No matter what discipline you specialize in – copywriting is an aspect of marketing that permeates every corner of marketing. SEO, PPC, content marketing, social media, print, etc. The success of any campaign revolves around your copy.
The best copywriting books come in different forms. Some are tell-all guides. Others are more focused in their approach.
Copywriting comes in nearly unlimited forms. It could be a short phrase pasted over the top of a banner. It could be a 5,000 word blog post, or even a 100,000 word e-book. An email to colleagues or proposal could be considered copy. It’s all the same thing. It is content crafted for the purpose of convincing the reader to take action it some way. You could be convincing them to make a purchase, sign up for a mailing list, or simply responding to a Tweet.
If you consider yourself an entrepreneur of any kind, it would be to your benefit to study copywriting and apply it to anything that you write. Even if you outsource your copywriting to a trained professional – it teaches you how to communicate and write with purpose.
For any new copywriter, there are a few books that you absolutely must read. Many copywriting books cover similar subjects, but can attack different strategies from different angles.
If you are interested in learning about copywriting (and you should be) consider the following books, or series of books.
“Ca$hvertising” by Drew Eric Whitman
“Ca$hvertising” is bar none the best copywriting and marketing book that I have ever read, and likely will be the same for you. The book covers much more than your standard copywriting lessons, instead opting to approach more broad marketing topics from a psychological approach.
Whitman was a psychologist by trade, and is now a high powered marketing consultant and author. “Ca$hvertising” covers everything from the very basics of copywriting, to more advanced concepts. If you buy one copywriting book – make it this one.
“The Copywriter’s Handbook” by Robert W. Bly
One of the more popular items on this list, the book reached its peak for a good reason. “The Copywriter’s Handbook” has been updated twice, offering a complete step by step guide to writing copy for beginners, without sacrificing the meat that advanced career copywriters are looking for. It is an excellent resource for copywriters of any skill level.
Since its release, Bly’s name has become synonymous with copywriting. Some of the largest agencies in the world keep several copies of this book handy, as it is an excellent resource to turn to for any copywriting project.
“The AdWeek Copywriting Handbook” by Joseph Sugarman
Another common sight on the bookshelves of some of the largest copywriting agencies in the world – Sugarman provides a step by step guide on crafting copy that motivates and entices readers to take action.
This book differs from the rest because it takes a look at the entire process of copywriting – from the initial planning stages to the finished product. While most books focus solely on the copy itself, Sugarman delves deeper into the entire process of writing copy and fostering creativity from within.
“Oglivy on Advertising” by David Oglivy
To most, Oglivy is the most influential copywriter of all time. With the latest version released in 1985, you might think this book is outdated – that couldn’t be farther from the case. Oglivy is the godfather of direct response marketing and is personally responsible for crafting many of the concepts that are widely used today. Oglivy passed in 1999 at the ripe old age of 88, but his concepts live on today in nearly every advertisement you see, on any medium.
“Words That Sell” / “More Words That Sell” by Richard Bayan
In many ways each of these books are marketing thesauruses. Are you looking for a way to say “appealing” without actually using the word? This is the book for you. Bayan delivers copywriting tips intermixed seamlessly with word choice tips.
“More Words That Sell,” the sequel to the highly touted original expands upon the power word lists that the first book introduced. Introducing the lessons taught in these books will almost immediately improve any copy, and allow you to quickly grow your marketing vocabulary to include words that have been proven to work.