What is Copywriting? A Complete Guide (2024)
If you’re someone from the content writing or digital marketing industry, you must be familiar with the term “Copywriting,” but do you really know “what is copywriting?” Well, in this article, you’ll go through the core fundamentals of copywriting and all the necessary aspects related to it.
Irrespective of your level of expertise in copywriting, this article will prove to be valuable, loaded with the finest knowledge, strategies, practices followed for copywriting.
Several times, it must have happened that we come across an ad or just a piece of content that is so convincing that it gets us more interesting in the ad or the subject of that ad, which could be any product or service.
We are literally surrounded by ads and people/organizations trying to sell us things at this point. Well, all the times you find the ads, creative banners, funny and fancy taglines, etc., these are nothing but absolute examples of copywriting.
Many aspiring content writers wonder what exactly copywriting is and how to become a copywriter? In this article, we will try and understand the core fundamentals of copywriting, what are the practices involved in copywriting and how to become a copywriter?
We will also explore the scope of copywriting and how much potential copywriting has to be considered a career option.
What is Copywriting?
If you browse through the web for the term “copywriting,” you’ll find that several websites define copywriting in their own way; however, the fundamental meaning of copywriting doesn’t change.
If we were to define copywriting briefly, it could be defined as the craft of developing “text” content. It persuades people to take a certain action such as clicking, liking, sharing, subscribing, or making a purchase.
Copywriting is one of the very celebrated and renowned formats of content writing. To understand copywriting to its fundamentals, we first need to understand the purpose of copywriting. Copywriting is just one of the several forms of content writing, such as technical writing, SEO writing, Academic writing, and more.
Each one of the types of content writing serves a unique cause. The content we develop in any form is mostly put to use to help businesses grow. Therefore one must understand the context in which a piece of content is going to be used.
It is not just the purpose of the content, but it is equally important to understand where this piece of content will be used. Once you understand why and where a certain kind of content is to be used, it becomes straightforward for you to understand the nature of the content, and thus you can develop relevant content effortlessly.
When we search on Google, we find several articles, and they’re basically blog articles that aim to bring traffic to the website. Similarly, the prime motive of copywriting is to ensure that the content is intriguing enough to convince the customer to take action.
The action could be buying a product or a service, signing up for a webinar/seminar, getting the reader to follow a certain page, or sometimes it just conveys a certain message. Now that we know copywriting is a critical skill, we must understand where exactly copywriting is used.
Where is Copywriting Used?
If you’re wondering where exactly copywriting is used, the answer would be “Everywhere.” Yes, that is correct. Unlike blog articles that only get published on the websites, copywriting could basically be used everywhere, from websites to offline advertising practices.
While browsing through social media, you must have come across several posts trying to get people to sign up for a webinar, newsletter, course, event, etc. The content written on the poster that aims the audience to sign up is called the “Copy.”
The more well-written a copy is, the better are the chances for people to take action, whether it is signing up for some event or buying a product. When presented creatively through social media or newspaper, hoardings, etc., plays with the psychology of the consumer, which then makes them decide if they shall go with the offer or not.
In simple terms, copywriting is a way of developing content creatively that grabs the attention of a potential audience who would then engage with the content. Most of the time, any copy comes with a subject. The subject could be a product, a service, an event, a community/group, etc.
The sole motive of any copy written is to get the consumer to engage with the subject somehow. Well, the above details must have provided you with a basic idea about the uses of copywriting. Let’s now precisely look into the exact areas where copywriting has a significant role to play.
- Ads (Audio, Video, banner ads, etc.)
- Product Descriptions
- Product and Landing Pages
- Taglines, Captions, and Social Media Posts
In a broader sense, these are the key areas where the need for copywriting is real. So, let’s try and explore what aspects of copywriting are used in each of the mentioned areas.
We come across hundreds or even thousands of ads daily, and how many of them do you really find appealing? Well, we live in a world where every business tries every possible way to get your attention, and one of the most effective ways to date is advertising.
Advertisements don’t necessarily mean the TV commercials we see, but many businesses practice more effective smart advertising practices. May it be the blogs you read or the hoardings that we see on the highways, all of them are an attempt to grab the audience’s attention and build a presence for them in the consumer’s mind.
Read about different types of advertisements here
You might notice that some ads are more compelling than others. This is because of the combined effort of the copywriter and the creative team to develop a compelling and convincing piece of creativity that persuades the audience to take action.
It’s not always the banners, but also the TV commercials or even the radio ads that we come across are scripted by copywriters only.
Product descriptions also need compelling write-ups that convince the audience that the product is worth spending their money on. Several contents promote the qualities of several products or even services, and such content is needed to be written by a copywriter.
This is because such descriptions are what helps the audience in making informed decisions about purchasing that particular product.
