Content writing in itself is a means to an end. That end – being the distribution of writing online content, with the aim to educate, entertain and ultimately persuade the consumer of the content to take some form of action. Seems simple enough, right? Unfortunately, there is such thing as numbingly boring content, poorly researched topics and unattractive headlines. Not to mention writer’s block! Here you will find the cure to these writers burdens and more tips on how to become a successful writer.
1. Get Creative
The first step to creating compelling and engaging content is to get your creative juices flowing. A successful copywriter is distinguished from the unsuccessful, by one’s ability to explore a topic in a new light. The online space is exhausted with ample content on every conceivable question, concern, argument and concept. How then, does one pull out the bag, new and refreshing insight on the British Parliamentary system, for example?
One way would be to bridge the gaps in research to create new content, or consider creating a comparative piece between different systems.
Creativity is not a birthright. Everyone possesses the capacity to create, imagine or perform something in some original context. Discovering the inspiration to create can be found in most encounters of daily life. Being open to the possibilities of such encounters is a sure step towards being inspired and inspiring others. Acquiring new information and ideas through the sharing of information makes thought-provoking and creative ideas almost unavoidable. More importantly, it situates the writer in an open environment for ideas to flow freely- just the environment a successful copywriter needs!
Image Source: Medium
2. Research, Research, Research
Rather obviously, aimlessly tapping words out of the keyboard with no prior research on the topic cannot and will not equate to successful copywriting. What follows is an observable trend linking the extent of research to the success of the content. Essentially, extensive research will enable clear and coherent copy for readers to digest and return for more information in the future should they find accurate and informative content in the present.
So, with that in mind, how does one master the art of research? A general rule of thumb is to be aware of the existing content on your topic of research. A well-rounded appreciation for the information already available to you will enable you to position your argument fittingly into the wider content available online.
3. Know Your Reader
‘26 ways to enhance your digital marketing strategy’ might not appeal to an audience of professional athletes. Less conspicuously, age ranges of the same focus audience may require different styles of writing. One way to familiarise yourself with the reader is to put yourself in their shoes. Consider the types of copy the reader may find interesting, entertaining or educational and adapt your writing style accordingly.
4. Headline Heaven
A big one. The importance of the headline and blog names is so profound it can make or break your copy. Making it will give rise to mass attention and a continuation of reading through more clicks. Breaking it will see the inevitable decline in any interest which may have been on the horizon, by driving traffic away. Here are a few ways to ensure total high-class headlines.
- Create at least 15 headlines per piece of content
- Utilise headline assisting tools such as CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
- Make clear in your headline what your content is about (do not overpromise and underdeliver)
- Include numbers and offer answers
- Utilise keyword traffic estimator tools to research what pages drive content to competing websites
5. Reflect Accuracy
There is nothing worse than finding content online that fails to reflect an accurate depiction of the subject matter. What a waste of a click! Part of becoming a successful copywriter is to first recognise the importance of providing accurate and fulfilling content, and secondly, to deliver! Luckily, there are a few ways to help develop the accuracy of your content:
- Use multimedia sources – consider reviewing academic journals for a more established understanding of the wider content available on the subject matter
- Research is everything. Look for reputable online content, consider the domain authority – but don’t stop there
- Aim to compare and contrast as many articles as possible before drawing your conclusions
6. 50% 25% 25% Writing Ratio Model
One of the most valuable tips on writing ever received was this model which if followed, promises well-written and well-received content. It’s simple, the process by which one researches, writes and edits should be effectively divided into the following ratios: research-50%, writing-25%, editing and proofreading-25%. By dedicating 50% of one’s time, efforts and resources to the researching process, half the job is done and one needn’t apply more than 25% time and effort in the writing process. The information gathered in the first stage of the writing process should be structured and articulated onto the page, alas, awaiting its final edit.
7. Time Management
During periods of high demand, a copywriter will be faced with multiple deadlines requiring stellar time management skills. A successful copywriter should take it upon himself to optimise the use of his time. When writing against the clock, it can be helpful to adopt the following measures:
- Lots of lists! Lists are an effective visual and organisational tool used to prioritise workload
- Remove distractions. Whether these take shape of preferable pastimes, or occur when you situate yourself in busy environments- remove them!
- Set goals. Similarly to the functionality of the lists, setting small achievable goals helps the process of moving things along. Checking them off helps to create a sense of productivity.
Use tools like Monday.com to manage your workload.
8. Adapt Your Writing Style
A true consideration for what the copy intends to do is vital in determining the style of writing to deploy. A successful copywriter will spend time articulating their words to adopt a specific style of writing and achieve a specific goal. Choices range from but are not limited to:
- Descriptive copy – for the purpose of relaying relevant information to showcase features of a topic
- Educational copy – technical in nature, used in the process of supplying facts and informative answers to searched questions
- Colloquial copy – to present a message in the way of conversation
- Humorous copy – draws on the humorous ways to gain attention
9. Be Open To Exploring Other Viewpoints
It can be comfortable and convenient to kick back and write an article or a blog post from your own perspective without going the extra mile to consider and include others. Yes, it is true that readers may expect to find different views online but that does not necessarily mean they want only yours. Flourishing copywriters will appreciate the knowledgeable beauty in encompassing all viewpoints into their content. A sure way of succeeding in this is to simply be open to exploring alternative perspectives. Some avenues to enrich the diversity of your content can be explored through:
- Historical accounts – Often the past has shaped the present and therefore has a lot to be accountable for
- Reaching into different industries for alternative perspectives- the financial industry may have different concerns to the IT security industry with regards to Brexit
- Spatial considerations – geographical locations can be a great place to start when exploring other viewpoints
10. Keep Up To Date With News – Any News!
Read anything and everything. Of all the ways to becoming a successful copywriter, keeping up with all mediums of news is instrumental to the core values of the profession. While a copywriter will have a plethora of resources at their disposal, general knowledge will optimise their ability to look for relevant information in accessible locations.
