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This is a three part series that has a lot of information surrounding the copywriting craft. It sounds easy to just draft something up and use it for your emails, your landing pages, your squeeze pages, etc. but nothing could be further from the truth.
Good copywriting is not an easy task! There are ways of writing things, words to use, phrases that will trigger action by readers, and how you write to communicate that you are solving a problem or addressing a need to the reader will have a definite effect on how your lead list will grow, how many conversions you make, and the success of your online marketing program.
Copywriting matters today more than ever!
Today we are going to cover four more subjects on copywriting. They build over the four areas, and when you add them all together, with what was presented in the first article on copywriting that you will have a link to below, they add to your arsenal of tools you will have at your disposal.
So let’s get started…
Want to Write Your Own Copy?
Chances are that you are going to be creating your own products or writing your own books or reports as you move forward with your online marketing efforts. When that point is reached, it means that you will need to create a sales page. Note that this can be the case even if you are promoting other’s products or are repurposing PLR or MRR products.
When that point is reached, it means that you will need to create a sales page. Note that this can be the case even if you are promoting other’s products or are repurposing PLR or MRR products. Sales pages are the mainstays of online marketing!
Even if the PLR you purchase comes with sales pages already done for you, you still may want to change up the page to make it unique to you and your site. This way potential customers will see a fresh page that they have not seen and will not see on other sites.
For every landing page, basic guidelines will apply and need to be followed. As you create the page, you want to make sure that all these elements are included and written effectively.
The first thing you need is to write a compelling headline…
What I have done is to gather a folder of headlines that are proven winners and effective as evidenced by the sales that have resulted from their use. Over time, you will have a large file of headlines that you can then use as a starting point to write you own.
Another phrase that online marketers sometimes use is having “swipe file” which is simply a collection of headlines that you have found or read that make you want to read more. Save these when you find them, because the whole point is if your headline ISN’T enticing, you will lose the reader and they likely will not continue to read the rest of your sales page.
Over time, there are certain words and phrases that have proven again and again to provoke readers into reading more or taking action. For instance, asking a question in your headline works well. If you are going to do this, use how, what, why and when for your questions. These words are known as trigger words that get people to take action.
If you are going to do this, use how, what, why and when for your questions. These words are known as “trigger words” and they entice or induce people to take action.
Perhaps you are writing a sales letter – in this case you want to start your copy addressed to your potential buyer. Starting with terms such as “Dear Friend, Fellow Marketer, Online Marketer, Fitness Enthusiast, etc. This has the effect of immediately making the reader feel as though you are talking to them directly. It helps build a rapport.
What is effective often is to write your copy in a manner as though you are telling a story. Write in the same manner you would write to one of your friends. This means using easy to read and understand language style that evokes emotional feelings in your reader…Remember your goal is to make a connection with them.
Of course, all products have features and benefits that you will want to highlight these in your copy. But do not forget that the reader wants to know the following two things: ‘what’s in it for me’ and ‘why should I buy this’. These two questions will be at the forefront in their minds while reading your copy.
Another area to address in the sales letter is building in a sense of urgency, encouraging the reader to BUY NOW. There are other ways besides words to do this, such as adding in a countdown timer or a limited number of items offered, or a limited time special.
You always want to be sure to tell the reader what action to take…i.e. to “click here” or “hit the buy button”, or similar. They need to be directed into taking the action that you want. You cannot assume that they are going to automatically hit the buy button, you have to tell them to do it!
How Long Does Your Copy Need to Be?
One question that I used to ask and gets asked by new people to the business is the one regarding the length of a piece of copy. How long should it be?
There is really no one answer to this, it will depend on what it is you are selling and to who. let me give you a couple of examples: If you are selling a short 30-page white paper report, your copy will be most definitely be shorter than if you were trying to sell a $80,000 fancy sports car! So the best answer you can get on this is that your copy needs to be as long as necessary to get the buyer to take action and hit the buy button.
So really there is no reason to worry about the length your sales letter is or is not. Better to just start writing it out, add in all the elements we talk about above, and how long it turns out is how long it has to be. You want to include certain elements and points that are needed into your sales piece, that is what to focus on.
