Entries from September 2009 ↓

Why Am I Writing This?


That isn’t one of those deep, meaningful and thought-provoking questions such as ‘What is the meaning of life’, but a question that everyone should ask before putting pen to paper or finger to key.

Everything you write should have a purpose. If it doesn’t it’s a waste of time.

You should think of every piece of copy (whether it’s an advert, web copy, newsletter etc) as an agent of action. It’s not static, it’s not transient, it is a there to generate something – a sale, build leads, stimulate interest…

If you are putting time and effort (and quite possibly money if you are using a professional copywriter) into generating a piece of information you must make sure it does something.

Before writing anything, ask yourself these two questions:

  1. 1. What will this do for my business?

Not every piece of copy will close a sale, but all of it should have a purpose. If, from the outset, you can’t define its purpose it is probably a waste of time and money.

  1. 2. What do I want my reader to do?

You’ll probably be shouting ‘buy my product’. But it may not always be the response you want. You may just be looking for them to make contact, sign up for a newsletter etc. But whatever it is, your copy must be persuasive enough for them to take the desired action and, possibly, be open to further steps in the future.

Remember even if you are writing an information piece (i.e. white paper or case study) it should still open the door for future business. By producing interesting articles you are paving the way for potential sales.

Every piece of writing your company produces is a budding sales opportunity. Every word helps you build a relationship with your reader. It may not lead to a sale immediately but in time…who knows.

The Crucial Difference Between Telling and Showing

show and tell

Some copywriters will specialise in a certain industry or field of writing. Others offer copywriting services that cover just about every aspect of sales and business writing you can think of.

Many copywriting projects begin with a desire to tell an audience about a product, service or idea. But if all you do is tell your readers about something, you are missing the mark. Telling is done by journalists and teachers. Copywriting is about giving much more value.

It should sell not tell

Your message – whether it is an advert, website copy, brochure or email – should persuade and motivate your reader to carry out a particular action – BUY NOW, CALL NOW, BOOK NOW.

Below are three crucial elements that distinguish between writing to tell and writing to sell:

  1. Benefits


This is one thing you must become completely fixated on – because it’s what your readers want to know about. By highlighting the benefits you are appealing to your audience’s self interests. Why? Because benefits provide motivation.

  1. Make offers


To make a sale you need to make a deal and this is your offer. Whether it is BOGOF, a time limited offer or a limited edition bonus gift they all add weight to your sales campaign.

  1. See if from your customer’s point of view


This is where you leave your ego at the door. If you want to build rapport you have to write from their point of view. Suspend your own opinions and only think about what you are promoting from your reader’s side of the fence.

There are many other factors that need to be taken into consideration but the three elements described above are crucial if your writing is to sell rather than tell.


For more information about writing to sell, download Sally Ormond’s free eBook – 5 Simple Steps to Sensational Marketing.spiral_staircase_3D#4

Magnetize Your Copywriting

There is a subtle difference between good copywriting and great copywriting: magnet

Good copywriting will:

  • get feedback from your audience
  • it may educate them therefore adding value
  • it may entertain them
  • it will hopefully be interesting to them

But great copywriting will:

  • SELL

This very point has been made (very eloquently) by Michael Fortin. He mentions there are 3 main factors you need to make your copy sell. They are not new or revolutionary, but fundamental to copywriters everywhere – but sadly, so often forgotten about.

State the benefits

The benefits must be distinguished from the features of your product. The benefits are to do with the personal effect the product will have on your reader. Think about what it will do for them, how it will make their life easier.

Tell them a story

Are you sitting comfortably…

A story is a great way to make your copywriting relevant to your reader. If it is relevant to them, it is easier to relate to. If it is easier to relate to, they are more likely to see the benefits and buy.

Don’t worry if you think that including a story is going to make your sales pitch too long – if it is interesting and relevant, they’ll read it.

Don’t let them think for themselves

The decision to buy tends to be an emotional one which is later justified by logic. So whatever you do, don’t let your reader think for themselves. Spell it out to them – tell them why its a valuable offer. Don’t leave it for them to figure it out for themselves – be clear, be direct and never leave them with any doubts.

You can read Michael’s full article here – it’s a great read.

Why Isn’t My Marketing Working?

“What am I doing wrong?”

This is a question that most new business (even some established ones) ask at one time or another.simpsons-the-scream-4900914

Nothing seems to be going right. Your latest sales letter bombed, your newsletter isn’t even being opened, and your brochures are just being ignored.

So what do you have to do to get noticed?

It all basically boils down to understanding your audience – they are your customers, if you fail to get to grips with what they want you don’t stand a chance.

Whether you write your own copy or you use a freelance copywriter, if you don’t do your research into what your target market wants, you’ll never know.

Sonia Simone of Copyblogger has written a great post outlining a complete newbie’s guide to marketing which illustrates that you don’t need to spend thousands of pounds on the latest marketing eBook that promises the universe (and probably won’t deliver) – the only thing you need to know is your customer.

Research, research, research (and test, test, test) – no one said marketing was easy. It takes time and understanding – but you’ll get there in the end.

Copywriting Catwalk


I was reading an article the other day about the fashion industry.

Every day we are subjected to images of super skinny models showing off the latest designer offerings. The clothes just hang off their emaciated bodies as they strut their stuff up and down the catwalk.

Most of them look as though they’d snap if they turned too quickly or stumbled off one of their ridiculously high heeled shoes.

But what’s more attractive? Half-starved models with gaunt, over-made up faces or the 1920s vision of beautiful women with rounded hips, thighs and bellies?

When today’s models turn sideways they disappear; there are no curves or substance to them.

So what has all this got to do with a copywriting and marketing blog?

Well, think of your website as a catwalk model. If it is lean and malnourished of words and content, Google won’t see it. But if it is well fed with keyword rich content that is relevant and interesting, Google will not only see it, it will hold it aloft for all to see.

A substantial website with generous amounts of copywriting is the best way to get your company noticed. Of course, if you fill it with inconsequential nonsense that is of no use to man nor beast, it will just be taking up space.

Your website copywriting should be relevant to your businesses. When writing the copy think sales, think relevance, think about your reader.

If you are writing your own copy, ensure you write it for your reader and not for you. If you are getting a copywriter to write the content for you, make sure you provide a brief that really gets across your product, its benefits and details of your target audience.

Content is one of the key factors for great organic search results – basically the more relevant content you have on your site the better.