Did You Answer the Question? Breaking Down The Article Title
Let's suppose that you're sitting at your computer and you search Google for "Is Copywriting a Rewarding Career?"
Google answers with an article that states ...
The history of copywriting dates back to when the first printed papers were distributed on the street. The actual word “copywriting” means the act of writing words to sell products. The copywriter is the person who does this, often found in ad agencies or at home as a freelancer.
The job of a copywriter began by creating ads on a large poster made of paper with a feather dipped ink (how deliciously antiquated and time consuming). These posters were fixed to walls and poles in the bigger cities of Europe. Centuries ago there were no printing processes to make duplicates, so each page was painstakingly handcrafted. Creating such ads was more of an art and it sounds incredibly meditative to me.
So far, no mention as to whether copywriting is rewarding or not.
The article then goes on to elaborate, in depth, upon the subjects of ...
- how to become a copywriter,
- pay rates, getting paid more,
- where to find jobs, what to put in your resume, and
- how to improve your skills.
Oh yes, the writer nearly forgot! The title of the article is "Is Copywriting a Rewarding Career?" so near the end of the article there is some discussion as to whether copywriting is, in fact, a rewarding career or not.
But, unfortunately, because the writer had a budget of 1,200 words they've run through most of their quota by the time they get to the actual point. In the end, there is only an allocation of 200 words to the subject of whether it's rewarding or not.
Why? They need to finish up the article so they can get paid ...
Did the writer answer your question?
Immediately, upfront and succinctly?
Do you feel that you were given the answer?
Or did you need to wade through the history first? Then a few other somewhat relevant ideas? And then finally were given a few hints.
You would be VERY disappointed if you asked the question Is Copywriting a Rewarding Career and you were given the ancient history of copywriting.
What Should You Do? Answer The Question
Google is a search engine. It is used by people who are searching for an Answer to a Problem.
Give them the answer.
At the beginning.
The very best articles - and the ones that receive the highest position in the Google SERP - answer the question for the reader, first.
What If The Answer is Quite Short?
Give them the answer.
At the very beginning of your article.
Then, elaborate on other interesting aspects and considerations. Explain why the history of the topic led to this answer. Or add in some anecdotal evidence that supports your answer. Or add in some interesting comments from others who have also answered the question, but in their own words.
When You Answer The Question, Make It Compelling.
In this screencast Katrina breaks down the article title to answer the question at the beginning of the article.
Finding Themes & Topics in Your Article Titles
When you first look at the article title, you ought to break down the words to find the theme/s.
You're looking for the THEMES in each article title.
When you have your themes, then you can break them down into points for your Outline.
Let's go through some examples ...
Is Copywriting A Rewarding Career?
- Topic = Copywriting
- Theme #1 = Rewarding
- Theme #2 - Career
What makes copywriting rewarding?
- Creative endeavour. Personally rewarding.
- Relatively accessible - no special equipment needed.
- Straightforward service offering. Clear-cut payment for words delivered. Easy to quote and manage work and clients.
Can copywriting be a career?
- Yes, if you invest long-term in your skills and learning.
- Yes, if you find an employer who is long-term content-oriented.
- Yes, online work is becoming more common and acceptable as a societal norm.
How to Apply for Copywriting Jobs (And Get Hired)
- Topic: Copywriting Jobs
- Theme #1: How aka Steps
- Theme #2: Which steps lead to success? Pressure points? Edge cases?
Step 1: Define your job criteria. What do you want?
- Skill level. Beginner or old hat. Articles vs PR. Likelihood of getting the job.
- Salary expectations. Price point for beginner or experienced.
- Type of company. Choose content-oriented. Writing topics.
Step 2: Find matching copywriting jobs.
- Job Sites that are full of tyre-kickers.
- Level of competition.
- Activity of employers and postings.
Step 3: Apply with a cover letter and resume.
- Cover letter stands out. Signature? Image inclusion? Different layout? Screencast walk-through?
- Resume shows that you're a copywriter and intend to be forever.
- Samples that match the content needed. E.g. news articles, diary entries, short stories