Easy Guide to Copywriting: Let's Write Your First Article
Have you ever wanted to write an interesting caption for a post on your favorite social network, without knowing where to start? You probably have the concept in mind, but you also have many doubts about how to best engage your audience.
Or more likely you are struggling with writing an article that can increase your authority in the field in which you are becoming expert, but you are afraid of writing the most boring article in the world.
Let me tell you something: if you have no knowledge or no experience in copywriting, the risk that your article will get lost in the depths of the web is high.
Search engines (such as Google) are in fact places where it is easy to find the information you are looking for, because they are very careful to hide all contents that are not useful for users.
But there is also good news: knowing some key rules, many people will notice and appreciate your content.
By the end of this guide about copywriting for beginners, you'll know exactly how to write much more effectively.
Yeah, because writing in order to achieve objectives has a lot to do with copywriting. If you are reading this term for the first time, let's see what copywriting actually is:
It is the activity of writing texts to attract and capture the attention of the target, having a specific purpose.
In the field of marketing, all these techniques are used to increase the customers (or potential customers) of a company. Or alternatively, to improve relationships with existing customers.
If you want to know more about what a copywriter does and how to work as a copywriter, in this article you will find useful information.
In your case, some of these skills will help you write an article that highlights the knowledge acquired through study and application in your field.
Without wasting time, let's get into what you need to know to write effectively according to copywriting principles.
Before we even write anything, we need to understand why this is a very powerful skill.
Why writing skills are important?
Partially, we have already understood it. But there is more.
In fact, being able to write effectively means above all knowing how to communicate. Knowing how to communicate gives you the ability to get what you want.
Some of your goals might be:
Having a better relationship with your partner, family or friends.
Improving your relationship with colleagues, with your boss or with your employees.
Writing interesting and effective content for social media.
So, the answer to the question “who needs copywriting skills?” is “everyone”.
How to do it, practically?
This brings us to the first point of this guide. Find out by continuing to read.
1. Choose the right topic and make it yours
How to recognize the right topic? Obviously, a topic you know.
If you wrote about a topic you don't know anything about, I'm sure your audience would notice it after a few words.
On the other hand, if you write about topics you know, it will be positively perceived by the reader. You will use the right words and you will be able to organize concepts in a way that is easy to understand.
But what if you have to write about a topic you don't know?
Simply get informed. Begin to understand the topic you will have to write about, keeping in mind that you will always have to add value to that topic.
Something that only you, as an individual, can bring into the content.
Copying is not only unprofessional, but it will be severely penalized by Google and users who read your article. If you consult one or more sources, remember to include them, just like I did at the end of the article.
2. Understand your audience (and what they're looking for)
Do you remember the last time you chatted with someone who talked so much that you didn't have a break to answer? this is typical for people who hardly listen to their interlocutors.
You have to avoid this mistake, especially if you are writing an article for the web. In fact, you are writing for those who will read you, not for yourself.
To be effective, you need to listen and put yourself in your reader's shoes, ask yourself these questions about who will read your article:
How old is he?
Is he male or female?
Where does he live?
What are his wishes?
What are his fears and his problems?
What do you look online to solve his problems?
I guarantee that after building your reader's identikit, you will avoid many of the obstacles that prevent you from writing fluently.
Now that we have seen the starting point, let's move on to one of the most useful parts for those who are starting to write online: how to organize information and paragraphs.
The truth is that this is difficult for those who never did it, but don't worry.
I have prepared an infographic for you that will be helpful to organize all the information, regardless of the topic you want to write about.
Keep reading and everything will make more sense to you.
3. The effective text structure
I'll show you something I wanted to see too, when I started writing online. This inverted pyramid will give you an idea of the most important information, and how to organize them.
After you've seen how to highlight different types of information in your article, here's a short list of things you'll want to include in the structure of your article to make it easier to navigate:
It helps Google to understand what you are talking about. Furthermore, writing a good title is essential because based on it the reader will decide whether to open your article. It has to be a catchy title, but the one that keeps its promises.
Try to create a bit of mystery, without explaining everything. A couple of formulas for your title could be: "How to [objective]"; "[N °] of things for [objective or benefit]".
They are useful for distinguishing paragraphs. An example would be: “before you start [objective]”.
These could be videos, infographics, tables and anything that can allow a better understanding of the concept.