So, unless the descriptions are compelling enough, the audience wouldn’t want to make that purchase. Hence copywriters are needed to develop content that grabs attention and gets the audience to engage with it.
Landing pages are basically the pages that take you through the complete details and description of the product. The page should have an excellent copy, as the CTA will most likely lead the audience to the payment page.
This means, if the content on the page is convincing enough, there’s a good chance that the audience ends up making a purchase there. The landing pages are usually for products, but these could also be used to sell certain services.
Landing pages are quite different from product descriptions. At the same time, the product descriptions are more like affiliate articles or listicles, which usually lead the audience to a landing page through an affiliate link.
The landing page shall contain every bit of detail that the consumer can look for. This includes reviews & ratings, product details, pricing structure, the content of the product, highlighting features, etc.
Taglines, Captions, and Social Media Posts:
One of the most common types of content where copywriting is used very actively in social media posts, captions, and taglines for the brand. Keep in mind that a copywriter’s role is to keep the audience hooked while they’re fed with the finest copy alluring them into taking action.
The copy need not necessarily belong to articles, pages, or things like that, and rather they can be minimal as long as their impact is fine. Many a time, you must have seen brands have some compelling taglines that stick to the mind of people. We do not realize that subconsciously having been influenced by the taglines, we’re very likely to make our buying decisions favor the brands.
This could be easily explained with an efficient example. Let’s take the example of Nike. The tagline of this brand is “Just do it.” Since the brand is associated mainly with massively sports events like NBA and the players in it, the influence around this small tagline becomes very strong for sports lovers, enthusiasts, and even the general audience.
This is the reason when a sports lover thinks of getting himself a new pair of shoes, and they’re more likely to think about Nike than any other brand. This is the power of a good copy developed with a good understanding of the audience, brand theme, context, and more.
Not just the taglines, but quite sometimes, you must have noticed some excellent social media posts either trying to grab attention or sell something through infographics that contain very few words but are extremely attention-grabbing in nature.
Copywriters also write even the captions. Many brands do not make the content very clear through the picture, graphics, or video. This is the reason people switch to the caption section to understand what the content is truly about.
This was little from the key areas where copywriting is needed the most and so far in understanding “What is copywriting,” and we have understood the very basics of copywriting and where it is needed.
Now it’s time we learn a little about things that can help you become a good copywriter.
Elements of Copywriting: What Makes a Good Copy?
To write a good copy, one must include all the needed elements that make a copy successful. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what makes a good copy. Rather, and anyone can tell the answer to this.
You’ll have to think about what makes the audience or yourself think that a certain piece of content is good or bad, and the same applies to a majority of the audience. There are a couple of things that contribute to the making of a good copy, and they are:
These are the 3 most important things that actually shape the copy and make it good or bad. So, let’s try and understand each of these elements of copywriting and why they are important in making a good copy.
Every copy contains a message, and that should be made very clear throughout the writeup. The sentiment of the brand or the product must be maintained to form a certain impression about the brand in the audience’s subconscious.
Hence, it is super important to develop a copy that clearly conveys the message about the product or the brand. The message need not be a CTA, and rather it should be more about the concept of the product, the theme of the brand, or the highlights of the product that is valuable to the audience.
The next important factor in understanding what copywriting is and what helps make a good copy is “Readability.” This is one of the few things that you must have often come across with context to SEO (Search engine optimization). Still, not many people are aware that readability is one of the most important elements of copywriting.
Readability is not a very technical thing, but the small details make the reader’s overall experience much better. Very minute things have a lot of importance when it comes to readability.
Some of the fundamental practices in improving readability include writing small sentences, writing in active voice, keeping paragraphs short, not starting consecutive sentences with the same word, and not overstuffing a certain keyword in the copy.
These are only some of all the practices that improve the overall readability of the copy and help the reader engage better with the copy as they continue to read.
There are certainly more practices to be followed; however, for someone starting to learn what copywriting is and the best practices for developing a good copy, the mentioned basic practices are enough.
After readability and clarity, the next thing that one must consider while practicing copywriting is “Creativity.” Since a well-written piece of text is not good enough to hook audiences for long, it needs just more than good readability and clarity.
It definitely needs a bit of creativity that allows the audience to engage with the copy, either it is through humor, professionally creative, or emotional copies. The funny TV ads or the creative billboard we find on the highway are the ones that make the copy more attractive and grab the audience’s attention.
Suppose you’re someone who wants to understand what copywriting is through the very in-depth concepts of it. One must understand these 3 key elements of copywriting that actually helps in making a good copy. Copywriting has always been counted as one of the types of creative content writing as there’s a lot of creativity involved.
Often, the copywriters themselves have to interact with the creative team or the brand itself to get the zest of the concept or theme the brand or the product follows, keep in mind all the factors, and develop suitable content.
