Far too many people get mixed up on what exactly qualifies as copywriting. Copy is simply content that is written for a specific purpose, that purpose is advertising and sales. To demonstrate this, all of those blog posts that you write is not copywriting, although if you are smart you’ll use as many copywriting elements as you can. Sales page writing however is pure copywriting. So, in short, copywriting is the process of writing advertising and promotional materials, and it typically includes the following features.
Has an Effective Headline
You want a headline that grabs readers’ attention and makes them want to click through and read more, or keep going down the page when confronted with a sub-headline.
Tells your Audience What to Do
Compelling copy will lead your audience members to perform an action that you want them to do, whether that is to opt in to your newsletter, buy something or to read more… It doesn’t matter what the action is; the copy tells the reader what to do and how to do it.
Promotes a Particular Product
Most advertising copy will promote a particular product or service to the audience. It can be online, offline, a brochure, and even business card size. It might also be a pictorial advertisement such as a meme you place on Pinterest or Instagram.
Focuses on Short-Term Sales
Pure copywriting focuses on the sale, let me make that even more clean… it focuses on the sale and the sale only. It uses techniques that require audience and product knowledge so that the right words, images, colors, and language can be used to get as many audience members to buy what you’re selling.
Copywriting requires much more than a “buy” button or a “subscribe” button. Instead, it requires a build-up of desire in the reader of the content that makes them want to perform the action you want them to perform. Using encouraging words that elicit fear of missing out and desire often work.
Grabs the Readers’ Attention
Everything about the copy should work together to get the readers’ attention, from the headline, to the style of writing, to the look and feel of the copy. All of it should be built for that exact audience, for the exact product or service that you want to sell, and the choices will be very clear.
The content is designed to build trust in the audience and is therefore written in a very specific way, with facts, figures and statistics to back up the claims. It explains why you’re the one to sell the item in question, and exactly what problems it will solve for the audience.
Well-written copy also shows authority. It avoids the idea of “believing” something will work and instead focuses on knowing it will work, why it will work, and how it will work, with the facts to back it up. Good copy doesn’t waffle around about possibilities, but instead makes no mistake that the product or service works.
You should try and use elements of copywriting in all of the writing that you do because you’ll get more likes, more opt-ins, and more eyes on your information than if you don’t. But, sometimes (such as with a blog post) you might be subtler such as including an amazing headline and an opt-in after the post, whereas on a sales page you’re going to want to pull out all the stops and include every copywriting element you can squeeze in.