You know when you’re shopping and come across a witty little paragraph printed on the back of a juice bottle? It makes you laugh a little, shake your head, and BUY the juice. You barely even notice what the flavor is! Now THAT’S impressive copywriting. In fact, that’s what good marketing comes down to at the end of the day – proper copywriting skills. Copywriting is one of the highest in-demand skills in the world. Companies that mean serious business pay upwards of $100K per year. So, it’s safe to say that copywriting is a pretty BIG thing in marketing. That’s because every business needs a person who knows how to create a fantastic copy – whether it’s a startup or a long-founded firm. Copywriting can make or break your presence in the business lifecycle. The cool thing about copywriting is that you don’t have to be an expert or have a degree to be good at it. It’s an acquired skill that you personally develop and learn. So, what DOES it take to be a really good copywriter, create excellent and unique copy, and help businesses evolve? This complete copywriting guide has everything you could ever need to get you started on copywriting. You will begin this guide with minimal to no copywriting knowledge, but you will come out with a professional’s information. Copywriting is like a bunch of formulas you need to perfect and apply to create the most fantastic form of copy. This guide has all the secrets and formulas you could ever use to write copy that sells!
Chapter 1 of the Copywriting Guide: Intro to Copy
Before we dive into the marvelous world of copywriting, you first have to understand what it is. What is copywriting anyway? And why is it so different than content writing? Lots of questions! But, worry not – we have all the answers you need.
First, let us begin this copywriting guide with a straight-forward copywriting definition – break it out and make it nice and easy. In essence, copywriting is creating written text content to provide knowledge, inspire movement, or persuade. In business, copywriting is the tool to increase growth, sales, and conversion rates. It is the most powerful way to drive a company to grow. Nowadays, with digital marketing on the rise, copywriting is basically in every aspect of our lives. You might not even notice it, but most of the posts you read on social media platforms are forms of copy. Copywriting includes blog posts, social media posts, advertisements, and even sales letters you get on your email! You’re basically writing to sell! You use your words to convince potential customers to take action by buying your product or acquiring your services.
Copywriting is the foundation of proper digital marketing because it gives your content value; it adds meaning, creating a connection between your firm and the prospects. Good copywriting is the dealbreaker when it comes to online or offline businesses. It’s the fine line between a prospect going through a sale or just scrolling past your content.
Design, content marketing, SEO, and growth hacking are all parts of a complete digital marketing plan, but copywriting is the glue that ties it all together. Copy gives your design meaning and lays the foundation for your content marketing, SEO, and growth hacking. Writing better copy enables you to convert more readers into customers, and we wanted to provide a guide that would give you an advantage when writing copy both on and offline.
Your writing should tell a compelling story that hooks people in and convinces customers exactly why they need the product or service you are selling. If you master the skill of copywriting, the possibilities of growth are endless!
How are Copywriting and Content Writing Different?
Copywriting and content writing sound the same but are not to be confused with each other at all. In essence, they are both forms of writing – but with different impacts. Content writing is a form of writing where information is conveyed with the goal of sharing. You write to inform people of a specific topic or piece of information. You aren’t trying to sell anything; you are just trying to tell. You could use content writing as a powerful tool to bring in organic traffic through SEO, but it’s a copy that generates sales. Content writing comes in many different shapes and sizes! So, you can always utilize the strengths of content writing to come up with a value-packed copy.
So, the fine line between content and copywriting is the purpose of it all. What do you want to come out of this written copy? Do you want to generate sales or just make people happy with some wholesome content?
That’s what you need to have answered before you decide what direction you want your content to take. If you’re going to influence and engage people to take action towards a specific product or service your firm sells, then your direction is the path of copywriting for sure. It’s making a connection with emotions, lifestyle, and needs. Any form of content that drives people to take action, even if it’s as simple as pressing a button, is a form of copywriting. Your copywriting defines and represents your brand identity.
But how do you become a proper content writer and create a high-quality copy? Well, keep on reading to find out all the things you need to know in this copywriting guide.
