This post was written by Lior Levine, an online marketing consultant for a custom neon sign store and for an online task management tool company.
When you hear people talking about copywriting they'll come from one of two camps. The first are the ones who think that being a great copywriter is up there with being able to conjure rabbits out of hats in that it's nothing short of magic. Then there's the camp who think that creating great copy is easy and anyone can do it.
The reality is that copywriting is a skill that you practice, practice and then practice some more to become truly great at it. If you ask any author how they got published in the end you'll get the same response "I kept writing until my writing improved to the point where I got published". And the exact same is true of copywriting - the more you do it the better you'll become.
But there are some key things to watch out for when you're writing copy that will quickly separate you from the mediocre and put you in the league of the soon-to-be-great.
Here are 5 killer copywriting tips for you to use:
Tip #1: Profile Your Market
It's very hard to appeal to an audience unless you know what the audience looks like. It's the equivalent of a comedian going on stage blindfold and not being able to hear - you simply can't judge your audience. To make the greatest impact with your copy you need to understand who you're writing for in advance.
How old are they?
Are they male or female?
What are their greatest dreams and their worst nightmares?
You need to have an exact image of your target customer in your mind before you write a single word of copy.
Tip #2: Sell The Sizzle
All too often copywriters drone on and on about feature x and feature y of a product or service. The features are never what sell a product - it's what the product can do to make the persons life better.
So selling the sizzle means "A juicy and mouthwatering 12oz sirloin steak that will leave you wanting more" instead of "Our beef is organically bred and humanely treated." Capture your customer's imaginations and desires from the outset and you're already 75% of the way there.
Tip #3: Keep It Short
People have short attention spans and some people have incredibly short attention spans. So when you're writing copy you need to make it bite sized. Avoid run on sentences and long paragraphs like the plague.
If you confuse your reader with language or long blocks of text they'll mentally switch off and it's game over for you. It's unlikely that they're going to give you a second chance and read the entire message all over again.
Tip #4: Positive Language and Imagery
Some copywriters sell by using fear as a motivator and while this can work in some cases more often than not your response will be lower overall.
It's far more effective to use a positive message to build a mental image of where you want your client to be when they're reading your copy. The more emotive the language the more you can influence their final decision.
Tip #5: Study The Greats
You can learn an awful, awful lot about this art from looking at what other copywriters are doing. Look at the work of Gary Halbert for example - an exceptional online and offline copywriter. Study not just what he wrote but how he wrote it. The structure, the language he used and the emotions his copy brought out in you.
Read online sales letters and magazine adverts for beauty products. One of my favorite ones is to watch infomercials on TV because these guys have maybe 30 seconds of your time to sell you so they're very, very good at what they do.
So there you have it - 5 copywriting tips that will help you make a name for yourself in the world of writing great copy.