What could go wrong if you were not an effective copywriter? Let’s see, your copies will land on the farthest place in search engines, unreachable and unreadable. Your copies will rake in no helpful engagements, no views, and no shares. Your copies will not attract potential customers, no sales and no income. A lot of things could go wrong.
It’s not to say that only copywriters are responsible for those business results. Marketers, SEO writers, advertisers, executives, managers — all take part too. But copywriters’ skills have a direct impact on the performance of any type of content that has words in it — which is to say almost all: social media posts, blog posts, landing pages, product name and slogan, advertising campaigns, product description, and instruction, email newsletters, video scripts, and so much more.
If you plan to take the copywriting job path seriously, you must be ready. Because many business goals rely on your shoulder. To help you out, we list down the most important skills an effective copywriter should possess. Take a day or two or perhaps allot some resources to learning these skills, because surely you and your agency will benefit from a master copywriter.
Here are the necessary skills of a master copywriter to help level up content and conversion:
- Writing Skills
There’s a reason why this skill is ranked number one. Without good writing skills, copywriting is rather inexistent. But not just any writing, of course. Writing skills needed for journals and essays are different from the writing skills required for copywriting.
Here are the writing skills that you should master in case you want to be a high-paying copywriter:
- Headline writing – An appealing headline engages the readers more than the body. It’s read more than the body too. Heat Maps suggest that some people never even ready the body. Headlines alone can help them convert. That’s how powerful headlines are. Learn how to craft headlines well. Know how to pull in your audience with wonderfully written titles or headlines.
Review the statistics below regarding how good headlines results in better content performance.
- Persuasive writing – Marketing copies are not just there for decoration. They are placed on a website or on social media posts to drive action from the readers. Your copies should be persuasive enough for the readers to do something — something that you, as the brand, will benefit from — whether it be more product sales or more product shares. The more persuasive your copies are, the more customers flock into your business assets, i.e social media pages, website, ecommerce stores, etc.
- In-depth writing – Not all your audience knows much about your business. Some of them have no idea, perhaps in need of an in-depth guide. Part of your duty as a copywriter will be dedicated to creating long-form content about your brand, products, and services. For example, a long blog post explaining how to use your temperature monitoring software. Or a whitepaper explaining industry market research.
Almost always, in-depth writing leads to longer pieces of content. And dozens of reputable sources have already pointed out that those content longer than 1000 words are likelier to perform higher in search results. That means more engagements, more organic rankings, etc. Take a look at the statistics below, from a report by BuzzSumo, Moz, and Backlinko.
- SEO skills
While there should be a dedicated SEO specialist in your company, it is a skill worthy of mastering if you plan to become an effective copywriter. Much of your content will land on the internet. And if you want your target audience to feast on your copies, it’s vital to include high-volume keywords. That can’t happen if you have no idea how to do SEO.
It’s not to say that you should master technical SEO too. We can leave that to an SEO expert. But in terms of keywords research, keywords analysis, keyword placement, etc. — these matters fall right in your hands as a copywriter.
SEO is highly important in copywriting because what’s the use of your content — articles, blog posts, social media captions, headlines — if they are not exactly the kind of content your target customers are looking for. Proper SEO skills will allow you to eavesdrop on your customer’s interests and use their words effectively in your pieces.
- Customer Research Skill
There is nothing more important to a brand than its customer. Without customers, there will be no need for products or services —there will be no sales. As a copywriter who works for a certain brand, it’s a highly important skill to conduct customer research.
This ability — of being able to look into the needs and wants of a brand’s consumers and audiences — enables a copywriter to create highly customized content. Content that is not full of fluff and uninteresting words, but rather full of answers to pressing challenges and questions by the target consumers.
How to do customer research?
- Social media – Dive into social media and look for the profiles and groups of your target audiences. See what they’re talking about in relation to your industry. What are their concerns, compliments, issues, and challenges where your brand might seek to be helpful?
- Content Curation – When you browse websites online, it’s a good idea to gather all the necessary information that is relevant to your business or niche. This way, you will know what topics to talk about, what words to consider in your copies, what questions need to be answered, and what topics have already been covered. Using content curation tools like Scoop.it lets you collect data and information that may concern your viewers and help you dig deeper into their world.
- Surveys – This may come formally for a research team. But for you as a copywriter, you can conduct informal polls on social media (Twitter, Instagram Stories, etc.). Or include a few questions for your recipients to take part at the end of your email newsletter.
- Interviews – You cannot just rely on a few short answers. Talking to them one on one might give you a bigger view of their life. This might give you an idea of how to talk to them, what words to use, how to structure your sentence, what kind of stories and empathy you should include. All this is based on qualitative interviews done with your target audience and potential customers. It could be a good idea to conduct remote interviews with a target audience and record them for crafting highly-targeted copies out of them later.
- Product or service research skill
Enough with the potential consumers. Time to focus our attention on product and service research. While customer research delves into the needs of your customers.
Product or service research dives into the solution to those problems. Any copywriter should have the necessary skill to pinpoint how their brand can supplement the needs of their target audience. How can their business make their people live a more comfortable life?
Sometimes, a brand has lots of products. A good copywriter knows the very details of them. And they know what exactly to highlight per certain needs, and what should be left out. What products best match your audience’s unique interest, and specific challenges.
How to do this aspect of research properly? Dive into the website, search each product on the ecommerce tab, list down all features and benefits. Make that product description sell because you know their specialty and their position in the market.
- Analytics Skill
Once a copywriter has created a copy, it is also their responsibility to monitor how that copy performs. Does it reach their intended audience? Does it get enough shares, likes, and comments? Do you get more visitors because of your copy? Are you generating buzz around your brand? And so and so.
Analytics is simply the technology that measures the performance of your websites and social media pages. Not anyone can assess an analytics platform (e.g Google Analytics). But as a copywriter, you must have the necessary skills to analyze your content performance. Analytics will help you see whether your social media post rakes in more page visitors when your blog posts are getting more organic visits, or if your landing page copies have minimized their bounce rates.
Having good analytics skills will help you create copies that are ultimately better than the ones you created in the past. Therefore, you will have made content that is more likely to perform well across the board and will ultimately stump your competition.
There are certainly other less important skills but still essential for a copywriter. For instance, some copywriters ought to know about design. So they know where to position their words for a bigger impact. Also, copywriters sometimes are tasked to create the name of a brand or the slogan, hence they must have a working knowledge of logo designs, and other branding designs. In other words, copywriters should have logo ideas, graphic design insights, visual creative stint, UX and UI information, etc.
Other agencies request copywriters to have a base knowledge of the marketing funnel. So they’re quite sure that the words you put out there have a purpose to their overall marketing strategy.
If you find yourself not possessing these essential skills, then don’t worry. With time, practice, exposure, and training, you can still be an effective and master copywriter. Take one skill to master first, then move on to the next.
That concludes our list of copywriting skills you should master. Want to add more to the list? Share in the comments below.