Chapter 2 of the Copywriting Guide: What You Need to Become a Copywriter?
Do you have to go through hundreds of books on copywriting or spend a few grand on a degree to become a proper copywriter? Well, you could, but we’ve got a better idea that requires investment in dedication rather than money. The key to copywriting is pure dedication to succeed and a few skills. In about a month of practice, you could reach a world-class level of copywriting! It just takes a little practice and a whole lot of understanding. So, what do you need to become a copywriter? Brush up on the following copywriting skills:
Customer research places a vast amount of focus on the sole purpose of understanding your customers’ needs, attitudes, and behaviors in terms of business. This makes it easier to understand your customers and identify ways to provide for their needs. Customer research is one of the most crucial aspects of the copywriting guide because it also teaches retaining customers and growing your base. It also works on improving customer experience by creating products that meet their exact needs. When you fully understand your customers and comprehend what they need, marketing your products to cater to these needs becomes a breeze. When you know your prospects, you ultimately gain competitive intelligence, and your chances of success eventually skyrocket!
When you finally have a full-comprehension of customer needs, your brand becomes their voice and their salvation!
Sentence structure is another part of the copywriting guide that makes a huge difference in your copy level. The way you write your copy depends on your audience. This idea brings us back to customer research. When you know your target audience, you can decide on your sentence structure, grammar, and spelling. You should write the same way your customers talk. How formal or laid-back do you want your content to be? There are a set of grammar rules you are allowed to break as a copywriter – total rebel! You can break any grammar rule in the book as long as it still makes sense. If it works for your copy, just bend the rules to your benefit. You aren’t writing copy to get an A in English; you’re writing to appeal to those who read your content.
So, go ahead and end your sentences with a preposition if you want to, use slang words, throw out a verb, and make a fragment. Use these strategies to find out exactly how your prospects talk and set a tone for your structure:
Reddit Threads: Locate the subreddit where your potential customers might spend some time on, and study the way they talk. This is a great way to create closer relations with your clients because it makes your relationship with them appear closer and less formal. This is also really useful for creating headings that people want to click on!
Amazon Reviews: People on amazon are a gold mine for finding your tone – especially if you happen to sell products available on Amazon. You can take their words and use them to your advantage in your copy. Use their tone of voice, take their issues, and provide them with a solution – YOUR product or service!
Social Media Comments: Keep a watchful eye on social media comments – bullseye! Now you can figure out how your customers communicate, what tone they feel most comfortable with, and what they are looking for!
Website copywriting refers to the act of writing digital content for websites’ landing pages, product pages, blogs post, and basically all things related to digital marketing on websites. The point of web copywriting is to keep visitors on your website interested long enough to take action. This action could be buying your product or service or increase brand awareness. Web copywriting reaches out to what your prospects find to be essential and connects with that emotion.
The Art of Persuasion
Persuasive copywriting is the essence of all copy in reality. It is the core of proper copywriting that can draw traffic to your website through human curiosity. Persuasive copywriting engages your customers to want to know more and compels them to take action (if they are properly persuaded). When your content is inviting, it makes you the talk of the marketing town! If you don’t master the art of persuasion, your content will be boring, and people will most probably scroll away to something else.
You don’t want people to be confused about what you have to offer. Your copywriting should introduce and explain your brand, product, and services, all while making sure your goal is clear. What do you want people to do after reading your copy? Buy a product or service, or subscribe to a newsletter? You should know exactly what choice of words will drive conversions and increase sales.
Chapter 3 of the Copywriting Guide: How to Copy Like a Pro!
Moving on to the actual action in the copywriting guide! The primary goal of any good copywriter is to create content that keeps people reading all the way and then perform a particular activity. But how do you keep people engaged? The essential part of any copywriting text is the first sentence! Joe Sugarman, an outstanding copywriter, said, “The sole purpose of the first sentence in an ad is to get you to read the second sentence.” That’s what you should aim to do!
