What Is YOUR Single Most Important Question About Writing Copy?

“Psst. Mind telling me your single most important question about writing copy?”
Well I’ve been collecting these questions to find out what my subscribers most need.

1) How do I write faster?

The faster you can turn out copy, the faster you get to the marketplace. I have 3 suggestions to speed up your output.

– Dig out that swipe file. A swipe file is a collection of junk mail, website copy, competitor’s copy, magazines, newsletters, etc. It is copy that attracted you enough to save for future inspiration. It can bust you out of writer’s block and give you ideas of how to structure your own copy effectively. (A swipe file is NOT permission to rip off another copywriter’s writing word for word. That’s called plagiarism.)

– Write to a timer. I have a kitchen timer in my office that I set to 35 minutes anytime I’m writing. Until the ding, I force myself to sit in my office chair facing my computer screen. I can’t check email or surf the web. I don’t even give myself permission to go to the bathroom until my 35 minutes are up. When you don’t have any option but to write, it’s amazing how quickly you do it. We all work better under a little bit of pressure.

– Let go of perfection. My husband, John, used to complain that my copy is “never done”. I can always find something to change in the name of improvement. But the truth is at some point you have to put your copy out there and see how it does. You can always tweak later but don’t let fear of imperfection stop you from putting your copy into play. Lower the bar.

2) Are there any magic words?

Yes. We buy based on emotion, not logic. And we are moved to that emotional state through our words or copy. Words tell a mental story far more effectively than any other form of communication. Each and every one is like a (very) short story in your mind. Now string the right ones together and you’ve got impact! With words, you can actually build an emotional world conducive to buying. So you’re creating a buying environment, not a selling one! Suddenly, you’re not the arm-twisting sales person. Now you’re offering something of value. The customer can either take it or leave it. Imagine how much stronger your position becomes! I recommend getting this book, Words That Sell by Richard Bayan. It’s like a thesaurus for copywriters.

3) How do you continue to build suspense and curiosity to keep someone reading?

There is certainly some skill to getting good at this, but the secret lies in the bridge phrases. A bridge phrase would be considered “throw away language” by your strict English teacher. It is a connector phrase that keeps people reading on. In reality, we use these connector phrases in real conversation. And good copy emulates the way people really talk.

Direct mail copywriter Maxwell Ross used the concept of the bucket brigade to illustrate how copy should flow. In the old days in America before fire departments, if a building caught fire it was up to the villagers to put it out. They would form a line from the fire to the water source. Then they swiftly passed a bucket filled with water down the line. That fast steady movement was what Ross said should also be evident in the copy. And bridge phrases keep that flow going.

Here are some examples of bridge phrases:

1. Best of all
2. But wait there’s more,
3. Even better
4. Good news!
5. Here’s why

The bottom line is you DO need to learn how to write copy if you want to be as successful as possible. The good news is it doesn’t have to be painful. The learning curve for copywriting is very short. You can go from being a rank beginner to being fairly good in a very short period of time. Consider enrolling in the next Red Hot Copywriting Bootcamp and I promise you’ll be well on your way to mastering all the copywriting you’ll ever need as a solo professional.

Article by:

Copywriting guru Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero has been helping entrepreneurs and copywriters get their marketing messages razor sharp since 1999. Get free access to 5 tips to turn your “blah” sales message into red-hot copy that ROCKS… at www.redhotcopy.com

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