WHAT IS COPYWRITING?


In online publishing, copywriting is the process of producing the written material that appears on websites, blogs, advertisements and social media (the copy).

The copywriter is the individual who writes the copy. So if you’ve ever written a blog post or social media update or made changes to the wording on your website – congratulations! You are a copywriter!

Most of the time, though, the people we refer to as copywriters are those who make their full-time living writing things on the Internet.


WHAT’S INVOLVED IN COPYWRITING?


First we need to establish what copy needs to achieve:



The goal of any copy is communication. Good copy should be readable, succinct, accessible to a wide audience and written in plain English.

The tone, style and message of your copy needs to be consistent with your overall marketing message; it needs to fit with who your brand is.

Your copy needs to convince and convert – it needs to convince people that you are the right choice and convert them into loyal customers.

The information you present needs to be useful and relevant to your audience; it needs to be current and address their needs in the moment.



In order to achieve these goals, a good copywriter needs these skills:



Writing
Copywriters need to have exceptional written skills and be fluent in the language they are writing in
Lateral thinking
Copywriters need to be skilled at embedding your marketing message in natural-sounding prose
Sales psychology
Copywriters need to understand the sales process and consumer behaviour
Research
Copywriters need to be adept at finding relevant, useful and up-to-date information on a wide range of topics

PLAN, RESEARCH, STRUCTURE, WRITE


By following this simple process, you can write copy that is clear and engaging, captures your audience, communicates your message and takes them on the journey you want them to take.


Plan

Before you write a word, decide the following:

 

What are you writing about?

Why are you writing about it?

What resources will you need?

Who is the audience?

What is the message?

What is the goal?

 

By clarifying your message and goals upfront, you will avoid copy that wanders or misses the point.

Research

Your copy should be based on fact, and backed up by primary sources where applicable.

Wikipedia is a good starting point, but you should never take what you read on there as gospel! Scroll down to the “Citations” or “References” section and investigate those sources.

If you are writing for a client, they should be able to provide all the information for what they want you to write. If they can’t, find the best information you can get.

You should assume that everyone reading your copy will verify the information for themselves; therefore, you should always back up your statements with reliable evidence.

Structure

Creating a structure prior to writing is the key to ensuring your copy is clear, concise and follows a logical structure.

You should have an introduction, a body and a conclusion.

Introduction: start with an attention-grabbing first sentence that is strong and creates interest. Follow it up with an overview of the topic, and end with a question that the body will answer.

Body: this is where you lay out the facts. The body itself should be broken down into “blocks” that deal with one key idea or fact each. The information in each block should build on that presented in the last.

Conclusion: don’t present any new facts, but summarise the key points and the conclusion your reader should have reached. You can treat this as a “TL;DR” version of your article. You should always include a call-to-action appropriate to the topic.

Write

Now it’s time to get creative!

Follow your structure and write naturally without worrying too much about how it sounds.

Once you’ve finished, read it over and make any adjustments you think need making. Reading out loud is a great way to test how the copy “sounds” and ensuring it has a natural flow.

Using spelling and grammar checking software is good, but no software is perfect, so make sure you re-check to ensure no unnatural changes have been made.


FURTHER COPYWRITING RESOURCES


Grammarly

Seriously the best spelling and grammar checker I have ever used

Copyhackers

Another great copywriting blog focused on conversion optimisation

Copyblogger

This is a great blog focused on all things content marketing

Copy School

Free resources and more for when you want to get really serious



You can also read more about copywriting on our blog