Here’s a basic outline you might like to follow:
(1) Headline. As mentioned, you may want to write a headline that asks a question or it may focus on a specific problem your product or service will help the reader with .
(2) Introduction. This is where you bring in the story part of the copywriting effort…Address your reader’s problem and start drilling down to explain how you are going to help them. This can be a longer portion of the sales letter wherein you tell the story about how YOU overcame this particular problem.
(3) Hint At Solution. As you write, you can starting hinting at a solution for the problem or need. This will keep them reading on further…
(4) Bullet Points. Use bullet points that address the features of the product. This is very helpful because you can use these just as with headlines – it grabs their attention and they will see immediately how you are addressing their problem.
(5) Solution. After the bullet points you can expand on how the product is the solution they have been looking for and you can tell them why, and how it solved the problem you too had if this is the case. They will know why it is the perfect choice for them.
(6) Testimonials. If you have any testimonials or reviews add them in too. Social proof is a very powerful tool to provide. Think about Amazon or eBay where people write reviews about products. Today 80% of people will want to see what others think abot a product prior to buying.
(7) Now introduce the offer. After all the above steps are written, then it is time to provide the price and statements that say something like; limited time offer, introductory pricing etc.
(8) Close. Here is where you may want to add a money back guarantee if applicable, and reiterate the main benefits yet again.
(9) Add a P.S. This is a section at the very very end AFTER the last buy button on the page where you may want to say something to the effect of; “You haven’t ordered yet, why not?” Point out one last time the product is on a limited pricing/time/availability structure. This adds a final sense of urgency and can entice the reader to take action.
After completing all the steps above, walk away a bit from your deliverable. After a break, then revisit the work to work out any issues for any of the areas you may notice. If you know someone that has some expertise, have them review the copy. test it out on some readers that are interested in the product to get their reactions.
Check to make sure that your letter follows and reads just like a letter. As you read you should start to create a sense of ‘I have to buy this now’ in your reader.
You can also think about and add in images that fit with or add to the copy. This is also powerful because it addresses the visual senses of the reader, and this helps them identify with it. You want the two to complement one another (graphics, pictures, videos with the text).
This short outline provides the basics of what needs to be in your sales letters and by you covering each point thoroughly and effectively, THAT will determine the final length of your copy.
Pay Attention to Your Sentences
This is a very important part of being a good copywriter. They regularly focus on creating short sentences that make a statement. This is a different style of writing from what you may be used to.
For instance, maybe you are accustomed to writing fiction, where you regularly add more fill to each sentence. You seek to add in descriptions that will evoke images of the characters or scenery in reader’s minds.
Good copy for sales is different. It needs to be short and sweet. A good piece of advice I have found is that you should address in a concise manner the 5 W’s. This is the “Who, What , Where, Why, and When.” Then on top of this process. you will want to add in facts to these sentences. This has the effect of reinforcing your ideas to your readers.
I recommend collecting good sales copy and adding it to a folder that is stored next to the one you create for headlines. This is always good to have close-by as you write, it will give you ideas and inspiration for your own copy creation.
Specifically, for that good copy you are collecting, note the use of sentences, the bullet points, the headings and any sub headings that you may find. These are all key…..
One other thing to consider….People will be reading your sales copy on their computers and their mobile devices. Today more time is spent on the internet using mobile devices than laptops or desktops.Some will have smaller screens that do not display as much text. So you need to have text that is easy to read. You have probably experienced trying to read a large,
This means you need to have text that is easy to read. This is another reason to use short emphatic and string sentences. People will bounce if you have a large, never-ending paragraph of text. This is why short, clear sentences are important.
When writing sentences for your copy, remember that you are connecting and evoking emotions in your readers. So dig down and reach for the inside of their heads…Bring their problems to the surface.
There are a number of ways you can do this – one is addressing their fears…They may be worried about losing their job, they may be worried about their health or finances. Make sure you bring this up in your copy. This is very powerful and helps sell your solution…
So after addressing these fears you want to evoke, then you promise solutions to these fears they are feeling. Frame up your sentences, paragraphs, headlines, bullets and sub-points in this manner, and you are giving them hope. This makes them more apt to buying your solution to their problem.
