Copywriting for Beginners: The New Actionable Guide (2021)

by Nikita Shevchenko

In this guide, I am gonna show you some of the most effective copywriting strategies that all beginners can you right now.

Specifically, you will find out how to:

So if that sounds good, let’s jump right in!



Copywriting Basics

In this chapter, you are going to learn what copywriting actually is, why it is important, and how to become a good copywriter.

Let’s begin.

What is Copywriting?

Copywriting is the process of preparing written text for persuading, informing, or advertising certain products or services to a person or a group of people.

Usually, marketing specialists use copywriting techniques to grow brand awareness, and increase conversions with sales.

Online copywriting is widely used across the web and may include sales letters, articles, press relesses and other forms of writtent content.

Why is Copywriting so Important?

With the rising demand for high-quality pieces of content, it becomes obvious that copywriting skills are more important than ever.

In fact, about 70% of employers wish to hire people with good copywriting skills. (Source)

On top of that, copywriting skills can be beneficial for marketers of all levels, small business owners, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and alike.

A well-crafted copy can help:

  • Increase conversion rates
  • Improve content quality and thus rankings
  • Showcase experience and expertise in a particular field
  • Encourage more people to share the content
  • And achieve even more goals

Where is Copywriting Used?

There are numerous mediums copywriting can be applied in.

It is used in:

  • Blogging
  • Video Production
  • Podcast Production
  • Course Creation
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing(SMM)
  • And other areas
the areas where copywriting is applied

What Exactly Does a Copywriter Do?

Here is a couple of major responsibilities that a copywriter has:

  • Market Research. A good copywriter should be capable of doing deep market research. Copywriters should know how the products or services they write about compare to the competition. They should constantly monitor market trends and see the opportunities for creating new pieces of content.
  • Customer Research. A good copywriter should be able to conduct customer research to find out what the potential(and current) customer need. It is important for launching new content marketing campaigns.
  • Brand Study. In order to produce high-quality pieces of content, a copywriting specialist needs to know what kind of brand he or she represents. A lot of things(such as writing style and content length) can depend on this knowledge.
  • Writing. This one is pretty obvious. A copywriting expert should write(a lot!). Topic selection, topic research, drafting, proofreading, and other steps of writing are involved.

How to Become a Good Copywriter?

It takes a lot of time and practice to become really good at copywriting.

For starters, you need to LOVE to read and write. It would be a good idea to start practicing on your own blog and social media channels.

And when you feel more confident you can also add extra points to your skill set.

A good copywriter should have the following skills:

  • A high level of English language. This skill lays the foundation for the rest of the list. This job requires lots and lots of writing and proofreading so a good grasp of the language is necessary.
  • Research Skills. These skills will help put the content marketing efforts into the right track and start the right way. The higher the competition level in your industry the more important the research stage becomes.
  • Persuasion. It is not rare to see how persuasion works on paper. A true copywriter is able to use written text to persuade audience perform certain actions.
  • Content Structure. Copywriting specialists are capable of structuring content the way that it looks more appealing to people and search engines. The structure encourages people to read more without interruption.
  • Advertising. Product promotion is not a hard task for copywriters. They can promote, advertise, and sell you almost anything with their copies.
a good copywriter skill set Copywriting

Now when you know everything there is to know about copywriting basics we can move on to the actionable strategies you can use to improve your content.

We will start with headlines…

How to Write an Enticing Headline

Headlines can make or break or copy.

In fact, only 2 out of 10 people tend to click on the headline and read the rest of the copy. (Source)

So your job is to find out the ways to make more people check your copy.

How do you do it?

Here are the actionable steps you can follow to create magnetic headlines.

Mate It Benefit Driven

Readers should see clear benefits they will get if they click on the article’s headline.

Otherwise they will have no reason to check your piece of content.

What can the benefit be?

  • The keyword they were looking for
  • Instant results
  • In-depths topic coverage
article headline and description Copywriting

Use Odd Numbers

Numbers help drive people’s attention to the headline. They make them catchy

And odd numbers tend to perform better than even numbers.(Source)

They look more natural and trustworthy to people.

I used it in my SEO Copywriting Guide.

odd number in the article headline Copywriting

Use Parentheses/Brackets/Percent signs

All of these signs help a lot!

They make your headlines very noticeable and help increase organic CTR.

Do not go overboard though. Include one of these signs but not all of them.

brackets in article title Copywriting

Evoke Strong Emotions

Everyone is sick and tired of generic headlines like:

How to Stop Procrastinating And Start Being Productive

Instead, pack the headlines with special words that can evoke emotions.

Here are a couple of power words you can use:

  • New
  • Proven
  • Easy
  • Secret
  • Essential
  • Now
  • Win
  • Powerful
article title power word Copywriting

Add a Positive/Negative Sentiment Word

These are the words that can trigger emotions as well.

They make your article titles way more natural and enticing.

Both positive and negative sentiment words work great and it is up to you which of them you want to include.

Let me give you a couple of examples of positive and negative sentiment words.

