You've got a serious problem. Yes, you.
The problem is that your copywriting is terrible. And bad copywriting touches every aspect of your business. It makes it more difficult to sell things, it makes it more difficult to get traffic, it makes it more difficult to build an audience.
In short: poor copywriting is an obstacle on every step of the way, when you're trying to grow an audience and an online business.
Today's post is the fastest intervention I can offer, to help you solve this problem.
Why This Intervention is Needed
In our previous series on how to create irresistible offers, we had an episode about copywriting. And we issued a headline writing challenge, which you can learn more about below, as well.
From the headline examples that were sent in in the contest, we could tell there was a problem. And on our recent livestream (watch the replay here), it was confirmed: poor copywriting is a widespread problem. It's the source of more of your entrepreneurial struggles than you realize.
That's why I'm presenting you the 80/20 of fixing bad copy, right here.
Listen to the episode to get all the details and read on below for a summary and the recommended resources:
4 Critical Components
You don't have to improve every aspect of your writing. In fact, if you focus on just these 4 components, you'll achieve the greatest results with the least effort:
Every blog post has a title, every page has a headline, every ad, every video,... pretty much everything we engage with online has a title or headline. And even for media like podcast episodes or videos, the title makes a huge difference in how many people click and start watching/listening in the first place.
The job of a good headline is to get the reader to engage. To either click on the headline or to keep reading.
2) Email Subject Lines
Emails are one of the most effective marketing tools and email subject lines are the critical component. Just like with headlines, the subject line's job is to get initial engagement.
The hook is the first bit of your content. The first paragraph in your blog post or email, the first few sentences you say in your video or podcast.
Why does a hook matter? Because even if someone starts engaging with your content, they're still on the brink of leaving. You have to give them a good reason to make the decision to keep reading/watching/listening. Even if your content is free, there's a price to pay: time and attention. And the hook's job is to get your visitor to decide: yes, I will spend my time and attention here.
4) Call to Action
Every piece of content should lead to some conversion goal. There's some action you want your visitor to take. Maybe it's to buy something, maybe it's to leave a comment, to share your post, to fill out a survey,... whatever it is, you need to have a clear, strong call to action.
How to Use These Components
- Pay attention to these 4 critical components. Make an extra effort to write good title, subject lines, hooks and calls to action. If you do only that and make no extra effort on any other part of your writing, you can skyrocket your results.
- Remind yourself of the role of each of the components. "Is this a good headline to keep people reading?", "Do I have a strong hook in this content piece?", "Do I have a clear call to action?".
- Even if you do nothing but pay attention to these 4 critical components, you'll improve your results.
Alright, with that in mind, here are the specific things to put into practice, to write better copy:
- Use headline formulas. Don't try to reinvent the wheel every time you write a title. You can use fill-in-the-blanks formulas that result in highly effective, proven headlines. Get our free guide on this at Thrive University.
- Use content patterns for your blog posts and content templates for your sales pages and landing pages. You can learn more about content patterns in this post. For tutorialized sales page templates, I recommend Thrive Architect (which is a product my own company created). Here's an example of such a template.
- Always write more than one headline or title. Never settle for the first thing that pops into your head. For blog posts, you can apply the scientific method and test different headlines against each other, using the Thrive Headline Optimizer plugin.
- Always write more than one email subject line and always A/B test your subject lines. If you're using an email marketing service that doesn't let you easily do this, switch to a better one.
- Always write more than one hook.
- Always write more than one call to action. Are you seeing a pattern here? The principle is to not leave the 4 critical components up to chance. Make sure you spend an extra few minutes to try and improve upon whatever your first idea was.
- Write your content or script, then take a step back. Ideally, revisit your content the next day. With fresh eyes, you'll be more capable of improving upon your first draft.
- This is about habits. If you make the habit of following these 7 tips above, it will make a huge difference over time, but it won't cost you much. It's a minimal investment, turned into a business advantage.
Okay, what else can you do to improve your copywriting skills? First and foremost: do a 30-day challenge. Copywriting is a perfect candidate for a skill you can rapidly improve in a short burst of activity.
Here are some examples of 30-day challenges you can do:
- Spend 30 minutes every morning writing sales copy (pick any product, either your own or from around the web or around the world).
- Write 15 headlines every day (pick any headline, on your own site or anywhere else and write 15 variations for it).
- Spend 30 minutes every day re-writing hooks for blog posts and articles.
- Pick one landing page every day and re-write the copy for it, completely.
In addition, I recommend that you add 10-20 minutes of research, reading, learning to this. Do this for 30 days and your copywriting skills will be on an entirely new level, by the end of it.
Resources to Learn From
Also, if you want to learn more from Dave, who made an appearance at the beginning of the episode, check out the group podcast with the Thrive Themes marketing team and learn some of Dave's advanced Facebook marketing tactics here.
Click here to download the mp3 file of this episode.
Want to ask us a question or provide feedback on the ActiveGrowth podcast? You can leave a comment below or use this widget to record a voice message:
Challenge & Contest
Here are the two things you can do, to make the most of this copywriting intervention:
- Make a commitment to improve your copywriting in the next 30 days using the techniques outlined here. Leave a comment or voice message, to let us know what your commitment is.
- I've reopened the headline writing contest. Send in a polarizing headline for a product or piece of content. We'll pick the best one and send a $100 Amazon gift card to the winner.
Enter your headline for the contest here:
Thanks for listening! I hope this will help you with your business goals.