I’ll share my favorite copywriting advice with you in a moment. If you take it on board, you’ll not only be a successful copywriter, you’ll be a success at everything you choose to do. Think I’m kidding? Not so.
Firstly, arm yourself with the simplest copywriting formula ever.
The Simplest Copywriting Formula.
Here’s the simplest copywriting formula ever, PFA. Once you learn it, you can manage any copywriting task:
Copyblogger shares the 1–2–3–4 formula. PFA is simpler and easier to remember.
Your Customer’s Pain: Remind Him and Promise Pleasure.
You’re writing copy to sell something, or persuade someone. So you need to remind the customer of his pain by referring to it, either overtly, or subtly.
The pain may be physical, emotional, or psychological. Here’s an example of a subtle reference to pain: advertising master David Ogilvy’s classic Rolls Royce ad. The headline:
“At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls Royce comes from the ticking of its electric clock.”
Ogilvy’s doing more than telling you that a Rolls Royce is quiet. He implies pain with the word “noise”. He suggests that traveling in a Rolls will insulate you from stress, and infers pleasure. The ad’s a classic because of its use of subtext.
So, you’ve reminded your reader of his pain. Next, you offer your fix. Then you ask him to buy.
Fix, and Ask.
Cover the pain, then deliver the fix: whatever it is that you’re promoting. You can go into detail about this, offering stories, and proof.
Finally, comes the price, and the Call to Action: the Ask.
Copywriting is persuasion. If you remember PFA, you can get a handle on any copywriting task.
So, how do you become a copywriter in 30 seconds?
A Copywriter in 30 Seconds: SHOW UP!
You show up.
Woody Allen’s famous quote “80 percent of SUCCESS is showing up” is 100 per cent right. You can succeed at whatever you’d like to succeed at, if you show up.
A digression. There are a few versions of Allen’s quote. Which is correct? From the Quote Investigator, Showing Up Is 80 Percent of Life. Columnist Ellen Goodman wrote:
In a more innocent moment, I did a bit of creative fandangoing with Woody Allen. I misquoted him. He did not say, “80 percent of life is showing up,” He said, “80 percent of SUCCESS is showing up.”
Enthusiasm Will Get You There: Desire Is Everything.
If you want to become a copywriter, you can be. I’m fond of saying that if you can write an email message and get someone to respond, you can write copy. Your intuitive desires are a great guide to what you can do.
Show up. Try. Do it. Write copy. If you write copy for long enough, you’ll get good at it. Then it becomes fun.
I started my writing life as a romance novelist. Writing fiction teaches you how to write copy because you learn about EMOTION.
And vice versa, of course. Many copywriters make the switch to writing fiction. Here’s The Awl on Six Authors Who Were Copywriters First. Bryce Courtenay wasn’t mentioned, but he also started out in advertising.
In summary, if you want to become a copywriter you can. In less than 30 seconds. Just show up.
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