You just received your next copywriting assignment. You open your word processor and stare at the blank page. What next? What do you have to do to write content that will draw your audience in and hopefully drive sales for your business? This blog can help. In it, we cover what copywriting is, what to keep in mind as you’re writing, and tools and resources you can use to improve your craft.
Don’t let that blank page intimidate you. Defeat it with your content using our tools and boost your business. Don’t let the research scare you. Keep it all in one place to stay organized and focused. Take the whole process one step at a time, working on it in manageable slices. Read on to equip yourself with the B2B copywriting tools you need to conquer that blank page.
What Is Copywriting in Marketing?
Copywriting is the process of creating marketing content (copy) that engages readers and calls them to take action as it relates to your business, whether it be contacting your business, buying a product, or subscribing to a service. Essentially, you want to write copy that will promote traffic to your website and drive sales.
What Are the Basics of Copywriting?
According to the American Writers and Artists Institute (AWAI), there are seven basics to copywriting: knowing your audience, doing research, understanding the fundamentals of selling, starting strong, discussing benefits, using personal language, and ending with a call to action.
- Know Your Audience: In the world of the B2B copywriter, your audience is any company that your business would like to sell to. Knowing your audience means figuring out what they want and how your business can satisfy that desire. The language you use in your copy should be clear and avoid any jargon your business uses that the average reader might not understand. One way to market to those target companies is to look at their websites and learn more about what they do and what they value. But developing relationships with the people inside your target companies–and figuring out what motivates them–is an even better approach.
- Do Your Research: Before writing each piece of copy, make sure to do extensive research on your topic. If you are writing about a specific product or service, for example, find your business’s case studies so that you have proof of the success of that product or service. This is also where you will want to find and cite any relevant statistics or definitions related to your topic. By doing some research before you write, you can assure your target audience that the information you give them can be trusted.
- Understand the Fundamentals of Selling: AWAI lists three fundamental rules of selling: people don’t like the idea of being sold, people buy things based on their emotions, and people need to use logic to justify the decisions they make based on emotions. What it comes down to is making your target audience want what you’re selling without making them feel like you’re selling it to them. For example, let’s say your business sells labels to manufacturers. Do not overwhelm your potential customer with details on how great your labels are and how much they should want them. Instead, make them want them by targeting their emotions. Perhaps you can explain how your safety labels will keep employees away from hazardous materials. It will appeal to their emotions because it will keep employees from getting hurt. Then logic can justify that emotion by showing that the fewer employees who get hurt, the less the manufacturer will have to pay in workers’ compensation.
- Start Strong: You need a headline and a lead that encourages your audience to continue reading. According to an article in the Washington Post, only about 41% of Americans read past the headlines of a news article. That means that if you want to get your target audience to continue reading, your headline should be captivating. Your lead (the first sentence after the headline) should be, too. These are the first parts of your copy that your audience will read. You will have to make them want to read more.
- Discuss Benefits: This aspect of copywriting closely relates to knowing your audience and understanding the fundamentals of selling. When writing content, make sure you know what your audience wants and explain how your business’s products or services can help them ease whatever pain they may be facing. Do not talk about all the features of your product or service unless you provide specific examples of how those features will benefit your audience.
- Use Personal Language: Focus on “you,” not “we.” Copy is not writer-focused writing, it is reader-focused writing. It is not a place to brag about the great things your business is doing or selling. Show your audience that you know what they want or need and how to satisfy those needs.
- End With a Call to Action: The call to action is where you tell your audience what steps to take after reading your copy. These could include encouraging them to contact your business, try out your product or service, or check out additional content on your website. The rest of your copy should really hook your reader so that when they get to the call to action, they are more likely to do it.
How to Learn Copywriting
To become a better, more effective copywriter, you will have to hone the following skills:
- Writing to Engage: Use language that will draw your audience in and keep them engaged. Check for fluency and flow so as not to distract them.
- Research: Make sure to use reputable sources to back up your claims. Cite them when possible.
- Attention to Detail: After you write, review your work with an editor’s eye and correct all spelling and grammar mistakes.
- Clear Communication: Stay on topic to make sure your audience understands your message. Match that message to your business’s goals.
- Creativity: Present your message from a new perspective so that your audience wants to keep reading instead of skipping to the next article on their feed.
