What Does a Copywriter Do? Your Answers to 7 Burning Questions...
Updated: Jun 25, 2021
Ever been confused by the difference between content and copywriting? Or a copywriter and a plain ole’ regular writer? This article's for you.
Welcome! If you’ve ever caught yourself wondering,
“What does copywriting even do?”
“And why are so many small businesses investing their hard-earned money in hiring a copywriter?”
“Isn’t it just writing?!?”
— You’re not alone.
It is writing, you’re not wrong there. It’s also much more.
Before we dive in, let me address the elephant in the room.
I'm a freelance creative copywriter. But it's never made sense to me not to share the wealth. The more people we lift up, the stronger we all are.
And while professional copywriting presents a whole slew of work beyond just writing, it’s insane to decide whether it’s worth investing in a copywriter when you have no idea what goes on behind the scenes.
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m all about transparency. I may not like how the sausage gets made, but I’d rather know and make an informed decision that aligns with my goals.
Also I joined the Veggie-Head Club 6 years ago, so crisis averted.
Without further ado, let's answer all your burning questions about copywriting.
What are the Benefits of Copywriting?
At its best, copywriting looks like:
More Time to spend with loved ones & on loved activities.
Extra Energy to devote to planning your next big business venture.
Decreased Stress - your business no longer needs constant hunting for income - your clients come to you!
Space to relax and reconnect with yourself.
Long story short? Copywriting makes your life easier.
When done well, copywriting helps your brand voice sing loud and clear through each element of your website. If you don't use every opportunity, you miss out on creating a dynamic user experience for each potential client who clicks by.
You only have a few seconds to catch their attention. If your words:
a) don’t match your readers’ expectations
b) don’t match your readers’ needs
c) Leave your readers confused beyond belief
— Your readers will bounce.
Every word counts. Choose words that build your brand and align with your goals and ideal clients' interests.
What is Copywriting?
So we know what copywriting looks like when done well. But what is it exactly?
Copywriting is writing done strategically.
It’s an artful balance between intuitive and heart-centered connection to your client's needs, balanced with time-tested and industry-validated marketing techniques to nudge them towards actions that benefit you both.
We can summarize copywriting as a collection of best practices customized to each client and project.
When creating any piece of copy, consider these 7 key questions:
Who am I writing this for? What do my readers struggle with, and how can I provide solutions in which they’re interested?
What keywords are they using to search their questions? How can I tap into that organic search traffic?
I’m coming up in search results - how do I get readers to click instead of scroll past me?
Once they click on my link, how do I keep them there?
They’re reading - how do I prove I know what I’m talking about and bolster my authority?
They’ve read my blog post, yay! How can I guide them to more of my work and engage them in considering my services?
What can I do to reduce the obstacles to my ideal clients clicking ‘Book Now’?
Let's dive into each and address the copywriting best practices to ensure you craft high-quality and lead-converting content.
1. Market Research
Market Research can make or break your content - you need to know your target demographic inside and out, or they won’t relate to your content. While many businesses worry about losing out on potential clients by getting specific, research shows otherwise! When you speak more specifically, you build a stronger bond with the fewer clients you reach, instead of no bond with the many readers who find your page but were never interested to begin with.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The monster of digital marketing. While you could spend days diving into the deep end of SEO, you only need a few concepts under your belt to nail SEO. SEO is the process of figuring out the search terms your clients use and infusing them into your content. Adding those key phrases into your headers helps Google index your website under the right keywords. The more pages you add incorporating good SEO, the higher you’ll rank with your chosen keywords.
Quality SEO planning is crucial to any business with a digital presence. Whether or not you plan on copywriting, be intentional with your SEO, or you’ll likely lose out on valuable clients.
3. Heart-Hooking Headlines
Okay - we’re all wary of icky clickbait-y ads promising us the world before leaving us broken-hearted and betrayed outside a seen-better-days motel with nothing but two coins and a dream in our pockets… You need to immediately capture your reader's attention. How better than with scroll-stopping headlines connecting with your readers’ intimate goals and struggles?
Pro tip! The highest-ranking headlines contain between 6-13 words. Add in a number to up your headline game or sprinkle in power words to heighten your reader's anticipation. Both Coschedule and Capitalize My Title have great FREE headline analyzers. At the end of the day, don’t freak out too much about headlines - they’re just a small part of the value you’re providing.
4. Provide Soul-Affirming Value
Now’s your chance to shine! Value is the most essential part of your work. You wanted readers to click on your link? You got it. Now you’ve got to work to keep ‘em. Your readers came to you for value. Provide it! Don’t wait till the end of the article to deliver on the promise your header made. Delaying leads to frustration and high bounce rates. Confirm what you’re discussing at the top - give readers a reason to hold on till the end. Otherwise, they’re taking a leap of faith. That's trust you have to earn. Earn it by helping your readers with their struggles.
5. Links for Authority
Back up your insight with relevant backlinks to authorities in your niche. Links impress your readers, show them you are involved in the industry, and reinforce your trustworthiness Providing links also informs Google you're relevant within the industry. While it doesn’t improve your rankings, linking proves the information you provide can be trusted, especially when you link to reputable sources. If you’re in the health and wellness industry, some great sources might be NIMH, WebMD, Healthline, and Psychology Today.
6. Call To Action
The most commonly forgot and vital part of copywriting. Your CTA's the primary component that distinguishes your lead-converting copywriting from run-of-the-mill content. Your CTA is not an annoying sales call using FOMO or proposing impossible claims. A quality CTA subtly and persuasively nudges your reader in the direction that would benefit both of you.
Richard H Thaler, co-author of the book Nudge, explains that chief among the principles that guide best ‘nudging’ practice: “all nudging should be transparent and never misleading.”
You’re not here to hook a one-off client. You’re in the self-help industry - you want to create long-lasting change for your clients. Embrace authenticity in your offer and provide clear next steps for your readers. One company found that simply adding CTA buttons to article templates increased their client’s revenue by 83%.
You strategically crafted your content and incorporated good SEO practices, so interested readers can find you. You created relevant material and provided clear steps readers can take to continue their journey with you. How do you give that extra encouragement to get your readers across the finish line?
Most of us suffer from “On the Fence” syndrome. When we don’t trust we’ll see returns, it’s hard to consider investing - especially in something as crazy as yourself! Society reinforces staying small and fearful. Reinforce their confidence in the REAL benefits they’ll see from embracing your path. Offer a free guide or ebook in exchange for emails - give your readers value. Offering a gift encourages readers to invest in you what you gave to them: trust and self-belief.
There you have it! With these questions, you are on the road to clear and powerful copywriting. Bookmark this article for the next time you sit down to write. And remember - the most critical part of writing? Staying true to your purpose. People connect with authenticity - they want the real deal. You’ll learn to master these techniques as you go.
And if you find you can’t stand sitting down to write, or don’t have the time or energy? Reach out and set up Your FREE 30-minute discovery call. It’s time your work saw its worth.
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