My First Copywriting Attempt!

19 replies
Last week, I started an article writing business and posted a classified ad here on the Warrior Forum:

http://www.warriorforum.com/warriors...ces-go-up.html

I haven't studied copywriting yet, but intend to when I can find the time. I have other big plans to take of first, starting with writing all of the orders I received from this ad.

I would like to receive honest critiques on the copy. You can be brutal, it's ok. Being "picky" with details won't help me. But examples of principles I violate will.

I'm not so much interested in the layout or graphics as the words themselves. Part of the reason is that I plan to bump this thread in a couple more weeks. Another reason is to learn.

A couple other questions:
1. Am I losing viewers in this instance by having such a long sales letter?
2. If so, what parts just I chop out and how?

Thank You!
John
#attempt #copywriting
  • Profile picture of the author celestrist
    I am a newbie as well, so maybe we can learn together.
    Anyway here are what I thought:

    1. Talking too much about the "features" of your writing; not enough "benefits" for the potential buyer.

    2. Too much "I".

    3. Do not afraid of long copy because if the reader is interested in your service, he will read on; if he has no interest, he will not look at even one word. Long copy also gives you enough space to address all the concerns and objections you might face.

    Just my humble opinions. Just hope that other can give a better advice.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Mogusar
      Wow, I leave for a day and get tons of advice. Before I begin replying...Thanks to everyone who posted. I'll take everything into consideration and change my sales letter when I have time. It will definitely help in creating future sales letters.

      Hi celestrist...
      1. I struggle badly with "features" and "benefits." Something in my brain just doesn't understand how to get from PRODUCT to FEATURE to BENEFIT. In fact, when I was writing this list, I had in mind that these were all benefits. It probably sounds dumb, and I realize that nearly all of them are features now.

      It's hard for me to explain...I do, of course, know what features are and what benefits are, but at times it's hard for me to separate them when it comes down to specific examples.

      2. Too much "I". LOL, yes. "I" even tried taking out as many "I"s as "I" could. I am not an egomaniac...I'm really not! This is an extension of problem #1 and the surest way to know "I"'m not writing in benefits.

      Originally Posted by celestrist View Post

      I am a newbie as well, so maybe we can learn together.
      Anyway here are what I thought:

      1. Talking too much about the "features" of your writing; not enough "benefits" for the potential buyer.

      2. Too much "I".

      3. Do not afraid of long copy because if the reader is interested in your service, he will read on; if he has no interest, he will not look at even one word. Long copy also gives you enough space to address all the concerns and objections you might face.

      Just my humble opinions. Just hope that other can give a better advice.
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  • Profile picture of the author MoneyMonkey
    Hi John,
    Your sales letter is good but i'd recommend you don't repeat certain things about your business and focus more on what you will do for the customer. Things like saying you're running it with your own name is unnecessary IMO when you've allready offered a 100% guarantee.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Mogusar
      Yes, back to the "I" problem and features vs. benefits.

      Originally Posted by MoneyMonkey View Post

      Hi John,
      Your sales letter is good but i'd recommend you don't repeat certain things about your business and focus more on what you will do for the customer. Things like saying you're running it with your own name is unnecessary IMO when you've allready offered a 100% guarantee.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hans Klein
    Hi John...

    Far more important than what the copy says... is how you're positioning yourself.

    Give yourself a pay raise... and don't call yourself another "Article writer."

    Look around in the forum. Writers who offer "American English"... "LSI SEO"... and "Researched articles" are everywhere...

    If any of them are actually doing a good job at all this... then $5 an article (the popular going rate) is like you're working for free.

    Instead differentiate yourself. Don't be an "Article writer."

    Be a "Content Strategist."

    Create content that delivers results.

    Sales... social media buzz... new leads.

