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25 reasons to hire an seo writer

25 Reasons Every Business Needs a Go-To SEO Copywriter

You know those articles you click on and read daily from all over the web, to inspire you, to guide you on a buying purchase, or to give you the next tip to DIY your life?

Who creates all that?

Not a machine. Not a bot. Not a system.

A real, live, breathing person who happened to be born with the art and talent of writing.

Content: it’s everywhere. Some days, it seems like you could trip and land on a blog post or sneeze and be greeted by a listicle. This is no accident.

We’re living in the era of content marketing, my friends, and today, everyone everywhere needs quality content for their online marketing.

From blog posts to tutorials to custom visuals, the demand for content is intense, and there’s a whole team of people lined up to meet it.

These people are called copywriters, and they’re experts in everything—from content to SEO.

hire an seo copywriter

25 Great Reasons to Hire an Online SEO Copywriter

Since the demand for content is so huge, it’s not surprising that everyday people like business owners and managers get overwhelmed by the responsibility of creating content. Unfortunately, content is critical and companies who don’t have the time to create it will fall behind in both rankings and traffic. And you can’t do it yourself, you need a copywriter who knows how to write!

If you’re wondering why it’s a good to idea to hire an SEO copywriter and keep him or her on standby for all of your content needs, read on. Here are 25 reasons to invest in an SEO copywriter for your business marketing material.

1. Time savings

Content creation is a hugely time-consuming process. If you’re any kind of content marketer, you’ve probably discovered this already. And it’s dependent on time, because the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it. Unfortunately, that can become a work and time hole if you don’t have help.

overworked
As your business grows, it’s not unrealistic to assume that you’ll spend hours each week creating content, updating social media, reading and responding to user comments, and promoting your material. Unless you already have hours to spare each week (doubtful), this demand is bound to put you at a deficit and make it difficult for you to handle all the other aspects of your business.

Since copywriters are content experts who specialize only in content and SEO, hiring a professional copywriter is a great way to free up your time while also ensuring that your company winds up with professional, creative, high-quality copy that supports the goals and aspirations of your business.

2. An accurate representation of your services

Sometimes, it’s difficult for a business owner to describe a company’s services accurately. While this may seem odd, business owners spend so much time in their businesses that it can sometimes be helpful to have an external third-party come in to write about what the company does. Many copywriters specialize in specific industries, so it’s easy to find a copywriter who understands your business and knows how to speak directly to your consumers. When you find a copywriter who truly understands the nature and value of your business, you can ensure engaging and informative copy every single time.

3. On-trend pieces that sync with your industry

One of the primary challenges of being a business owner is finding the time to stay up to date with current happenings and developments in your industry.

Did you know? A copywriter might know, better than you, what to write for your audience! *GASP*

no ego
To remain relevant and exciting, brands need to consistently create content that demonstrates that they understand their current industry environment and can function within it. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done for many CEOs and owners. When you hire a copywriter, however, you’ll never have to worry about how to handle current trends or keep yourself on the bleeding edge of your niche. A copywriter can simply synthesize happenings in your industry and use all the current news and events in your niche to create relevant, informed, and valuable content for your clients.

4. Correct grammar and spelling

Let’s face it: writing is a learned skill. Because business owners are so busy with so many other things, many of them simply don’t have the time to worry about things like spelling, punctuation, and whether or not “internet” is spelled with a capital “I.”

Luckily for you, a copywriter LOVES to figure out all that stuff. We find absolute joy in the (corrected) nuances of grammar and delight in beautiful wording.

grammar joy
Let me put it straight. Publishing online content that’s riddled with grammar and spelling errors can hurt your company. People just won’t take you as seriously. Don’t do it; hire a copywriter who can turn out quality, error-free copy for all of your online content.

5. Persuasive content

You know what’s great about your company and why people should choose you over the competition, but can you communicate that to readers? Writing compelling content is a learned skill, and it’s something that copywriters are incredibly good at. For any business looking to put their best face forward or promote growth and engagement with customers, hiring a copywriter is a great way to ensure your content is persuasive and effective.

6. Perspective

While it may seem unlikely at first that a copywriter could add something unique to your company’s value proposition, copywriters are often very helpful when it comes to adding perspective to your business. Copywriters are objective, third-party people who can help you understand your business on a higher and more functional level and then transmit that message to your customers.

