One of the most common content marketing misconceptions that I see all the time is the idea that anyone can write copy. This is false.
Anyone can write.
But not everyone can write copy.
And anyone who thinks that writing and copywriting are the same thing… well, they’re wrong.
In this article I’m going to share some of the skills that a great copywriter needs. Skills that are required to turn ‘writing’ into ‘copy’, and skills that set a human copywriter apart from an AI copywriter – because these are the skills that an AI writing tool is never going to be able to emulate.
Skills Every Copywriting Needs:
A copywriter should have a diverse skill set. Obviously, they should be a good writer and an excellent communicator.
But they should also be a storyteller. They should be able to take the reader on a journey, subtly addressing their pain points while leading them towards purchasing a product or making an enquiry – all without the audience even knowing it.
A digital copywriter (someone who writes copy for digital formats like blog articles, social media, email marketing etc.) should also have a solid understanding of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). While their SEO knowledge should be well-rounded, they should be very good with on-page SEO techniques. They should also know how to do keyword research to ensure that they are targeting search terms that have good levels of search traffic.
As a copywriter is creating text and content for marketing purposes, they should also have some background knowledge of marketing. While they don’t need to be able to write a marketing strategy from start to finish, they should be comfortable with concepts like:
- target audiences
- buyer personas
- market and competitor research
- user/customer behaviour
- calls to action
- consumer psychology
- and more
This background knowledge in marketing is what turns ‘writing’ into ‘copy’. More than just writing factual information about a product, they are directly addressing the reader’s wants and needs. They are writing persuasively, to convince the reader that they want or need the product.
They want to make the reader feel emotion – be that joy, anger, sadness, frustration, happiness or even just FOMO – and then use that emotion as motivation to purchase the product or service that they are writing about.
The final skill set that a great copywriter will possess is the ability to write in a brand’s ‘tone’. Whether the brand they are working for is professional, casual, technical, bright and bubbly, cheeky, impactful or organic – the writer needs to know how to use language and sentence structures that align with the characteristics of those tone of voice requirements.
Some additional ‘soft skills’ that a copywriter may possess include:
- Great at research and fact-finding skills
- Great communication skills
- Good time management skills and commitment to meeting deadlines
- Great at presenting information
- Great at explaining complex topics
- Experience with Word and other Microsoft programs
- Experience with WordPress and other blogging platforms
- Experience with social media and other digital content formats / mediums
A successful copywriter is someone who:
Based on those skills, a great copywriter should be confident with the following:
- They can follow Tone of Voice guidelines and write using your brand’s voice and language
- They can structure information in a piece of writing in a way that makes it easy to consume, process and digest for the reader
- They can weave a story through the copy, or make it engaging so that the reader is hanging off their seat until the end
- They can sell your product or service to the reader without them even noticing – successful copy should result in a higher conversion rate
- For digital copy, they can also include SEO elements in their copy so that it performs well in Google
What is good copywriting?
Good copy sells to you without you even realising. It should encompass the brand’s tone of voice, while being engaging, interesting and persuasive.
Good digital or web copy should also incorporate elements of SEO to make perform well on Google and other algorithm-based platforms.
And great copy tells a story while selling to the customer. Great copy can have a huge impact on conversions, sales and enquiries.
What exactly does a copywriter do?
We’ve discussed the skillset that a good copywriter should possess, and we’ve also discussed what differentiates ‘copy’ from ‘writing’. But what exactly does a copywriter do? What is their role, and how do they differ from other writers like journalists or authors?
A copywriter is a writer who specialises in writing content, tag lines, hooks, and advertising materials for marketing purposes. In the marketing world, any words that are written for marketing purposes are referred to as ‘copy’. So therefore, a copywriter is someone who writes marketing materials.
They differ from a creative writer in that they usually have a background in marketing, media, or a related field. A lot of copywriters have journalism or public relations experience or qualifications. It takes a special skill set to be able to write ‘copy’ that is both interesting/engaging and which sells.
Want a skilled copywriter for your next project?
Our team of Brisbane copywriters are all skilled in storytelling, SEO, marketing, and creative writing. We pair our background in marketing with our talent for writing to create engaging copy that sells. Get in touch or request a copywriting quote for more information.