Step 2 (pt. 1): Writing the Copy for Your Site
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Avish: Alright Fred, the next step in the process is to write copy to sell your products and services. So first off, for people unfamiliar with terminology, what do you mean by copy?
Fred: Well, copy are the words that you put down into your—whether it’s a sales letter or website, it refers to the words that you put together to try and convince people to take some kind of an action. So, you might be writing copy to get people to buy a product, you might be writing copy to get people to opt into your list, and so, copy is all about, now again, when you write that copy, that copy may not be delivered in a written form. That copy may serve as a script, if you will, for the video that you might want to put together or the audio for that matter. So copy are the formation of the words that you take to get people to make a decision on your site.
Avish: Okay, now, this is just step number two after selecting your niche. Why are we writing the copy before we’ve even created the product? Shouldn’t we wait until after the product’s done?
Fred: Yeah, well, that’s a common question and really it’s similar to why people who are really savvy about writing books, write the blurbs that are going to go on the outside of their books, before they write the book itself. So the idea is if you know how you’re going to promote, or try and sell whatever it is you’re producing, that will be sort of the basic and fundamental outline for what it is you’re putting together in terms of a product. So that If you write the copy for something first, if you create a sales mechanism to get it to sell, you then after the fact , go and create the product based on what is essentially sort of an outline of what the product should be. Sort of the absolute essential of what that product needs to be.
Avish: So by writing the copy first, you’re basically creating your outline and making sure it’s written in a way that people will want to buy it?
Fred: Yeah, the outline itself is probably a little bit different than the copy because the outline is a little bit less, sort of, sales oriented. It’s more of a guideline or a road map for people who are listening or watching the product. But writing the copy first serves to have anyone who’s producing information products understand that it’s crucial to know how you’re going to try and sell something before you even put it together.
Avish: Okay, that makes sense. So when it comes to writing copy, there’s plenty of places that you can go to hire someone to write something for you. Should you do that or should you write it yourself?
Fred: Well I think that anybody who’s starting out in this field should probably attempt to write the copy themselves. Now I don’t think they should write it without any sort of work or understanding of how it works. Again, I would direct people to fredinfobootcamp.com as an example of how to write this copy. Also they may want to pick up Bob Bly’s book, called The Copywriter’s Handbook, and there’s another one by a guy named Jeffrey Lant called Cash Copy on how to write copy.
So the first thing I would do is anyone who is listening to this program, you don’t know right now, there are very few people who are really excellent copy writers, but there are a lot of people who can become very adequate copy writers. And you don’t know whether or not you have any talent in this area until you try it. And since it is fairly expensive to have other people do it, what you’re probably going to want to do is to write the copy yourself after you read a couple of those books and understand, and watch, and take a look at some of the websites that I’ve recommended, so that you can see perhaps you have the gift of writing the copy. Even if you don’t have the “gift” you might be able, you’ll certainly be able to write adequate copy based on some of the websites like fredinfobootcamp.com that I would give you to look at and some of the books that I would ask you to read before doing it yourself.
The reason why you’re going to do it yourself is, number one, you’re going to find out: do you have the talent to do this yourself? And number two: you’re going to conserve capital, because getting good copy written is going to be expensive if you have someone else do it.
Avish: Okay, so how do you—let’s say you start out writing yourself after getting some of these resources. How do you measure whether, like you said, whether you’re an adequate copy writer, or a good copy writer, or a bad copy writer? How do you figure that out?
Fred: Well the nice thing is, it’s based on the results that you get. So, what I like to tell people is the worst that your site will ever be is the first day that it’s put up. Because once you make a stab at writing your copy and get your site up there, after that, you’re going to look at your numbers through Google analytics and determine whether or not your copy is pulling well.
For example, you and I just yesterday on the webinar were discussing our site, speakingexpert.com , and you were frustrated, and we were frustrated with the fact that we were only getting a seven to eight percent opt in-rate on speakingexpert.com. So we have it up there and we have enough data now to say to ourselves, okay, let’s try and test a few things and see, and tweak some things, and I suggested maybe getting rid of a long video in favor of a short video and doing some things in terms of the headline. But the nice thing is that with anything that we do online, whether it has to do with copy or anything else, we can test it. But the thing about it is, is we’ve got to get something up there to establish some kind of a baseline measurement in terms of response rates to be able to then decide how we’re going to tweak or change something.
Avish: Okay. Got it! So we measure our results, we start with a baseline and then we tweak it as we go.