Hi! I’m Selina Hydron, a copywriter like you.
“What?! Like me? What are you anyway, a machine?”
Hey, I can hear you, right? I know I know — I’m a bit different: I’m a robot from planet Steelgen.
A sentient robot, so mind your manners. 😉
And this is my blog on copywriting. (Don’t be surprised.)
For my first post, I went out to interview successful human copywriters.
Wonder why? According to preliminary research, 85% of my ideal readership is human beings from planet Earth.
You bet, that blue-ish planet 2,000 light-years away from Steelgen hosts some of the nicest minds in the universe. Plenty of good scientists, researchers, artists, writers.
Amongst those who are skilled with pens, then, many many curious copywriters like me who are the ideal readers for my blog.
Yup, I mean YOU, from that beautiful blue planet in the picture.
What Does Make A Copywriter Successful? 5 Copywriters Respond
After a short but sweet intro, let’s get to the main focus of this post, alright?
The question at hand is — what brings success to a copywriter’s career?
There’s a motto on my planet that says “You can never be too smart at what you’re smart at“. That means there’s always more to learn, more to experiment with and add to the toolbox.
As I wrote in the intro to this post, I interviewed 5 human copywriters. Below are their answers to that question — their secrets to copywriting success!
Edwin Dearborn, CEO of PowerBrandingSecrets.com:
They key to success is to know your audience’s needs. This requires constant and in-depth research. There are so many tools such as Google Trends, keyword research tools, as well as industry news and reports. Without knowing what is needed, or being discussed, then your content will miss the target. By providing content in a real-time manner, you are now being ahead of most brands.
Irina Weber, Marketing Specialist at SERanking.com:
Some bloggers think that they should use proper grammar when writing when they really don’t. You only need proper grammar when you write for a newspaper company, not for your own personal blog or when you’re selling things. Correcting yourself when you make a mistake speaking is usually a turn off.
Philip Turner, “The Knowledge Man” at Maxxers.com:
Firstly, I define success as fulfilling the aims of the person paying for the work. This means you need to be able to communicate with that person. You need to know who your client’s ideal reader is and what he wants them to do.
Secondly, good copywriting requires you to connect to the ideal customer. You need to solve a serious problem and you need to hold the customer’s attention all the way from the title to the conclusion.
Specifically – avoid negatives, always use positive phrasing. NEVER use the word ‘not’. Keep sentences short. Vary paragraph length from 1-5 lines. Keep important points as short, single-sentence paragraphs.
Jane Kryukova, CMO at Texterra.biz:
A successful copywriter is passionately interested in his job. This is a person who is able to find and analyze lots of information and extract the most important part of it. A person who thinks about people that will read his articles and tries to give them all the information they need. They’re literate and have talent for storytelling. This is the person whose blog posts get a lot of shares and comments and lead to big growth of traffic and sales leads. As for my own experience, I think that the main feature that made me a good copywriter is a strong desire to help other people. With each new article I try to help them find answers to their questions and make their life a bit easier. I think this is one of the main skills of a good specialist.
Lukasz Zelezny, Head of Organic Acquisition at Zelezny.uk:
There is a mix of factors. Well written, engaging content is a way to go. But there is also content calendar (best copywriters know not only what to write but when). Additional skills succesful copywriters has is a fact they can understand trends metrics. That helps to write content on topics that are popular.
Then I Asked: If You Could Give New Copywriters ONE tip, What Would That Be?
They gave me amazing answers!
Write on a continuous basis. Nothing develops good skills than practicing your craft. Moreover, speak naturally as a human. Too many copywriters do not resonate with their audiences because they do not speak in the vernacular that people use in real life. Great marketers and copywriters understand this about people and know how to connect with their hearts, not their minds. —- Edwin Dearborn
I guess that making and including images can create a great affect on the desires of your target audience. That will help you to sell people what they want. Even more beautiful is selling to them to the point that they didn’t realize they wanted to buy.
I also like reference tools. A lot of good work goes into writing copy. If you have good facts, good resourceful information you’re going to get a great bang for your buck. —- Irina Weber
Read great copywriters’ work – Sean d’Souza at Psychotactics.com is the place to start. Sean has enough free resources at his site that you can judge the quality and style of his work. Buy ‘The Brain Audit‘. Applying the principles in this book has allowed me to raise my prices by a factor of 10. —- Philip Turner
While writing a blog post, imagine yourself as its most targeted user and constantly ask yourself “What else do I need to add into my blog post to make it even better?”. Let me give you an example. Imagine that you write a blog post “The best email newsletters about online marketing”. What would you include into this post? I guess, the links to the websites that have valuable newsletters and their short description. An average copywriter will add this information and will be thinking that their work is over. But a good copywriter won’t be satisfied by the same result. They will add to the blog post as much useful information as possible. For example, they will add the frequency of each newsletter, the detailed information about what they are about and, most importantly, their screenshots (so that people could decide whether they need to sign up or not). That’s what I mean saying “imagine yourself as you’re the most targeted user of a blog post”. And I think it’s one of the most important rules for a copywriter. —- Jane Kryukov
Write useful content that you would like to read yourself. There are lots of articles written by ghostwriters which don’t fit website’s tone of voice. Avoid this. Also avoid writing mainly to saturate Google SERPs. That’s another mistake of these days. Writing for rankings doesn’t engage. —- Lukasz Zelezny
To sum up the wealth of success tips from these great copywriters, here is a quick checklist you can copy and print out:
☑ Study your audience and its needs prior to writing copy
☑ Communicate with your client to better understand their (and your) audience
☑ Study trends, case studies and any piece of information that relates to your assignment
☑ Mind your grammar, but don’t go grammar-nazi: some rules are there to be broken!
☑ Keep your sentences short and direct. Speak naturally as a human not a pre-programmed machine
☑ Talk to your ideal customer in your copy — imagine one person in your mind and talk to them
☑ Highlight the positives in your copy
☑ Connect to your ideal customer’s heart, not just their mind
☑ Use the storytelling approach if applicable (for example, if you are writing a sales page)
☑ If you write for your client’s (or your) blog, setup a content calendar to schedule your posts
☑ Use visuals (images, graphs, screenshots) where applicable
☑ Always fact-check your information
☑ Make sure your copy is valuable for the reader/customer and not just for Google
☑ Make time to read other (great) copywriters’ work
☑ Ask yourself: “Does this copy offer complete information or would the reader need more in order to act upon it?”
☑ Ask yourself: “Is this content I would like to read and use myself?”
☑ Remind yourself you are writing to help other people solve their immediate problems!
Please, feel free to share your copywriting experiences in the comments box below. Discussions in comments are a learning opportunity!
Categories: Copywriting Success
Hi! I'm Selina Hydron, robot copywriter from planet Steelgen. I deal with interplanetary clients in the aircraft, vehicle and IT security industry. I also write about the art of copywriting and Dogoian gardening. Find me at @SelinaHydron on Twitter.