Tag Archives: professional copywriting

Essential skills you need as a professional content writer

Essential skills that a professional content writer must have

Essential skills that a professional content writer must have.

Neil Patel rightly says in the video embedded below that there are more than a billion blogs on the Internet and pretty much everything has been rewritten. Content writers these days are mostly regurgitating old stuff.

No, it doesn’t mean you stop publishing content on your blog. I cannot find the link, in an interview Seth Godin says that when implementing a content marketing strategy, don’t worry about being unoriginal. Just be relevant to your audience.

Take for example the title of this blog post. The video above talks about the essential skills that a professional content writer must have. I’m creating a blog with more or less the same title. If you do a search on Google, you will find thousands of blog posts and web pages talking about the same topic with various combinations.

It doesn’t mean I shouldn’t write about this topic.

What’s the difference? The difference is that I’m not simply copy/pasting content written by someone else. I’m not even transcribing what Neil a saying in the video. I’m presenting my own take. This makes my blog post on the same topic unique.

Besides, the audience of my blog is the audience of my blog. You may not be searching for this topic on the Internet actively. Even if you have arrived on this blog after looking for essential skills for a professional content writer, what you’re reading here is completely my own perspective.

Below I’m listing some skills that a content writer needs for professional writing. I may not be covering all the skills, but I’m covering all those skills that I use on daily basis when writing content for my clients.

Have a unique voice

Every writer has his or her unique voice. It is called “writing voice”. This is what makes your content unique even when you’re writing about a topic that many have already been written about.

Your unique voice is your own way of saying things. It is consistent. Almost all my clients these days hire me for my writing style. They go through my blog post, they go through my website, they like the style, and they want the same style for their own websites and blogs.

Recently a client even highlighted a portion of my homepage to explain to me what sort of writing he is looking for.

Constantly improve your writing

The more you improve, the more confident you get, and then the more defined your voice becomes.

Improving your writing means learning new writing techniques, learning to use new words and phrases, and observing what works and what doesn’t.

The side benefit of learning-induced confidence is that you no longer write to impress. You write to communicate. You are done with impressing. Now you mean business. You are not even worried about committing mistakes because you know that those are not mistakes but intentional waywardness to make a point.

Learn to write in a conversational style

This is more important for a content writer. When you are writing content – whether you’re writing business content (that is supposed to be serious) or blog content (where you can let yourself lose a bit) – you are having a conversation with the reader.

Writing in a conversational style isn’t as simple as it seems. Only those writers who have written a lot and who have nothing to prove, write in a conversational style. Novice writers are constantly worried about what type of sentences they are writing and what type of words they are using. Skilled content writers on the other hand, aren’t worried about these things.

What is conversational style?

  • Use short sentences.
  • Use simple words.
  • Express an idea in one sentence.
  • Don’t have paragraphs with more than two sentences.
  • Avoid compound or complex sentences as much as you can.
  • Use the language you would use with someone sitting face-to-face.

Acquaint yourself with SEO nuances

Although as a professional content writer you are not providing SEO services, search engine optimization is a big part of writing content. Many clients hire you because they want to improve your search engine rankings.

Google uses 200+ factors when ranking content, but when it comes to writing and organising text, it is completely in your hand how you do it.

Here are a few things you can achieve as a content writer:

  • Creatively use the main keywords in the title.
  • Use the main keywords in the first 100 words of the write-up.
  • Not always but use the main and the LSI keywords in headings and sub-headings.
  • Not always but use the main and the LSI keywords when explaining a concept using bulleted points.
  • Don’t stuff your keywords needlessly; always use them contextually.
  • Creatively use the synonyms.

Learn to research

Just like SEO, research is a big part of content writing. Most of the clients will simply give you a title and a few pointers just because you force them to give them to you. Otherwise, they won’t even give you a title – they will simply tell you what keywords to focus on and then ask you to come up with a title as well as the outline.

Research helps you. Learn to do the right research. You will be mostly using Google and other search engines. Use advanced search. There are many non-mainstream search engines that can take up lots of good information. You can also look up other sources such as Reddit.

A precautionary note, though: researching doesn’t mean plagiarizing. Research to obtain information and then use your own writing to convey that information.

Learn not to get swayed by advice

This is very important. Since on the Internet it is very easy to give advice, there is an abundance of it. People can create videos. People can publish blog posts (wink wink). There are social media updates. There are podcasts. There are Pinterest pins. There are Instagram carousals. Lots of advice.

Advice is not bad. But too much of it is bad.  Therefore, as I have written above, it is very important for a professional content writer to keep learning, learn to use your own discretion what you want to learn and what you want to ignore.

