At its core, copywriting is simple: care about the customer and use the language they use.
When someone reads copy, it shouldn’t feel like reading copy. It should flow so easily that they don’t even notice it’s a sales page.
Sure, bland copy might work for cheap products, but if you’re selling a product, service, or recurring subscription, you need to think deeper about the words you’re going to use.
Rule #1: Don’t make your copy fancy
The problem with a lot of copy is that business owners want to sound fancy instead of relate to their customers. Unless you’re selling something incredibly complex to a niche group who will understand your industry language, don’t try to sound fancy.
Most people are so focused on looking like they’re experts, that they completely turn away their base customers.
They’re like someone at a dinner party who constantly talks about themselves and tries every possible way to sound fancy because they think that’s what impresses people.
The goal of the copy on your site isn’t to talk down to your readers, it’s to talk AT your readers. It’s a subtle difference, but we all know the feeling each different approach feels.
Have you ever been around someone who talked down to you? Whether it was a co-worker, boss, professor, friend, or just someone you barely knew at all, it’s the worst isn’t it? I’m sure the last thing you wanted to do was give that person your hard-earned money. Instead, you probably hoped you’d never have to see them again.
Rule #2: Don’t confuse copywriting with academic or creative writing
Copywriting can be creative, but the goal of all copy is sales.
When copywriters sit down to write a sales page, at that point a ton of research has already been done. 500 words don’t just come out of thin air, there’s usually 20+ hours of research (at least) before a single word is written. Every single word must be dissected.
Academic writing is dry. It's all fact-based and rarely is there room for a lot of creativity and conversational writing. Creating writing on the other hand is sometimes too much and it's not focused enough to drive sales.
Rule #3: Keep tweaking
I went over in this A/B testing post, but the main point is you should never think you’re done with your copy. The art of copywriting involves continuing to tweak and grow. You’ll learn new things with time and it’s good to go back and tweak your copy to reflect the things you learn.
Through the years I’ve seen one headline tweak double conversion rates. (Don’t start doing these minor adjustments until your business is stable, though. You don’t need to waste any time on this if you’re still working on becoming profitable. Just make sure you’re getting sales, first.)
Rule #4: Copywriting is a conversation
The same way you’d talk to your close friends is the same way you should write your copy.
The last thing you want to do is start writing corporate robot-speak. You want to write it like you’re writing to a friend. You should read every single thing you write out loud and immediately delete it if it sounds unnatural.
Rule #5: Rarely write about yourself
Your own stories can serve a purpose depending on what you’re writing, but overall you don’t want to write too much about your life. Your stories can work in blogs or videos, but when it comes to sales pages or landing pages, you need to delete everything with “I” writing in it.
You want to take your customer’s problems and talk about them.
Imagine if you were reading a personal trainer’s website and it said, “I can bench 300 lbs and I’ve enjoyed teaching people how to get in shape.”
Instead, imagine, “Instead of trying to figure out everything on your own, what if you had a coach right there to teach you everything you need to know? You’ve been working so hard on your own, but you’re getting frustrated because the results aren’t coming.
Your stories matter and there is a time and a place to use it, but not usually in your sales copy.
Rule #6: Get readers nodding “yes”
The best copy gets customers excited and nodding their heads. They’re EXCITED someone finally understands them and their problems.
When you’re looking to solve a burning problem you have, you want to find someone who gets it. Someone who understands the frustrations you feel each day and knows what it takes to solve it.
When you read copy that speaks to those frustrations, you can't help but get excited and nod your head as you read.
That's exactly how you want your readers to feel.