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The Secrets of Successful Copywriters

Updated on June 5, 2014
An Ad I Wrote For KSTDC - Travel in Karnataka
An Ad I Wrote For KSTDC - Travel in Karnataka | Source

Successful Copywriters Possess a Fertile Imagination

A rich imagination is essential. A writer must constantly churn out food ideas. One way to be a good idea-maker is to read all sorts of trivia as well as books on a variety of subjects. However, many successful copywriters find that they do their best work under pressure.

Writing a Great Advertisement Requires Observation and Analytical Skill

Like a newspaper journalist, a copywriter has to be analytical, observant and thorough. He must have a good understanding of people – the psychology and motivation behind the buying. The journalist need not persuade, but a copywriter must always do so.

A Good Copywriter Is

  1. Imaginative
  2. Curious
  3. Observant
  4. Skilled at saying the same thing in different ways
  5. Passionate about his craft
  6. Able to work to short deadlines.

Good Writers Can Create Under Pressure

The copywriter must know how to cope with deadly deadlines and produce saleable work under pressure. He’s got to be quick and good in order to survive. Interestingly, many successful writers find that they do their best work under pressure

Write the Same Thing in Different Ways

Often a copywriter has to be able to say the same thing over and over again in different ways, and the copy should always sound fresh. He must be familiar with the art of paraphrasing. And rewriting. More often than not, the creative work comes back with sections to be rewritten after it has been presented to the client. Patience is definitely an asset.

My Ad For KSTDC - Travel to Hampi
My Ad For KSTDC - Travel to Hampi | Source

Good Copywriters are Passionate About Copywriting

A writer should remember that he is serving a cause. He is helping to improve the lifestyle of people by making them aware of products that can benefit them.

Said the legendary David Ogilvy, creator of one of the world's leading ad agencies – Ogilvy & Mather: “I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information. When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative’. I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.”

Research Oriented

Good copywriters don’t sit in ivory towers churning out words. They go out and mix with the people who buy their products and learn a lot from the salespeople who sell the products. David Ogilvy, who wrote the famous Rolls Royce ad, got his big idea – the silence of the car – by visiting the factory where it was manufactured, and riding in the car. Yes, some of the best ideas come from the product itself.

His headline read: At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.

My Direct Mail Brochure For Campari
My Direct Mail Brochure For Campari | Source

Good Ad Writers Can Write Direct Mail

A direct mail writer has a tougher job than a general advertising writer. His success can be measured in terms of sales leads or products sold through direct mail. Whether a writer chooses to specialise in direct mail writing or not, he will probably write direct mail at some point.

According to Ogilvy, all copywriters should begin with direct mail writing. This is because direct mail communicates directly with consumers and elicits a response. This only measurable form of advertising requires a deep understanding of the target audience.

My Ad For KSTDC -Jungle Sounds
My Ad For KSTDC -Jungle Sounds | Source

The Thrill of Writing Great Creative

One of the advantages of this profession is the creative thrill a writer feels when he sees his work in a magazine, newspaper, on a hoarding larger than life, or in a TV commercial. A direct mail writer can find great satisfaction in generating a high response which means more business for his clients.

A direct mail writer has a tougher job than a general advertising copywriter. His success can be measured in terms of sales leads or products sold through direct mail. Whether a writer chooses to specialise in direct mail writing or not, he will probably write direct mail at some point.

Ogilvy On Advertising

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    • Anita Saran profile image
      Author

      Anita Saran 3 years ago from Bangalore, India

      Many thanks grand old lady! Interesting to know that you've written copy too. You're very talented. I have tons of stuff on copywriting and advertising related articles to hub.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      This is a very helpful hub. My copywriting skill set isn't strong and your pointers are a great eye opener as to why. Your personal sample ads are very nice and use very simple points of contrast to draw interest to the product. Having done copy myself, I know that the simplicity of the slogan is far from easy, that you can't be formulaic and that such work requires a long and steady process. I appreciate your work very much. Voted up, interesting and useful.

    • Anita Saran profile image
      Author

      Anita Saran 3 years ago from Bangalore, India

      Many thanks Arun!

    • ARUN KANTI profile image

      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 3 years ago from KOLKATA

      What I understand about copywriting is that one needs some talent for using words and how to portray and convey messages effectively to the target audiences. However, other aspects such as techniques, formats, skills can be learned. Thank you very much for an useful hub nicely presented.