Best Books On Copywriting For Beginners

Copywriting is a tricky art. It takes time, patience, and practice before you’ll be able to write with ease. The good news is there are many books out there written by successful copywriters that can help take you from beginner to expert in no time! In this article we round up some of the best books on copywriting for beginners that you should definitely check out.

In this post, we review the Best Books On Copywriting For Beginners, what is copywriting, and best direct response copywriting books.

Best Books On Copywriting For Beginners

Copywriting isn’t just a skill that helps you sell things. It’s also an art form, one that has been around since the early days of print advertising. Copywriters are often thought of as masters at manipulation—a reputation earned through their ability to bend language to their will and use it to get people excited about buying something they might not have otherwise considered.

If you’re looking to become a better copywriter yourself, here are some books that will help teach you how:

This is a complete list of the best books for copywriting for beginners.

  • [Copywriting 101: How to Write Copy That Sells](https://amzn.to/2QsAjkJ) by Lois Epstein
  • [Conversion Copywriting: Write Great Headlines, Web Copy & Sales Pages That Convert Like Crazy](https://www.amazon.com/Conversion-Copywriting-Headlines-Sell/dp/1495694890) by Brian Clark
  • [The Art of Powerful Writing: How to Transform Your Business into a Marketing Powerhouse Using Words That Work](https://www.amazon.com/Art-Powerful-Writing-Marketing-Powerhouse/dp/1936602882) by Paul Smith
  • [The Adweek Copywriting Handbook](http://amzn.to/2E8NHyT) – David Ogilvy

What is a headline and why do they matter?

Headlines are the first thing a reader sees, and they can make or break your copy. A good headline should be short, catchy and benefit-driven.

When writing headlines for your blogs or blog posts, it’s important to avoid overusing words like “you” and “your” because these words put the focus on you instead of your audience. Instead, write headlines in a way that makes people want to read more without being too wordy or complicated.

See what others have tried.

Start by looking at the headlines of ads in magazines, articles in magazines, books on book store shelves and blog posts online.

You can see what people are trying to get you to buy or read and replicate what works best. For example, let’s say you’re writing a subscription-based newsletter for freelancers. One headline that might work is: “Get Your Business To The Next Level With These 10 Tips.”

Another example would be: “How To Write A Great Headline That Converts”

Learn by doing.

If you want to be a copywriter, you have to practice your writing skills every day. You can do this by writing in a notebook or journal and reading books on copywriting. If that’s not enough, join some groups on social media where people share their ideas about what makes good writing.

Write the best headlines you can and practice writing new ones everyday.

Write the best headlines you can and practice writing new ones everyday.

Your headline is the first thing people will see, so it needs to be clear, concise and compelling. Your headlines also need to be relevant to your audience and include a call-to-action that’s actionable (i.e., “How To Get Rid of Acne” vs “Acne Hacks”). Once you have an idea for what kind of article or post you want to write about, use this headline formula:

Headline = [keyword] + [benefit] + [time period] + [delivering value]. For example: How To Lose 3 Pounds In A Week! Or My Favorite Weight Loss Trick That Actually Works! Or, How I Lost 40 Pounds In Six Weeks With This Simple Trick!

There are many good copywriting books to choose from.

There are many good copywriting books to choose from. Some of the best ones that I’ve found include:

  • David Ogilvy’s Ogilvy on Advertising (Amazon): This book is a classic and gets rave reviews from readers. It’s also one of the most popular books on copywriting in general. If you’re interested in learning about advertising strategy, this is a great place to start.
  • Don’t Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, Second Edition (Amazon): This book is all about user experience design—how people interact with websites or software programs and how those interactions affect their perceptions of your brand or product. It also has some useful information about copywriting as well, such as how much space should be given over to text-based content vs visuals like images or video clips. And if you’re working on an app rather than a website there are tips for that too!

what is copywriting

Copywriting is the strategy of creating persuasive content for Marketing and Sales with the goal of generating conversions and sales. Some examples are emails, websites, advertisements, catalogs and others. The professional assigned to write and develop the “copy” is the copywriter.

Are you able to convince your target audience through the strategic use of words? Can you delight and make your blog reader follow all the actions you indicate?

