I might get in ca-ca for sharing this with the entire readership of
Search Engine Guide, but it's time to reveal what a lot of web
copywriters probably don't want you to know. Why? Because keeping you
in the dark about how we crunch out great copy day after day keeps us
Or so one would think.
rather spill the beans. It's too much pressure to have everyone
believing that we web copywriters and SEO copywriters
of witchcraft. While I readily admit that I cannot always explain how I
craft each and every line of compelling copy, there are a few "tricks"
that I use--and I'm pretty sure other copywriters use--when
words fail me.Voodoo That Will Help ANYONE Write Better Web Copy (Even SEO Copy)
The voodoo secret behind some (maybe even a lot) of the great copy you read online is what I call "freestyle copywriting." It entails temporarily suspending rules and formulas so you can get the creative juices flowing and ultimately, so you have something decent to work with later. Here's how it works:Step 1: Do
the requisite pre-work.
Research your target market. Research potential keywords.
Get your head around the main message for the page you want to
write some great copy for. Write it all down in a notebook. Slam the notebook
shut. Walk away. Step 2: Get a good night's sleep
. The brain works in mysterious ways. (Told you this was voodoo.)Step 3: Open your notebook and review your pre-work
. Chances are you
suddenly have some additional insights you'd like to add to your notes.
Write them down. Squeeze stuff in the margins. Use arrows and squiggly
lines to connect related ideas and words. Try to keep this little
brain dump all on one page if you can. This creative dance is the
foundation for the witchcraft that follows.Step 4: Open
up a blank Word document.
A new post or page in your WordPress or
Typepad dashboard screen will do just fine as well. Take a sip of
coffee and crack your knuckles a few times. Stretch your arms up above
your head. This helps you feel like a real writer and puts you in the
zone for some copywriting voodoo to happen. (No pressure.)Step 5: Think
about your key message and start typing
like a mad scientist.
Worried about the headline? I don't care. Start
typing anyway. Not sure where to begin? Then don't start at the
beginning; start in the middle or even at the end and work backwards.
Just TYPE. Let the voodoo flow through you. Don't get up to go to the
bathroom. Just type until you've got nothing more to say about the subject
matter at hand.Step 6: When the mad typing starts to
feel redundant (and it probably won't for at least a page or two),
Stretch out. Crack your knuckles. Take a sip of (now cold)
coffee. Click save, and walk away. Step 7: Get a good night's sleep
Turn on your computer and review your voodoo copy.
Not bad, is it? It
surely needs a lot of editing, rearranging, and a ton of ruthless
deletion. But overall, I bet there are some real nuggets of gold in
them there pages. This is where copywriting can actually be fun,
because now you have the opportunity to take lots of raw, honest words and sculpt them into something
concise, compelling, and able to incentivize action
point of all this?
You've now got something much meatier than a blank
page. You've got ideas, emotion, passion and hopefully lots of
interesting facts and tidbits about what you're trying to pitch. Even
if you have to look up some copywriting formula to know where to begin
editing this mess, you've got an incredible starting point.
that, my web friend, is how you win the battle. Find a starting point
and jump off. It's what every web copywriter and SEO
when the words just won't come. Use this bit of copywriting voodoo
next time you're stuck for words, and I promise, you'll end up with
a call to action that is a helluva lot more inviting than something coerced by a template.
Karri Flatla is a business graduate of the University of Lethbridge and principal of snap! virtual associates inc., a virtual consulting firm providing business communications and Internet marketing services to the progressive entrepreneur. Karri also produces Outsmart, the email newsletter for small business with big purpose. Visit http://www.snap-va.com for more information. Click to follow Karri on Twitter.