Learn to take and manage notes

The notes that you gather are going to be the repositories of knowledge that will come handy for years.

During client assignments, during random reading, during posting on social media and on your blog, lots of ideas and useful information pass your eyes. Don’t let such opportunities go waste. Learn to save useful information.

I take lots of notes when reading books on Kindle and other book readers. Then once I have completed the book, I go through the notes and save them either in OneNote or Google Keep. Shorter notes go to Google Keep and bigger notes go to OneNote.

Learn to manage information when working on long pieces

As a content writer you may need to work on an e-book or a white paper or a case study. A white paper or a case study may not be very long, but normally, an e-book is.

Recently I worked on an e-book that was more than 70 pages. The client had sent me lots of information. I needed to compile that information in a narrative, in a story form.

It helps if you know how to organize big chunks of information in a manner that you cannot only retrieve the information when needed, you can also grasp it to be able to use it for your writing.

Learn to listen carefully

When you listen properly, you understand, and when you understand, you write well. If you’re not in a habit of listening to what your client is saying, you may go on a tangent, and this will cause needless acrimony. It has happened with me. I was not a good listener.

The problem with not listening is that even when you have written an exceptional piece, since it is not as per your client’s expectations or the brief that he or she gave you, your entire effort goes waste.

These are some essential skills that can help you grow as a professional content writer. There may be more. You don’t have to apply all. But these will help you stand out even when people tell you that almost everything has been written and there is nothing you need to say. That’s not the case. As long as you write using your own voice, you’re always going to write something unique.

10 copywriting tips to boost your website conversion rate

The image shows a notepad with copywriting tips for better conversion rate written on it

Copywriting tips for better conversion rate

In this blog post you will read a few copywriting tips that will help you boost your website conversion rate.

Although I constantly promote myself as a website content writer, when I’m writing for a business website, especially the main pages like the homepage, the services page, the product features page or the about us section, I’m doing copywriting.

Content writing is educational and informative, copywriting is promotional and persuasive.

A long time back I published a web page explaining the difference between copywriting and content writing.

Content writing doesn’t always have to sell, but copywriting is all about selling and hence, conversion rate is very important when it comes to copywriting.

Aside from your main business website content, copywriting is also used for

  • Landing pages
  • Email marketing
  • PPC campaigns
  • Social media advertising
  • Brochures and flyers
  • Promotional video and audio scripts

When you hire a professional copywriter, you want to boost your website conversion rate. You want more people to buy from you or use your services or download your software or e-book or mobile app.

Basically, you want them to click the “call to action” link or button.

How do you make people do that?

This is where my copywriting tips can help you. Even if you yourself don’t want to use these tips, you will be able to glimpse them in the writings of your copywriter and you will feel empowered and involved.

There is nothing magical about copywriting. It is simply convincing and engaging writing, written in a manner that your target audience is impressed by your message and agrees to take the action you want it to take.

Here are 10 copywriting tips that will boost your website conversion rate.

Copywriting tip 1: Have a clear idea of what your audience is looking for

This is one of the most important copywriting tips and without knowing what your audience is looking for, you cannot improve your conversion rate.

Conversion happens when you are providing exactly what your prospective customers and clients are looking for.

Whether they want to update themselves regularly, or educate themselves about a certain product or service or want to make up their minds, you need to create your copy accordingly, and only then your conversion rate improves.

Good copywriting also involves using the language that your audience uses. If your language is totally alien, they don’t understand what you are saying and they leave your webpage or landing page, frustrated and confused.


  1. Write about what your audience is looking for.
  2. Write in the language your audience uses.

Having a persona also helps you understand the expectations of your visitors. You cannot please everyone. So, decide in advance whom you’re going to please. Define a persona. A persona has

  • The gender of your target person.
  • His or her age.
  • His or her social status.
  • His or her job title and industry.
  • Marital status.
  • Location.
  • Whether he or she has kids are not.

These are general traits.

If you are writing copy for a fashion accessory, then it will help you to know the fashion preferences of your persona.

Copywriting tip 2: Use conversational language

Stiff, official-sounding language doesn’t sell well. Use a conversational style when copywriting. Preferably, use first person. Use lots of “you” and “your”.

Talk like a person. Talk as if the other person is sitting in front of you and you are convincing him or her to do something. Use imaginary body language because it reflects through your copy and make sure copy sound natural. You can also imagine a scene from a movie where two characters are talking to each other.

Copywriting tip 3: Come to the point, don’t beat around the bush

Tell straight up what you have to offer.

