JMF Top Ten: Tips for Copywriting Professionally
Despite being perhaps one of the MOST important elements in marketing your product, website, or services, creating content is a task that is often overlooked. But, good content and strategic content placement can make a huge difference in successfully generating leads, driving sales and developing brand awareness. Anyone familiar with SEO, the science of optimizing a website so it ranks well in search engines, has heard the phrase “content is king”, so, we know good content is crucial to the success of your website, but with Google’s constantly updated algorithms, how can you make sure your content meets today’s royal standards?
Our talented copywriters put together ten tips for copywriting professionally that can apply to any medium (emails, websites, print) and any industry.
1. Write for Your Environment and Audience
You may have a certain style of writing that you’re used to, but it’s essential to make sure that it works for the environment and audience you’re copywriting professionally for. For instance, if you are working on technical medical content and your writing experience consists of fun entertainment copy, you will have to tweak your writing style to fit the more serious tone of the project.
2. Keep Up with Trends
It’s important to keep up to date with ongoing trends regarding the industry you are copywriting professionally for. Say you are writing for the travel industry, you should be aware of the newest trends occurring, such as seasonal travel destinations, vacation deals and more. It is also essential to be aware of trending topics in other industries to tie into your content when copywriting professionally. Trending topics can include major sports events, popular songs, and other forms of pop culture and entertainment. By infusing trending topics in your content, you are able to increase sharing and “liking” opportunities, thus spreading your content.
3. Conduct Extensive Research
When you are copywriting professionally, you become a temporary expert on the subject matter you are writing about. Thus, you will have to conduct a vast amount of research on topics you have probably never heard of. Be sure to put aside a considerable amount of time for researching until you feel comfortable enough to discuss key points. Also be sure to cross reference, which leads us to our next point.
4. Be Sure to Fact Check
There is nothing worse in the world of copywriting professionally than content that spews out false information. Not only will readers be upset, but you could lose credibility as a writer. Be sure that when researching, you are acquiring the information from a reliable source. Blog posts from personal sites do not count as factual evidence, nor do sites that allow all users to edit content, like Wikipedia. In addition, make sure that there are no updates to the topic before you post your content and if there are, adjust your content accordingly.
5. Implement Keywords
If you haven’t realized it yet, it’s time you realize it now: copywriting professionally has a purpose. Aside from being informative and interesting to the reader, copywriting professionally for websites can drive online traffic, increase product sales, and discuss a company’s product or features. Because of this, it is important to be clear regarding the intention of the article. Keyword-rich content is essential. You want to be sure that your focus keyword is used throughout the content in the beginning, middle, end and in headers. Just remember not to overdo it: the practice of keyword stuffing, or overloading content on a webpage with keywords, is frowned upon by SEO standards and can hurt your search engine rankings.
6. Provide Solid Linking Opportunities
Providing linking opportunities to other pages of your copy will not only help SEO efforts but encourage readers of your copy to find more information that may help make a sale. In order to drive potential consumers to those pages, interlinking, aside from persuasive writing, is vital.
7. Break up Long Content with Headers
In addition to creating a catchy headline, it’s important to create catchy content headers as well. Headers not only add structure when you are copywriting professionally, but they allow readers to quickly scan the main points of the article. Readers are more likely to read an article when it’s divided into sections with headers as opposed to one large article.
8. Include a Call to Action
You want to include a call to action to reinforce the purpose of the article by using imperative verbs to incite an immediate response. For instance, if you are copywriting professionally for a travel agency, you want your call to action to be about booking a vacation, such as “Talk to our travel agents about your next vacation today!” or “Book your next discount cruise soon!”
9. Use Social Media to Your Advantage
There is absolutely no shame in self-promoting, unless it is a selfie (just kidding – but not really). Various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus allow for easy sharing and are absolutely free.
10. Self-Edit Before Submission
This may seem like an obvious tip that shouldn’t even make this list, but it’s the most important. Self-editing your final draft more than once not only allows you to see errors that you may have overlooked, but it allows you to familiarize yourself with your content. In addition, self-editing also helps your credibility as a writer by making your content as error free as possible. Don’t hesitate to give your draft to a colleague before submitting the final draft. A pair of extra eyes never hurts!