It’s important to know that your content can make a difference in a company’s marketing strategy by increasing the number of conversions and your network of customers and potential customers.

Do you want to better understand what copywriting is and how it can be the missing piece for your brand to achieve success? Then, this definitive guide is for you!

What is copywriting?

Copywriting is a content production strategy focused on convincing the reader to take a specific action.

The copywriter must write the “copy” (the content) thinking about its persuasive character, using triggers to arouse interest in the reader, in order to generate conversions and sales.

But anyone who thinks that this concept is new is mistaken.

The rise of copywriting

No, copywriting is not a new term. The word copy was first defined in 1828 by Noah Webster and, unlike its literal transposition—”copy”, the term referred to “something original that must be imitated in writing and printing”.

This definition fell out of favor in literature but persisted among journalists and printers who, in the mid-1870s, began to define the copywriter as the professional who writes ads, to differentiate this activity from the traditional news writer.

The copywriters of the 20th century, therefore, were nothing more than copywriters, and the work of these professionals helped several brands to gain fame and millions of dollars at the time.

However, with the popularization of the internet and the rise of Digital Marketing, copywriting was reformulated and started to distance itself more and more from advertising.

The difference between copywriting and advertisement writing

Paul Hollingshead, one of the founders of AWAI, one of the largest writer associations in the world, differentiates the two areas as follows:

“Copywriting brings a strong CTA, that is, a strong call to action, while advertising writing refers to a ‘soft selling ad’.”

From a more practical point of view, copywriting is more appropriate for attraction strategies, such as Inbound Marketing, in which the sales process extends over a long persuasive process. Advertising writing remains an instrument aimed at direct sales.

This does not mean that the two fields are perfectly distinct. Copywriting “was born” from advertising writing and a good portion of its tools were incorporated by renowned advertisers from the past.

The two types of writing, therefore, are complementary and their approaches are always mixed.

The main goal of copywriting

If the CTA is one of the main elements of a copy, it means that throughout the customer’s journey it will be necessary for the reader to take some action such as subscribing to a newsletter, downloading in-depth content, or just continuing on the blog and read another post, according to the strategy that was established.

It is from this technique that the copywriter is able to convince and capture the visitor’s attention to a website or blog and make them follow the instructions that are given.

This professional educates and trains the persona about a certain product or service to make it clear that their product is the best solution for their demands.

This is done through the production of rich, quality materials such as blog posts, infographics, e-books, whitepapers, webinars, and so on.

What is the relationship between content marketing and copywriting?

Like copywriting, Content Marketing is an old practice that has gained a new guise after the popularization of advertising strategies on the internet.

In the previous sections, when explaining the concept of copywriting, it was said that it focuses on conversion. Because of this, you must keep in mind that it will have great relevance in the adoption of Content Marketing by a business.

What is Content Marketing?

When Content Marketing is adopted in a company, the goal is to attract, captivate and educate the target audience through content that is relevant and rich for a specific audience.

By building a long-term relationship, it is possible to increase the network of customers and potential customers of the business, providing quality content that meets the interests of your audience.

In other words, Content Marketing leaves behind the old invasive advertisements to turn companies into real educators.

In addition, this strategy is very important to make a company a reference in its market, as it increases its authority and benefits the brand image, which, consequently, attracts new customers and favors business.

The role of copywriting in Content Marketing

As you can see, this “art of selling” cannot be summed up only in the act of marketing a final product, since the copywriter does not always aim to make a sale immediately.

The idea is to extend the consumer experience through a process — the sales funnel — and to lead your audience, step by step, through strategically prepared content to their final destination, which in this case is conversion.

If Content Marketing seeks to engage and attract the target audience through educational, quality content, copywriting will be the differential for the strategy to be effective, as it encourages the reader to take action.

The big secret, both for copywriting and Content Marketing, is to deeply understand who will consume the content. Thus, it is possible to bring the reader and their universe into the narrative and solve their doubts in the best possible way.

How to create a copywriting strategy?

Writing well is essential, but not enough if you intend to turn your reader into a customer.

There are 3 basic commandments that must be respected in the production of any content for Digital Marketing (be it a text, a micro text, a video, a podcast, or an e-mail):

In addition to these principles, when planning a copywriting strategy, some other elements must also be considered so that your content is beneficial to both you and your reader. Check out the most important ones below!

