often expert-oriented. Idealistic writers think they can just write an e-book and get right to selling it but there are often multiple steps between the sip and the cup and seamless editing is more important than one might think. For that reason amassing as much feedback as possible is vital to achieving a certain standard in your copywriting. If you think your reading and writing skills would benefit from help from a tutor then you can always consider English tuition.
Know that copywriting varies according to where it’s going to be used. Brochures are different from social media marketing (such as on Instagram and Facebook) and email marketing is different from promotional e-books for example. You might find you are able to carve a niche for yourself and have a talent in a particular form of promotional material.
Time Matters More Than You Think
Did you know research indicates that the fastest copywriters are the ones that are retained the most and have the highest earnings? Promotional materials in particular are always time-sensitive for obvious reasons. Every business is competing to launch and promote their own products and each blog and website owner wants to be ranked higher in search engines. It is a continual race with impactful copywriting right in the middle of it so when practising always try to time yourself as this will add to your value later down the road.
There are various techniques of time management especially when it comes to working from home that is particularly helpful such as having 45 minute work sessions (or any predetermined amount of time) and then having a break to stretch your legs and relax your mind. Regular breaks help avoid extreme fatigue and help you be your creative best. Time-saving techniques such as using templates or ready-made ideas online for each circumstance and then improving on them are helpful as well if you find you haven’t garnered the required speed yet.
Language tricks are a great timesaver as well as small seemingly unnoticeable changes like using contractions, converting to active voice instead of passive, using a synonym generator, etc can all drastically improve the result without too much time and effort.
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