So you want to become a copywriter. You’ve got an eye for detail, you can see a brand from a mile away, and that witty comment you made at the last party did go down well. It’s not enough, though. To become a successful copywriter, you need more than natural ability and social skills. You need to know your stuff.
If you’re serious about being a copywriter and not just a wannabe, read on to find out what makes an effective writer and how you can sharpen your new skills from non-professional to professional in a short amount of time.
Don’t obsess over the perfect word
Perfection is a mirage. There’s nothing perfect about writing or the English language in general. It has no rules, no boundaries. It’s a messy, clunky language that is constantly evolving and changing. The perfect word will change meaning, gain context, and become less useful.
There’s nothing you can do to stop this. All you can do is write. Write and write, and the better your writing becomes.
Be ready to change direction at any moment. Improve your vocabulary, but don’t obsess over finding the perfect word. That’s a fool’s mission. Instead, focus on being precise. And if you’re not sure how to do that, keep reading.
Research is your best friend
If you’re ever stuck for something to write about, look no further than the product that you’re supposed to be advertising. Why are you promoting it? Why should someone buy it? What are their pain points, and how can your product solve them?
If you can answer these questions, you’re ready to write. Research your market. Research your product. Research your competition. That’s the only way you’re going to understand what you’re advertising.
If you don’t understand your product, how can you expect your readers to? If you don’t understand your readers, how can you expect them to buy your product?
Be flexible and ductile
There is no set formula for copywriting. It’s not rocket science, either. It’s creative writing. That means you need to be flexible.
What works for one product doesn’t always work for another. What works for one blog isn’t always guaranteed to work for another. What works for one audience won’t work for another.
If you try to force a single style of writing that works for all of your clients, you’re going to fail. Take every new client as a different challenge. Try new approaches and new styles. Expect feedback, be open to criticism, and be flexible.
Stop talking, start writing
Most people who want to be copywriters talk about it more than they write copies. Look at the numbers. How many blogging forums are there? How many social media groups? How many writing conferences? How many people want to be copywriters?
They all want to be copywriters. They all want to talk about being a writer. But how many people are actually writing? If you want to be a writer, act like one. Start now. Sit down and write your thoughts. If you’re not writing, you’re not a writer.
Keep it short and simple
Brevity is a rule that you should follow whenever you’re writing for the web. You don’t have the time or energy to write a novella. If you try, your readers will lose interest. They will only skim through, and they’ll move on. You want to create content that appeals to everyone. While you’re doing that, though, don’t sacrifice quality. Keep your sentences short, your paragraphs short.
Don’t write advert copies on blogs
This is a mistake that people make all the time. Blogs are great places to start writing, but they are not for selling products. If you want to become a successful copywriter, you’ll need to learn to write for your audience, not your customers.
On your blog, you only need to write articles that inform, educate, and entertain your readers. You need to focus on building trust and credibility using blogs. Once you have that, you can start selling. They will take action because they already know your worth and have trust in you.
Use adverbs sparingly
Adverbs are fiendishly hard to find, and they need to be used in moderation. You can use them to make a sentence flow better, or you can even use an adverb as a substitute for a weak verb. However, you don’t want to overuse them. Instead, find better verbs that don’t need an adverb to make them stronger. Adverbs are a useful tool when used sparingly.
Don’t use words you don’t understand
Learn your vocabulary. If you don’t know a word, look it up. If you don’t know how to use it, don’t use it. If you’re not sure how to use a word, don’t use it. It’s as simple as that.
You risk making a fool of yourself, and you risk your readers not understanding what you’re trying to say if you use words that you don’t fully understand. Plus, if you don’t know what a word means, how do you know if it’s the right word for your sentence?
Don’t use words that you have no clue what they mean. It is as simple as that.
Don’t be afraid of the adverb pile-on
You’ll often read that you shouldn’t use adverbs, but that’s not entirely true. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them if you don’t want to.
Adverb pile-on means you can write sentences that are piled high with adverbs. You just have to be careful. Using too many adverbs can make your sentence bloated and difficult to read. That’s not a good thing. Keep your sentences short, but don’t be afraid to use adverbs.
Before you begin writing, you need to understand your product, your market, and your audience. If you don’t fully understand a product, how can you expect your readers to? If you don’t know your market, how can you expect to reach them? If you don’t know your audience, how can you expect to sell to them?
Once you have a firm standing point on these three things, you’re ready to begin writing.
Start small and build your way up. Take baby steps. Don’t try to write copy for a client until you’re ready. Copywriting is a skill. It takes time to master, but as long as you keep practising, you can become a successful copywriter in the end.
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