1. Research

A blog does not become a reference on a particular subject by accident. It will only achieve success if the content is incredible and really satisfies all the audience’s needs.

Therefore, it takes a lot of research and dedication, in order to produce the best possible content, that is, a piece that is really relevant to the persona, and capable of entertaining and educating them.

2. Goal

Do not think that the publication of posts should happen indiscriminately. Try to establish goals and a path for the customer within the sales funnel.

To assist you in this journey, a widely adopted practice is the editorial calendar. With it, you will be able to strategically publish content and launch campaigns, including the use of holidays and anniversaries.

Remember that this data will also be important if your company hires a marketing automation service.

3. Exclusivity

It is useless to produce more of the same. If your website or blog delivers only the same basic content that is easily found at other addresses in the segment in which you operate, it will never attract the attention of your persona.

To stand out and gain the trust of your reader, one of the essential elements of copywriting is exclusivity.

Be creative, invest in research and ensure that your content is unique, with new and relevant information for your persona.

4. Optimization

You will understand later the relationship between copywriting and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

For now, it is ideal that you already have in mind that SEO is very important to ensure that your website has a good position in Google search rankings—or any other search engine—and is found by users.

5. Analytics

Just as the relationship with the customer does not end when a sale is closed, your work does not end when the post is published.

Follow the metrics closely, see if the content is working well, check which tactics should be leveraged, and identify those that need to be avoided.

By analyzing your results, you will be more informed to make decisions and make the success of your website or blog possible.

What are the 14 main copywriting techniques?

Some techniques must be adopted to ensure that copywriting is a successful strategy. Below, we list the most important ones.

1. Know who your target audience is

Again: you must know who you are writing for or you will not have as many hits as you would like.

First, define your persona. This is a semi-fictional character who represents your ideal client from real data.

It is important to define age, sex, occupation, interests, hobbies, and any other type of information that is relevant to understanding the profile and behavior of these people.

In this way, it will be possible to create content oriented to your potential customers, with a style and approach that come close to their reality, increasing the possibility of conversions.

2. Set the right tone and language

Speaking of approach, it is essential to establish the tone and language that will be adopted in your content.

After defining the persona, you will have made this task a lot easier.

3. Create killer titles

The title is the first contact your reader has with your content and is also one of the most relevant elements for search engines.

There are several title formats: it can start with numbers, suggest a question, present the topic and then make a call, make a provocation, among many other ways.

The important thing is that it is straightforward—that is, the subject is very clear about what the content addresses, or what solution it delivers—, contains the keyword, and does not exceed 55 characters, to ensure that it appears complete on the search results page.

4. Create a connection with the reader

To establish a relationship of trust between you and your potential customer, you need to create a connection with them.

Thus, when planning a particular piece of content, list the strategies that should be adopted to make the reader feel that it was written with them in mind.

You will not simply sell your content or service, but show your blog visitor that you offer exactly what he needs through educational and rich content.

5. Use action verbs

How does one provoke a sense of urgency in the reader? Or the feeling that if they don’t follow your lead, they are likely to miss an unparalleled opportunity?

Remember that the main goal of copywriting is to make the visitor to your blog or website follow the action defined by you.

In order for the reader to understand the message and know what must be done, it is recommended that you use verbs in the imperative, mainly in the title, in the subheadings, and in the CTA.

6. Make comparisons

Humanity has used analogies and metaphors since ancient times to clarify ideas, and there are some reasons why this strategy works so well.

First, people are more receptive to familiar information. After all, the effort used to understand a totally new concept is much greater than necessary to understand something that is already known or implied.

In addition, our brain builds new memories from others, establishing connections between them. Therefore, if you can bring up a concept that is familiar to the reader and associate that information with the idea that you are transmitting, the chances of solidifying the content in their mind become much greater.

However, it is important to avoid direct comparisons with the competition, especially if your lines reduce other companies’ products or services. In addition to not being ethical conduct, this type of attitude arouses suspicion.

7. Use numbers and surveys

If you use numbers in the title, whoever is reading will already have a sense of how many tips will be given throughout the article. For example: “Learn about 9 important metrics for a call center”.

