Beginner’s Guide to Copywriting

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There’s a lot of confusion around copywriting. Many online marketers are leery of it, mistakenly believing that copywriting is all about selling to customers in an obnoxious or unethical way. They think of times when they experienced high pressure tactics or heard stories of scammers who disappear into the night after fleecing their buyers.

But copywriting isn’t about being unethical when describing your product or trying to force a customer to buy something they don’t need.

When used correctly, copywriting is a tool for serving your community and providing them with value. This doesn’t mean you can’t sell to your audience – after all, you’re running a business – but you can do it in a way that doesn’t feel slimy or unethical.

Write Copy that Connects

Copywriting is about connecting with your audience. When there’s a genuine connection and your community senses that you truly care, they’re happy to buy from you. In fact, they may even thank you for your products and affiliate recommendations!

Before you write a single word of copy, you need to slow down and consider who you’ll be targeting with your products or services. Knowing your ideal client is the secret to writing copy that makes customers eager to buy from and promote your brand.

If you don’t know who your ideal customer is or if you think your buyer is “anyone who wants it” then your copy is going to fail. You’ll be left wondering what went wrong.

Your ideal client determines the tone you’ll use in your copy. A good marketer knows that not every tone is appropriate for every audience. For example, you sell a digital course on learning guitar at home.

If your target market is twenty-something year old men looking to impress girls, your tone will be light-hearted. Your copy may reference flirting with and impressing a woman while you play guitar.

But if your target market is parents who have a child in elementary school, your copy will be vastly different. You’ll talk about the benefits of learning an instrument and share statistics about how kids that play an instrument do better in school.

After identifying your target audience, your copy should focus on your qualifications. You need to sell your community on why you’re the ideal teacher or creator of your course.

Again, you’re going to think about your target market as you list your credentials. If your target market is parents, you’ll talk about how you make lessons engaging for young kids. You’ll mention that you’ve been playing from a young age and how mastering an instrument gave you the fortitude to push those twenty-year-old men, you’ll mention that the lessons are short so they can fit them into a busy schedule. You’ll share that you serenaded your girlfriend after a huge fight and she totally forgave you.

It’s important to understand that you should never lie about your qualifications to your audience. If they find out, their trust in you is broken. But you can make sure you phrase your credentials in a way that will appeal to your community.

How to Create Copy Easily

Most online marketers can talk about their services or products for hours on end. They can explain the creation phase, why customers want it, and how to order it.

But if you ask them create copy about their product, they freeze up. They don’t know what to say and worry that their copy will end up sounding lame. So, they become paralyzed by this task.

The problem is that not writing copy is costing you money. Because when you procrastinate on your copy, your sales page doesn’t go up. Your product doesn’t get released. Affiliates can’t promote it and worst of all, your audience never buys.

The good news is that copy doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, it can be fun to create if you relax and enjoy the process.

The best copy starts with a goal, so start by thinking about what you want your customer to do. If you’re trying to sell a product, you want your customer to hit the buy button.

If you’re trying to sell your services, you want your clients to schedule their first session with you. If you’re doing something else like publishing content to social media, then your goal might simply be to get engagement on the post.

Once you have a goal in mind, close your eyes and envision yourself as a customer. Think about the journey they’re taking. Consider their biggest fears about buying from you and turn them into a list. For example, parents of kids may worry that their child won’t be able to focus during the lessons or they may be concerned their kid won’t be good with an instrument.

Next, consider the journey for your customer as each step unfolds. For example, imagine your customer listening to his child master the basic chords, then enjoying the moment as his kid plays a song through for the first time.

You may also want to think about setbacks that your customer might experience. Like convincing his kid to watch the first lesson or encouraging her child to play even though she’s struggling with a complex song.

Now imagine how life will look for your customer once they achieve their goal. For example, a parent might envision their child excelling at a public performance or graduating from a prestigious university with honors.

Write down what this looks like. You’ll use this information as the opening of your copy. It should describe what life will look like when your customer has used your product or service.

From there, tackle their fears. Use the list from before and counter their objections one by one. For example, if one of the objections was “my child won’t be able to focus on the lessons”, you’ll mention that each lesson is short and streamlined. You’ll share that the instructor has an engaging style and has taught hundreds of kids how to play guitar.

Next, you’ll talk about the journey that the customer will take. You’ll mention the highlights as well as a few setbacks. Then you’ll point out the journey could take much longer without an established leader to guide them.

At this point, you’ll mention your product again and showcase the most important features. Finally, present your community with the buy button and let them make the decision to work with you.

The Key Elements of Good Copy

Now that you know how to create copy that sells, there are a few key elements that you should know about. These elements are regularly used by professional copywriters so you’ll want to include many of them in your own writing…

Headlines

Headlines have to hook the reader or viewer into reading more. The hook is the angle of your headline. It’s the narrative you’re telling throughout your copy. John Caples created one of the best hooks with his headline, “They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano but When I Started to Play!”

This headline makes readers curious. Most people automatically feel for the underdog so when the hero of the headline is laughed at, they want to see him surprise everyone. That’s the hook that catches the audience and demands they read the rest of the text.

You can have an amazing article or sales letter but without a compelling headline, no one will read it. The best headlines make readers curious enough to click.

Call to Action

The call to action (CTA) is the place where you tell your community what to do next. Common CTAs include: call now, book a free session, download it today, buy now, add to cart, etc.

Closings

The closing is the part of your copy where you sign off. You add a closing phrase like “Thank you” or “To Your Success”. Then put your name and a guarantee. The guarantee is useful if you’re selling something and want to reassure your audience.

Power words

Power words are phrases or expressions that persuade your community to take action. Popular power words include:

  • Quic
  • New
  • Discover
  • Free
  • Offer
  • Instantly
  • Simple
  • Announcing
  • Create
  • Magic
  • Easy
  • Pre-Headlines

The pre-headline is a line or two of text before the main headline. It’s useful on landing pages and can quickly grab attention so visitors know they’re on the right page.

Motivating Phrases

Motivating phrase are exactly that. They are phrases you add to your copy to motivate visitors. to take action. Limited time offers, short term bonuses and exclusive features are some ways to motivate visitors to take action.

Transitions

Transitions are those phrases that keep readers moving from one paragraph to the next. Good transition phrases include:

  • Now
  • But wait
  • Next
  • Keep in mind
  • As a result
  • After
  • Remember
  • So
  • When
  • Learn more
  • Don’t forget

Price Justification

Price justification is a way of convincing your customers to buy from you. You can use this method by pointing out what customers would have spent if they tried to do everything on their own or hired someone to do it for them.

P.S.

PS stands for Post Scriptum, a Latin phrase often added to the end of a message. The PS is one of the most-read areas of an email or sales page, so use the PS section to remind readers of an important point.

Benefit Bullets

Most readers scan your copy. But they’ll stop and read every word when you add short bullet points. Professional copywriters use bullet points to share the benefits of the product they’re promoting. For example, using the digital guitar course from earlier, your benefit bullets might look this…

Benefits of Playing an Instrument for Kids:

  • Improves Academic
  • Performance
  • Promote Co-ordination
  • Teaches Discipline
  • Increases Self-Esteem

Don’t Give Up!

It can take some time to learn how to write effective copy. With this information along with this month’s tools, you’ll find writing copy can be a fun and relaxing experience.

Recommended resource: Done-for You Copywriting Templates