So, these were the essential elements of copywriting that one has to keep in mind while trying to learn what copywriting is and the core concepts that help make a good copy.
Strategies of Copywriting
Copywriting isn’t about mere writing but a lot more than that, and it does come with a lot more responsibility than content writing. It is supposed to persuade the audience to take action, and doing that through graphics and text is not easy.
As a copywriter, one has to think out of the box to create something that the audience can engage with. Moreover, there are certain practices that any copywriter would be supposed to be following while developing a piece of copy for them.
The next step in fully understanding what copywriting is and the craft of writing a wonderful copy is to understand the strategies involved in developing a fine piece of content that is creative, attractive, and audience can engage with.
Here are some of the strategies that you need to follow as a professional copywriter:
How to Write a Wonderful Copy:
There’s no “one right way” of writing a copy. In fact, copywriting is a more flexible process of writing compared to any other. To know how to write a wonderful copy, you must first understand the type you want to develop.
It may be a jingle you’re writing for, a children’s product, or a wine brand. All of them would demand you to develop different types of content. More importantly, the purpose of your content must also be clear.
If your content is for a TV commercial, landing/product pages, or maybe a social media post, you’ll have to write differently for each of the purposes that align with the requirement of the brand or the product.
Short write-ups, long articles, one-liners, all these require different types of efforts in copywriting.
Understanding the Psychology and Sentiment of the Audience:
It is equally important to understand the sentiments and the psychology of the audience to understand the brand or the product. You may take a red bull or even Nike, for example, in that case.
The audience’s sentiments with a brand like Red Bull are more like the adventurous and sporting spirit. When it comes to developing a copy for them, it is important to create something that matches their sentiments related to the brand.
Not just for the sake of relating to the audience but also to understand the relationship an audience shares with a brand. Trying to understand the psychology of the audience provides you with plenty of context for the write-up.
Having the context and the audience’s psychology or sentiment for the brand understood, the writer can add an element of readability to the copy they’re developing. And the more relatable a copy is, the more likely it is to perform better and engage well with the audience.
Knowing What Grabs Attention:
Understanding what the brand’s audience thinks about is important, but it’s equally important to understand the general psychology of humans and how they respond to certain kinds of advertisements.
Certain elements have been recognized hundreds of years ago and used to create advertisements that actually work. For example, the term “Free or Discount or Offer” grabs people’s immediate attention and makes them subconsciously curious to make them read or go through that copy.
Elements like these grab attention, and copywriters have to experiment through various copies as they write, which type of copy works the best. These were some of the best strategies and tactics for developing wonderful pieces of copy.
How to Learn Copywriting
So far in this article, while trying to learn what copywriting is, we have learned the core fundamentals, best practices for copywriting, and the elements that make a good copy. However, to pursue the craft professionally, one has to practice the craft.
The mentioned details are the theoretical part, but one has to learn the core terminologies of copywriting to write compelling pieces of copy. Learning copywriting is not a very difficult thing, and especially when we have access to the internet, it becomes more accessible for everyone to learn copywriting.
There are plenty of blogs and websites that will take you from the very fundamentals of copywriting. More importantly, there’s a good number of videos available on YouTube from where you can learn. However, the information is available in bits and pieces.
So, to understand and everything about copywriting, one must be aware of what things they need to look for. This is why it is always advised to go for a good copywriting course that guides you through the core fundamentals of copywriting.
If you’re willing to learn the craft of copywriting, one of the finest courses that bring you a lot more than just copywriting is the IIM SKILLS content writing master course (CWMC). This course guides you through 15+ types of content writing, including copywriting.
The content writing course by IIM SKILLS is known popularly in India and abroad and trains over 10,000+ students from more than 30 countries. The course structure has been designed so that the students get deeper insights into the craft of copywriting.
Industry Aligned and Practical Course:
One of the key highlights of the course is that it is convenient in nature that means the students get to have their hands on every module and learn through practice and not just theory.
The course is very much industry-aligned. The topics covered through this course are structured according to the current industry standards, which helps the students learn the present trends and followed practices of the copywriting industry.
IIM SKILLS Content Writing Master Course can be beneficial for those who genuinely want to know everything from copywriting to its very professional and practical aspects. Moreover, the course provides complete placement assistance to the students in which they get to learn about the best career path they shall try on.
Case Studies and Lifetime Access:
There are 2 case studies involved in the course, which gives a very detailed and insightful view of how content writing works for businesses. Last but not least about this wonderful course is that the contents, study material and everything else will be available to the student for the rest of their lives.
Yes, IIM SKILLS provides complete lifetime assistance to the students who complete the course successfully, which means they can continue to access their LMS and the study material for as long as they want.
