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What do I need to know about copywriting?

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by Sergpop, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. #1
    What skills, abilities and knowledge are needed for copywriting?
    SEMrush
     
    Sergpop, Feb 7, 2020 IP
    SEMrush
  2. JoeSpirit

    JoeSpirit Active Member

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    #2
    Knowledge in Psychology is good. Knowing what brings people to react in certain ways helps you nurture the skills for talking to them in ways that bring them to react the way you want them to react.

    Knowing how to talk to them just like you're having a conversation with your bestest friend helps too.
     
    JoeSpirit, Feb 8, 2020 IP
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  3. Rippley_Turner

    Rippley_Turner Peon

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    #3
    Marketing and psychology basically.
     
    Rippley_Turner, Feb 8, 2020 IP
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  4. jrbiz

    jrbiz Acclaimed Member

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    #4
    I am typically involved with B2B technology companies offering complex solutions that can be a mix of specialized hardware, software and/or services. When I hire a copywriter, s/he obviously must be familiar with B2B sales and marketing writing techniques but also must have a strong command of the English language as a native writer. The copywriter will undoubtedly not know anything about my offering (because it is usually a real niche product) but they must demonstrate a facility at showcasing the business benefits of highly technical products and an ability to learn new products quickly. They must also understand how to market/sell to my audience, which could be CEO's of small companies, VP's of medium-sized companies, or Directors at Fortune 100 companies. Each of these personas require a different approach and different messaging, of course.

    So, bottomline, I require a very specialized copywriter who basically identifies himself/herself as a niche specialist (e.g., B2B technology copywriting.) Someone who has written toothpaste product copy for Proctor & Gamble need not apply. :)
     
    jrbiz, Feb 16, 2020 IP
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  5. qwikad.com

    qwikad.com Illustrious Member Affiliate Manager

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    #5
    Those copywriters ain't cheap. Do you make an offer or do they tell you how much they want to be paid?
     
    qwikad.com, Feb 16, 2020 IP
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  6. jrbiz

    jrbiz Acclaimed Member

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    #6
    Of course they are not cheap, but you get what you pay for. They let me know their rate and as long as it is in the ballpark with other, top copywriters, I will accept it. I even will pay them for a few hours of product/market training by me or my staff. In my experience, image is everything with marketing collateral, so I need to be sure that I am hiring top quality vendors (copywriters, graphics designers, etc.) so that I can have the project completed right the first time.
     
    jrbiz, Feb 16, 2020 IP
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  7. JoeSpirit

    JoeSpirit Active Member

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    #7
    Isn't there a sub-niche in copywriting that includes copywriters of this specialty type?

    Seems only logical to me but not being in that market I don't know of one.
     
    JoeSpirit, Feb 16, 2020 IP
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  8. jrbiz

    jrbiz Acclaimed Member

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    #8
    There are certainly copywriters with strong experience in B2B technology markets. Some of them may do B2C, as well, and would be more generalists. However, it could also be a geographical thing. I am in the Greater Boston market which has a lot of high tech and biomedical companies, so copywriters with that specific experience will lead with that in their marketing efforts. Not sure how the copyrighting professional organizations categorize their members, but that would probably be the place to find the sub-niches.

    I generally find my copywriters (and any other such vendor) by referrals from people in my network.
     
    jrbiz, Feb 16, 2020 IP
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  9. Spoiltdiva

    Spoiltdiva Illustrious Member

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    #9
    Check out LiveRamp if you have some spare time, might be worth your time.
     
    Spoiltdiva, Feb 16, 2020 IP
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  10. JoeSpirit

    JoeSpirit Active Member

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    #10
    I'm not sure why copywriting should be geographical. Other than maybe the entity needing the service wanting it to be a local thing.

    In addition to Spoiltdiva's suggestion, you might also check with AWAI. I'm pretty sure they screen their students to find those who show promising skills. They probably keep the best for themselves and I wouldn't expect the pricing to be low but they might have a referral service.
     
    JoeSpirit, Feb 17, 2020 IP
  11. jrbiz

    jrbiz Acclaimed Member

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    #11
    My comment about geography was that I probably see a fair amount of copywriters promoting themselves as B2B technology-focused in the Greater Boston area because there is such a big technology market here. I assume that in other areas, the copywriters in that area would promote other experiences (e.g., Detroit copywriters might heavily promote their automotive, B2C capabilities.) But, I could be wrong, of course, and with today's technology there is certainly no need for a copywriter to be local.

    BTW, I was simply replying to the OP's question about copywriting. I am not currently looking for a copywriter and actually have always had great referrals from my own network when I do need any such marketing support.
     
    jrbiz, Feb 17, 2020 IP
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  12. JEET

    JEET Notable Member

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    #12
    Sergpop
    First of all, you will need command on the language in which you are going to write. This is a given.

