A lot of people are intimidated by writing.
But here’s the thing…
Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well.
David Ogilvy said, “People who think well, write well.”
Even if you “think” you suck at writing, you can learn to write powerful copy when you know a few rules…and a few secrets! 😉
Whether you’re launching a new course, a new website, or even writing your Instagram captions…if you have a few of these powerful copywriting secrets in your back pocket you can level-up your copywriting game in no time!
Without further adieu, here we go…
The most important sentence (after the headline) is the first sentence (or the lead).
The goal of the first sentence is to get the second sentence read. Then the goal of the second sentence is to get the third sentence read. You get the idea!
What might feel painfully obvious to you, might need to be spelled out clearly for your dear reader.
While following rule #2, be sure you don’t talk down to your prospect.
I call them “fillers.” The same way you might say “um” in your natural speech, work hard to eliminate those words that don’t add value to your copy.
Wait. What? Yes, you read that right. It’s often the most time-consuming paragraph to write and the most unnecessary to your copy. Don’t be afraid to delete it if it doesn’t add value.
Have you checked to see if your thoughts flow from paragraph one into paragraph two?
Just as the first sentence’s job is to get you to read the second sentence…the last sentence’s job is to get your prospect to DO something.
Do you want them to click, sign-up, comment? Be sure to spell it out.
Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” What more can I say to that?
ACTIVE: The man must have eaten five hamburgers. (GOOD!)
The man (subject) is doing the eating (verb).
PASSIVE: Five hamburgers must have been eaten by the man. (BAD!)
Hamburgers (subject) are being eaten (verb).
Don’t go around the block to get next door.
Does it make sense? Can you read it out loud without stumbling over words?
When in doubt drop that long sentence like it’s hot. Add a period, and move on with your life.
Find what the product or service does best and capitalize on it!
This should be part of your UI (user interface) and your copy.
How can you differentiate yourself, or make your offering better?
Look for ways to talk about what you know on as many platforms as possible. Get on a podcast. Offer to speak at a referral group lunch, use social media to your advantage!
This refers to the logic of your sentences. Is it possible? Is it reasonable to believe?
Instead of saying, “It’s important to effect the verbalization of concepts through the utilization of unsophisticated terminology.”
Say instead: “Speak simply.”
Repetition can be very effective when used sparingly.
Humor is great, but if you have to ask yourself if your reader will “get” it…it’s probably best to avoid it.
Here are some examples of redundancy: absolutely essential, clear and simple, each and every, pick and choose, meet together, natural instinct, success and achievement, test and evaluate, unexpected surprise
Asking a question can be used effectively to disrupt the flow of thought and jolt your reader awake. Best if used sparingly.
One idea per paragraph and link together with transitional words.
——->Who you are
——->What you’ll do
——->Where to respond
——->When to respond
——->Why he or she will benefit
——->How to respond
The truth about telling lies is that no one likes a liar. Right?! People expect a little exaggeration, but don’t cross the line into a flat out lie.
If you’re (<–contraction) writing anything remotely creative, or including dialogue, you should be using contractions. It’s how we talk in real life.
Your job is to convince your prospect that they need your product/service today. Tell a story, be creative, be human and be relatable.
Make your copy scannable, and make sure your subheads flow to tell your story.
Make numbered lists. Use exact numbers when possible.
If you’ve discovered or built a better mousetrap…sell your mousetrap.
Unless your Dr. Seuss, too much gibberish can feel like your reading fiddle-faddle.
Inspiration has to come from somewhere, but don’t steal other’s copy. Be original. Be YOU!
Read your copy out loud and see if you naturally take a breath between sentences.
Testimonials are so powerful! Narrow it down to the best sentence or two if needed.
Solve their problem, and getting them to buy will be easy!
I’m sure that even if you believe you suck at writing, you can become a better writer by learning these secrets. What other ‘secrets’ you add to this list? Leave them in the comments below.