7. Variation

One of the most important factors in content creation is variation. While you as a business owner might not know how to create marketing videos, infographics, images, and text content, a copywriter does, which can give your content strategy a dramatic boost. In addition to helping you create different content types, a copywriter will also know how to pen content at various lengths and expertise levels to cater to all of your various audiences.

8. Creativity

A copywriter’s brain works in mysterious ways. Because copywriters are so experienced in writing copy for different companies, they’ll have perspective and creativity that might be difficult for you to access all on your own. A copywriter can not only come up with original topics but can also use your existing content to create new formats and styles that can help you stand out from the crowd.

9. Knowledge

Unless you’ve got some serious time on your hands, it’s unlikely that you’re keeping up with all of the latest news about Google’s frequent algorithm updates or recent changes in the content marketing and SEO industries. Because copywriters need to know about SEO and Google updates to make a living, you can trust that a skilled copywriter will create copy that performs well in Google and pleases your readers at the same time. Additionally, a copywriter can help you understand how to navigate SEO to avoid Google penalties and stay in the search engine’s good graces.

10. Personalized content made for your target audience

While you know that it’s important to speak directly to your target audience, that’s easier said than done. While you might not be well-versed in things like sales funnels and target personas, a copywriter is. In light of this, a copywriter can create personalized, unique content that speaks directly to your target audience at all stages of the buying cycle.

11. Unique content

To rank well in Google’s SERPs, you need to create quality, reputable, original content on an ongoing basis. This can be difficult, though! In addition to the fact that coming up with topics for content is hard enough on its own, it’s also difficult to create years’ worth of content without duplicating yourself or running out of topic ideas. Luckily, a skilled SEO copywriter will be able to produce reputable, exciting online content without slipping into boring, dry material. In addition to the fact that duplicate content is bad for your business (you’ll likely lose readers and damage your credibility by posting duplicate content), it’s also something can quickly result in Google penalties.

12. Exciting content

So you’re in the tire pressure gauge business. How do you make this industry sound exiting enough to stand out from the crowd and engage customers? While it may be difficult for you to create exciting content that your readers will remember, this is second nature for a copywriter. While you can’t change the fact that some industries are boring, you can ensure that your content is as exciting as possible by hiring a professional SEO copywriter to create engaging, interesting content that will help you stand out from the crowd.

13. More online traffic

One of the biggest battles of running an online business is producing organic (non-paid) traffic. While this may be difficult to do on your own, a copywriter has the skills and knowledge needed to drive more organic traffic to your site. Before you waste your marketing budget on PPC advertising, find a qualified copywriter with an extensive knowledge of organic search, SEO, and content optimization. Between creating content for social media and developing unique, on-site content, a copywriter can help you drive organic traffic to your site, thus increasing your bottom line and making your business easier for users to find.

14. Increased social prowess

To build an online presence and engage correctly with your followers, it’s critical to have a strong social media presence. While a copywriter can create content for your blog, website, and product pages, a copywriter can also create high-quality material for your social accounts – ranging from Facebook to Twitter. While it’s unlikely that you know what the ideal number of characters for a tweet or a Facebook post is, a copywriter does. This kind of knowledge on your side can help ensure that you stand out from the competition and use the power of social media to your advantage.

15. Expert content

Even though you’re the business owner and thus an expert on your product, goods, and services, it’s possible to secure an expert copywriter who is familiar with your industry and can create expert, well-written content that will reflect well on your company. This is especially true for businesses in knowledge-dense fields, like medicine, where expert content is of the utmost importance.

16. Less stress

This one’s really simple, but a gamechanger. Content creation is a large job and, without the proper help, it can get stressful quite quickly. For many reasons. What if you don’t know how to talk to your audience? What’s the difference between the copy you need to write for a blog, and what you need to write for your Facebook audience? How do you stay on top of all the topics you need to plan out for next month? This list goes on. And it gets crazy.

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If you’re having trouble keeping up with the content demand, a copywriter is a great way to ensure that you consistently get content onto your blogs, social media accounts, and web pages without running yourself ragged in the process.

17. Consistency

Consistency is half the battle of copywriting and even if you love writing content and are good at it, it’s worth nothing if you can’t get words onto the page on a regular basis. Like many business owners, you probably have a lot on your plate. Between running the company, dealing with hiring, and ensuring that there’s enough stock on the shelves, it’s likely that you find it difficult to create content on a regular basis. This is why content creation can be such a huge help. By hiring a professional copywriter, you can ensure that you have a source of consistent content creation that benefits your brand and your audiences.

