All posts in "Copywriting"

Learn Copywriting, Part 2

Published March 12, 2007 in Copywriting - 0 Comments

To get good as a copywriter, you must be a good student.

Find out what has worked in the past, and what is working now, and copy it.

Start a “swipe” file of good sales letters. You will need a paper version and an electronic version. Keep all of the good direct mail pieces that arrive at your home or business. At least, do your best to save the best of the them. Analyze them. What makes them perform well? What can you adapt to one of your projects? When you read an email or web page sales letter that you think is good, save it to your computer.

You will particularly want to save the copy for any product that you have personally purchased. Ask yourself what made you want to buy?
There are many books available on the subject of copywriting, and you should begin collecting them. In future posts, I will be discussing some of them. Find a mentor or copywriting buddy and ask them what single book has helped them the most. My favorite place to buy books is Amazon.com. Ebay also has some great finds if you know exactly what you are looking for.

Another good resource for studying advertising is your local library. Look at magazine ads that are run over and over again. Chances are the business is making money from those ads or they wouldn’t keep running them.

SEO Copywriting

Published March 9, 2007 in Copywriting - 0 Comments

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The goal of SEO is to rank as high as you can in the search engines.

It differs from “regular” copywriting because instead of merely writing for a human prospect, you are writing for a decidedly unhuman one that is supposed to think like a human one. The search engine (Google, Yahoo, etc) “bots” attempt to rank a page based upon how useful it thinks it will be for the reader.In the case of Google, this is different from buying adwords and ranking high there – on the right side of the page. SEO focuses on the left side, meaning the organic searches that people perform.

It’s important to keep in mind the difference between SEO and sales copywriting, because as you can see they have two different audiences (initially), although the end goal is the same: to get your words in front of the prospect.

Of course, there are many tools available that can enhance your ability to craft SEO-optimized copy.

Learn Copywriting, Part 1

Published March 9, 2007 in Copywriting - 0 Comments

Do you really, truly, want to become a copywriter?

A great marketer once stated the truth that Copywriting is Salesmanship in Print!

Think about that.

The path to becoming a good copywriter may not be the same for you as it is for another. But one thing is sure, the best way of getting good quickly is to get feedback.

Why?

So that you don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over. The old adage “practice makes perfect” is not really true; it’s better to say “perfect practice makes perfect”.

How do you get feedback? There are two main methods. First, you can sign up for and pay for a coaching program. I am currently in Ray Edwards’ program and recommend it highly. There are several available, and in the future I will mention some of them here. In many cases, you will have to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month. And put on your thick skin; the good coaches will tell you if your writing stinks.

This is okay because it will help you improve really fast, if you are truly motivated to do so. Just make sure that you choose a coach is really is successful as a copywriter and who has a reputation for effective teaching. And don’t kid yourself; you have to be willing to put in the time required as well as put up the investment of money. This means that coaching is not an option for many.

Second, write ads and see if customers buy. This is the only form of feedback that really counts.

“But”, you say, “I’m not ready to write ads yet!”

OK.

I’ll address what you should be doing in future posts, over the next several days and weeks. In the meantime, study every piece of direct mail advertising that you receive in the mail or via email. Ask yourself if the writing was effective or not, if you are in the target market.

(If you’re not in the target market, the question is irrelevant. In my case, you could offer me season tickets for any college or pro sports team, and at any price, I would not buy. Simply not interested. Gary Halbert talks about this as the “starving crowd” advantage. A “starving crowd” is the one factor that will ensure your success as a copywriter or marketer.)

Bottom line: study, study, study!

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