Five things every new copywriter should know

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Hello, and happy New Year! I’m glad you decided to stick around and read more blog posts on Thought Dump.

Another year means more copywriting experience for me. The more I learn about what makes good writing, the more I wish I knew when I started doing it. This post covers some tips that could’ve helped me as a newbie. If you’re new to copywriting, maybe these can help you as well.

1. Copywriting is about ideas

Every piece of writing is about an idea. This idea will be for a reader, who it should benefit in some way. It could save them time or money, tell them something important or make part of their life easier.

Your job as a copywriter is to thoroughly research the idea. You need to know how it works, who it’s for, why it’s good and more, and use writing to tell your reader about it. However …

2. You must know your message before choosing your tone of voice

It’s great you can string words together. That’s probably why you’re a copywriter. But words are just how you’re sharing your message with your reader. If you haven’t spent enough time learning about your message, it doesn’t matter how lovely your words are. They’ll mean nothing.

3. You should always think about your reader

Writers want to write. Businesses want to sell. That’s why they need each other, but if the writer is too in love with their writing and the business is too in love with what they’re selling, your reader will get neglected.

You must convince your reader why they should be in love with what the business is selling. Show them how this will make their life better.

4. Your writing will get changed a lot

When you hand over your finished writing to your creative director or marketing manager, there’s a strong chance they’ll tear this apart word-for-word, and put it back together in a way that doesn’t resemble your work at all.

Watching this happen is tough, but it usually happens for the best. Your manager has been copywriting a lot longer than you have, and just want what’s best for your reader. So try not to get upset, and learn why they made the changes they did so you can write better next time.

5. Curiosity takes many forms

You’ve probably been told the best copywriters are naturally curious. And you’ve probably worried you aren’t.

Curiosity doesn’t mean you have to be a super-interesting action-adventurer. It can mean reading a book from a genre you wouldn’t usually read, or asking ‘what does that mean?’ in a conversation where you’d normally stay quiet. In short, it means being open to trying new things.

Your job

If you’re a new copywriter, I hope this advice is useful to you. If you’re not, what do you wish you knew about your job before you started working in it? Share your answers in the comments section below.

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