I read this recently:
When we help people to be who they want to be…we are doing our best, most meaningful work.-Bernadette Jiwa, “Meaningful: The Story of Ideas That Fly”
This is what you are doing. You are building a business that will help people to become who they want to be. To get better at whatever it is they wish to improve.
A better gardener, a better parent, a better runner, a better budgeter…
These are the types of improvements that people are looking to you to help them with. When you are helping them improve, and become who they want to be, you are doing your most meaningful work.
This is why copywriting is so important.
In order to do your most meaningful work, you need to be able to reach those people that you can help improve.
You are creating good content that is going to help them to improve. Good copywriting is what is going to help you reach the people that need that good content.
You owe it to them to do all that you can to get your content into their hands. And you owe it to yourself so that you can do your most meaningful work.
Copywriting is writing that encourages a person to take a specific action.
That’s a pretty broad definition. It’s important that it’s broad because it helps you to see how often your daily writing is in fact copywriting.
The blog post titles that you write, your introductions and conclusions, your email subject lines, sales emails, landing pages, opt-in captions and social media descriptions are all examples of copywriting.
They are different from “content writing” whose purpose is usually to educate or entertain. That’s usually the body of your posts or videos and maybe your nurturing emails.
Those copywriting bits of writing are meant to get your reader to take an action. The titles & email subjects have the important job of getting people to click. Your introduction’s job is to get people to read the rest of the post. The conclusion should have some type of call to action in it.
The tiny little bit of writing that you get to do for your cute opt-in box? That has the enormous job of convincing someone to give you their email address!
Think about how few words you get to use in that box. Copywriting techniques will help to make sure your reader is encouraged to submit their email address.
Why is Copywriting Important?
We already talked about how good copywriting is going to help you get the content that you are creating in front of the eyes of the people you are creating it for.
You could write the most excellent guide to grooming a Golden Doodle that has ever been written, but if the titles you’ve made for your Pins aren’t enticing, or the copy on the thumbnail of your YouTube video is boring then will anyone ever click on it?
Probably not. Not when it’s sitting next to another article on the same topic with a super interesting title.
Now your person, the person who should be reading your most excellent guide to grooming a Golden Doodle is reading someone else’s. Just because the copy on the title was better.
You can apply this to each piece of copywriting you do. It is so important to capture your reader’s ATTENTION and then encourage them to continue consuming the content you have created for them.
How Can I Get Better At Copywriting?
Now that you see how important copywriting is going to be to your business, you are excited to learn how to get better at it.
The best way that I know to instantly get better at copywriting is to start with telling a story.
When you start to tell a story with your writing, you draw your reader into your world. They start to put themselves in your place. Even if they may not have an exact match to what you have experienced, they will start to find experiences from their own lives that relate to your story.
That is one excellent way to start building a relationship with your reader.
Telling stories doesn’t have to be complicated, either. They don’t have to be long or drawn out.
In Stories That Stick, Kindra Hall describes a story as:
Normal: Things are how they are.
Explosion: Something happens.
New Normal: Things are different
Your explosion doesn’t have to be earth-shattering like an actual explosion and the new normal doesn’t have to be an elaborate transformation. But when you can simplify your stories in this way, they will be more impactful.
Stories work great for your longer-form copywriting like sales emails, landing pages, and even your introductions. But can you fit a whole story into a Headline or a title?
Maybe and I think you should try to.
But what I find to really help with that shorter copywriting is to remember to always include the benefit to your reader and not just the features,
The benefits are the ways your readers will be improved by having taken the action you are encouraging them to take. The features are the facts. It’s the actual stuff that they’ll get.
Here’s an example.
Sign up for the 5-Day Organization Challenge and Get Your Bedroom Organized!
That’s all about features. You get a 5-day organization challenge and an organized bedroom.
Sign up for the 5-Day Bedroom Organization Challenge and Wake Up To a Peaceful Day!
This one has the benefit of organizing your bedroom.
I don’t think most people care about organizing (most. I know there are some people that just like putting things in their places) but most people do understand that when they are organized, the morning will be more peaceful. Your clothes are hanging and not wrinkled. Your shoes are tucked away and ready for you to slip on. It’s just a better way to start your day.
Another great way to get better at copywriting is to find some copywriting inspiration! A swipe file is what you want to start for this.
Any time you come across some copywriting that you find that moves you to actually click or buy or read more, save it to your swipe file. This post on how to create a swipe file has all the details on how to actually start one.
A swipe file is a great way to exercise your copywriting skills and I’ve got several more copywriting exercises in this post. You might be surprised by #3!