So you want to learn the art of copywriting, right?

Not so fast!

 

Have you watched the tons of tutorial videos on the subject yet?

 

Have you read all the related blog posts and email newsletters?

 

How about attending all the webinars that promise to break down the subject into grainy pieces?

 

If you haven’t done all these yet, then you are in luck. You don’t have to!

 

Copywriting is not as mysterious as the internet may paint it to be. It isn’t nearly as hard as you think. All it requires is a passion for the subject and willingness to learn and utilize the techniques prevalent in the niche today.

 

I’m sure you have doubts about your writing abilities, such as:

  • Why would anyone want to read my work?
  • There are lots of experts out there. I can’t compete.
  • There’s so much I  have to learn and I don’t know if I can.

These doubts are perfectly fine. In fact, it would be exceptional if you didn’t have them.
Let’s address them one after the other before we proceed.

 

Why would anyone want to read my work?

They would because you are solving a problem! Every copy is written to solve a problem. That includes yours. You aren’t writing for yourself but for your audience. And that’s more than enough reason for them to want to read your work.

There are lots of experts. I can’t compete:

That’s funny you know. Every expert was once a rookie! They just damned the nay-saying thoughts and jumped right in! The reward for that decision is simple. They are experts today. And if you do the same, you are going to be an expert too.
Also, the internet is growing by the second. Who do you think is going to fill up those new pages with information?
It’s you!
There’s literally millions of jobs waiting out there and there’s enough to go round and some more!

There’s so much I have to learn. I don’t think I can:

The truth is: you are right about that. There is really much to learn if you don’t want to get started on anything in life!
Did you master the English dictionary before you started making conversations with people?
Or maybe you completed a full marathon before you thought yourself qualified to go for morning jogs.

 

You see the irony in that line of thought?

 

If you have any other doubts, it’s just your mind messing with you. You can do this. You have to believe that YOU CAN!

 

Every skill involves a lot of learning on the job, copywriting is no exception. You start and get better with time! You don’t need all the advanced topics. You only need the foundation, then you start to build up from there.

 

This guide was written to give you that solid foundation and some more. All the sections are actionable. If you complete them and practice, I’m sure you would be way past rookie before you know it.

What is Copywriting?

There’s no point going over clever definitions.

Copywriting is simply the creation of written/spoken articles, content, and pages intended to compel readers to take a specific action.

 

The action has to be specific or the copy just fell flat on its face.

 

Copyblogger has a more professional definition and it goes thus: Copywriting is the art and science of strategically delivering words (whether written or spoken) that get people to take some form of action.

The topic word is ACTION! DON’T FORGET THAT!

They even go further to say this:

Copywriting is one of the most essential elements of effective online marketing.

 

The internet is literally a sea of copies.
Every single page on the internet is a copy. And even though they are not specifically trying to market a product or service, they are still cleverly drafted to get through to you!
Think about your friends’ Facebook posts or tweets, their pictures and videos on Instagram telling a story about their recent vacation, the news on CNN, etc.

 

Sure you didn’t really want to know about all these things but somehow they caught your attention. That’s copywriting!
If you have ever made a Facebook post worthy of sharing you can be a great copywriter. Period!

 

Online Marketing today is growing faster than initially expected. Hubspot has it that 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases. This figure is expected to explode in the coming years!

 

All products and services listed online are promoted by means of copywriting (text, video, and audio). The prospect is huge!

 

But while copywriting is relevant to – and should be leveraged – for every marketing effort – not all copies are relevant to marketing.

That is why the niche is morphing and changing every other year. The concept of online marketing and copywriting has grown over the years, that today it is can be regarded as an invaluable skill-set. Fortunately, a skill-set that you can develop.

Let’s dive in.

The Stages Involved: Crafting a Successful Copy

The difference between a successful copy and another is dependent on the entire work done from imagination to content creation. There is a process and it is fool proof too! It involves splitting the work in stages and making sure all stages are done perfectly.

 

The three stages of copywriting are:

  • Keyword research
  • Headline Creation
  • Content Research and Writing

 

All these stages, if done right, will see you creating a kick-ass copy that is guaranteed to be hugely successful. Flunk any of them and be ready for a free fall onto the jagged rocks of obscurity. Don’t be scared, it’s not rocket science!

