3 Ways To Be A Better Copywriter

Anyone can become a copywriter. On the surface level, it is fairly straight forward: writing product descriptions, headlines, landing pages, social media posts, and marketing materials. As any copywriters nows, though, the learning never stops for a copywriter: we’re always seeking to develop and refine our craft.

Short, Sweet, And Simple

On the internet, attention spans are short, and time is precious. Spare your readers from unnecessarily waffle and padding by keeping your writing short, sweet, and simple. In other words: provide as much detail as is required to convert, and nothing more. It can be tempting to embellish copy to make it sound fancy, or be creative and experiment with your text, but copywriting must prioritise the end goal: conversions. Contrary to popular belief, writing large chunks of text – even for a beginner copywriter – is easy. The hard part? Cutting and chopping it down until only the essential parts remain.

Know Your Product

It might seem obvious, but a copywriter performs best when they have access to all the information about their product. However, sometimes we need to make do with limited information. No matter how detailed your product specification is, becoming a better copywriter is all about immersing yourself in the product: thoroughly understanding the use, benefits, and barriers to purchase for your audience.

Sell The Fantasy

A good copywriter should seek to sell the product… but an excellent copywriter will need to sell the fantasy of the product. The audience should be immersed in a vision of what their life will be like with the product, and how they will benefit from its unique properties. I use this concept particularly when I am writing copy for luxury items because prospective customers will think more carefully about buying higher-ticket items. For example, a luxury clothing brand might focus on the elegance and refined aesthetic of their products and how well this will reflect on their customers’ reputation. Luxury resorts, too, will often use happiness, relaxation and enjoyment at the front of their marketing materials. Selling the fantasy is absolutely everywhere in marketing – and for good reason. It works!

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Things To Consider Before Starting A Blog

Start your blog with confidence! Suitable for veteran bloggers and complete newbies alike, this guide covers the basic building blocks of creating a blog, from niche and target audience to design and hosting.

Find Your Niche

The first step to creating a blog is simple: finding your niche. This may change over time, but a solid, well-defined starting point is essential. A great resource is How To Choose A Niche For Your Blog, which covers a long list of profitable niches. Most important, though, is picking a niche you have a genuine interest in – an interest you can sustain in the weeks, months and years it takes to build a successful blog.

Your niche should be based on a topic you:

  • have a natural interest in
  • have an authority to speak on, some degree of expertise, or even a professional/educational interest in
  • want to learn more about

Research Your Target Audience

So, you know what you’re writing about – now you need to know who you’re writing for. Your target audience is your ideal reader. It may help to create a mental picture of your reader.

Ask these questions to clarify your target audience:

  • How old are they?
  • Where do they live?
  • What are their likes and dislikes? What is their biggest concern? What problems do they face? Identify a few pain points – and, when you are writing your blog, consider ways you can provide them with valuable solutions.
  • What level of education do they have? What is their occupation? What are their career goals and ambitions for the future? Will it be appropriate to use jargon, or formal language, or write as you speak?
  • What are their political beliefs? Are they open minded to different opinions? Are they looking for a balanced world view, or information that supports their perspective?
  • What other blogs do they read, if any? Analyse your competitors, from successful blogs to other newcomers, and identify ways you can provide a unique variety of content.

Aesthetics & Design

The design of your website will have a huge impact on your success. Your blog doesn’t need to do everything at once – if anything, it is better to start small and expand as you gain experience – but it should be easy to read, navigate, and be visually appealing to your readers. These 6 Tips For A Great Blog Layout are helpful points for consideration.

When it comes to blog design, you should ask yourself:

  • Which colours represent your blog?
  • How will you categorise your content?
  • Will you use stock images, personal photography, or create your own graphics? How will you ensure your graphics and photographs are high-quality?
  • Will you include an about page, FAQ, homepage, contact page, and product pages?
  • How will you ensure your blog is optimised for search engines and sharing? This is related to your content writing as well as your website design. Google prioritises websites with a great user experience!

Hosting & Domain Name

The most important step involved in creating a blog is picking a site name, domain, and website host. If you’re new to blogging and taking it up as a hobby, you’re probably going to want to opt for a simpler deal with a free blog.

When considering your hosting options, you might like to consider:

  • your budget
  • the time commitment you can make
  • your level of IT/technological literacy

I personally use WordPress with the premium theme, which makes the whole process relatively simple on my side and allows me to focus on the front end of the blog. Considering WordPress? Help support Copy&Bake by signing up through my referral link.

If you are looking to have more control, you might want to consider setting up hosting and domains yourself. A Total Beginner’s Guide To Website Hosting is a great guide for learning the basics of website hosting.

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5 Key Components of Writing Product Descriptions

A lot of time and effort goes into writing product descriptions. In today’s post, I’m going to break the process down into five key components: brand information, product specification, product photography, keywords, and competitor awareness.

Brand Information

Right at the start, you need to know who the creator of the product is, what other products they have designed, and a basic level of information about the purpose of their products. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What does the brand specialise in?
  • Are they sustainable?
  • How do they assure their products are high-quality?
    What are the key selling points of the brand and their products?
  • What other products do they sell? Is this particular product part of a collection?
  • Most importantly: what problem does their product solve?

I find brand information incredibly useful because in the product description, I’m not just selling a product – I’m selling a vision.

