Copy Writing 101: Everything You Need to Know About Copy Writing | SteadyContent
You are currently viewing Copy Writing 101: Everything You Need to Know About Copy Writing

Copy Writing 101: Everything You Need to Know About Copy Writing

Copy writing is widely considered to be one of the loftiest forms of writing, right behind the noble fictional author. However, while novelists are usually entirely independent, copywriters can work as either a freelancer or an employee. As far as writing jobs go, being a copywriter is highly desirable.

Your words can make or break a business. If you’re interested in the profession, or you’re looking to find a qualified copywriter for your company, we’ve got everything you need to know. So let’s start with the basics.

What Is Copy Writing?

Copy writing is any kind of writing designed to sell. The term “copy” refers to the text itself. The use of this term stems from the idea that the text used for advertising would be “copied” at high volumes, which was the norm back when print advertising ruled the day.

Today, of course, most copywriters will publish their work on web pages. Nevertheless, many businesses still rely on print advertising, among other forms. Regardless of where your copy ends up, if you’re writing for the purpose of selling, you’re a copywriter!

Copy is commonly placed on product pages or service descriptions. Your goal is to grab the reader’s attention, inform them while also piquing their interest in the product or service, and then motivate them to take action. That action would ideally be buying your product or hiring your company for its services. Interestingly, this practice is hardly new.

A Brief History of the Profession

We have archaeological findings that show evidence of copy dating all the way back to the days of the Babylonians! Written advertising is nearly as old as writing itself. Of course, it used to be much harder to do as each copy had to be produced by hand. Once the printing press arrived, the game changed.

The 1800s and 1900s saw the profession grow into a proper form of employment. Advertising as a career grew during this time and was heavily influenced by poets like Ezra Pound, whose minimalist style encouraged companies to write less and say more. Compare an old Coke ad from the 30s or 40s to one from the 60s: the former is chock full of text while the latter is simple and elegant.

The propagation of the internet has revolutionized the way we read copy, and therefore how we write it. A 20th-century copywriter would find today’s scene virtually unrecognizable. Even though many of the skills needed are the same, how we apply them has changed dramatically in recent years.

Modern Challenges for Copywriters

A copywriter in 2021 has to overcome a plethora of challenges. Readers are nothing like what they used to be, and copy is increasingly constricted by SEO best practices and format rules. In the past, all you had to worry about was the size of the paper your work was printed on. Today, you have many more issues to address if you want your copy to shine.

Whether you’re an aspiring copywriter or looking to hire one, you need to take these obstacles into consideration if you want to produce copy that truly sells:

New Formats

These days, more people read on mobile than on their desktop PCs. This presents a unique challenge for copywriters. The old newspaper margins were fixed; columns were set by the periodical and printed to spec. But now, you have no idea how wide a user’s screen is or how much text you can fit into a given space.

This means you have to shoot for the mean. Consider the average size of a mobile device and how much text it can comfortably display. This shift to smaller screens has led to shorter paragraphs and sentences. Your elementary school English teacher would weep if she knew.

A professional copywriter tests their work in several formats before publishing it. Web designers now have to work hand in hand with copywriters to ensure that the copy displays well across all platforms.

Readers’ Expectations

There’s something of a “chicken or the egg” debate here. Are reader expectations being conditioned by what copywriters do? Or are the copywriters responding to readers’ preferences? The truth is somewhere in between.

Although we often hear that people’s attention spans are shorter, this isn’t entirely true. People can still pay attention, but only if their interest is aroused by your work. What has changed is how long we’re willing to give something a try. People are more likely to ditch material they don’t like within a minute, whereas we used to be more forgiving.

So you have to get to the point quickly and keep your copy engaging. Do you ask your readers questions? Dropping shocking facts can be effective, as well. Controversial titles earn clicks which can translate into sales. Readers expect quality copy every time, and it’s your job to deliver.

Expiration Dates

An ad 50 years ago could run for almost a decade. Today, however, copy goes stale faster than bread left out on the counter. In part, this is due to the wealth of information available to us. Statistics quickly become outdated, new news stories and world events alter the context of a piece of copy, and trends have to be chased.

As a result, copywriters frequently have to reinvent the wheel. The same product may have its copy rewritten annually just to keep it fresh and relevant.

Visibility

One of the biggest problems in the copy writing world today is how to make your copy stand out. The internet has democratized advertising to the point where anyone can create a website and publish their copy for the cost of a pricey lunch. That means that your work has to compete with hundreds of similar texts, all vying for the same eyeballs.

This creates a conundrum. On one hand, you want your copy to be flawless, motivating, and thoroughly engaging. On the other hand, if a writer produces the best copy on the planet, and no one reads it, your copy ultimately makes no impact. Striking a balance between these two objectives is crucial for copywriters.

