7 keys to making more moolah from your copywriting

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Tue, 2007-02-06 10:32.
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Before you write one single word!

#1: Know what the heck you’re talking about. In other words, do your research. Spend time getting into the mind of your prospect.

Convince yourself this is the best product ever and everyone needs to know about it. Use the product!

I always request samples and use whatever I’m working on (with the exception of the male potency stuff. Doesn’t work for me and my husband swears he’ll never need it).

I want to see and feel a difference the product makes on ME. In other words, I’m convincing myself before I try to sell anybody else!

Many times, I’m so certain the product works, I write my own testimonial in my package!

If you’re working on a product and don’t believe its value -- do yourself a favor and turn down the job. The odds of failure are great — and why do you want to sell a crappy product anyway?

#2: Work with a few clients – and really get to know their business! I’m in my 8th year as a freelance copywriter. And I’ve found the years I worked with just 2 or 3 clients produced more revenue than when I worked for 6 or more companies!

Of the 14 packages I wrote last year, 9 were from one client. They were a variety of nutritional products – but all were going to the same demographics and files! That means I knew immediately whom I was writing to.

I didn’t have to “learn” my market every time – just had to get into the benefits of the product. And because I was familiar with the company, I knew their risk tolerance. That helped avoid a lot of edits from the legal department!

How to handle “writer’s block”:

#3: Stop staring at the blank screen! If ideas aren’t coming to you, get up and do something else. Give yourself permission to goof off. When I’m stuck, I take my 96-year grandmother to Wal-Mart...tackle a new recipe in my favorite crock-pot cookbook...or take a nap. Sounds contrary to SPEEDwriting, doesn’t it? Well it’s not. Here’s why...

Before I enjoy these diversions, I tell myself, “Ok, Carline, you can take a break, but you need to come up with a headline, or lead.” Then I get up from my computer.

What I’ve done is given my subconscious a direct order to start working. While I’m “goofing off”, my subconscious is free to be as creative as possible.

Many times I’ve burned a recipe because right in the middle of cooking, an idea pops in my head. I start writing it down and am usually back at my computer and raring to go!

Don’t believe me? Then read the book, "Psycho-cybernetics" by Maxwell Maltz. You'll discover how to unleash the power of the subconscious mind. Then, try it for yourself. I promise—it’ll work for you!

#4: Never start with a blank screen! You get writer’s block ‘cause you don’t know what to say. Plus that blank page can be very scary!

So the first thing I do when I start writing is to quickly fill up the blank page. For example, you know you’ll need an order form, guarantee, testimonials and other static elements—so go ahead and cut and paste some standard ones into your document.

Then write the words, “Big freakin’ headline goes here!” – Hey, look, you’ve already got at least 3 pages of copy — and you haven’t even written a word yet!

Don’t worry, you’ll eventually tweak your original headline and make it stronger — but at least for now, you’ve got something!

#5: Take rest breaks: Tell yourself you’re only going to write for 15 minutes and then you’ll take a break. That’s easy right? What you’re doing is called “baby steps” – take a huge project and break it down into easy to handle segments.

After 15 minutes, you can take a break. But most likely, you’ll find you’re writing for 30...45...even an hour or more!

#6: Don’t reinvent the wheel: Ask clients if they have standard elements of a package they prefer to use.

For example, one of my clients uses a standard order form for his promotions. Why spend time writing a new order form when it’s going to get dumped and replaced by the standard one?

Instead, focus your time on writing a strong headline for the order form and killer copy for the positive acceptance statement (the “YES! I want to ... section of the order form).

#7: Minimize distractions: When you’re in heavy-duty writing mode, keep your momentum by eliminating distractions.

In the movie, “The Pursuit of Happiness”, Will Smith’s character found out he could save 8 minutes a day just by pushing the button instead of physically hanging up the phone after every sales call. And he saved even more time by not drinking water so he wouldn’t have to go to the bathroom.

What he did was maximize productivity by minimizing distractions. You can too.

Put your phone on mute while you’re working. Contact your client and request any additional info by e-mail only...let your neighbors know you really do have a job and not to “pop in”...and post a sign on your door that says “WARNING: DON’T BOTHER ME UNLESS YOU’RE BLEEDING!” In other words, do whatever you need to protect your writing time!

I know I promised you 7 keys to speedwriting. And I hope these are helpful to you. But a good copywriter always delivers more than promised. So here’s probably the real key to my success...

#8: Love what you do and “niche your passion”. When I first started copywriting, I took whatever job I could get. I needed the money and the experience. But I didn’t achieve real success until I focused on just one area and made myself an expert.

I love the alternative health field and I love writing about nutritional supplements. So now, 90% of my projects are for the nutritional health field.

I turn down projects that push me too far away from my niche. That way, I stay focused on the pulse of my market...and write faster, more profitable copy!

Carline Anglade-Cole

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