Last Updated on July 13, 2022 by Ron
Want to increase traffic to your website, but have no idea how or where to begin? You’ve come to the right place. That’s because, today, I will share the most effective copywriting tips for beginners you can use right now.
Copywriting is more important than everything else when it comes to your business. Yes, you read that right.
I stand by it.
Now, you’re probably going to say that I’m biased.
And you’d be right. Of course, I am.
But it’s also true.
And how do I know this? With over a decade of marketing experience under my belt, I know this to be the case.
So, if you desperately want to boost traffic and convert potential customers, sharpen your pencil and take some notes. These tips will have you writing copy like a pro in no time.
Ready to begin?
Let’s get right to it!
17 Copywriting Tips for Beginners
- #1 Nail Your Copywriting Strategy
- #2 Embrace SEO
- #3 Understand Your Target Audience
- #4 Use a Powerful Title or Headline
- #5 Hook them Fast
- #6 Keep it Short and Sharp
- #7 Use Bridge Phrases
- #8 Create an Emotional Connection with your Reader
- #9 Embrace the Power of a CTA (Call to Action)
- #10 Use Statistics and Surveys
- #11 Anticipate Possible Objections
- #12 Be Persuasive
- # 13 Tell Seductive Stories
- #14 Write Like you Speak
- #15 Sell the Experience and Benefits
- #16 Keep up with the Competition
- #17 Get to the Point
- Ready. Set. Write!
Copywriting 101 – What You Need to Know
Why do copywriters even exist? Why are they so important?
Why don’t you just use any writer?
Because a copywriter really is essential.
Let’s just stop for a moment and think about a piece of copy that has majorly stood out in the past.
One of the best copywriting examples I can think of is L’Oréal Paris’ signature slogan, “Because you’re worth it!”
Now just think about what it would have sounded like had a random person been asked to come up with it.
“Because you’re good enough.”
“Because you get what you deserve.”
It just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?
Now, you might be thinking, well, I’ll just hire a professional to do it for me. That’s definitely an option, but will you know how effective the copy is? Can you tell good copy from bad copy?
You don’t want to throw your money into the wind on mediocre work just because you aren’t sure. You’ve absolutely got to know the copywriting basics.
Some of you be thinking:
“But Ron, I’m a podcaster (or a YouTuber); I don’t need to write copy.”
Whether you’re writing YouTube video descriptions, podcast transcripts, blog posts, web copy, sales pages, or social media captions, they are all in need of excellent copy.
Copy that converts.
What is a Copywriter?
So what is a copywriter anyway? What does a copywriter do?
Copywriters know how to talk to people.
Excellent copywriting is all about understanding people and creating a relatable bond. But it also goes beyond that to understand what people’s pain points, fears, desires, and dreams are too.
Copywriters don’t just understand words. They understand people.
It’s true; specific words and phrases ultimately improve your copy’s selling power.
This includes knowing when you should use long-form copy instead of short-form copy, which power words to use, and how to successfully analyze the competition.
Copywriters can do all of this.
A copywriter is also a powerhouse of language knowledge and creativity.
They can take you on a journey and steer you whichever way they want you to go using structure, rhetoric, narrative, punctuation, and storytelling, just to name a few.
There are various types of copywriters that hone their craft and avoid being a ‘jack of all trades.’ As a professional copywriter, you can have your own content marketing business, go the freelance copywriting route, or work as a content manager at an agency.
Let’s take a look at the different types of copywriting services out there:
Copywriting for SEO leverages search engine optimization strategies to write copy that boosts a website’s search engine ranking.
When writing this type of copy, SEO Copywriters consider factors such as readability, tone, keyword density, and prominence in order to organically improve a website’s placement in search results.
Email copywriters write emails that drive leads and sales through:
- Promotional emails
- Welcome emails
- Nurture sequences
- Marketing campaigns
- Ecommerce emails
Through their emails, copywriters inform, educate, and connect with their audience, building both trust and credibility. That same trust and credibility then leads to sales and conversions.
With access to an email database, these professionals use their copywriting skills to write personalized messages that generate leads, sales, and customers.
It isn’t easy to translate sincerity when it comes to sales copy. What might sound natural in spoken form can quite often get lost in translation in written form and come off cheesy at best.
An effective sales copywriter guides the reader into making an immediate buying decision.
