What is copywriting

Evan Kimbrell
A free video tutorial from Evan Kimbrell
Founder of Sprintkick | Ex-VC | Ex-startup founder
4.4 instructor rating • 22 courses • 592,775 students

Lecture description

Copywriting is any writing that convinces someone to take a particular action, like buying something, sharing something on social media, or giving their email address in exchange for a free download.

There are three components of good copywriting: art, science, and persuasion. In this lecture, we're going to talk about the right way to combine them in order to effectively convince people to take the action you want them to take.

Learn more from the full course

Modern Copywriting: Writing copy that sells in 2021

Learn how to strategically deliver words that get people to take action using the art and science of copywriting.

07:07:25 of on-demand video • Updated March 2021

  • What copywriting is and what you need to know to do it effectively
  • How to gain a thorough understanding of your audience, competition, products, and your brand’s unique voice
  • Copywriting tactics including structure, persuasion, emotion, power words, clarity, and more
  • Proven copywriting formulas that remove the guesswork from writing
  • The differences between B2B and B2C copywriting and how to craft B2B copywriting most effectively
  • How to write headlines that draw people in and get them moving down the rest of the page
  • Copywriting tactics for specific types of projects, including landing pages, CTAs, email, social media, videos, and much more
English Hey guys, welcome to our first actual lecture of the course. This course is going to pull the curtain back on all things copywriting. Thanks to copywriting, you know where M&Ms melt and where they don't, who can prevent forest fires, and who's from Mars and who's from Venus. So what exactly is copywriting? I'm sure you've heard of it. It's not the most obvious term in the world. Copywriting is any writing that convinces you to take a particular action. These actions include buying something online, sharing something on social media, or giving away your email address in exchange for a free download. Copywriting, often referred to, and I will refer to it in this course as copy, is what you find on product descriptions, email subject lines, headlines, pretty much anything used for marketing or advertising purposes. In this case, the word "copy" means written information that's going to be published in a newspaper, a magazine, online, etc. In this case, the word "copy" means written information that's going to be published in a newspaper, a magazine, online, etc. It's not the act of copying as in, "Hey, nice pants, I'm going to copy how you dress," It's not the act of copying as in, "Hey, nice pants, I'm going to copy how you dress," it's the material that is going to be copied as in, "Hey here's a copy for that ad about pants." it's the material that is going to be copied as in, "Hey here's a copy for that ad about pants." The copywriting process is often described with the words "powerful," "craft," or something like "the magic of words." The copywriting process is often described with the words "powerful," "craft," or something like "the magic of words." Good copywriting is all of these things, it can transform objects into ideas and get people to do what you want them to do, even if it's just, say, remember the name of your company. There are three very broad components to copywriting. We have art, science, and good old persuasion. Good copy contains all three, bad copy generally leaves one, if not two, out. We have art, science, and good old persuasion. Good copy contains all three, bad copy generally leaves one, if not two, out. Now, the art side appeals to the emotions. It's memorable. It's creative. It's written by the tortured writer as he sobs over his typewriter, or, I guess, laughs, It's written by the tortured writer as he sobs over his typewriter, or, I guess, laughs, and that's true, because a lot of copy is also funny and/or witty. Art would write something like, "Suntory Whisky. Used by writers everywhiskies." Get it? Because the writer is drunk so he made it a typo. If that sentence doesn't make the most sense, it's because, well, it's missing its counterpart. We need science. Science would write something like, "When you want to relax, drink Suntory Whisky," or "Writers are always stressed out. Suntory Whisky causes relaxation." "When you want to relax, drink Suntory Whisky," or "Writers are always stressed out. Suntory Whisky causes relaxation." The science side is practical, it's testable, and it's able to tell you if the first or second option is better and why. The science side is practical, it's testable, and it's able to tell you if the first or second option is better and why. But, as for connecting with the reader, meh. The science writer is where the art writer isn't. As a copywriter, your job is to bring this odd couple together to write something like, "For relaxing times, make it Suntory time." your job is to bring this odd couple together to write something like, "For relaxing times, make it Suntory time." Out of all those three examples, which one would you honestly choose if you were a whiskey drinker? Most likely option number three, because it combines the practical with the emotional. It's not enough just make me feel it, you also have to convince me. It's not enough to just give me an argument, you also have to make me feel compelled to care. And just like us humans, no copy is complete without a purpose. And just like us humans, no copy is complete without a purpose. Now, the purpose of copy is usually to sell a product or an idea. Think of copy as your sales person. If this person can't persuade you to take an action like buy this pen, then is that person doing a good job? If this person can't persuade you to take an action like buy this pen, then is that person doing a good job? Keep in mind that people have attention spans pretty much on par with the goldfish, so consider it a job well done if they read past the headline. Because, guess what? Eight out of 10 people won't. Because, guess what? Eight out of 10 people won't. We'll get more into persuasion later in the course, but for now just remember that your ultimate goal is to get the reader to perform some specific action. "Click here," "download now," even if it's just "go to the next page," "keep watching these lectures," something like that. An advertising or marketing campaign contains many moving parts and sometimes copy is the only thing that strings them together. Figuring out how to write that copy can, in some cases, be overwhelming. Some best practices use formulas, some don't. Some say there are five steps to write a headline, but another one might say, "No, there's 10 steps." Some say there are five steps to write a headline, but another one might say, "No, there's 10 steps." Start with these basic components, art, science, and persuasion, and then work from there. All right, guys, so in the next lecture we'll talk about how knowing your product makes this process in general a whole lot easier. All right, guys, so in the next lecture we'll talk about how knowing your product makes this process in general a whole lot easier. See you then.