Copywriting may seem easy to the unacquainted, or even people who have punched out a few well written pieces over the course of their careers. However, it’s a whole other ball game when you work in a copywriting agency where the audience, medium, tone, and SEO requirements differ for every piece of work.
In reality, it’s the idea of writing that is simple.
It’s a bit like telling your interior designer what you’d like in your dream home when you don’t have the budget or know the spatial limitations. It’s usually not until someone is forced to sit down with nothing but a blank document with a blinking cursor staring back at them that they realise copywriting is not quite the walk in the park.
How hard can copywriting be?
At surface level, it seems that anyone with a good enough command of English can perform a copywriter’s job. Well, that sentiment is not exactly wrong, but once you break down the process of content writing, you’ll soon see why hiring experienced, professional copywriters will generate content that gives you far better engagement and conversion.
Copywriting component #1: Fitting ideas together
Before any writing can commence, copywriters have to be clear about what they’re writing about. Even for the most unassuming of products, there will always be millions of configurations for ideas to be worded and presented. Stringing a grammatically sound sentence together is but one tiny aspect of the copywriting process. After all, sentences in an English textbook can hardly be described as enticing. Professional copywriters deliberately use words to draw connections between the advertised product and the reader’s problems. That’s what matters the most — sometimes even more than traditional grammar rules.
This may involve toying with ideas and painstakingly joining them together so that they fit into today’s digital requirements such as word character limitations and required SEO keywords. To do this effectively, writers frequently cull brilliant ideas that just don’t fit in the overall narrative. This process gets simpler with experience, but even the most seasoned copywriters get hit with the writer’s block that makes writing feel like hunting down a missing connector puzzle piece that simply doesn’t want to be found.
Copywriting component #2: Writing for different audiences
Learning the ins and outs of a product and how to communicate its strengths to a particular target audience is hard enough. Repeat that process over hundreds of products and every possible demographic out there, and you’ll get a better picture of what copywriters deal with on a day-to-day basis.
The difficulty lies in knowing how much detail to give.
Ask a university lecturer and primary school science teacher about osmosis, and you’ll get wildly different explanations. For copywriters, our audience is not neatly separated into knowledge categories. What we rely on is past performance data, experience, and intuition. Too much information, and the copy becomes patronising and turns the reader off. Too little information and your reader might not know to click purchase after reading.
The fact that writing grants us writers little to no opportunity to respond to any misunderstandings or disagreements makes it that much more difficult. In speech, you can easily correct a contradiction or a slip of the tongue by backtracking. In writing, however, every word must logically flow to the next one to keep a reader’s attention.
Copywriting component #3: Meeting clients in the middle
Copywriters must take all these considerations while ensuring that clients are satisfied. At the risk of sounding pompous, clients don’t always understand what type of messaging (behavioural psychology) delivers the best results.
Take a website with tens or even hundreds of pages, for example. Clients may have ideas that they would like implemented. But these ideas aren’t always consistent with the content on the rest of the website — or even other platforms. And consistency is key for any business who wishes to build credibility. Of course, styles can and should differ between platforms to achieve maximum impact, but to convince buyers, the underlying values should always be the same.
A good writer will be able to chew on words in every single landing page and generate a comprehensive theme that gets people clicking on links and staying for websites longer. Clients will understandably wish to see progress in stages. On the other hand, good copywriters may wish to have the creative freedom to create the best possible work they can. What separates the good from the great are writers with the customer service experience to help clients understand their methods where they can, and make compromises where they can’t.
Ok, so copywriting is hard. But how time-consuming is it?
You may roll your eyes at us for saying this, but the answer is that it really depends. Writing content about familiar subjects, such as products that we’ve touched upon before in tech, finance, and B2B, is certainly going to be a lot faster than having to digest a completely novel topic from scratch. It also depends on how familiar we are with a client’s preferred writing and working style.
And finally, content writing will always be easier on good days when inspiration hits. But if there’s anything we can be certain about, it’s that we can definitely find the right thing to say if you give us enough opportunity to do so.
Need help translating your most brilliant ideas into content that converts?
There may be hundreds of ideas floating around your head at the moment, but those ideas will remain as ideas until you have the time and energy to organise them into cohesive and engaging content. Just like how dancers can quickly catch the beat of a tune, copywriters are attuned to the rhythm of the written word. We can take your ideas and arrange them in a form that leads readers from search engines and social media sites all the way to your purchase button.
And we can do this because we love writing and we know how words take a completely different form when written. But most of all, we love the high that comes when clients rave about the results that they receive from our content.
Read the difference with content writing services from Etymon. We are a Singapore-based, boutique B2B copywriting agency who works with clients globally. We have a team of professional writers who have a track record of telling stories that convert.