What is online copywriting? And can I learn how to do it?
Copywriting is writing that grabs the attention of potential clients or customers and persuades them to buy—or at least persuades them to contact your business and allow you to sell to them.
Copywriting is not just a statement of features, benefits or brags about your product. It starts with the copywriter asking questions and doing research to understand who your potential customers are and what motivates them. Without that initial step, your ad or web site could be focused on the wrong people, the wrong motivations—the wrong sales pitch.
Above all, copywriting appeals to emotions, even in selling high tech products or services. A good copywriter gets inside the head of the potential customer and writes in a way that helps turn potential buyers into actual customers or clients.
Copywriting for print, such as newspaper ads, magazine ads, brochures or direct mail campaigns, differs from broadcast (TV or radio) copywriting. In fact, all those types of print copywriting differ somewhat from each other. Direct mail, for example, is a highly specialized form of copywriting for which successful practitioners are highly paid—and well worth their wages.
Even in the same campaign, the style and content needed for print, broadcast, web, and mobile media may need to be quite different to reach the right people—your potential customers—and to motivate them to buy or to take some other action.
Broadcast copywriting is different from copywriting for print, and both are different from web copywriting. But each specialty requires the ability to grab attention, motivate the customer to action, or persuade them to buy.
Just as online copywriting differs from print copywriting, so does mobile copywriting differ from web writing. There is less space, of course, so copy must be briefer and even more persuasive. And just as mobile site layout and graphics should different from the regular web, so should the sales copy.
So you might say copywriting is both a skill and a talent. Some people are naturally more talented at copywriting, but almost anyone can learn to do it with proper training.
You can learn to write effective ad copy, either to promote your own business or to make a great living doing copywriting for others.