Copywriting How-to FAQ

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What is copywriting?

If you define it in "geek speak", copywriting is the art and science of strategically delivering words (whether written or spoken) that get people to take some form of action. Instead of actively marketing or selling a product or service to somebody, copywriting generally focuses on creating things like blogs, articles, and infographics, which are designed to pull readers in and provide relevant and valuable content.

In short: you write something in a way that makes others want to go and do something.

Why is copywriting important?

In addition to populating a site with quality content, copywriting efforts are also more effective than outbound advertising methods. By creating unique, relevant, and high-quality content on a webpage, blog, or social media account, a company with an on-staff copywriter can easily build an audience and develop a solid reputation quickly and easily.

Copywriting is important because

  • it provides quality content to the people you care about when you design a website or put out a brochure
  • it helps with Search Engine Optimization (Search has become increasingly LOCAL and a lot of people don't scroll beyond the first couple of results when looking for something)
  • it helps you come across like the professional you want to be seen as, because your message becomes unified, succinct and coherent

Do you have any tips for copywriting?

We sure do. That is, Kurt Vonnegut does. Start here.

What is an elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that you use to spark interest in what you or your group/organization do(es). You can also use it to create interest in a project, idea, or product – or in yourself. A good elevator pitch should last no longer than a short elevator ride of 20 to 30 seconds, hence the name.

They should be interesting, memorable, and succinct. They also need to explain what makes you – or your organization, service, or idea – unique. Think of it as a Tweet - can you describe yourself or your group that succinctly?

Writing an elevator pitch is also a good exercise which can be used to precede other forms of copy. If you can it explain to others in an elevator pitch, you can expand on it easily.

Does it matter what medium I write for?

Yes, it does. Check out out sections on copywriting for print and copywriting for the Web.

Does it matter who I write for?

Yes! Your audience is important, and you knowing who you write for will come through in your piece. Imagine you're writing something that is to reach people who have never heard about, say, computers. In that piece you're using a log of jargon and "geek speak". How successful do you think this will be? Exactly. That doesn't mean you have to make things excessively simple - your audience isn't dumb - just keep in the back of your head who you're writing for. Also, sound like yourself. That is probably the most important: to be genuine.

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