    Here are some examples of this:

    1. Blog articles that stir controversy and backlinks from others inside the client's market.

    2. Reports that bring in new prospects into the clients sales funnel.

    3. Complete content sites that don't get attacked by Google.

    You may simply offer a complete package to your SEO articles. Buy a piece of software that submits articles to directories and social bookmarking sites. Be the one guy who takes care of it all.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Mogusar
      Originally Posted by Hans Klein View Post

      Hi John...

      Far more important than what the copy says... is how you're positioning yourself.

      Give yourself a pay raise... and don't call yourself another "Article writer."
      My (perceived) problem here is that I have no name recognition on the Internet. I wanted to get some feedback generated and also start immediately to make some money--I've been studying Internet marketing for several months now without taking action. I decided I just had to DO IT.

      I understand what you are saying about creating an image for myself, but I'm unsure exactly how to go about it. I know you give the example and I do understand that. I'll give it some more thought.

      These were introductory prices and those are going up to $12 per 500 word articles now, but I fear this may not be enough.

      The articles I have written are extremely high quality and honestly worth at least three times what I've been charging. My problem is that I am SO dang slow. I don't want to tell you how long it takes me to research and write one article. You wouldn't believe it.

      I've written in the past about subjects that I'm very familiar about, with only an occaisonal topic that fell on the outskirts of my knowledge. I enjoy learning about all of these new topics. But it takes me so long to do the thorough research required to write a real quality article.

      I could not bring myself to do the EzineArticles ripoff article. Even if I did that, it may take me half an hour to write.
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  • Profile picture of the author DanteRomero
    To answer your question about the length:

    Your copy should be long enough to do the full selling job for your product. There is no limit on length. But try to say what you must in as few words as possible.


    Critiques

    Your headline and sub-headline aren't kicking hard enough. I think your approach, your angle for them is alright, but try to say it in fewer words.

    Try rewriting it in many different ways and then picking just a few. And remember.

    Focusing on your headline can make a big difference. Without a good headline, your letter won't ever even be read. Making the body copy quite secondary.

    I recommend the book "On Writing Well" by William Zingger. I can see a consistent hole in your writing. And this book covers what to do about it.


    I wish you the best of luck mate,
    Dante Romero
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    • Profile picture of the author John Mogusar
      Originally Posted by DanteRomero View Post


      Critiques

      Your headline and sub-headline aren't kicking hard enough. I think your approach, your angle for them is alright, but try to say it in fewer words.

      I recommend the book "On Writing Well" by William Zingger. I can see a consistent hole in your writing. And this book covers what to do about it.


      I wish you the best of luck mate,
      Dante Romero
      Thanks Dante, I appreciate the sincere evaluation. In all honestly, I wrote the one headline and kind of liked it, so I didn't change it.

      Not to say I didn't think it could be improved. I thought at the time it was "good enough" to get me going. As explained earlier, I just wanted to get my business off the ground. I do have a lot of work to do on the copywriting side!

      And I appreciate the book recommendation. Actually, I'm especially encouraged that you say I have a lot of holes in my writing...I have a vague idea what those holes are and I am happy to read anything that will help me purge them from my writing.
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  • Profile picture of the author wilmath
    Add some testimonials. You've addressed the cost objection but there might be
    other objections that could be handled with testimonials.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mcoroklo
    I would like more prior articles. Having the earlier ones work too, would be awesome!

    In my eyes it uses way to much space. What you are basically saying is:
    - Articles are important AND due to new updates, people have to like reading them too. Shocker.
    - You are awesome.
    - Here are my prices
    - Go buy, now

    No need to fill soooo much text for so little information.

    More proof is required in my eyes.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ansar Pasha
    Banned
    I'd take Hans advice... at the moment, I can't really figure out what you're getting at right away. Position yourself uniquely - don't just be another article writer.

    You have no reasons why you can charge $7 an article when there are others pricing themselves for a fraction of that. However, if you tell your prospects WHY you're worth it, I'm sure more people would be inclined to invest more.

