Do you want to learn copywriting?
Don’t stress: this doesn’t mean you can’t have good copywriting! In this beginner’s guide to copywriting for fun and profit, you’ll learn copywriting basics.
What is Copywriting?
It’s easy to confuse copywriting with SEO content writing. The two are similar in some ways, but it’s the fundamental differences that really count.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) content writing includes things like blog posts and FAQ pages. The goal here is to attract organic traffic to your website from search engine results pages (SERP). It can also include social media marketing.
Copywriting, on the other hand, has a different goal. With copywriting, you’re trying to convert website visitors into leads (subscribers and sales, etc.), whether they come through SEO or PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising campaigns.
While SEO is still important in copywriting, it isn’t the primary objective.
How to Learn Copywriting
If you want to learn copywriting, then you need to have the right resources at hand.
Two of the most invaluable resources available are Backlinko.com and NeilPatel.com. Both Dean (of Backlinko) and Neil will help you not only learn copywriting, but master SEO best practices at the same time.
Don’t get too overwhelmed – we’re going to give you a crash course in the rest of today’s post!
The 10 Commandments of Copywriting
- Copywriting is advertising – everything you write must highlight the benefits of your product/service, build trust by overcoming doubts, and lead to conversions
- Treat your copywriting like a sales pitch, because that’s what it is – use analytics to evaluate how well your copywriting is performing and what’s hurting your effort
- Follow the elevator pitch model – attention spans are short, so keep your copy short too (imagine you only have a few moments to sell someone your product/service while sharing an elevator with them)
- Think like a salesperson, because that’s what copywriters are – identify the target client’s pain points, empathize, highlight the benefits, and (if possible) provide social proof
- KISS (Keep It Straight and Simple) – this links back to the first two points, but remember copywriting is a sales pitch, not a blog post, so keep it simple and to the point
- Copywriters can become great literary writers, but not the other way around – there’s no space for expositions and side plots in copywriting
- Too short is too short – some of the worst advice out there is to stick to a paragraph or two when copywriting; your target market will remain engaged no matter the length if you make it about them
- Strange is good, but not in copywriting – this isn’t the place to ooze with personality; focus on sales tactics and leave the personality to your SEO content writing instead
- Don’t think of the audience, think of the individual – you’re not talking to a crowd when writing copy, you’re trying to reach one person
- Know your target customer – this goes back to understanding their pain points and using analytics to help you achieve points 3, 4, and 9
How to Improve at Writing Copy
Mastering the 10 commandments of copywriting takes time and practice. But there are ways to speed up the process and improve. All you need to do is use the right formula…
1. What I have for you
What is your product/service in a nutshell? What is its purpose? Who would benefit most from it?
If you want to learn copywriting, these are the types of questions you need to answer in one or two sentences as your copywriting introduction. For example, we might use something like this:
Parrot Digital is a digital marketing agency helping small businesses make a big impact online.
It’s tempting to elaborate – but stop right there for now and move on to the next point.
2. What it will do for you
It can sometimes be difficult to separate the ideas of benefits and features.
Parrot Digital Marketing’s features include custom web designs and search engine optimization, but what are the benefits offered?
This is why you should think about what your product/service will do for the target client. For example:
Your business will stand out in Google searches and social media, attracting more customers and boosting your profit margin.
Now you’re ready to elaborate on point 1 by listing the key features. Using a bullet point list is always a visually-appealing way to go about this.
Wherever you can, highlight the link between the feature and its corresponding benefit.
3. Who I am
If you’re writing copy targeting subscribers who already know who you are, you can skip this step in the formula. But, most of the time, you’ll need to include it to help build trust.
The idea here isn’t to write a biography. Instead, you want to emphasize how you can help your target client. For example:
As a small business owner myself, I understand what often gets overlooked and how to overcome the challenges small businesses face online.
Elaborate a little here, but don’t go overboard.
4. What you need to do
Finally, you’re ready to make the sale with a call-to-action.
Tell your reader exactly what they need to do to reap the benefits of your product/service. Never ask – always be direct, to the point, and (if possible) create a sense of urgency if it’s a limited time offer.
There’s a lot more to copywriting, of course – that’s why there are whole websites and courses dedicated to teaching it!
However, this beginner’s guide to copywriting for fun and profit is all you need to get started. Master these ideas and you’re well on your way to copywriting success.