Positive

  • Awesome
  • Inspiring
  • Exceptional

Negative

  • Terrible
  • Awful
  • Dangerous

I would also suggest you use one of the cool blogging tools called Headline analyzer created by CoSchedule.

Now, when an awesome headline is crafted it is time to create an enticing lead that will grab your reader’s attention for good.

How to Write a Powerful Introduction

In my opinion, your copy lead should be as good as the copy headline.

It should grab reader’s attention and persuade them to check the rest of the copy.

They should decide to keep reading after they finish the introduction.

Fortunately, there are certain tips you can use to make your leads super catchy.

Let’s see them.

First Sentence = Half the Success

It is arguably the most important sentence in the copy.

And you need to make as good as it gets and try to grab the reader’s attention for good.

One of the best ways to do that is to start talking to the reader immediately.

Here are the phrases you may try:

  • “You know that feeling when…”
  • “Have you ever wondered?”
  • “Does this sound familiar to you?”
  • “In this ___, you will find out about___”

Your lead Should Resonate

The reader should find something personal in your lead.

Something that will make them want to check the rest of the article.

It is not that hard to do when you do topic research and analyze user intent.

For example, in one of my recent articles, I have put the following phrases in the introduction:

quality copy lead Copywriting

All of the bullet point were put in the article introduction to receive more engagement and drive more attention.

Describe the headline

This technique is very easy to implement.

The main principle of this trick is to hook the reader with your headline and make a smooth transition to the lead.

This way you will make sure that the readers will not go anywhere at least until they read the first part of the copy.

Short and Straight to the point

There is no need to make an introduction too long.

Its purpose is to grab the reader’s attention and make them proceed to the main part of the article.

So remember to keep it short and clear.

This way you will avoid unnecessary pogo sticking and reduce the bounce rate.

Readers will want to see the rest of the content.

Clear Call to Action(CTA)

It makes the reader proceed to the rest of the copy and check the whole article out.

Keep it short as well.

The phrases below may be helpful:

  • Let’s begin
  • Let’s jump right in
  • Check it out right now

Clear CTAs may also improve website user experience.

When you have optimized an introduction you can go on and work on the main part of your copy.

How to Write a Good Copy

In this part, you will learn how to create a compelling copy for your online business.

Specifically, you will see the great tips that will help you write awesome copies for:

  • Blog Posts
  • Email Newsletters
  • Social Media Posts
  • Video Scripts
  • Landing Pages
  • And more

Let’s check them out!

Create a clear structure

People don’t usually read on web. (Source)

Clear structure helps readers skim over text faster and without a big effort.

Here is how I improve the structure for my articles:

  • I create many subheadings. This post alone has 36 subheadings and some of my other posts have more than 50 subheadings!
  • Lots of visuals. All my written content is packed with various images. I include at least 7 images per article.
  • Bullet Points/Lists/Tables. These additional elements increase your content quality and prolong time spent on the page.

In fact, this simple table that explains the difference between local and general SEO is one of the reasons why this post performs so well.

local and general seo differences table Copywriting

Use short paragraphs and sentences

Try not to use huge blocks of text that no one likes to read. They look extremely challenging in the age of YouTube and Tik Tok.

Simplicity and minimalism are the key.

By writing short paragraphs and sentences you are making sure that the reader does not lose interest.

This practice raises the level of comprehension as well. (Source)

Also, people don’t usually read online, they skim the text.

Let me explain what I mean.

Which of these texts is easier to read?

article text readibility Copywriting

Avoid complicated words

Fancy words work great in research papers, science books, and encyclopedias.

Academic content creators are supposed to use fancy words to better explain hard concepts and make their works look more authoritative.

Online marketing and copywriting are different.

If we talk about selling copies, blog posts, email newsletters, and social media posts they don’t work that good!

Instead, try to use less complicated words.

  • ManipulateUse
  • ExhibitShow
  • AttemptTry

Write for one person

Forget about writing to all people in the world.

Your readers should feel themselves unique and special.

So instead of talking to “everybody and nobody” try to write for only one person.

  • A lot of people have this problem in common… If you are same as me, you probably had this problem before…
  • Lots of people don’t understand that… I think you understand that…
  • Nobody wants to hear about…I guess you want to hear about…

Use active voice

Active voice helps your copy look more natural.

It also looks much better and makes the reading process more smooth.

There are many tools on the web (like Grammarly and Hemingway app) that can help you improve your writing and check the passive voice usage.

That’s not to say that you should completely avoid passive voice in the content.

Just try to use it less often.

And to make the copywriting process even more pleasant for you, I have created a couple of time-tested templates that will allow you to apply your newly-gained knowledge faster.

Use These Tested Copywriting Templates

It would be a waste of time if you start writing every single copy from scratch.

Why should you?

Good thing that you can use the already-made templates to create persuasive copies in no time.

This chapter is packed with a couple of great copywriting templates you can use in your next project.

Let’s see them.

Blog Post Template

The template you can see below is good for writing in-depths guides and long form content. Both of them are great from content marketing and SEO.