    Ansar
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  • Profile picture of the author LeahRae
    Originally Posted by John Mogusar View Post

    Last week, I started an article writing business and posted a classified ad here on the Warrior Forum:

    http://www.warriorforum.com/warriors...ces-go-up.html

    I haven't studied copywriting yet, but intend to when I can find the time. I have other big plans to take of first, starting with writing all of the orders I received from this ad.

    I would like to receive honest critiques on the copy. You can be brutal, it's ok. Being "picky" with details won't help me. But examples of principles I violate will.

    I'm not so much interested in the layout or graphics as the words themselves. Part of the reason is that I plan to bump this thread in a couple more weeks. Another reason is to learn.

    A couple other questions:
    1. Am I losing viewers in this instance by having such a long sales letter?
    2. If so, what parts just I chop out and how?

    Thank You!
    John

    You asked --> My Mea Culpa's in advance.


    Why, Why, Why???

    Ok - Maybe - Just maybe I am jumping to conclusions... hoping...

    Your website text is 100% lame. Run on pages SCREAM "I am trying to sell you something you might only buy if you were hit in the head with a brick, over the legal limit drunk or mentally disabled (quite honestly the mentally disabled can spot a scam - Mentally disabled does not mean unable to think).

    There is a reason why "everyone" is trying to sell you their uber awesome sales technique. Is it me or is it the same dork sitting on a tired Miami Vice Lamborghini with 2 hotties hanging with him.

    If you are serious about building a copywriting business you need to work on your trust. I cannot thing of one time a client has pointed me at a website that looks like your copy & said ... "get him/her on board". Most corporate types went through all the levels of business writing... they can spot BS websites (unless the brick or alcohol came into play)

    You need to tighten it up: your concise writing is way too verbose:


    [quote]Here's what you need to know to keep web surfers happy and turn them into hungry customers:[/quote]

    Shortened:

    Learn How to Convert Surfers into Customers.

    Not as wordy, but it definitely hit your 3 second mark.

    If you are serious about working as a copy writer I urge you to do the actual learning before you get the orders.

    I say this because you might get the 1 person who didn't see all the red flags to stay away. Your 1 customer & you are planning on doing the resear
    ch then on copywriting???

    You also should put together a professional looking website. Your clients will expect your site to reflect them.

    Hope I helped!
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    • Profile picture of the author John Mogusar
      Originally Posted by LeahRae View Post

      You asked --> My Mea Culpa's in advance.


      Why, Why, Why???


      If you are serious about working as a copy writer I urge you to do the actual learning before you get the orders.



      Hope I helped!
      Thank you, Leah. Your post certainly does help me. And I got a good laugh along the way!

      Just to clarify: I'm not even considering selling my copywriting dis-services yet. I obviously haven't studied, other than reading bits here and there.

      This post was only meant to improve my copywriting skills for personal use, and this sales letter in particular. For now, I am focused on my article writing business, but plan to move on to bigger and better things.

      And I'm definitely not that guy on the Lamborghini. At this point, I don't care so much about the money I'm making. I currently spend so much time writing one article that I'd double my salary flipping burgers. (No joke!) I'm more concerned with article quality and getting the process down.

      But I really do appreciate your help!

      John
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  • Profile picture of the author JustSomeWarrior
    Hey bro! Keep up the good work.

    First thing: Never say "I" in your sales copy. It is all about the prospect. Tell a story that they can get into and follow along with.

    Second thing: Each sentence must be designed to make the reader go on to the next. The headline gets them to read the first sentence, which gets them to read the third sentence, which gets them to read... until they buy.

    Third thing: feature = "clear, concise, highly readable content with no filler." Benefit is "Your articles will actually be enjoyed by those who read them and likely to receive organic link traffic!"

    feature: proper spelling, grammar, sentence structure. <- besides, who cares. This should be a given with your samples :-) You're wasting my time and losing my interest. Don't tell me what you can show.

    Feature: text formatted in a pleasing way. Benefit: Your readers will be engaged with the content, reducing bounce rates.