SEO is touted as the solution to this problem, but SEO presents its own challenges for the writing process.

How SEO Impacts Copy

Many copywriters detest SEO because they feel it taints the purity of their work. However, it’s possible to have good SEO and good copy on the same page. Perhaps a better way to think of SEO is to think of it as a raw material used in construction.

An architect has to respect the laws of physics and the properties of the materials she uses to design a building. SEO strategies are the laws of copy writing physics.

Architects likewise have to take local factors into consideration. A seismic zone calls for earthquake-resistant construction. Cultural customs may dictate the building’s layout. Similarly, SEO goes beyond headings and keywords. You have to understand what people are looking for now and what they’re willing to read.

Copy Vs Content

A common misconception is that writing content and writing copy are the same thing. While some aspects may overlap, these two branches of writing are quite different from one another. Content writers tend to cover an enormous range of topics, hitting each one once or twice. Meanwhile, a copywriter, as we mentioned, will likely write copy about the same product or company several times over.

Content writers also tend to write longer pieces. Copy, in contrast, is usually more concise. When your goal is to sell something, you can’t ramble on forever. So, while copy focuses on outbound marketing, content is more of an inbound approach.

How to Become a Successful Copywriter

With the number of people working at home on the rise, there has been a surge of inquiries about freelance writing. However, it’s not a job that just anyone can do. Writing is as much a craft and an art form as painting or sculpting.

You’ll need a strong command of the English language, with error-free copy. A broad vocabulary will help you find the right word for any occasion. Familiarity with SEO strategies is also a must in this day and age. Do you have what it takes?

If you do, you should apply for a position at SteadyContent. We’re always looking for qualified writers to join our team and support businesses on their quest for quality content. If you’re a company looking for copy, look no further. We’ve already gathered dozens of skilled writers ready for your orders.

Leave a Reply

SteadyContent's PenMan

Working With a Kitchen Designer in Coconut Grove

After you purchase real estate, the first thing you may consider is changing, upgrading, or completely demolishing aspects of your home that don’t suit your needs or style. Giving your kitchen a facelift can be a surefire way to enhance your home’s aesthetics and functionality while increasing its value. In areas like Coconut Grove, Brickell, and S. Beach properties sell at a premium. Any work done should be the highest quality achievable within your budget. It’s for that reason many people consider hiring a professional designer.

Why Use a Kitchen Designer?

Working with a kitchen designer can help you achieve a polished and professional finish. The experience they have in remodeling can ultimately save you time and money. Anything more than minor changes to your kitchen, such as knobs, superficial fixtures, etc., should be handled by a professional. Considering building codes, material costs, and access to reputable contractors all add layers of complexity to your project, kitchens are not a do-it-yourself job. You will want the finished product to be accurate, safe and insurable

Types Of Professional Designers

The designer you should choose depends on the work you need to be done and where you are getting your supplies. National chains and retailers will often have designers on staff at little to no cost. There are also private designers that work on a per contract basis. Although they cost more, they may give you more impartial advice on materials and design because they rarely have direct brand affiliations.

Locating A Designer

When trying to find a designer, seeking the recommendations of friends and family is useful. Some communities like Coral Gables and Pinecrest have designers many homeowners have used with solid reputations. There are also resources like the National Kitchen and Bath Association, which list reputable designers. No matter where you locate your designer, they should have a portfolio of their previous work to review.

Honing In On A Designers Expertise

Keep in mind; designers may be more versed in some areas. If you have a modest single family home and are not looking for opulent trimmings, picking a designer that specializes in upgrading luxury real estate may not be the best way to go. Also, some owners have unique property aspects they may want to be enhanced. For example, waterfront properties have the potential for unique design ideas like open-air walls. Ask potential designers share their design strengths and note their weaknesses.

Once you have chosen a designer, prepare yourself for your consultation and design process by:
Determining your budget
Listing the pros and cons of your existing space
Having some idea of what you would like
Maintaining flexibility about what you want vs. what can be achieved
Agreeing on a time line in writing
Knowing you can ask for multiple draft plans, and agreeing to a number in writing
Minimizing the changes you make as the project progresses

Most importantly, be patient. Doing a remodel properly is a process and there will be some inconvenience to you as your project is in the works.

Our site is your premier resource for real estate related topics in Miami Beach, Coconut Grove, and the surrounding areas. If you have a question, we likely have an answer. Check out some of our other articles, blogs, and resources.

SteadyContent's PenMan

Is PRP Facial Treatment Right for You?

