Why Simple Writing Works Better

Reading Time: About 4 minutes

Someone once asked me…

Why I would, so often…

(At least in copy)…

Use so many…

One-line sentences…

And so many… well… of these things: “…”

Of course, the above is exaggerated.

But there’s no getting around it…

Many copywriters really do use a lot of one-line paragraphs.

Or even one word sentences.

Why?

Let’s explain using a demonstration.

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seo-content-writing

Here’s Why SEO Writing Can Destroy Your Content (and what you can do to make it better)

Reading Time: About 4 minutes

What is SEO writing?

Simple definition… SEO writing is content that’s Search Engine Optimized.

Which basically means having the right format, and density of “keywords” or “keyword phrases” in your writing, so the search engines know how to index your pages.

When we get the SEO right, our web pages show up at the top of search results.

And that’s what we want, right?

Well, yes… and no.

 

Yes, we do want our content to be Search Engine Optimized, so it has the best chance of showing up at the top of search engines.

But the problem starts when we write content with SEO as the main, or only focus. It might get us to the top of the search engines, but here’s the caveat…

Search engines don’t buy anything! People do.

What good is having your content show up near the top of google, if no humans actually want to read it.

 

Always remember, people use search engines to look for a particular phrase because they want to know more about it, or because they want to buy what you’re selling.

If your content reads like it was written by a robot, for robots, then you can pat yourself on the back for getting to the top of google. And when you’re done patting yourself on the back, you can spend the rest of your day wondering why your bounce rate is north of 98%

 

That said… There is a balance between SEO content, and HUMAN optimized content.

And that’s what we’re going to look at right now. How SEO copywriting can destroy your content (and possibly ruin your brands reputation at the same time). And what we can do to avoid this mistake, while still ranking in the search engines…

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pretesting-salescopy

How to pre-test your sales copy BEFORE it goes live…

Reading Time: About 4 minutes

Of course the only way to know for sure if your sales copy is effective is to test it and measure the results.

But there is a way you can pre-test your copy to give you a better than average chance that it’ll be good…

 

Have people read your copy before you put it out into the world.

In fact, have as many regular / average people as possible read it before you put it out into the world.

If you work at a company, show it to the non-advertising people. Show it to the mail clerk, show it to the maintenance guy, show it to the person who brings you coffee in the morning…

 

If you don’t work for a big company, then show it to friends, neighbors, or family members. Hell, you can even show it to the mailman if you get the chance.

 

And here’s the key to this whole process…
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common-enemy-in-sales-copy

Persuasive Copywriting Technique – Find a Common Enemy

Reading Time: About 3 minutes

There’s an old saying that goes… “The enemy of my enemy, is my friend”.

And when it comes to writing great sales copy this can be a very powerful thing to remember.

 

When writing copy, if you really want to rally the troops behind your cause, few things sell better than a little outrage at a common enemy.

If you and your target audience share resentment towards the same institution, corporation, or deity, then you’re already on the same side.

And when you’re on the same side, it’s easy to get people to pay attention to you when you speak out against the enemy.

 

In religion, it’s the devil trying to get your soul…

In finance, it’s the big banks or the government that wants to steal your money…

In the health industry, it’s bogus medical claims from the other guys, or it’s big pharma and the FDA that’s corrupt, and they’re the ones who are keeping you fat and sick…

In many retail sectors it’s the big box stores, or Amazon that’s destroying the livelihood of small business…

 

By drawing on a common enemy, you create an emotional reaction in your reader. (the most likely emotion is “fear” or “outrage”).

And invoking emotion is the holy grail when it comes to copywriting.

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The Fastest Way to Master Copywriting

Reading Time: About 3 minutes

What’s the fastest way to master copywriting… or anything, for that matter?

You could sign up for the courses online. You can read all the books. You can go to the seminars, drink protein shakes at the keyboard, or slaughter goats at the foot of a guru. And all are good, except maybe the goat bit.

But there’s an even easier way.

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Syntax-and-Context-in-copywriting

Syntax and Context in Copywriting

Reading Time: About 4 minutes

I was having a chat with a friend of mine (who’s also a writer) and after a little while, the conversation came around to the topic of syntax, and context in writing.

(yeah, I guess that probably makes us a couple of nerds. But this is the kind of stuff we’re interested in. So it’s not that weird for us to talk about advertising and copywriting)

Anyway, I thought I’d share the highlights of our conversation with you.

If you’re interested… then read on.

If you’re not interested… then I guess you can go nerd out somewhere else?

 

First, let’s start with a quick definition of syntax, just to get the ball rolling…

Basically, “syntax” in writing refers to the order of the words you use.

By using the same words, in a different order, we can completely change the meaning of the message.

 

Take this next sentence for example (Warning: cheesy example coming up…)

“The dog bit the boy”

Now, let’s change the order of the words…

“The boy bit the dog”

 

See how that works?

Same words, but the sentence now has a completely different meaning. Especially for the boy (and the dog)

 

So how can this syntax thing help you with your copywriting?

Let’s say you have a bonus offer with your product, and you want to add a touch of scarcity to your call to action.
The way you word it can have a huge impact on how it’s perceived by your audience.