As you can tell this is quite complex and likely you now understand why great copywriters are in demand and can command high rates from clients. It is not as easy as it appears as you read all that good copy you see out there.
It does take a lot of practice to hone your copywriting skills. If you can just remember to write short sentences you will be half way there.
The best way to get better at this is to practice writing out lots of short sentences that are concise. Write them in the active voice, in general it also makes the sentence shorter and stronger.
Also. start practicing writing out short headings and sub-headings. Remember that adding these headings and sub-headings to your copy breaks up your text and page and makes the copy easier to read…Plus, it does result in the overall appearance of the copy more pleasing to the eye when you use these.
Writing Copy for an Unknown Topic
Be aware that if you are serious about wanting to be a copywriter that there will be times when you have to write on request for someone asking you to write on topics that you have no knowledge whatsoever about. While you do have the right to turn down any project, you don’t want to turn down a job due to the subject matter. There is a way for you to become an expert on any topic!
One good thing if you are independent is that you can turn work down that may not suit you. The danger is that you may not get enough work to live on however. While you do have the right to turn down any project, you don’t want to turn down a job due to the subject matter. There is a way for you to become an expert on any topic!
While you do have the right to turn down any project, you don’t want to turn down a job due to the subject matter. There is a way for you to become an expert on any topic!
The other thing is that if you do not challenge yourself at times to go outside your comfort zone, you are limiting your growth as a professional copywriter. You are also going to limit yourself when it comes to clients and soon may find that you are always writing on the same subject – this likely will become boring and tiresome very quickly.
A better way to think about and approach such work that clients want you to do for them is to look at writing copy for an unknown topic as a challenge. Something new can really get your adrenaline going and will add an element of fun and excitement to your business. Pushing yourself a bit is not a bad thing…
Before you challenge yourself too much, it would be good to get proficient at writing copy on subjects that you are familiar with. This will help give you confidence that you have the requisite skill to cover any subject. Once you can easily hammer out copy and have good conversions you can start to tackle different subjects.
It is important to remember that no matter what the topic of your copy may be, you are being hired by a client unless you are writing for yourself. They are the expert and kow what they want. You may have to pull it out of them, but they have an idea anyway what they would like to see. So how do you do this?
The best way to get to the right approach and desired outcomes is to interview them. This can be done in person, or nowadays phone or video call interviews will suffice. Record the calls so you can refer back to them when needed.
Prior to making such a call, plan out a list of questions you will want answers for – this will help you create copy that the client is looking for and will be satisfied with. Your job during the interview is to get the questions answered so you have to take charge and make sure the conversation stays on topic and gets you what you will need. Doing this will make your creative process that much easier.
If you record the conversatiom let the client know and also keep your note-taking to a minimum. Focus on the client and what he is saying…Later you can refer back to the call record.
Another thing you can do is to ask for a slide presentation of the topic they want you to write copy on. This is yet another great way of getting all the material you may need for preparing your copy without having to do extensive research.
So you see, you can easily become an expert and write compelling copy for any topic! It is not as hard as you thought, but practice will make you better…
Today we covered a variety of topics that surround the craft of copywriting. Taken together, they provide some great guidance for you to start with your own copywriting effort. Now it’s your turn to put something in paper!
The best way to learn is to learn by doing. This means that you need to roll up your sleeves and get started with your own copy. Try some headlines out try some landing pages, look to see how you can emulate the good copywriting you see out there.
If you have someone that is somewhat experienced that you can ask for feedback from, I would tap into that person or persons. This is the only way to get better. The more you practice the better you get…
If you want, post some of your efforts below and let’s see if we can’t get some critiques going. As I have said before, we all can help each other get better. I have done a lot of different writing over the years, and this does help. Copywriting for sales is unique and not the same as what I have been involved in.
If you have found this article helpful, also let me know below please. This three part series was put together after I received a request from a comment, and I am better for having gone through the drill of putting the series together! This is what I am talking about, we push each other to success and more success!
I always end up my posts asking for feedback. This is so important because we will learn when you do this. It starts conversations and debates, it brings out further points that are not covered in this article on copywriting, and the engagement makes it more interesting for us all. Thanks in advance for adding your thoughts in the comment section below!