What MAKES a good Copy flow?

23 replies
Dear copywriting Warriors,

Since you've come to this thread while browsing,
I would absolutely love it if you could spend just
a few seconds helping me with this burning
question I've been struggling with.

----The start of your 50 seconds-----

The Reason:

I've seen many templates, for eg. starting with a
catchy headline, yada yada and you end with a
strong call-to-action. I've tried it. I've read some
of the copywriting books out there, and I've learnt
basic things like scarcity, fear, bandwagoning,
meeting the reader where they are.

The Problem:
I've tried writing some sales copy. It seems to get
me engaged (but that's just myself), and it seems
to lack a "flow". It feels rigid in the manner that
the copy is disconnected. I seem to lack the skill
of getting the reader to flow from one idea to
another.

The Question:
How do you get your copy to flow from the start
to the end of your copywriting masterpiece?

----The end of your 50 seconds -----

Thanks so much,
Wishful.
#burning #copy #flow #good #makes #question
  • Profile picture of the author ExquisiteMedia
    True writers can craft the words in a manner which presents a strong visual image while making the reader engaged to continue all the way to the conversion. Simply put, it's an art that you must carefully construct word by word. Each word must tie the content together as a whole.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Banned
      Originally Posted by ExquisiteMedia View Post

      True writers can craft the words in a manner which presents a strong visual image while making the reader engaged to continue all the way to the conversion. Simply put, it's an art that you must carefully construct word by word. Each word must tie the content together as a whole.
      Refreshing to see a newcomer to the WF come out with such an astute and spot on remark.

      Welcome to the Copywriting Forum here at the WF!

      Kindest regards,


      Pete
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
    Banned
    Write as you speak as though in conversation with a good friend.

    Simple.

    I mean, if I'm talking to you as a mate about fishing for example and at the end of one sentence I suddenly let rip with a really snide remark, what are you going to think inside your own mind, what would you interpret from this situation?

    'What the hell did you just say?! Pardon me'? (Negative reaction)

    Whatever I just said to you, jarred on your emotions and put you off your balance. Hardly conducive to maintaining a good healthy friendship.

    But if I listen attentively to your point of view, take an interest in what you have to say and in the appropriate spot/s ask you lots of questions - what is this going to do to your emotions? (Positive response)

    Why, you're thinking, 'I like this person, s/he listens to me, asks questions, takes an interest in my comments and opinion. This is why we're such good friends'.

    It's all about how you transition from one thought and expression to the next. Or, as my father used to say, 'Think before you speak'. Which advice can easily be adapted into your conversational copywriting.

    Best,


    Pete Walker
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    • Profile picture of the author wishfulsuccess
      Originally Posted by Pete Walker View Post

      Write as you speak as though in conversation with a good friend.

      Simple.

      I mean, if I'm talking to you as a mate about fishing for example and at the end of one sentence I suddenly let rip with a really snide remark, what are you going to think inside your own mind, what would you interpret from this situation?

      'What the hell did you just say?! Pardon me'? (Negative reaction)

      Whatever I just said to you, jarred on your emotions and put you off your balance. Hardly conducive to maintaining a good healthy friendship.

      But if I listen attentively to your point of view, take an interest in what you have to say and in the appropriate spot/s ask you lots of questions - what is this going to do to your emotions? (Positive response)

      Why, you're thinking, 'I like this person, s/he listens to me, asks questions, takes an interest in my comments and opinion. This is why we're such good friends'.

      It's all about how you transition from one thought and expression to the next. Or, as my father used to say, 'Think before you speak'. Which advice can easily be adapted into your conversational copywriting.

      Best,


      Pete Walker
      Wow, great stuff there! Hold on while I write down some notes.

      Alright, done.

      So basically, if i'm right, you're saying that I should develop a certain type of positive "rapport" with the reader in a conversational tone.

      I've also seen some sales letters that don't do that too... They don't seem to stroke any form of ego either. They randomly press your "anger" and "denial" buttons like "You're not making any money right now."

      Which kind of copywriting would be effective in that way?

