November 6, 2020 5 min read
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Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, we’d already begun our migration into cyberspace. We were seeing facts like 3.5 billion daily searches on Google and three-quarters of the internet reading blogs.
What the pandemic has done is simply accelerate our move online. Today, we’re looking at startling numbers such as 6 billion daily searches on Google, a global digital population of 4.5 billion and 2.7 million monthly Facebook users.
This means that for online-savvy professionals, the shift towards cyberspace means more instead of less work. For instance, think of copywriters. Since copywriters create web content and web content is hugely in demand today, copywriting is one of the most lucrative jobs you can grab in a world of social distancing and telecommuting.
But what exactly is a copywriter? What kind of work do copywriters do? I created an infographic detailing exactly what a copywriter does. Here are four things I’ve pulled from it.
1. Copywriting is the art and science of crafting persuasive content
Copywriting sounds exactly like “copyrighting,” which is why a lot of people think the two are the same. The truth is, they couldn’t be more different.
To be clear, a copyright is an exclusive legal right protecting original work from being stolen. Copywriting, on the other hand, means crafting persuasive web copy such as web pages, emails, social media ads, blogs and articles.
Note that copywriting has changed dramatically over the years. Back in the ’50s, the art of writing copy meant knowing how to craft 20-page direct response letters, catchy jingles and billboard ads. Today, it means creating informative, educational, entertaining content across digital platforms like websites, social media and email.
2. A copywriter is a jack of all trades
Most of us think of online writers and immediately picture busy people typing away at their laptops all day. Or maybe we envision creative individuals waiting for the next spellbinding string of words to fall into their laps.
But being a copywriter is so much more than just that. A copywriter is a marketer, a CEO, a customer services representative and an artist. As one, your job will be to step into your audience’s shoes and know what they’re looking for online. You’ll find out their dreams and fears, so you know what it’ll take to get them into a business’s lifecycle. You’ll also embody your brand’s voice and tone, writing to cultivate a lasting relationship with customers.
As a copywriter, you need diverse skills. Of course, creativity and communication skills are a must. But you also need top-notch research and editing skills. Plus, you need to know how to ideate content, pitch ideas, optimize posts for SEO and work with a team of graphic designers and content strategists to create winning content and copy.
3. Copy and content are two different things, and as a copywriter, you’ll learn to do both
Content and copy are often used interchangeably, but they’re two entirely different types of writing. Yes, both of them need to be well-researched, audience-centric, and entertaining. The difference is the main goal of each type of writing.
The goal of copy is to persuade a reader to take immediate action. This action can be to buy something, subscribe to a blog, opt into an email list or simply click on a link to a company’s website.
On the other hand, the goal of content is to educate and build trust and loyalty with readers. When you write content, you’re giving away free information to help readers improve their lives. Although this doesn’t translate to direct sales, you’re building your brand authority to pay off in the long run.
As a skilled copywriter, you’ll be writing both content and copy. You’ll research your audience’s main pain points and solve them in educational blogs. Also, you’ll craft emails and landing pages to sell products and services or turn visitors into leads.
The bottom line is you’ll be in charge of writing pieces that will skyrocket a company’s success. As Digital Marketing Institute says, “If you’re able to write copy that sells, big things will happen.”
4. Breaking into copywriting isn’t as difficult as you think
The information above is a lot to take, but the truth is breaking into copywriting is a step-by-step process anyone can master.
It all begins with learning. Set aside time each day to read the work of skilled copywriters, invest in courses, and dive into excellent books. As you learn, practice your new skills by writing every day.
When you’re ready, sit down to create your own web portfolio. Fill it up with samples of your writing pieces, whether these pieces are for real clients or not. You can even take unpaid writing projects in exchange for testimonials.
The last step is to promote yourself. Search for clients on Google or LinkedIn using keywords like “content marketing” or “copywriter.” Send them your portfolio and make arrangements for either in-house or freelance work.
Remember, you don’t need to be perfect from day one. Simply keep up the process of continuously refining your skills and portfolio and putting yourself out there, and you’ll wake up one day to find yourself living the copywriter’s dream life.
Image credit Express Writers