How To Tell The Perfect Story

I think I’ve found the perfect story.

I’d like to share it with you… and maybe you’ll get the same nuggets of copywriting and writing wisdom from it as I did.

It’s a true story, just 500 words in length, called What Makes Me Feel Beautiful, by Anne Roiphe. I urge you to read it, and then come back here, so you can read the 4 elements I feel contributed to making it the perfect story:

(1) The perfect story leaves questions unanswered until the end.

For instance, her opening paragraph is one of the most compelling openings I’ve ever read:

“It was mid-December of 2005. I don’t know why he said it… I don’t know if it was just coincidence or intuition that prompted him… but about a week before my seemingly healthy 82-year-old husband suddenly died…”

This arouses our curiosity. Who said it? What did he say? What was coincience or intuition? What happened? Why did he suddenly die?

Notice she doesn’t ask those questions herself, but she gives us enough information that we naturally ask them in our minds. She doesn’t reveal WHY her husband suddenly died until the end of the story, compelling the curious reader to read until the end.

(2) The perfect story arouses the reader’s emotions.

As a guy, it’s not easy to admit I had a tear in my eye by the time I finished reading that story – but I did.

Of course, emotion doesn’t have to equate to sadness. It could be a sense of excitement, anger, passion, or nostalgia. In fact, I think it was the sense of nostalgia she evoked that, for me at least, gave the ending its emotional punch.

Another way in which she aroused the reader’s emotions – which is also very important for copywriters – is to write in a way that relates to the reader.

After all, not everyone is a supermodel – but most people can relate to the concept of inner beauty, and the feeling of beauty.  When we can relate to what is being said, we are much more likely to care about the story, and find it interesting.

(3) The perfect story is entertaining.

It’s difficult to say precisely what makes an entertaining story, but if I had to sum it up, I’d say that a story is entertaining if it doesn’t bore us, and if we care about the outcome.

In the case of Anne’s story, she doesn’t bore the reader with unneccesary details, but gives us just enough information to form a picture in our minds.

(4) The perfect story teaches without preaching.

Even though her husband’s death played an important part in the story, it wasn’t primarily about that. It was about beauty, and what made Anne feel beautiful.

The take home lesson of the story was that beauty isn’t simply about outer appearance, but also about inner qualities.

Now, she could quite easily have written her article as, “3 Ways To Feel Beautiful Inside” – but how compelling would that have been? And would we have paid as much attention to the take home lesson?

Copywriters (and good storytellers) use stories as a way of conveying important truths and lessons, in a manner that doesn’t come across as preaching.

So while I admit, I don’t really know if there is such a thing as “the perfect story”, I think this one comes pretty close to it.

What do you think?

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Why Writing Headlines For Search Engines Like Google Will Get You More Readers

googleI’ll admit, for quite a long time I neglected a HUGE source of traffic to many of my sites – namely, search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing. And yet Google want to send you and I visitors to our sites and blogs – that’s their business!

So if you have a blog, Google would love to send you traffic… IF they can detect that your post is relevant to its users.

Headlines play an important role in Google deciding whether a page is relevant or not. And when it comes to writing headlines, many bloggers (and copywriters in particular) are great at coming up with witty, attention-grabbing ones that HUMANS  think are clever… but are lousy at attracting search engine traffic.

To my mind, that’s a big mistake. After all, search engines like Google can generate you a ton of traffic – and you don’t have to pay for it.

One of the keys to attracting this traffic is to optimize your headlines and posts for a particular keyphrase or set of keywords. (A keyphrase is just something that people would type into a search engine, such as “how to train your dog”.)

How important are keyphrase optimized headlines to Google? You can find out by running a couple of searches yourself, but let’s have a look at the Top 20 results for the phrase how to train your dog, in Google:

1. How To Train A Dog, dog training tips and techniques for home …
2. How To Train A Puppy | Puppy Training | Potty & House Training …
3. How to Train Your Dog Yourself | eHow.com
4. How to Train Your Dog | eHow.com
5. (Video results for how to train your dog)
6. Puppy and Dog Obedience Training
7. Training Your Dog
8. (News results for how to train your dog)
9. (Book results for how to train your dog)
10. Karen Pryor Clickertraining| dog training and cat training info …
11. How To Train Your Dog To Heel Off The Leash – Dog & Puppy Advice …
12. Teach Your Dog to Sit: Basic Dog Obedience Commands | Suite101.com
13. Amazon.com: Train Your Dog – The Positive Gentle Method: Nicole …
14. [PDF] Crate Training Your Dog
15. HowStuffWorks “How to Train a Dog: Tips and Guidelines”
16. Secrets to Dog Training | Dog Obedience Training to Solve Dog
17. Easy Dog Training, Dog & Puppy Obedience Training, Dog Grooming
18. Dog Training and Obedience Lessons
19. THERAPY DOGS – TRAINING YOUR DOG TO REACH OTHERS – Welcome to …
20. How to Train Your Dog & Puppy Obedience Training by the Experts

