Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Secret to Writing "Energetic" Copy

I get questions all the time from people who want to know how to write copy. They are looking for “the secret” to writing killer copy.

Today, I am going to share one of those secrets with you.

But first, let me tell you what many of my copywriting mentors told me about writing copy:


It may sound simple, but you’d be surprised at how few people seem to actually be able to do it. Go to many of the websites out there, and you’ll see what I mean. How many of these kinds of pages have you read:

“XYZ Corporation is a solutions-based company that has been providing state-of-the-art solutions with the flexibility and cost-effectiveness desired by small to mid-sized businesses in competitive industries.”

Now, if someone asked you about your company, is this how you would explain it to them?

I’m being serious here.

Go all over the web, this is how many companies write their copy. I get tongue-tied just thinking about this copy--let alone buy a product or use a service. And isn’t that the point of copy: to get people to do something—to move them to action.

I don’t blame them for writing this way though. I learned writing academically, and when I made the switch to copywriting, I had to consciously break a ton of grammar rules.

But the truth is…

…it was fun.

If you are going to write copy that sells, the first thing you need to do is throw your usage dictionary out the window and write conversationally.

That's the first step...but is that some big secret?

I know some “gurus” will charge you about $400 to basically tell you what I just told you. But to me it shouldn’t be a big secret. It’s the foundation of copywriting! Pick up any book on copywriting, and write conversationally is usually including in the first chapter.

The question becomes once you are able to write conversationally, what then?

How do you inject energy and “punch” into the copy to make it exciting enough to get people to read every word of it?

Well…here's my secret weapon...

Drumroll please…


You read that right: coffee!

Before I sit down to write a sales letter, I drink at least 2 cups of coffee to get the juices flowing. I feel energetic and pumped. And it is absolutely reflected in the copy I write.

When you feel down and tired, you write down and tired copy. It’s that simple. Every copywriter I meet all tell me the same thing. They do exactly the same thing I do--drink an enormous amount of coffee before writing copy.

Try it out when you write copy the next time. Drink some coffee and watch the "kick" it gives your copy.

To your continued success,

Carlon Haas