Shyam Bhardwaj
February 11, 2021

A 6-Step Formula to Write Copy That Sells

Use This Formula To Write Copy That Sells

Let’s start with these three questions:

  • Are you ready to stay ahead of competitors in the world of writing?
  • Do you have a strong will to unleash your thoughts and passions into the world?
  • Have you got jitters that hold you back from writing beautiful copy?

If you answered “YES” to any of these questions, we’ve got some pointers for you.

Copywriting is the skill of creating website pages, advertising text, promotional material, etc. to convince prospective buyers to take action. It sets the ground for your SEO, growth hacking, and content marketing.

So, copywriting isn’t just writing…

How Do You Write Copy That Sells?

It requires you to structure the foundation, apply the techniques, possess the ability of persuasion, and understand which content performs best in specific marketplaces, and so on. It is much like the gift of public speaking. Effective and influential writing is exclusive to a chosen few.

The current most popular styles of copywriting are SEO-friendly, followed by creative writing. Other variants of copywriting include sales, technical, and content writing. For those who intend to pursue copywriting as a career, you have the option of going in-house, agency-based, or freelance (work on your own). Whichever path you choose, do keep in mind that the road to success comes with hard work and determination.

So the question remains:

  • How do we write copy that sells?
  • How do we best disseminate information through writing while being professional and balanced?

Let’s look at some tips for beginners on how to write copy that sells.

You may also want to read: So You Have More Time On Your Hands And Want To Take Up Blogging?

#1. Subject Matter Expertise

The honest way to earn good pageviews and decent conversions with copywriting is to create and distribute relevant, valuable, and consistent content to a well-defined audience. Ultimately, you need to bring profitable customer action.

The responsible person producing sales content need to be equipped with a range of skills. And subject matter expertise is the first in this list. They need to come up with something new every time. Whatever topic you choose, you will find that it has already been covered, tried by many webmasters, and already rehashed many times on the web.

An integral part of copywriting is to choose a strong headline or title. Just like a screaming toddler in the hands of a young mother, the title of the article demands attention from every reader that passes by. To get an energetic and attractive title, the writer must brainstorm through a few factors that influence his/her writing topic. Those factors include the following:

Audience – The Who of your article. Literally speaking, the readers to whom your article is directed to. Consider factors such as the age group, gender, working status, marital status, and ethnicity.

Tone – Once you’ve figured out the audience, consider the tone of your article. If the topic is relaxed and easy-going, choose a casual tone. For more professional write-ups, go for a serious, academic tone. Satire is another choice of tone that one could choose. Satire incorporates sarcasm and cynicism to bring home a subtle message.

Structure – Determine the format of your article. You could format your copy using headers, listicles, bullet points, or academic study.

#2. Research Capability

Nobody likes empty content.

As writers, we need to back our writing with appropriate content elements: magnetic headline, creating an outline of the post, using transition words, subheadings, engaging tone, right graphics at the right place, CTA buttons, and proper SEO optimization.

In order to do this, writers need to do their research. The research consists of anything ranging from a simple Google search to pouring through stacks of scientific journals in the university library. Drafting outlines, enhancing your drafts, and optimizing the copy could be a lot simpler with the help of an AI-based content writing tool.

The research phase primarily includes analyzing the content performing well in your market. The standard practice is to pick up the first 10 posts ranking in search engines.

Now you can perform a competitor content analysis and leverage your competitors’ attempts to your success.

  • Capture everything
  • What are the content formats their audience enjoy at most?
  • What are the resources they invest in their content marketing?
  • How about the diversity in terms of content topics and keywords?
  • Measure the quantity + quality of their content? (Frequency + content length)

Content writing and optimization tools like Topic will help you identify and fill the content gap, help you in building your outlines, suggest the best keywords to use, and guide you to improve your content so that it is better than your competitors.

The intended purpose of research may be to locate elements of previous studies in order to get any available resources to further authenticate your article. The more facts and figures your article has, the more trustworthy it will be. Facts and information in your copy have the potential to influence your audience in immeasurable ways. It is essential, however, that you hyperlink to your sources! On the flip side, readers can also tell when the writer has not done his/her homework.

You may also want to read: 7 Content Writing Mistakes Small Businesses Make

#3. Remember the K.I.S.S. Methodology

Now that you’ve got the necessary information to start writing, you may feel anxious about how to start. The trick is to simply start writing. Write one sentence and follow it with another. If possible, start your article with an analogy, a personification, or a reference to contemporary pop-culture to get your reader’s attention. But do make your opening strong! Your failure to do this will lose most readers very quickly.

Now KISS theory! Yes, KISS! KISS is an acronym for “keep it simple, stupid,” a design principle noted by the U.S. Navy in 1960. But I like its variant term, “keep it short and simple.” The ultimate trick to keeping your reader’s attention focused on your writing is to keep it easy for him/her to read. Always try to convey your message in short and to-the-point words. Avoid jargon and technical terms, particularly in creative writing. Use simple terms that everyone can understand. If you need to use technical words, do simplify them in parentheses (brackets).

Vary your sentence structures and paragraph lengths too. This will create the illusion of readability and make it easy for your reader to follow your train of thought. But don’t make people work too hard to read any sentence. They won’t. Besides these, consider inserting real examples into your writing. Bring in snippets of biographies, scientific studies, social behavior experiments, and/or modern entertainment to supplement your content.

#4. Beautify Your Copy

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” But how does it translate into copywriting? Like any other form of creative art, copywriting requires the occasional change of scene in terms of pictures and illustrations. Add vivid pictures or even videos to your content to keep your reader’s interest fixed on the topic at hand. You could also highlight links to various sources that support your research done earlier.

If you take on a casual approach to the article, you could even add quirky .gif illustrations or memes to add humor to your write-up. Don’t be afraid to try something new from time to time.

You may also want to read: Guest Blogging Outreach: How to Pitch an Article No One Will Turn Down

#5. Engaging Conclusion

So far, you’ve drafted the entire copy after conscientiously showing your ideas, thoughts, and problem-solving capabilities.

Now it’s time to wrap up. Time to drive home the central message. Time to end with a BANG! To do this, highlight your main points in your write-up. Bring out the key elements you want your reader to understand. The conclusion is also where you would insert your call to action, encouraging your reader to make a stand or to achieve something. Saying that, however, do mix things up and sometimes add a CTA elsewhere in the copy.

#6. Proofread

The final step to creating a good copy is to proofread your work. Working in a creative agency, you most likely will have the benefit of peer-reviews. Getting your colleagues to give you valuable feedback is vital in polishing your content. It further gives you an outlook on different perspectives of readers out there. If you are writing freelance copy, do get a friend or a relative to have a read of your work. Elements such as grammar, sentence structure, and tone of voice should be considered.

If you can do none of the above, read your work out loud. Or at the very least, read it a day or two after writing it. You’d be surprised how many things that you missed the first time, that either of these methods will uncover!

You may also want to read: Blogging: Solving ‘Why’ Before Tackling ‘How’

Over to You…

With the clear goal to stand out in a competitive industry, now it’s your turn to create your copy that sells. Go out and make a space for yourself, keeping these simple steps in mind. Your copy (having great content with intent) will dive deeper and cover the questions, topics, and issues your audience cares about more comprehensively.

And always keep a constant check over Analytics to track statistical figures like the number of products sold, successful conversions, leads captured, form submissions, the total number of subscribers, page views, etc.


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Shyam Bhardwaj

Shyam Bhardwaj has over seven years of experience in marketing and branding space. With background experience in software engineering, he also deals with IT and web development areas. He often writes about entrepreneurship journeys, start-up success stories, marketing hurdles, and business operations.