Or you could follow the advice in this post…
These three simple steps, done consistently, can take you a long way in the writing game:
Step #1 – Read A Great Sales Letter Every Day
If you want to write like a Pro, you gotta know what Pros write.
So subscribe to the lists of great copywriters. Try Frank Kern, Gary Halbert, Dan Kennedy or Michel Fortin. And check out websites like www.ILoveMarketing.com with the amazing Joe Polish.
It’s a good deal – you give them your name and email, and in return they send you email after email that you know is top notch and that you can study at your leisure.
First, read like you’re Shakespeare. Look for
- the story and how it flows
- the vivid words and phrases that paint pictures
- the smooth (or jagged) transitions from one ‘scene’ to the next
- how the headline attracts you
- where you feel compelled to take action.
Second, read like you’re Sherlock. Look beneath the words for
- highlighting – with colour, underlining and bold text. Where? Why? When?
- formatting – what’s the style sheet for fonts, colours, highlighting, centered or left-set text, capital letters?
- pain v pleasure – the agony of getting it wrong v the ecstacy of getting it right
- scarcity – is it limited by number, availability, price?
- bonuses – how many, what’s the effect of these on you?
- objections – how are these handled?
- trust – do you trust the writer. Do they establish their credentials? Do they offer a guarantee?
- the offer – how early is this seeded? Does everything naturally lead to the offer as the solution?
- brand – what does the writer ‘stand’ for?
Step #2 – See Step #1
OK, now you’ve examined how that sales letter works, keep reading it. Til you know it backwards.
This is a tip I learned from my daughter.
Like most toddlers she loves stories. And she wants to hear her favourites over and over again.
Now, it makes me go cross-eyed to read ‘The Gruffalo’ for the millionth time.
But for her it’s great. She learns vocabulary. She learn about the rhythm of the words. She learns about rhyme. And she predicts what’s coming next. If I start a line, she finishes it off.
She’ll grow up with The Gruffalo as one of her favourite books. And believe me, she knows it backwards.
Just think if you found the most perfect piece of copywriting in the world. You unravelled it to see how it had been constructed. And now that you understood how it had been constructed then you set about learning it? Don’t you think that you’d become a copy powerhouse yourself? Of course you would.
So Step # 2 is to keep reading one classic sales letter every day until you know it backwards.
Step #3 – Write Something Everyday
Steps #1 and #2 will get you warmed up to good copywriting. But copy isn’t a spectator sport. So if you want to improve, you gotta write as well as read!
Pick up your pencil and get scribbling. Choose one thing a day to work on, and put in an extra special copywriting effort.
- Choose a project like a sales letter, a page on your website, an email, or
- Choose a specific area that you want to master, and get working out, eg
- email subject lines
- opening paras
- video scripts
- handling objections.
The beauty is it’s not that much of an effort to practice. You were going to write that sales letter anyway. Or that email. Now you’re just taking what you learned in Steps #1 and #2, and applying them to a real project.
Leave a comment below to suggest great copywriters that other people could follow. Feel free to include links to great sales letters or sites.
And keep writing (you see, I DO mean that!)