      Thanks Pete,
      Wishful
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  • Profile picture of the author happyday
    What works better for me,is to highlight the all-important points that I wish to cover in my sales copies,and then I get drafting.
    I try as much as possible to flow as my mind flows at first,what I think readers would love to read about,which of course is true about the product.
    I also get myself armed with certain words to chip in @ every major juncture of the sales copies,then try to link those keywords together,thereby providing the necessary lines in-between.
    Try to make yourself relaxed,and try on these tips,then re-edit all along the copy.
    Just my two cents.
    Hope this helps.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Banned
      Originally Posted by happyday View Post

      What works better for me,is to highlight the all-important points that I wish to cover in my sales copies,and then I get drafting.
      I try as much as possible to flow as my mind flows at first,what I think readers would love to read about,which of course is true about the product.
      I also get myself armed with certain words to chip in @ every major juncture of the sales copies,then try to link those keywords together,thereby providing the necessary lines in-between.
      Try to make yourself relaxed,and try on these tips,then re-edit all along the copy.
      Just my two cents.
      Hope this helps.
      Errrrr okkkkk, prime example of what I was saying above.

      You need to work on being a little more conversationally fluid my friend.
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  • Profile picture of the author wishfulsuccess
    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    Some copywriting guru, interested in selling his wares to the public, came up with the write like you talk myth. I see it repeated ad nauseum on this forum.

    No one writes like they talk. Conversational tone is carefully contrived and has very little to do with how you talk.

    Why people perpetuate this myth is beyond me.

    It's downright cruel to newbies.

    If you want your copy to flow, outline what you are going to write and learn to use transitional phrases. Meandering about like you are talking to a friend is a sure way to write crap.

    What the hell is a copy?

    Are you cranking them out on Xerox machines?
    Hi Ken,

    You seem to know about the type of copywriting I'm trying to shift towards to and learn. What kind of resources can you recommend for me to learn transitional phrases? Any form of reference?


    Thanks,
    Wishful
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    No one writes like they talk.
    Dude, I do. All the time. But I'm not gonna argue with you.

    But to the O.P. - try this trick. Get yourself some voice recognition software. Like "Dragon Naturally Speaking" for PC or "MacSpeech Dictate" for Mac.

    Dictate your copy. Talk as if you're talking to your best buddy/mate. Including all the asides...off-topic banter...jokes and whatnot.

    Then go back and delete the "ums and ahs" and clean up the copy.

    Wanna know who's really good at "conversational copy"? Kern. Read his so-called "book" that he was offering for postage only. That had some good examples in it.

    Or perhaps even better - the guy that inspired Kern - Gary Halbert.

    Then ask Harlan Kilstein to send you some stuff - or post it here - on "nested loops".

    Ciao

    Update: just found this old post - http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...hin-story.html
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    • Profile picture of the author wishfulsuccess
      Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

      Dude, I do. All the time. But I'm not gonna argue with you.

      But to the O.P. - try this trick. Get yourself some voice recognition software. Like "Dragon Naturally Speaking" for PC or "MacSpeech Dictate" for Mac.

      Dictate your copy. Talk as if you're talking to your best buddy/mate. Including all the asides...off-topic banter...jokes and whatnot.

      Then go back and delete the "ums and ahs" and clean up the copy.

      Wanna know who's really good at "conversational copy"? Kern. Read his so-called "book" that he was offering for postage only. That had some good examples in it.

      Or perhaps even better - the guy that inspired Kern - Gary Halbert.

      Then ask Harlan Kilstein to send you some stuff - or post it here - on "nested loops".

      Ciao

      Update: just found this old post - http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...hin-story.html
      Thanks so much for the valuable input Copy Nazi!
      Oh, is Harlan Kilstein a warrior? What does a "nested loop" mean?

      What books by Frank Kern would you recommend? He has tonnessss.

      edit:thanks for the link! will check it out
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      • Profile picture of the author bagnew
        Another thing to do is read, read, READ great examples of the types of writing you want to do. The more you read good writing, the more those patterns sink into your brain.

