CLIP & SAVE GUIDE: Top copywriting tips when you can't afford to hire a pro

By Debbie Weil
Publisher & Editor, WordBiz Report

Take me to more reports under $10


I'm always taken aback when people label me a copywriter. Technically, I'm not. I write about effective copywriting for the Web and email - e.g., copy that prompts readers to become customers. But I'm not formally trained as a direct response copywriter.

And like many of you, I can't afford to hire a pricey professional copywriter when it comes to crafting persuasive copy for my site. I write by trial and error. And rewrite a lot, especially on the product pages in the WordBiz store.

Writing "sales copy" is a particular challenge for me. Perhaps because I am formally schooled as a journalist, both reporter and editor. I'm wary of hype.

Professional copywriter David Garfinkel told me: "The more education you have, the less good a copywriter you will be. Copywriting is really the everyday spoken language in written form."

Gulp... OK, so I have too many degrees. I need help.

I decided to toss out the following question to a bunch of my favorite copywriters:

If you don't have the budget to hire a professional copywriter, what are the top three tips you'd offer a non-writer who's charged with developing results-oriented copy for a Web site?



The answers I got are so good I've compiled them into an e-book report. Download instantly as a PDF.




TOP TEN TAKEAWAYS

Not surprisingly, a number of the same points were emphasized by the following 14 experts (including Donna Baier Stein, Bob Bly, Don Hauptman, David Garfinkel and Nick Usborne).

The top 10 keys to successful online "sales" copy are:

1. Grab attention with a great headline

2. Write from your customer's point of view

3. Write about benefits, not features.

4. Read your copy out loud.

5. Get a colleague or customer to review your copy.

6. Write as if you're speaking to one person.

7. Be specific.

8. Be simple.

9. Include an offer (or link) "above the fold."

10. Include testimonials.


Find out more...




About Debbie Weil

Debbie is publisher of award-winning WordBiz Report. She's also a popular and widely-read columnist who launched ClickZ.com's B2B Email Marketing and E-newsletter Strategies columns. As a former newspaper reporter and editor with an MBA and corporate marketing experience, she brings the discipline of a reporter's eye and an editor's pen to marketing with e-newsletters, Web site content and Weblogs.

Read her blogs at www.debbieweil.com and www.BlogWriteForCEOs.com. Subscribe free to WordBiz Report at www.wordbiz.com/signup.html. Purchase e-books about marketing effectively with e-newsletters and blogs at www.wordbizstore.com.

She has a B.A. in English from Harvard, a Masters in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from Georgetown University. She lives and works in Washington D.C.




 


Back to current issue
Print this article
Email this article
Buy an e-book
Yes, your copy is free when you subscribe to WordBiz Report, read by 15,000 subscribers in 87 countries. Just enter your email below.


Current issue | Privacy
What readers say



WordBiz E-newsletter Starter Kit: Insider Secrets of Profitable E-Newsletters

One reader is calling this guidebook "the best resource I've seen for e-newsletters, bar none!"

Get a FREE mini course based on this award-winning 149-page guide!




One Thing I Know About Doing Business Online

17 experts share core advice about what it takes to do business online successfully. Includes contributors Seth Godin, Danny Sullivan, Anne Holland, Ann Handley, GerryMcGovern... Skillfully edited by online copywriter Nick Usborne.

Find out more...





Best of WordBiz Report - Vol. I

Turning Clicks Into Customers

Proven tips plus case studies on effective copywriting and content to generate sales through search engines, text ads, home pages & e-newsletters
.

Find out more...



 

   
   
WordBiz.com, Inc.
P.O. Box 3766
Washington DC 20027
+1 202.333.2022 land
+1 202.255.1467 mobile
debbie.weil@gmail.com
www.debbieweil.com

home | purchase e-reports | advertise | newsletter archive
consulting/seminars |free resources| contact us | privacy policy | site map


© 1996-2003 WordBiz.com, Inc.