The Truth About Copywriting – What They Aren’t Telling You
When it comes to writing content, there are a lot of myths revolving around the craft. And as the number of readers who consume the final product increases, so does the number of copywriters. 91% of all organizations out there use content writing as a prime marketing tactic, with 54% marketers spending over $10,000 per annum on the niche.
Plus, content writers are also relatively well compensated for their efforts, which means more and more people are looking to become content and copywriters. Yet, with so many writers out there, there are only a few seasoned copywriters who know and are willing to share copywriting secrets with the world.
Think about it; there is much confusion about just the words content and copy. Many amateur writers often mistake the two as being interchangeable, however, that couldn’t be farther from the truth!
Where a copy is anything written to make the sale (salesmanship in pixelated form), content is everything else. From attracting to engaging, explaining, giving information, solving problems and eventually converting; that’s content’s job description.
Here, we shall discuss some of the myths revolving around the trade in order to help you understand the truth about copywriting. The idea is not only to enable you to make smart decisions when hiring freelance writers, but also to help you make the most out of your copywriting skills.
Truth About Copywriting – 4 Secrets Revealed
Copywriting Myth 1: We Are Artists
Writers often claim that a lot goes into writing, and that much is true. But they often also suggest that they are good writers only because they’re a creative bunch. This is a rather common myth and one that has caught on so much that today, one of the first things clients look for when hiring a writer is creativity.
Creative people are often those who have their way with ideas and can twist a very compelling yarn fairly easily. Unfortunately, that same yarn isn’t necessarily what every reader is looking for. Creativity often leads to ‘fluff’ in the copywriting world.
Instead, what you should be focusing on as a writer as well as a client are research skills. If you know what you’re talking about, creativity will automatically follow. What you write will have meaning and won’t just be empty words.
On the other hand, if you only have creativity on your side, you will end up referencing the Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and more, but it won’t necessarily add much value to your message.
When you tell anyone that you’re a writer, they’ll automatically start suggesting that you’re creative and will think that you sit around all day just thinking. If they really like you, they might also think that what you write about could be educational, emotional, engaging and effective.
Yes, your creative side does let you craft the perfect examples when the time comes, but how often do you have to give examples when writing a piece? 2, 4 times? 10, if it’s a long-form post?
It’s all about research.
If you gather all your research before starting to write, you will not just have a killer intro, you will also be able to write content that provides valuable information to readers. This in turn makes them want to read your content from start to finish, and increases your chances of converting much more than with the use of fancy phrases and word-smithing.
Think of creativity as the catalyst that helps you write better. If it’s there, it’ll help you perform better. If not, nobody will ding you for it so long as you make up for the lack of it in terms of your research. There is no magic or any copywriting secret that experts use to craft the perfect piece; just a lot of time researching facts.
Unfortunately, this is a relatively lesser-known copywriting secret, as is perhaps the reason many starting freelancers struggle to find clients.
Copywriting Myth 2: Your Opinion Matters
When starting out, many copywriters or bloggers think that their opinion matters, and people are looking for advice when reading their pieces. People are looking for information, yes, but are they looking for opinions? Are they looking for your opinion?
Unless you’re Neil deGrasse Tyson, Albert Einstein himself or a Nobel Prize winner, your opinions really don’t matter in the beginning. You’re simply a means to an end; and how quickly you help audiences get to that end is what helps you become an effective copywriter.
If they’re not here for your content, but because of your copy, again, it’s not your opinion that matters. Instead, it’s the audience’s opinion that determines whether they convert or not.
Some people manage to convert prospects from a well-written landing page, while others might have to go the extra mile, sending out newsletters, emails, promos and more. Why is that?
The answer is simple; you need to step into your audience’s shoes, find out what their pains and preferences are, and what solutions they are looking for. Once you know what their opinion is, you will have a better grasp on what you need to write and how to convert.
Customer is king, and your copy is the throne on which you seat them!
When coming up with your content, slogans or tag lines, remember that you aren’t the one who’s buying; the readers are.
Once you have a certain repertoire in your field, you can then start publishing content with your opinion in it.
Copywriting Myth 3: You Need a New Formula to Be Unique
Yet another common misconception for which veteran copywriters are responsible is that you need to formulate your own formula to craft unique content and be recognized in the field. The idea is that since everyone’s writing style is different, it is natural to assume that in order to get the best results out of your writing ventures, you need to craft your own writing style.
When it comes to copywriting formulae to help you craft the perfect copy, we always say:
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
There is a reason people craft these bespoke formulae about copywriting and share them with the world. They actually do work. Yes, you might need a different formula for different types of content, but that is not to say that the tried and true methods don’t work well. In fact, if you are willing to mold a formula, let’s say the Q.U.E.S.T. formula, beyond recognition, you can even use it to write a compelling landing page!
