5 copywriting cheats to write better and faster

Copywriters are not starving artists living in ivory towers slaving over delicate poetry. They are sales people with word processors.

If you’re a copywriter, you have to write copy that works and stick to schedules. And no matter how creative and energetic you are, you can’t just pull great copy out of thin air day after day.

What I’m getting at is that it helps to have a few “cheats” up your sleeve to help you get the job done, better and faster.

So here are a few copywriting cheats that I’ve found helpful.

Lift key ideas from existing promotional materials. No, this is not plagiarism. There is no such thing as plagiarizing your own company or client. Most existing businesses have brochures, sales letters, print ads, annual reports, a website, product sheets, trade show materials, and all sorts of information ready-to-go.

Not only should you study all this as background, you should take notes on some of the better copy. Often you can find buried copy that would make a great headline or theme. Look at testimonials especially, since these can be a gold mine of copy ideas.

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Copywriter Information Center now live!

Copywriter Information CenterWhen I started out as a copywriter, few knew about copywriting as a profession outside of ad agencies or direct mail shops.

But in recent years, interest has grown dramatically. Maybe it’s the economy and job losses that has people seeking new opportunities. Or it could be the small industry that has grown around promoting copywriter career information.

Whatever it is, there are more people interested in discovering what this “copywriting thing” is all about than ever before.

I’m always getting questions about this, so I’ve put together a Copywriter Information Center on my main business website. Aspiring copywriters can find information about what copywriters do, who does the hiring, typical pay, available full-time jobs, and more.

I’ll be adding information over time, so bookmark the page for reference. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, let me know. I’ll make notes for future updates or answer your questions on my ProCopyTips blog.

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Marketing to seniors: Interview with Senior Market Advisor

seniorsSome time ago, I did an interview with Senior Market Advisor, a publication that gives advice on selling insurance, annuities, and long-term care insurance to the senior market.

The interview focused on direct marketing techniques and I thought you might enjoy reading it.

What kind of message works best when you’re trying to get prospects to fill out the reply part of a mailer?

The reply is the moment of truth, and you don’t want people to have any doubts about what they’re asking for or getting into.

So briefly restate the offer and benefits. This can take the form of a “statement of acceptance.” If you think of direct mail as a dialog between a business and a consumer, then the reply is where the customer “speaks” back to the person who sent the package.

Your statement of acceptance should include an affirmation, benefit statement, request for the item, summary of the offer, sweeteners, and a guarantee.

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5 simple SEO tips to boost your search traffic

SEO for searchWhat’s the point of having a website if no one ever finds it?

This website, for example, is responsible for the bulk of my own business. I get calls every week from prospects who say, “I found your site. The information is great. I wanted to ask about a project …”

This is not by accident. Like any carefully constructed website, mine is easy to find because of a few basic principles of SEO or “search engine optimization.”

SEO has become a deep and complex area of expertise, but there are a few basics that are responsible for most of the results you get.

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