Starting anything new can be daunting. Luckily, there seems to be a how to book or dummies guide on just about every topic under the sun. Yes, there are even copywriting for dummies books to help all the beginners out there, but why buy a book when you can get a plethora of ideas online.
And, here’s your first stop. I know you’re anxious to get started so read on for my no fluff, cut to the chase 10 essential copywriting tips for beginners.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #1: Understand the Basics
Copywriting is both an art and a science. Copywriters use words to paint a picture, evoke emotion, create strategy and move people to action. The basic architecture of copywriting includes building blocks like catchy headlines, targeted bullet points, and calls to action.
It’s important to know the lingo and have a basic understanding of what you’ll be doing as a copywriter. A good copywriter tells people what they’re going to tell them, actually tells them and then tells them what they told them in the catchiest and most thought-provoking way. If you caught all that, then you have the makings to be an excellent copywriter.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #2: Make Sure You’ve Got the Skills
Make sure you have what it takes to become a beginning copywriter. You’ll need the following skills – researching, writing, editing, proofreading, multi-tasking, citing and an understanding of analytics to track sales and numbers to gauge success. If you can understand the research and get up to speed quickly, then you can write about anything.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #3: Know the Lingo and Terminology
Understanding the terminology is also essential for beginning copywriters. If you don’t already, that’s ok. There is a wealth of information on the Internet. But, knowing terms like SEO (search engine optimization), keywords, meta tags and descriptions is helpful. Learning the ins and outs of social media platforms, like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter combined with digital marketing terms will only make you a better copywriter.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #4: Use Your Words
As a beginning copywriter words are your most powerful tool. Your copy will speak directly to a particular audience and must not only be compelling but trustworthy as well. You want your words to tug at heartstrings, shed a tear, and make people laugh, but most importantly you want your words to evoke a response and turn into a sale. Make sure your copy solves a problem or provides a solution and ultimately results in a desired action – like a purchase of the product or service you are writing about. That is how a beginning copywriter will eventually make money and you want to do what you love for a living.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #5: Be a Good Listener
A good copywriter is a good listener. They must listen to the demands of the client. But, they must also listen to the target audience that they are writing to as well as product reviews and customer comments. Fulfilling the needs of both the client and the customer is a valuable skill and an essential copywriting tip for beginners.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #6: Find Your Inspiration
A copywriter’s brain is active and is always thinking so wherever you go look for your inspiration. You never know when a billboard, magazine ad, radio spot or website will provide inspiration for future writing.
It’s also essential to understand what inspires you as a copywriter. Do you create your best copywriting while listening to classical music, sitting outside, in the middle of the night, with a glass of wine in hand – find what inspires you. Create an environment that is conducive to helping you write your best and keeps you inspired.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #7: Learn to Focus
Getting lost in tangents can happen to even the most experienced copywriters so as you’re starting out make sure to learn the tricks that keep you focused. It may mean setting an egg timer or your iPhone clock for 30-minute increments. If you’re not being productive and are stuck on one sentence, then move onto something else. A beginning copywriter can easily spend hours staring at a blank page so know how to re-focus and when to redirect. Sometimes data dumping all of your thoughts will help you get started. Don’t worry about grammar or structure – set a timer and write everything you’ve got. You’ll be surprised at how well it comes together at the end.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #8: Test Your Copywriting
You need feedback to make sure your copywriting is good. Constructive comments are not always easy to hear, but they will make you a better copywriter. So, share your work and ask others for their opinions.
Another great tool is the read aloud feature in Word. It’s a little secret for some, but the read aloud function allows you to hear what you wrote and catch silly little mistakes that your tired eyes may have missed. This combined with the built in Editor are your best friends and should always be consulted before you release any piece of copywriting.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #9: Never Stop Learning
A good copywriter is always learning. There is always room for improvement so keep searching the Internet for tricks and tips. Sign up for copywriting master courses. Study the competition. Look for inspiration. Create a library of samples to use for inspiration later. It is essential for beginning copywriters to make a vow to never stop learning because all information is valuable and useful at some point.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners #10: Find Clients
Finding clients is obviously important and will be your bread and butter, but you should master these essential copywriting tips before you can provide value as a beginning copywriter. A copywriter that can provide value to clients is a productive and prosperous copywriter. Make sure your copywriting is good if you expect people to pay for it, and we’ll delve into finding and attracting clients next time.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners Bonus Tip: Find Copywriting Friends
Creating a strong network of copywriting friends is an essential tip for beginners as well as experts. You never know when you will need a friend to help you grow your copywriting business, bounce ideas off of or simply to provide a shoulder of support.
Hi, my name is Mike Giannulis, and I am here to be your copywriting friend and support system. I was in the same boat over 15 years ago. I was just starting out, nervous and didn’t know exactly where to begin, but I took the copywriting plunge and am so happy I did.
Now, I’ve made it my mission in life to help fellow copywriters who are just starting out and also experienced copywriters who need a refresh. I’d love to invite you to my free copywriting brain community to connect you with other copywriters and help you launch your beginning copywriting career. Let’s connect and start your journey today!
For more tips on copywriting check out this article.