Copy That!

Copywriting is one of the most popular writing professions - and for good reason!

Copywriters have the opportunity to work in newsletters, sales, tv commercials, radio spots, billboards, print ads, tag-lines, and (increasingly) social media posts. These are a few avenues that copywriters can venture into.

Since the days of John Emory Powers, the industry that is copywriting continues to grow. With the Internet Age, the opportunities have increased ten-fold.

For the content writer, experienced or amateur, copywriting is an industry which you should definitely consider.

But before you dive in, you’ll need to ensure that you have or can build the skills needed for copywriting success.

Here are 3 quick points to becoming a successful copywriter:

1. “Brevity is the soul of wit”

Ignoring the long-winding preface that Polonius declaims before telling King Claudius that the noble son, Hamlet, is mad - we learn that “brevity is the soul of wit.”

What copywriters need to learn from Polonius is that the audience does not want to be kept in suspense. They want you to get to the point.

If you are used to long-form writing, you will need to learn how to cut down on your writing.

Can you use 5 words to express what you usually do with 10 words?

2. Convince Me

As you have learned since you began writing in school, a lot of writing is intended to persuade.

Academic writing presents an argument. Copywriting presents a need or desire to be fulfilled.

Make sure you learn how to sell something to someone.

Think about a product you use regularly. How would you convince someone else in 10-20 seconds that they should buy this product? In how few words can you convince them?

3. Know Your Market

Every market is looking for a copywriter.

Study the different markets which exist and practice how you would sell to them.

For example, what products are millennials looking to buy? How do you communicate to this market?

What about the middle-class in an emerging economy? Do you know how to target this market?

Copywriting is a highly competitive field. But this should not turn you away. If you are considering venturing into copywriting, begin developing your skills and doing your research as to which niche(s) you can target.

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