If you are offering an SEO package, tell the person immediately how you’re going to improve his or her search engine rankings.

Mention the problem, then mention the solution.

Life is full of distractions these days. Even small things can distract people away from your landing page or website.

Hence, deliver your important message as early in the copy as possible.

Copywriting tip 4: Respond to common objections in advance

Frankly, there can be thousands of objections your target audience may have and hence, it is important to define a persona, as described above, and then stick to that persona. This way, you will know the common objections the person may have when going through your copy.

For my target audience, for example, I’m not looking for people who are more interested in getting cheap copywriting services and less interested in improving their conversion rate.

Although cost matters, I’m targeting people for whom cost is not the deciding factor but how well my copy converts.

So, people belonging to my target segment may have a question like, “But, is your copywriting service really effective and will it help me improve my website conversion rate?”

I need to convince them. I need to provide proof. I need to provide testimonials. Through the copy, I need to convince them that I’m the copywriter they are looking for.

Copywriting tip 5: Use numbers instead of claims

“I can double your conversion rate in 8 weeks” is far convincing than “I can improve your conversion rate fast”.

“My clients have experienced 300% improvement in their conversion rate after using my copywriting services for 5 months” is better than “Improve your conversion rate with my copywriting services”.

Numbers give your target audience a clear idea. Whether you are mentioning a price of a product or service or the amount of improvement it can bring in, use numbers to give them a clear idea of what they will get.

Copywriting tip 6: Use shorter, crisper sentences

Shorter sentences are easier to read and easier to understand. They focus on a single thought and that’s it. After being exposed to that single thought, the person can move on.

“A $105 flat fee, no hidden cost.”

“Buy it once, you don’t have to buy it again.”

Life these days is full of distractions. People don’t get distracted when they read short sentences. Short sentences are also powerful and make a big impact.

Most powerful statements have fewer words. Take for example what Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” – simple, to the point, says what it means to say.

Copywriting tip 7: Hit the emotional chords

By the end of the day, selling is emotional. We buy less for utility value, more for emotions. As the insane success of the iPhone tells you, people buy for experience and not just for the utility value (provided, they can afford).

This Harvard Business School research says that 95% of purchase decisions are made in the subconscious mind.

You can hit the emotional chords many ways.

Take for example, “Join the elite club of billionaires who make millions every month using these copywriting tips.”

Although, the line talks about making money, it reaches out to people who would like to join the elite club of billionaires.

Another one, “Never worry about putting food on the table – the sure shot way of making money.”

Everybody wants to make money, but, the need to put food on the table can move anyone.

“Make your ex regret the moment he decided to leave you,” can be a great weight loss slogan if making your ex feel bad is more important than being fit.

Emotions are great motivators.

Copywriting tip 8: Sell the benefits, not the product

What is the benefit of good copywriting? It gets you more customers and clients. So, what is the benefit? Getting more customers and clients.

People don’t want to buy your product or subscribe to your service just because you are providing it.

Something is troubling them. Something is missing in their lives. Something is holding them back from achieving their best. Something doesn’t let them sleep.

Take for example a to-do list.

“This is one to-do list that never lets you miss the important things you need to do.”

“The mobile phone app that lets you get your life back on track.”

Nifty features are great to have, and they certainly help people, and this is why you have incorporated them in the first place, but people aren’t really bothered about them unless they have started using your mobile app.

What is the greatest, irresistible benefit of downloading and installing your app? Begin your copy with that.

Copywriting tip 9: Never underestimate the importance of a headline

Headline is what that catches your fancy.

When you come across a headline on Facebook or Twitter, how it beckons you decides whether you are going to click it or not. This is the power of headlines.

A headline is bigger. It attracts the attention of your visitors immediately because the headline is not just bigger, it is also at the top. The size and place says, “Look at me before you look at something else.”

Most people will stay or leave your landing page based on what you have written in your headline.

If you want to make a promise, if you want to highlight the most important benefit of your product, if you want to deliver the most hard-hitting USP, use it in your headline.

Copywriting tip 10: Become your reader’s advocate

Become your customer’s or client’s advocate through your copy.

Although deep within you want them to spend money on your business, basically, what you have is their good in your heart.

Your product or service has the ability to transform their lives.

Your product or service can herald a positive change.

Your prospective customer or client has a problem, and you have got the right solution.

You have totally understood his or her problem and now you want to offer a solution.

Throughout your copy, you fight for the benefit of your customers and clients. This is how you write effective copy.


There is no hard and fast rule in copywriting: you just need to put the interest of your customers and clients first before your own. You need to connect. You need to tell them a story they can relate to. You talk in their language. You become one of them.