Take this next example…

 

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copywriting-guarantees

How to craft a powerful guarantee in your sales copy… And increase conversions

Reading Time: About 4 minutes

One copywriting staple that belongs in almost every offer is the “guarantee” (I say “almost” every offer because some offers, like clearance sales, or going out of business sales, or private sales, might be “as is, as seen, no guarantee” offers)

 

But for the most part, if you plan on making a lot of sales, a solid guarantee is a must have to relieve the natural skepticism from consumers.

If a company is willing to guarantee their product, then it must be pretty good… right? And if you’re willing to refund my money then there’s no risk to making the purchase.

So a solid guarantee can remove some of the hesitation from the purchasing decision.

 

Of course, nearly every product has a guarantee or warranty of some kind. But not all guarantees are created equal.
For example, most products will at least have a generic guarantee that looks something like these…

 

– Try it risk-free for 30 days.
– If you’re not completely satisfied, we’ll give your money back.
– Simply return the product within 90 days for a full refund.

 

Now technically there’s nothing wrong with any of these guarantees. And while it’s true that all of them make the purchase seem less risky, and might instill a little more confidence in the product, the problem is they all look exactly the same as the guarantee everybody else (aka. your competition) is offering.

 

I’ve said it 1000 times before and I’ll say it again…

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Overcoming objections in your sales copy

Reading Time: About 4 minutes

When selling through the written word many writers are tempted to only talk about everything that’s great with their product.

Which makes sense at one level, because if we only talk about the good stuff it will cause our reader to only think about the good stuff, and they’ll be more likely to want it… right?

 

At least that’s the theory… But the reality is quite different…

 

The truth is… People are skeptical of marketing and sales pitches in general. And everyone knows that even the best products aren’t perfect.

So when we only talk about the good stuff, there’s a little voice in the back of your readers mind (sometimes it’s a big voice in the front of their mind) that’s wondering “What’s the catch? There’s always a catch! Because if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true”.

 

That’s why when we dismiss or ignore objections, and try to hide all the flaws in our offer, many people become even more skeptical. And they start to think of all the things that could be wrong with your product, and all the reasons they shouldn’t buy what you’re selling.

It’s not that they don’t want to trust you. But they’ve been burned before, or they heard about someone else who got burned, and so they naturally resist being marketed and sold to.

 

If your product isn’t perfect, never believe for a second that if you only highlight the good qualities, that the bad qualities won’t be noticed.

Consumers are very sophisticated these days, and online shopping has made it relatively easy for them to comparison shop without having to leave their homes or visit multiple stores.

On top of that, some sites even have reviews of products that tell consumers what they can expect from a product and what makes one different from another.

 

Quite frankly, it’s a bit foolish and naive to think that in this day and age you’ll have a totally uninformed consumer show up at your store.

 

So what do we do about the natural skepticism of today’s consumer?

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powerful-headline-essentials

Essential ingredients for powerful headlines – (Part 2 of 2)

Reading Time: About 5 minutes

Welcome back –

So in part 1 we touched on a few powerful ways you can improve the performance of your headlines. In this next short lesson we’re going to go over some common powerful headline formulas.

If you study a lot of winning sales copy you’ll probably recognize these formulas, and there’s a good reason they get used so often… Because they work!

 

Rather than having me go into a long introduction for this post (because if you read part 1 of this series then you’ve already been primed for what’s coming next), what do you say we just dive right in and get to the good stuff, OK?

 

1 – The Big Bold Benefit Headline puts your biggest, most compelling benefit right up front.

These headlines don’t beat around the bush, they get right to the point with a compelling benefit.

EXAMPLE:

“Earn Up To $5,000 In 7 Days From The Comfort Of Your Home”
“Lose 17 Pounds in Just 2 Weeks Without Dieting Or Strenuous Exercise!”
“Clear Up Your Acne In Just 3 Days”

As you can see, this type of headline doesn’t try to swoon, persuade, or cajole you into anything. It simply presents a compelling offer. And if it’s something that interests you, then you’ll stop to see what it’s about.

 

2 – The News-Style Headline sounds like an editorial or a news story headline.

These headlines work great for advertorial style copy where the entire ad has the appearance of a news story.

To get the most impact from this style of headline it helps if you can tie it into some legitimate news that’s happening in the current news cycle. But if you can’t tie it into a news cycle it can still be made to look legit, for some powerful results.

A couple examples would be…

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powerful headlines

Essential ingredients for powerful headlines – (Part 1 of 2)

Reading Time: About 6 minutes

Whether you’re writing a blog posts, sales letter, email, or any kind of copy where you want to engage your reader…

… If you want your copy to perform well, you have to start with an attention grabbing headline.

 

In this short post I’ll show you how to capture the attention of your ideal audience, and pull them into your copy.

This lesson is crucial because if your headline doesn’t bring people in to your copy, then it doesn’t matter what you’re selling or how great your offer is. Because few people will ever see it.

 

The late, Great David Ogilvy was quote as saying

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

 

Which makes sense, because if 100 people see your headline, but it doesn’t peak the interest of 80, then that’s 80 people who will never read the body copy.

I guess you could say a bad headline can kill your copy, before it ever gets a chance.

 

So, how would do we minimize the chance of writing a bad headline, and maximize the chance of creating a winner…?

Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about right now…

 

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