The Need to Prioritize Good Copywriting
While the importance of copywriting is rarely disregarded, the necessity for high quality copywriting is still often under-emphasized. Millions of daily sales can still be attributed and traced back to a well-crafted sales pitch, advertisement jingle, or marketing slogan. Marketers understand the importance of copywriting is, but sometimes neglect high quality work for the sake of cost.
When putting together a budget for a product or project, many marketers will start off with a copywriting budget. However, when cost savings are required, the copywriting budget is often the first thing on the chopping block.
Marketers can fall into the trap of believing they are best equipped to write the sales copy because they know their product inside out. So they cut the cost of paying someone with expertise and attempt the work themselves.
The Components of Good Copywriting
The notion is generally true that those who know a product inside out are in a position to write better copy than someone who does not know the product as well. However, being well-informed doesn’t override or offset weak copywriting skills. Someone who hasn’t learned how to write effective copy will struggle enormously to put together a well-crafted piece, regardless of how well they know the product.
Knowing your product and being a native speaker in the language of your copy are two of the three key ingredients needed for quality copy. The third is actually understanding what makes effective copy.
Poor quality copy or amateur copy is often recognizable by the unnecessary amount of words it uses in its sentences when trying to make a point about the thing it is writing about, which is usually the product that the person writing the amateur copy is trying to sell….
Do you see what I mean? Do you observe the problems with the above paragraph?
Brevity may be the soul of wit, but it should also be the heart and soul of effective written copy – even if it lacks wittiness. With that in mind, let’s look at some basic techniques you can employ in order to write your own effective copy.
Three Techniques for Effective Do-It-Yourself Copywriting
- Don’t Use More Words Than Necessary
Amateur copy tends to be typified by the use of unnecessary filler words that add nothing to the sentence, are redundant, or fall short of coming up with a more accurate way of expressing what you mean.
From a practical point of view, simply compare the following two sentences.
“John was really happy with the results; they were very good.”
“John was delighted with the excellent results.”
The difference is clear. The second sentence is more precise and engaging.
Another assumption is that more copy is more informative and impressive. It actually may be more overwhelming and confusing. And there’s a saying: “Confusion doesn’t close,” meaning it doesn’t close deals.
2. Keep It Relevant
At all times throughout the copywriting process, you should always consider who you’re writing for, and what they need to know. Amateur copy often stands out as being overtly salesy while diverging from the key benefits of the product and the desired outcome of a consumer.
(This can also apply to nonprofits selling a cause to their constituents.)
Never forget that you are selling a product, service, or cause that offers a solution to a problem or addresses a need – economic, social, psychological, and/or emotional – with respect to your customers, clients, or other constituents.
What is that problem or need? What is the “pain point”? What is the solution or the path to the desired outcome? Keep this in mind to keep your copy on point.
3. Proof, Proof, Proof
Proofreading is a skill that is often misunderstood. At its most basic, it involves reading your work for spelling or grammatical errors. However, when proofing, you also need to be an editor.
This means checking on how the whole piece flows. You are monitoring whether the structure of your copy seems smooth or disjointed. You are checking to see whether your sentences read seamlessly or whether any sentences feel wordy, halting, clumpy, or clunky. You are looking at whether they can be rephrased in a more concise and elegant way. Ultimately, you are critically analyzing your work for any issues, major or minor, that detract from the overall message.
So is there really any need for professional copywriters in your business? The truth is that, although there are numerous simple techniques that amateur copywriters can utilize, the work of a top notch copywriter is very difficult to replicate without extensive study and learning. If you have to write your own copy, make sure you account for the above techniques. However, if you want the best copy, hire a professional.
If you feel you still haven’t developed the perfect HOOK for your product, service, or cause, you might want to check out this simple way to produce sales copy that is 90% done for you.
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Transforming Vision to Value
Roberto Ragone has over 25 years experience in government, nonprofits, and business, working with them on strategic planning, marketing and public relations, fundraising, and outreach. He has also worked on literary, film, and theatre projects.
One of his guiding principles is a determination to help you attract popularity, prosperity, and prestige — fans, friends, funds, and fame. He helps define and disseminate the uniquely compelling story about you, transforming your vision to value so you “REaP” the benefits of your hard work.