Copywriting is considered one of the most
essential online marketing skills that any marketer could have.
Even if you have the hungriest market you still need the power
of words in order to sell your product or service. There is
scarcely any other area of writing where the power of the pen and
the power of persuasion come together more effectively than in
But the question is how do you become the best
copywriter that you can be? How can you reach beyond the
mediocre to excelling at your craft?
I would like to list below what I consider the most important elements
that go into making a good copywriter.
1. Copy great copywriters. Yes, one of the best ways you can
become a good copywriter is by copying the Master. It's the same
principle of 'beholding and becoming changed, and as the saying goes
"birds of a feather flock together". The more you read someone, the
more the words filter into your mind and the more you become like them.
It's a matter of reading what you would like to write like. So the
more great copy you read, the more great copy you'll write.
2. Learn the principles of writing well. Keep in mind that
copywriting is copy-writing. There is no way you can become a
great copywriter without learning how to write, how to use the
language, and how to engage the reader. This involves learning
the principles of grammar, how to structure a sentence, the
elements of style, flow, and cadence--in fact, all the elements
that go into good writing. Many people overlook the importance
of learning how to write well while they are learning how to write
persuasively. But in order to be persuasive, you must be able
to use the elements of style and grammar to communicate to your
3. Study marketing. In order to write persuasively
you must be able to understand the audience to whom you are
writing. Good copywriting is not only made up of persuasive
writing but it is also made up of persuading the right people.
In order to persuade people you must understand their feelings,
attitudes and values. In other words, you must be able to
scratch where it itches. This is one of the reasons why it is
very important that you specialize in one area so you can
understand your audience so well that you're able to write to
them as though you're writing to a friend.
4. Study successful ads. Not only would you want to study
successful copywriters but you also want to study advertisements
that have been very successful in the past. As you study these
advertisements you would come to realize what works and what does
not work in a particular market. Not only would you be able to model
your own advertising from these advertisements but you also can get a
feel for what successful copywriting is all about. This principle can be
applied to any other market, where you study what works in the past in
order to influence your work in the future.
5. Get your writing critiqued by others. It doesn't
matter how good a copywriter you are, every writer has blind
spots and therefore need to have their work reviewed and
assessed by others. Especially when you're just starting out
you may need a mentor or coach or someone who has enough
experience so that they can evaluate your copy. This is not a
place for big ego. It is the simple fact that it doesn't matter
how good a writer you are there are times when, because of being
so close to your own work, you will not be able to see the
mistakes that you have made and therefore you need another
critical eye in the equation. So it is well if you have another
person or a group of other copywriters who are more experience
than you to review your work and suggests ways in which you can
6. Stay informed. Even doctors who have to study
for seven years and more before they can receive a license have
to stay abreast by reading journals and take refresher courses.
The same thing applies to copywriters as well. You must be
subscribed to the latest direct-marketing news and the top
newsletters. Even though the principles of marketing may be the
same there are new techniques and application that other
copywriters can privy you to. Especially online where new
techniques and technologies are being introduced.
7. Read,read, read. Even if you decide to specialize in one area you
need to read widely and generally. You can never tell when you
would need an idea that you can include in your copy. And you
also want to be aware of popular trends in media so that you can
tie these in with your copy. You can't isolate yourself to any
one area simply because you specialize in that area. If any
type of writers need a general education it is a copywriter.
You need to stay aware of what's going on in your market and
also what's going on in the world at large. Simply because you
would be able to match the information you get there with your
marketing message and often you can use this information as a
springboard to get your users attention.
8. Practice,practice, practice. Writing is a discipline. But the only way
you can get better at writing is to write continually, even when
you don't feel like writing. This doesn't mean that you have to
keep writing all day but you should write often enough so that
you develop the discipline to write even when you don't feel
like writing. You'll find the more you write the easier it will
become. As you develop this discipline you would realize that
writing will become more rewarding. You need to find a place,
environment and a time of day that best suits you. But the more
regularly you write the easier the process would become for
So there you have it. These are the steps you can follow
to sharpen your copywriting skills. And when you knock one out
of the park always remember to reward yourself. Don't wait for
anyone else to pat you on the shoulder. Yes, you deserve an ice cream!