1 Introduction

  • What is copywriting?
  • The challenge… and the reward
  • About this book

Part One: Plan your copy

2 Know the product

  • What are you selling?
  • Understand the product
  • Research the product
  • Visit the client
  • Talk to the client
  • Too much information?
  • Try this: Explore your knowledge

3 Know the benefits

  • Features vs benefits
  • Why benefits matter
  • Turn features into benefits
  • Tangible and intangible benefits
  • Which benefits should you use?
  • So what?
  • Unique selling points (USPs)
  • Different strokes for different folks
  • When features are benefits
  • Try this: Turn features into benefits

4 Know your reader

  • Who is your reader?
  • How does your reader live?
  • What does your reader want?
  • How does your reader feel?
  • Researching the reader
  • Write a persona
  • Set your aim
  • Try this: Readers and aims

5 Write the brief

  • What is the brief?
  • Who writes the brief?
  • What goes into a brief?
  • An example brief
  • One job, one brief

Part Two: Write your copy

6 Write your headline

  • What is a headline?
  • Just say it
  • Set the theme
  • Offer a benefit
  • Create intrigue
  • Ask a question
  • Explain why
  • Break the news
  • Give a command
  • Try this: Headline hunt

7 Structure your copy

  • Why structure matters
  • Make a plan
  • Start strong
  • Write the middle first
  • AIDA and her daughters
  • Solve a problem
  • Give information
  • Take different views
  • Family tree
  • Make a list
  • Go step by step
  • The magic of three
  • Use visuals and formats
  • Try this: Restructure it

8 Calls to action

  • What are calls to action?
  • Basic calls to action
  • Bring in benefits and persuasion
  • Keep it simple
  • Show that it’s quick and easy
  • Stepping stones
  • Try this:  Call yourself to action

Part Three: Improve your copy

9 Get creative

  • What is creativity, and why do you need it?
  • Creativity with purpose
  • Some starting points for creative copy
  • Start simple
  • Mix it up
  • See it differently
  • Find a metaphor
  • Draw a contrast
  • Make ’em laugh
  • Play on words
  • Use images
  • Show, don’t tell
  • Stir it up
  • Do different
  • Do the opposite
  • Reframe it
  • Give it a twist
  • Switch perspectives
  • Turn weakness into strength
  • Get meta
  • Borrow interest
  • Be agile
  • See what others did
  • Take it further
  • Try this: Apply your creativity

10 Find your flow

  • Just think
  • Switch it up
  • Free your writing
  • Engage your unconscious
  • Work through weaker ideas
  • The power of ‘yes’ and ‘no’

11 Engage your reader

  • What is engagement?
  • Talk to your reader
  • Don’t write for the client
  • Answer the reader back
  • Use ‘we’ (or even ‘I’)
  • Write like you talk
  • Write for someone you know
  • Use the same words the reader uses
  • See it from the reader’s side
  • Be concrete
  • Use verbs, not nouns
  • Be active
  • Be specific
  • Make it real
  • Stay positive
  • Avoid jargon and clichés (mostly)
  • Tell a story
  • Try this: Once upon a time

12 Sharpen up your copy

  • Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite
  • Make it simple
  • Kill your darlings
  • Stay grounded
  • Easy on the description, extra verbs
  • Get the length right
  • Pace yourself
  • Get rhythm
  • Make it rhyme
  • Add alliteration
  • Make it punchy
  • Break the rules
  • Check it… or get it checked
  • Try this: Under the microscope

13 Be persuasive

  • Taking the first step: a persuasion story
  • The power of persuasion
  • Persuasion with purpose
  • Six principles of persuasion
  • Social proof
  • Liking
  • Authority
  • Scarcity
  • Consistency
  • Reciprocity
  • Bring it all together
  • Overcoming objections
  • Try this:  Persuade yourself

14 Use psychology

  • It’s all in the mind
  • The endowment effect
  • Loss aversion
  • The Forer effect
  • Reframe costs
  • Sunk costs
  • Reactance
  • Embedded commands
  • The double bind
  • Distinction bias
  • Try this:  Psych ’em out

15 Hit the right tone

  • What is tone of voice?
  • Consistency
  • Character
  • Value
  • Exploring brand character
  • Be human
  • Be honest
  • From character to values
  • From values to tone
  • Vary the tone
  • Tone of voice guidelines
  • Five real-world tones of voice
  • Try this:  Values and tone

16 Dealing with feedback

  • About feedback
  • Get your head right
  • Respect the feedback
  • Read what’s written
  • You are not the reader… and neither is your client
  • Wrong directions, wrong destination
  • Ask for examples
  • Accept or reject the feedback
  • Work through the feedback

17 Project tips

  • About this chapter
  • Web pages
  • Audio and video scripts
  • Sales letters
  • Emails
  • Display advertisements
  • Print projects
  • Social media posts

18 Over to you

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