You’ll notice that none of the results in the Top 20 could be said to be particularly clever headlines, but ALL OF THEM contain some or all of the keywords in the phrase “how to train your dog”, or related words such as “training”, “teach” and “puppy”.

(Incidentally, in your searches you might find a clever and witty headline in the Top 10, but I’m willing to bet it’s on an already popular blog that is already well ranked on Google, OR the keyphrase is not very popular.)

In other words, the headline of your blog post is important to Google, because it determines how relevant the post might be to Google searchers. (It’s certainly not the only factor, but it IS a factor).

So here’s two steps you can take to increase your chances of generating Google traffic to your next blog post:

(1) If people wanted to find the information you wrote about in your post, ask yourself what keywords they might use in Google.

For example, this article is about writing headlines to generate more search engine traffic, so I think the main keywords would be: writing headlines search engines Google.

Don’t pick too many, otherwise you’ll find step 2 very difficult, which is…

(2) Create a good headline based around those keywords.

Remember, Google and humans have different ideas about what makes a “good” headline. For Google, it’s about RELEVANCE. If someone types in “how to write headlines for Google”, I would love for this post to show up… and it’s more likely to do that IF my headline reflects these keywords somehow.

So how do I get from “writing headlines search engines Google” to something that seems like a pretty decent headline for both humans and Google? For this post, I wrote down a brief statement of what the article is about, using those keywords:

Writing headlines that pull search engine traffic from Google, that humans also enjoy.

Then I thought about incorporating the benefits of doing this, which is “you get more traffic… and hopefuly blog readers”. So let’s see if I can convert that into a headline:

Why Writing Headlines For Search Engines Like Google Will Get You More Readers

Now, I’ll be the first to admit it’s not the cleverest headline in the world… BUT it’s nicely optimized to pick up traffic from Google for anyone searching for the subject of writing headlines for search engines. (Oh, and if you’re paying attention, you’ll notice the CONTENT of this post is doing that as well.)

Headlines are by no means the only thing Google uses, but it’s a factor, because a headline that closely matches the keyword search is likely to be relevant. So before you use that clever and witty headline, ask yourself:

If people are searching for that topic on Google, will my headline help them to find it?

By the way, I’m not telling you to stop using clever and witty headlines. I’m simply saying that, Google is a robot, a machine that attempts to deduce value and relevance automatically. So if you want Google traffic, clever and witty is not machine readable… but keyword optimized headlines are.

A Secret To Commanding Higher Rates For Your Freelance Writing Service

Before I show you the secret to commanding higher rates for your freelance writing, understand the following about your potential clients: They don’t care about YOUR TIME. To a certain extent, they don’t even care about YOU. What they really care about is the VALUE you bring to something.

Regardless of what you charge (whether it’s $5 or $50 an article), they want value for their money. They want to know precisely what your services are going to do for them in terms of adding value. With that in mind, here’s the big secret I promised you:

The secret to commanding higher rates for your freelance writing is simply to sell the value of your writing.

Let me explain.

The most valuable skill you can have as a freelance writer (after being able to write, of course) is that of selling.

If you can’t sell yourself and your writing, you’ll struggle getting clients, or you’ll always be competing on price.

Despite what some people think, selling isn’t a dirty word. Think of it like this: selling is really about conveying the value of what you offer to your potential clients.

Take a look at the following two examples, and tell me which one you think conveys value:

Example 1:

I have 23 years writing experience, I went to the Yale Academy of Awesome Writing, and I will write you a well written, high quality blog article of 500 words for $10.

Example 2:

Your blog needs writing that captures the immediate attention of your readers, and holds on to that attention right through to the end. It leaves them with the feeling of “Wow, I want more from this writer!” It leaves them wanting to subscribe, and come back for more… giving you the chance to sell to them over and over again.

