Copywriting is the process of writing articles on blogs or online media for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing. It is indispensable to businesses given its potential to leverage on the Internet and social media to reach a wide range of customers.
We may describe copywriting as a business-inclined form of writing carefully crafted to spur prospective customers to take a definite action. While the conventional desired action is the prospect’s purchase of a product or service, action could also take the form of clicking on a link or watching a video.
Copy refers to a copywriter’s output. It typically takes the form of advertisements, emails, sales pages, landing pages, posters, social media posts, blog posts, articles and video scripts.
Essentially, we consume copy on a daily basis. Copy influences us on a subconscious level.
Copywriting takes various forms, including SEO (search engine optimisation) copywriting, direct response copywriting, social media copywriting, email copywriting, advertising copywriting, brand copywriting, technical copywriting and creative copywriting.
One can also view copywriting from the lenses of business-to-business (B2B) copywriting and business-to-customer (B2C) copywriting. All forms of copywriting have points of convergence.
An aspiring copywriter must begin with the resolve to commit to continuous learning before seeking monetisation opportunities. As is the case with many other digital skills, the basic tools are a mobile phone and Internet access. A pen and a notebook specifically devoted to copywriting can also factor in.
With resolve in place, the following steps come into play:
- Watch a lot of YouTube videos: YouTube is a repository of knowledge on so many disciplines and skills. Copywriting is not an exception. Watch as many videos as possible on copywriting and jot down key points in your smartphone’s Notes application. Leading YouTube channels on copywriting include Alex Cattoni, Dan Lok and Kopywriting Kourse. The more videos you watch, the more concepts recur and make more sense.
- Read a lot of articles: There are more than enough articles on copywriting all over the Internet. Videos are generally more convenient to consume, but articles consume less data and may contain more content.
- Take free courses: Free courses are the way to go in the short term. Some courses to start with include Udemy’s Copywriting: Fundamentals For Beginners, Beginner’s Guide To Copywriting and 155 Years Of Copywriting Insight In 1.5 Hours. However, you should be discerning of the right courses to take. Look out for courses that contain exercises, to avoid being caught up in an endless cycle of learning without practice.
- Practice: This is the most definitive step. An effective way to practice what you have learnt is to gather existing copy and make attempts to rewrite them. You can also find templates and make attempts to rewrite them. Use grammar tools like Grammarly and the Hemingway Editor to sharpen your writing and tone.
- Read books on sales, advertising and marketing: For advanced proficiency, invest in books on sales, advertising and marketing over the years. Many techniques inherent in these books apply to copywriting and would boost your understanding of copywriting.
- Follow copywriters on social media: Branding and visibility are crucial in copywriting. Seek out leading copywriters on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram and follow them for digestible tips. You can take a step further on Twitter by following Copywriting as a topic, to bring more copywriting-related tweets to your timeline. Teaching oneself copywriting goes a long way, but it is just the beginning. Budding copywriters must build portfolios on Google Drive and seek out mentors to shadow, as well as a copywriting community to be a part of. Eventually, a budding copywriter must send out applications while honing their skills and building their visibility.