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5 Tips Every Professional Copywriter Should Know

 
When was the last time you had to explain what you meant when you said "I'm a professional copywriter?"  No matter how many ways you modify the way you answer, it's inevitable people will have questions.   To answer them, you need to be at the top of your game.  When you consider what makes your abilities unique, consider the 5 tips every professional copywriter should know.  

Spelling and Grammar Count
In February, Google introduced the PANDA algorithm.  When Matt Cutts did a study, he and his team found a direct correlation between low page rank and spelling.   If you are a professional copywriter, you need to do your best to be absolutely certain you use the best possible spelling and grammar, especially if your client is focusing on SEO or inbound marketing strategies.   It already counts and will begin to have an even bigger impact on website content moving forward.

If you are a professional copywriter, it's your job to do your best to produce top notch content.  

Know Thy Subject Matter
If you aren't the best writer to produce statistically relevant white papers for a financial institution, you might not want to accept the writing assignment.  Another strategy is to let the client know you don't consider a particular niche your forte.   Honesty up front should keep you from further error.  

What's the caveat? You can't be an expert on everything you write, but you can be honest about what subject matter interests you. Avoid those subjects which you don't feel you would want to spend a little extra time researching if the assignment required it.  

Write For the Audience, Not the Client
You will most likely balance the features and benefits of what you're writing about with the unique selling aspects of what a product has to offer.   In good sales copy, or marketing copy, this is fairly standard.  However, who is the product you're writing about geared for?

When working with a client, get yourself into the minds of the buyer of the product.  In writing for a cosmetology college, the students are 16 year old high school girls.  Their mindset requires very careful use of shorter sentences. As a professional copywriter,  you will also need to recognize parents are a driving agent for the child to attend a school.  Well-written copy gears to both audiences, one primarily, the other as a consideration of the questions they'll want answered.

Keep up To Date With Trends and Resources
Keeping up to date with the latest in inbound marketing, especially, can be tough.  The best tip?  Consider using an organization like Hubspot with an excellent educational marketing technique and attend their webinars.  Many are free. The most difficult aspect may be pushing yourself to learn something outside of your comfort zone, like blog administration, Illustrator, or HTML programming.   

Run Your Business Like a Business
As a professional copywriter, what do you consider to be your biggest challenge?  Is it finding more work? Managing an intern? Paying all the bills on time?  If you've traded in a W2 career to become a 1099, you will need to be astute in all of your business dealings.

Be sure that you meet deadlines.  Only work for free or low cost if it builds your portfolio in a meaningful way. Keep your finger on the pulse of all your financials so you know what's going in and what's coming out each month. Above all, make sure you stay focused on building.  

Ultimately, when you consider some of the things you need to know to be a successful professional copywriter, you'll be surprised by what you learn. Keep up with your field and your clients will note the difference immediately. 

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