"What makes for good online copywriting?" Both marketers and copywriters have their reasons for asking this question. And we’ve got answers like Carters proverbially had liver pills. You can read them. You can come listen to them. (Answers, that is. Not pills.)
"Can you recommend a good online copywriter?" Ah. Unfortunately we have considerably fewer answers to that one (although we wish we were busting at the seams with them). So, as Holly Buchanan and I put the finishing touches to our upcoming Persuasive Online Copywriting Workshop, we enlisted our colleagues in brainstorming the answer to this related question: "What qualities must a good onlne copywriter possess?"
Here’s a Baker’s Dozen listing what we would look for in someone we entrusted with the crafting of persuasive copy.
Good online copywriters are:
- creative. You must be able to examine things from multiple and unusual perspectives.
- intelligent. You must be able to comprehend new subjects quickly and thoroughly.
- empathizers. You must be able to relate to and understand different audiences, especially if they are different from yourself.
- well-read. The more you read different styles and works, the more you will be able to learn from others and expand your own repetoir.
- good listeners. The best way to learn about a subject or an audience is to really listen.
- organized. You must be able to follow directions, manage multiple responsibilities, and be detail oriented.
- deadline-oriented. You must have discipline. You have to get it done on time. Period. No exceptions. Be consistently late and be out of work.
- client managers. That’s right. It’s often your job to manage the client, not the other way around. You must manage their expectations and tell them when they’re wrong. They may not always listen, but if you don’t speak up – and the copy doesn’t work – they’re going to blame you.
- simple communicators. You must be able to write as simply as possible, taking complex and technical subject matter and explaining it in clear concise copy.
- consistent. You must be able to sustain a consistent voice and personality throughout the copy.
- humble. You need to be able to separate out your ego from your work. You can not fall in love with your own words. You must be able to edit and cut your copy without emotional connection.
- web savvy. The web is a different from any other medium. It is NOT the same as print or direct marketing. Just for starters, you must understand hyperlinks, persuasive momentum, and writing for search engines.
Yeah, I know. A Baker’s Dozen this is not (I always get caught overpromising in the numbers department). But ever the one to come through in a pinch, Holly has posted the Baker’s part of our dozen on her blog Marketing to Women Online.