This kind of writing builds YOU as the authority, and each one of these articles on your blog creates an opportunity to make a sale, either immediately or over time. I will write one of these blog posts for you, of about 500 words, for $10.

Can you see the difference? The first example tells me the writer’s credentials, and it promises “well written”, “high quality” writing – but doesn’t every freelance writer do this?

The second example shows the VALUE the potential client will get. This is selling.

This is why it helps to be a copywriter. Copywriters know how to sell the benefits of a product, and they appreciate the need to do exactly the same thing with their own writing service.

Assuming both writers were equally good at writing, I’d pick #2 simply because that writer is focused on the RESULTS for their client.

And ultimately, clients only care about results. Value for money, and results.

So as a freelance writer, stop focusing on YOU. Focus on THEM. Show and demonstrate the VALUE you can bring to their business, and the RESULTS they could get from your services.

Look at Examples #1 and #2 again and notice how the first example focuses on me, me, me… which clients don’t really care about. The second focuses on them and what they will get out of the writing.

Show them VALUE. Show them RESULTS. That is the secret to commanding higher rates.

How To Earn $0.10 A Word For Your Freelance Writing

Last post we talked about why you should value your content and I showed how an article on a decent blog could easily be worth $100 or more. However, I know that many freelance writers struggle to command rates anywhere near that.

So today I want to give you an example of a writer and copywriter who has no problem charging $50 for a 500 word article (that’s $0.10 a word), and I’ll give you three key reasons why she’s able to do that (and you can do, as well). By the end of this article you’ll have some fresh ideas for your own writing service, and by the end of the series of articles (all this week) your mind will be bursting with new and fresh ideas for your writing service!

Lisa Giannetti is currently ranked #2 out of about 270,000 service providers at RentACoder.com, a place where service providers bid for jobs. (And since the top company does programming only, she’s really the #1 rated writer and copywriter there.)

Here’s an excerpt from the bidding page where she won the bid to write an article for an internet marketer (and pay careful attention to ALL the bid prices):

Article in **** niche

I need a high quality, original content article written that is optimized for the keyword phrase “****”.

View All Bid Responses

8/13/2009 9:45:50 AM *** 10 (Excellent) out of 24 ratings. $20.00
8/13/2009 12:03:56 PM *** 8.83 (Superb) out of 6 ratings. $10.00
8/13/2009 2:26:42 PM *** 10 (Excellent) out of 4 ratings. $15.00
8/13/2009 4:04:22 PM *** 9.98 (Excellent) out of 56 ratings. $15.00
8/14/2009 2:21:23 PM *** 8.33 (Very Good) out of 3 ratings. $10.00
8/15/2009 6:13:38 PM *** 9.85 (Excellent) out of 381 ratings. $15.00
8/16/2009 1:56:20 PM *** 9 (Superb) out of 1 ratings. $25.00
8/17/2009 11:48:11PM Lisa_G 9.89 (Excellent) out of 1525 ratings. $50 (was accepted)

Notice the range of prices offered before Lisa’s bid – from $10 to $25. At $50, her bid was twice the second highest bid… and yet it won!

Here’s what the client said when he accepted Lisa’s bid:

“Hi Lisa, I am very excited about this article. I have never paid more than $10 for an article before and I think the quality or lack of showed.”

You should read this comment two or three times, and really let it sink in. This guy was genuinely excited about paying more than he was used to – that is, paying no more than $10 an article and seeing a “lack of” the kind of quality he wanted. So he was ready and eager to pay more, for the virtual certainty of getting what he really wanted.

Here’s what he said after she delivered the article:

“Hi Lisa, The article is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you very much”

Now, before you jump to conclusions and double your prices right away, you need to understand the three main reasons I think Lisa is able to consistently charge more for her writing:

(1) She delivers quality.

As I talk about in my report Write To More Money, everyone says they offer “high quality” writing. But many writers (especially the very cheap ones) don’t deliver it. Instead, the client gets boring, spun and barely researched articles. (Some clients are after that, it’s true… but many want real quality, not just a rehash of someone else’s content.)

The difference between them and Lisa is that, based on her experience, she knew exactly what the client really wanted from his article, and delivered it.

(2) She has built a solid reputation.

I’d say the rating and reviews you get on sites like Elance or RentACoder are far more important than testimonials on your own site, because the rating systems on those sites are considered by clients as independent of you. After all, you can easily edit, pick and choose the testimonials you use on your site, but you can’t do that with the reviews your clients will leave you on outsourcing sites.

