Writing good copy can so challenging. For one thing, it’s so subjective.
You have to choose your words carefully. Your copy has to be riveting, engaging, and interesting enough to keep the reader’s attention, but you must accomplish this while at the same time not turning off your reader or sounding too hypey.
Mark Twain said that “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
But how do you come up with the ideas about what to write in the first place? Where do good ideas actually come from? How do you know whether it’s a good idea or not?
It’s my humble belief that your copy is graded by the results it produces. If you ask ten people if they will buy your product, they may say yes. Ask them to make a purchase and they’ll likely avoid it. It’s human nature.
Since advertising and (copywriting) is sales persuasion in print (or online), the best advertising and the best copywriting therefore persuades the potential customer reading your copy that “I have to sign up and get this product RIGHT now, before someone else does!”
Exercise I perform when writing copy: I visit jpeterman.com and ask myself what’s the FEELING or emotion that each product sells in its copy?
The reason why I like the J Peterman Catalog is because there’s no piece of clothing that’s too small (or insignificant) to have some lofty, exciting, or adventurous story written up about it. There’s the Guayabera shirt from Havana – $79. Or the simple white linen shirt, which of course, according to the copy, you’ll need when exploring the streets of Sao Paulo. And then of course there’s the Tamerlane coat, the coat created for the the 14th century half-Mongolian conqueror.
But think about that. Each product has its own story.
If you focus only on selling products or services, you risk commoditization and competing on price. Stand out by focusing on psychological or emotional benefits that your client will receive.
Paint pleasing pictures in your prospect’s mind. Show them what their new life will be like once they’ve signed up for your service or purchased your product. Your product or service is the bridge between them and their new life.
Maybe they’ll experience the pride of being the envy of others in their industry. Or maybe they’ll receive attention and flattery from the opposite sex (if that’s what your product can help them with). These are just obvious examples, but there are many more good ones, if you’ll do a little digging.
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