Copywriting 101: Six Tips to Write Like a Professional

It's easy to recognize great copywriting, but you do you become a great copywriter? We're sharing six free tips from our expert team to get started!

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What is good copywriting? It’s easy enough to recognize when you see it, but creating eye-catching copy is tricky. It takes experience, industry knowledge, and a whole lot of (calculated) luck to find the sweet spot that makes the best copywriters so good at what they do.

Do you want to know how to make your content stand out from your competitors? Keep reading! We’re going to share a few of our top tips to help you create impactful, attention grabbing copy.

What is Copywriting?

Copywriting is a broad umbrella that covers a wide variety of content. It’s a critical element of any marketing or advertising campaign since it encompasses the words of your message. Whether written or spoken, it’s what needs to inspire your audience to take action.

Tips to Write Like a Professional Copywriter

How do copywriters create compelling copy? It may seem like magic, but a few simple (and not-so-simple) tips can help you improve the quality of your content and teach you a few tricks of the trade.

What Does Your Audience Want?

Before you write down a single word, figure out what your audience wants. What are their questions, pain points, struggles, and needs? Do they want to be thrilled and surprised, or impressed and reassured? What kind of tone and message would resonate with them?

If you Google tips for creating a successful marketing campaign, everyone will tell you to focus on your audience. If you can figure out what they really want, you can draw them in and win their loyalty.

Combine a Great Headline with Catchy Meta

Choosing a headline is one of the most challenging parts of copywriting. It’s the first thing people see, and it can make a big difference in your click-through and engagement rates. You can write a fantastic piece of copy, but it’s worthless if no one clicks on it. Consider using:

  • Unusual numbers, like five, six, seven, and nine.
  • Brackets, hyphens, and parentheses. Use these sparingly!
  • Questions that generate curiosity or match common search phrases.
  • Your chosen keyword.
  • Power words: massive, guilt-free, astonishing, easy, guide, mind-blowing, bold, boost, etc. There are hundreds!

Combine your headline with a good meta description. It shouldn’t be too long and should tell users exactly what they can expect from clicking on your link.

The Introduction is Everything

The headline is supposed to get your audience interested. The first sentence of copy should make them want to read the second, and so on.

Keep it short and focus on triggering an emotional reaction in your reader. Well-known professional bloggers often use catchy one-liners at the start of a post. If the introduction of a piece doesn’t catch your reader’s attention immediately, they’re far less likely to stick around.

Magnifying glass over an image of a human bust
People need to enjoy your content, or they won’t stick around to read it.

Write for Search Engines AND People

On-page SEO and keywords are essential; there’s no denying that. Getting search engines to understand your content is just one part of the process. The copy should appeal to people, too. Avoid things like:

  • Overstuffing keywords
  • Difficult language
  • Overuse of jargon
  • Hyperbole
  • Irrelevant information

You want readers to enjoy your content and come back for more. Not sure if you have a problem with your copy? Check the analytics! If you have a high bounce rate, people may be finding your website, but poor copy (or design) is chasing them away.

Break Past the “Marketing Block”

We see ads and blog or magazine posts every day. They’re so common that most people don’t even notice them anymore. They fade into the background, becoming just another billboard, social post, or video ad. Good copy needs to break through that “marketing block” and catch your audience’s attention immediately. The question is, how?

Most marketing posts focus on a specific topic to make the subject of the copy clear. Unfortunately, it also tells most people that it’s perfectly alright to scroll down, drive by, ignore the post, or click skip. It’s just another advertisement, after all, and we’ve all had enough of that.

The next time you need to write copy for an ad, heading, or meta tag, don’t tackle the topic head on. Instead, ask yourself why it matters. Write down your answers, and don’t be afraid to push the limits. You need to find the story behind the copy.

Here’s an excellent example from Sage Therapeutics:

Silence Sucks from Sage Therapeutics

Replace the words “Silence Sucks” with “Postpartum Depression.” Most people would have ignored it as just another irrelevant ad. However, the powerful impact made by the image and the highlighted copy made the Silence Sucks campaign incredibly successful.

Did it receive criticism? Absolutely, and a lot of it. However, it also sparked an international conversation on a critical yet incredibly neglected disorder that can affect 500 out of 1,000 mothers.

Find the story. If you can do that, you’ll know how to make your audience care.

Analyze, Review, and Keep Writing

Ask any professional copywriter, and they’ll all tell you the same thing: the slightest change can have a massive impact. One word can be the difference between a successful campaign and completely missing the mark with your audience. That’s why analytics and variation experiments are a critical part of developing campaign copy.

For example, a university experimented to see how two different phrases could impact subscription sign up rates for a streaming program. By changing “a $5 fee” to “a small $5 fee,” they boosted subscriptions by 20%. Same cost, same program, but the addition of one word drastically altered their success rate.

Use analytics and tracking tools to measure your campaigns’ success and improve your copy based on the results.

Conclusion

Copywriting can make or break your blog, ad, or marketing campaign. Everything, from the language and grammar to the message and tone of a piece of content, can massively impact your results. Our tips can help you write compelling, effective copy. However, remember that an experienced copywriter can bring a lot of expertise and creativity to your project, so don’t shy away from hiring one if need be.