18. Objectivity

Today’s marketing climate is all about providing value and relevance. While selling is still important, it’s taken a back seat to building relationships. Unfortunately, many businesses owners hard sell their clients without meaning to. Because you’re passionate about your products and care deeply about ensuring that your company succeeds, it might be helpful to hire a copywriter to write objective, quality content that helps your readers and provides value to a wide variety of audiences.

19. Using the correct voice

Unless you’re an experienced online copywriter, it’s likely that you’re not familiar with the correct voice to use in online marketing copy. First, second, or third person is a valid question to ask, and it’s one that an online copywriter won’t have to struggle with. Because your online copy is so important, it pays to have a copywriter who won’t have to struggle over the nature of copywriting as a whole and can focus, instead, on the task at hand.

20. Great SEO

In 2016, SEO IS content.

For your content to function well on your website and blog, it’s necessary to implement correct SEO throughout. Unfortunately, SEO Is an ongoing and ever-changing field and, unless you’re dedicated to doing it for a living, it’s likely that you’ll have trouble keeping up with all the recent changes and developments in the SEO industry. A copywriter, on the other hand, won’t have this same issue. Because copywriters are experienced in all facets of SEO, it’s easy to ensure that your professional online copy will abide by the most recent SEO guidelines.

21. Continuity

To build a brand presence and help yourself stand out from the competition, it’s critical to ensure that your online content is consistent across the board. By hiring an online copywriter, you can ensure that everything from your product descriptions to your blog posts is written in the same point of view, voice, and perspective. This can help create brand continuity and encourage readers to engage with your brand.

22. Conversational writing

The tone of your online content is critical and consumers react better to conversational content than they do to dry and professional content. To encourage readers to engage with your brand, it’s essential to write in a conversational style. If this is something you don’t feel comfortable doing, it’s wise to hire an online copywriter to create conversational, relatable content your customers will love.

23. Competitive content

If you want to run with the best, you need to create reputable content that is professional, expert, and well-written. One of the best ways to do that, even if you’re a budding company, is to hire an expert copywriter to handle your content creation needs. In addition to helping you establish yourself as an authority in your industry, professional copywriting can help promote growth in your brand and earn you new customers.

24. You need copy to match your website

If you’ve already got a website and need content to match it, a copywriter is your go-to. Professional copywriters can read your existing content and create new content that matches it in tone, voice, style, and substance. This approach can help you create a cohesive online presence that reflects well on your company.

25. Clarity

If there’s one thing online copywriters excel at, it’s clarity, brevity, and concise writing. This is exactly what you need in your online copywriting and can quickly help elevate your content to the next level. Regardless of whether you’re trying to grow your brand, engage new customers, or provide value to your existing clients, hiring an online copywriter is the perfect way to ensure that you’re meeting your company goals.

Conclusion

While you can certainly write your own content, hiring an SEO copywriter is one of the best ways to ensure that you create quality, relatable, cohesive content across the board. In addition to the fact that an SEO copywriter can help you elevate your content, having a go-to SEO copywriter can also help you compete with bigger brands and establish yourself as a leader in the industry.

SEO copywriters are the meat behind greatness on the web. Get your expert copywriting today!

seo web content writing

Inside The Brain & Life of a Copywriter (Infographic)

Interested in being an online writer, or hiring a writer for your projects? Then you’ll probably enjoy our infographic about the copywriter’s brain, lifestyle, habits, and thought process! We’ve taken a look at most common demographics that make up the database of online copywriters today, what goes on in their head (most of the time), important skill sets all copywriters maintain, and much more. Enjoy! Don’t forget to leave us a comment/share if you like!

Inside the Brain of a Copywriter

Infographic Transcript: Inside The Brain & Life of a Copywriter (Infographic)

Why The Online Writer Is So Essential Today

Did you know? There are over 2 million blog posts posted online every day. And there are more than 900,000,000 websites online, and dozens more launching per minute; the web is estimated to house 1 billion websites somewhere in 2016. With content marketing becoming the foundation of two-thirds of all B2B marketers’ marketing, and a priority investment in all their marketing, it’s more important than it’s ever been to hire your best-fit writer to create content that makes your brand stand out online.

