A quicker way to write copy

9 replies
Not too along ago, I took on 2 jobs that I really liked with limited time to get both done.

I started experimenting with the way I write copy to see if I could get them done in less time than usual.

Normally, after the research, I would start at the beginning and work my way down from there...spending hours writing out multiple headlines and leads.

this time-I tried something different.

this time-I started right in the middle, writing the bullets for the product.
...right in the meat of things.

Then I moved to close- and then back to the beginning.

the result?

things moved a lot more quickly and I felt I had more time to craft that perfect headline.

maybe worth trying on your next sales message.
#copy #quicker #write
  • Guess there are two ways to look at this.

    If you decide to hit on the headline first, you are right: mebbe you are tryin' to fit a halo to an as yet unwitnessed angel.

    Startin' in the middle kinda makes sense that way.

    But what if you start out with no idea where your first thought will finally reside in the overall structure?

    I figure that way, you get a loose alliance of sparks slingin' out into its own mini narrative, growin' itself into whatever it will become.

    Lackin'a pre-defined constraint ("gee, look — I am a headline") any idea arisin' from your reflections on the research is free to be deployed anyplace, its precise location in the overall scheme of things bein' determined, an' becomin' evident, as more sister material is generated.

    That way, the content has an opportunity to explore the limits of its own openness, an' when it finally walks with the confidence of the headline or bullet it understands itself to be, it can head off to its natural home.

    Pre-yoked as a 'headline' or a 'bullet', the fruits of our brain work may plough only exasperation's furrows — so I am glad you are shakin' things up some.

    The end result gotta be kinda linear an' structured, but right at the start you always got nuthin', an' I figure the luxury of a blank canvas gotta be exploited to the full if the meticulous research input is to manifest as original an' effective output.

    This is not to say that I am against formal structure, because writin' of any kind demands clear adherence to 'the rules' in order to make any sense, but the structure has got to serve a liberatin' rather than enslavin' purpose, an' I wonder sometimes about the merits of a formulaic approach compared to methods intrinsically more organic.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
      Nice post Peter. If you don't mind, I'd like to share something which supports your idea.

      A number of years ago, a copywriter named John Hostler did a product called Chunk Copy. Even though I knew John, it was the first time he ever revealed any of his methods for writing copy fast.

      The product made a major difference in my copywriting process because it completely eliminated any chance of getting hit with writer's block and speeded up my writing time significantly.

      The biggest takeaway I got from Chunk Copy was to create an outline for the sales letter (I create a new one for each client project) and then write the first draft out of order. Just look at the outline, see what section I got the biggest creative juice/inspiration/gut reaction to, and then just start writing.

      I don't worry about tying the sections together until I do the next round of revisions and I keep revising/editing/polishing until I feel the sales letter is ready for action.

      If you do a Google search, you should be able to turn up one of the product resellers of the course. Most of them are offering it for under $15 these days.
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  • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
    an imaginary conversation.

    A few years ago I wrote a report, the PROSPECT AS PRODUCT. The premise was:

    It is NOT about me, my products or services...or my writing
    it is ALL about YOU and your HAPPINESS or satisfaction.

    I have lunch in my mind, with the prospect, and since I've spent the time to get to know her, then I Socrates her with questions.

    Where will my promotion meet you? What will you be doing? How can I get your attention? What can I say to influence a decision?

    Of course we all have our own methods, but asking your prospect what she wants, and knowing when and where and how the intersection of my

    promotion with her takes place...only then do I put pen to paper.

    And in 45 years of writing, I've never experienced writer's block. I think because of the preparation and understanding of my prospect's state of mind.

    The imaginary person thing worked for Napoleon Hill in Think And Grow Rich, give it a try, get to know your prospect, and she'll tell you what to write.

    gjabiz
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    • Profile picture of the author anwar001
      Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

      an imaginary conversation.