Start at the top with an eye-catching headline to hook your customers in, and from there, it should be a downward slide towards conversion. Your content should look like a funnel where you suck in the customer’s interest until they take action. This all begins by fully understanding the product or service you are trying to sell.
Understanding the Product at Hand!
A significant focus that creates a selling copy is discovering essential features in your product or service that could be the turning point in your composition. So, take some time and get to know your product and its features. Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes, and think about how this product would benefit them. Think about what makes your product different and highlight that point. Even if you already know your work by heart, it is beneficial to take a step back and find a new perspective. Write down a complete description of your product and its features, then list the benefits it brings to the customers. This is the first step you have to take to create a copy and figure out how to sell it.
Your draft should answer the following questions:
Question 1: What value does your product add to the lives of your customers?
Question 2: How does it benefit them?
Question 3: How is it any different than similar products on the market?
Question 4: How does it make the lives of your prospects easier?
Once you’ve got these answers all in one copy, you’re almost good to go!
Understand Who You’re Selling Your Product to
So, now you know everything there is to know about your product – how it works, its features, and all its nooks and crannies. Now it’s time to figure out who you’re dealing with. Who is the persona that’s most likely to buy your product? This is an essential step as it defines your way of writing. It affects the outcome of your copy and how you sell it. It’s all about providing your customer with what they want and needs the most – know your audience at the end of the day. If you’re selling products to college students, your copy will look different than if you’re selling to high-level business executives. You can’t create a copy and try to sell it to everyone in the world. Each type of audience has specific needs, emotions, and priorities, so you have to talk to know how to ‘talk.’ This brings us back to the process of customer research – so, how can you find out who you’re selling your product or service to?
First, figure out who are your current customers if you already have a client base. And think about who you would like to add to this base. What customers would you like to branch out to? At this point, it’s easy to figure out how your typical customer looks like: what he likes, needs, wants, fears, loves, and searches for the most.
Understand How Headlines Change the Game
Let’s look at the big picture… Well, that’s precisely what most people do! They look at the big picture first, which, in this case, is the headline. You have to create super unique attention-grabbing headlines to get people hooked and engaged. It’s a considerable dealbreaker when it comes to copy. Headlines give your copy a fighting chance and a jumpstart in the marketing race. Clients are more likely to click on your content if they are intrigued by your headline – they won’t have a choice but to check it out. How do you write head-turning headlines?
- Make sure that the headline is pretty unique and far from necessary. Your content should stand out and not look like a copycat version of someone else’s. This is the digital era! You can, and WILL, be called out for sure.
- Don’t use ambiguous headlines. Don’t confuse people! Just get to the point!
- HURRY! Got you kind of excited there, right? The point is to create a sense of urgency – like they’re missing out on something SPECTACULAR!
- Go for numbers – we love numbers.
What’s in it For Me? Benefits!
Okay, so you got our attention with your headline and all. But, let’s cut the talking and get to the actual actions. What’s in it for me?
That’s what any person would do these days. So, you have to make sure that the people reading the content know precisely why they need it in their lives. It has to be the answer to their problems and have all the benefits to make their life easier. Therefore, you have to make sure your content is evident in exactly how much you need this product! When it comes to copywriting, the benefits outweigh the features. People don’t want to know about the elements as much as they want to see why they need this product? How will it benefit them? Take the time to explain the features in a friendly way, but put the benefits in the spotlight.
Tell Them What To Do Next!
The final step of your copy is a strong call-to-action. You have to tell them what to do next. Don’t give your clients too much time to think, feel confused, or doubt. Tell them to check the link in your bio, or swipe up for your product. Mention the fantastic blog post you have on your website or the one of a kind services you provide. Tell them what to do! You can even add a pretty button to play with the human sense a little—the world’s your oyster in this area. Just try what works best for you.
Chapter 4 of the Copywriting Guide: The Formulas
A cool feature in this copywriting guide is that it comes with a set of formulas that you can apply to create a value-packed copy. In the end, copywriting is mainly a process that these formulas could guide you through and make things a little easier. There are so many formulas out there for copywriting beginners, but we’ve narrowed it down to 8 in this copywriting guide – another way to make your life easier and get you started. Here’s your own personal cheat-sheet for copywriting.