And let’s face it, in Lisa’s case, scoring 9.89 out of 10 over 1,500 jobs gives you a strong, credible reputation that can be trusted.

For example, here’s just one of the many reviews left for Lisa which also gives additional insights into why they picked her:

Let’s see… She is the #2 coder on RAC and has phenomenal feedback and an amazing portfolio. I lost any bargaining power when I basically bowed down and gushed over her skills before she bid. Despite that, when she did bid, it was still less than I would have expected for someone of her caliber.

Then she started on my project sooner than she estimated and also finished it sooner than she estimated. She was a pleasure to work with, easy and quick to communicate with, and even improved our layout a bit, which wasn’t part of my bid… just something that a true professional like Lisa does simply because it *should* be done.

Not sure how I can give her better feedback, but if there was a rating of 11, she would deserve it. Pretty rare in this world to find such a great partner. I guess now I know why she is rated so highly over an incredible 1,600+ jobs as I write this.

Thanks Lisa, truly excellent work – will definitely hire you again, and soon!

Scott Harvey

For that reason alone it’s worth building up a profile on at least one major outsourcing site, such as Elance or RentACoder, to enhance your credibility – and then let potential clients read your profile.

Bonus Tip: Study profiles like Lisa’s, to see exactly WHY she is so highly rated. These clients of hers are telling you, in their own words, why they were willing to pay more.

(3) She asks for more!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you don’t ask, you won’t get. Lisa wouldn’t have earned $50 for that article, had she not asked for it. Lisa herself freely admits she doesn’t win all the bids:

“I win 30% of my bids. That means my competitors win 70% all combined. But here’s the key: I work 30% as hard as they do and I make more money doing it.

If person “A” bids $10 for a 500 word article and I bid $50, and assuming it takes us each 1 hour to write it. I made $50 per hour and they made $10.

They have to do 5 times the work I do to earn the same amount. I can lose 4 bids to them and still end up with the same amount of money in my pocket.”

I appreciate it’s not easy for many writers to even consider raising their prices, which is why I wrote an entire 90+ page report on the subject of asking for, and getting more money for your writing.

Tomorrow I want to reveal to you another secret to commanding higher rates, used by the top writers, that even newcomers can use right away. So you’ll want to subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss this valuable advice – which could make all the difference to you.

Puppy Dog Close – Do You Use It In Your Sales Letters?

The "puppy dog close" can increase sales

The "puppy dog close" can increase sales

I’ve known about the “puppy dog close” for a while, but sometimes I forget to use all the stuff I know, so here’s my chance to share it with you, and at the same time, remind myself of what I need to be doing.

First of all, here’s the pyschological principle behind the technique, and then I’ll reveal the technique itself.

People are more likely to finish something when it is framed as something they have already started, rather than if it’s framed as something they have yet to start.

For example, let’s say you go to your local bookstore, and they give you a leaflet. On it, there is room for 5 stamps, and every time you buy a book from them, you get a stamp. When you reach 5 stamps, they give you a free book of your choice.

Now, here’s what researchers discovered:

You are more likely to complete the book of stamps if it has already started to be filled in. In other words, if you’re given the leaflet and it already has a stamp on it, you’re more likely to get the other stamps, than if you’d been given a leaflet with no stamps!

What’s more, you’ll also complete the collection of stamps more quickly when there is one stamp already on it (even after taking into account the obvious fact that you’ve been given the first stamp).

Here’s how I’ll be using this principle. I’m about to do a marketing test for my report, Write To More Money.

What I’ll be doing is allowing people to read some of it without having to pay. There are two reasons why this should increase sales. First, it’s like the first stamp in the leaflet – if people have started reading it, they are more likely to want to continue, than if they haven’t started at all. Second, the content of the report should hopefully convince people to want to keep reading.

This is similar to what salespeople call the puppy dog close, where you give people the product to try out for a few days. After all, who could resist buying a puppy dog if they had a chance to take it home and look after it for a couple of days?

In the case of giving away part of an information product, one thing you can test, if possible, is just how much you should let them read. Common sense would say, give them as much as possible… but marketing doesn’t always conform to the laws of “common sense”. Since my report is over 90 pages long, I might test 10, 20, 30 and 40 pages and see which results in the highest sales.

