If you want to write things that inspire action — web sales pages that effectively sell your product, emails that readers will click on and share, etc. — this article is for you.
I repeat: if you want to make things on the internet that work, if you want to publish webpages and videos and podcasts and emails into the world that get results, you’re in the right place.
Because, for our ideas, businesses and projects to survive in the modern era we’ve got to be able to use words to inspire readers (or viewers or listeners) to take action — to buy our products and share our content.
Which means: you need copywriting.
You can write excellent and effective copy for the web today, that’s exactly what I intend to help you with in this article.
Copywriting is the art of using words to inspire action.
WRITING and ACTION, that’s what copywriting is about. This isn’t writing for expression, though expression is sometimes useful to inspire action. This isn’t writing for emotional connection, though emotional connection is often times useful to inspire action. This is writing for ACTION.
So, copywriting is essential for our ideas and businesses, and yet, very few of us are trained in how to do it!
Many of us can’t afford a professional copywriter, so we’ve got to write the sales page copy ourselves (along with, of course, designing and making the damn products too!).
Now, you’d never say to someone, “hey just throw together a good movie script real quick. C’mon, we’re waiting to launch this thing until you’re done.” No. You know writing a movie script is challenging, requiring skills and insights average people don’t have without studying.
And it’s no different with copywriting. Great copywriting is essential for your business to succeed AND writing good copy is challenging, requiring skills and insights average people don’t have without studying.
So, in this article I’m going to help you with that.
I, personally, have “studied” copywriting. By that I mean I’ve bought books, taken notes, written sales pages, written calls to action across websites, run A/B tests and investigated the results of my copywriting. I’ve done all these things at a semi-pro level for a little less than a decade now.
And I have to tell you: you can spend the rest of your life studying copywriting, and I’m not sure the effort will be worth the reward.
Copywriting is one of these things where there’s a handful of PRINCIPLES and a shit-ton of RULES. The rules are always changing, going in and out of style. You can see this clearly in advertisements from the 50s — they worked reallywell back then, but they just don’t work the same way today. The rules of that time solidified, countless ads were made using those rules, and they all started working less and less.
But the PRINCIPLES, on the other hand, are fairly constant. If you can understand the principles of copywriting well, you can be creative and innovative and write copy that gets remarkable results and leave all the copywriting gurus scratching their head about which rules you’re using. (If your techniques work well, they might be copied, which will eventually make them stop working so well. Lucky for you, you’ll keep innovating because you follow principles and not rules.)
So, the only stuff that really matters are the principles. Why? Because the rules you study today are less likely to work tomorrow when they become stale and overused.
What I want to do in this article is give you a toolbox for copywriting to help you understand the principles so you can get into rhythm with them.
Because here’s the thing: you can absolutely write effective copy for your sales page or podcast or website or video script, etc., right now.
You just need some help getting the right perspective.
What’s also true is: you could spend the rest of your life studying copywriting and end up with only marginally better results than if you simply understood the principles and danced with them from there. That’s why we call this the 80/20 copywriting guide, because with 20% of the effort you can get 80% of the results (or more).
Now, you might be having this, “oh gosh, I’m terrible at selling” feeling.
Don’t worry! The point here is to NOT sound sleazy, to NOT sound like you’re selling, but, rather, to be comfortably communicating in a natural way that puts the reader at ease. You’ll end up selling the best when you’re most yourself.
Or, you might feel like, “oh gosh, I HATE writing.” That’s totally normal. Most of us hate writing when we are unclear about what we’re trying to do. Writing is very simple, however, when you know exactly who you’re writing for and what they need to hear from you.