What Are Copywriting Skills? (Practical Tips And Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 1 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Copywriters create text advertising or other forms of marketing that aims to increase brand awareness and ultimately persuade a person or group to take a particular action. Copywriters require a unique blend of hard and soft skills that can help them write effective copy that influences the reader. Knowing what those skills are can help you focus on enhancing the right qualities and become a better copywriter. In this article, we discuss helpful copywriting skills, guide you on how to improve them, provide practical tips and show you how to highlight them in essential job documents.

What Are Copywriting Skills?

Copywriting skills are a mix of technical and transferable abilities that enable copywriters to be successful at their job. This includes producing great copy and handling the day-to-day responsibilities. As copywriters perform the role of salespersons and marketers in writing, they typically require a vast skill set to do their job well.

Having excellent writing skills is the bare minimum requirement. Copywriters also require outstanding research, reading comprehension and creative skills to develop effective copy, along with exceptional organisational, time management and communication abilities to handle their workload and gain progress in their careers. Technical expertise and adaptability skills are equally valuable for gaining new opportunities.

Related: How To Become A Copywriter: A Step-By-Step Guide

6 Important Skills For a Copywriter

Here are the crucial abilities required to become a splendid copywriter, along with explanations of how they can help in your career:

1. Writing

Writing skills are specific abilities that help writers express their thoughts in words and make it easy for the reader to mentally relate to the message. Copywriters write an array of copy, including website, SEO, product, business to business (B2B), business to consumer (B2C), direct response, ads, social media and creative copy. They are talented writers who use the hard skill of writing in every type of copy they create.

Related: How To Teach Writing Skills (With Approaches And Tips)

2. Reading comprehension

Reading comprehension demonstrates your ability to understand, interpret, analyse and infer written information. This is a prerequisite to copywriting since copywriters often read material outside their knowledge base to craft copy. They may not be experts in the niche they write for, but it is necessary for them to consume and comprehend substantial amounts of information on the subject before they write.

Related: 10 Tips To Develop Your Reading Comprehension Skills

3. Research

Research skills, in the domain of copywriting, refer to gathering information on the intended audience, competing businesses, keywords and existing copy on the topic. This is helpful in creating both new advertising or marketing materials and more complex writing projects like white papers or technical guides. Research skills help copywriters build a writing outline and strategy for reaching customers.

Related: Essential Research Skills (With Benefits And How To Improve)

4. Creativity

Creating copy often requires strong imagination, as employers may ask you to create a unique slogan for an ad or write something fresh on a popular and overused topic. Creativity skills enable copywriters to think about a copywriting task innovatively and generate new ideas to promote brands and businesses. It also helps one copywriter to distinguish themselves from the other.

Read more: What Are Creativity Skills? (With Examples And Benefits)

5. Time management

Copywriters work under strict deadlines and failing to meet those deadlines can reflect negatively on their professional image. Knowing how to plan and use time productively is key to a copywriter's success and growth. With great time management skills, they can deliver work on time and also find time to update their skills, grow their business, expand their network and maintain a work-life balance.

6. Technical expertise

Copywriting entails a set of technical abilities such as the competence to use content management systems, utilise editing software, apply basic formatting, implement search engine optimisation (SEO) tactics and have a basic understanding of user experience (UX). The more experience you have using these skills in your copywriting, the better the chances of professional success.

Read more: Technical Skills: Definitions And Examples

How To Improve Copywriter Skills

Here are some tips you can follow to improve your copywriter skills and attain more professional success:

1. Write every day

Practice can help you improve your writing skills. Try to set aside time each day to write and review your work. If you have supervisors who can give you proper feedback, you can implement those tips and improve yourself day by day.

2. Take courses

Instead of only writing the same kind of copy for years, take online copywriting courses to learn how to write different types of copy, especially if you are a beginner. You can also expand your technical abilities through courses. This is essential to diversify your skill set and prepare yourself for any unexpected copywriting challenge. Having course certificates can also significantly improve your candidacy for new copywriting jobs.

3. Be curious and keep experimenting

It is essential to keep exploring new opportunities both creatively within your copy and in your career. Copywriting is a vast field and there are innumerable ways to build your career, from selecting a specific industry to choosing a particular type of copy in which you can specialise. It is also essential to get some experience in multiple avenues of copywriting.

Related: Copywriter Vs. Copy Editor (Definition And Differences)

Copywriter Skills In The Workplace

Here are some practical tips you can follow for a successful career as a copywriter:

  • Read what others write. If you read what others are writing within your industry or niche, you can stay up to date with current trends and take inspiration from other writers.

  • Plan beforehand. Thinking and deciding what you want to write before actually writing anything can provide cohesion to the piece and help avoid filler content.

  • Create outlines. When writing any long-form content, it is advisable to plan each section so that your content has a solid structure and a logical flow of ideas.

  • Be original. Avoid rehashing old and existing content and instead, write something that makes your work distinctive and provides value to the reader.

  • Make your writing readable. Employ simple words, white spaces, bullets, brief paragraphs, active voice and other writing techniques to make it easier for the reader to comprehend your writing and make the experience enjoyable overall.

  • Write for the intended audience. Analyse the search intent and demographics of the audience to write in a way that appeals directly to them and makes your writing more relatable.

  • Verify all information. If you are providing any factual data, make sure your source is credible so that the audience can trust the respective brand or company.

  • Be intentional with your words. Choose words that align with the intended brand voice and tone of the piece and help build audience engagement and loyalty.

  • Hear your writing. Read your writing out loud or have it read to you by a software or browser plugin so that you hear any discrepancies in logic or disruptions in flow that may not be evident while reading.

  • Accept feedback with an open mind. Instead of being defensive of your work, take feedback from editors and clients to improve your copy and build your copywriting expertise.

Related: 10 Tips To Improve Your Writing Skills

How To Highlight Copywriting Skills

To ensure you get through each stage of the application and selection process, here are some examples of how to highlight your skills as a copywriter in your resume, cover letter and interview answers:

Copywriter skills in a resume

Here is a sample resume skill section for a copywriter:

Skills

Content writing: research | sourcing | branding | SEO | AP style | target audience analysis | keyword research

Computer skills: Work processors | content management systems

Related: 6-Step Guide To Write A Copywriter Resume (With Example)

Copywriter skills in a cover letter

Here is a segment of a sample cover letter for a copywriter:

In my previous role, we had both team-oriented and individual projects. I often shared ideas with others and received praise for my ability to accept criticism and adjust my copy accordingly. My copywriting team worked as part of a larger creative team, coordinating with graphic artists so that text and visuals would be in harmony. Teamwork and collaboration are my forte.

Although I have created various kinds of copy, I am exceptionally skilled at writing pithy, short taglines that can grab a potential customer's attention quickly and creating persuasive white papers that can engage a reader on a rational level. As a copywriter, I offer creativity and versatility.

Copywriter skills during an interview

Here is a sample answer to an interview question regarding your skills as a copywriter:

'In my professional experience, I have always leveraged my excellent time management and organisational skills to deliver high-quality copy before deadlines. I am adept at creating landing pages, sales collateral, creative ad, captions and articles for thought leadership. Being a quick learner, I can adapt to any writing requirements fast and deliver the kind of copy you require. I am versatile and open to feedback. Wherever I lack experience, I can make up for it with my determination to keep updating my skills.'

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