Understanding the 10 steps to high quality copywriting is essential if you hope to make this specialty part of your freelance writing business.
10 Steps to High Quality Copywriting
Do Your Homework
The first step in any copywriting project should be to make sure you understand what you're writing about. Familiarize yourself with company's product or service and why it is unique. Look at their previous marketing materials and talk to anyone you can find who may be able to offer insight into what you're hoping to accomplish with the campaign.
Know Your Audience
To be a successful copywriter, you need to know what your audience is looking for. Do they want affordable products or are they willing to spend extra for luxury items? Are they looking for trendy items or products that will hold up for many years to come?
Know the Competition
The purpose of copywriting is to be persuasive, so it's vital to understand your competitors in a crowded marketplace. When your reader is looking for a particular product or service, what options does she have available? How are these options different from what you're offering?
Use Attention-Grabbing Titles
People are busier today than ever before. Between work, family responsibilities, and an overload of information from multiple media sources, the average person has very little time to devote to deciphering your message. Get your point across quickly with a catchy title. A play on words or a title that indicates a quick list of tips works well for many types of projects.
Support Claims with Facts
Modern audiences are highly skeptical. Support your statements with facts when making claims about a product or service. This is especially important when you are writing about weight loss products or services relating to health and nutrition.
If you don't have research or studies to back up your claims, go into as much detail as possible to convince the reader of the value of what you're offering. Don't just say that your company makes the best pancakes; give specific reasons as to why they are the best.
Make a Call to Action
Typically, the goal of copywriting is to convince the reader to take some sort of action. This could include signing up for an email newsletter, calling for a free quote, or coming into the store to see the product being advertised. Phrases like "early bird special" or "preseason discount" are useful in copywriting because they motivate the reader to take action without coming on too strong.
Be Cautious with Humor
Humor can be an effective way to attract attention, but jokes can easily be misunderstood. You don't want to create copy that accidentally offends someone in your target audience.
It should go without saying, but plagiarism is never a good idea. As a freelance writer, your reputation is your greatest asset. Always respect the intellectual property of others.
Don't Forget to Proofread
You would never turn in a newspaper or magazine article without proofreading your work, so don't forget that the same rules apply to copywriting as well. Turning in a piece with obvious errors does not reflect well on your skills as a professional freelance writer.
Understanding the 10 steps to high quality copywriting is a good start for incorporating this specialty into your freelance writing business. Even though many of the principles of good copywriting apply to writing in general, copywriting is still considered a distinct skill for freelancers.
To learn more about a career in copywriting, please review the following articles from LoveToKnow Freelance Writing: