You Don’t Need To Be An Amazing Writer…

Hi,

Good copywriters are not amazing writers. Nor should they be. This is because copywriting is not creative writing. It is not literature. You’re not writing for the sake of writing itself.

Writing is just a medium of expression. This means you use it to accomplish a goal, which is to sell or to get him to take some kind of action.

And you know what’s the irony here?

Almost all amateur copywriters think they need to learn how to write better. Writing better makes your copy worse because you’ll focus on the quality of your writing. You’ll try to sound interesting and to make your copy read like great literature. And this will just distract the prospect from the emotional and logical rollercoaster required to make the sale.

You need to write and you need to write well. But never consider yourself a writer because then instead of focusing on selling the damn product, you’ll focus on making everything you write sound good.

And having something that sounds good is better than having something that sounds worse but that won’t make the sale. This is especially true for those with a background in creative writing who feel the need to paint the page with words and write to get the applause of those around them.

In copywriting, direct response copywriting, things are simpler. If the prospect says “I love the way you wrote this”, then you’ve lost. You win only if he says “I love this product and I want to buy it”.

So if you should not focus on writing like an artist, what your writing should be like?

Two key words here – clear and conversational.

Clear because if what you write is confusing or makes the reader say “what does he mean here?”, then you’ve lost him. Conversational because a sales copy is nothing more than salesmanship in print and salesmanship is conversation.

Devices that make for good writing as metaphors can be awful in copy. If you need to explain what do you mean to a person, then it’s too complicated. Sure, you can use cliches as “fast as a rabbit” because everyone can understand these. But never use complex metaphors because you’re not Nietzsche, you’re a direct response copywriter, and your prospect is not reading your copy to analyze and ponder on it. He’s reading it because he’s interested in fixing a problem and you fix it by selling something.

So let’s go into what each one of these means.

Clear means expressing your ideas in a simple, tangible way. Complexity is your enemy here. Say what you mean. Don’t add extra words. Don’t paint it. Use short sentences and simple words. Keep your paragraphs short. Make it easy to read. Read your copy and make sure it flows and that you don’t have to stop at any moment. It must feel like a slippery slope from start to finish.

Also, clear means eliminating a lot. Most copywriters can delete the first page of their sales copy with no problems because they take so long to get to the point. In most cases, I can edit most people’s copy to half the size while strengthening it. When I used to do copywriting coach, I’d repeat this again and again.

“Sell the damn product,”.

The first 250 or 500 or 1000 words were talking about something that had no connection to the product nor to the pain points of the prospect. They were connected at least in a superficial way but it was the copy that made people ask if they’re in the right place.

Copywriting is not Wikipedia. If it doesn’t talk to the specific desires and pains of the prospect, then it shouldn’t be there. So while your first draft will be long, your second one should be half the size because you can make the same point in one paragraph, not in five and because a large part of what’s on paper is not even required, it’s just fluff.

What about conversational?

At the most basic level this means you (the writer, defined in the copy as “I”) talks to the reader (defined as “you”). You don’t talk to yourself. You don’t go into monologues. You don’t go rhetoric apart from when it’s a great device – when it really delivers a point.

Instead, you talk to the person in front of you as you’d email or a text message to an old friend. If you have more “I” than “you” in your sales letter, then you’re doing something wrong. Even when you talk about yourself, frame it properly.

“You should know…” instead “I’m sure that…” or…

“You’ll enjoy a 60 days free trial,” vs “I provide a 60 days free trial”.

Frame everything as something about him, not about you. When you talk about your experience, in a resume, don’t say “I have a master in mathematics,” and finish the point. Say “You’ll be happy to know I’ve graduated with a master in mathematics and your company will enjoy my expertise in this and this and that”.

You can’t always remove the “I” nor should you try, it’s part of our normal language and it’s the most used word in the English language. But frame everything in terms for the other person, not about you.

It’s like when you make a request, better to frame it in terms that benefits the other person. It’s “you’ll help me grow in this area of my life by borrowing me $50” instead of “I need $50 to get a gym membership”.

Clear and conversational writing is harder than writing in an artistic, creative way. It’s easy-to-use adjectives and adverbs. It’s hard to edit them and to make your writing flow. But it’s a skill you can develop in time.

Best regards,

Razvan

Why You Should Read From A Marketing Book Every Day …

Hi,

I believe you should read every day. I believe in the long term, this is the best investment you can do.

And if you want to become an amazing copywriter and marketer, read from a book on copywriting on marketing daily.

This goes against common wisdom.

Common wisdom says “no, reading is mental masturbation, real entrepreneurs do”. And yes, this is true. Real entrepreneurs focus on execution and speed of implementation matters most.

However, there is one part that nobody tells you about.

You are NOT replacing execution with studying. You are not doing what so many people do on Warrior Forum, just jumping from one shiny object to another.

You leave execution where it is and you replace your bad, time wasting habits with it. This is because I doubt you are working all the time and doing the right things. You are spending at least three hours a day surfing stupid websites or on social media.

If you’re like most people and like me, when you have a few spare minutes, you open your phone and check Facebook or the latest Instagram instant stories. And if you replace these habits with a simple one – opening the Kindle app instead (or iBooks or Google Books or whatever you use), you’ll make huge strides forward.

I read a lot. Sometimes I read even three hours a day. Most of the times it is about 45 – 60 minutes daily. And just because I read, this doesn’t mean that nothing else gets done. The important tasks get done. I exclude what are the time wasters and the low priority ones that should not be in my day to begin with.

I’m replacing waste (Facebook, Instagram, low priority tasks) with a medium to high leverage task – reading. This is how I’m able to read almost daily and how I can finish a book every 5 to 7 days.

Will reading make you a better copywriter though?

Will it make you a better marketer?

Yes.

This is because if you expose yourself to ideas, eventually, those ideas will become part of your subconscious mind. Learning by immersion, by osmosis, works. This means that sitting with your Kindle, in your bed, in the morning, reading Dan Kennedy will teach you a lot, even if being 100% focused and engaged works better.

From some books, I get just a few ideas but those ideas, in the right circumstances, bring me a lot of money. Other books are life changing and change my paradigm, change who I am to my core. But as some famous writer once said (I think it was Tony Robbins), if you get a single idea from a book you can use for the rest of your life, a SINGLE idea, you have a huge ROI.

So no, next time when you read your favorite business author, don’t worry if you forget everything. If you apply a single concept in your day-to-day life, you are better than yesterday, you can be proud of the time you’ve invested in yourself and you’re way ahead of the competition. And it doesn’t take many of these ideas to build yourself into an amazing marketer. Good marketing doesn’t require you to memorize 2000 page volumes. It requires you to internalize a dozen or maybe two dozen principles and do them again and again.

Reading daily is one of the two keystone habits that each writer / copywriter / marketer should do. The other one is to write daily, because this is how you get better, but I won’t discuss this now.

So what do I read?

At this point in my life, I read daily on communication. I don’t read on copywriting because at this point in my life; I base my success a lot more on meeting people, networking with them and building relationship than it is on writing. Sure, I write, but it’s not my highest leverage skill.

But even then, copywriting is not much more than communication in print. It’s salesmanship in print and the core of salesmanship is communication.

I use my Kindle to read and I rarely, if ever, listen to audiobooks. This is because while my mind can doze off while reading, at least I need to focus on the words on the page. But with an audiobook, it can become background noise quick, invest 10 hours into listening and barely remember anything at all. I guess it works better with auditive people, but I’m not one. I’m visual-kinestezic.

Don’t worry about this though.

If you leave this article with a single idea, that is to study your field, in this case marketing, daily. Read books, they’re better than blogs and YouTube videos as they go into depth, instead of a superficial, easy to consume approach. Try to read for about one hour a day. That’s 365 hours per year – around 52 books.