    Then you need to decide your goal.
    It could be marketing a product,
    It could be spreading awareness or presenting yourself as an authority on the subject,
    It could be writing for a press release,
    Or it could be brand building.

    Each of those requires a different style of copywriting skills, knowledge, and mindset.
    Knowing the mindset of your target audience certainly helps.

    For example, if you are marketing a product, say a SEO software, and your target audience is novice webmasters,
    then you might want to write in a very casual way, like you are talking to a friend, much like telling a story, painting a picture with your words.

    If you want to market the same SEO software to experienced webmasters, then you might want to reduce the casual approach a little bit, and focus more into technical stuff.

    For example, I personally will not care about the story telling approach of the copywriter who is marketing a product to me.
    In fact, if I detect something like that in your marketing pitch, most likely I will close the website and move on. There are some exceptions to this.
    For me, simply explain the features of the software, and I will decide if its value for money.

    When writing to establish yourself as an authority, use the textbook style approach.
    Divide the copy into sections, give a heading to each, explain each one individually.
    This is also the approach you want for newsletters most of the times.
    Each heading is content for that day's issue.
    This is also the approach you might want to take if writing content for websites etc.

    Press releases follow a certain format, and this format must be followed as is.
    Headline, date, small intro, body with quotes, conclusion.
    "What happened", "who did it" and "Where it happened" need to be answered here.


    For branding, that is something very different.
    Generally does not requires long copies, and depends more on catchy slogans. Slogans which later define the brand.

    Find out which style suits you the best, one you are good at, and then keep brushing your skills in that direction.
     
    JEET, Feb 17, 2020 IP
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  13. JoeSpirit

    JoeSpirit Active Member

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    #13
    Great points JEET.

    When I talk about copywriting I mostly talk from the "talking to your friend" style because that's where my writing mostly needs to be.

    But when I'm reading copy I do often think things like, "Hey, just tell me about the product so I can make a yes or no decision."

    I agree that it really does make a difference in who you're talking to and why.
     
    JoeSpirit, Feb 18, 2020 IP
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  14. James Rawls

    James Rawls Greenhorn

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    #14
    Copywriting is simply the art of selling through text.
    HOW WOULD YOU DO THAT?
    The answer would be to know the audience first, and then write by telling the audience the benefits and the return on investment the audience will have. Lastly, at the end, always provide a Call to Action to ensure the audience a path where they can land themselves upon.
     
    James Rawls, Feb 20, 2020 IP
  15. jrbiz

    jrbiz Acclaimed Member

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    #15
    Yes, as long as you use the word "selling" in this context as bringing your offerings to market. Many ways to do this, of course.

    This can be an effective formula in certain situations. Of course, there are copywriting tasks that are not direct sales activities (e.g., branding) and require a quite different structure and approach.
     
    jrbiz, Feb 20, 2020 IP
  16. JEET

    JEET Notable Member

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    #16
    JoeSpirit very true,
    I wouldn't be interested in reading those long sales copies, unless I am already very interested in the product. Most of the times I find myself just scrolling up an down the page, trying to find a list of features and a buy button.

    Imagine hosting providers writing long copies, and hiding the actual specs list somewhere in that... LOL
     
    JEET, Feb 20, 2020 IP
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  17. jrbiz

    jrbiz Acclaimed Member

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    #17
    Good point, in that different audiences require totally different messaging. In my experience, well-written and well-targeted copy is not viewed as a sales pitch by the intended reader. It is, of course, but the reader just feels informed.
     
    jrbiz, Feb 20, 2020 IP
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  18. JoeSpirit

    JoeSpirit Active Member

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    #18
    Makes sense to me. If I'm merely interested in pertinent information or if I'm in a hurry I normally scan the sub-headings (which is what makes creation of sub-headings an important skill).

    One other reason I get deep into the copy is when I'm studying the piece for technique.
     
    JoeSpirit, Feb 21, 2020 IP
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  19. JoeSpirit

    JoeSpirit Active Member

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    #19
    Which is a major reason why I belong to the school that says long copy does work. I believe that as long as the piece delivers interesting and unique information certain people will read it.
     
    JoeSpirit, Feb 21, 2020 IP
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  20. JEET

    JEET Notable Member

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    #20
    Long copies totally depend on pushing psychological buttons. Fear and Greed.
    Fear of losing a great offer,
    and greed of gaining something awesome, something magical.

    I still remember the "Rich Jerk" sales copy.
    Has to be one of the best copies I have ever read!
     
    JEET, Feb 21, 2020 IP
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