Going over these stages one at a time.

Keyword Research

A keyword is that word or phrase that summarizes the entire contents of your copy.

In copywriting, your keyword must clearly state the intention of your copy. If you want to write for a business that sells outdoor sports gear, then let your keyword reflect that! Human attention span has reduced over the years to a paltry 8 seconds. Suspense may be good for movies but it is terrible for copywriting.

 

You should also note the audience will only be interested in your copy if they can identify with your keyword. So in copywriting, you should target only the keywords that your audience is actively researching. You are writing for them. Always remember this!

SEO guru of Backlinko, Brian says this:

Keywords are like a compass for your SEO campaigns: they tell you where to go and whether or not you’re making progress.

Hence, before you begin your keyword mining for your copywriting, you should determine the overall goal of the content.

 

The general goal of every copy is to compel its readers to take a specific action. That much has been established. But this ‘specific action’ can be one out of a number of things. For clarity purposes, I will split them into two broad categories.

Informative Copies

This kind of copy is created for the purpose of establishing trust, authority, and, credibility in the given niche.

 

They are the ‘How to’, ‘List of…’, Why…’ kind of copies that provide valuable information.

 

Realize that though they are created for the sole purpose of giving out free information, they are also the foundation upon which your sales copy will succeed. A great informative copy strategy is the recipe for building trust in your brand. No one will do business with you if they don’t trust you!

 

The ‘specific action’ for this copy is to build trust in your brand, attract and sustain a loyal readership. This type of copy includes blog posts, email newsletters, etc.

Sales Copies

This copy, on the other hand, is written solely for the purpose of getting customers to do business with your brand. Its language is convincing, direct and honest. It is that ‘Buy now…’, ‘Sign up now…’ type of copy.

 

There are many clever variations that are used today to improve conversion rates. But the ultimate goal is to get the customer to click that link!

It is mostly used on landing pages and sales adverts.

 

Take note, however, that the success of this type of copywriting is directly tied to the success of your informative copy strategy. The ‘specific action’ of this copy is to convert the reader to a customer.

 

Most other copies are a mixture of the two above in varying measures. An example is that email series used to ready the potential customer for the final sales pitch.

Getting the right keywords for your copy is very integral to the success of your copywriting. You need to know what problem they want solved. And you should be ready to provide that solution. It starts with your keyword research.

Two important rules you should keep in mind while carrying out keyword research are:

  • Don’t choose a poorly performing keyword or your copy goes down with it. All that effort for naught!
  • Don’t choose a highly competitive keyword or your copy is going to be muscled out of the competition by bigger businesses with intimidating advertising budgets.

You want to tow somewhere in the middle here.

How to Conduct Effective Keyword Research

Though there are various techniques for keyword research that range from simple to mind-boggling-complex, you should only bother with the effective ones.

 

There are various tools online with which you can conduct this research but the goal of your copy has to be defined or you are going to be off on a wild goose chase.

Let’s talk about Toys – children toys…

Suppose you want to write a copy for a Toy store or a toy manufacturing company, the first step to take is to analyze the persona of the people that are most likely to be interested in ‘Toys’. You need to know your potential customer very intimately so that you can ‘write’ properly for them. You need to know their age, income, gender, fears, interests, etc.

You need to know your potential customer very intimately so that you can ‘write’ properly for them.But you don’t need to know everything. Only those attributes that are necessary to make your copywriting speak to them and them alone!

You need to know their age, income, gender, fears, interests, hobbies, needs etc. ONLY AS IT RELATES TO YOUR COPY!

 

Note down all these metrics somewhere (add yours too) as you will be needing them for every other copy you create.

Get out a scratch pad or some note app and draft out a loose but adequate description of their persona of your potential toy customer.

For Toy customers we know the following:

  • They can be either Male/Female
  • They could be single or married
  • Age bracket – mostly 18 – 60
  • They are mostly parents and grandparents
  • They are income earners
  • They could belong to the Lower/Upper/Middle-class financially (this will depend on the Toy company’s target market)
  • They are child-care enthusiasts

NOTE: If you were to craft a copy for soccer lovers this list would be very different.

