copywriting-formula

Copywriting Formulas – Fundamentals Of Copywriting part 5

Reading Time: About 5 minutes

 

OK, in this session we’re going to talk about formulas for writing persuasive copy.

One thing we rarely see when someone shows us a copywriting formula, is the acknowledgement that they should only be used as guidelines to writing more compelling copy.

Because not every formula will work the same for every offer.

In fact, at last count my archives had around 30 different “formulas” for writing copy. And while most of them have similar concepts, trying to follow them all at once would leave us lost, and turn our copy into unmanageable mess.

So in this post we’re just going to cover a couple of the common elements held by most of them.

 

Let’s start with the most basic copywriting formula, and expand on it a bit with some standard checklist items…

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layout-salespage-readability

Basic Structure and Readability – Fundamentals of copywriting Part 4

Reading Time: About 9 minutes

Authors note: This post belongs to a multi part series called the fundamentals of copywriting , and it holds the most value when the entire series is read in order, starting with part 1 Understanding the product .

 

Welcome back,

In the last lesson we went over some of what makes a compelling headline more powerful. This time we’re going to look at the layout and readability of our copy.

Making your copy easy to read, and with a certain cognitive flow, will keep more people glued to your words and engaged with your message. And the longer people stay engaged with your message, the better chance we have to bring them closer to the sale.

 

The actual structure of your copy will vary, depending on where it’s being used.

For example: Online; the layout of email is different from a full sales page, which is different from a lead magnet opt-in page. And offline there’s even more differences.

But many of the same readability elements still apply.

Most of what we’ll talk about today will relate to the online world. Because even though I began copywriting 20+ years ago in the offline world, I understand and accept that these days most people are interested in online copy. So that’s what we’re going to focus on for now.

 

And with that short intro, let’s dive right in and talk about the basic layout and readability of our copy…

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winning-headlines-copywriting-fundamentals

Writing Winning Headlines – Fundamentals of copywriting Part 3

Reading Time: About 7 minutes

So in our last two sessions we went over the concepts of Understanding the product, and then we talked about how to define your ideal customers.

 

And now we’re going to begin tying the two together so we can present your product or service to your target audience in a way that means something to them.

Of course the first thing we need to do is get the attention of our ideal clients.

Because if we don’t get their attention then it doesn’t matter how good our offer is, because they’re never going to see it.

And that’s why today we’re going to start at the top of the page, with our “headline”.

 

Our headline can often make or break our offer, because It sets the tone for the rest of the copy.

The main purpose of our headline is to get the attention of our target audience, and offer them the promise of a better future (either take away their pain, or move them towards pleasure)

It’s the first touch-point from our offer. It gets our target markets attention by calling out and saying “Hey, here’s something of interest to you”.

And once we get peoples attention, then we’re off to a great start.

 

So if you’re ready to build an attention grabbing headline for your copy… Let’s get started…

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defining-the-customer-powerful-copywriting

Defining Your Customers – Fundamentals Of Copywriting Part 2

Reading Time: About 4 minutes

Welcome back,

In our last session we talked about understanding your product along with its features and benefits.

But even more important than understanding the product, is knowing your audience. Because how you sell and the words you use in your copy is determined by who you’re selling to.

Simply put… unless you plan on buying 100% of your own product, it’s not about you or your company that makes the sale… it’s all about the customer and why they want to buy.

 

Understanding your audience Is critically important because each group of people will have different dreams and desires, and different fears, pain points, and cultural language that resonates with them.

For example: Stay at home moms have different priorities than single people with no immediate family. They may both want to buy healthy food, but one is doing it for the whole family’s sake while the other is doing it just for themselves. And you’ll need to use different language to trigger the emotional hot buttons from different groups…

If you’re selling to seasoned business professionals, you’re going to write differently than if you’re selling to first time entrepreneurs…

…If you’re selling to 20 year olds, you’re going to use different words than you would when your selling to 50 or 60 year olds.

These differences will influence the way you write your copy. And that’s why defining your customer is going to be the most important part of the copywriting process.

 

So let’s get started with defining your ideal customer…

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understand-the-product_fundamental-of-copywriting

Understanding The Product – Fundamentals Of Copywriting Part 1

Reading Time: About 5 minutes

OK, so when it comes to the fundamentals of persuasive copywriting, no matter what you’re selling or who you’re selling it to, there’s a few things we always need to consider before we begin. It’s like setting the foundation for a building… The more solid the foundation, the more solid the building.

So today we’re going to touch upon one of the corner stones of a solid foundation…

Understanding the product.

We’re going to identify some key features and benefits that appeal to your audience. And we’re going to talk about understanding your offer (the product or service you’re presenting).

So if you’re ready… let’s get started…

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emotional-triggers-sales-copy

Emotional Trigger Words for Powerful Content

Reading Time: About 6 minutes

Before we get started I just want to say for the record… I’ve never been a big fan of so called “power word” lists.

The main reason is because too many people read those lists, and then scattershot random power words throughout their writing. By the time they’re done they end up with content that might sound exciting… but has no substance.

It’s like filling your car with high octane fuel, and then driving really fast in a undisciplined direction. Eventually you run out of gas and end up in the middle of nowhere.

Personally, I prefer writing that has substance. Writing that leaves people better off for having read it.
Especially when we want people to take action from our words, having a deliberate direction is far more important than just moving fast.

So, with that as my disclaimer… I think most of us would still agree that some words have more emotional impact than others.

The goal of this post is to give you a few examples of words that can bring emotion and power to your writing.

