How to Copywrite 101: When You Can’t Afford to Hire a Pro!

Anyone can write Killer copy. Copy that KILLS sales!

 You’re in quite the dilemma. Your budget is low or non-existent. Deadlines are approaching. Obsessing over that future launch date is keeping your bed cold—no sleep for you. Still, you’re determined to get this project done. Even if you have to do it yourself, you will.

But you’re not the greatest writer. You’d find it difficult selling free water to thirsty desert hikers. How can you possibly put together website or print-advertising copy when hiring a pro is out of the question? How can YOU convert browsers to buyers—with your limited expertise?  By learning proven copywriting tips.

Allow me to help you learn how to copywrite—and no, this doesn’t involve the U.S. Copyright Office.

 1.) “Only Good Writers Can Write Good Copy” = False

First, you must realize that learning copywriting does not require perfect writing skills. You could have done piss-poorly in college writing-related courses and still make insane profits from your copywriting!

Expect a surprising realization when you’ve identified the top-selling ads, sales letters and such—the English is often conversational, grammatically incorrect, highly fragmented, with broken-English-grammar-rules-galore! If you find this hard to believe, scour the Internet and various print publications. Not the kind of writing you were taught in grade school, is it? Now that you know being a master-elite-writer isn’t necessary….

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2.) Hone Your “Inner Salesman/Saleswoman”

This is the part that scares most people when told how to copywrite. The common complaint is, “I’m not a salesman.” I’m betting you probably are, but never realized it.

You most likely have a girlfriend/boyfriend or spouse, correct? Did you beat this person over the head with a brick and drag them into your life? Or did you cast a magic spell to make your significant other fall for you? I seriously doubt you did either. Here’s what you did: you saw interest in him/her, followed up, learned what you have in common, and then “sealed the deal.”

Did the process of getting with your sweetheart not include convincing him/her why you are THE only choice? Yes it did. You honed your inner salesperson, you just didn’t realize it.  Now get into that mindset and write!

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3.) Can’t Even Convince a Hungry Person to Eat?

Stop Now! Here’s a secret: Words do not sell a thing. If you are expecting that to happen, you will fail, fail, fail. What sells products and services?

Answer: Need, Greed and Fear-of-Loss. All driven by…EMOTIONS!copywriting tips

If you can persuade, you can get paid!  So you closed the deal on your significant other, but that was simple. You didn’t need to do much “selling.” You two just clicked. Imagine you’re in a job interview, being asked, “what can you do for my company?”

If you were recently faced with that question and totally bombed—never to be called back for a second interview—you are not convincing. Work on the power of persuasion before you step up to the ultra-competitive, major leagues of writing-to-sell.

However, if you have a natural or learned gift for making people “see things your way,” you stand a good chance of writing compelling copy. If you’re highly empathetic—able to sense what motivates people to act/not act a certain way—you may be built to write copy that sells!

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 4.) Analyze and Dissect Others’ Written Copy

Before diving into the unknown, tenaciously study as much copy as you can. Rewrite it; make it more effective. Stop deleting all your spam emails and start reading them! Don’t discount their effectiveness in helping you learn what works…especially the few that really got your attention and made you click!

Study website products that you didn’t buy although you showed initial interest, and analyze why you REALLY didn’t buy. Was your reason emotional? Was it the copy? The price? Presentation?

What would have persuaded you to buy— if YOU were selling it to YOU? That’s thinking like a cash-claiming copywriter!

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5.) Know When to Fold ‘Em

Time=money. Don’t waste precious money by spending too much time trying to save money! Learning how to copywrite effectively is a lengthy process; full of trial-and-error. You may end up spending much more money in time and opportunities lost, than if you’d hired a pro from the start!

With these tips in mind, you can learn to write copy that works, for your temporary needs. Remember, anyone can write killer (sales-killing) copy. Don’t join them!

 

by Jarvis EdwardsB2B Copywriter

Jarvis Edwards

About Jarvis Edwards

Jarvis Edwards is a commercial freelance copywriter; specializing in writing high-impact, persuasive copy for technology-related companies.
This entry was posted in Content Marketing, Copywriting, Sales, Writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to How to Copywrite 101: When You Can’t Afford to Hire a Pro!

  1. Nielsen says:

    Peculiar slant on highly subjective subject matter. Great read! You forgot to add to your readers benefit, make sure your copy contains rebuttals to readers…viewers…listeners…shoppers, possible objections. Read their minds and take away that trump card.

    Say your product had a bad rating ranked high in Google. Include that fact in your copy. So your sales letter says “..Look in Google and you will see our competitors spend much time and money to establish online smear PR campaigns. Seeking to destroy our good name. We have more satisfied customers than they so they….”

    And so forth.

    Cheers mates. Good post. Bookmarked.

  2. kevincarlton says:

    Jarvis

    One of the recurring themes in many of your posts is how successful copywriting has relatively little to do with the literary skills they try to teach us at school. I just couldn’t agree more.

    And if you want to do a DIY job of your copy, to summarise what you say, carefully analyse and make a list of the features and benefits of your products or services. Then study how others set out and express their own features and benefits.

    Incorporate any ideas you’ve found into your copy and then tell the reader what makes you different from your competitors …

    Now, I’m going to stop right there.

    This is all so much in tune with my own thinking that I’m just going to repeat everything you say.

    • Kevin, I’m glad you agree! Sometimes we have to get out of “writing” mode and get into “talking” mode, in order to captivate some prospects.

      “Then study how others set out and express their own features and benefits….”

      So eloquently put and so true, thanks for your input! Especially since we know that some readers/prospects may not necessarily find any value or relevance in the benefits (or features) expressed by the writer.

      So it’s up to us–the writers–to make sure we do the research and make sure we know what appeals to each “type of person.” Oh..research…that’s another post. ;-)

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