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Writing Your Copy to Sell Your Products

Introduction

The term “copy” is used for the words written on your website to try and get people to take action. To buy your product . . . or, to opt-in to your list as your fall back position. Copy is therefore critical to your success as an information marketer.

Why Write the Copy BEFORE the Product is Created?

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Why talk about writing the copy before you’ve created the product? Good question. To create a great product you first need to create a great outline. How better to do this than by writing the copy that will sell your product? This will not only serve to sell your product, but by doing so, you’ll also create the skeleton of a great outline.

Understanding that copy is key, there are two options: do it yourself or have someone do it for you. My suggestion is that you ALWAYS TRY and do it YOURSELF first.

There are two books that I recommend that you read before trying to write a word of copy on your own. First is “The Copywriter’s Handbook” by Bob Bly. That is my favorite book on the topic and THIS book is dedicated to Bob. The other book I suggest you look at is Jeffrey Lant’s s “Cash Copy.”

Writing the Copy Yourself

When you attempt to write the copy yourself, you’ll find that it either comes easy to you OR, more likely, it feels like a lot of work. When you’re first getting started, I encourage you to do it yourself regardless of how difficult you find it. Writing the copy will help you understand how much work it is and the true value of a good copywriter.

Also, if you don’t have a lot of start-up capital, you won’t have a choice. You will HAVE to do it yourself!

Copy is critical because it can create HUGE differences in response rates. I’ve seen copy that when re-written closes as much as 900% better than the original. These results can turn a site that is highly UNprofitable into one that’s highly PROFITABLE.

This begs the question: HOW do you know what your results are? How do you measure them? Luckily, Google has a FREE tool for you to use. It’s called Google Analytics. When you put it on your site you’ll be able to figure out what combination of elements works best. Over time you’ll know which headline to use, which price maximizes profit for your product and whether or not a given picture or graphic works best.

This tool is fairly simple to use, but again, don’t let the technology hold you back. If you find Analytics difficult to use and/or understand, hire someone to help you. There are people (like Dave Hamilton who I mentioned earlier) who can help you. Don’t bog yourself down trying to learn all of the technical tools you need to use on your site. YOU need to remember, you are the subject matter/content expert!

Since this is NOT a book about copywriting, this will be a very short chapter.

I don’t want to get into the mechanics of copywriting here. I DO want to give you some important pointers that you can use when doing it yourself or hiring someone else to do it.

First, start reading a lot of copy. This will get you familiar with how it looks and sounds. Next, take a look at FredInfoBootcamp.com. This site has a very high average visitor value. Use it as a model for what YOU do.

Let me start out by reminding you that copywriting is NOT my strong suit. I can write DECENT copy, but I always have it tweaked after I’m done. That being said, I have a template that I use when I write copy for any product or service I sell. This template is courtesy of MY copywriter, Sabrina Brick. Here it is. Make sure that when you write your copy it includes all of these elements.

Your Copywriting Template

Whenever I write copy myself I start with a blank document with the following elements on the page. I then go through and make sure that I include every element listed here.

  • Pre-Head
  • Headline
  • Post Head
  • Salutation
  • Opening Paragraph
  • Bullet Points
  • Testimonials
  • Offer
  • Price
  • Bonuses
  • Salutation
  • PS
Pre-Head

The pre-head is at the VERY top of the page (even before the headline). It is generally used to identify WHO the site is trying to target. For a recent seminar I used the line: “Attention authors and publishers who want to dramatically increase income . . . “

This is the first line of copy that anyone sees. It’s at the VERY top of your site. If you have a banner on your site, it will be right under your banner. A change in headlines can often have a massive impact on your response rates. It’s the single most important item in your copy.

Headline

This is arguably the MOST important element of your copy. Changing a headline can end up with a 500% or greater increase in sales. The headline combines your biggest benefit with your customer’s greatest need.

Posthead

Elaborates on what the headline says or the promises or benefits made in the headline. It’s purpose is also to get the reader to continue reading.

Salutation

How do you want to address the people you are talking to? What do you “call” them? It should be as specific as possible. Dear Friend is fine, but Dear Used Car Buyer is MUCH better. Often times the salutation is left out all together. This is done when a traditional sales letter approach doesn’t work. Again, this is an element you can test.