The Everyday Copywriter

Writers are the behind-the-scenes superheroes who make the web go around, but who are they in real life?

  • Stay-at-home moms: Since many writing jobs offer the benefit of working from home, many copywriters are busy parents who want a fulfilling job that allows them to spend time with their families and still exercise their creativity and talents.
  • Out-of-work professionals: Many copywriters are past professionals who have had a career or job where they were laid off. They’ve turned their career around and found writing opportunities that allow them to use their expertise. Many of them work remotely and telecommute.
  • Millennials: Many copywriters are millennials hired to make large companies more relevant and exciting to customers. 70% of companies are creating more content than they did a year ago and millennials are filling much of this demand.
  • Quick Learners: Copywriters are organized, creative, and quick to learn new things. The average marketer uses between 12-16 different types of content and copywriters must be familiar with all of them.
  • Storyteller: Many of the best creative writers grew up telling and writing natural stories. These early skills kindled a passion that later flourished into a writing career, with online writing as an open field for job opportunities.

Left Brain of the Copywriter: Practicality

Copywriters are in charge of creating compelling, valuable content for a variety of industries. This requires organization and plenty of practicality. Here’s how they use their left brains to do it:

  • Organization: Copywriters often work on several projects at once, so they need to be organized, detail-oriented, and able to balance deadlines efficiently.
  • Research: Copywriters generally specialize in a few different areas and may write about dozens of different topics each day. Because of this, they are masters at research and learn new things quickly.
  • Synthesis: In order to write content that stands out in today’s content-saturated environment, copywriters need to be able to synthesize new information quickly and turn it into something valuable that readers will love.
  • Structure: Structure is the foundation of great writing. Copywriters know how to break a document down to make it easy and fun to read.
  • Perfectionism: Copywriters strive to make everything they write as good as possible. This often means reading and revising a piece several times!

Right Brain of the Copywriter: Creativity

Being a copywriter isn’t all about analytics. Copywriters also have to be creative, intuitive, and innovative. Here’s what the right brain brings to the table:

  • Uniqueness: What sets one copywriter’s work apart from another’s’? The answer is unique perspective. Each copywriter needs to be able to harness creativity enough to write from a unique voice and POV.
  • Innovation: There are thousands of articles on SEO out there but copywriters make theirs interesting and relevant by finding innovative ways to approach broad topics.
  • Visualization: Copywriters know how to pull in different media formats – like video and images – to add depth and value to their writing.
  • Humor: Great writing is relatable. Copywriters often use humor to make their writing more approachable to readers.
  • Anticipation: In order to stay abreast of their industries, copywriters use their knowledge of the niche in order to anticipate what topics, developments, or conversations are coming next. This helps them stay on the cutting edge! 

Common Thoughts of a Copywriter

Copywriters are the chameleons of the marketing world – constantly transforming themselves to offer different voices, viewpoints, and positions. Here are some of the things copywriters think about in order to create great content.

“How do I write a great headline?” Copywriters know that a headline is the single most important piece of an article. 80% of people read the headline of an article while only 20% read body copy, so copywriters are experts at crafting quality headlines that get people to click.

“What does my reader need?” A great copywriter knows that readers come to content for one thing: to answer questions. In order to cater to readers as well as possible, copywriters think about how to provide the maximum amount of value to a reader all throughout an article. This is an empathetic skill that involves placing themselves in the readers’ shoes.

“Where’s the gap?” Right now, 27 million pieces of content are shared across the web on a daily basis. Despite that, there are still people who aren’t getting their questions answered and can’t find content that caters to them. A copywriter’s job is to fix that. They do this by seeking out gaps in niches or topics and then filling them with quality writing.

“How do I entertain and educate?” If you wanted dry, boring writing, you’d head to the phone book, right? Copywriters know that their job is to entertain their readers while also providing value, so they seek to entertain and educate in everything they write.

“Is there real value in this content piece?” Regardless of whether a copywriter is writing an article about how to start your first blog or expand your already-advanced SEO strategy, they seek to add as much value as possible to everything they write. This involves finding great statistics, referencing industry leaders, taking relevant screenshots, and linking to other relevant content.

5 Key Copywriting Techniques

Great online writing is a learned skill and, in order to be good at it, copywriters need to master these five techniques.

