In this article I want to explain what it is you should be looking for in good copywriting, whether you are writing it yourself or hiring someone to do it for you. To that end, I have put together a list of five characteristics of copywriting that apply to all good copywriters. Mastering these qualities, or finding them in your writer, will ensure you/they produce the kind of content you are looking for.
1. Copywriters Communicate in Simple Terms
Professional speaker, online marketer, and author Bryan Eisenberg gives a long list of characteristics pertaining to good copywriters on his website. My favourite among them is that of simple communication. Eisenberg says, and I agree, that a good copywriter is able to communicate in simple terms.
Why is this important? Because creating content using technical jargon, advanced vocabulary, and phrases and idioms without broad-based appeal is one way to limit your audience. A good writer can present content in a way that anyone can understand and appreciate.
2. Copywriters Possess Knowledge of the Medium
Knowing the medium a writer is working with is essential. For example, writing for the internet must account for search engine optimisation and digital/content marketing, where printed pamphlets and brochures are more ad copy orientated. So one of the best characteristics of copywriting is that copywriters are at least proficient in one specific medium; the best writers can adapt to multiple mediums.
3. Copywriters Can Work Independently or Collaboratively
Independence and collaboration is my number three quality of a good copywriter. How can they both be listed together, you ask? It is about being able to work both ways, depending on the circumstances. For example, one client may send a project the writer’s way and expect him/her to complete it without any further input. Other times, clients want to collaborate throughout every step of the process. Then there are some clients who prefer a mixture of both.
Good copywriters are able to shift gears in order to meet the needs of the client at any given time. The writer who cannot work independently becomes a burden, while the writer who refuses to collaborate does not adapt well to client needs. Neither is acceptable.
4. Copywriters Are Informed and Able to Research
The best copywriters come to the job already informed. They are well read and attuned to staying up on current events. More importantly though, they are individuals able to do significant research quickly and efficiently. If nothing else, copywriting for the web means covering hundreds of different topics across one’s career. Moreover, because no writer can be an expert on everything, good copywriters know how to research effectively. I believe that this is probably one of the most important characteristics of copywriting.
5. Copywriters Are Organised and Detail-Orientated
Lastly, a good copywriter is an individual who is organised and has a good attention to detail. Both of these qualities are important inasmuch as marketing is a very fluid enterprise. Sometimes things move along at breakneck speed, requiring the writer to keep up with the very hectic pace. The poorly organised writer may fall behind quickly. As for attention to detail, I believe this is a big part of organisation. Writers need to pay attention to the details of every project in order to avoid rewrite orders and outright rejections.