While copywriting formulas can make your copy sound contrived, they can also take the stress, effort and difficulty out of copywriting. The skill in applying a copywriting formula or template is using it as a base. You still have to write! You just don’t have to re-invent the wheel in regard to structure and layout.
Ask yourself: What’s copywriting like for you? What feelings do you have? What thoughts do you have? Have you tried using formulas but fallen flat?
Many people who need to write copy for their business (or a client’s business) say that trying to write effective copy is confusing, painful, hard, frustrating and stressful. They experience trouble with finding their voice, the right audience tone and adding value to their copy.
The 6 most common copywriting problems (that might apply to you):
Copywriting has to be about making decisions, not just writing words
Copywriting decisions (using formulas) should be made before you write – not during – as this frees up your brain’s processing power. We’ve all had the problem of getting our mental wires crossed. Doing left brain (structured) work before right brain (creative) work will liberate you from confusion and time-wastage.
So, what’s an effective formula? One that is crystal clear, that gives a step-by-step structure. One you don’t have to spend hours figuring out. One that works in a specific scenario.
Instead of ‘marathon writing’ you start with key information using templates. In this initial stage of planning you’re making decisions. You’re building a foundation. You’re harnessing the power of the left brain.
If you’ve made the right decisions before starting to write creatively, you will always know what’s coming next. You won’t need to keep stopping and trying to figure things out. You will have a vision of what the copy is meant to do (e.g. converting clients or getting someone to subscribe to a newsletter).
In other words, your brain processing power won’t get depleted.
You’ll know what to do when you get to the creative writing part. You’ll know who you’re talking to. Otherwise your energy (and your subconscious power) will be eaten up.
6 useful questions to ask before starting (left brain decision phase)
6 shortcuts to structuring your copy (you’re still in left brain decision phase)
If you have specific keywords that need to go in, then pop them up the top of the copy so that you can write with them in mind (and check at the end).
So, now the foundations are set and you’ve got the framework of the house.
Getting creative in right brain mode
Step away from your structure for a few hours if possible. Let it settle. Then you’re ready for the right brain writing phase.
Remember here that copy works best when it’s emotional, but it has to be rational (and rationally structured) to deal with the emotional aspect (as writers can easily go off track).
Go back into the copy and have fun with it, weave it, create it, put emotional elements into it – but don’t get overwhelmed by the copy. And don’t edit.
Back to left brain for tweaking
Set it aside for a few hours, then come back and edit/tweak (using left brain mode) so that you ensure it fits the template but is fresh, engaging and original. Make sure that emotion is supported by rational thinking.
Yes, it does sound like a lot of work, but actually once you get the hang of it you can apply it to any writing (blogging, sales, articles etc).
You might even be able to write a novel out of it. (Hey, that’s not a bad idea!)
To avoid getting your head in a spin over writing copy, make decisions first, before getting creative or flowery or emotional.
Have your prospect in front of you, even if just mentally, and ask a few questions to get into the prospect’s head. Understand the problem that the prospect has to solve.
Then make decisions about what the copywriting is meant to achieve. Choose your template accordingly (whether it’s a sales page, a landing page, a blog, an article etc) and then go on to creative and emotionally engaging writing only after you’ve got the structure and template organised.
Ultimately, if you can train yourself to make decisions first and only then write copy, you’ll find the process much easier and less stressful.