What Writing Skills Does Your Copywriter Need?

Matthew Nanan
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It used to be that hiring a copywriter with decent writing skills was all you needed to run a successful marketing campaign. Times have changed.

Today, it’s more difficult than ever to produce great content. Customers are now experiencing content shock, and are consistently being overwhelmed with information. However, this does not mean that you've missed your chance at success.

Marketers are now taking advantage of this fact to excel in the busy marketplace. They are producing copy that reaches the needs of their target audiences. And who produces that copy? Copywriters!

Warren Buffet, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway said, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get."

Hiring a copywriter with excellent writing skills is a must in today’s demanding market. However, with so many copywriters out there, you may find it difficult to differentiate between the good writers and the great writers.

Some copywriters claim they are very good, but many end up being amateurs or mediocre at their job. If you hire an unskilled copywriter, you will watch your business and your brand silently die. 

Every successful business in this day and age has a dedicated copywriting team. More often than not, they go to a freelance website to find them. You see, generating copy isn’t difficult. In fact, it’s relatively easy to find a copywriter these days. However, copywriting is no longer just about writing. Creating really good content requires involvement, research and awareness.

A recent study by Copywriter Today concluded that readers are spending a median of 37 seconds to read articles. That’s not even a minute!

Consumers are overwhelmed with advertisements, pop-ups, and Chatbots all day long. What does this mean? Simply appearing on your customers' news feed is not enough to close them on a product or service.

Today, I’m going to go over five concrete writing skills your copywriter needs in order to stand out in today’s competitive market.

1. Polished Writing Skills

What do I mean by polished writing skills? The very best writers develop healthy habits through practice and experience.

Let me make something very clear: Copywriting is not creative writing.

A massive mistake copywriters make is not making their writing easy to read. Many people feel that lengthy sentences and complex words show expertise. But instead, it just confuses the reader and encourages them to click away.

An article by Hemingway Editor suggests that you should assume your reader is at no more than a sixth grade level.

When hiring a top copywriter, ask them for a sample of the type of work they have done. The very best writers develop habits that drive results, and feed action within their readers. Here is a list of what to look for in a copywriter's work.

  1. Easy to read content

  2. Simple topics

  3. Great use of transition words

  4. Attention-grabbing headlines

  5. Simple vocabulary

Additionally, a copywriter’s work should be free of grammatical errors. This does not imply you should hire a copywriter who is a grammar tyrant. After all, there are services such as Grammarly and Language Tool who can do the work for you.

So when hiring a copywriter for your marketing campaign, ensure they have polished writing skills. This will save you countless wasted hours and the headache of editing their work.

2. Write Compelling and Customized Headlines

Let me ask you a question. When a customer reads your headline for the first time, what do you want them to take away from it? Maybe you want them to give your product a chance, or you would like them to share your brand on their social media. Whatever your goal is, in order for your customer to take action, they must resonate with your copy.

I know you can’t satisfy 100% of your traffic. If you try to make everyone happy, you’ll make no one happy. Trust me. So what can you do instead?

On of the most important writing skills a copywriter can have is the ability to entice emotion with their words. How can you do this? Easy. You have to know exactly who you are speaking to.

A study by QuickSprout concluded that 80% of viewers read the headline but not the body copy.

That said, ensure your headline is simple and to the point. If your copywriter can connect with your customers through their headline alone, this will instill trust and loyalty in your brand.

A great way to do this is for your copywriter to create unique headlines. No one wants to read the same thing over and over again. If a copywriter cannot create a compelling headline, then it doesn’t matter how great their writing skills are.

So don’t look for a wordsmith, poet, or journalist. Hire a copywriter with the writing skills to craft a simple, yet compelling headline that resonates with your brand and your customers.

3. Be Aware of the User Experience

Being aware of the user’s experience is one of the most important writing skills a copywriter should have. If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this article, it's that people are no longer using their computers to shop online.