A digital copywriter is going to be an authority in all things web-based. Basically, they are tasked with driving conversions through inquiries, sign-ups, or sales.
They will have an instinctive insight into the psychology of internet sales. This includes how long a potential customer will spend on a webpage, what calls-to-action best encourage users to subscribe, and what specific information prospects may be looking for regarding a topic.
Technical writers need to take pages and pages of technical jargon and create clear, concise, and easy-to-follow copy that customers will easily understand.
One of a technical copywriter’s biggest challenges is not only to make complex information clear but to make it interesting and compelling, too – i.e., breathe life into it.
Ad copy commands attention. It sticks in your memory. This type of copywriting is psychologically-based and very tricky to master. And you’ll often only have a few words to hit the spot with your persuasive copywriting.
Ad copywriters understand exactly what it is that makes consumers tick.
There’s a distinct difference between content writing vs. copywriting. While both have the end goal of conversions of some sort, content marketing is much more indirect than copywriting.
A content strategist knows the inner workings of how content works, what type of content to create, and how to get it in front of an audience.
A blogger knows how to write compelling, value-driven long-form content – that can captivate readers for 5 – 15 minutes with a single piece.
Copywriting Tips for Beginners: 17 Simple Techniques to Boost Traffic
Now that we’ve covered the burning question of what copywriting is, stick around to learn the most effective copywriting tips you can start to apply to your next piece of copy.
#1 Nail Your Copywriting Strategy
A basic formula to follow whenever creating copy, whether blog posts, website copy, email, video descriptions, or anything else, is as follows:
- Inspire your reader
- Create a strong relationship between your reader and your brand
- Motivate the reader to take a particular action
Now, your copywriting will only achieve success if it satisfies the needs of your audience.
How can you ensure this happens every single time?
Research. Research. Research.
To produce the best piece of copy for your reader, you need to write something that is relevant, entertaining, and educational for your audience.
Your copywriting should also work towards a unified goal. Then, strategically publish content that works towards this goal.
Your strategy must also incorporate exclusivity.
Chances are, if you’re promoting a website or blog that provides the same basic information that’s easily obtained elsewhere online, you’re hardly going to attract possible customers.
So, be creative. Offer them insider information. Create unique copy that has relevant and new information.
Lastly, think hard about SEO optimization. This is something that can get you within the first few spots in Google’s search results.
One of the best recipes for online success.
More on that right now…
#2 Embrace SEO
Google is a business. And as a business, they want to offer their clients (everyone) excellent service.
Ultimately, they want their customers to have a good search experience and to find what they’re looking for.
To do this, Google sends “spiders” around the web to find websites and try to understand how relevant it is to their customer’s search intent.
But how do these highly-trained Google bots know? How are they connecting with websites?
So far, the technology can’t read video or images, but it can read text. That’s why considering SEO when writing copy for websites, landing pages, and blog posts is important.
Here are some of the main elements that contribute to SEO:
- Crawl accessibility
- Compelling copy or content
- Keyword optimization
- User experience
- Loading speed
- Social shares
- Title, meta description, and URL
Optimize these elements, and Google will love you.
#3 Understand Your Target Audience
Here’s a question: Do you adjust the way you talk depending on who you’re talking to?
Most people will change the way they talk, what information they give, and the language they’re using when they need to.
You can apply the same skills when you’re learning copywriting by thinking, “who am I talking to?”
It’s important for brands not to be internally facing and get too caught up in how they want to sound without always having the audience at the forefront of all communications.
Think about these critical factors:
- Who are your customers?
- What age range are they?
- Why do they want your product/service?
- Where do they sit geographically?
- What are their principles and values?
- What “language” do they speak? What jargon do they use?
- What lifestyle do they lead?
Understanding your audience is one of the most important copywriting tips for beginners. Without your fans, followers, and customers, your business would cease to exist.
#4 Use a Powerful Title or Headline
This is your hook. It’s the one central element of your whole copy that persuades the reader to hang around.
Well, either that or they lose interest completely.
Now, there are blog post title formulas that have been proven to work time and time again.
“10 Ways to….”
Not sure how to come up with your own winning title? Check these out.
If you’re writing a landing page title, go for an instant clarity title, where your customer knows exactly what benefits they will receive from you.
Throw around 25-50 variations of your title, and you should nail one to perfection.
You want clear, powerful, and customer-focused titles. Always.
