There are good copywriters and great copywriters; readable articles and effective articles. As a writer, there is always room for improvement in your craft. Article copywriting is a swiftly growing option for many writers, and if you’re lucky enough—and skilled enough—you may even get to write about industries and topics you really enjoy. In other words, when you do a great job you get to pick and choose your clients. One way to get to that point in your career is to get better at article copywriting. All it takes is four simple steps.
Step 1: Research What Makes a Good Article Copywriter
The Internet is a handy place to find tips, tricks, hints, and expert advice. There is no shortage of articles on copywriting, and you can even sift through them to find the really good ones. For example, Huffington Post listed five excellent articles on copywriting. You’ll find many other resources as well. Start a list of what works in effective copywriting and put them into actionable steps, like:
- Use subheadings
- Focus on format
- Adapt a company’s voice and brand into article
You can even list out what you need to work on, and which skills you’d like to explore further.
Step 2: Implement the Tools and Tips Successful Article Copywriters Use
The next articles you write after conducting your research should start to implement the skills you’ve read up on and hopefully learned. Don’t feel like you have to do it all at once, but at least bring something new (and effective) into each article you write. It doesn’t hurt to prioritize either. You’ll find during your research that there are recurring themes. If you’ve read that a killer title is key to grabbing the reader's attention from several different sources, then start by working on your title creation skills. If formatting is something you see everywhere, then begin adding some polish to your finished product.
What makes article copywriting effective will change as new trends take shape and consumer habits become different. That means it’s essential to stay up-to-date with your research and try to implement what’s currently working. A good example of this is that 2017 has been the year of storytelling, which means you may want to learn what that looks like and find ways to bring a storytelling element into your copywriting.
Step 3: Get to Know the Topics and Industries You’re Writing About
You can’t be an effective article copywriter unless you have solid knowledge about the topics and industries you’re writing about. If you’re writing about something new or that you’re not completely familiar with, here are some things you can do:
- Define what you’re writing about; get into the what, where, how, and who (think audience, what the specific topic is, what the article is for, etc.)
- Find the resources you’ll need (use current information, reputable sources, or popular sites when the subject is more informal)
- Write down what you’ve learned (if you keep track of sources, information, and statistics, it’s handy to keep it all in one document you can refer back to when needed)
Step 4: Practice, Practice, Practice
Sure, there will be a few topics writers won’t want to attempt, but in general, the more you can practice, the better. Becoming an effective article copywriter happens fastest when you keep working at it, so take every opportunity you can to do so. Listen to feedback and continue to polish your skills, even if it’s by writing about topics that aren’t your favorites. Before you know it, you may be able to choose who and what you write for and about.
Article copywriting is like anything else—to get better and make it effective you have to work at it. The more information and practice you have, the better you’ll be, and the better chance you’ll have at becoming successful in your field.