        And do some analysis. Get a couple of letters you think are really good, and then dissect them. Write down what they said to the reader, how they said it, how one paragraph connected to the next. You don't want to copy them, you just want to get a sense of the techniques they are using.

        Keep asking yourself those questions: What does the reader want to know now? What are their concerns? Then write some answers.

        Like everything else, writing gets better with practice, practice, practice.
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  • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
    May or may not be of any use to you, but think about it.

    Technique one...the Wizard of Oz...

    Where did Dorothy need to get to? OZ.

    How? By following the yellow brick road.

    NOW, start your copy at OZ. The end. The result. The place you are trying to take the reader to.
    Is it an order? Is it a request for more info?

    In other words, what EXACTLY do you want the reader to do?

    There is the first YELLOW BRICK. You know what you want the reader to do.

    OK then. What obstacles lie in the reader's way? What are the Lions, Tigers and Bears (oh my)...or what are your reader's fears? Wants?

    I like to start, just as a "flow technique" with a letter to a dear Aunt.

    (It never ends up this way, but it gets my FLOW juices going).

    Dear Aunt Mary,

    I am writing to you today because I saw something on TV not long ago which reminded me of the days I used to visit and climb the apple tree in your back yard. Remember when I fell and almost busted my head open? You and mom were quite concerned.

    I saw a person on the Today show who makes applebutter, like the kind you used to make, although I was sure it wasn't anywhere near as good as yours was.

    And that made me sad because I know you no longer put appler butter √úP in the fruit cellar.

    Anyhow, I decided to order some of this applebutter and surprisingly, it WAS good.

    Aunt Mary, with your permission, I'd like to send you a FREE bottle of this Applebutter for you to sample yourself and I'm sure you'll be as surprised as I was at how delicious and tasty this applebutter is. Try just one bite and close your eyes and I'll bet you too will be transported back to those days when I'd fall out of the tree and you would make the best applebutter ever.

    I think you will enjoy this and hopefully thank me.

    I would like to send you a free jar and I will with your permission, I just have to make sure this is something you would like. Is it?

    Now Aunt Mary, I must confess, along with the free jar of applebutter I'm going to include a flyer of other fruit products which I now sell. As you probably know, my Mail Order business is doing well and I try to add products my customers will enjoy.

    Of course there is NO obligation. I want you to have the FREE jar of applebutter and if by chance you do see something in my catalog that interests you, please use the discount coupon I've included just for your use.

    I really love this new product and I'm sure you will too. And Aunt Mary, if you'll send the empty jar back to me...I'll replace it with a FREE jar of our new peach preserves...which make a delicious peach cobbler like the kind you and mom used to make.

    I hope you will call today, 1-800-You LIKE and I'll make sure to get a fresh jar of applebutter in the mail today.

    Thanks Aunt Mary for your time and attention,

    Nephew Mark.

    NOW, that is FLOW starter. It helps me think in simple terms of what I need to write.

    So I identify the PERSON, and I know the exact thing I want that person to do.

    So, they are in OZ. Then I backward chain...sort of like showing the movie backwards...and we see Dorothy and gang reversing their steps until she is back in Munchinkin land and at the very first Yellow Brick.

    NOW you have a story PLOT to follow...so that helps you keep the FLOW going.

    Again, it may or may not work for you...

    but give it a try and see if you get the flow going.

    Good luck,

    gjabiz

    PS. On my next trip to see the Wizard, I'm going for that brain thingy...last time I went for the male enhancer...all I got was a yellow brick and a piece of rope...now I need a brain to figure out how to use it... HA!





    Originally Posted by wishfulsuccess View Post

    Dear copywriting Warriors,

    Since you've come to this thread while browsing,
    I would absolutely love it if you could spend just
    a few seconds helping me with this burning
    question I've been struggling with.

    ----The start of your 50 seconds-----

    The Reason:

    I've seen many templates, for eg. starting with a
    catchy headline, yada yada and you end with a
    strong call-to-action. I've tried it. I've read some
    of the copywriting books out there, and I've learnt
    basic things like scarcity, fear, bandwagoning,
    meeting the reader where they are.

