Do you struggle with writing copy? Having trouble coming up with ideas and copy that does what you hope it will? Me too! Full disclosure, I have always dreaded writing copy, I dodged it like it was a missile. This is embarrassing to admit but I have always struggled with writing. I had trouble connecting thoughts together in a way that told a story and flowed in a logical way. I decided a very long time ago writing wasn’t my thing, and I am far more articulate in a conversation. In reality, in my chosen field of marketing it is a necessary evil. I can’t possibly talk to everyone, but I can share my knowledge, experience and tips with everyone if I can write.
Begrudgingly, I put learn to write better copy on my to do list, I added it to every to do list for 5 years in a row. I just never really felt like I could put that satisfying line through it. Now don’t get me wrong, I wrote copy, but it was always missing some pizzaz. Then one day it hit me, I was being ridiculous, I could tell a story, I just needed to put it on paper.
I don’t want you to have to wait for some magical fairy to arrive and poof you’re a great writer. I know that if I can write copy that works, you absolutely can. You just need to think about it differently and have a plan. I am going to share my copy writing strategy that makes it possible for me to write a blog in about an hour and ad/social copy in minutes.
Do this first, it is an absolute must
The first step is to know your ideal audience, you should have an in-depth knowledge of them, what they like, what resonates with them, how they consume information, what their struggles are, and how you solve their problem. If you don’t know this, stop immediately and figure it out, do an ideal client profile go deep with it, it will make everything else you do so easy. Your mama told you don’t talk to strangers and that still applies.
Steps to writing great copy
Armed with your ideal client profile, decide what you would like to share with them. Do some research, make sure this is something people would like answers to. If no one wants it, there is no point in writing it, find a different topic. The internet is a wealth of information, check the topic in google trends, do hashtag discovery on social media, do keyword research or just type it in the google search box and see what comes up.
The harsh truth is no one gives a shit about you, your benefits, your features, your values or anything else about you for that matter. That is until they realize that you can help THEM. Humans have one universal trait, our favourite topic is ME. Keep this in mind while writing, it is about them, their pain, their problem, their struggle, and the solution they are searching for. That is where you come in, you should be the solution they are seeking.
We know that great copy does one thing, it speaks to emotion. Yes, there is a logical factor to it as well, however, the most important part is the emotion it evokes. In this step we need to pick our emotion or feeling. Here are some examples: Sad, endearing, happy, humor, desire, anger, action inducing, energy, desire to change, confident, brave, empowered, the list goes on and on. Pick the emotion and then move onto the next step.
So far, we have a topic, an ideal audience, and an emotion. Now grab your laptop, typewriter, pen and paper or napkin whatever you use to write. Write your headline, this should be attention grabbing, descriptive, and scroll stopping. It is ok to be polarizing, without being rude or disrespectful, polarizing grabs attention. For instance, I considered “The dummies guide to great copy” as the title of this blog.
Another thing that is important to keep in mind, great copy seems to just happen, don’t get stuck on the details at this point. You don’t want to get “analysis paralysis”, write the dam headline, you can always edit it later. In fact, it is good to write it and then let it get cold, the magic is always in the editing. So, if it doesn’t blow up your skirt today, edit it tomorrow and I bet it will.
Ok, that was enough writing for now. The next step to make writing copy easy is to figure out your main image. Think of your audience, your emotion and your headline, go find the perfect attention grabbing main image. A picture is worth a thousand words, try to find imagery that appeals to your target audience, depicts the emotion and explains the headline. Again, don’t get super tied up trying to find the perfect image, you can edit the image later, as your copy unfolds it might not fit.
Now we get down to writing, the easiest way to start the piece is to write the sub headings first. This will give you structure to your piece and make it super easy for you to write the paragraphs between the subheadings. Once you have your sub headings, the content will just flow.
Great copy writing is about structure. In its simplest form; I am writing copy for this type of person, which will make them feel this, this is the problem my copy solves, and I have reminded them of the issue and clearly supplied a solution.
Tell them what to do
The number one mistake I see time and time again, is missing the last piece of the puzzle, the call to action. If your copy resonates with your audience, they will want a next step, don’t forget to tell them what that is, join my newsletter, follow me on social media, visit here for more tips etc.
Let it get cold
You have just spent some time drafting your copy, now like a white wine, a perfect steak or that hot date, let it get cold. Once you have it drafted, call it a day. The magic happens in the edits, when you come back with a fresh set of eyes and perspective, you can edit the piece, add the perfect touches and get it out to the masses. Don’t edit for too long, remember a piece of copy is only as good as the eyes that see it, they won’t see it in your drafts, so get it published.
I am 100% confident that if you try this copywriting framework you will be a Pulitzer Prize winning writer in no time. If you didn’t figure it out, the emotion I was going for with this post was confidence. Now that you are confident you can write great copy, save this framework where you will see it every time you go to write.
The Lazy Guide to Great Copy Framework
- Who am I writing this for?
- What feeling or emotion do I want to evoke?
- Scroll stopping headline
- Attention Grabbing Image
- Structure & Sub Headings
- Call to Action
You are now armed with all the tools you need to write great copy, get new customers, inform your audience, and entertain them. Pro Tip, with the increasing growth of voice search, such as Hey Google, Siri, Cortana, and Alexa, keep your content in a conversational tone, that way your ever-green content will be found in a variety of ways for years to come.
If you enjoyed this post let us know! If you would like other great frameworks and tips to market your small business check out our blog. If you are too busy running your business and don’t have the time to do your own marketing reach out, we do great marketing at reasonable rates for amazing businesses like yours every day!