What are the 6 core copywriting skills?
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If you’re on the hunt for a copywriter who can push your brand, and increase your sales, do you know what you really need? Copywriters vary massively in terms of the way that they work and the quality of the content that they deliver. Maybe you’re looking for someone to provide regular copy for the likes of blogs, email campaigns or social media. Perhaps you’d like a writer that can assist with infographics too. While copywriters may offer an array of different services, great copywriters will all share the same core skills.
There is no doubt that there are numerous people around the country sat in their bedrooms with a laptop turned on and access to Microsoft Word. With an internet connection to boot, they think that this is enough to offer their services as a copywriter. They may even advertise the fact that they have an English degree or some other qualification. The thing is, none of these things makes a person a copywriter.
In this article, we’re going to explore the question, “What are the 6 core copywriting skills?”. When you’re aware of what these are, you’ll know exactly what you need to be looking for in your writer. If you’re a budding writer yourself, this will give you an insight into the skills that you need to master before you start to market yourself as a copywriter. Let’s get started.
The first of the 6 core copywriting skills is the ability to carry out research. Copywriters are often working to tight deadlines and there is a need to find, and understand, information at speed. It’s common for a writer to find themselves facing a topic of which they have little, if any, experience at all. Knowing how to find information is a vital part of being a copywriter.
Of course, anyone can carry out a basic online search. An effective copywriter knows how to use search engines to their full potential and to pull out information that other people may well miss. Finding the information is one thing. More important is verifying the information to ensure that it’s accurate.
When it comes to producing copy, a gifted writer can write at speed. They are quick at typing and the words that they need just flow. What takes more time than writing is the research. If the research is inadequate, any copy that’s produced is likely to fall down. Copywriters benefit as time goes on as they start to get more of an idea about the various sectors that they find themselves writing for. This provides a much stronger starting point, but research will always be key.
An effective copywriter understands the importance of staying informed and keeping themselves up to date. This doesn’t just happen by chance: staying up to date is another skill that all great copywriters possess. This skill is essential for writers who are producing online content as the internet means that changes can take place in a matter of seconds.
There is a need to be aware of trends in relevant sectors as well as have an overview of world events. The truth is that significant world events have a knock-on effect on numerous sectors and copywriters need to have an understanding, and an appreciation, of this.
Copywriters know where to look to keep themselves in the know. They realise that the likes of Google Trends, Facebook and Twitter can keep them in the loop with any trends. When they have this awareness, they can create copy that’s relevant and that they know will be received favourably.
Another of the 6 core copywriting skills is the ability to adapt. Good copywriters can easily adapt to new situations. The work of a copywriter is varied and can see them producing copy in a variety of formats. These include:
- Blog posts
- Marketing emails
- Social media posts
- Website content
Each of these formats requires a different approach to producing copy. As well as considering the format, there is also the need to consider whether the copy is being written from a B2B or B2C perspective. This is something that has a significant impact on the tone of voice and the choice of words.
Adaptability isn’t just needed in terms of the format that writing takes: it is also needed in the face of new technology. With the increase in artificial intelligence (AI), copywriters have had to demonstrate their ability to adapt to survive. This has led to them repositioning themselves and being clear on the benefits of human content as opposed to that which is created by AI. When you find a copywriter capable of adapting, you know that you have one who will always be able to deliver the best for your business.
Understanding an audience
For copy to be effective, it needs to appeal to the right audience. A poor copywriter will produce pieces that sound the same regardless of who they are writing for. Great copywriters have the skill to be able to adjust their style so that it hits the right target every time.
Part of this involves a copywriter having an understanding of how people read content online. In most cases, a reader arrives at a site following a search. When they land on a page, they’re not there to read every single word. What they do is scan the page in an attempt to confirm that the content is relevant to the search that they carried out. If a page fails to grab attention in a matter of seconds then the reader will simply click the back button and look elsewhere.
The skills that a copywriter uses to grab that attention include:
- The use of effective headings and subheadings
- Using eye-catching images
- Using short punchy sentences (only using longer ones when necessary)
- The use of bullet points
- The inclusion of links to other relevant pages
The things in the list above are all about making copy easier to scan. Readers can then quickly pick out the parts that are relevant to them and this keeps them on the page. The longer that the reader is on the page, the longer you have to get your message across.
An understanding of SEO (search engine optimisation)
When looking to answer, “What are the 6 core copywriting skills?”, there is no way that SEO could be left off the list. This is another area where copywriters need to have a deep enough understanding so that they can pull off another balancing act.
There was once a time when a copywriter could simply play games with content so that it would please search engines. Rather than producing effective copy, there was just a need to spam with keywords in such a way that Google would pick up a site and rank it highly. Thankfully, these days have now gone.
What Google and other search engines are looking for now is the quality of content that’s produced. Keyword stuffing doesn’t provide a great user experience so copy and content like this will be ignored. Those producing copy and content now need to ensure that they’re writing for the reader rather than the search engines. Attention needs to be given to providing something of value.
That being said, the likes of keywords and backlinks still have their place. A great copywriter understands this and knows how to achieve the perfect balance.
Hooking a reader
When considering the core skills that copywriters possess, one of these is the ability to hook a reader. Their skill allows them to craft headlines that people want to click. Once they’ve clicked, they find that they’ve made the right decisions. That’s because the copywriter has crafted something that is equally as enticing as the headline. The content and subheadings that follow all add to the experience and they keep the reader reading.
Copywriting has changed in recent times. Readers don’t want something that is just an advert being pushed down their throats. They want copy to read in the way that other great content does. It needs to be informative and add value rather than just praising a product or service.
A copywriter with the skills needed to hook a reader doesn’t need to push for the sale. Instead, the copy they produce positions you as the go-to company in your sector and sales follow automatically.
That brings us to the end of exploring the question, “What are the 6 core skills copywriting skills?”. As you can see, there is more to a copywriter than just opening up a blank document in the hope that the right words will just flow. The skills required to be effective take time to develop and aren’t possessed by just anyone.
At Content Conga, we’re passionate about copywriting. We have a team of writers that possess all of the skills that you’d expect to find. As our reviews show, we’re the top choice for businesses in all sectors. Why not get in touch and see what we can deliver for you?