    The Problem:
    I've tried writing some sales copy. It seems to get
    me engaged (but that's just myself), and it seems
    to lack a "flow". It feels rigid in the manner that
    the copy is disconnected. I seem to lack the skill
    of getting the reader to flow from one idea to
    another.

    The Question:
    How do you get your copy to flow from the start
    to the end of your copywriting masterpiece?

    ----The end of your 50 seconds -----

    Thanks so much,
    Wishful.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4561314].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Courtney Keene
      Definitely some great tips in this thread.

      I come from a fiction writing background, so my advice may or may not be up your alley. But here's some wisdom from that side of the fence:

      Always outline. Writers who hate outlines tend to create meandering stories and meandering copy. Or they spend a lot of time revising. Neither is productive to your writing process. Plan out your structure so you get that nailed down the first time; everything else you can revise later.

      Read your copy aloud. Sentence structure that flows well is very easy to read aloud. You hardly notice it, and that's the key. You do notice poor structure which disrupts the flow. In most cases you'll trip over these sentences when trying to read aloud. Mark them, revise them, and read them again until you don't stumble.

      Record yourself reading your copy aloud. This may seem like a superfluous step considering the last, but it can help immensely if you really want to iron out flow. Once you're done revising from the next steps, record yourself reading the copy. Take it slow and enunciate. Play it back. More often than not, you'll catch things you missed. When your eyes have been looking at the same copy for hours on end you will miss things visually, but since you're naturally more critical of your own voice, you'll pick out the problem words right away when you hear the recording.
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      • Profile picture of the author wishfulsuccess
        Originally Posted by Courtney Keene View Post

        Definitely some great tips in this thread.

        I come from a fiction writing background, so my advice may or may not be up your alley. But here's some wisdom from that side of the fence:

        Always outline. Writers who hate outlines tend to create meandering stories and meandering copy. Or they spend a lot of time revising. Neither is productive to your writing process. Plan out your structure so you get that nailed down the first time; everything else you can revise later.

        Read your copy aloud. Sentence structure that flows well is very easy to read aloud. You hardly notice it, and that's the key. You do notice poor structure which disrupts the flow. In most cases you'll trip over these sentences when trying to read aloud. Mark them, revise them, and read them again until you don't stumble.

        Record yourself reading your copy aloud. This may seem like a superfluous step considering the last, but it can help immensely if you really want to iron out flow. Once you're done revising from the next steps, record yourself reading the copy. Take it slow and enunciate. Play it back. More often than not, you'll catch things you missed. When your eyes have been looking at the same copy for hours on end you will miss things visually, but since you're naturally more critical of your own voice, you'll pick out the problem words right away when you hear the recording.
        I myself was a passionate fiction writer back in my college days, so I feel ya! The outline idea is something I sometimes deviate away from (REALLY guilty). I guess I can use TheCopyNazi's advice on Dragon Naturally Speaking in correspondence to your advice.

        Cheers to you Courtney Keene. Thanks for the input.
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  • Profile picture of the author wishfulsuccess
    My god, you guys don't hold back. Really amazing
    amount of knowledge I've gotten from just a single
    thread. Now that my ideas are brimming, I'll get to
    work on every single advice all of you have given me.

    Checklist for anyone interested:

    -Outlines and Transitional Phrases
    -Building Rapport
    -"Dragon Naturally Speaking" & Conversational Copy
    -"Nested Loops"
    -Frank Kern & Gary Halbert's books
    -The Wizard of OZ
    -Practice

    I'll probably devour it within a few days though,
    any extra advice would be really awesome!

    Huge shout out to the warriors who responded,
    THANK YOU.
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  • Profile picture of the author Edward Thomes
    Very strong inputs in here.
    I see some people who really know what they're talking about.

