Copywriters are often asked to make their clients feel special and to bring an authenticity that goes beyond the text.
While it’s a powerful and valuable role to play, the job itself isn’t always a glamorous one.
“A lot of people ask me, ‘How do you write a great copy?’,” says copywriter Chris Hager, who has worked at BuzzFeed and The New York Times.
“I’m like, ‘Well, I’ve been doing this for a while, I know what it feels like to write a really great copy.’
I’ve written for companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter, and I’m very good at it.
I just think it’s really important to have something that’s going to get a person to pay attention and go, ‘Wow, this is amazing.'”
In order to build a winning copywriting strategy, you need to understand how the job actually works, Hager says.
“The idea is that you’re writing a paragraph, then a sentence, then some body copy, then the headline, and then you write down your copywriting principles, your techniques, your guidelines, and all that kind of stuff,” he says.
To build the perfect copy, you’ll need to know your strengths and weaknesses.
Hager uses these principles to build an email that reads like a real email.
“It’s not just like ‘I’m going to be so kind to you today, I’m going out with a girl tomorrow,'” he says, “I’ve actually written a lot of email in my day that are so short, and they’re just so simple, and so personal.”
Your weaknesses and strengths are often in your headline, the first paragraph, and the body copy.
But the rest of your email is mostly written by hand.
“We really try to make our copy look professional,” Hager adds.
“That’s why we put the headline at the bottom of every email.
It’s to kind of say, ‘We don’t want you to think that we’re writing this for you, because that’s not how we work.'”
A copywriting exercise like Hager’s is not a new concept.
Copywriters have been using it for decades.
“There was a book called The Copy Writer’s Handbook,” Hagers says.
The book was written by Robert A. Heinlein, a writer who would go on to become the father of the Starship Enterprise.
The title of the book, The Copywriter’s Handbook, refers to a type of copy that was “not merely written by humans, but by machines.”
The book recommends that writers create “a complete, concise, concise style guide” and then use it as their starting point for their emails.
“So it was not merely written for humans, it was written for machines,” Hagan says.
In a recent interview with Business Insider, Heinlein told the magazine he was inspired by the use of text to convey a message.
“If you want a message to reach someone, then you have to have a very specific style,” he said.
“You have to be very precise and precise in your use of words.”
The only way to have that precision, he added, is to write “a good, professional, readable, understandable, concise email that will get people to pay close attention.”
How do you create a perfect copy for the copywriting job?
Hager recommends that you first create a checklist.
“Basically, you start by taking a paragraph of your headline and you try to put a paragraph at the top of that paragraph and just start to add as much content as you can,” he explains.
Then you’ll add a paragraph or two of your copy to make sure that everything fits in there.
After you’ve created the perfect letter head and body copy for your email, you can begin to look at what makes your writing unique.
“At the end of the day, the most important thing you can do for your writing is not to think about it,” Haggers says.
It should be something that is more than just copywriting, Hagan adds.
Hagan advises that if you’re interested in a copywriting career, you should check out the careers page of CareerBuilder.com to see if you qualify for any job opportunities.
“When you’re really looking for a job, it’s important that you have a job that really suits you,” Haga says.
Haggs says that you’ll be amazed at how many companies hire copywriters.
He says that the vast majority of his clients who work for him are looking for copywriters, but they often get hired elsewhere because the copy is so good.
“They’ll come in and say, you’ve done a great job, but I just want to know, is it really going to matter that much if I can’t make a living writing for a living?”
Hagan tells Business Insider that he can usually see why his clients are hired