It can be daunting for newbies starting out in the world of copywriting to know exactly how or where to learn more about the art of copy.
What is the best course to enrol on? Who should you enlist as a mentor (if anyone at all)? What forums or membership sites should you join?
These are all good questions to be asking, but before you start checking your bank balance and breaking out into a cold sweat, instead why not try these already proven and extremely effective methods for getting ‘copy fit’ the inexpensive way?
By the way, these 6 helpful tips should also be routinely carried out throughout the length your career to ensure you are always ‘sharpening your saw’.
1. Sign up!
No, not to the armed forces…although if you really want to you can, I am sure it would make for some interesting copy.
What I mean is subscribe to the email lists of other successful copywriters and marketeers. Usually they will be selling you something (or they wouldn’t have a list would they) and you know what skills they are using in their emails?
That’s right…their fine tuned copy karate chops.
Study what they say carefully, follow the structure, look for the hook (there will be one), and learn from the masters!
You can sign up to ours here (plus as an added extra when you subscribe you get a FREE Guide to Persuasion….woo hoo…you are on your way already!).
2. Swipe away
Any good copywriter worth their salt will have a swipe file.
It can be in any format and consists of all the bits of smart copy you have saved. Anything you see that you think is good…swipe it. You could even have an email swipe file for email newsletters only.
This is for you to study not to COPY…if you start stealing other people‘s work you will be blown out of the water straight away, but adopting other people’s methods is fine. After all, they won’t be doing anything incredibly different from the tried and tested sales methods – they don’t have to, because basic human psychology hasn’t changed that much since the dawn of time.
Once you get a good file going, you will see what I mean.
3. Go deep and wide
You won’t make a good writer unless you are a good reader, so go deep and wide.
You don’t have to read War and Peace or turn into a literary bore, you can just read magazines if you like (after all, there is plenty of enticing copy in magazines, in fact, some might say that is all there is)…but you do need to broaden your scope. By that I mean look at different genres of writing, from comedy to Kafka, not only will it give you a taste of different styles of writing, but it will give you a much broader experience to draw upon when you are copy king or queen.
A big part of a copywriter’s work requires research, so perfecting these skills as soon as you can is always a good move.
4. Write your own
As in WRITE your own copy.
You know, with a pen and piece of paper…or chalk on a board, whatever rocks your boat, but physically write it out by hand. To practice getting better at copywriting some people say you should copy out old school sales letters by hand, in fact some of the most well respected copywriters swear by it. Which is absolutely fine…if you have the time.
But why not just write your own? See some copy you think is great and try and make it better using your own skills.
Why write it out by hand? Well, because it trains the brain subconsciously, by putting pen (or pencil) to paper it triggers the brain’s Reticular Activating System (RAS) and helps you to remember stuff so you get better and better. Apparently.
5. See the world in a different light
There is copy almost everywhere nowadays, wherever you go you are influenced by it pretty much daily. Don’t believe me? Take a look at your latest purchase, why did you buy that particular brand? What car do you drive? What make of TV, pc, tablet or smart phone do you have? I could go on, but I think you get the picture.
Start really noticing the copy around you. Look at billboards, text on napkins, restaurant menus, leaflets, flyers, banners at the mall, direct advertising mail (yes it still exists)….anything. How does the copy make you feel, is it enticing? What is the copy doing?
You will be amazed once you see it.
6. Buy things
No you don’t have to go on a mad spending spree, this is the inexpensive guide to copy, remember?
What I mean is if you see an offer for something relatively inexpensive, sometimes it’s worth buying just to get inside the sales funnel and have a good look around.
What is the copy like, what is the up-sell, what are the follow up emails like? Seriously, if you get on an expert marketeers sales funnel you will be rewarded.
I spent a few dollars on a range of fitness downloads recently, the downloads themselves were great value, but it was the sales funnel that I got put into where I found the real gold. I mean, this guy started selling protein drinks, health snacks, inspirational tips even. There was nothing this guy couldn’t/wouldn’t sell.
And you know what? His copy was totally convincing and I trusted him.
Work out how guys and gals like him do it and you will be able to sell anything with your copy too.
So there you have it, 6 incredibly effective tips for learning how to write great copy.
You’re welcome. 😉