And now just ask yourself – how far would you be if you’d read 52 books on copywriting and marketing?

Best regards,

Razvan

Want To Write Better Copy? Become A Better Communicator!

Hi,

I strongly believe if you want to become a better copywriter, you need not become a better writer.

You need to become a better communicator.

This is a different skill because writing is mostly a function of rhetorics. You learn how to express your ideas in a better manner. Communication, on the other side, has everything to do with empathy and seeing the world through the eyes of another person than with impressing them with your ideas.

And this is something that took me a long time to understand in copywriting. Good copy is not measured by the quality of your ideas and writing although these matter. Good copy is copy that enters a dialogue that already exists in the mind of the prospect.

The closer you are to his thoughts, ideas and paradigms, the more persuasive you can be. You can bring brilliant ideas on the table and fall flat because it’s not what he’s thinking. Good copy is not kung-fu.

It is judo.

On a one-to-one level, communication is about listening and about letting you express yourself. Almost all forms of communication are based on shutting your mouth and encouraging the other person to talk, from the basic rules illustrated by Dale Carnegie in “How to Win Friends and Influence People” to sophisticated negotiation manuals where the more the other party reveals, the better.

But you can’t listen in writing.

What you can do though is make him feel understood, name thoughts, ideas, stories that resonate and make him say “me too, me too”.

This is your goal.

You’re not going after the “wow”.

You’re not going after the “that’s impressive”.

You’re not going after “I love this”.

You want the person in front of you to feel understood and lacking the ability to actively listen, you can do this just by naming his thoughts, feelings, emotions and inner world.

Let me take a step back here.

Most of us believe we understand people. Most of us believe we get across to those around us. Believe me, we’re not.

Most people suck at listening, talk too much, are emotionally aggressive, are interested in being right all the time and can’t see through the eyes of the other party even if their life depends on it.

I know this because I’m one.

And after studying this field for the last three months, my life changed completely. I’m getting across to people. My writing connects a lot better. I’m more persuasive. And all of this comes to putting the spotlight on the other person, on making others feel important, as opposed.

And maybe this is the most important element in a sales copy too.

You either get to choose between your ego and your customer. You either get to pick to feel important or you get paid. But you don’t get both.

It’s like the old joke…

If you want to make money fast in advertising, go to someone’s office and offer to put them on a huge billboard. Offer to make them look good and put their company name in huge letters.

This will get you customers but it won’t get them customers.

This will bring you cash, as a copywriter, but it won’t bring them cash, as your customers.

What sells is talking about their customers. It is talking about their needs and fears and wants. It’s focusing 99% on making them feel understood (the people who will pay your customers) and 1% on the customer itself. Best sales letters are like a letter to a narcissistic friend, 100% focus on the person in front of them.

You know, I consider myself a smart and interesting person.

I read a lot and I cool shit in my life.

But when I talk with someone, almost nobody is interested in this. Sure, I see myself cool but they see themselves cooler. If I’m talking with someone, her evening in, watching TV, may be more interesting than me doing bungee jumping.

We’re all self-centered.

We all believe the universe centers on us. 

And I’ve noticed an interesting trend. If I let people talk and I’m genuinely interested in what they have to say, not just waiting my turn to talk, they become close. And soon they reciprocate and are interested in me.

I make people interested in me by showing a real and serious interest in them, like they’re the most important person in the world because in their world – THEY ARE.

And if you understand this point, you understand how to write good copy and make friends and have a good life. It’s about suspending your ego and your emotional needs for importance to put the other person first. This is how you win hearts and mind.

You don’t make people come to you by being smarter or more interesting. You make people come to you by making them feel smarter and more interesting when they’re with you.

This is my biggest realization since I’ve first discovered copywriting, about a decade ago. Apply it and it will change your life.

Best regards,

Razvan Rogoz