At the Osteopathic Center, we specialize in the latest PRP facial treatment technology and cosmetic therapies. We understand signs of aging, trauma, acne scarring, and sun damage can become heavily evident on your face and neck after time. Also, common issues, like dark under eye circles, can greatly change the way other’s perceive you. Fortunately, PRP facial rejuvenation can help restore and correct such imperfections.

 

Platelet-rich plasma, PRP, has been used as an effective treatment in orthopedic medicine, dentistry, and reconstructive surgery for 30 years. It is garnering mainstream popularity due to its proven effectiveness and organic approach to cosmetic improvements. Your own blood platelets are used in the procedure, rather than a host of chemicals, to renew the appearance of your skin.

How PRP Differs from Other Fillers

PRP facial treatment is able to stimulate your own collagen, promoting total facial rejuvenation rather than attempting to attack individual wrinkles. If your face is beginning to sink in from age it can add volume and youthful plumpness. The volumizing effect extends to under eye hollows and sunken cheeks. Also improved are skin tone, tightness, and overall texture.

 

This is in stark contrast to hyaluronic acid fillers that can be ineffective in many areas due to placement difficulty or the penetration of treatment. That said, our team can advise you on whether a pairing of the two types therapies can provide more pronounced results. What may be needed will be dependent on your skin’s condition.

How PRP Facial Treatment Works

Platelets are designed to help your body’s tissues heal and grow new cells. Your body responds best to its own cells, so using your freshly prepared PRP virtually eliminates the possibility of negative side effects. Each session only takes about 20 minutes.

 

During your session, a small amount of blood will be drawn. While your PRP is prepared your face and/or neck will be cleansed and prepped for treatment.The PRP that is injected into your skin will trigger the natural regeneration of damaged tissue and collagen production. Since PRP therapy is far less invasive than traditional plastic surgery techniques there is no post-procedure care time required.

 

Effects of your treatment will begin to show two to three weeks after your session and will improve with time.  Ideally, you will receive three treatments spaced about two weeks apart for maximum benefit.  Results can last for up to 18 months.  

SteadyContent's PenMan

5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Filing Taxes

According to data published by The Wall Street Journal, 3.7 million Americans submitted amended federal income tax returns in 2015. These amended returns were filed to take advantage of tax deductions/credits, to submit fresh financial information, and to add new income data.

It is important to note that you cannot e-file amended returns. In other words, you have to file them by sending hard copies using the USPS. The best way to avoid the extra time and expense of filing a hard-copy amendment is to get things right the first time. Here are the ways to avoid common filing mistakes:

Math Errors

Math errors are quite common on tax returns and constitute the first category of errors to be flagged, the IRS explains. In some cases, IRS employees correct computational and clerical errors.

This is especially true for paper returns, which are more likely to have missing or misquoted figures than electronically filed returns. To avoid such mistakes, double-check the figures that you provide throughout the first two pages of your returns.

Erroneous Social Security Number

This error is particularly common among people who claim a dependent exemption, because they have to list the SSNs or ITINs for their dependents. If you have dependents, you should verify all the SSNs/ITINs listed on your tax return to ensure they are correct.

One of the best ways to do this is by double-checking all the social security numbers on your tax return against the actual cards.

Alternatively, you can verify this data from the actual cardholders.

Filing Status

Another common filing mistake that you should avoid is providing an erroneous filing status. This can occur when separated couples file their returns separately while the IRS’s records show that they are still married.

To avoid having to correct your return, verify your filing status. It determines the deductions and credits you receive, and may lower your tax responsibility. Either way, make sure to use the correct filing status or you may end up with an IRS lien on your property.

Names

While it may seem absurd, many taxpayers actually misspell their names when filing their returns due to a number of reasons.

For starters, the current tax preparation software tools do not cover the entirety and cultural diversity of American names, which means they could mispronounce your name or offer a closely similar one. If you fail to verify every detail, you could enter an incorrect name on your return.

In addition, individuals who file returns on behalf of others, including tax/financial consultants may end up mispronouncing their client’s names. Divorced individuals could accidentally use the names of former spouses even after legally adopting other names.

Erroreoneous Income Details

If you are a contractor or freelance employee who receives a form 1099 for taxable income, make sure to keep detailed records of all sources of income. Also, make sure to report them correctly. Penalties from the IRS for unreported earnings are very steep.

Remember, the IRS keeps track of all legal transactions via form 1099.

The penalties for this offense vary depending on the size of unreported earnings and could include wage garnishment.

It is important to note that any federal refund, credit, or extension should be filed within three years of the original filing.

Conclusion

Every year, millions of Americans file tax returns that contain mistakes, including misspelled names, erroneous income figures, computation/math errors, erroneous Social Security Numbers, and wrong filing statuses. Avoid the hassle of amending your return by thoroughly checking your math, your status, and your name before you file.

SteadyContent's PenMan

SEO is an Investment That Grows Your Business!