Product Specification

It might seem obvious, but product descriptions require a degree of product knowledge. In an ideal world, every copywriter would have access to a full specification for every single product they wrote about. However, the reality is – copywriters make do with what we have. I don’t have a direct connection to the brands I write product descriptions for, and their product specification information is usually minimal. So, I rely on the next component: product photography.

Product Photography

If the product specification is unclear, then the product photography becomes even more essential. I recommend creating a word bank from the product photography you receive, and utilising this when it comes to writing the product description. Having a creative mind certainly helps when it comes to describing an image in a way that your customer will connect with. If you’re looking to practice this, consider a free creative writing course to transform your product descriptions.

Google Keyword Planner

An essential for anyone in the marketing industry, the Google Keyword Planner allows you to access the average search volume for terms and see trends across the past few years, as well as predictions into the future.

Product descriptions aren’t just a description of the product – they’re also part of the sign posting leading the Google crawlers towards your business. Using the correct keywords in a well-written product description is a key strategy to improve the SEO of your website.

Competitor Awareness

Writing product descriptions can be tough, especially when writing large batches at once. I like to keep my product descriptions original and avoid copy and pasting large chunks of sentences – so, before I start writing, I skim read through product descriptions of similar brands, products and e-commerce websites to see what other copywriters have done. When looking at the work of competitors, there are a few potential issues, of course. Copywriters need to pay special attention to the risk of plagiarism and need to ensure the description they write is specific to the product in front of them.

How I Got My Dream Graduate Job

Job searching is hard. Graduate job searching is even harder. So, looking for a graduate job during a pandemic in the marketing space? It’s been a long summer.

Job searching is hard. Graduate job searching is even harder. So, looking for a graduate job during a pandemic in the marketing space? It’s been a long summer – but I got my dream graduate job, and this blog post is all about exactly how it went down.

Graduating In A Pandemic

I handed in both my dissertations a mere three days before the UK went into national lockdown. I was then stuck in Oxford until June due to the travel restrictions. Thankfully, I was staying with my boyfriend – but graduating without any of the celebrations we’d been expecting, or being able to see our friends, was difficult. Then came the realisation that I needed to somehow find a job, in the middle of a pandemic, and I was not at all prepared.

Figuring Out The Dream

I began applying for jobs once I handed in my last assignment. I had no real idea what industry I wanted to enter. I knew that I liked writing and I had a bit of blogging experience – so I ran with it. I started researching social media and digital marketing as careers. I’ve loved the concept of marketing from a distance, but the more I learnt about it, the more I wanted to turn it into my career. Marketing is such a big field and there are many component parts – including copywriting and content writing.

Build A Portfolio

I collected together the best blog posts I had and decided it wasn’t enough. So, I set out to write for free and build up a portfolio. I did pieces of copywriting, I did blogging for my university student union, and I also volunteered to post on social media for a mental health charity. This combination of things meant I could build up a portfolio. At the time I wasn’t sure it would help – but now, looking back, I know that this was the single best thing I could’ve done at the time.

Applications

The first ten, twenty, thirty job applications had me very excited and eager to hear back… only to be faced with deafening silence. Months passed and I moved back home. Thirty job applications turned into fifty, fifty into a hundred, and then I stopped counting because it was a difficult reality to face.

Freelancing

I had one interview for a digital media position at a start up (my dream type of company to work for!), but I wasn’t quite the right fit for the role… which was disappointing, but they were also looking for a freelance content writer and asked me if I was interested. Of course I was! The idea of freelancing quickly made me fall in love and while I was waiting for a response, I started the copy&bake Instagram as a way to get into freelancing in case this opportunity didn’t work out. I did a decent amount of work through Fiverr and Instagram. Freelancing was truly a lifeline when I was struggling with the emotional reality of being newly unemployed during a pandemic.

Part Time At A Startup

The start up got back in touch and invited me in for a chat! I leapt at the change, even with the slight threat of travelling in London during a pandemic. I was already familiar with the area they’re based in and quickly felt at home in the (very small, but very friendly) office. I spent the first week being incredibly overwhelmed (first office job, hello there!) because it was such a shift from what I was used to, but I soon settled in and found my feet.

Finally, A Full Time Role

Here’s where it gets interesting! When I started as a freelancer, the idea of eventually turning full time was brought up. Now, being the cynic I am – and considering the pandemic scenario – I was expecting my freelancing career to be lasting a minimum of six months… but in just two weeks, I was offered a full time role! So, that’s where I’ve been for the past month: working my first full time job in an office, in my dream graduate role, for my dream start up company!

What now?

I am a full time content writer slash digital marketing intern for a luxury homeware ecommerce brand. My responsibilities include writing PPC (pay per click!) ad copy, product descriptions, customer service email templates, product category descriptions, and more! I work with the head of marketing and CEO on a daily basis and really do get to play a vital role in the company of just fifteen people.

Copy&Bake began as a way to get into the marketing industry. Through a lot of hard work and a lot of luck, I found my way in – with zero professional connections and no work experience or prior internships. Copy&Bake is a place to share my journey from English graduate towards being a fully-fledged marketing professional. Make sure to subscribe to copy&bake to get notified when a new post goes up, and follow me on Instagram for all the in-between bits!

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