  1. Embrace Storytelling: Every great copywriter is an old-time storyteller as well as a marketer. In order to engage audiences, they must know how to make any topic relatable and exciting.
  1. Write to One Person: Rather than writing to a “Target audience,” copywriters know how to write to a single person within an audience. This makes all web copy more personal, valuable, and enticing.
  1. Back it Up: Copywriters know that a piece of writing is only as good as the statistics within it. Because of this, they know how to harness facts and statistics to back up every claim they make.
  1. Keep it Organized: Copywriters are experts at organizing content in a way that makes it flow logically – giving the reader information in a logical and relevant order in order to enhance understanding.
  1. Make it Actionable: Nobody wants to read content that doesn’t offer true tips, tricks, or hacks. Because of this, copywriters know that, in order to write great content, it all needs to be actionable and easy to execute.

It’s true…copywriters rule the online writing world and provide awesome content for readers everywhere!

References:

Internet Live Stats: http://buff.ly/1R7kUo9

MarketingProfs: http://buff.ly/1QibgTw

Kapost: http://buff.ly/1QkPCus

Pay Scale: http://buff.ly/1Q65sce

Content Marketing Institute: http://buff.ly/1OqqVdD

Copyblogger: http://buff.ly/1QtUT1Y

online content writer

Why Today is the Era of the Online Content Writer

Anyone who has ever studied English or writing knows just how hilarious people think they’re being when they ask “What in the world are you ever going to do with that?”

It’s long been considered a source of fun and frivolity to pick on writers for their delicate sensibilities and their seemingly useless talents and training…until now.

Right now, you and I are living in the era of the copywriter as the online content writer, or SEO copywriter… and it’s arguable that there are few other skills that are in such high demand right now.

That’s right: high demand.

Copywriting is a broad profession that embodies many things and, now more than ever, people need copywriters to make their online businesses go around, to help their pages show up in search results, to execute good SEO, and to master the written word in order to provide value and excitement for readers.

online content writer

The Evolution of the Copywriter To The Online Content Writer

The role of the copywriter as it is today, with many jobs in online content writing specifically, has metamorphosed hugely since the inception of advertising.

So you think you can write julia mccoy

Back in the ‘30s and ‘40s, copywriters were charged with developing ad copy people would love, which typically meant it was full of puns, over-explaining, and outrageous exaggerations (like the 1937 Camel Cigarette ad whose headline was “for digestion’s sake – smoke Camels!”).

In the ‘60s and ‘70s, the job of copywriting began to change when Bill Bernbach, the first man to put copywriters and art directors together on projects, created a new-age copy creation team that was dedicated to producing ads that were more honest, stark, and open. Throughout the ‘80s and the ‘90s, copywriting continued to change: long copy dominated advertising and visuals became more important but in the year 2000, it all began to change.

Suddenly, visual gags were all the rage and body copy all but died altogether. Throughout the next several years, copywriting became a spammy profession that was focused on cramming as many keywords into a piece of content as possible or building sneaky, unethical links. Thanks to the pressures of the market and the overwhelming trend of copy in general, copywriting became an environment in which crappy content was king and black hats were in vogue.

Today, however, copywriting is a high-brow practice that requires extensive knowledge of SEO, marketing, and a wide variety of writing tactics that can help businesses put their best face forward.

The Changing Tides of Copywriting: Google, Value, and Other Factors

The reason for the evolution of online content writing that has taken place over the last decade has to do in large part with Google. Over the years, Google has released a series of updates aimed at targeting so-called “black-hat SEO” practices, such as keyword stuffing, doorway pages, invisible text, or page swapping, and rewarding sites that feature high-quality, original, valuable content.

These changes have made it nearly impossible for crappy sites to scrape by and, as such, the algorithm updates have created a brand new demand for talented, knowledgeable copywriters that know how to produce great site rankings through skill and technique rather than spammy, dark-side practices. As Google’s algorithm updates have only continued to press forward, this need has become more and more pronounced and, nowadays, it’s impossible for a site to rank or survive without a team of talented copywriters and other marketing professionals on staff.

4 Important Things Copywriters Need to Know

Despite its great demand right now, very few people know what copywriters actually do. We’re confused with journalists and, when the profession comes up at a dinner party, are often regarded with raised eyebrows and a deer-in-the-headlights sort of “Ohhhh” from the person who mistakenly asked what it is that we do. Nobody knows what copywriters do and that’s because we operate largely behind the scenes.

