Introduction to Copywriting for your own business
People are fantastic at ignoring your advertisements. Television ads, radio ads, billboards. If it looks like an advertisement, it is invisible to the general population. They'll read it, but two seconds later, they forgot what it said. We're bombarded with ads daily. Everything has become an advertisement. What ads do you remember? The clever one? The one that made you laugh or cry? The one that gave you the information you needed and didn't try to sell you? All were works of copywriters.
Why is Copywriting Important?
- Create a memorable brand/ company
- Generate clever/ remarkable advertisements
- Content curation/ professionalism
- Google keywording for SEO
What is Copywriting
Copywriting is understanding your brand and effectively communicating its value to people in a memorable way through words. You can write copy.
I do not want to make it seem easy. It is difficult and taxing and you may hate it. You'll need to understand several things superbly well before writing effective copy.
- Your brand
- Your customers
- The English language (grammar, punctuation etc.)
How to begin
"The knife is the last weapon you learn." Short, compelling sentences are going to be the hardest and last thing you'll learn to perfect. With that being said, we're going to start with writing webpage copy. If you get a taste for it, there are thousands of professional copywriting resources that are far more knowledgeable than I, just begging to be read. The easiest way to begin writing copy is to talk it out. If you hire a copywriter, they will meet with you and ask you pointed questions about your brand. You can play the same game with yourself on a sheet of paper. I like to pretend I'm speaking to a client. This process is just like writing an elevator speech and follows the same principles.
- Show value
- Show personality
- Keep it short
Don't think of it as making sales pitch. Think of it as explaining how something works to a child. Unlike making a sale in person, you're not going to be able to find common ground with the reader as they will be extremely varied.
I'm a plumber and I need a slick 3 page website that includes an About Page, a Services Page and a Blog Page. Here's what some questions might be.
About Page Questions
- Who are my clients? Do I have a niche? ("Specializing in Hi-End Showers and Fixtures" Pinpointing a market allows you to focus energy on it.)
- Why am I an authority? ("50 years plumbing experience." Sell yourself. Why should I trust you?)
- What sets my company apart? ("Largest selection of parts" "Free Inspections" With huge competition, why is my company the best.)
- What are my services?
- What does this service entail? (Give your own definition, not wikipedia's. Someone may not know what that service is.)
- Why is this service valuable? ("Regular line cleaning prevents backup and clogged pipes.")
- Why is my service better? ("We use the latest boring technology, the XYZ Auger, to clear the lines.")
Blogs are a bit less formal, so feel free to let your personality come through. People are looking to connect with you over the blog. This is the one place where they can talk back and ask questions. This is where you can really hone in on your niche market. What are people searching for online? If I'm a plumber, they're probably searching for ways not to call me. So that's where I should be. "How to unclog your toilet." "How to change the stool." "10 steps to unclogging a sink." etc.
If they're looking for water-saving shower heads and stools. "10 best water saving shower heads that work!" "The new XYZ Shower system, the one you've been waiting for."
Staying current with your blog posts and knowing what your clients are looking for is a great way to show up in long-tail Google searches. Plus, it's a great way to practice your copywriting.
Remember, being helpful is more appreciated than being cheap. If your advice was helpful, they will remember you. They're coming to you for your opinion, so remember to share advice and back it up with facts.
- What information are my clients looking for?
- What is new and informative?
- What would I do in my client's position?
- At what point should they call me? (Do not include sales pitches)
Integrating Keywords into your webpages
When people search for a specific type of business, they use keywords. You're not likely to just type "plumbers" into the search bar if your problem is a clogged toilet. The definition of a plumber is not going to solve your problem. A more common search might be "Wichita plumbers" or "How to fix a clogged toilet." Using relevant keywords will help differentiate your business from the others in the same field, improve your ranking and drive more traffic to your site.
1. Location (city, state, county)
2. Avoid overuse (Keyword stuffing hurts your rankings)
3. Keep it relevant (cutting edge or a common issue)
Don't be scared of writing copy. It can be fun and enlightening.
- Show value
- Show personality
- Keep it short
If, in the end, you do find that it's too difficult or time consuming, there are tons of copywriters out there ready to jump in and help.
If you're looking for a beginner resource, I suggest Elements of Style by Strunk & White (it's a book). It's short, sweet and instructs you on the how to be an effective writer.