To get keywords that will rank high and get the attention of the search engine bots, you have to target the right ones! Many keyword research tools can be leveraged to simplify the entire process. Google keyword planner is very popular in this aspect.

Google Adwords (Keyword Planner)

This is google’s keyword depot so to speak. It contains volumes upon volumes of keywords for literally every niche that exists on the web. It is actually a tool for keyword research developed for customers seeking to advertise on google.

 

The perk about this tool is that you can evaluate the performance and competition of the keywords you want to write about without having to pay a dime or enter any credit card details.

How to use the google keyword planner

  • Register for google AdWords using your Gmail account (if you don’t have one, sign up. It’s free)
  • Unless you have a website for which you intend to leverage AdWords paid services, skip all the unnecessary setup requirements.
  • Go to ‘tools’ located on the on the main menu bar. Click on it and then select ‘keywords planner

Google Adwords - copywriting

 

  • On the new page click on ‘search for a new keyword using phrase, website or category

copywriting for beginners - adwords

 

  • Type the keyword ‘toys’ – (You are using this because your client is in the toy sales/manufacturing industry)

copywriting for beginners - adwords

 

  • Set your language and location and click on ‘Get Ideas‘ when you are done.

copywriting for beginners - adwords

 

  • The tool will take you to a page showing some results. The result outputs the most successful variants of your target keyword.

Notice that they are recorded in columns and rows. The columns have labels that supply information about the competitiveness, estimated number of clicks monthly, etc.

This information is very relevant especially if you plan to either:

  1. Create copy for website traffic and reader engagement or
  2. Create copy for sales or advertisement of services

Note that:

  • If you intend to create copy for traffic, then you should study those keywords with a large volume of searches per month
  • If you are interested in creating copy for sales, your focus should be on the keywords with ‘high suggested bids value’.

For this sample, I will focus on creating a copy for increasing website traffic.

  • Select one of the best-performing keywords with respect to volumes of searches per month i.e “toys for kids” and click the blue button.

copywriting for beginners -adwords

  • This will put the selected keyword up for ‘review’ on the rightmost column.
  • Click the ‘review plan’ button. The next page shows some statistical reports on the keyword.

copywriting for beginners -adwords

The image below shows the volume of impressions this keyword gets – daily clicks.

copywriting for beginners adwords

If you are satisfied with the volume of searches this keyword garners, then you can proceed to note it down somewhere safe.

If not, rinse and repeat!

To get more keywords repeat these steps for different google suggestions.

How do you know if the volume of searches is satisfactory?

Usually, for small businesses and medium-sized businesses, a search volume of 10-100k searches monthly is great. Some niches may have search volumes of 1-10k and that’s not bad too. But select this only if the market is promising and there are few serious competitors contesting for a spot in the top place.

 

Keywords with very intimidating search volumes (1M – 100M) are very saturated and should not be used unless there is a huge advertising budget at your disposal. Example are products that google owns – Gmail, google docs, etc. You can’t win google using google.

Long Tail Keywords (Reddit and Quora)

Long tail keywords are the closest approximation to the exact phrases people use to search for their interests using the search engines. Think back to that time when you wanted to search for an application that performed a specific function – let’s say edit photos.

Your search query looked something like this:

“Best  software for photo editing on windows PC for free”

You didn;t use this: “photo editing software”

Why:

Because you wanted specific results. You didn’t want just any photo editing software. You wanted the best. You also wanted it for free!

That is how a lot of people use the search engines too! But in most cases, their search phrases are more complex than the instance above.

 

Quora and Reddit are arguably the biggest forums online. With their numerous sections and groups, there’s barely anything that hasn’t been discussed on both these sites. I kid you not!

 

Due to the population of users and the nature of discussions taking place on these platforms, they have become very important in copywriting campaigns. This is because these topics and discussions are conducted in natural language as against the ‘robotic gibberish’ search engines and keyword research tools output very often. THEY ARE A GOLD MINE FOR LONG-TAIL KEYWORDS FOR YOUR COPYWRITING!

How you can take advantage of this feature

Remember that even though you can get GREAT keywords from AdWords, these keywords are very broad and will serve little purpose unless you narrow it down to smaller audiences.

 

For instance, in the sample above you have: “toys for kids”

But in real life, search engine users search the web using more specific keywords such as:

  • Cute and nice looking toys for kids.
  • Cheap original toys for kids, e.t.c.

The reason is because people invent all sorts of variations to search for similar stuff online. It’s what makes us human. It will be rare to have to have two different people search for the same product using the same wordings but usually, there is a repeating phrase.

 

The repeating phrase is the key to your golden keyword. Because the search engines rank any solid article with this golden keyphrase/keyword for all the variations of the search words used by people to search for their products of interest.

In this case,  it is “Toys for kids”

To find out what those extra variations to your specific keywords are, use this search engine trick:

Search – “keywords/phrase” + forum

  • “toys for kids” + Reddit
  • “toys for kids” + Quora

long tail keywords: reddit

The first query returned the following results (you should repeat this trick with quora and any other popular forum in your niche)

 

Now we can update our keywords list with the results from our search according to our preference. From the image above, solid variants include:

  • Toys for kids that teach programming
  • Stem toys for kids
  • Handcrafted toys for kids, e.t.c.

You can keep trying with more keywords from google keywords planner till you have enough variations to work with.

Why you should use this technique

The advantage of applying this technique is that you write topics that people are actually discussing and not topics that you feel are relevant to your client’s needs. If you miss the audience you aimed for you have flunked your copywriting!

 

In fact, leading Keyword research company Ahrefs recently conducted a survey that proved that targeting popular keywords using long tail variations is very advantageous especially if it is done well.

 

The people searching for these keywords can be cleverly converted to loyal visitors and in time, loyal customers. This is the ultimate goal of every informative copy.

 

Also, copies like these are easier to adapt for SEO purposes as they are already built around high ranking keywords with a respectable volume of monthly searches. This was proved earlier using google keywords planner.

Other tools that can be used for effective keyword research include:

  • SEMrush
  • Ahrefs
  • Alexa

They are specifically developed for competitor evaluation in conjunction with keyword research.

For best results, one or more out of these tools can be used together with the Google keywords planning tool. This is to improve the quality of keywords mined. As well as, to help you stack up better against new or existing competition.

Crafting The Winning Headline

While the keyword personifies your copy, your headline sells it!

 

Using the keyword as the title of your copy will not nearly be as effective as a superbly crafted headline. The headline is the single determinant whether your post gets read or not in most cases. I can’t emphasize enough on this one.

 

The goal of your headline is to grab attention at all cost!

 

To put it right to the point…

Your headline must:

  • Capture and hold the attention of your reader against their will
  • Hold them spellbound enough that they just can’t stop themselves from checking your content out.

If it isn’t doing any of these then you need to change your approach to crafting your headline.

How to write powerful, catchy headlines

The following simple steps will take you from writing mediocre, fancy headlines to crafting very powerful and strongly captivating headlines for both your audience and the search engines. It doesn’t matter if you have had any previous experience or not.

Aim to stir curiosity:

This requires that you employ the use of captivating opening phrases/words such as: “Here’s what…”, “What  I found…” “How to…” and “Why…”, “What…”, “List of…”, “10 ways to…” and so on.

 

The goal is to stir curiosity in the reader by passing across a strong message.

I took the time to check out some of the best-ranked articles of some of the top niche blogs today on buzzsumo. The results are presented below:

copywriting for beginners
Results for www.neilpatel.com
copywriting for beginners
Results for www.copyblogger.com

These words are quite hard to ignore even for the most disinterested reader. Top ranking niche blogs such as Smartblogger, Quicksprout, Copyblogger, Writersincharge, etc. make use of this technique a lot because it works. You should too.

State clearly what problem your content intends to solve:

You should NEVER base your headline on sentiments. It must convey CLEARLY, the benefits your contents will provide for your audience. Practically all leading blogs craft their headlines around this mantra and the results are always SPECTACULAR!

 

Here’s another look at some of the most shared contents of top websites. Noticed the clarity of purpose their headlines convey?

CLARITY-HEADLINES

The search keyword used is: boost blog traffic.