If your intention is to prove the information that is being given, to give even more credibility to what you are saying, quote data and research—without forgetting to link the URL from which you obtained the information.

We will talk about some common mistakes in the next sections, but we can already say that expressions like “according to researchers…” give the feeling that the message is not true.

8. Anticipate objections

One of the main goals of copywriting is to break objections, that is, those doubts that your follower or prospect has about your company or product.

These objections must be identified in advance during the research and persona creation, but they can be improved and updated according to the behavior of your audience and, also, of your competitors.

Like a good salesperson, the copywriter needs to be ready to handle any questions from the reader.

9. Work on your persuasiveness

As persuasion is at the heart of a good copywriting strategy, it is essential to know about some psychological principles to increase your convincing power.

Robert Cialdini, in his bestseller “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, clarifies that human behavior is guided by some fundamental laws. See each of them below:

You probably have already come across many articles and ads that explore these principles and it is good to start using them on your content too, but sparingly.

Once the indiscriminate use of these triggers has been identified, the effect is simply the opposite. Therefore, use this knowledge only as a basis for your arguments, never explicitly presenting them.

10. Tell stories

One of the most interesting and effective ways to attract attention and engage an audience is to tell a compelling story. This strategy is known as Storytelling and its main objective is to create a strong connection with your audience.

Stories are one of the premises of communication. Because they are deeper and more sensitive, they evoke emotions and memories, in addition to showing empathy by making people experience the information they receive.

Just be careful not to overdo it. After all, a persuasive story does not require the details and nuances of a literary work. In fact, Storytelling is just a tool to enrich your conversation with the reader and make this interaction more human, since there is nothing more human than storytelling, right?

11. Ask questions that will get positive answers

“In an advertising text, I’m going to throw a question here and there, but I’m often going to put it as a statement—you know, one of those statements that make readers nod their heads in agreement.” (Parris Lampropoulos)

When asking a question, structure it so that it is also a statement. Thus, the reader will feel that by agreeing with what you are saying, you will be reinforcing an indisputable truth.

12. Write how you speak

Think carefully, if you write in a way similar to the one you speak, an interesting phenomenon happens: the text is much more natural, allows you to get closer to the reader, helps to tell stories, and even makes reading easier.

Oh! Another important point is that, naturally, it doesn’t look like you are about to announce a sale, but rather that you are recommending something, like a friend yourself.

And this is a much more effective approach, don’t you think?

13. Emphasize the main topic of the content

“Get the subject right once. Then go back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time, with a ‘tremendous blow’.” (Richard Perry)

Sports metaphors aside, what this phrase means is that every text has an introduction, the development of ideas, and a conclusion. Therefore, reinforcing the main subject in all its content is very important.

Let’s say you need to talk about the health benefits of green tea. In this case, the ideal is that you introduce green tea in the introduction, develop throughout the text what are its health benefits of it and reinforce the importance of the product in the conclusion.

14. Sell the benefits and experience

More important than talking about the characteristics is to explain the benefits and the experience that the customer is about to acquire.

Remember the sales rules we talked about right after we defined the concept of copywriting? We don’t like the idea of being convinced to buy something, and when we do, it’s for emotional, not rational reasons.

By listing the characteristics of your product or content, you appeal only to the rational side.

However, focusing on describing the benefits and experience, the connection is emotional and the next step becomes something more natural.

Is it possible to create perfect copy?

One of the most prestigious copywriting jobs goes back to the time when the term was still restricted to American advertising copywriters.

In 1957, David Ogilvy, considered by some authors as the father of modern advertising, created the famous Rolls-Royce car campaign with a text of just 607 words and a breathtaking title chosen by half a dozen editors from his agency among 26 options created by them.

The ad entitled “At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock” raised the brand’s status and doubled the vehicle’s sales the following year.

Of course, Ogilvy’s proposal at the time was very different from the way corporate communication is handled these days, but the story helps to illustrate the importance of certain elements in an article, in this case, the title, and the power that a well-written text represents.

If you are thinking about becoming a copywriter, below we list some skills that you should have or improve.

Stimulate your creativity

To become a copywriter, there is no other way: you need to be very creative. Keeping up to date on trends and news are ways to surprise the reader and always keep your production in line with what they expect.