If you have a formula of your own, that’s good for you. Don’t let nay-sayers get in your way to crafting the perfect copy. Just keep tweaking it with respect to SEO techniques and you’ll be well on your way to becoming one of the legends in no time.
Remember, you don’t have to spend hours or days on end to come up with the perfect articles. Most of the research has already been done for you. Websites like The National Center for Biotechnology Information, Stack Overflow, IRS Instructions tab, Institute of Financial Reporting Standards and others are the perfect sources for research material to help you craft a compelling copy.
All you must do is take information and links from those sites and express them in your tone. Remember, your readers are YOUR readers because they like your tone and the way you present information. Keep it that way. Don’t ruin it all trying to find or adopt a new copywriting technique.
Yes, it might get monotonous for you after a while, but remember, if it works, it works.
Copywriting Myth 4: The More Topics I Cover, the Better
There are many websites out there that publish content ranging across a broad range of topics. It is often believed that this is a good practice for people looking to earn from their blogs via guest posting or affiliate marketing.
While not exactly false, the problem with such a strategy is that it takes a long time for your website to rank this way. The belief that brand advertising is not just about establishing a positive image but also about covering every topic out there is nothing more than a well-established copywriting secret.
It’s good to cater to a variety of audiences at the same time; more chances to sell. However, what’s the point if you’re unable to properly cater to any single type of audience? Answer us this:
Is it better to be a jack of all trades or a master of one?
This is a well-argued topic, and rightfully so.
When it comes to converting, your copy must elicit emotions and leave meaningful impressions in your readers’ minds. About a decade ago, lingo such as “click here for more information” or “we’re the best marketing company out there” used to work. But in 2020, not only are these terms overused but they have also become “red flags” for many readers.
To create a positive image, you need to provide quality over quantity. You need to make sure you’re offering solutions to readers’ problems or telling them something new. That is much easier if you’re focusing on one niche.
It’s possible to focus on more, we’re not denying that; just suggesting that researching different topics and writing articles that offer valuable insights each time will be very time consuming. Furthermore, in 2020 Google also recommends you focus on Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness (E.A.T.) to rank better.
Let’s get into the nitty gritty of this myth as well. Let’s focus on ad copies.
Let’s say you’re writing a Google ad copy about a new console:
As you can see, the whole ad seems very vague. You simply can’t tell what this ad is about. Is it about a new platform, a new console or perhaps some new technology? Yes, it works if you’re a well-recognized brand, but not if you’re just starting out.
The only thing this ad will entice people to do is to click on it and see what you’re talking about; nothing more. You’re spending money on your PPC ad campaign, would you rather people just look at your idea or actually make an investment? Plus, are you even sure that you’re the one the ad is targeting?
Unfortunately, this ad copy doesn’t try to sell. Instead, it’s written like “content,” not a copy. This is not a very specific ad, but instead tries to cover a broad range of ideas. It’s more of a conversation starter than a selling copy.
In order to make your copies and content more engaging, you need to set aside the popular copywriting myth and make your copy more specific. Here are two tips to help you do that:
- Target your audience. Being specific isn’t just limited to keeping your content or copy specific, but also to targeting a specific audience. When you converse with your audience, you increase the chances of conversion considerably.
- Include a CTA. If you want to enjoy the latest games in all their glory, buy a “console.” That’s all the ad had to include. Only, try not to make it so blunt. At the end of a well-written copy, your audience will be convinced subconsciously. You now have to tell the conscious mind to make the purchase.
Remember, specificity is one of the most important copywriting secrets, and is key to writing copies and content that convert and establish your authority.
The common practices you hear of in the wild aren’t necessarily wrong; but either blown out of proportion or sometimes facts around those myths are misstated. Take the example of myth 4, specificity.
Yes, it is better to stay specific, but perhaps not always. Sometimes, talking in loops actually does help convert – but to come to that stage you need to have a solid foundation in the field. Perhaps a name for yourself as well. The sample ad we showed you, if that was from Xbox or Sony, it would have fit right in.
When it comes to any copywriting secret, it is important to remember that there are always exceptions. The main goal is to get results, and people who write guides are often trying to help you not make the same mistakes they did.
So there is no harm in following a given formula, but creating your own is also fine, as long as it works. The world of writing is very subjective, changing every now and then. Remember, no matter what formula you adopt, you can’t make everyone happy. So, don’t fall for misleading advice and copywriting myths out there, and write copies that are true to you and to your audience!