#5 Hook them Fast
Readers have a short attention span in today’s microwave society. They skim read and can quickly lose interest.
Your title may be enough to get them to click on the post, but it doesn’t mean they will stay reading.
Your opening sentence is going to be so important. It will hook them and keep them on track to read the rest of the post. Or make them lose interest if you don’t play it right.
So how do you keep them on the page?
Be fast when introducing your topic. Make it pack a punch.
Don’t be scared to write a short sentence. Say what you want to say fast and well. Make it strong.
Get right into the meaty bit of your point. Think of the opening scene of your favorite action movie. Your hook should be just like that.
What are your reader’s deepest desires and biggest problems surrounding your topic?
Now put that in the very first few words. Let them know that if they keep reading, they will be able to solve that problem.
Build anticipation. Make sure to tease them with what’s to come.
#6 Keep it Short and Sharp
Whatever you do, make sure you avoid chunky paragraphs – like the plague.
Seriously though, who has the time or energy to read through blocks and blocks of words?
I sure don’t.
The fact of the matter is your reader is pretty much a goldfish. People have incredibly short attention spans these days.
Each and every line you write must lure them in to read the next line.
And the next line.
Your paragraphs should never be longer than two or three sentences and no more than four lines. Any more than that and it becomes daunting.
Using bullet points is an excellent way to mix things up visually.
Also, you can always use a small sentence to really emphasize something.
Will it have the desired effect of hooking and reeling in the reader right until your last line?
#7 Use Bridge Phrases
A bridge phrase, also known as a “bucket brigade,” is a language trick you can use that keeps your reader invested in your content and copy.
“What’s a bridge phrase,” I hear you wondering?
Basically, they’re phrases that copywriters use to keep the reader wanting to read more.
They pique curiosity, intrigue, and interest. They leave open loops that desperately need to be closed.
- Such as
- Simply Put
- Case in Point
- Here’s the deal
- Not only that
- Think about it
- The good news?
- Want to know why?
- By the way
- And many more
Throw in some of those strategically within your copy, and sure enough, your reader will get to the bottom of your copy without even realizing it.
#8 Create an Emotional Connection with your Reader
In order to establish trust with your reader, you must first create a connection with them. Think about all the strategies you can apply so that they feel as though your copy was written with them in mind.
You don’t want to sell your product or service directly, but show your target audience exactly what it is they need through rich content.
What you want to do is have your brand’s content reflect and inspire a specific emotion that aligns best with your brand’s story.
#9 Embrace the Power of a CTA (Call to Action)
Oh, the Call to Action: the place where you need to pack all your wisdom and power.
Essentially, a call to action tells your audience what you want them to do next.
You’ve written persuasive, enticing copy that’s tapped in on their pain points and desires, using social proof, and now they’re almost ready to take action.
They need to know what to do next.
Your Call to Action (CTA) is going to tell them.
The best CTA will always speak directly to the user and use imperative sentences and action words.
Typically you’ll come across weaker calls to action like “click here” or “read this.”
But the most powerful call to action phrases will use more specific words that speak directly to the desired outcome:
- Join our community
- Learn authentic Thai cooking
- Download the audio lesson.
See what I mean?
#10 Use Statistics and Surveys
While appealing to your reader’s emotions is great, you also have to back your claims up with proof. One of the most effective ways to do this is with numbers.
Add a heavy dose of credibility to what it is you’re saying by quoting reliable data and research. And don’t forget to link to the website address in question.
#11 Anticipate Possible Objections
There will always be at least one person that will have doubts about the claims you make about your brand or product.
Sounds like a marketing nightmare? It’s really not.
In fact, you can turn it into an advantage.
But first, you need to sit down and think hard about what these possible questions and objections regarding your service or product could be.
From there, you can anticipate potential consumer criticism to restate what your business stands for or your unique selling proposition.
Respond to any negative reviews with complete honesty and transparency without overselling your principles and values.
It will send a powerful message to your target audience about what it is you offer.
#12 Be Persuasive
A great copywriter knows that the best marketing strategy uses psychology in order to persuade.
For example, having an authoritative stance on a topic means your audience will most likely respect you because you have plenty of knowledge on said topic.
Additionally, people are influenced by others, so if you have testimonials or success stories under your belt, you will be able to persuade customers of the value you bring.
Another strategy is to use scarcity. There is a yearning that comes with the realization that you could possibly lose out on something unless you act quickly.