Avoid using flowery language:

I love Shakespeare’s plays and I’m sure a lot of people do too. But your audience wants to learn how to solve a problem that is clearly not literature-inclined. Evaluate the following headlines:

 

10 Techne required to tone down the level of brute and brawn involved in the art of content spawning

 

As opposed to:

 

10 techniques to reduce the work involved in content creation

I’m sure you are irritated at the first headline because:

  • It is quirky
  • It is unnecessarily difficult to interpret
  • It is just damn comical

The second headline, on the other hand, is very direct, easy to understand and relevant to the reader’s problem

 

If you are not in the literature niche then you better avoid the former and stick with the latter. If you don’t, you will end up repulsing your readers faster than you can type your next headline.

 

copywriting
The headlines for copies on Kate toon’s blog (she’s a renowned copywriter in Australia).

The headlines in the screenshot above were sourced from Katetooncopywriter. Her headline style embodies clarity of purpose and makes use of effective simple grammar.

Avoid verbosity – Stick to simple language:

Some bloggers believe that the bigger your vocabulary, the greater your authority.

They couldn’t be more wrong and here’s why:

  • Some of your readers are going to be non-native speakers of the English language. Increasing the vocabulary in your article only serves to frustrate them away.
  • Your headline will be more impersonal and distant. Impersonal and distant is terrible for readers’ engagement.
  • To explain further let’s consider two variants of the same message crafted into a headline:

 

Variant 1: 10 techniques to aggrandize your expertise and domination in the macrocosm of blogging

 

Variant 2: 10 techniques to improve the authority of your blog 

 

You will agree that the first variant is annoyingly verbose and the second very easy to understand.

Keep your fancy vocabulary away from your copywriting. You are writing to inform, not impress!

Avoid exaggerations – Keep it realistic:

My guess is you must have come across headlines that promise unrealistic benefits. Just like you would know to flee from a bad car dealer who promises you that your vehicle will last a century after excessively rough usage with little or no maintenance is the way your readers will run away from a copy title that reads thus:

“How to get 500,000 solid leads in one month for your new online business”

I’m not saying this is impossible but your average reader is either:

  • Too inexperienced to understand the techniques involved or
  • The article is a big fat lie!

Guess which one your readers will readily believe?

You guessed right – number 2.

 

Keep your promises realistic and avoid exaggerations like a plague. Honesty is the backbone of your efforts at establishing a strong relationship with your readers. Don’t lose it!

 

Always include power words and phrases in your headlines:

Power keywords lend solidity and confidence to your headlines. They are those word that make your readers really interested in what you have to talk about. Examples of such words include:

kick-ass, significantly, original, captivating, aggressive, absolute, optimal etc.

You shouldn’t risk leaving them out of your headline, ever!

Let’s work on the previous headline again but this time adding power words to them.

Headline:

10 techniques to improve the authority of your blog

Suggested power-words: Sure-fire, Kick-ass, absolutely simple, ridiculously simple, cheat, etc.

You can also add extra phrases for emphasis at the tail of the headline.

we have: 

 

10 Sure-fire techniques to improve the authority of your blog in record time

 

10 ridiculously simple techniques to improve the authority of your blog with minimal effort 

 

10 cheat techniques to improve the authority of your blog in no time

 

Did you notice the difference?

The second variants convey more confidence, and stirs curiosity in your audience. Once you achieve this, voila! they want to read your articles.

Practice, practice, practice again:

If you want to get the level expertise reflected in the headlines of the top bloggers in the industry then you must be ready to practice. I say this because it works. Nothing gets better without effort. Below are some of the top headlines on Buzzsumo again. The search phrase I used is random – boost blog traffic. Alright, maybe not that random.

copywriting

 

Check out those headlines that are ranked the highest.

  • They have adjectives that elicit excitement, curiosity, confidence and honestly very easily.
  • Notice words and phrases such as – ‘ultimate’, ‘significantly’, ‘modern ways’, etc.
  • Notice the how the word how is used to spark your curiosity and interest
  • Note how the word ‘simple’ is used to relax and inspire your confidence in their article even though you have never read it.

I bet you want to know how this is done.

