"There is no satisfactory explanation of style, no infallible guide to good writing, no assurance that a person who thinks clearly will be able to write clearly, no key that unlocks the door, no inflexible rule by which writers may shape their course. Writers will often find themselves steering by stars that are disturbingly in motion." 

 

– E.B. White, The Elements of Style

  • The sole purpose of your first sentence in an advertisement is to get you to read the second sentence.

  • How to make it compelling and interesting, so readers will read on?

    • Make it short. 

    • Examples: 

      • Losing weight is not easy. 

      • It's you against a computer. 

      • It's easy. 

      • It had to happen. 

      • Hats off to IBM.

    • Sugarman's "slippery slide" concept—the idea that your copy should be so compelling that the reader must get to the end. The slippery slide starts with an easy sentence. It’s so easy to read a short sentence that it’s practically impossible not to do it.

  • Remind yourself why you do it 

    • You do it because you believe in the product or service you’re writing about. 

    • You do it to make customers’ lives less painful. 

    • You do it because people will pay you damn good money for damn good copy

  • Paragraphs are almost as important for how they look as for what they say; they are maps of intent.

    • Easy books contains lots of short paragraphs—including dialogue paragraphs which may only be a word or two long—and lots of white space.  

    • Hard books, full of ideas, narration, or description, have a stouter look. A packed look. 

      • You never want any copy you’re writing to look like something “hard” to read.

        • “Stout” should not be a word used to describe your copy. 

    • Tight, focused copy sells 

  • Sentence fragments (frags) 

    • When you’re writing copy, focus on what sounds natural, not what is 100% grammatically correct

  • Copywriting is mainly about knowing when to shut up and not reinvent the wheel

    • it's combining proven principles and psychology with a curious mind that's not afraid of a little creativity 

      • People today are motivated by most of the same things that have motivated us since the beginning of time

  • YOUR JOB is to arrange words on a page that will tap into those motivations and connect them to the product you know can help them

  • Write to your IDEAL READER 

    • When thinking of your audience, zero-in on the one person who is the most audience-y of the whole bunch. 

      • You have to picture that one human who most encapsulates the demographic.

        • Give him name

        • Shake his hand 

        • You guys are old friends

        • You know every last problem currently getting under his skin

        • You’ve stayed up past midnight at the bar with him, listening to his sob-stories and far-off dreams 

      • Writing to your ideal reader makes your copy feel more personal. 

        • It makes people in the target demographic think the piece of copy they're reading was written specifically for them. 

        • You sound more honest and real. 

  • COPYWRITING THAT SELLS - EXAMPLE 

    • Another thing that will help immensely is buying Neville’s Kopywriting Kourse. 

      • Notice that I didn't just say "one thing that will help is Neville's..." I said "BUYING Neville's course." 

    • "The knowledge you’ll get from the course invaluable, but so is the act of making a literal investment in yourself. There’s not much else that will make as big an impact on your life for $69 as this. Trust me. It was the first thing that really got me interested in copywriting, and even pointed me in the direction of a few of the books I talk about in this ebook. It's worth every penny. And no, those are not affiliate links, so I have no ulterior motive other than wanting you to use the best tools out there to better your craft." 

      • Why does this work?

        • Uses solid numbers: $69 

        • “Trust me” 

        • Personal account in friendly tone

          • It worked for me, and I’m your friend! 

        • “Invaluable” “investment in yourself” “big impact” “trust” worth every penny” 

        • Action verbs: BUY, INVEST 

  • Make the product itself the hero of your advertising. 

  • Don't sell. Persuade.

    • Persuade on behalf of something I really like. 

    • Copywriting is about fighting for something you believe in: a product, service, person, etc. 

    • If the product isn't a hero for you, ask yourself: "Is this product the hero for someone else?" 

      • Return to the concept of writing to the IDEAL READER