Opening Paragraph

Your opening paragraph is critical to your success. The ultimate purpose is to get the reader’s attention. Tell them why spending the next 5 – 10 minutes will be worth their time. You need to emotionally connect with them and get their interest. Let them know you’ll deliver on your promises. You cannot bore them. If you do, you’re dead.

Bullet Points

This section is where you list every thing covered in your product. You want to make sure and list the items in benefit (not feature) format. Bullet points are where you lay out the content and substance of the info product that you’re trying to sell. Many people will buy your product to get just ONE item in your bullet point list. Make sure that you write them in BENEFIT form. Want to see some good benefits? Take a look at the National Enquirer or one of the popular magazines on the newsstand.

Testimonials

Testimonials are where your customers do the “selling” for you. They can be in a variety of forms. Written testimonials are good, but audio testimonials are better. Video is the best way to do them. Make sure that when you record them you ask the right questions to illicit the best responses. The more specific you can get your customers to be, the more believable.

Offer

What’s your deal? What exactly are you going to give people for the price you’re asking them to pay. This is the essence of your offer. An example might be: 4 1/2 hours of downloadable MP3 audios, a 120 page workbook in PDF form and a 30 minute telephone consultation.

Price

How much are you charging? Make it clear to people exactly how much it costs. No one wants to be confused here. If you make it difficult to understand, they will make a decision to do nothing. Not good for you.

Bonuses

What will you give me in addition to what’s in your offer if I buy now? Bonuses are critical to your copy success. Some people buy the product that you’re offering just to get one of your bonuses. Don’t device this section flippantly.

PS

Just like when you write a letter to a friend, the PS is important. When a reader reads your copy, chances are they will scan through the site. Most of them will take note of the beginning and the end of the document. This means your headline and PS are crucial.

If you write your copy and make sure and include each of these elements, you’ll be on your way. After you fill in all of the elements in the template, chances are, all that will be left is a good TWEAK.

Out of all of the elements of copywriting I’ve listed here, you’ll find the GREATEST improvements can be made by working on just a handful of these items. Concentrate on your Headline and PS to start. Then consider testing your price and the bonuses.

Hiring Others To Write Copy For You

When you choose to hire others to write your copy, you have two basic choices. You can either hire them to write it from scratch, OR, you can have them TWEAK the copy you’ve already written. If you follow my advice, you’ll want to write it yourself (most of the time) and then have someone tweak it for you.

Doing this will do two things. First, it will help you to learn to write your copy at a DECENT quality level. Second, it will save you a LOT of money. The more copy you write, the better you’ll get at it. You may even find that you are pretty good at it. Even if you are, it never hurts to get a second opinion.

I suggest you get in touch with someone like Sabrina Brick. She’s in the business of TWEAKING web copy for info products. That’s what she does for a living. There are probably others who do the same, but she is the person I recommend. You can find her at: SuperFastTweak.com. Tell her you read about her in this site!

For a flat fee, she (or someone like her), will take the copy you’ve written and make some basic changes to your copy to improve results. If you’re not a professional copywriter, you’ll find this service invaluable. AND, if you’re using Google Analytics on your site, you can SEE if it makes a difference, and if so, how much.

How much can you expect to pay? At the time of this writing, her rates are less than $1,000. That’s a great value if it improves your closing rates!

Is it possible to hire someone from scratch to write your copy? Absolutely. Will it cost you a LOT of money? Yes indeed. IF you want someone good. What do I mean by expensive? Some of the TOP copywriters like my good friend Bob Bly will do it for somewhere around $15,000. WOW!

That’s why I don’t recommend you go that route. At least not when you’re starting out. Unless you have a TON of cash to toss around. Additionally, it doesn’t help you to learn the basics of writing your own copy.

Might you ignore my suggestion on this issue? Yes, but remember, I TOLD YOU SO!

Conclusion

Copy is critical to your success. You need to learn how to write it yourself. Whether you end up writing your copy in the future will depend on how good you are. After you get your business up and running, you may decide to use someone else to help you with your copy. You’ll save a lot of money if you have someone TWEAK your copy rather than writing it from scratch.