Understanding the Copywriting Basics
Everything in life is easier if we just go back to the basics.
Remember when we could just go into a restaurant and order a cup of coffee.
Not a venti, iced caramel macchiato with oat milk, an extra shot of espresso, two pumps of vanilla, whipped cream and light on the ice please.
Don’t get me wrong, fancy coffee is awesome. And coffee lovers around the world thank their lucky stars every day for the coffee shops on practically every street corner.
But, when did something as simple as ordering a cup of coffee get so complicated?
And, it’s not just coffee. It’s turning on the television, finding a radio station, driving a car, applying for a job, and the list could go on and on.
While overcomplicating coffee has made it even more delicious, it won’t make copywriting any better.
In fact, it may even deter you from getting started.
So, let’s strip away the layers of complication and get back to the copywriting basics so you can get motivated and start writing today.
Copywriting Basics #1: What is Copywriting?
There is no need for a complex definition that may confuse or overwhelm.
So, here is the most basic copywriting definition … are you ready?
Copywriting is simply using words to sell stuff.
Now, that you’ve got that, let’s move on.
Copywriting Basics #2: Where do Copywriters Work?
Copywriters are either independent freelancers for an agency or company, self-employed, or write for a business or corporation. When working for a company, copywriters typically work in the advertising, marketing or public relations department.
“The average base salary of a corporate copywriter is $61,657 per year.”1 The salary of a freelancer can vary based on workload. Freelance copywriters are typically paid per project, per hour, per word or per sale.
A quick google search will tell you that there are copywriters and freelance copywriters out there making six figures each year. It really depends on how serious you are and how much you want to work. The good news is that the demand is high, and the world is your oyster when it comes to copywriting.
Copywriting Basics #3: What do Copywriters do?
A good copywriter can write anything, but here is a quick list of the types of projects that copywriters typically create.
And, the list could go on and on. Once you’ve got the copywriting basics down, the possibilities are truly endless.
Copywriting Basics #4: What are the Necessary Skills?
An absolute necessity is that you must be a good copywriter and love it. The rest will fall into place. You don’t have to be perfect, but you have to love copywriting enough to learn and improve which is totally possible. Here are some other necessary skills and copywriting basics that you should also possess:
Copywriting Basics #5: How to Learn Copywriting?
A copywriter is always learning. It’s important to stay current, know the lingo and keep up with technology and the latest trends. Find a few trusted resources and read up on everything as often as you can to stay in the know. There are also a number of inexpensive and free courses out there to help streamline your knowledge, get results and continually develop your copywriter brain.
In the spirit of going back to the basics, good old-fashioned book reading is another great way to learn more about copywriting and find ways to improve skills even more. One of my favorites is the Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert Bly. This classic copywriting book is filled with tips and techniques for anyone who touches copy. If you’re in the mood for some more reading, here’s an in-depth list of books that I’ve read over the years that have really helped me up my copywriting game.
Copywriting Basics Bonus: How to Succeed
Always remember that you’re not the only copywriter out there. While copywriting is everywhere and in high demand, it’s also a popular and competitive field. A copywriting basic and an absolute must is that in order to succeed you must stand out from the competition. Find creative ways to prove your copywriting skills and show potential clients how you can solve their problem better than other copywriters out there. Keep this mindset when writing for clients as well. Use your words to highlight benefits, provide solutions, and compel people to buy.
Connecting and networking with other copywriters and anyone that can help you grow your business is a copywriting basic that will also help you succeed. Not only can you learn from others, but you can find out what’s working for them and make it work for you.
It’s not always what you know, but who you know and who they know. And, copywriting is no exception. The best way to do this is to join a copywriting networking group to meet other copywriters and share best practices and experiences. This is why I created Copywriter Brain, and I’d love to invite you to our Copywriter Brain community to learn more about you and connect you to other copywriters. Please join us today to start learning the copywriting basics and so much more!