Most people sit down and write what they want to say – and the result may have all the information in it, but doesn’t have structure. It’s a bit like Eric Morecombe said to Andre Previn “I’m playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order.”
Much of the copywriting that’s done by people who haven’t been trained in the skill falls into that category – all the right information, but not necessarily in the right order!
If you have something to write it needs structure – so here’s the steps to success. First answer these questions:
1. Identify what the purpose of the piece is? What do you want people to do when they’ve read it?
2. What do they need to know in order to make the decision to take the action you want?
3. What are the emotional triggers that will make them feel they want to take action?
Then plan your piece:
What will attract their attention? Use it to create your headline and opening paragraph.
What are the key pieces of information? Arrange them in a logical order that leads people on?
Remember – one thought per sentence, one idea per paragraph – and keep your paragraphs short (you can cheat a bit and divide longer paragraphs into two related thoughts, rather than write a long paragraph that loses your reader).
What is your call to action and how will you make this a no-brainer?
Spend most of your time on the headline and opening paragraph, if you don’t get people started they’ll never see the rest of the message!
With a skeleton plan to work around, the writing gets easier.
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