A lot of my friends have left their 9 to 5 jobs at various marketing companies to turn their careers around to become freelance copywriters, and you know what? They freaking love it! Best part about their drastic career move, is that you don’t particularly need to be an expert in the field but have to have some drive and passion, and be willing to work hard.
Want to hear a bit more about this interesting vocation you can do right from your couch? Luckily for you, we’ve spoken to some experts in the fields to find out a bit more about what they think are the best secrets to writing strong copy and here’s what they said:
Read As Much As You Can
Reading is known to be one of the best ways to enrich your vocabulary, but also improve your range of writing styles. “Don’t just read books that are easy to read or that cover topics you’re very interested in. Try and expand the range of genres you read, from scientific, to economics and even fashion. By reading more diverse books by different writers, you’ll subconsciously pick up writing styles and new vocabulary but also expand the scope of subjects you write about,” explains senior copywriter Tess.
Tess has been writing for several agencies and has been focusing on expanding the subject matters she can write about. She was originally specialised in events writing, but is now picking up gigs to write for fashion brands, she has been proofing magazines and books, and much more! “I try to read whenever I am not writing or out with my friends,” she explains. “I know it sounds like a lot but once you get into the habit of popping your book out instead of watching TV or spending hours on Instagram, it gets super easy!”
Know Your Audience
“Whenever you pick up a new assignment or work for a new client, it’s vital that you ask for a brief from them and clearly understand who your audience is before you start writing anything at all.” There is absolutely no point in writing a description or an article for someone if you have no idea what they want, need and even like. “Imagine writing 1oo descriptions for a new shoe catalogue for example without knowing who your target audience is and what the brand’s tone of voice is. Not only would you not get hired again, but you would also waste everyone’s time,” explains Tess.
It is so important to know and understand your audience, but it’s also critical that you write in a style that will sell, and is interesting. “I usually always try and use bold or fun words right away to really captivate my audience. When I write for young parents for example (I work for a buggy company) I always make sure I put myself in their shoes and ask myself: what would I want to know if I had a newborn? And how would I want to be told it?”
1 Word Is Better Than 3
“I’ve kept this one to last, but believe me when I say that this is by far the most important tip to writing not only good, but great copy,” Tess explains when asked about the most useful tip she has ever been given before her career in copywriting. “I remember when I first started writing for this charity (which was unpaid by the way) I would use way too many words to describe one simple thing, but I’ve realised that it’s not about how much you write, it’s about how simple you can make something sound and finding out different ways to write about it.”
Tess explained to me that copywriting, at times, be very repetitive. She sometimes has to write similar descriptions for almost identical items, which means that she has to build not only a very impressive vocabulary, but also become super creative. “Think about it next time you go on Amazon and look up “headphones” for example. How many ways do YOU think you could describe the same headphones with one feature that differentiates them? Believe me, it’s a hard exercise, but a good one if you want to join the copywriting crew!”
Inspired and want to know a bit more? Don’t hesitate to write your questions below and we’ll be sure to get Tess to answer your questions right away!
In the meantime, who’s in the mood for some Black Friday sales?
Images via Unsplash
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