Copywriting - Ultimate Guide
Copywriting can be described as writing copy, but as that basically just switches the two words around, let’s delve a little further into the definition!
Copywriting is the words that are written on web pages, promotional materials, ads, and more that describes the products or services that you sell or want people to know about.
This process is designed to ensure that your customers take the action that they need to and purchase or use what you are sharing with them.
In fact, copywriting is what helps all your design concepts, content marketing, and SEO move forward at a faster rate and therefore improves your business model.
Here are the 10 steps that you will need to follow to become an excellent copywriter:
- Understand Your Product
You may know what your product is all about, but you will need to take the time to research and decide which feature of your product is worthy of being promoted as the stand out one to all your customers. To do this, you should write down everything that you know about your product, so that you can easily write your product description.
This description should include two or three sentences of, well, the description of your product, along with what is unique, what benefit people will receive from it, what problem does it solve for your customers, and prominent features that your customers will benefit from the most.
- Know and Understand Your Customers
While you may know your product or products inside and out, you probably do not know everything that you need to about your customers yet. It is important that you do your copywriting for the people that you plan to sell your product to.
If you are looking for stay at home moms, then you would write all your copy geared towards them instead of middle-aged men who have no children.
If you currently unsure of who your customer base will be, then you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is going to buy your products?
- Who do you want to buy your product?
- What does, or should, your typical customer look like?
- What will customers love about your product?
Once you have those answers, you will have a better grasp on who will be reading what you write and who will be purchasing the items that you are selling. You can then write your ad copy, or other copywriting, based on what you know about each of your customers.
If you are still struggling with your customer base or are unsure of what to write to entice them to consider your product or services, there are a few other things that you can do.
First, you can use Reddit to see what people using similar products and services are saying or you can send out surveys to find out what people think about products and services that you offer.
Amazon reviews also offer a wealth of information, because you can look at all the reviews that people have left on similar products and see what they loved and didn’t like.
You can then use those little things to write amazing copy to make sure that your customers know that your products are better than all the rest.
- Write Headlines that Will Grab Your Customers’ Attention
The headline that you choose for your copywriting can either turn it into a masterpiece or make it so that no one reads one word that you wrote. You will obviously want the former, so that everyone that sees it will want to click on it to read more.
Make sure that your headline is unique, specific, and conveys urgency. In other words, your headline should be one that has never been used before, state exactly what a person will receive when they purchase your product or service and let everyone know what they will lose out on if they do not take action immediately.
- Always Write a Persuasive Copy
Your persuasive copy should grab a person’s attention within ten seconds, as that is how long a person will normally stick around before deciding that what you have is not for them.
Therefore, show the value of your product or service immediately and let them know what you are offering.
Then you should immediately share how everyone will benefit from your product or service. Once you share the benefits, you can then start to work on the features and what your product or service is all about.
There is one thing that you should make note of when you are doing your persuasive copy though and that is that you should write it like you are talking to someone.
Writing in that way makes you sound like a real person instead of someone who is trying to cram a bunch of SEO keywords into the page.
You should also address your audience as an individual instead of a group, so that your readers can relate to what you are saying.
After you write your copy, read it out loud to see how it sounds. If it sounds weird, go back to the drawing board and start over until you get it right.
As you are writing, you should also keep in mind that your readers are going to love shorter sentences more than longer ones. There is a myriad of reasons for this, but basically it comes down to the fact that shorter sentences are easier to comprehend and skim through quickly. Oh, and speaking of comprehension, leave all those big words out of your copy! All those fancy words are going to do is make your readers wonder if they can follow along with what you are writing.
- Determine What is a Feature and What is a Benefit
As mentioned above, you need to determine what features your products or services have and what benefits they all offer before placing them into your persuasive copy.
It is so easy to basically list out one feature after another and hope that people take the bait. However, it is the benefits of those features that will sell your product and services even more.
Therefore, instead of listing that your product or service is easy to set up, state that customers can start saving time right away.
If you offer a cancellation policy as a feature, simply list the benefit as customers have no commitment.
In this last example, you can probably understand why a person wouldn’t want to sign up if they thought that they had to cancel later on, because it would be an extra step for them. However, by stating that there is no commitment, people simply think that they are not locked into anything and that they can easily stop if it isn’t for them.
- Secrets to Keep People Reading
You may think that you have written a fabulous persuasive copy, but then find out that no one is converting because they aren’t reading what you wrote.
Creating what is referred to as a slippery slide in the copywriting world is how you will keep people reading long after the first sentence.
This slippery slide focuses on the headline, the first sentence, the next line, and eventually the call to action section. It is not easy to do, but it is possible if you use AIDA.
AIDA stands for attention, interest, desire, and action, and it works on everything from sales pages and blog post intros to video scripts and email newsletters.
Basically, AIDA will grab a reader’s attention with the first line, before drumming up their interest with a bold promise. They will then satisfy the reader’s desire before creating a call to action that will make everyone scroll down to start.
- Include a Call to Action
Your last step is going to be a call to action that needs to convey that everyone needs to follow through with their purchase.
Make your call to action simple, like a button to push to finalize everything, and position it in a place where no one can possibly miss it.
- Find Compelling Leads
As mentioned above, you need to find a way to keep people attracted to what you are saying, or you will lose them.
While an attention-grabbing headline and persuasive content is helpful, you may need to lead with something else.
The first sentence that you use needs to compel the reader to stay and some prime examples include:
- You know the feeling…
- A new study finds…
- I struggled with (insert problem here) for (number of years). Until one day, I discovered…
- Does this sound familiar to you?
A mini story is another excellent way to capture a person’s attention, as they will get reeled in by what you are sharing with them.
The issue with these mini stories is that they cannot be long! You need to find a way to write them in just four or five sentences, which is hard to do.
Sometimes you need to work with what you have, which is feedback from other customers, as well as their stories.
Your mini story can include a few lines that you basically copied and pasted from a comment or email that you received.
- Create Templates to Use Again and Again
Once you have created a fabulous ad copy, you are not going to want to mess with perfection. Or take the time to do it from scratch any time soon!
Therefore, you should create simple templates that you can use over and over and simply fill in the blanks.
These templates are available for email newsletters, landing pages, blog posts, sales letters, and more. The best part is that you can tweak each template to fit your needs if you notice that certain parts are not working as well as they should.
- Advanced Copywriting Strategies Everyone Needs to Know
As you are writing your copy, you will want to make sure to use crooked numbers. You may think that rounding your 52,849 visitors will look better if you round it to 53,000, but it won’t. Readers want the raw data and they are more apt to believe numbers like the first one than the second.
If you think that a button that simply states learn more is going to attract a reader’s attention, you are going to be very disappointed.
You need to make your conversion button crystal clear and have it state exactly what a person is doing when they click on it.
A simple Click to Access … is going to be much more effective than a button that states Learn More.
Creating a mental movie will help you make your copy more relatable to your customers, which is much better than just listing a few things for them to figure out on their own.
Instead, your mental movie will allow them to see exactly how your products or services will help them.
It does take a little time to become an excellent copywriter, but if you follow these ten steps, you will be well on your way to being one of the best. Of course, your business will excel because of it and you will have no one to thank but yourself, because you took the time to learn one of the most important features when it comes to sales.