‘Member, when all you needed, was a writer who could turn out a few blog posts a month?
Like handwritten notes, mixed taps and the pain of a dial-up connection – these are all thing of the past. Today, a copywriter needs to have cross discipline competence on a range of topics to be a successful force in content marketing.
Here are the five essential skills that all copywriters need to master to stay competitive and craft clickable, shareable and converting copy.
1. Creating Compelling Headlines
“On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. It follows that unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money.” – David Ogilvy
In the world of content creation, headlines hold all the power. According to a study done by Quick Sprout, 8 of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest of your post.
While it is a troupe at the moment to turn out headlines to a formula, successful copywriters keep their headlines unique.
Spending time crafting a compelling and clickable headline is a skill all copywriters need to master. There is no point slaving over an informative blog post if your headline does not entice readers to find out more.
2. A Master of Different Writing Styles
A copywriting wordsmith wears many hats. None more so than their ability to adapt to the brief. From blogging to landing pages, each scenario has their distinct writing style.
Ad copy needs to short and persuasive; white papers are long, detailed and address a problem with a solution; and news is informational with the core of the story at the top.
The more styles you can master, the more valuable and in demand a copywriter you will be.
3. SEO Copywriting Techniques
An understanding of SEO copywriting techniques is a must-have skill all copywriters need to have today to stay competitive. Phrases such as keyword research, anchor text, and metadata should be part of your vocabulary as much as “Yes, I want extra fries with that.”
But it’s not enough just to have a through SEO knowledge; a sought after copywriter needs to keep abreast with SEO trends as well as search engine algorithm updates.
According to Kevin Bauer, copy manager at SEO firm in Chicago (see SEO Services USA) copywriters with strong SEO skills should be able to write content that is easily searchable and meets the following criteria:
- Unique never before indexed content.
- Includes researched long tail keywords and synonyms.
- Includes title and description metadata.
- Images have alt tags.
- Appropriate anchor text to internal and external web pages.
4. Social Media and Community Building
“Content is fire; social media is gasoline.” ~ Jay Baer
There is no value in writing a piece of copy that isn’t shareable. Gone are the days of trying to sell a product with the hard sell. Instead, we have entered the golden age of permission marketing. It’s getting your ideal customer to buy into what you are selling through your brand’s personality and the curing their pain points with a solution.
Understanding this is crucial to writing content that engages a client’s audience and compels them to share it with their network. You want to create an article, news piece or white paper that makes the reader look informed and helpful by sharing to their audience.
Social Media creates an engaged community that wants to participate in the conversation and ends with them coming back for more, subscribing or signing up for that gated piece of content.
5. Knowledge of Analytics
A mark of an excellent copywriter is their ability to analyze their writing. Successful writers need to know how well their content is received online. This is why it is an important skill to be able to interpret site metrics.
Copywriters need to know:
* How their content is ranking.
* Search engine traffic click throughs.
* Page views and bounce rates.
* Popularity on social media.
By taking the time to analyze your content you can find out which pieces are appealing to the site’s readers. It will help you create more content that is meeting your audience’s needs and increase the number of quality leads.
Invest in yourself and your career. Master these five skills and help your clients achieve a better ROI by helping them effectively reach their customers.