Content Marketing 11 min read
5 Essential Copywriting Tips for Beginners
- 10 Jun 2021 7 min read
Have you ever wondered how brands communicate with so much wit? That’s basically how the game works nowadays. Create content that aims to capture the attention of their target audience in a unique and interesting way. And if you can do it in three – or even two, if you can – words, the better.
Take for example this impeccable execution from Pepsi:
With just a few images and three-word hashtag, Pepsi turned heads for this intelligent promotion for its flagship soda. This is how great copywriting works. It captures the identity of the brand and the attention of the target audience at the same time.
Copywriting really plays an important role in the world of marketing. It is the use of words to send out an enticing but valuable message to your audience. With the right chemistry between copywriting, creatives and strategies, you’ll be able to create a growing relationship with your customers.
This is why the demand for excellent copywriters is rising. With everyone being in social media, brands want to stand out with their content. But how does one even begin with copywriting?
We answer that question with some tips, formulas, and even additional resources for you to hone your craft in copywriting found below.
Practical copywriting tips for beginners
1. Master the basics
That means your copies can be found just about anywhere, from social media post captions to display ads you see on websites. But you must remember that copywriting is a precise art that has its nuances. You can’t be writing with the same tone, voice, or even length on every platform.
To develop and refine that sense for the details in copywriting, it pays to master the basics first. Below, you’ll find some of the basic copywriting formulas that seasoned pros typically follow when crafting compelling copies.
- Problem - Agitate - Solution (PAS)
The PAS framework is one of the most common and popular formulas for copywriting. This works in a way that you present a problem, persist the problem even more using emotional language, then offer a solution.
This formula offers a clear and concise call-to-action that readers need and want, which can be converted into leads for your brand.
- Features - Advantages - Benefit (FAB)
This is another popular formula for copywriting. It involves the following factors with regards to your brand or service:
- Features or what can you offer here
- Advantages or how will this help your target audience and what problems can it solve
- Benefits or how much would this mean for them
This formula works in a way that you focus on the benefits or something that your reader cares about the most - this can help you capture their attention.
- Attention - Interest - Desire - Action (AIDA)
This framework is considered one of the standard copywriting formulas for marketing. You begin by capturing the reader’s attention with a set of words that can spark their interest. Next, you write about what makes your product or service interesting - new features it offers and what makes it stand out from the rest. Then you entice them to want the product more. Then lastly, you ask them to take action by buying your product.
This is effective in a way that you persuade your readers by presenting them with details they’ll definitely ask about the product. It’s like being one step ahead.
- Clear, Concise, Compelling and Credible (4Cs)
The 4Cs, or “Clear, concise, compelling, and credible” is more of a “direct to the point” formula of copywriting. In this formula, the writing style is clear, short but compelling enough to capture the attention of the reader. The key in mastering this formula is to be able to write with credibility - giving the impression that you’ll be able to fulfill what you said in your copy.
- Before - After - Bridge (BAB)
BAB means “Before-After-Bridge” is like the PAS formula, but this one starts on a more positive note. In this writing, you paint a picture of the current situation of your reader, then allow them to imagine the world where this problem does not exist. After that you proceed to explain how to make this happen. This formula is a simple way to write but deemed very effective for many brands and services. After all, who doesn't want a problem-free world?
These are just some of the copywriting formulas you can learn. But worry not, there are more formulas you can try and experiment on as you go deeper in the copywriting world.
2. You read, you write
Photo courtesy of Christin Hume via Unsplash
Of course as a writer, you’ll be expected to write about literally anything. It can be about a simple potted plant to the most complicated medical contraption known to mankind. And in order to write compelling copies, continuous reading can help you learn more as a writer.
If you think that reading is a job for rookie writers, that’s not really the case. The beauty of writing is its uncertainty. Everyday is a chance to learn new things and challenge yourself to write it in a way that everyone can understand.
