Learn how to improve your copywriting skills using the A.I.D.A formula. This simple process can be used to write landing pages, sales pages, emails, social media posts & more! Avoid many common mistakes and remember: copywriters aren’t born, they practice!
What is Copywriting?
Before telling you how to improve your copywriting skills, it’s important to understand what this is really about. Copywriting is using written words to persuade people to take the action you want them to (e.g. make a purchase, submit an email, request a demo).
How do you do that, exactly? It comes down to presenting an argument strong enough to convince visitors that what you’re going to provide them with (ex: a product, an email newsletter, a free quote) is worth more than what they’re giving you in exchange for it.
Why Are Copywriting Skills Important?
The main benefit of having good copywriting skills is that it increases sales! Ask yourself if you think that doubling your traffic is easier than doubling your conversion rate with better copy. Driving double the traffic to your website is not always easy, as traffic does not come on demand – it can also be a costly choice if you are paying for the traffic. Doubling your conversion rate from 1% to 2% however is much easier with good copy. That is how powerful good copy is!
All these activities will benefit from better copywriting skills:
- Market Research: Explain the benefits of people completing your survey.
- Email Marketing: Writing subject lines that people will open.
- Search Engine Optimization: Creating SEO optimised content.
- YouTube: Writing video headlines and scripts.
- Facebook & Twitter: Creating post people will engage with.
- Google Adwords: Writing effective ads.
How to Write for your Buyer Persona
You cannot write effective copy unless you know:
- Who you’re writing it for
- How that person thinks
- What that person needs
Avoid writing to a large crowd. To write great copy, you need to understand your buyer persona so that you know how you can best serve them. So, start your research by creating a buyer persona and unique selling proposition – I wrote a whole article about this.
Before you write a single word, you need to start by setting goals. When your goals are set, you need to find out how to best achieve them. Each page should have one goal. After choosing your goal, think about which action you are trying to persuade your readers to take, and notice if there is anything on the page distracting visitors from that goal. Also, don’t forget that every headline, image, subject line, etc., should tie back to your buyer persona and persuade them to take action.
This is the most powerful way to structure your sales copy:
- Attention: Get the readers attention with a magnetic headlines.
- Interest: Connect with their problem.
- Desire: Make them “feel” the transformation.
- Action: Lead the reader to action.
1. Attention: Headlines are Very Important!
If you want your blog post, email, course to have an impact on your readers you must first get their attention and cause them to want to read further. At first, your reader will only be interested in knowing “What’s in it for me?”. That’s why headlines are so important!
Most of us make it harder to get results from copywriting than it needs to be. We pour energy and resources into small gains, instead of focusing our attention on the simple changes that make a huge difference. Improving your copywriting skills is about working smarter, not harder!
My recommendation is that you start with the headline. Think about it this way:
- Blog posts don’t go viral, headlines do. It’s the headline that people share on Facebook. It is also the headline that people talk about. Complex ideas do not go viral. On the contrary, viral ideas are usually simple, yet impactful.
- Headlines set the expectation for the rest of the article. If you put the blog post first, only to realize that the idea can’t be summed up into a viral headline, you either settle for a crummy headline, or you write up a misleading one.
11 Tips for Writing Magnetic Headlines
If you want more clicks, you need to practice. Write 25 Headlines for every piece of content. You’re more creative than you think!
Model the Best In The Business
Look at other blogs or websites that are doing a good job, and try to learn some tips from them! (Ex: http://www.jeffbullas.com/)
Start with Numbers
Try to write titles that start with numbers: “Top 15 Website to Free Images For Your Content Marketing”, “21 Actionable SEO Techniques You Can Use Right Now”, “7 Ways to Make Yourself a Happier Person Every Day”, 7 Secrets, 7 Proven, 7 Reasons, 7 Tips, etc.
Use “How to” Headlines – they still work!
Use headlines that start with ‘How’, because people Google that a lot! Ex: “How to Make Lavender Lemonade to get rid of Headaches & Anxiety“. Use these formulas: How to [Blank] Even if [Common Obstacle] and How to [Blank] Without [Common Objection].
It’s a simple technique to use. Place your main keyword before the colon or hyphen, and add your benefit headline after it. This will help you when it comes to SEO. Ex: Marketing Plan Template: Create Your First Marketing Plan in 5 Steps
Be Ultra Specific
Define what the article is about. Remember, headlines set the expectation for the rest of the article. Example of a bad headline: “Write a Song” / Example of a good headline: “How to Compose Your Own Song: Songwriting 101”
Flag Common Mistakes
Examples: “16 Copywriting Mistakes You’re Probably Making (and How to Fix Them)” / “Are You Making These 10 Common Google AdWords Mistakes?”
Examples: “Do You Want to Build a Snowman? Read This Guide First” / “Think You Know SEO? Quiz Yourself and Find Out!”
Remember the 5Ws
These engaging, interrogative words are used to gather information. By using them in your headlines, you articulate to readers the kind of information you intend to provide: Who, What, When, Where and Why.
Pay Attention to Headline Length
If you want your headlines to look good in Google and prevent them from being cut off, make sure your headlines stay under 60 characters.
Use an Image to Enhance Your Headline
2. Interest: Connect with Their Problem
Once you’ve hooked a reader with the headline, it’s time to turn that attention into interest. If you don’t hold their interest in the first paragraph, you’ve lost them!
Show you understand their problem by sharing any personal experiences or other people’s stories. You can also invent fictional stories to make it entertaining (as long as the humor furthers your goal). The goal here is to create a piece of content that informs, educates, and entertains, to sparkle an emotional reaction.
Remember to make it scannable and visually appealing. In order to do that, you can use bullets and subheadings, and break up the text to make your points stand out.
3. Desire: Make them ‘Feel’ the Transformation
The goal now is to build their interest in what you have to offer, and show how it can solve their problem. In other words, the end goal is to cause a shift in their mind and they start to imagine themselves in the solution.
One common mistake is to sell the product features vs. benefits for the customer. So, focus less on all of the great things about your product and more on how your product will make the visitor’s life better. Be sure to focus on the right benefits. Finally, show the reader what is missing by not trying the product.
4. Action: Lead Readers to Action
Last but not least, the call to action. The CTA is your final instruction to your reader. You’ve worked hard so far. Since you’ve gotten their attention, hooked their interest, created desire, isn’t it appropriate to ask for action?
5 Tips to Create an Irresistible Call to Action
- Have a Call-to-Action on Every Page: Everything you write should have a call to action – after all, you’re creating a piece of content for a specific reason.
- Start With an Command Verb: Words like “buy,” “shop,” or “order”, “download” or “subscribe”, “watch”, “share”, “fill out a form for…” or “find out how…”
- Create Urgency: Use discrete measurements of time in your call to action. For example, phrases like “click now” or “try our software today” give the user an understanding of how easy and immediate the action will be.
- Use Contrasting Colours: Contrasting colours can draw the user’s eye to the action you want them to take. If your site is cool blue and gray, use a red or orange graphic.
- Use a no-obligation statement that removes or reduces risk: for example, Udemy uses “Take This Course” rather than “Buy Now”.
Try to pay attention to the call-to-actions you come across and note down what makes you click and what holds you back!
And this is it! If you keep this A.I.D.A formula in mind when you’re writing a piece of content, you will most likely start seeing the results!
Check other posts about marketing in the Marketing section of my blog