The classic definition of a professional web copywriter is someone who creates content that has an impact on the reader, inspiring them to take some action. But what does that really mean? Is someone a good copywriter if they can write information-filled paragraphs that are grammatically correct and nicely formatted? Of course not.
A good copywriter is one who does the necessary research to truly understand a client’s intended audience. And then they work with them to develop a client-centric voice that builds brand awareness and provides real value to the target audience.
If you’re serious about being the best copywriter possible, here are the traits and habits you should develop and adopt starting now.
Traits of a Powerhouse Web Copywriter
Check your ego.
Just as there are people who love to hear themselves talk, there are copywriters who fall in love with the cleverness of their own words. A good copywriter knows the web content she or he is producing is about the target audience. It’s quality over self. It requires a critical eye that is willing to review, revise, and remove wherever it’s necessary, even if it means cutting otherwise excellent verbiage.
Grasp human psychology.
The best copywriters learn what makes people tick so they can create content that positions the product or service they’re writing about as the reader’s best solution. From simple rhyming to the oft-forgotten P.S. line, educate yourself on a variety of psychology hacks that help you write content that converts.
Most web copywriters produce content on a variety of topics, which translates into a lot of research. Even if you specialize in one or two niches, it’s important to stay on top of what’s trending in the industry you’re covering. Ask a client who their top 3 competitors are and check out what they’re talking about. Sign up for updates from industry thought-leaders so you’re always on top of the latest innovations. While you’re at it, also subscribe to several blogs that feature current trends in content creation, marketing, and web design.
Look for inspiration everywhere. Strive to make your work stand out. Look for ways to put a fresh spin on much-covered topics. Keep good notes and look for associations between diverse thoughts and subjects. Learn what a unique selling proposition is.
And learn to express complicated solutions clearly and concisely. People love entertaining, original content, but if you want them to choose the product or service you’re offering, what you write must also touch them on an emotional level. This is why putting yourself in the reader’s shoes is so valuable. To come full circle, empathy is a powerful trait that helps you check your ego.
Practice Makes Perfect
There’s always something new to learn and more to discover when mastering the art of copywriting. Need some ideas on how to become a master copywriter? Try integrating these 3 easy steps and exercises into your daily writing routine.
1. Skip your opening.
Don’t get hung up on how to start a post; just start writing. When you reach the end, reread your content and then write your first sentences or opening paragraph. This is a great exercise for keeping your mind open to wherever your writing takes you. If you feel compelled to stick to a point you make in your first sentence, you can end up with writing that reads forced.
2. Copy the masters.
Painters do it and great writers do it, too. Head to some pro copywriting sites and use their posts for inspiration. Many prose writers learn their craft by typing verbatim books, short stories, or scripts by writers they love. Do it often enough and you’ll start to absorb the flow and style of the writing. Then move on to rewriting the original. Take a cue from advertising copywriters and start a swipe file so you always have a go-to source for new ideas.
3. Exercise regularly.
Use 5 to 10 minutes a day on a writing workout that improves your creativity, clarity, and storytelling skills. Free write, edit someone else’s work, rewrite an earlier piece of your own, write as many headlines as you can in 3 minutes or less.
Writing is a skill that can be learned by just about anyone. But not everyone is willing to do what it takes to stand out. Make time for perfecting your craft. Be disciplined about learning and practicing. Become a copywriting force to be reckoned with!