Not knowing what’s involved in a quality copywriting process—whether you’re trying to make it on your own as a copywriter or you want to hire one—can lead to some really unfortunate disasters.
If you’re hiring a copywriter, not knowing what to look for can result in a really expensive long-term mistake.
And if you’re trying to start a career in copywriting, skipping important steps in the process means your work won’t be as good as it should be. (Cue unhappy clients & not knowing why you never get referrals.)
So in today’s video, I’m going to go through the five most important points of what copywriting involves so you can educate yourself and avoid making a mistake.
Today I’m going to talk a little bit about everything that’s involved in copywriting, just so you can get a better idea.
Maybe you’re considering a career in copywriting yourself, and you want to make sure you have enough experience, or maybe you’re in the market to hire a copywriter, and you want to make sure you’re making a good hire and that you don’t get burned by a bad, expensive decision.
Either way, after this video, you’ll understand more of what’s involved in a quality copywriting process, and will be able to make more empowered decisions on what to do.
So, first things first copywriting is a lot more than simply writing. Writing is basically just putting words together in basic sentence structures to convey meaning.
And while some people who label themselves as “copywriters” stop there and this is all they do, there’s so much more involved in writing good copy.
Because ultimately, copywriting is not something that’s just done for shits and giggles. It’s not journaling out your feelings, nor is it writing out a poem on a scratch piece of paper just because a wave of inspiration hit you.
Copywriting is done for a specific purpose, and 99% of the time, that purpose is to drive either action or profits or both.
So the first step in a good copywriting process is identifying and planning the end goal you want to see happen.
If you’re a solopreneur like me and you’re setting up your first automated email funnel, the end goal is probably to get people to buy into something at the end of it.
If you work for a non-profit and you’re trying to create better website copy, the end goal is probably going to be something like getting more volunteers, more donations, or both.
Knowing what you want to ultimately happen as a result of your copywriting is essential to effective planning and execution of all the other steps.
The next thing, after you decide what your end goal is, is to write the piece of text that will get readers’ attention from the start. This is what most people in traditional writing and marketing call “the hook.”
And to illustrate what makes a good hook, I want to show you two examples. The examples I’m going to show you are blog posts from the exact same niche, but the same rules apply whether you’re writing a blog post, a sales page, or an email.
[switch screen to computer]
Okay, so here’s how most people write a hook:
[read GRS intro]
So, they’re basically stating obvious facts that you either already know or can Google right away, aren’t they? Which, even though it’s how we get taught to write for the state writing tests in middle school, is actually really boring.
But here’s a more interesting introduction:
[read YNAB intro]
Can you see how that’s WAYYYY more interesting?
So this guy started the blog post with a story, which is almost always a win because of the way our brains react to stories. We attach ourselves to the characters and the situations described, and it sets off a chemical reaction in our brains that make us immediately more interested.
[switch screen back to me]
So the rule of thumb I’ve come up with that’s easy even for non-writers to remember and implement is this:
The “Thank you Captain Obvious” test. If a statement is made in the hook that’s something the most obnoxious middle school version of yourself would react to with a smart-assed “Thank you Captain Obvious” then you know you need to write a better introduction.
On the other side of the spectrum from “Thank you Captain Obvious” is the “WTF?!?!” reaction. For example, after the first sentence of the YNAB article, you like thought WTF??!?!. So as long as you’ve got a hook that’s closer to the WTF side than the Thank You Captain Obvious side, you’re good to go.
The third part of a good copywriting process, after you’ve written a decent hook, is keeping interest.
And honestly, all that “Thank you Captain Obvious” material doesn’t have to go to waste. Let’s look at one of those blog posts again:
[switch to computer screen]
So here’s the YNAB article again. All the way down here, after he’s given the WTF intro that gets attention, he keeps attention with this advice: [read advice]
Normally, this is the kind of information people lead with. When you lead with it, it makes your writing boring. But there’s a time and a place for everything, so this sort of advice-giving info goes really good right here & actually helps drive your point home, leading to the next step of a good copywriting process.
[switch back to me]
Which brings us to the next piece of a good copywriting process, which is a HUGE amount attention on the build-up to the call to action, and on the call to action itself.
Because honestly, without a good call to action, you’re really dropping the ball on the potential your business has to drive action and profits. And this IS NOT potential that you want to miss out on. Not at all. In fact, I’d venture to say that this action and profit part is the entire reason why we get into business & recognize the need for good copywriting in the first place.
And then, the final thing that’s so important to what’s involved in copywriting is a high attention to detail for conversion optimization. If you’re considering a career in copywriting, this is definitely something you’ll want to study. And if you’re hiring a copywriter, make sure you hire someone who doesn’t shy away from the idea of doing A/B tests with their own work to find out what works best for you and your audience. Because when the end purpose of copywriting is a conversion in some form or another, conversion optimization needs to be at the forefront for a few months after the copy is published to make it as effective as possible.
So, to review, the 5 most important things involved in copywriting are:
- planning your end goal
- writing a great hook
- keeping interest
- an effective CTA
- focus on conversion optimization even after publication
I hope that’s given you some insight into what’s involved in copywriting, and if you want to try your hand at writing great copy for yourself, I’ve got a really good email course to help you do that. It’s free, it’s delivered over the course of 3 days, and you can get to it by following the link that pops up at the end of this screen or there’s a link in the description below.
And if you’re not a writer, don’t worry. This course was made with non-writers in mind, and people email me every day telling me they get great results with what I teach in it.
So sign up for it today, and I will see you in your inbox.