A recent study by OptinMonster revealed that 51% of shoppers prefer to use their mobile devices to find new brands and products.

So you may be asking yourself, why is this statistic important? Well you see, in a fast-paced market, people don’t have the time to sit behind their computer and shop for products. Instead, they prefer the convenience of their smartphone or mobile device.

A great example of this could be a landing page. The number one thing you don’t want to do is frustrate your customer. Issues such as long loading times, difficult to read text, or clustered web pages can really turn off your target audience.

So take the time to ask your copywriter what user experience means to them. In some cases, it’s more beneficial to hire a copywriter who understands the user experience more than SEO. If your writer focuses on the user, the SEO issues will take care of themselves.

That being said, the trick is to find a copywriter who has a laser-like focus on creating the best content for your target audience. This will increase the traffic towards your brand and open up more opportunities for you to close more sales. So hire a copywriter with the right mindset and writing skills to maximize your customers' experience with your brand.

4. Experience and Specialization in Specific Niches

When you apply for a job online, the first thing employers ask you for is any past working experience. Why do you think they do this? It turns out that writing skills and experience go hand in hand.

Many copywriters start off writing for a broad range of topics and applications. But shortly after, they specialize in a field and type of writing they would like to do. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are limited to only one type of copy. Rather it shows their passion, dedication and knowledge of a specific field.

Let’s say you were looking to build a funnel for your marketing campaign. While many copywriters claim they can write compelling copy and structure a funnel, few specialize in writing copy for funnels. Even fewer specialize in writing copy for your specific industry.

A study done by GlobalWebIndex concluded that the average user spends 2 hours and 22 minutes each day browsing social media networks.

This means you have plenty of time to engage with your audience. But first off, you need to grab their attention. The task of creating great content for your audience is only possible from a copywriter who has a deep experience in the industry.

So when looking for the right copywriter, make sure you ask them about their experience and specialization. This will ensure you hire the best person with the most relevant writing skills for the job. 

5. A Solid Understanding About Marketing

The final characteristic a copywriter should have is a solid understanding about marketing. As you can imagine, writing great copy isn’t just about just physically writing. There are many different aspects such as planning, researching, and testing.

Creating really great content is harder than ever, and it’s going to take a copywriter with immaculate writing skills to stand above all the voices in the market. Today, copywriters must demonstrate awareness and a solid understanding of the market to really shine.

Tom Fishburne, CEO of Marketoonist said, “The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing."

Why am I telling you all this? You need to hire a copywriter who can see the overall picture of your brand. This will ensure they produce strategic content that fits your audience's desires.

This is why copywriting is not just strictly about writing. Writing skills now include being knowledgeable about the field for which you are writing. In a fast-paced market, you don’t want to waste your time spending hours guiding your writer. If the word "marketing" is new to them, chances are they are not the ideal fit for you.

So when hiring a writer for your business, ensure they can produce excellent content that's focused on your target market.

Summary

Every great business has a great copywriter to back up their brand. When looking for a dedicated copywriter, there are five writing skills you should make sure they have:

  1. Polished writing skills

  2. Ability to write compelling and customized headlines

  3. Awareness of the user experience

  4. Experience and specialization in specific niches

  5. A solid understanding about marketing

This comprehensive list may seem overwhelming to you. I suggest you leverage the expertise of a copywriter here at copywriters.com. They have been trained to meet these standards and consistently produce content that is result driven.

So if you’re ready to take your business and brand to the next level, schedule an appointment with us today. Your business is very important, so why would you cut corners on your copywriter? It's time to take action and hire a copywriter who has these up-to-date writing skills.

Matthew Nanan

Matthew Nanan is a freelance copywriter and blogger from Toronto, Ontario. He is a resourceful young adult who has been trained and mentored by industry leading copywriters. He writes unique and research-driven content that is strictly focused around providing his clients with results. When Matthew is not writing, he enjoys reading and teaching martial arts.

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