Welcome back to another post in the Series: How to Make Passive Income with Affiliate Links as a Writer!
Last week, we talked about how to pick the right theme for your site. It’s only natural to transition right into copywriting. Today, we’re going to define copywriting and looking at examples of good copy in preparation for actually learning how to write copy next week.
Sound good? Let’s get started!
Copywriting: A Definition
1. Copywriting is advertising with words
Like any good advertisement, copy should prompt the reader to take an action. This action can be to buy products or services. But it can also be to follow a blog or sign up for your newsletter.
When writing copy, make sure to include a “call to action” (CTA). This is a statement or an implication in your copy that directly invites the audience to take an action.
2. Copy speaks directly to your niche audience
Good copywriters should know their target audience– what they want, the words and phrases they use, and the type of call to action they’ll respond to.
Just like the way you speak changes depending on your audience in real life, you should use different words and phrases for different audiences.
3. Copywriting reflects your brand
Despite what the previous two qualities of copy imply, copywriting isn’t all about your audience. Yes, you should speak your niche audience’s language and call them to action. But your copy should also reflect your brand.
Specifically, copy should be written in the tone and style your brand promotes. If your site offers services to CEOs, you should probably write in a more formal style with a business-like tone. If you write lifestyle blogs for millennial women, your style should be informal with a friendlier tone.
Speaking of brands… Remember those handy statements we worked on a few weeks ago? Your brand, mission, and vision statements? Those statements are copy.
So if you’ve been keeping up with this series and have already written your statements, pat yourself on the back and call yourself a copywriter.
Examples of Copy
Now that we know how to define copywriting, let’s look at some examples of good copy. Next week, we’ll be using our case study to practice drafting different types of copy. So for these examples, I’m using copy from popular sites around the web.
Puttylike, a website that offers subscription services for people who want to pursue multiple interests and careers, has an excellent example of Homepage copy.
The homepage opens and the audience is immediately called to action with a pop-up.
“Are you a multipotentialite?”from the Homepage of puttylike.com
This copy is great because it speaks directly to a niche audience (multipotentialites), forcing them to pay attention.
“Enter your info below and get a free quiz + get my weekly tips to help you build a life around ALL of your passions:”from the Homepage of puttylike.com
This copy does two things at once.
First, it highlights Puttylike’s brand and goals, which is to build a community of people who follow their passions. Second, it speaks to people in general (everyone like getting things for free) and then to the site’s specific niche audience (people who want to build their life around their passions).
Finally, the homepage popup has a CTA in the form of a big, bright yellow button that exclaims: “Yes, Please!” in bold capital letters.
Next week, we’ll talk more about what makes good Homepage copy and create some of our own.
Golgi Productions, the producers of the web magazine “Mind & Brain Illustrated,” have a simplistic yet powerful example of About copy.
The top of the page loudly declares “Golgi productions” in large letters. Then, in slightly smaller font, the copy declares the site’s brand statement.
“At the interface of art and science.”from the About Us page of golgiproductions.com
This brand statement does double duty. The copy all at once speaks to the niche audience (people who like art, science, and the interface between the two) while also reflecting the brand (scientific articles presented in a simplistic yet artistic style).
Directly following the brand statement is Golgi Productions’ mission statement.
“Creating independent media and providing design services.”from the About Us page of golgiproductions.com
The copy is again simplistic to reflect the site’s focus on visual media rather than lengthy descriptions (brand). It also speaks to the niche audience again with words like “independent” and “design.”
The page goes on to advertise the magazine, Mind & Brain Illustrated, Golgi Production’s graphic design services, and that they’re hiring science game designers.
Following are two calls to action.
“We’re seeking funding for our psychology and neuroscience magazine, Mind & Brain Illustrated. Find us on Patreon.”from the About Us page of golgiproductions.com
“We’re looking for partners committed to the public communication of science. Contact us at … for information on how to get involved.”from the About Us page of golgiproductions.com
We’ll break down the structure of an About page in the next post in this series and use our case study to practice copywriting.
Content, Services, and Products
Etsy, a shop for handmade, vintage, custom, and unique gifts for everyone, is filled with exemplary copy written for a diverse brand offering blog content, seller services, and products.
Content, services, and products are all accessible from the homepage. Let’s take a look at the copy used to advertise these diverse offerings.
Etsy’s directs its audience to their blog with copy that features all three aspects of good copy.
“Fresh from the blog. Read the blog.”from the Homepage of etsy.com
The word “fresh” is on-brand for the site since it claims to offer “unique” gifts. “Read the blog” is a simple CTA that targets Etsy’s broad audience (“everyone”).
The copy used to advertise Etsy’s services is a simple CTA: a button that says “Sell On Etsy.”
Etsy’s services copy is a great example of how sometimes the most unassuming CTA is the most effective.
Etsy advertises its products with copy that speaks to its audience, uses on-brand words, and makes CTAs that include links to produc pages.
In particular, the site’s tagline does a great job of speaking to its audience, describing Etsy’s brand, and defining the products they sell all at once.
“If it’s handcrafted, vintage, custom, or unique, it’s on Etsy.”from the Homepage of etsy.com
Here are a few more examples of good copy found on the site. Each of these are on-brand and speak directly to Etsy’s crafty audience.
“We have millions of one-of-a-kind items, so you can find whatever you need (or really, really want).”from the Homepage of etsy.com
“Never stop making.”from the Editor’s Pick DIY Craft Projects page of etsy.com
“Buy directly from someone who put their heart and soul into making something special.”from the Homepage of etsy.com
And here’s a compelling CTA used to direct buyers to products.
“Discover unique finds, every week.”from the Homepage of etsy.com
Stay tuned next week for practice writing copy that advertises content, products, and services.
So there you have it, friends! Leave a comment and let me know some of your favorite copy from around the web. Happy writing!