FAB is the most basic of all copywriting formulas out there. It works best when you write copy on products or services. You forget about listing features and focus on the benefits of what they would take away from this product or service.
(F) Features – A brief listing of the features offered through your product or service.
(A) Advantages – Why do your customers need this product?
(B) Benefits – What’s in it for the customer?
The BAB formula is your storyteller. Use it to tell your brand’s story! Create your own journey and adventure. The BAB formula creates a connection between your firm and your customer.
(B) Before – Portray the customer’s like before your product and how miserable it is (a bit of a stretch, but you get the gist)
(A) After – Your customer’s life after the product.
(B) Bridge – The connection between those two!
The 4 P’s Formula
This formula works to target conversion rates and get the customer to trust you because you deliver! The four P’s depends on your commitment to providing.
(P) Picture – Paint a pretty picture and create desire. Make them want the product that only you have!
(P) Promise – Make the promise of delivery through your product.
(P) Prove – Show them you’re worth their trust. Show them some proof.
(P) Push – Give them a little nudge to commit!
The 4 U’s Formula
This works well for ads and social media platforms. It is quick, easy, and straight to the point. It creates a trigger of urgency and gets the prospects to act fast or miss out!
(U) Useful – What can we do for you? How can we help?
(U) Urgent – You NEED this product in your life!
(U) Unique – You can’t find this product anywhere else!
(U) Ultra-specific – Don’t make people question themselves. Just say what you mean and be clear about it.
4 C’s Formula
This formula is the general rule of thumb in copywriting – ones you should apply in almost all forms of copy. So, the 4 C’s go everywhere, no matter what platform you use or type of copy you create.
(C) Clear – Be as transparent and unambiguous as possible. If you start confusing people with your content, odds are they’ll give up on trying!
(C) Concise – Short and simple is key.
(C) Compelling – Be irresistible! Make them want more!
(C) Credible — Never lie in your copy, or deceive! Your copy should be trustworthy.
“So What?” Formula
This is a witty little formula! The thing behind it is a bit obnoxious! Every single time you come up with an idea, ask yourself, “So what?”.
Like, so what?
This forces you to avoid such moments and explain the benefits in more detail to leave no room for questions!
This formula works on playing on the emotions of your clients a little. It’s about identifying the problem they have and what consequences would come if this problem isn’t solved! This formula makes the clients rely on your product’s existence in their lives.
(P) Problem – Identify the problem your client’s faces.
(A) Agitate – Point out all the negative effects this problem could bring up! Stir up the water.
(S) Solve – Provide a solution to fix all their problems!
The MOST essential formula when it comes to copywriting is the AIDA formula. It’s the ultimate path to take when you go through copywriting and works in any kind of situation.
(A) Attention – Draw the attention of your client through catchy headlines and visual graphics,
(I) Interest – Stir interest by showcasing all the benefits that come with the product featured.
(D) Desire – Make them feel the huge urge and need to own this product!
(A) Action – Bring in your call-to-action and bring your copy to life!
Chapter 5 of the Copywriting Guide: The Close
The grand takeaway when it comes to copywriting is that you should always test what works for you! Always use a specific formula and test how it works out in terms of conversion rates, feedback, and growth rate. And, the best thing you can do to improve your copywriting, and thus your growth is to practice practice practice! That’s the best way you could improve your copy. We believe that practice makes perfect, and copywriting is a skill you can hone with time! Learn from the mistakes of others while learning from their success. You should also check out your competitor in the field and see how they use copywriting to sell their products or services!
Always begin small and follow the steps explained in this copywriting guide to reach ultimate success. And keep in mind to always try and remain conversational in the way you write! Don’t shove sales down people’s throats!
Other than that, you’re ready to set on your own journey with the help of this copywriting guide! So, happy copy!