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Copywriting to Attract Clients and Build a Profitable Business

  • By Cathy Goodwin
  • Published 01/29/2009
  • Writing for the Web

Learning copywriting has changed the way I write. Although my professional writing credits include print feature stories and a published book, copywriting enhanced my skills in three surprising ways. First, it forced me to think of the reader. Second, it forced me to focus on delivering benefits of what I was writing. Finally, copywriting helped me focus on results: what is the reader supposed to do? What you may not know about copywriting is that website visitors make buying decisions based on copy — the words on the page. Your design and graphics have one function: to make it easier for visitors to read your words. When you ask Internet gurus – those making millions every year on the Internet – to name the most critical Internet marketing skill, just about every one of them will say, “Copywriting.” I use copywriting when I create information products, write my ezines and blog. Many marketers think copywriting is just for advertisements and sales pages. But in fact whenever you interact with your clients and prospects, you are “on.” Your words will influence their decisions, whether you speak or write to them. Using basic copywriting principles will help you communicate your own message and leave prospects with a strong, positive impression.

Some marketers start out by thinking, “Anyone can write copy.” It is true: almost anyone can become a better copywriter w

ith some training. But you have to begin by recognizing that copywriting calls for different skills than technical writing, literary fiction or journalism. To take just one example, good copywriting is invisible. No, we don’t write in invisible ink. But readers are not supposed to notice the writing. You can’t draw attention to a clever phrase or magnificent metaphor. See what just happened? When you read, “Magnificent metaphor,” you might have slowed down to think, “Nice!” or maybe you don’t like alliteration so you’d say, “Silly!” But if I were writing a sales page, I wold probably change the phrase. I don’t want readers to stop to notice my words. I do want them to jump at the message – especially the benefits and value I want to communicate. Another principle of copy is, “Write the way you speak.” Good copywriters don’t make basic grammar mistakes. For example, you probably won’t find sentences like, “These ideas is good.” But copywriters defy the lessons you may have learned from your ninth grade English teacher. We begin sentences with “And” or “But.” And we end with a preposition. “Who will you go with?” sounds more realistic than “With whom will you go?” When you write this way, your words probably won’t get in the way of the message you want to communicate.

Copywriting happens fast. Usually you work with deadlines. So another benefit of copywriting is that you learn tricks and tips to write faster, but still deliver a quality piece of writing to motivate readers to buy.



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