- By Cathy Goodwin
- Published 08/4/2009
- Writing for the Web
Copywriting has been called the single most important skill you need for Internet Marketing. Talk to any Online Gurus, Famous Names and Internet Millionaires, and that’s what they’ll tell you. I heard a speaker make this point at an Internet Marketing seminars. He asked everyone, “What’s the most important ingredient for success on the Internet?” Then he paused dramatically. A few brave people shouted out, “Website?” “Traffic?” Nope. I knew what was coming. And I admit to feeling just a wee bit smug when he said, “Copywriting.” What most people don’t realize is that once you understand copywriting, you have a new all-purpose business weapon. I call it the sneaky strategy because most of your audience won’t realize you’re using it. You don’t have to become a copywriter yourself to gain the benefits of what I call the “copywriting mindset.” You can take some classes and work with a professional copywriter. What’s important is to understand the way copywriters think. Then you can apply these principles to anything you write to promote yourself, your services and/or your business.
Example 1: A few years ago, I joined to an organization that offered a showcase for members to present themselves. The catch was, you had to send in an application, describing what you’d talk about and why
you should be one of the three featured speakers. I’d never written a proposal like this one, but I figured I’d just use my copywriting mindset to promote value, even though I was less experienced than my competitors. It worked. You can also use your copywriting mindset if you’re nominated for awards. You’re selling yourself, right? Example 2: When you’re invited to be a radio or teleseminar guest, you will need to prepare a list of questions, a summary of your topic and a brief biography (“bio”). Sounds simple, doesn’t it? In fact, each element calls for a copywriting mindset. Your questions need to be as compelling as headlines. Your bio needs to showcase your expertise – without a hint of boasting. Your interviewer needs to be sure you won’t sound like you’re using her show to promote used cars. Example 3: When you create an information product (or propose a book to an offline publisher), your title and chapter headings need to reach your target market in the same way your home page copy invites visitors to stick around and maybe buy on their very first visit. Every chapter needs hooks – elements of text that grab the reader and won’t let go.
So…here’s a challenge for you. Are you working on a project today: an ebook, speaking bio or services description? Write five captivating headlines and ten beefy bullets. Notice how your secret weapon changes what your readers see.