Despite this reality, copywriters play a large part in making the digital world go around and there are dozens of things copywriters need to know in order to do their jobs well. Here are just a few:

1. How to Write Electrifying Headlines

What makes you decide to read an article as you scroll through your Facebook feed? If you’re like most social media users, it’s the headline or the featured image or some combination of both. Little did you know that copywriters have a hand in both of those things, but specifically the headline. One of the most important jobs a copywriter has is to create magnetic headlines that draw audiences in and make them want to click on an article. This requires a little bit of a magic, a little bit of technical skill, and a whole lot of technique.

2. How to Use SEO Components in Writing

Copywriters are asked to create great content that wants to go viral and, aside from writing clearly and providing value to readers, there’s only one way to do this: SEO. SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and is the practice by which writers make content easy to read for both people and search engines. SEO entails everything from keyword usage to meta titles and descriptions and is an important part of making sure you can find exactly what you’re looking for online. Additionally, good SEO helps sites get their content out there in front of consumers and makes sure that google users can always find what they’re looking for when they enter a search queries in the search box.

3. How to Provide Value to Readers

People use search engines to ask and answer questions and one of the most important jobs of a copywriter is to ensure that the content that pops up in response to search queries is valuable, useful, and helpful. This means that copywriters must be able to anticipate reader questions and answer them from an empathetic and informative standpoint. They must also be able to cite sources, provide trustworthy research, include visuals for reference, and do everything in their power to ensure that the reader’s questions are answered and that he or she genuinely enjoys the content that presents itself.

4. How to use multi-media content to grab reader interest

Today, content is king but content is also a broad, broad term. Content entails everything, including but not limited to blog posts, articles, eBooks, white papers, social media posts, podcasts, Tweets, videos, images, memes, infographics, and video casts. In order to be effective in today’s content creation climate, copywriters need to know how to use all of these things and use them well. That means that it’s no longer enough for a copywriter to be good with a pen and paper – they also need to be part graphic designer, part marketer, part SEO, part visual artist, part documentary filmmaker and part research analyst in order to pull all these things together into one cohesive package. What’s more, copywriters need to know how to work with dozens of different blogging, content and image creation, and social media platforms in order to distribute content to a wide variety of readers effectively. How’s that for a laundry list of qualifications?

5. How to Write Well!

Last but not least, copywriters need to know how to write well! Nobody wants to slog through textbook-ish jargon online and that sort of junk only drives people away. Similarly, nobody wants to struggle through typo-heavy crap written by someone in a hurry. As businesses get busier and busier with all the aspects of marketing, promotion, and product development that they deal with on a daily basis, copywriters become more and more in demand. Content creation is a serious responsibility and a time-consuming obligation and often, there isn’t anyone on a business team who knows how to (or has the time to) do it well. This is one of the main reasons that copywriters are in such high demand right now – because they write clear, concise content that readers can understand, interact with, and enjoy. Tell that to all those people who made fun of you for being a writer.

Conclusion

Right now, copywriters are the magicians behind a significant portion of the web and, as web-based marketing continues to boom in the coming years, talented copywriters will only continue to become more and more popular. Whether we’re working on articles, eBooks, blogs or white papers, there is a huge amount of opportunity for copywriters right. We work in marketing, tech companies, brick-and-mortar businesses, and e-commerce settings.

Copywriting is hot right now and there is truly no shortage of places to use that wonderful talent of yours – writing!

We’re hiring at Express Writers! Apply as a writer or editor.

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Writing for the Customer: The Artful Copywriter

Who doesn’t love a good secret? I know I do. I can’t help but feel excited when someone leans over, lowers their voice, and says, “Hey, can you keep a secret?” My imagination begins to concoct at warp speed, and I find myself feeling like a giddy little schoolgirl.

I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I’m pretty good at keeping secrets, which is why I hear so many. I especially like hearing secrets about my craft: copywriting. Every so often one of these secrets is worth passing on to the upcoming generation of writers and marketers. If you’re a copywriter, marketer, business owner, or up-and-coming in the industry, move a little closer to the computer screen. I have some secrets to share with you…

 

Copywriter and Copywriting: A Textbook Definition

 

The dictionary defines a copywriter as “a writer of copy, especially for advertisements or publicity releases.” The word originates from 1910-15, but writers have been around for eons in comparison. For the writer, copywriting is simply another tool in our satchel.

Wikipedia says that copywriting “is writing copy…for the purpose of advertising or marketing.” The purpose of the copy is “to persuade someone to buy a product or influence their beliefs.”

 

Copywriting: The Art

Textbook definitions of the copywriter who performs copywriting are educational, but they fail to convey the art of the trade. Writing copy is like sculpting. Have you ever worked with clay on a pottery wheel? It can be an incredibly relaxing experience, or so I was told the first time I attempted it.

A few years ago, I was on a stress relief kick. A friend of mine who sculpts for a living recommended pottery class. Initially, I found the activity to be more of a stress causer than releaser. But after a lot of practice, I learned a bit about the art behind the craft. I was able to work the clay on the pottery wheel, and it became something that was somewhat recognizable.

The experience taught me a valuable lesson: to become proficient at a craft one must not only learn the art behind the craft, but also have some amount of talent that can be developed into precision skill. Copywriting for the copywriter is no exception. After spending over a decade on my craft, I’ve learned the ultimate secret—the secret that dates back to the very creation of the writing craft:

The secret to amazing [copy]writing is ensuring that every sentence makes your reader want to read the next.

Here’s another secret: I learned the above secret very shortly after starting a career in literature and writing. However, it took me years to truly understand the ins and outs of it.

Writing copy is like growing up again. The day you begin, you write as an infant. As your career grows, you learn new techniques and take in different forms of criticism. At first, you respond like an adolescent, convinced you know best. Eventually, you mature. As your mind opens, you begin to learn proficiency and discover how the tools at your disposal can be wielded to create unique, compelling, and breathtaking copy. One day—if you’re lucky—you’ll take your place among the masters, the very writers you looked up to and idolized.

 

The Number One Mistake New Copywriters Make

We’ve established the purpose of copywriting: to create copy that persuades. In most cases, copywriters are writing advertising and press release material. The number one mistake new copywriters make is writing like a cheap advertisement.

Don’t get me wrong; sometimes you’ll be called upon to write a piece that is pure advertising. The client’s instructions regarding this will be quite specific, though. These projects will be some of the simplest you undertake as a copywriter because the creative requirements will be low. On the other hand, most copywriting projects require the art of copywriting: writing without advertising.

 

The Artful Copywriter’s Toolbox

How does a copywriter write without advertising? It isn’t easy. In fact, it can be just as frustrating as that first pottery class I mentioned earlier—or any “first” for that matter. In order to master the art, you’ll need to use every tool at your disposal with skillful technique. Let’s take a look at three of the most powerful tools copywriters can use:

  1. “Speak to one person.” I quote this from a superb Mashable article about startup copywriting and writing compelling content. A lot of writers mistakenly think that they must write for a large, diverse audience. If you try to take this approach, you’ll likely overthink and stifle the piece before even writing it. Here’s a secret about your audience: they’re all human. What should this mean to you? It’s important to understand your target customer. You need to know the issues that are important to them and the solutions they’re seeking, but at the end of the day, every potential customer in that giant audience is human. They all respond and connect to the same basic things: emotion, need, desire, want, and resolution. Speaking to one person means speaking to these basics.
  2. Grab attention and hold it. If you use the first tool, you’ll have a head start on grabbing your readers’ attention. Seizing attention when writing copy is about more than crafting a gripping introduction. In today’s world, people are skimmers. They look at a piece of copy and first see the headline and subheadings. If those perk their interest, they pick a place to start reading. You can write a gripping introduction that rivals the opening scene of a Cinemax film, but it might not be where every reader starts reading. This is why every sentence must make the reader want to read the next.
  3. Focus on positives. Most good copy contains positives and negatives. It’s important to balance any negatives with positives, and focus more heavily on the positives. Copywriting should focus less on product or service features and more on benefits. Potential customers connect better to benefits because they look for them. When’s the last time you shopped purely for features? Most of us know what we want a product or service to do, and we look for the benefits of choosing a particular product or business over another. Features tend to be something we skim over, nod our head at or shrug our shoulders at and move on.