    Never write about features. Only engineers do that. If you want to be a copy writer, you have to be a salesman. If you want to be a salesman, you have to learn what the prospect WANTS and NEEDS.

    If I am hiring you to write content for you, I expect, as a bare minimum, good formatting, proper punctuation and spelling, natural sentence structures, 100% original content, research, etc. Who cares about that stuff?

    What I really want to know is why this is going to help me! So if you write engaging content, then I want to know the benefit of engaging content: "Your readers will be hypnotized by the engaging content, resulting in an improved response to your primary call to action."

    And one last thing: if you want to be taken serious as a writer, you need to actually edit everything you write. Don't send out garbage with extra, unnecessary words. Don't bother editing forum posts, but sample articles and sales copy for your own service have to be the shining star examples of what you can do.

    Don't publish and ask for advice until you have done that yourself :-)

    GOOD LUCK
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    • Profile picture of the author John Mogusar
      Originally Posted by JustSomeWarrior View Post

      Hey bro!

      Don't publish and ask for advice until you have done that yourself :-)

      GOOD LUCK
      You put a lot of effort into writing your reply...thank you!

      I will study all your suggestions further when I find time.

      I published the sales letter for my services as it is now because I wanted to get started right away. I've already found 101 excuses while studying Internet marketing why I wasn't ready to start. I wanted to go out and DO something.

      I actually spent a good bit of time creating that sales letter, but haven't previously studied any copywriting (except in bits and pieces). I was torn between finding out more about copywriting first and starting immediately, but I felt it that was just another excuse and I needed to take action.

      Perhaps I shouldn't have tried the "sales letter" approach until I learned more about copywriting. With the constraints that I was placing upon myself, I probably should have opted for a very simple presentation of my services.

      Anyway, I appreciate your comments greatly!
      John
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      • Profile picture of the author Gail_Curran
        This is my impression as a content buyer.

        Everything up to "Here is what you get from me..." is like white noise. It's unnecessary and it detracts from your message.

        Raise your prices.

        Look, you don't want low-end customers that need to be convinced that "quality content is good for business." So don't talk to them.

        Talk to the higher-end customers. They already know the value of content. Don't waste their time explaining this point. What they need to be convinced about is your ability to deliver. Convince them.

        It's nice if you put samples on a web page rather than forcing people to download and open a file, which is an extra step.

        I think $15-$25 per 500 words is the sweet spot. Charging this much weeds out the customers that you don't want anyway. But there is still a lot of demand for content in this price range. If you want to charge more than 5 cents a word, you should be offering something pretty special.

        $20+ customers are easier to please. They expect something decent and if they don't get it, they won't bother to ask for a rewrite. They will just never order from you again. However, if you do a good job they will give you a lot of repeat business.
        .
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  • Profile picture of the author JustSomeWarrior
    PS - get the bob bly book on copy writing. Good book that will teach you a few useful tricks and has a couple of good samples.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marc Rodill
    The articles I have written are extremely high quality and honestly worth at least three times what I've been charging. My problem is that I am SO dang slow. I don't want to tell you how long it takes me to research and write one article. You wouldn't believe it.
    Good, dude. So you deliver. You're on the exact right path. Just keep doing what you're doing and get raving fans. Then put in testimonials. But first raise your prices to what you're worth. It's that easy at this point. Hans is right about positioning. A lot of the other advice is here is syntax and style. But the bottom line is the price argument, about which basically everyone agrees. You'll get a better customer, and then you can get referrals. People refer others like them.

    Marc
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  • Profile picture of the author John Mogusar
    Thank you Gail and Marc. Next time I bump my ad, I will use a higher pricing schedule. I understand the reasoning and will think about how to better position myself.

    I have received more extremely encouraging feedback. I was afraid that at higher prices and without testimonials, I wouldn't receive any responses. I will have a few testimonials to use for the next go-around.

    Everyone has been tremendously helpful!
    John
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