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is one part of an effective website design. If you are not already using SEO, it should be part of your marketing strategy. It can be implemented quickly and easily using the right content writer. Here are 5 reasons to implement SEO today:

It Takes Time to See ROI – Get Started!

SEO is a very effective marketing strategy and can drive thousands of customers to your website monthly. However, it takes time to see ROI, or “Return On Investment.” This means implementing SEO takes patience. A recent survey shows that 94 percent of online marketers using SEO effectively plan to continue or increase their current SEO budget. Hiring an agency to create SEO content can be expensive, but the cost is worth it. The investment pays for itself in increased brand recognition and greater search and referral-driven traffic. So be patient. You will see the return on your SEO investment soon.

Golden Age Of SEO

We are in a “Golden Age” right now, where black hat tactics and manipulation are no match for SEO. There was a time when competitors could displace their competition using these underhanded strategies. Now, however, SEO reigns and your company can benefit greatly. This is the time to invest in SEO, before digital assistants and immediate answers take over the search engine territory.

Reap Greater Rewards By Compounding Returns

With every word of content you post, every link you establish, you are increasing your search visibility. This is called “Compounding Returns.” Essentially, you are building your reputation one post or link at a time. The more you put your business out there, the more authority you have on the web. The longer this goes on, the more you will reap conversions and referral traffic. The sooner you start building your reputation and compounding your interest growth, the sooner you will reap rewards.

Don’t Let Your Competitors Pull Away

The longer you wait to start utilizing SEO, the more you will lose out on high-ranking positions for lucrative keywords. Your competitors will build their defenses around their positions, making it harder to get in. They will add more targeted keywords and increase their rankings. The best way to avoid missing out is to get in now. Start using SEO today.

You’ve Nothing to Lose. Give It a Try

Don’t be intimidated by agencies that try to convince you to sign a six-month contract. There are SEO agencies out there that will work with you to accomplish your goals. Talk to professionals. Establish a budget and get started. Results will take time, but you can tweak things as you go. The sooner you get started, the better ROI you will see.

Don’t let the competition win because you didn’t join the race. Start using SEO and maximize your web exposure today.

SteadyContent's PenMan

Fund Your Retirement with Real Estate Investments

We are all familiar with the standard types of accounts when it comes to later-in-life financial planning. However, in the current economy, these accounts will only guarantee you the minimum standard of living. If you’re looking for a little luxury in your later years, consider funding your retirement through real estate investments. Real estate has been used for years by savvy individuals, and it’s your turn to join the ranks of the successfully retired.

Passive Retirement Income

Investing in real estate allows you to enjoy the benefits of a passive income. Passive income is achieved by investing in properties that will generate cash flow beyond what is needed to sustain the investment. In other words, any money you make after you pay the mortgage and upkeep the property goes into your pocket. These funds will pad your retirement, allowing you to leave the workplace and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.

Multifamily Properties Maximize Passive Retirement Income

A MDU, or multi-dwelling unit, has two or more dwellings underneath one roof. Each unit has a kitchen, living area, bathroom(s), and bedroom(s). An example of a MDU is an apartment building. Investing in one or more MDUs can maximize passive income, which we already discussed above, by providing multiple revenue streams from the purchase of one property. The income from each unit is independent of the others, meaning the loss of income from one unit will not automatically cause the loss of income from the other units. Investing in an MDU is a smart way to maximize your return, since purchasing one apartment building is easier than purchasing several single-family homes. An MDU can also guarantee you have a place to live during your retirement, since you can reside in one of the units while turning a profit on the others.

Benefits of Investing in Multi-family Properties

There are several benefits to investing in MDUs, or multi-family properties. Beyond creating passive income, let’s look at what makes MDUs especially attractive as a retirement investment.

Multiple Streams of Income
As we stated above, a multi-family property will be occupied by several, separate tenants all paying rent independently of each other. If you lose a tenant, you still have others paying rent while you fill the empty unit. There’s no such guarantee of income from a single-family home. If a single-family home is empty, it’s not generating revenue for your retirement. The same could be said for multi-unit office spaces, if you’re looking for a higher-dollar investment. Multiple units equal multiple ways to make money.

Less Expensive to Manage
When you purchase a MDU, you have the option to hire a property management company. The overhead to hire the company and manage the property will be significantly less than the overhead to manage several single-family homes. A management company will handle things like rent collection and soliciting tenants, allowing you to relax and enjoy your retirement.

Invest with Less Risk
Even in a down economy, multi-family properties usually have tenants. This means your risk is less when investing in these types of properties. You should be able to draw passive income even in harder economic times. Also, having multiple dwellings means your revenue streams are not dependent on each other. This also equals less risk.