Does This Word Get Capitalized?
A Beginner’s Guide to Copywriting
Copywriting. It’s everywhere and entwined in almost everything. Ads. Websites. Emails. Marketing, advertising, and sales revolve around this crucial task. Having recently ventured into the land of copywriting, here’s a list of tips, tricks, and resources to aid you on your quest for magnificent copy.
The Internet Is Your Greatest Weapon
Get used to asking for help. Along with actually copywriting, referencing others is the best way to learn. The resources out there are boundless and accessed so conveniently. Here are a few online blogs that have become vital to my copywriting process.
Here are some blogs for content strategy and marketing news:
- Buffer Blog – Buffer is an infamous social media scheduling platform. They host a variety of resources that can help writers try to figure out what and how to say things.
- MarketingProfs – MarketingProfs runs a tight ship when it comes to webinars, courses, and articles about anything marketing. They often post tip articles to give their audience a leg up in marketing.
- Hubspot – Hubspot is a great resource to help you coordinate a successful content strategy. They are devoted to growing businesses and their brands, so make sure to check out their “Resources” pages!
For general writing tips, reference:
- Regarding the title, there are plenty of websites that will automatically capitalize your title. Some even do it to certain writing styles!
- You can find help on punctuation on The Punctuation Guide.
- Grammar is an entirely new game in copywriting. It doesn’t have to be strict and formal, but the grammar does have to match your branding and audience. Susan Gunelius palpably breaks down the subject in Entrepreneur.
- Starting from scratch? Take a look at Joanne Wiebe’s post, “The Ultimate Guide to No-Pain Copywriting (or, Every Copywriting Formula Ever)”. Wiebe outlines simple formulas that deliver significant results.
All in all, there are a plethora of resources you can utilize in creating the best copy possible.
Let It Be, Let It Free
Let the words flow on the paper without judgement and over analyzation. The first draft is always rough, but that’s how it’s supposed to be. Free writing allows your brain to spit out all the thoughts before self-doubt clouds your judgement.
Vivian Wagner from Psychology Today describes freewriting as, “where we play and experiment, where we make connections and form thoughts.” Freewriting opens an honest part of your brain, not littered with rules and standards. This is where the best (and worst) ideas are thought up.
I encourage you to write/type whatever comes to mind first. Disregard grammar, the need for continuity, and spelling. That will come with time and the second draft!
KIS – Keep It Simple!
NextCore Media’s COO and Co-Founder, Christian Ladigoski, likes to use the phrase “Is it simple enough for a 3rd grader to understand?” If someone has never heard of your idea, product, or service, you need to explain it in an understandable manner. Sure, writing sprinkled with elegant words and elongated sentences can be beautiful, but not in copy. How is someone going to read a 10-paragraph essay about your company’ awesomeness when they don’t even read the 3-word ad in the subway?
Copy should pop and be easily understood. Complexity delays people from enjoying what you’ve written.
Review Again…and Again… and Again…
The moment you realize there is a mistake in your copy is an embarrassing one. That’s why you must catch mistakes with profuse review from not only yourself, but as many others as possible. Fresh eyes catch errors that yours might not catch. You know what you’re trying to say, but will others?
Review is polish to tarnished silver. If you want your work to sparkle, you’ve got to put in the effort. An extra review never hurts!
Copywriting is a highly sought out skill. With so much of the world’s eyes glued to the internet, writing becomes necessary to speak to the masses. It drives everything from awareness to conversions, while sparking conversations and shares. Proper and efficient use of this skill stands out on a resume and gives a leg up over competition. Hone your skills wisely, my friends.