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3 Keys to Better Online Copywriting

By: Bruce Carlson
2005 by Bruce Carlson

Doing the copywriting for your own website without the proper
knowledge and tools is pretty much like flying blind in a
snowstorm without piloting experience or instruments.

It doesn't work too well.

A very basic knowledge of copywriting and direct marketing
principles will take you a long ways on the Web.

Here are three simple keys to writing better online copy. Armed
just with these, you'll have a jump on 90% of the folks out
there doing the copywriting for their own sites. And you'll
increase the pulling quality of your site's copy today -- even
if you've never written a word of copy in your life.

1) Wake up your prospect

In today's overkill ad world most people have become numb to
standard sales messages. Television, newspapers, magazines,
Internet, radio, etc. all blast us non-stop with advertising.
After a while we just naturally tune most of it out.

Copywriting great John Carlton says to imagine that your
prospect is a giant blob sitting there on the couch or in a
chair. Now what would you need to do to get that blob to take
action to buy?

Getting someone to stop... actually read your website copy...
AND click through (or fill out a form) is serious heavy-duty
action on the click-and-run Web. Your prospect has a million
things on his or her mind.

Reading your copy isn't exactly Priority One...

So how do you wake your prospects up and get 'em to read your
copy?

The secret is right here in this headline:

"ARE YOU TOO BUSY EARNING A LIVING TO MAKE ANY REAL MONEY?"

This is from Joe Karbo's sales letter for his "The Lazy Man's
Way to Riches" book. The letter was probably responsible for
over a million dollars worth of sales for Joe.

Joe's secret here, and one which you can use too, is based on a
simple principle for getting a prospect's attention.

You need to...

2) Enter the conversation going on in your prospect's mind

You should know enough about your target market to know what
keeps them awake at night. If you don't yet, then you'll need
to find out right away.

In the example above from Joe Karbo, it's about working like a
dog and barely making enough to pay the bills. Marketers like
Joe who target opportunity seekers understand that frustrations
about money cause a lot of people pain.

But what concerns does your target market have? What problem(s)
do they need solved? What itch(es) do they need scratched?

You can find the answers to these questions fairly easily. Lurk
on the forums where your prospects hang out... Read the online
and offline newsletters, magazines and journals they read...

Or better yet, just ask them!

Set up a survey page on your website or else survey them
through your newsletter or blog. Or use a Web tool like
AskDatabase.

Once you know what your prospects are thinking about most of the
time your copywriting job becomes a heckuva lot easier. You'll
be on a more intimate basis with your market. Which is never a
bad thing...

Good copywriting is wooing your customers in print, after all.
Just like you would woo a prospective mate. And the more you
know about them the more you'll be able to say the right things!

So now that you know what bothers your prospects you'll need
to...

3) Make a compelling offer

This is an area where most website copy really falls short.

Ask yourself this question:

What exactly is it that I want my prospects to do?

You want them to buy! Right? Or at least opt-in to your
newsletter... or get your free report... or sign up for your
autoresponder series...

In other words, you want them to take an action! You don't want
them to browse around, look at your pretty graphics and then
click out. The Web is just too too big. And your site is just
one tiny place in that giant Web ocean. Once they leave, their
chances of coming back are one in a billion. Or worse...

So you need to use your copywriting skills to build an offer
that forces them to make a clear decision.

Make it irresistible. "Make them an offer they can't refuse,"
said the old godfather.

He would've made a good marketer.

By making your offer as seductive as possible, you force action.
You force that clear decision. With pure lead generation sites
this means they give you their contact info. With direct sales
sites it means a sale. Or if it's a combination of the two they
buy and/or give you their contact info so you can follow up.

If your offer is good enough, then a good percentage of your
prospects will be energized.

Your copy will be like a jolt of electricity...Zap!

That blob on the couch might actually get up and do something...

So make your offer hot. Load it up with perceived value. Tell
'em how your product is going to make their life better. And
give 'em a good deal!


To summarize...

Wake 'em up by entering the conversation already in their minds,
and then make 'em an offer they can't refuse. If you do this,
you'll instantly increase the power of your online copywriting.
I guarantee it!
Veteran educator and freelance writer Bruce Carlson would like to help you improve your online copywriting. Sign up for his free Dynamic Copywriter newsletter at http://www.dynamic-copywriting.com

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