If you’re selling an information product, let people read a certain portion of it without having to pay. Get them hooked into the content. If you’re selling a membership site, give them a trial subscription period. If you’re selling software, let them download a trial version. If you’re selling a service, give them a sample that gets them hooked on buying from you. (For example, write them Part 1 of a 3 part series, as the sample! If they want the rest, they need to buy from you.)

Let them “take the puppy home”, as it were. Let the sample be the cute little puppy that nobody can resist!

Persuasive Writing Techniques They Didn’t Tell You At School

persuasive-writing-techniquesIn this series I’ll share with you persuasive writing techniques they didn’t tell you at school. Or college. Or much of anywhere else, apart from this copySnips.com blog of course.

Being persuasive is almost like having superpowers, because most people just aren’t that persuasive. But for you, it will mean you can get what you want much more often. (Sadly, you still won’t be able to fly.) And I’ll be adding regularly to the Persuasive Writing series right here on this blog.

Before I tell you these secrets, understand that persuasion techniques have been around for a very long time. Over 2,300 years ago the Greek philosopher Aristotle taught persuasive techniques, so that people could win elections – some things never change.

Anyway, he came up with the three main persuasive writing techniques, which are:

ETHOS. Who is doing the persuading.

Just imagine yourself living back in the days of Aristotle, when one city might go to war with another. It was important to stir the people up to want to go and fight in the first place. Otherwise they’d just be sitting around, enjoying themselves and being all peaceful.

To do this, Aristotle knew it needed not only a persuasive speaker, but also someone to whom the people would listen. If Warren the Warrior had just come back from the battlefield and scored a victory, he might do a better job of convincing the people to fight than Cuthbert the Coward. Warren the Warrior had credibility and a good reputation and knew what he was talking about when it came to war.

The same is still true today. We’ll be more persuaded if our dentist tells us to use Brand X toothpaste, than if our Aunt Ethel does. It depends on who is doing the persuading.

LOGOS. Logic and reasoning.

This means saying things that make sense and that sound logical to the reader, that are backed up by facts and figures, and making one statement follow another in a logical way.

Imagine mighty Warren the Warrior, rallying the people of Athens and shouting, over the wild and crazy cheers of his audience, “We won the first battle against our enemy, so we can do it AGAIN!”

The first part of his statement is a FACT, and so the listeners are more likely to accept the second part as true, just because it’s linked by the word “so”. It’s also harder to argue against this kind of logic when we’re in the grip of…

PATHOS. Emotions.

This is about using emotional appeals. If you’re reading this, you’re probably human – so you have emotions, like me, and the rest of the human race.

Have you, like me, ever found yourself crying at a movie? What’s funny is, you KNEW the story was made up… but it still made you cry, didn’t it?

That’s because we got caught up with the characters, and we shared their emotions. A good movie can do that to us, and the same is true of persuasive writing. People are more likely to take action when you can stir their emotions.

It’s hard to imagine Warren the Warrior moving the city to go to war with a boring speech. No, he would probably remind them of the need to FIGHT BACK, the need for JUSTICE, and the need to DEFEND THEIR FAMILIES… and there would probably be lots of shouting and chanting… all things that would appeal to the emotions of his audience.

An Example Using These 3 Persuasive Writing Techniques

Combining these three techniques – ethos (who I am), logos (logic and reasoning), and pathos (emotion) – let me give you an example of their use, which will hopefully make a strong case for signing up to my blog:

Being really persuasive takes skills and knowledge, the kind of skills and knowledge I’ve been sharing with you right here, and will continue sharing with you. There’s much more to know, so you’ll want to sign up to read this blog (which won’t cost you anything) on a regular basis, and get really good at persuasion.

Just imagine what you’ll be able to do with the persuasion skills you’re about to discover! And it’s not just about getting your own way, it’s about helping others as well… people who are less persuasive than you. Doors of opportunity will open to you as you become good at this by signing up to read this blog regularly. I hope you’re as excited as me to read more about persuasion!

I’ll share more persuasive writing techniques with you another time, so sign up to this blog. It won’t cost you anything, except a better life. And if you don’t, I’ll send Warren the Warrior to come and take your city.

Perfect Copy – Why It Doesn’t Exist

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a perfectionist. Maybe there’s a perfectionist lurking inside of you as well. Like me, you want every single word to be lined up like disciplined soldiers, complete with polished black shoes, immaculately pressed uniforms, ready for their marching orders.