Write as if you were talking to a friend. You would give only the best advice to a friend. Invite your readers to give their opinion or comment. To do this, it is also important to include a short initial introduction where you explain the topic and the benefits you will get after reading.
Help users to read:
To do this, divide the text into short paragraphs avoiding blocks of text. Better to use bullet points, numbered lists and easy-to-read fonts (example: Arial).
Fonts like Times New Roman make it more difficult to read because they have dashes at the ends of the letters.
Also remember to highlight keywords in your text. Keywords are words (or phrases) that can be typed by users on Google or other search engines to find information, products or services on a specific topic.
These elements will greatly help users navigate sections in your article better. Also, you will feel a sense of order in what you are writing.
And for sure, Google will start appreciate your efforts 😉.
If you are paying attention, you are noticing that I am using all the advice we have seen, to write the words you are reading now.
If you want to practice a little bit, you can check this article to find out where and when I used these techniques. Let me know if you can find them all by writing me on Linkedin.
You can find the link to my profile at the bottom of the page.
Talking about Linkedin, I have a very important piece of advice to give you. But first, I’ll ask you a question:
How reliable would you consider an article you don't even know the author's name?
Personally, I would think that the article is not so unreliable if it does not include elements such as sources consulted, name, surname and field of study of the author.
Adding also a picture of yourself will make the article even more credible.
Good. At this point you have the elements to organize the concepts and start writing and completing your article at this point.
Now you just have to publish your article, right?
We will talk about the step which precedes the publication of any article, which you have to follow in order to make your work complete.
4. Read again the article with a fresh mind making any necessary corrections
Many people think of this step as useless.
Because it may seem boring, or because you could think you've already checked it enough. On the contrary, it is the most important step.
In my personal experience, and after comparing myself with other colleagues, we realized that rereading the article with a fresh mind allowed us to find many errors and phrases that could be improved.
And this happens every single time.
What does it really mean to re-read a fresh mind?
It means that when you think you've finally finished your work, take a break and reread it the next day. Or alternatively, let a friend read your article.
Think of your article as if it was a good wine. And a good wine always rests in a barrel, to give its best when people drink it. The same has to be with your article. Let it rest all night long and then read it carefully again.
Now, if you've never written an article before, you might wonder: what exactly should I check?
I understand that this phase can be a bit complicated, which is why I have prepared a checklist that you can follow in a very simple way, to be sure that you have reviewed everything.
Let's see it together!
Regarding clarity and accuracy:
Are there sentences that I could have written in a simpler way?
Was I specific enough?
Did I use very technical words that my reader may not know?
If any person reads my article, does he/she understand it
Is the text pleasant to read?
Are the sources authoritative?
Regarding spelling and syntax:
Are there any typing errors?
Did I leave double spaces between the words?
Are there repetitions that I can replace with synonyms?
Are there any long sentences that I can shorten?
Is the punctuation correct?
Regarding visual consistency and formatting:
Is the text divided into blocks?
Does each block have a title of the same size?
Are the keywords bolded?
Can bullet points be used to help the reader?
Did I let the text rest enough after writing it?
Did I reread the text aloud?
Can another person read my text?
After making the final corrections... you are ready to publish your article!
In conclusion, what are the aspects that will make the difference when you write your article?
1. Avoid talking about a topic that bores you.
The lack of passion will be immediately perceived by your reader, who will close your article after five seconds.
2. Create an identikit of your potential readers.
Thanks to this identikit, you'll start writing to solve their needs. We have seen how, in the dedicated section.
3. Give structure to the text, in order to make clear the subdivision of the sections.
Choose the right font and leave the right spaces, to make it easier to read.
4. Let the text rest for a while and reread it with a fresh mind.
Or, ask a friend to read it. Improve anything that can be improved.
Is this all you need to know about online writing?
By applying principles of copywriting, you will be able to take your online communication to another level. However, copywriting is a subject which need to be studied and practiced on a regular basis.
Technology evolves quickly, and communicating through it may change, although the basic principles remain the same.
We communicate every moment of our life and doing it effectively allows us to have a great positive impact on the world around us.
I hope this article was useful to you and I wish you to write something great,
P.S. I would appreciate if you could leave a comment with some feedback below the post. It costs you a few minutes, and is a source of great satisfaction for me!
Connect with Girolamo Fanizza on LinkedIn
A digital marketer with a real passion for strategy and food. I found my dimension in Vision Factory to experiments what I learn by creating engaging content that helps digital marketers develop their skills with actionable advice.