Copywriting Books to Master for Better Copy

Copywriting is a competitive industry where complacency could spell disaster for your career. Expanding your knowledge is essential if you need to gain the upper hand in today’s market. These copywriting books contain ideas that will help improve your writing. 

But before we get to them, let us set the tone by providing you with a brief refresher on a few fundamentals.

A vector of various social media platforms and apps.
Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

What Is Copywriting?

Copywriting refers to the art of translating a business’s goals into successful sales and advertising copy. It uses structure and language to communicate a targeted message

Copywriting requires persuasion, sales, and marketing skills, including the art of developing creative messaging that leads to sales. 

A complete marketing strategy includes brand design, content marketing, search engine optimization, and growth marketing. Copywriting holds all these elements together because it converts readers into clients and generates the sales needed to justify marketing spending. 

Effective copywriting allows businesses to share their products with the world and tell their stories. This helps readers determine whether they like how a company promotes its product.

Copywriting Vs. Content Writing

It’s a common misconception that both these types of writing are interchangeable. Each has a different approach, style, and purpose. Knowing the difference will allow you to determine the right writing strategy for you. 

Copywriting refers to any writing that attracts the attention of a particular audience. Its primary purpose is to sell a product, service, or brand and to persuade readers to buy or use them. They can also ask for a direct response from prospects.

Some copywriting examples are Facebook ads, letterheads, landing pages, email newsletters, brochures, and slogans. 

On the other hand, content writing is a general form of writing that focuses on building rapport with an audience. Content writing achieves this by providing people with important information and creating a positive brand image. It also aims to increase a website’s domain authority.

Some content writing examples are blog posts, social media posts, articles, press releases, e-books, slide decks, and videos. 

In short, content writing builds customer trust while copywriting persuades leads to take a call to action. (i.e., purchasing a product or subscribing to a service)

Both ways are tools essential to every marketing campaign. However, while they look simple to write, it takes a lot of creativity and skill to get clicks.

Reasons to Learn Copywriting

Learning copywriting will allow you to become a better writer overall. In addition, it will enable you to improve your content marketing process. Because copywriting can make or break a business, expert copywriters are in high demand. This means that copywriting jobs pay well. 

But besides the extrinsic rewards, studying copywriting courses teach you to:

  • Write good product descriptions
  • Create relevant content
  • Build an online and offline presence
  • Improve company image
  • Write powerful headlines
  • Come up with attention-grabbing headlines and titles

You can use these skills to start your copywriting agency. Marketers can apply copywriting principles, concepts, formulas, and techniques to improve their content. They can even start freelance work if they want. 

Copywriting Books That Every Marketer Needs to Read

Copywriting requires more than the ability to write. It requires the ability to write persuasively. We recommend these copywriting books in no particular order or rank:

  • Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
  • The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert
  • The Z-Letter by John Carlton
  • Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.
  • Influence by Robert Cialdini
  • Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
  • The Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert Bly
  • The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy
  • Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples & Fred Hahn
  • Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz
  • The Everything Guide to Writing Copy by Steve Slaunwhite
  • The Advertising Secrets of the Written Word by Joseph Sugarman
  • Made to Stick and Switch by Chip and Dan Heath
  • The Adweek Copywriting Handbook
  • How to Write a Good Advertisement by Vic Schwab
  • My Life in Advertising by Claude Hopkins
  • Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
  • Wired for Story by Lisa Cron
  • The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath
  • The Opposable Mind by Roger Martin
  • Persuasive Online Copywriting by Bryan and Lisa Eisenberg
  • Content Rules by Ann Handley
  • Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Many books on this list have been printed even before the internet. Most of them are over 30 years old. Even then, the pieces of advice they contain are still relevant today. They also cover examples of winning ads, the Psychology of selling, and copywriting tips and tricks.

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re starting as a copywriter or a seasoned copywriter, there’s always something new to learn from these books. Many of them are easy to find, and some of them are even free.

This long list of time-tested classics is great for copywriters as well as content creators. They are some of the best copywriting books available. 

Remember that each author has their understanding of copywriting, and that’s the beauty of it. – By reading different books, you also learn how to craft various types of copy and this will help influence the way you write.

Each resource has wisdom and practical examples to offer, and they teach readers the hard skills necessary in copywriting. Follow their knowledge and try to master them if you can. 

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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