The Copywriting Craft
A few weeks ago I started a new job, and I wrote about it last time. If you missed my last article, you could check out “Take The Leap Of Faith” here. Since then, I have been learning new computer programs, and soon I will learn more. I am networking in the enormous group I am to help with and sending out emails. I am beginning an alternate career path, one which includes developing my skills in the copywriting craft.
When I write emails for my own purposes, I do not have to capture someone else’s voice or try to get inside of their head. Writing is a gift that comes naturally to me. I am learning that not everyone can do what I do. I am adapting on the fly and taking more risks as I write copy in my new position.
What is copywriting? It is writing words or “copy” for sales and marketing. It’s not the same as ghostwriting, which is writing for someone else while giving them full credit for your work. If you go anywhere on the internet and read anything that is written to generate sales, we call it copy. The marketing and advertising industries call writing on website pages copy. Blog posts aren’t the same, as they have their own niche unless we write them to sell products or services. Then the definition becomes a little trickier.
Writing emails on behalf of someone else is another form of writing copy. It is something I have a knack for, which is a surprise to me. #tishspiration strikes again. I am adding this because I define #tishspiration as the art of surprising yourself, and I am sometimes surprised with what I can do when I decide to try something new.
It is a fine line to walk. I often wonder if I have gone too far with the latest thing I took a chance on. It is a hit or a miss, but the more you fine-tune your skills to write copy, your skills will get sharper.
I am never beyond a link-happy punny intelligent piece of writing. I have been called a walking advertisement. It should not surprise me that this step feels more natural than I feared it would be. I am not, nor will I be, a spammy salesperson, and I am striving to keep those standards in full application with my new job. The learning curve I have been on for the last five years has prepared me for this.
When I get direct messages about what I am doing in the group, or my boss gets an email congratulating her on hiring me because of an email I wrote for the group under my name, it thrills me. It solidifies my choices and encourages me to keep going. It is difficult to find a million different ways to say the same thing. I keep the online thesaurus open when I work, to help me find the right words when I get stuck.
I am sure if you think about it, you can recall an email or advertisement which you thought was terrible. The late-night talk show hosts ask people to send them examples of this for jokes on their shows. As a copywriter, my first goal is to keep the reader interested enough to want to learn more about the subject I am writing about. Sometimes, it is by writing something that I hope will make them laugh out loud. The next one is to make them take that call to action, whatever it is. If I am doing my job correctly, the reader will want to read to the end of my copy. Reading my words is one goal; inspiring them to take action is another part of the equation. The end goal is to generate sales, but I might not do it as directly as you would think. That is the copywriting craft. To write copy that inspires action and leads to sales. It is a gift for some but a skill that can be learned.
If you really feel like what you have written is going too far, it is okay to ask a friend for their opinion. You know when you write something great, but if you have doubts, ask someone to look at your work. They can help you figure out what works and what doesn’t. The online writing community is full of people who want to help, but a word to the wise is to only accept the feedback from someone you trust. They need to know you and your work to help you make your copy the best it can be!
Feature Photo by Tish MacWebber edited via Canva.