What Is Copywriting?
I’m not surprised to get a sideways look when I tell people that I’m a copywriter. I mean, a lot of people have heard the term but not too many know what the heck it is.
Being a copywriter means that person writes copy professionally for others.
Don’t worry. I’m not only going to explain what copy is, but also why learning how to write great copy it’s arguably one of the most important skills you’ll learn as a business owner.
Pst! This post contains affiliate links! That means I get a commission from any purchases you make (at no extra cost to you). I’ll only recommend dope stuff that i’ve tested and truly find valuable. Scouts honor.
When I refer to copy I’m talking about the text written to lead the reader towards taking action.
You see copy all the time; on billboards, online stores, brochures, coupons, everywhere.
(Not to be confused, copywriting is not the same as copyright - which is a legal term about ownership of intellectual property and other stuff.)
Now copy isn’t just limited to typical ads however. It also includes things like the text on:
text on a Pinterest image
Youtube video descriptions
Social media bios
Thank you pages
As you can see, there are a lot of places where you can write copy. So if that’s the case, what’s the difference between any and every piece of text you write and copy?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
Copy has two qualifications:
It’s written specifically to get the reader to take action. Whether it’s to engage, click something, buy something, opt-in, but there’s something for the reader to do.
It’s written with intention. Now… confession, I’ve added this as my own personal qualification but really, you technically can pump out a bunch of blog posts and social media posts, stick a CTA (call to action) at the bottom and declare it copy.
But if you don’t have a plan behind it, or if it wasn’t written with a goal in mind those random posts most likely aren’t going to be any more effective than any other piece of text and the whole point of copy is to get someone to do something (see qualification 1).
Writing effective copy involves, research, psychology, and strategy.
Does the text that you’ve written (well, more likely typed) have a goal? What action are you trying to encourage your readers to do? And have you researched your intended audiences language and motivations?
These are just a few of the questions that should be asked as you’re your drafting copy.
So, now that we know what copywriter does and what copy is, why do you need to learn this skill for your business?
Well, you can have an amazing product or course/service ready to go, but it’s rare that someone would be willing to buy on a whim, especially if it’s a premium priced offer.
“Make it and they will come” is a myth, especially nowadays when people are being bombarded with a million different options. However the phrase “no one likes to be sold to” remains true.
You need to know how to:
attract your audience and grab their attention,
connect with them and build trust
and then properly explain your offers value to convert them into paying customers.
And the majority of that is done with *drumroll please* copy! You basically have to learn how to sell with words.
Now the truth is you technically could just outsource it to someone like me and I could whip up some copy for you and we all live happily ever after.
However, there are a few things to consider-
One being that copywriters aren’t cheap. If you’re hiring an awesome copywriter, you’re making an investment. When you’re just starting off in business, people are often working on a budget and that’s okay. But that also means you end up DIY’ing a lot of things in your business, including writing copy.
Also, if you do outsource, you want to know what you’re looking at when you review it. Not only to avoid paying a crap ton for not so great copy, but also to make sure it accurately reflects your brand and offer, especially for website copy (because it is possible to have amazing copy written that attracts the completely wrong audience for your business).
Two, our audiences are becoming more savvy to typical sales techniques and more guarded with their information and money.
If you’re writing copy yourself, you’ll have to know more in depth writing techniques beyond over hyping an offer, tacking on unrelated “bonuses” and discounts, or using guilt to convert people.
And finally, it’s just a great skill to learn honestly. You’ll be writing a lot for your business and you can’t expect to outsource every single bit of copy. Knowing how to write fantastic copy is an asset for your business.
So what makes great copy? Here’s a quick checklist:
Speaks to one, specific person that would truly benefit from the offer
Speaks on the audiences challenges or pain point
Is CLEAR and avoids confusing text and jargon
Has a clear call to action
Focuses on the benefits and not just the features
And there you have it! What copy is and why it’s important for you to learn this skill.