 

How to Write Without Advertising

Unfortunately, there is no set formula for writing without advertising. However, there are some industry standards that can be used like a compass:

 

Provoke a reaction: the best copywriting grabs and holds the reader’s attention, no matter where they start reading. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to use the entire piece to provoke a reaction. By tapping into the human experience, you can provoke just about anything. Here are some of the tools at the copywriter’s disposal:

  • Use descriptive illustrations
  • Incorporate the personal experience of a customer
  • Incorporate the personal experience of the copywriter
  • Use emotionally charged words
  • Use a metaphor that is built upon from the introduction to the conclusion

Make the reader curious: why did Alice follow the white rabbit down a daunting hole? She was curious. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but when we’re curious, we tend to ignore everything until we satisfy that curiosity. Seeds can be planted throughout copy, provoking curiosity. You can do this by:

  • Using loaded questions and leading up to the answers
  • Weaving an illustration or metaphor throughout the piece
  • Using several illustrations or metaphors
  • Sprinkling tips throughout the piece, telling the read you’re about to reveal some juicy secrets

Persuade without selling: this is perhaps the toughest tool to wield because it takes a good amount of creativity. It’s fine to introduce a concept, product or service, but this should be done gently. You don’t want the reader to feel like they’re being propositioned to buy. You want them to feel as if they’re gaining knowledge and becoming an informed individual.

You might start by introducing a prevalent problem or issue the audience is concerned about. Use this opportunity to connect with the reader. Show them you “feel their pain.” Next, introduce the concept, product, or service, but don’t talk much about it. Let the reader wonder. As you write the body of the copy, incorporate illustrations, metaphors, and experiences that build on the benefits and solutions the audience seeks. Then, ever so slightly nudge them with more mention of the concept, product, or service. By the conclusion, your reader should be thinking, “Gee, I want to know about that.” Give them what they want. This is how you persuade without saying, “Buy me!”

 

The Evolving World of Copywriting

 

Two decades ago, copywriting was practically all hardcopy. Today, we live in a technological era. Copywriting—like everything else—has shifted to the intricate web of the Internet. Professional copywriters are adapting to become “Google-Friendly.”

Cyber copywriting is a challenging new art. Not only does it involve the creation of high quality and compelling content, but it also requires the expert insertion of SEO keywords and phrases plus linking. Google sets the bar high, and for the really good writers out there, we love the new standards.

SEO focus is shifting. Instead of forcing us to stuff keywords into copy, creating a grammatically challenged and irritating piece of nonsense, Google is now saying quality content is more important than keywords. Why the shift? Because the potential customer—the reader—wants quality, compelling, educational material; they want a good read!

 

Copywriting and Business

It doesn’t matter if your business is small, medium, or large. If you own a business, you should tap into the artful talent of a skilled copywriter. Skilled copywriters can write:

  • Informative and interactive web content
  • Compelling press releases
  • Educational and technical articles and documents
  • Inspiring blogs
  • And much, much more

Copywriters are perhaps one of the most under hired professionals out there. I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve heard someone say, “I can write! I just don’t have enough time, but give it to me and I’ll write that for you.”

Let’s be honest: creating the idea for a piece of copy is a million times easier than writing it. If you aren’t writing for a living, you simply will not produce the artful quality of a professional copywriter. Just how much goes into copywriting?

For starters, take a look at Copywriting 101 from CopyBlogger. Just take a moment to skim through the bold headings throughout this piece, which offers resources for learning the basics of copywriting. I count 32 different topics, and this is just the basics of copywriting. Professional copywriters go beyond the basics to the intricate techniques of writing and editing.

Does the average “I can write if I just had time” individual truly understand the grammatical and spelling side of the English language? Do they know which words to use to temper a negative message with a positive spin? Can they tap into emotion, painting a picture with only words? How quickly can they produce a 500 to 1,000 word article that is chalked full of quality information, well written, perfectly formatted and 99.9 (or even 100) percent free of grammatical and spelling errors?

Contrary to popular opinion, writing isn’t easy! Copywriting is no exception. In fact, I would say copywriting is more difficult than general writing. It takes both talent and developed skill to:

  • Get to know the audience
  • Select the proper research
  • Incorporate the truly helpful facts and statistics
  • Weave in a metaphor or illustration that everyone—regardless of background or education level—can understand and connect to
  • Write the actual copy, incorporating all of the footwork
  • Proof the copy intelligently to not only improve it, but to also ensure it is as well written, formatted and as free from errors as possible

Don’t trust the art of copywriting to just anyone. Believe me; the artful copywriter will appreciate you if you don’t. Where can you find us? Well, we’re holding down the fort in copywriting agencies and freelance markets in your local, national, and international communities. We are your best and last defense when it comes to weeding out bad copy and replacing it with compelling copy.