One of the things that stood out to me as I made my way through one of the opportunities I signed on for was a course which included mini modules on things like how to write great headlines; how to write effective call-to-action statements; and how to write copy for landing pages.
A lot of it was stuff I already knew, of course, but a lot of it is stuff I didn’t know or had outdated knowledge about. The reason I bring this up is, it pays to put time into studying how to write more effective copy. It doesn’t require much, and best of all it’s free.
Free Tutorials on How to Become a Better Copywriter
If you use email list management providers, like AWeber or GetResponse, they have excellent, free tutorials jam-packed with info you probably didn’t know. Have you ever even bothered to take advantage of them? I know I hadn’t. But when I signed on with this latest program, I made a commitment to go through every tutorial that came with the course.
One simple little nugget of information gleaned from knowing how to, for example, write a better headline, can increase your conversion rates. Even a small increase of two or three percent can mean untold dollars in your pocket.
Write Better, Earn More: Getting from $42,000 to $60,000
Consider this … imagine if you were landing one new client for every 250 emails you sent out. And, each client is worth $6,000 per year to you (ie, spend an average of $500 per month with you on blog posts, social media account management, writing web copy, etc.).
You have seven of these so-called regular clients, and you’re earning a decent income – grossing $42,000 per year. But, you want to increase that. You’re determined to hit $60,000, which is what you were earning in your last full-time job before you got laid off, which made you give freelance writing a try in the first place.
You’ve slaved away at this freelance writing thing for a couple of years. You know the ropes. You know your writing is better than most and your existing clients rave about it.
You’ve got the services you offer down, your prices down, your back-end systems and procedures down – and most importantly of all, you’re over the fear of starting and running a freelance business. You’re psyched! You’re ready to give yourself a raise. And that’s when you hit a wall.
You could ramp up your marketing, but there are only so many hours in the day. You simply can’t find more time to “market.”
But, what if you could get greater impact from what you’re already doing? What if you could land two or three new clients for the same 250 emails you send out? You only need three more regular clients like the ones you already have to hit your salary goal ($60,000/yr, remember).
Or, think of it this way …
Write down your average monthly income over the last 12 months. Then write down what you want your average monthly income to be. Let’s say that your average income is $5000 per month, and your goal is actually to make $15,000 per month in your business.
That means the gap between where you are and where you want to be is $10,000 per month. You’re paying a cost of $10,000 every month you don’t solve this problem.
The above comes from an article a world-renown copywriter wrote, by the way. THIS is the value of learning how to write better copy. You can increase your bottom line without doing any more work. And that’s why it literally pays to spend some time regularly, eg, once a week, boning up on how to write better copy.
An Easy, 5-Step Formula for Writing Better Content
During the research for this post, I read a lot of “how to write better copy” tutorials. I boiled it all down to this, which is what I do when I write.
As an aside, always ask for this. It not only cuts down on your research time; it gives you an idea of just how thoroughly your client knows his/her customer.
2. Identify their problems: Once you know who you’re talking to, then you can zero in on their problems; address their pain points.
3. Connect them to the product/service: You do this by telling a story. Knowing how to tell a story is critical in today’s content-marketing obsessed world.
Consumers don’t want to be sold to these days. They’re so ad-immune it ain’t even funny; hence, the need to connect in another way.
That’s why telling a story in which they see themselves is so effective. Then, you can get on with the business of selling, ie, giving them a solution to the problem, and telling them how to obtain that solution.
By making them connect first though, it won’t seem like selling; it’s like giving them advice. See the difference?
4. Introduce them to a solution: This is where you get to tell them about the product/service. But see how many steps you’ve had to climb before you even start talking about what you/your client wants to sell?
This is the difference between old marketing and new marketing. New marketing (content marketing) is much more personal.
5. Tell them exactly what to do: This is where many copywriters fall down. We either assume that a prospect will know what to do, or we’re too scared to tell them lest it seem like asking for the sale. Well, duh, you have to ask!
Tell a prospect EXACTLY what you want them to do in a call-to-action (CTA) statement. Do you want them to “Buy Now,” “Subscribe to Our Newsletter,” “Download This Whitepaper,” or “Call for More Information”? Whatever it is, spell it out.
Don’t assume. You do know what they say about assuming, right? 🙂
Reminder: FREE Writing Tutorials
As I stated earlier, if you use a list management service like AWeber or GetResponse, start there to gain more insight into how to write compelling content that moves readers to take action. They’re in the business of turning web visitors into active subscribers, so they have some of the best tutorials around.
I did a web search for “Free Tutorials” and “How to Write Better Copy” and “How to Write More Effective Sales Copy” (these last two phrases without any quotes) and came up with a few more if you don’t use a list management service.
Note: Most are going to ask you for your email address before you can download their ebook, whitepaper, tutorial, video course, etc.
So, I’d advise using what I call a throwaway email address, ie, one created specifically for free things you sign up for on the web. That way, your regular Inbox doesn’t get bombarded with emails – because trust me, that’s the reason they want your email address, so they can start the all-important “customer relationship.”
Disclaimer: I am not affiliate with any of these sites/products in any way. I’m just sharing what I came up with in a quick web search so you can have a starting point. Feel free to circle back and leave links to valuable, free resources you find if you want, ok?
How to Write Better Copy: 6 Tutorials/In-Depth Posts
One thing that will be underscored as you start doing this type of research is how much of a skill writing effective copy is. It has lots of nuances, which is why it takes practice and constant learning. But this is what separates average copywriters from good ones, and good ones from great ones.
There’s always, always, always room for improvement — even for the greats.
What’s Your Weak Spot as a Copywriter?
What do you think you need to improve on as a freelance writer, eg, call-to-action statements, how to tell a story, writing better headlines, etc.? Please share in the comments section below.
FYI, mine is headlines. They’re either too long or not effective enough in my opinion. That’s why writing is a constant learning process. Luckily, there is tons of free info out there to take advantage of.