"The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time."
– Thomas Jefferson
"Decide the effect you want to produce in your reader."
— Robert Collier
"Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read."
– Leo Burnett
"A copywriter should have an understanding of people, an insight into them, a sympathy toward them."
– George Gribbin
Copywriting is the most important thing you can do in marketing. It’s arguably THE most important thing. Did I say it's important?
The text on your website isn't just words on a screen. It's an opportunity to lead your vistors on a journey that ends with them taking some kind of action.
I've been in the online marketing business for a long time, and the old adage 'content is king' started to wear a bit thin when I could dominate Google with automated link building. But that kind of SEO, unfortunately, was built on a house of cards. Great content, I discovered was built on a house of pure granite, and with great content (i.e copywriting), you don't even need Google. You can send an email out to your contact list and know that a good percentage of readers will be spurred into taking some kind of action. What that action is, depends on you.
Before I developed an unhealthy fascination for copywriting, I used to think it was just writing. I thought anyone could write the text for a website. In fact, this is true. But it's a complete waste of the real estate you own by paying for a website. If you've gone to the trouble of having a website built, then you want the darn thing to pay for itself, right? No matter what you do, whether your a freelancer or a global corporation, your website is your shop window. Each and every visitor has the potential to send you some business. But to tap into that potential you need to write your content in a very specific way.
Copywriting uses psychology, combined with research and craft to create a story so compelling that a certain percentage of its audience has no choice but to act. It uses emotional triggers that dig deep into the human psyche, and tells us we can't live our lives without following up on this amazing offer unfolding before our eyes.
It's a skill, a science, a talent, an art, and there's a reason why some of the highest paid writers in the world are copywriters. Some copywriters earn six figures for one sentence, but what people like us don't see is the amount of research that goes into creating that one sentence. And when that one sentence is released on to the world? They sit back and watch the sales figures sore.
That's the power of copywriting. That's why it's so important. That's why it offers us a chance to transform our website and our business. It offers a way into our visitors mind and makes them send that email, make that call, click that button. It offers, in the words of the late great Bob Hoskins: A little bit more than a hot dog.
I'm not the world's greatest copywriter, if I was I wouldn't be running this website. But I do have a passion for writing and research. I've been studying copywriting for over two years and have seen the impact my writing has had on conversions. Being in the SEO industry I've been in the position to split test adverts and landing pages, and this is how I came to discover the power of copywriting.
I write for some top websites, including Wikipedia and Problogger, and I'm an editor on DMOZ, so they must think I can string a sentence.
I would like to make an offer to anyone reading this that I'll research and write the copy for one landing page at the ridiculous price of £100.
Understand your goal. What action do you need your readers to take?
Research your audience. Look at your peers. Work out what makes them tick. What do THEY need?
Write some headlines which allows for some A/B split testing. Write engaging content that compels your visitor to act.
Different styles of writing can produce different effects on your reader. There isn’t one correct way of doing it, it really depends on your research and marketplace.
You can have a plain design for your website with rich, dynamic copy and visitors will be so riveted, they’ll soon forget about the design of your page. This does not work the other way around, which is why I say:
The most important part of any website is the CONTENT.
If you’ve read this far, then you’re obviously interested in copywriting, and if you’re this interested in copywriting you’ll know all about SEO. Search engine optimisation is the practise of getting your website ranked highly on Google. And everyone knows, Google LOVES content.
The days of throwing up a website and building links are over. I know this because I’ve been doing SEO for 10 years. Nowadays you need to provide fantastic content that readers enjoy. This grows an audience, which generates ‘natural’ links.
If you’re spending money on SEO then you must spend money on regular content.
That’s a cold, hard fact.
Fortunately for you, I love writing. I love the intricacies of copywriting and I love the research. I'm not money motivated, although of course I need money to live. But where you might spend thousands on a similar service, I'll offer the same thing for a fraction of the price. I'm in the unique position online where I'm involved in design, development, SEO and copywriting. These four parts work together to create the ultimate success for any business. And as I say, I love what I do and I'm not greedy. So give me a shout, what have you got to lose?