You don’t tolerate any lack of discipline in your word army. In fact, it took me 10 minutes just to write (and rewrite) that last paragraph, after I decided to use an army metaphor.

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Perfect copy doesn’t exist.

My definition of perfect copy is copy that “closes” 100% of our visitors, every time. In other words, every visitor takes the action you’re aiming for in your copy – whether that’s a sale, a subscription, or simply a “click” to give them further information.

The truth is, the average Internet sales letter converts an unremarkable 1% or 2% of their visitors into buyers. For many, even a “squeeze” or “landing” page, where you’re trying to convince a visitor to opt-in to some free newsletter, with some nice bonus reports thrown in, might only get 10% or 20% of visitors to sign up… and that’s for something free!

Your copy will never be perfect, and here’s why…

In the invisible and infinite world of possibilities, there is almost certainly some change you could make to your copy that will boost the response rate. (Unless you’ve already achieved a 100% response rate.)

Unfortunately for you, you don’t know what it is… yet. Otherwise, you’d already have factored it in to your copy.

That’s why we split test, where possible, or we encourage our clients to do so. Even with just 10 visitors a day, you can still split test, as I demonstrated in this free split testing report.

That’s also why, as copywriters, we shouldn’t be too “in love” with our own copy.

We haven’t created something to be put in a frame behind a pane of glass and hung in a gallery for all to admire. That’s called art.

Sure, there’s an art to writing sales copy, but if your clients split test the copy you gave them and find a headline that works better than yours, be happy for them!

So stop striving for perfection. The only perfect copy is copy that gets 100% response.

Instead, do the best you can.

And then encourage your clients to take what you’ve done, and split test different elements of it.

Artists strive for perfection. (And then society wonders why they only become famous after their death!) Copywriters strive to give birth, and then to help their clients nurture their “baby” further.

And on that note, I’ll stop, before I think up yet more metaphors, and double the size of this post. Just be proudly imperfect!

3 Copywriting “Traps” You Must Avoid…

It’s quite easy to fall into one of the three copywriting “traps” I’m about to share with you. I’ve done it myself more than a few times. What’s important is that you’re aware of them, so you can pull yourself out of the trap quickly. Without further ado, here are three common copywriting mistakes I see a lot, and what to do about them:

Fatal Trap #1: Thinking the reader cares firstly about YOU.

It’s amazing how many corporate sites still make this glaring mistake, where the first thing they talk about when a visitor hits their site is THEIR 28 years experience in business, or how many awards THEY have won, or how great THEY are.

Most visitors don’t care how great you claim to be – at least, not at first. What they do care about is whether their wants, needs and desires are going to be met, and whether you can demonstrate that you understand their wants, needs and desires in the first place.

Only once the reader has established in their mind that you care more about THEM than about yourself, will they entertain the possibility of doing business with you.

In other words, focus on the reader and their wants, needs and desires – because that’s what they’re going to care about most of all, at first.

That’s not to say your “28 years in business” claim isn’t important. It’s a useful selling point, but only once you’ve established that you truly care about the reader and want to help. Without this, it just sounds like bragging.

Fatal Trap #2: Showing off your writing skills.

I have nothing against creative, expressive and even flowery language – when I’m reading a novel. But the copywriter’s job is NOT to show off their language skills. Their job is to help the reader to take some action, such as to hit the order button, or to subscribe.

If the reader has to shoot off to find a dictionary, just to even understand what you’re talking about in your sales copy, then you’ve just placed an unnecessary hurdle in the way of them buying or taking the action you want them to take. Save your flowery prose for that next novel, or at least for the report they receive once they’ve purchased.

Fatal Trap #3: Selling features rather than benefits.

This is a big mistake made especially by those selling services. For example, it’s great to be able to boast about “28 years experience in the business”, but as it stands, it’s really just a FEATURE of your business. It’s going to have a much bigger impact if you can explain to the reader why this will BENEFIT them. Ask yourself what having 28 years experience means to the reader – and then convey this in your copy.

“Our 28 years experience in business means you’ll have access to some of the best and most established contact lists and resources in the industry, resulting in much more profitable connections.”

Can you think of any more common mistakes made by copywriters? What do you think of these mistakes? Are there circumstances in which putting YOU first, or showing off your writing skills, or selling features rather than benefits might help? Or just let me know what you thought of this post… in the comments section below.

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