    I'll give some of my advice as well. Mainly in a copy, you are shifting your reader from an emotional state to another. By giving a smooth transition, you have to nudge your reader from say, a FEARFUL state into an EAGER state... making him BEG you to relieve him of his discomfort (his curiosity, his demands, his needs, his desires). You could study some tips from Ericksonian Hypnosis, or perhaps Conversational Hypnosis. Hypnosis is albeit just a shorter way to understand the human mind (similar to consumer psychology), nothing too "dark" with respect to ethics.

    Good transitions don't have to be gentle. They can be SHARP, adrenaline-forcing, sending their prospects up their throat. While that may seem a little harsh in marketing, if you're giving them a good product that meets their needs, you don't have to worry about that.

    Storylines too. Stories are just crazy ways to suck in the reader's mind.
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    • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
      You want to use words that keep your copy moving or flowing. In other words, you want to write copy that continues to keep your reader's attention.

      Get these very helpful resources to improve the flow of your copy:

      Richard Bayan's Words That Sell.

      This excellent article on transitional words in your copy:

      http://www.strategicprofits.com/down...pAttention.pdf

      Joe Vitale's Hypnotic Writing Swipe File.
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  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    Originally Posted by wishfulsuccess View Post

    I seem to lack the skill
    of getting the reader to flow from one idea to
    another.

    The Question:
    How do you get your copy to flow from the start
    to the end of your copywriting masterpiece?

    Thanks so much,
    Wishful.
    Hi Wishful,

    What you have described can be summed up as not clear thinking.

    If you don't have clear thinking, how can you express yourself clearly,
    in person or in print?

    That's the big clue.

    Next, is how you go about getting clear in your thoughts.

    One way is to create a string of logic which is hard to argue against.

    You are connecting the dots from one point to the next and next and next.

    Clayton Makepeace gives you an example how he constructs
    this un-breakable chain of logic here How to Navigate the Body Copy Minefield Without Being Blown to Smithereens | MakepeaceTotalPackage.com

    You'll see how he builds up momentum so the reader is fixed to the page.

    He's nodding his head in agreement.

    He can justify the purchase logically.

    It's a water-tight case to keep the naysayers off his back.

    Build greed into the piece to satisfy
    his emotional side at the same time.

    Read how Clayton lays it out for you How to Navigate the Body Copy Minefield Without Being Blown to Smithereens | MakepeaceTotalPackage.com

    You'll be glad you did.

    Best,
    Ewen
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    • Profile picture of the author wishfulsuccess
      It's really nice to see so many warriors giving me so much good advice! (You guys are just great!)

      Edward, thanks for the tips on reading those psychology texts, I might pick one up on Ericksonian Hypnosis in a bookstore or Amazon! Sounds like a pretty interesting thing I might be interested in as well.

      Thomas, gosh, those transitional phrases are really useful! Thanks for the swipe link!! Will definitely be adding it into my arsenal for copywriting to the future.

      Ewen, I guess you nailed me on the head with that. I am used to jumping from logic end A all the way to H or Z without going step by step from B to C to D till I reach the end point (I always jumped ahead of people in classes... few people could really understand me). I like the Clayton reference, read some of it. Bookmarked it!

      Thanks again warriors

      Loving it here.
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Originally Posted by wishfulsuccess View Post


        Ewen, I guess you nailed me on the head with that. I am used to jumping from logic end A all the way to H or Z without going step by step from B to C to D till I reach the end point (I always jumped ahead of people in classes... few people could really understand me). I like the Clayton reference, read some of it. Bookmarked it!
        Wishful,

        It's easy for us to take for granted the reader sees what we do.

        So yes, we have to take them along in baby steps.

        We have to take care that any statement we make is agreeable.

        Start with small statements that are universally agreeable
        and work your way up to ones that are a stretch to believe.

        At this point your reader has agreed with you on lots of small points
        and now gives you the benefit of the doubt.

        Great how you've gone back into your memory bank and seen how it's applied to you.

        Best,
        Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author Ultimately
    Originally Posted by wishfulsuccess View Post

    The Question:
    How do you get your copy to flow from the start
    to the end of your copywriting masterpiece?
    A giant glass of brandy always seems to do the trick...

    :p
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