11. Think About Human Behaviour
What makes us say yes? What cues are readers looking for on the web which calls for action? Upon trying to understand the way we all think, there are some useful psychological strings that can be pulled by an effective copywriter to achieve action, even if that is to simply subscribe, share or follow.
- Simple written English is perceived as more trustworthy and easy to follow
- Readers are more responsive to optimistic copy – keep it light and avoid vocabulary associated with negativity
- People are more likely to make decisions based on what others are doing – keep this in mind. If you have any statistical findings on your readers (that work to your advantage) include them
Use tools like Hotjar to view heatmaps of how people use various pages on your website and where their focus is.
12. Inject More Interest
With the masses of content published online on a minute basis, there is no room for unappealing, uninteresting and visually unstimulating content in the web space. Tell the truth and make it fascinating. Here are a few ways to inject personality, interest and uniqueness:
- Ensure it is visually scannable- readers want to be able to effectively navigate the page
- Tell a story, ask a question, dabble with controversy
- Engage the reader – including opinion polls or links to where they can participate
13. Be Open To Change
Like most things in life, it is unlikely your content will be faultless right away and that’s ok. What is not ok, is being closed to the idea of change. By all means, defend your piece but it will sometimes require rejigging. One way of coming to terms with adjustments, is to ask a friend or colleague for their input. Open discussions often result in coherent ideas.
Ultimately, you should try to remain flexible.
14. Eyes Wide-Open For Detail
The primary goal for any copywriter is to ensure the highest standard of the written word. Grammatical errors and inconsistencies are not to be included in the copy you share with potentially millions of readers. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind when sharing content on the web:
- Do activate spell checker
- Do make use of online grammar and punctuation checkers
- Do not over punctuate
- Do not include long text passages
Use tools like Grammarly to help you with grammar and punctuation.
15. A Sense Of Curiosity
Daily tasks and titles may differ, meaning each day is an opportunity to delve into learning about a new product or idea. A successful copywriter will tackle this daily objective with a sense of curiosity. Ways to exploit this feeling of curiosity and adventure, hence strengthening your copywriting skills, can be through linking the topic at hand with topics that interest you personally. This way, you may feel more inclined to scoop out the good stuff during the research process.
16. SEO Implementation
Whatever we write as copywriters, we want it to be found and easily accessible on the web. Through SEO content, a successful copywriter will successfully employ strategies that firstly, reach their audience and secondly offer them something they care about. Fruitful use of SEO content can be achieved by:
Carefully constructing your message
Modern SEO copywriting is to offer content that addresses search intent. A successful copywriter will aim to understand the intent behind visitors searches and offer some useful information to assist them with their search.
Keyword research and adding them to headings
The appropriate use of keywords in headlines combined with relevant and engaging content is key to increasing click-through rate and returning readers.
Link to previous trustworthy content
Link trust is the notion that the reader of your content trusts that by clicking your link, they are directed to high-quality content. By ensuring that the content in your link matches what was advertised by its title, social media post or email, your content becomes more trustworthy.
Copywriters may be all about the words, but there remains some truth behind the notion of “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Hand in hand, and at the right balance, including visual aids into content can enhance the readers’ experience. There are a number of online free sources offering high-quality images and illustrations. By breaking up the text, copywriters will see their content performing better with pictures, as opposed to just walls of text.
17. Commit To a Swipe File
Some days, even the most successful copywriters require some inspiration before cracking on with everyday work. A handy file to keep is a collection of emails, headlines, ads and other content material. Turn to your swipe file whenever you find yourself in need of a creative jumpstart.
18. Stay Relevant
The successful modern copywriter should distinguish himself from others by creating content that is relevant to their readers today. One helpful tip in staying relevant is to keep up to date with industry news. A thriving copywriter will always be the first to know about any updates or new information which they will be sure to include in their next copy. Consider updating and reusing old posts to drive traffic to your site. Established copywriters who have mastered this skill will have gained a supportive network of readers who trust their judgement and industry expertise.
19. Communicate Calls To Action
As we’ve identified, the concept of copywriting is to create content which compels the reader to pursue the desired reaction. Above all else, a successful copywriter will produce action. Sadly, there is no magic button to make this happen. Instead, here are some tips to help give the reader a little nudge:
- Don’t ask, don’t get. If you want your readers to engage in a specific cause of action, tell them what to do and how to do it
- Persuasive writing – your readers have a lot of things competing for their time and actions. If they are reading your content, let them know it’s worthwhile
- Make it shareable – Presumably, there is no limit as to how many people you would like to react to your content. Interesting, memorable content is more likely to be shared by word of mouth
20. Edit, Edit, Edit
Alas! We have created engaging and relevant content, free from grammatical errors, written so eloquently the reader is bound to act upon our copy. Ready to hit the send button? Not quite yet. Any good copywriter knows the importance of the final stages of publishing content onto the web- the final edit. Be proud of your content, edit it multiple times and ensure to have a breather before your final edit. Then edit it again.