Are you ready to burst into the world of writing? Ready to unleash your thoughts and passions into the world? Have you got jitters that hold you back from writing beautiful copy? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, we’ve got some pointers for you.
Writing is a skill that is clearly not for everyone. Much like the gift of public speaking, effective and influential writing is exclusive to a chosen few. Before we go into the world of copywriting, let’s look at some examples of copywriting and the variety that comes with it:
The most popular style of copywriting these days is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) followed by creative writing. Other styles of copywriting include sales, technical, and content writing. For those who intend to pursue copywriting as a career, you have the option of going in-house, agency-based, or freelance (work on your own). Whichever path you choose, do keep in mind that the road to success comes with hard work and determination.
So the question remains: How do we write copy that sells? How do we best disseminate information through writing while being professional and balanced? Let’s look at some tips for beginners on how to write copy that sells.
Choose a topic
An integral part of copywriting is to choose a strong headline or title. Like a screaming toddler in the hands of a young mother, the title of the article demands attention from every reader that passes by. In order to get the energetic title, the writer must brainstorm through a few factors that influence his/her writing topic. Those factors include the following:
Audience – The Who of your article. Literally speaking, the readers to whom your article is directed to. Consider factors such as the age group, gender, working status, marital status, and ethnicity.
Tone – Once you’ve figured out the audience, consider the tone of your article. If the topic is relaxed and easy-going, choose a casual tone. For more professional write-ups, go for a serious, academic tone. Satire is another choice of tone that one could choose; satire incorporates sarcasm and cynicism to bring home a subtle message.
Structure – Determine the format of your article. You could format your article using headers, listicles, bullet points, or academic study.
Do your research
Nobody likes empty content. As writers, we need to back our writing with appropriate facts and figures. In order to do this, writers need to do their research. Research consists of anything ranging from a simple Google search to pouring through stacks of scientific journals in the university library. The intended purpose of research may be to find elements of history, past findings, to find any available resources to further authenticate your article.
The more facts and figures your article has, the more trustworthy it will be. Facts and information in your article have the potential to influence your audience in immeasurable ways. On the flipside, readers can also tell when the writer has not done his/her homework.
Start Writing but KISS
Now that you’ve got your arsenal of information to start writing, you may feel anxious about how to start. The trick is to simply start writing. Write one sentence and follow it with another. If possible, start off your article with an analogy, a personification, or a reference to contemporary pop-culture to get your reader’s attention.
Now KISS! Yes, KISS! The all-time favourite acronym for a principle successful writers employ – Keep It Short and Simple (KISS). The ultimate trick to keeping your reader’s attention focused on your writing is to keep it easy for him/her to read. Always assume that your reader is naive and nubile. Avoid jargons and technical terms, particularly in creative writing. Use simple terms that everyone can understand. If you need to use technical words, do simplify them in parentheses (brackets).
Vary your sentence structures and paragraph lengths too. This will create the illusion of readability and make it easy for your reader to follow your train of thought. Besides these, consider inserting real examples into your writing. Bring in snippets of biographies, scientific studies, social behaviour experiments, and modern entertainment to supplement your content.
Decorate your article
“A picture is worth a thousand words” We’ve heard this phrase one too many times. But how does it translate into copywriting? Like any other form of creative art, copywriting requires the occasional change of scene in terms of pictures and illustrations. Add vivid pictures or even videos to your content to keep your reader’s interest fixed on the topic at hand. You could also highlight links to various sources that support your research done earlier.
If you take on a casual approach to the article, you could even add quirky .gif illustrations or memes to add humour to your write-up. Don’t be afraid to try something new from time to time.
End with a BANG!
You have come to the end of your article, having meticulously spread out your ideas, thoughts, and emotions in a span of a thousand words or so. Now it’s time to wrap up. Time to drive home the central message. Time to end with a BANG!
To do this, highlight your main points in your write-up. Bring out the key elements you want your reader to understand. The conclusion is also where you would insert your call to action, encouraging your reader to make a stand or to achieve something.
The final step to creating good copy is to proofread your work. Working in a creative agency, you most likely will have the benefit of peer-reviews. Getting your colleagues to give you valuable feedback is vital in polishing your content. It further gives you an outlook onto different perspectives of readers out there. If you are writing freelance copy, do get a friend or a relative to have a read of your work. Elements such as grammar, sentence structure, and tone of voice should be considered.
Now it’s time to create your copy that sells. Go out and make a name for yourself, keeping these simple steps in mind. Before you know it, the world will acknowledge you as an accomplished copy writer!