Here are some good reads to help you become a better copywriter:
- ‘Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life’ by Anne Lamott
If you’re having trouble getting those first copies out of your system or if you’re just not “in the mood” to write at all, this book is a must have for blocked and disheartened writers. Not only will this help you write good copies, but this can help you to keep creating no matter what happens. In this book, you will be taught to silence the inner doubts and trust one’s intuition when it comes to copywriting.
- ‘On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft’ by Stephen King
Stepen King’s book is part autobiography and part writing advice. This book teaches you how writing and life itself cannot be detached to one another. This book contains basic tools every writer must have. King shares his advice on one’s plot, structure, dialogue, and descriptions in writing. Among his famous words about writing are “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”
- ‘Writing Tools: 55 Essential Strategies for Every Writer’ by Roy Peter Clark
If you’re looking for the ultimate writing guide book, then you’re on the right track. Roy Peter Clark has over 30 years of experience in journalism and writing and has squeezed all of his teachings in 55 essays that tackle various topics and aspects of writing. The book is divided into four sections, “Nuts and Bolts”, “Special Effects”, “Blueprints for Stories”, and “Useful Habits”
Many reviews have described "Writing Tools" as very useful for writers, from beginners to even experts.
- ‘Words That Sell’ by Richard Bayan
Part of being a copywriter is struggling to find the right words. And more often than not, you find yourself looking for exciting, extraordinary, unique, and many more enticing words that can help you with your copywriting.
Bayan’s “Words that sell” can help you with that ongoing struggle. "Words that Sell" works like a thesaurus for common and old-fashioned copy. This book contains over 6,000 alternatives for words and phrases you may find yourself to use often during your writing process.
3. Practice, practice, practice
Photo courtesy of Green Chameleon via Unsplash
If you think you’ve done enough research and reading for your copywriting experience, it’s time to put these to the test. Of course, in order to be a good copywriter, you have to start writing at some point and build on progress after progress.
To help you improve your writing, here are some copywriting exercises you can work on:
- Write at least 3 headlines everyday - Keep in mind that headlines play a HUGE role in copywriting. For your ad or copy to work, you must write a good enough headline. When thinking about headlines, you must be able to strike curiosity, offer solutions or strike fear, or make it sound like new information that will entice you to read more.
- Twist up the ordinary - In copywriting, the ultimate challenge is to write something absolutely compelling to attract readers. You’re writing to sell - and therefore you should learn how to write with a good hook for the brand’s unique selling proposition
- Look for a brand and write copies of your own - If you want to know how certain ad copies of brands work. Take a look at their write ups, study it, and then try writing your own copies for it. From there you can look at your own writing and analyze if it works on you or not.
- Keep filling your cup - When Stephen King said that writing and life are interconnected - he wasn’t kidding. Much like life, you have so much to learn about writing. Changes are happening everyday in terms of trends, creativity, and even writing styles. Constantly finding ways on how to become a good copywriter can help you improve.
4. Keep an open mind
While learning really starts with yourself. Keep in mind that you can also learn from other people. Don’t confine yourself to your own bubble when writing - allow other people to look into your writing and get their feedback. This will provide you with different perspectives from people of different interests. This can help you empathize with others and broaden your way of thinking and writing. Having this kind of mindset can help you become a better person as well.
Copywriting is such a world to explore; the challenge of invoking emotions and actions from the words your write is a cause joy for any writer. Here are some things to keep in the back of your mind when you’re in front of the computer writing your copies:
- There are many ways to write – don’t just stick to one. There are many copywriting formulas you can choose from; learn how to write using each of them so you can eventually develop a skill of mixing up the flow of your copies to best match a brand's objective.
- Reading and writing complement each other. You can't take from an empty cup. So in order to write effectively, you must read and expand your knowledge of stringing words together. Reading helps you do this while also widening your view of concepts, and add depth to your written output.
- Writing is a continuous learning process. It’s important to keep an open mind to new things and changes. Always make it a point to learn something new everyday – not only from the information you read, but from other writers, and even the readers who offer you a different perspective about your copies.
Got other questions you'd like to get answers to in terms of starting out as a copywriter? We'd love to help you out. Just shoot us a message in any of our Propelrr Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn accounts.