      A few years ago I wrote a report, the PROSPECT AS PRODUCT. The premise was:

      It is NOT about me, my products or services...or my writing
      it is ALL about YOU and your HAPPINESS or satisfaction.

      I have lunch in my mind, with the prospect, and since I've spent the time to get to know her, then I Socrates her with questions.

      Where will my promotion meet you? What will you be doing? How can I get your attention? What can I say to influence a decision?

      Of course we all have our own methods, but asking your prospect what she wants, and knowing when and where and how the intersection of my

      promotion with her takes place...only then do I put pen to paper.

      And in 45 years of writing, I've never experienced writer's block. I think because of the preparation and understanding of my prospect's state of mind.

      The imaginary person thing worked for Napoleon Hill in Think And Grow Rich, give it a try, get to know your prospect, and she'll tell you what to write.

      gjabiz
      Maybe it will take a lot of practice doing what you suggest. I think this kind of exercise will make our mind play the role of the prospect and try to discover his/her needs. But it may take lot of practice to do it effectively I guess.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    I've heard about this method before but because I think so much about
    the FLOW of the sales letter that I can't bring myself to try this.

    Every time I come back to an incomplete letter I have to read from the
    very beginning before I continue writing--again trying to keep the flow.

    One weird trick that keeps me motivated is to start the letter on a
    document already filled with notes for the sales letter. In this way I don't
    feel discouraged by how much further I have to go to finish. The "false"
    page count keeps me motivated. Until I have about 12 pages of copy
    then I cut and paste the letter into a new document.

    -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
      Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      I've heard about this method before but because I think so much about
      the FLOW of the sales letter that I can't bring myself to try this.

      Every time I come back to an incomplete letter I have to read from the
      very beginning before I continue writing--again trying to keep the flow.

      One weird trick that keeps me motivated is to start the letter on a
      document already filled with notes for the sales letter. In this way I don't
      feel discouraged by how much further I have to go to finish. The "false"
      page count keeps me motivated. Until I have about 12 pages of copy
      then I cut and paste the letter into a new document.

      -Ray Edwards
      That's great Ray. Whatever process you find works best for you is the one you should definitely stick with.

      One copywriter I know can only write copy if he has his two "eines" (nicotine and caffeine) with him at his desk.
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      • Profile picture of the author Bengr86
        My writing has always pretty much had the same system:


        1. Get the topic of what I'm writing about, hopefully in 1 sentence, never more than 2.
        2. Research. Whether I'd written 0 articles or 50 articles on the topic, I'd always perform at least some research on the specific article I'm writing.
        3. Think it out, come up with a general layout, and understand what conclusions I'm going for.

        Once I've done all of those, I can write, letting the juices flow. I prefer to follow a SEXC format when writing: Statement, Explanation, eXample, Conclusion.

        I find that this is what's most convenient for me, but if there's one thing I've learned in 5 years of writing, is that what works for one almost never works in the same way for someone else. Do what works for you, and just roll with it. If you are able to write more in less time, then I'd say you have a winner.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    Originally Posted by Quality Copywriter View Post

    Not too along ago, I took on 2 jobs that I really liked with limited time to get both done.

    I started experimenting with the way I write copy to see if I could get them done in less time than usual.

    Normally, after the research, I would start at the beginning and work my way down from there...spending hours writing out multiple headlines and leads.

    this time-I tried something different.

    this time-I started right in the middle, writing the bullets for the product.
    ...right in the meat of things.

    Then I moved to close- and then back to the beginning.

    the result?

    things moved a lot more quickly and I felt I had more time to craft that perfect headline.

    maybe worth trying on your next sales message.
    How did the pieces convert?

    Are you seeing that using your formula is getting the same... or better results?
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    • one piece is converting well.

      it was a VSL in the beauty niche. 1.8% to cold traffic last i heard.

      Still waiting on other ones results...a regular sales letter- however I know it will do well to it's list.

      The process was just easier for me here. the same ingredients and copy elements go into the process.
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