Bonus tip: Persuasion is also much more effective when using the right words.
Power words strongly increase the selling potential of the copy you write because they trigger particular emotions.
When writing your next email subject line, social media post, or blog post title, consider incorporating these words:
Use these words to boost your power of persuasion, but use them carefully. Cramming in as many as you can is definitely a turn-off.
# 13 Tell Seductive Stories
Using compelling stories is one of the best copywriting tips for beginners or advanced writers. Stories allow you to draw your reader in, as well as being a complementary way to illustrate your point.
Because your reader is hard-wired to love them.
Think about it:
We’ve been reading and listening to stories since childhood.
But the best part? These stories take place in their head.
This is a dominant place for you to be. You are in a person’s control center. The more you create visually appealing mental images in their heads, the stronger your message will connect with them.
#14 Write Like you Speak
You probably already know this, but it’s so important, so let’s cover it anyway.
Have a conversation.
This is an important concept if you want to learn Copywriting. No matter how formal or informal, there must be a two-way dialogue with your reader.
Stop lecturing. Start talking.
Involve your reader in the conversation as much as you can.
Ask them questions.
Give them instructions.
Encourage your reader to think up scenarios that you’re describing – It’s hypnotizing.
Here’s the secret sauce to this formula, write to one individual. Not to the masses. Address them using the first person (you and your).
Now your tone of voice will differ depending on your target audience. But always involve them as much as you can.
It will make all the difference.
#15 Sell the Experience and Benefits
One of the biggest traps a copywriter can fall into is getting the features and benefits of a product/service muddled up.
Simply listing the standalone features of a product or service just isn’t enough to entice customers.
Both features and benefits are just as important as each other for creating compelling copy, but it’s the benefits that will convert the customers.
“But Ron, what’s the difference?”
I’ll tell you the difference:
- Features: This is a surface statement of something your product/service has or is.
- Benefits: This is the emotional result that your product/service delivers for the customer.
Most companies use features in place of benefits because they focus on the product or service they’re selling, not on the customer. They’re trying to sell features.
But the customer wants to buy benefits. They will part with their money once they understand ‘what’s in it for them?’
The truth is, customers really don’t care about the brand or the products and services they’re selling. They just want to know what’s in it for them and how your product can benefit them.
Are you selling furniture?
What you really want to highlight is a good night’s sleep, not the thread count of the sheets or the mattress itself.
Real benefits resonate with your customer’s desires. Think saving time, cutting down on costs, or simply enjoying their life more. Benefits need to address a problem and solve it, adding value to the customer’s life.
You will need to convert the features into benefits that will ultimately emotionally connect customers to the brand.
#16 Keep up with the Competition
No matter what industry you’re in, there’s a lot of competition out there. And the last thing you want is to blend in with the crowd.
So, get on social media or check out the website of your direct competitor. Check out their tone of voice and what it says about their brand.
Examine whether they are straightforward with their customers. What emotions are they making you feel?
Do they have any reviews, and what do their customers say about them?
Social listening is also vital. This is when you track social media platforms and websites for any possible keywords, products, and competitors related to your brand.
From there, you can use these mentions as an opportunity to get your brand at the forefront of said conversations. Or answer any burning questions in your latest blog post.
Here’s a list of tools to help with that.
Now that you know what your competition is doing, you can make your brand the point of difference and use your unique selling point to your advantage.
#17 Get to the Point
Listen, your readers and followers are busy.
And quite frankly, their attention is being pulled in all directions – all of the time.
This means if your copy isn’t easily digestible, your reader will find any excuse to divert from your words.
Do not give them one.
Skip the fluff. Stay away from the thesaurus and use shorter and more direct words.
And avoid jargon for the most part.
Except when speaking directly to an audience who has above average knowledge on your subject. In that case, it can help to create a better bond or connection.
Ready. Set. Write!
Okay, that’s it! Copywriting isn’t brain surgery.
But it’s also not to be taken lightly.
The truth is, you might have the best product or service in the world, but without effective copywriting, it will essentially be rendered useless.
Copywriting is used to engage and entice the reader to convert them to paying customers using proven formulas.
Keep this in mind whether you’re working on your own business or looking to land your ideal copywriting job.
By leveraging the copywriting tips for beginners included in this article, you can get ahead of your competition with a distinct advantage.
There’s no better time than now to get started.