This is what you need to do:

  • Using our keywords “toys for kids” for the purpose of this sample – (it could be anything really)
  • Use a keyword research tool or Buzzsumo – I prefer Buzzsumo – search for that keyword and write down the top headlines in the results. Note down 10 at least.
  • Try other loose topics like “healthy pet food”, “expensive dog food”, “swimming allergies”, etc.
  • Get more headlines.
  • Decompose these headlines into individual words. Separate the adjectives and write them out. Note these kinds of phrases – ‘What you need…’, ‘How to…’, ‘Ways to…’, ‘List of…’
  • Notice their pattern of usage and indicate as many variations as you can. Always try to discover the relationship between their usage and the emphasis.
  • Note down the power words and phrases.
  • Also, note the tail ends of these headlines.
  • Take a keyword you want to make a headline out of. Using what you have learned so far. Create your own original headline.
  • Create 10, create 20, create as much as you can.

You will realize that the more you practice, the better you get at it and in a short time you will find that sweet spot you are looking for. There’s an evergreen ‘Headline Hacks’ by Jon Morrow of Smart Blogger. Get yourself a copy. Don’t worry, it’s free!

Content Research and Creation

The content of your copy is the body of your copy. It is the message, the information, the soul of your copywriting.

 

Imagine for a moment that you walked into a car dealership to select your dream vehicle. Your eyes caught sight of one with a really assertive design and you couldn’t help but check it out. Its paint coat was as reflective as a full-length mirror and the curves were effortlessly smooth and intelligently designed beyond compare.

 

You want to find out more right?

so you go on to open the driver’s door.

 

Surprise!

Tattered upholstery with the foam shamelessly jutting out of the dirty brown leather seats confront you in conjunction with a foul stench. The dashboard is broken apart and stained with as much grime as a sewage canal.

 

I’m guessing that at this point you would just close the door and race to the nearest therapist to cure you of the trauma of that unsightly sight.

 

Well, that’s just exactly how a bad content covered by a beautifully researched keyword and an awe-inspiring headline can repulse your visitors/readers.

 

Don’t traumatize them, please!

As in the previous cases, there is a science to writing the perfect content.

Science is mostly about research so here we go!

Competitor Research

I will be honest here. There’s is barely anything that hasn’t been discussed or written about on the internet before.

 

Why am I telling you this?

 

It’s so you don’t try to reinvent the wheel.

 

Unless you just discovered a groundbreaking technology or some unprecedented scientific breakthrough, there’s really nothing ‘new’ you can write about. Besides if you plan to be good at copywriting then you should really be more concerned with being very efficient as against being novel. That’s what you should focus on!

 

Before you draft out your copy, you must find out what other people have written about it in the past. Especially, the authorities in your niche. That’s the only way to guarantee that your copy can stand out.

 

The goal is simple. look through their copies and write something better.

Buzzsumo

This is one of my favorite online tools as it can be a hugely effective data miner if smartly utilized.

Let’s talk about toys again.

  • Go to Buzzsumo, sign up for a free account. (If you happen to fall in love with it – like I did – and intend to use it for more analysis, I recommend you sign up for the pro account – they ha)

Note: For the purpose of this exercise I will be using the free account.

  • Type in a variant of your keyword – (remember ‘STEM toys for kids’?)
  • The results are in the screenshot below.

copywriting for beginners

 

The area bounded by the red rectangle contains the filter options. You can tweak what type of results you want to see by changing the values of the available filter options.

 

copywriting for beginners

 

The two red arrows point to the top performing articles ranking for the keyword “STEM toys for kids”

Others are:

The highlighted content shows the most successful copies ranking for the same keyword.

 

To create an astounding copy capable of commanding attention you have to study all the top contents!

There’s a reason that they are successful and the secret is contained in them.

  • Study the writing styles and the key points in each copy.
  • Also, note the outline and organization of the content.
  • Using the knowledge garnered from the activity above, draft a stellar outline for your own content.

The format of  your content:

After getting the key points to your astounding copy, it’s time to write.

 

The rules of drafting copy are fairly easy to follow and I believe that while it isn’t going to be an entirely stress-free process, it will definitely not be difficult. Some of the most important tips to craft that attention-grabbing copy are listed below.

Choose a comfortable writing style:

  • Do you feel at ease with storytelling?
  • Do you prefer the ‘direct-straight-to-the-point’ approach?
  • Do you prefer the conversational style?

Choose a style that resonates with your brand then begin to write.