Keep in mind that plagiarism is a crime and can have serious consequences. In addition, search engine robots, such as Google’s, are always visiting pages and checking whether the material provided is really original.

If they find any irregularities, you can be sure that your blog or website will be punished.

Create authority

We have already talked about the importance of doing in-depth research and producing original and quality content, as these are essential factors to make you an expert on a topic.

In addition, they will be relevant to maintaining your authority and making you a reference in your niche.

Do not publish anything on your blog if you have doubts about the veracity of the information. It is also recommended that you always make a thorough analysis of your sources, in order to avoid spreading data or information that, because they are false, will affect your image.

Be persuasive

It is not enough to be creative and have the authority to talk about a subject. To get someone to actually follow what you are talking about, using persuasion is an attribute.

By improving this skill, you will be better able to convince and encourage visitors to visit your blog or website through your content alone.

Be direct

Have no doubts: if you go around and go around talking about a subject, the reader will certainly look for another blog that can deliver what they are looking for more clearly and objectively.

Consider that each content has a different role to play and that 100-word texts will not have the same development and complexity as 3000 words. But in all cases, make sure that what you are talking about is really relevant to the reader.

The 11 most important elements and triggers in copywriting

It is not necessary that all of them are present in the text. To make this clear, let’s see how each of them works within the copy.

1. Urgency

It is common for people to procrastinate a decision unless it has to be made urgently. Therefore, a piece of content must not only attract the visitor’s attention and involve them until the end but also make them adopt an attitude of speed that generates the conversion.

For that, some words and terms that cause the feeling of urgency may work. Here are some examples:

2. Connection

Some readers may feel distant from content producers, so using connection elements makes the two sides closer and this is essential in conversion-oriented copywriting.

In this way, the reader stops seeing you as someone who is trying to sell an idea or product to them and starts to see an ally for their success.

Some examples that show how the connection can be applied in the text are:

3. Specificity

Another element of copywriting aimed at conversion is specificity. That is, it is necessary that the text defines the deadline or the next steps that the visitor must take to execute the action. Some examples:

4. Transformation

What brought you to this article is your interest in knowing more about copywriting and how to write texts that convert, right? The same is true of all people; when someone consumes content, they expect something to change after reading.

Therefore, the text needs to make it clear from the title that it will cause a transformation in the life of those who read it. Here are some examples:

5. Exclusivity

One thing is for sure: the web is full of content! Whatever the subject, it is not difficult to find blogs and social networks that talk about it, bringing lots of information and tips.

Because of that, hardly anyone would like to read content that is “more of the same”, right? Therefore, your content must have exclusivity.

Let’s, as an example, show titles for articles that talk about Instagram and that have nothing unique:

Dull, isn’t it? Now see how the examples below draw much more attention and deliver exclusivity:

According to Robert Cialdini, author of the book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, human beings behave according to six psychological principles that lead them to make a decision almost automatically, which are the next elements.

6. Reciprocity

This principle points out that the human being has a natural tendency to respond to positive actions with other positive actions.

Provide your reader with valuable and relevant information to cultivate an interest in looking for you in the future—as a willingly provided favor.

For this reason, several companies have released manuals, free ebooks, and instructional blog posts. Whether or not it relates to the product or service provided by you, the tendency is to be useful first, to earn the public’s trust, and, only then, to sell.

7. Social approval

This trigger points out that we are influenced by others in our decision-making, so the greater the number of people who approve of something, the more people are tempted to do the same.

Therefore, it is common to use testimonials and comments from buyers.

8. Affection or affinity

This principle shows that people tend to connect with those who are similar to them, either emotionally, historically, or by characteristics and abilities.

9. Authority

The human being, for the sake of respect, has the tendency to obey whom he considers superior. To convey credibility in the text, try to specialize in the topic and select quality references in your writing.

10. Commitment and consistency

When someone commits to something, they will feel the pressure to behave in order to fulfill that commitment.

In the text, the principle of commitment and coherence is fundamental to gaining the confidence of the reader, because nobody likes fallacious texts.

So don’t do promises that you can’t keep, like absurd solutions. Being consistent in persuasive writing means producing content with logical sequences of ideas and connections between paragraphs.

best direct response copywriting books

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