These types of blog posts will help you blog rank higher in search and build your authority as a creator.

a blog post template for successful copywriting
  • Blog Post Title
  • Introduction
  • H2 Subheadings
  • H3 Subheadings (within H2 sections)
  • Short list-post (within H3 sections)
  • Conclusion
  • CTA

Email Newsletter Template

You have to be crystal clear with your email newsletters.

Their structure should be as simple as possible.

The reason?

People get tons of emails and they don’t have enough time to read each of them.

So make it short as it is shown on the example below:

email newsletter template Copywriting

Email Newsletter Structure

  • Subject line. Clear and catchy subject line.
  • The first line. Straight to the point.
  • Main points. 1-3 units will be enough.
  • CTA. Not too long. One sentence is fine.

Landing Page Template

Landing pages can be the main driving force of your sales.

They should be structured in such a way that can bring more leads and sales.

Which means it should be perfect!

Let’s see the template below:

landing page template Copywriting

Landing Page Structure

  • Headline. You need to include a clear benefit in it.
  • Social Proof. This element will help boost conversion rates.
  • PSP formula. Describe the problem people have. Provide a solution. Advertise your product.
  • CTA. A clear call to action button.

Sales Copy Template

You can use sales copies to promote your products, services, courses, and more.

The template below works great:

sales letter template Copywriting

And when you have all of these copywriting templates in your arsenal nothing can stop you from producing high quality pieces of content.

If you want to improve your copies significantly, it is time to see some of the best techniques from true wordsmith experts.

Let’s check’em out!

Bonus #1: Copywriting Secrets From the Pros

In this bonus chapter, you will find out some of the best copywriting strategies that industry experts use to attract customers, drive leads, and persuade people to do pretty much everything they want them to do.

Let’s check them out.

Come Up with a unique selling proposition(USP)

Unique selling proposition(or USP) should be one of the main parts of your business and content marketing campaigns.

You need to include it in all sales letters and other advertising and promotional content.

How do you come with a good USP?

You need to answer the following questions:

  • Why should anyone use your products/services?
  • What separates you from the competition?
  • What benefits do your customers get?

Reading A-Z has 3 crystal clear USP on their page.

  • Close Reading
  • Shared Reading Books
  • Assessments
raz kids unique selling proposition Copywriting

Outline The Benefits

Talking about your product features can certainly help your business to some extent but only benefits will bring you sales.

The potential customers should know exactly how your product/service can help them.

The benefits should include the solution your clients are searching for.

  • Optimize Your WebsiteIncrease Your Search Rankings
  • Improve Your HeadlinesGet More Visitors
  • Create a Better CourseGet More Course Sales

Leverage Social Proof

Social proof is one of the most powerful conversion rate optimization techniques out there.

It is also one of the most valuable elements in you sales copy.

Here are a few social proof examples:

  • The number of subscribers
  • The number of readers
  • Big brand mentions
  • The number of happy customers

Here is a good example of GeneratePress using social proof:

generatepress reviews Copywriting

But sometimes it can be really tough to demonstrate social proof, especially if you are launching a new product.

Here you deal with social proof paradox.

How to solve social proof paradox?

Work with what you can.

  • Do you have only 5 happy customers? Mention them!
  • Do you have only 100 subscribers? Mention the biggest companies!
  • Do you have only 1000 readers? Mention how satisfied they are!

kill the doubt

Customers usually need an extra nudge that will help them make a purchase.

That is why many copywriting pros include huge Q&A blocks in their copies.

The question they use are usually those that might appear in the customers’ minds before the purchase.

The most common questions you may mention are:

  • Who is this for?
  • Is this right for me?
  • How can this help me?
  • What will I actually get?
  • How can I access the product?

Sean Cannell uses a huge Q&A block on his landing page:

think media landing page qa block Copywriting

Use Clear and Strong CTAs

Crystal clear call to action is a MUST-HAVE element in any piece of content.

People usually need to know what to do next, and usually it is not clear to them what step they should take.

Your job is to tell them exactly what they should do.

Make your CTA clear, short, and strong!

You can use the following examples:

  • Download Now
  • Subscribe Now
  • Click On The Button
  • Leave the Comment Below
  • Hit the “Subscribe” Button
  • Get Your Quote Right Now

See how I use the word “Now” in a couple of CATs?

This is another great technique copywriting phenomenon called “Sence of Urgency“.

Speaking of which…

Create Sence of urgency

Your potential customers should have an itching feeling under their skin when they see your product description.

You should make your sales copy so good that people cannot help but purchase your product.

In order to make it possible I suggest you use a good old marketing trick – “Sence of Urgency Creation”.

You can do it by including some of the phrases below:

  • “All sales end on September 10th”
  • “Limited time”
  • “The enrollment closes on Wednesday”
  • “Don’t miss out this opportunity”
  • “Only 14 left”

Now you know exactly how to leverage some of the best copywriting strategies to expand your business and grow sales online.


Which of the strategies are you going to try first?

Leave your thoughts and questions in the comment section below.

Also, add me on LinkedIn or follow me on Instagram, I share some useful stuff there 😉

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