Points to note:

  • You have to be careful while using the storytelling approach. Keep it reasonably lengthy. Too short will leave your readers confused and irritated. Too long will make your readers forget the essence of the copy. Tow the middle line here.
  • The direct approach is remarkably effective but you should be careful not to go overboard so as not to provoke sour emotions in your readers against your brand. There is a fine line to walk here too.
  • For the conversational technique, just make sure you are not boring. That’s all.

Clarity:

Keep in mind that you are writing for people who may be reading about the product you are promoting or the information you are sharing for the first time. I like to think of it this way. Let your message be clear and succinct!

 

Avoid excessive use of difficult vocabulary. If possible avoid it completely! No one wants to read your copy and at the same time have to keep swapping the pages of a dictionary.

The message should be very obvious with as little side stories as possible. Focus on your keyword and you’ll be good.

Well-spaced:

copywriting
A blog post (copy) on Sparring Mind showing the importance of white space in copywriting.

Yoast has a metric called ‘readability’. It is used to gauge how easy or difficult your copy is for people to read. Don’t be afraid to write one line paragraphs. Realize that the easier your copy is on the eyes, the better your conversion rates.

 

You can improve readability in your copywriting by doing the following:

  • Use mostly short sentences in your copywriting. Longer sentences may sound clever but are boring most of the time. Use long sentences only when you absolutely have to.
  • Use shorter paragraphs. Break your work apart as often as you can manage. Keep the number of sentences in one paragraph to a maximum of 4. 3sentences is perfect too.
  • Consider increasing your line space. The more white-space your reader sees, the better.

Keep your copy human and relatable:

A page of Backlinko showing a very engaging conversational style of copywriting.

Do you know why we hate textbooks?

That’s right. It is because it is written in a very informal tone. Very distant!

 

If your copy doesn’t stir any emotion in your reader then it is a bad copy. You absolutely need to connect with your readers. Forget all the requirements of formal English grammar and just write like you are human.

The reader will feel more at ease with a copy that reflects humanity. ‘Robotic-speak’ is an instant turn-off.

Links and Linking:

copywriting
A post on inbound marketing showing how to optimize your copy with links.

Every copy that intends to do well is expected to be backed up with factual statistics. Search for statistics that support your message and include their links in the body of your copy.

 

Authority bloggers are authorities for a reason. They know what works and what doesn’t in your niche. Reference their articles in your work every time you can. It proves that you took out a good chunk of time to research the topic of interest before putting your fingers to the keyboard.

 

Also, link to your previous articles if you find them relevant to the theme of your current copy.

This trick is great for SEO, it also boosts reader engagement on your page.

 

Edit, Edit and Edit again:

Chances are that your first draft will be shitty! Don’t be worried. It’s the same for almost everyone. That’s why you should put more effort in editing your work than in drafting it. The edited copy is what the reader is going to consume. Any typo or misspelled words will convince the reader taht you didn’t put in any effort into your copywriting at all. Understandably, editing can be rigorous but here are a few tips to help you through:

  • Never edit as you write, keep writing and leave all your mistakes as you make them. You don’t want to lose your ideas because of one wrongly placed comma.
  • Use a spell checker to correct misspelled words. Good ol’ Microsoft Word can do this. There’s also google docs.
  • Check your grammar. Confirm all tenses and sentences before you hit publish. Grammarly is a free web tool and is very helpful in this regard.
  • Go over the edited work a few times after you are done.
  • YOU JUST COMPLETED YOUR FIRST COPY!

Conclusion

That wraps it up. This condensed guide is all you will ever need to jump into the world of copywriting with both feet. A very lofty assertion I know.

 

However, note that the only way you will get any better at this is if you practice, practice and practice some more. Anything less and you have gained nothing at all.

 

I’m pretty confident that after reading and putting the tips suggested in this article to practice, you should be way past beginner level in the science of copywriting.

 

What do you think about this article?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

2 thoughts on “Copywriting Demystified: The Ultimate Guide For Beginners

  • Nigel Ikechukwu

    Wow.. This is remarkable article. Well researched, written and formatted. It took a while to read through, but it was worth it. Really kick ass content Stanley!

    Reply
    • Stanley Ndunwere

      Thanks a lot, Nigel. I am glad you found the article engaging and useful too. 🙂

      Reply

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