Use them wisely, and you can embrace high impact fuel in your writing. Use them haphazardly, and I’ll call you a cab when you run out of gas…

 

OK, after that lengthy introduction, let’s just dive right in… Shall we…

To begin, let’s start with a couple broad based categories from some of the more powerful “Emotional Trigger” Words

 

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5 Insider Secrets for Penning the Perfect Article

Reading Time: About 4 minutes

So you want to be a better writer? I have three words for you. Keep. It. Simple.

Seriously, if you can do that you’ll be in better shape than 90% of the hacks out there.

Because when it comes to writing, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Cast your mind back to the most riveting book you ever read … Got it yet? How did it feel as you
turned those pages?

I’ll bet the prose flowed effortlessly. I’ll bet it whisked you away on a journey of the senses. And
I’ll also bet that you were barely even aware that you were reading a slab of text. Because your
imagination was on fire.

There’s no doubt that the best writers tend to have a unique flair. But even so, the art of writing a
great article (or short story) is, well, actually more of a science. And that means that – with a bit of
experimentation – anyone can master this valuable skill.

So slap on your goggles and have your test tubes at the ready. (Or something like that.) Today
we’re learning how to transform words into solid gold…

 

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(confessions from a 20 year copywriter) 4 Things I Wish I Knew, when I first started writing sales copy …

Reading Time: About 9 minutes

The year was 1994 and I had just walked away from the last official J-O-B that I would ever work at. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but I knew that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life working for peanuts, just to make someone else rich.

On top of that, after 2 years in the army followed by 7 years working at that sawmill; My 30 year old self was all done taking orders from idiots.

So off I went, headstrong and unsure what the future would bring, but cocksure that I could do it better on my own.

 

I tried MLM for a while (because someone told it was an easy way to make big money, in a short amount of time). After a little more than a year, I was beginning to suspect that my MLM recruiter wasn’t completely honest about how easy it would be. So I started a small home improvement business.

 

After about 2 years on my own (the time it took for me to blow through most of my savings) I began to realize that I didn’t know diddly jack squat about running a business.

I was good at face-to-face selling, and a friend was taking care of the bookkeeping for me, but without a steady flow of customers my business was like a truck with no fuel.

That meant I had to get good at advertising and marketing, in a hurry. Otherwise I’d need to choose between finding another job… or getting really drunk and driving my car over a cliff. (and both of those options had about the same appeal to me)

 

So I started learning everything I could about advertising and marketing. And as I implemented what I learned, my phone started ringing more and more. Pretty soon I was flush with cash, and I was hiring my first few employees.

Now as powerful as all types of marketing can be, the one thing that that drove my fascination the most, was the magic I saw happening whenever I changed a few words in my sales copy. Simply changing a few words, or shuffling them around, often made the difference between a trickle of response, or a flood of leads pouring in.

And that was it… My love affair with words was born, and I began devouring everything I could find on the topic of copywriting. My girlfriend at the time told me I was becoming borderline obsessed, but she was too late… I had already crossed over that border.

Over the years, I owned and operated a few more small businesses. And I continued to learn and test different copywriting styles, until eventually I began writing and consulting for other business owners. And that brings us to today…

 

OK, I know that was a pretty long introduction. And I thank you for sticking with me this far. But I imagine you’d like me to just get on with the 4 Things I Wish I Knew, when I first started writing sales copy… Like I promised in the headline of this post?

Well OK then, here we go…

(note: I did not make any of these things up on my own. I learned these lessons over the years, and as I learned them my copy got better and better. These lessons may sound familiar or obvious to some of you, but based on a lot of the sales copy I see these days, there’s many people out there who still need to learn them)

 

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Pt. 2 – 10 Persuasion Secrets Of A Con-Artist You Can Use In Your Copywriting

Reading Time: About 8 minutes

So here we are, back for part 2 of some really cool persuasion secrets of a con artist, that you can adapt to your sales copy.

Before we get started I’d like to thank everybody who sent me positive feedback on part 1 of this article. (I suppose I should also thank the two guys who sent me snarky feedback…? Naw, screw those guys. I’m just gonna thank the positive folks this time around)…

And just a reminder, when you’re logged into the community you can always post your comments right here on this page instead of trying to message me.

Anyway, I got enough positive feedback from part one; so as promised, I’m delivering part 2 for your education, and entertainment. (Hmm, I guess that would make it “edu-tainment”?)

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s continue with part 2 of our story…

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10 Persuasion Secrets Of A Con-Artist That You Can Use In Your Copywriting

Reading Time: About 5 minutes

 

When I was younger I had a friend named Mark M. (for privacy reasons I won’t use his last name here). Mark was an interesting character, and a lot of fun to hang out with. And he was also one of the smoothest con artists I ever knew.

30 years later I can still remember the day we went to a local shopping mall, just to hang out.

We walked into that mall with less than $20 between the two of us. And a couple hours later we walked back out with full bellies from one of the restaurants, and Mark had shopping bags with over $200 worth of brand new clothes. (not stolen… these clothes were “given” to him by the shop clerks) And this was just another average day for Mark.

Over the years, we lost touch and I don’t know whatever happened to my friend. I figure he’s either a multi-millionaire by now… or in prison (It could’ve gone either way). But watching him in action always fascinated me so much, that it eventually led me down a road of studying social psychology, social engineering and persuasion. (I never wanted to be a con artist, but I did become obsessed with understanding how that shit worked)

Which brings us to today.

Today I’m going to share a few tricks of the con-artist trade that also resemble “honest” tricks of the copywriting trade.

 

So if you’re ready, let’s dive right in…

 

WARNING! The following list of techniques should ONLY be used for good (not evil). If you’re clever enough to merge them into your copy, you will see higher conversion rates. But if you choose to use them to deceive people it will probably come back to bite you in the ass. And any legal troubles you get into are your own fault. So don’t blame me… and consider yourself warned.


 

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