You might be wondering, how can I learn copywriting for free? There are many resources and copywriting tools online to help you learn how to copywrite for free. For free resources specifically about how to copywrite, you may consider reading one of the following:
- Why Being a Great Writer Isn’t Enough in Today’s Digital World: This article gives a brief description about what it takes to be an excellent copywriter. If you are interested in learning even more about copywriting after reading the article, you may also elect to subscribe to the Copyblogger Academy so you have access to monthly classes about copywriting.
- The Ultimate Guide to No-Pain Copywriting (or, Every Copywriting Formula Ever): This article gives lots of detail about the different formulas of copywriting and templates you can use for your own copywriting. There are other free resources on Copyhacker’s website, including a content strategy worksheet and a worksheet on writing launch emails.
- Complete Guide to Copywriting: This guide gives you a list of details you should ask yourself when writing copy and goes into detail about why you should ask yourself those questions.
- A Free Copywriting Course (Learn Copywriting Basics In a Few Minutes): This resource is set up like many courses and offers several videos about how to be a better copywriter.
- Quick Course On Effective Website Copywriting: This article offers more details on the step-by-step process of creating copy and what you need to consider during each step of the process.
- Copywriting Examples: This tool gives copywriting examples that have been successful in the past. Using the filters on the side, you can search for content based on type, style, and audience.
For a list of other free resources on the basics of effective writing, SEO, marketing, and more, click here.
Perhaps you are a seasoned copywriter who doesn’t need to learn how to improve their writing. Maybe you just need some of the best copywriting tools to make the writing process easier. You can find some of those online as well. We’ll discuss some of them in the next section.
What Tools Do You Need for Copywriting?
There are several tools online to help you write your copy, including tools to help with researching, writing, and editing. Below is a list of some of them as they relate to each part of the copywriting process.
When you research your content, you want to make sure that you are searching for what your customers are interested in and use reliable data to back up your arguments. These tools can help.
- DemandJump uses data to help you find the keywords and phrases related to your topic that people search most often. This tool allows you to see where your business, as well as your competitors, are ranking for certain keywords. By using these keywords, you can get search engines to rank your copy higher so your potential audience is more likely to find it. DemandJump also offers insight reports and content briefs to help you figure out what you should write about.
- Statista is a database that contains more than a billion statistics from across 170 different industries.
- Google Scholar is a search engine that helps you find scholarly articles you can cite within your copy. The articles come from all sorts of disciplines and include books, journal articles, abstracts, conference papers, and more.
When you get to the writing stage, you want to make sure that you are keeping your copy focused, concise, organized, and clear. Once you’ve written your copy, it’s time to double-check your organization, sentence structure, and capitalization. These free copywriting tools can help you.
- Slice aids in the entire copywriting process and keeps you focused by giving you a single platform to work on all parts of the copywriting process, including research and writing. It allows you to work on one chunk of content at a time by splitting it into manageable sections. You can also keep all your sources within the platform so that you don’t waste time flipping between tabs. Slice offers a 30-day free trial.
- Capitalize My Title is a free tool that allows you to copy and paste your title or headers into it and gives you the correct capitalization for it based on formatting standards of APA, MLA, Chicago, AP, BB, AMA, NYT, Wiki, and email.
- The Hemingway App is an online writing editor that highlights any mistakes it finds in grammar, fluency, and sentence structure. The color of the highlight varies depending on what should be fixed. It will give recommendations on where you can be more concise, where you can split sentences, and where you may consider using active instead of passive voice. You can copy and paste your content from your writing environment (such as Slice) into this tool.
- Grammarly is a freemium website app that checks your grammar and spelling. It can also check for plagiarism across billions of web pages and databases. Grammarly offers a monthly subscription that gives you more ways to check your work, including for fluency, consistency, clarity, conciseness, vocabulary, and tone detection.
- Ginger is AI-based software that makes suggestions on spelling, grammar, context, synonyms to use, and sentences to condense. If you pay for the premium version, you can correct multiple mistakes at once, translate your copy into over 40 languages, and have access to unlimited rephrasing.
- Copywritely is SEO content software that checks your SEO for any issues and gives you advice for how to fix them. It can tell you why your content may not be ranking as highly as you would like and points out which parts of your copy are low-quality and could be rewritten to boost your rankings.
Write Engaging Content Using Slice
The best way to write engaging content is to stay focused and distraction-free. Slice can help with that. We offer a platform where you can have your research, your writing, and your project management all in one place. Customers who use our tool report a 10X productivity gain. When everything you need for your content is in one place, you don’t have to keep switching through tabs hunting for that one great statistic or that one definition you want to use. You can stay in the zone and keep your content organized, concise, and focused. If you are interested in trying out our tool, click here.