Tips for would-be copywriters

As an established freelance copywriter I get lots of enquiries from would-be copywriters. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to reply to most of them, but today I made an exception because the guy had obviously put a lot of thought into his email. Briefly, this guy already did a lot of writing and had a strong English language and literature background. This is what I wrote in reply (pasted in here in case it’s of use to other budding copywriters):

Copywriting is primarily about being a salesman on paper (or the web, these days). The trick is to adapt your skills so they are copywriting-friendly and there are plenty of books on Amazon which can offer advice on how to do this. My top tip is to begin as I started out: to examine how other people do it, to check out what appeals to you and what would make you buy – a bit like ‘reading as a writer’ as opposed to ‘reading as a reader’.

Your other skills will come in useful when writing things like editorial, press releases and blogs. Again, there are good books on Amazon which can help you with this.

My second top tip is that, with copywriting, less is more. Be brief, get straight to the point and keep to it, focus on product / service benefits and not features, keep sentences and paragraphs short and cut out any waffle, big words, meaningless or fancy business jargon or ‘fine writing’.

I hope the above is of help.

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