These were some important points about the IIM SKILLS content writing master course, one of the finest resources out there that you can definitely use to learn and master copywriting. The reviews of this course are quite convincing and suggest that it is worth spending the time, energy and money on.
Career as Copywriter: Present and Future?
Before learning what copywriting is, students must first know about the scope of copywriting shortly. Well, to be precise, the scope of copywriting appears to be even better than that of content writing shortly.
As the number of article readers and the time people spend reading articles have reduced drastically, the content writing industry might be disturbed. Still, the demand for copywriters never went down. In fact, as compared to recent years, businesses need more copywriters than ever.
May it be for their website home pages, About Us page, Bio for social profiles, or landing page content, not many people can write content that makes the audience interact with your product, pages, and content.
So, as far as the future of copywriting is concerned, it looks like quite a fruitful career. However, one needs to have outstanding amounts of creativity and writing abilities to stand out and make a perfect living out of copywriting.
For beginners who have freshly started copywriting, the advice would be to remain patient until they get a taste of what working on different projects and clients is like and as they start to gain more expertise on the subject, they can start charging more as well as expect to make a living off copywriting.
There’s a huge opportunity for copywriters in the Television industry, and usually, the copywriters are paid really well, especially in the TV industry. Those who write TV commercials, Radio Ads, and even the jingles are quite well-paid professionals.
Therefore, it can be derived that copywriting at present and shortly also will bring many opportunities, and the copywriters can expect to earn good money. Considering the present status of the industry, copywriters are paid very well, and there’s a lot of space and opportunity in the industry for newcomers.
Frequently Asked Questions- FAQs
Q. What is Copywriting?
Ans- Copywriting is basically the art of writing content mainly intended to persuade the audience to take some kind of action, whether it be subscribing to a newsletter, making a payment, enrolling in a webinar, etc.
Q. What is the need for copywriting?
Ans- The core purpose of developing such compelling pieces of copy is that reaching huge audiences with such content would generate more engagement, audience attention, leads, and, in many cases, sales. Businesses are mostly in need of copywriting for their websites, social media pages, and other channels to advertise look creative, attractive, and generated engagement with the audience
Q. What are the fundamental pillars of writing a good copy?
Ans- Well, understanding the basics of developing a good copy is very important. There are 3 pillars on which a good copy can be written: clarity, readability, and creativity.
These 3 elements, when strategically used in any copy, can yield really great results. On and above everything else mentioned, it is also important for one to learn the technical details and core terminologies of copywriting to become a professional.
If you were wondering and had questions in mind like what is copywriting, how is it done, where to learn copywriting, etc., this article must have provided you with all the necessary details? Well, here’s a short and summarized version of all that you read above:
Copywriting is basically the art of writing content mainly intended to persuade the audience to take some kind of action, whether it be subscribing to a newsletter, making a payment, enrolling in a webinar, etc.
The core purpose of developing such compelling pieces of copy is that reaching huge audiences with such content would generate more engagement, audience attention, leads, and, in many cases, sales. Businesses are mostly in need of copywriting for their websites, social media pages, and other channels to advertise look creative, attractive, and generated engagement with the audience.
You’ll likely find traces of copywriting in these 3-4 areas, they are:
- Product Description
- Landing Pages
- Social Media
Certain practices constitute the making of a good copy that actually converts audiences into leads and potential sales. These practices, when followed in the right way, can bring really amazing results.
Some of Those Practices Are:
Understanding the psychology and sentiment of the audience, knowing what grabs attention, and more importantly, knowing how to write a wonderful piece of copy.
Well, understanding the basics of developing a good copy is very important. There are 3 pillars on which a good copy can be written: clarity, readability, and creativity.
These 3 elements, when strategically used in any copy, can yield really great results. On and above everything else mentioned, it is also important for one to learn the technical details and core terminologies of copywriting to become a professional.
Just knowing the theoretical concepts wouldn’t help, and therefore, one needs actually to learn and practice the craft of copywriting. So, if one were to learn to Copywrite, the best course for doing so is the IIM SKILLS content writing master course.
This course is rated as the best for several reasons, including placement assistance, practical course, international certifications, expert trainers, lifetime access, alumni status, wonderful reviews, and much more.
At least you may consider attending one of the free live online demo sessions on their website and then make a call if you shall be joining the course or not. The last and one of the most important queries that every copywriter or aspiring writer has is about the future in this profession.
Well, copywriting is a very fruitful career option to consider, and considering the kind of work involved in copywriting, the payouts are considerably good. It appears that the scope of content writing is going to increase with more opportunities coming into the space.
This was a complete guide about what copywriting is, and hopefully, many of you were able to derive some value through the article. We would love to hear your feedback through comments that keeps fueling our motivation to develop such content as well as helps us become better every time you point a mistake.
Other Professional Courses