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Copywriting Basics - Answer the Questions You'd Want Answered

Aug 17, 2007
Anyone can write effective Internet copy. You just have to know a few copywriting basics known to journalists and writers as the 5 W's. Throw one "H" in there and all your copywriting basics are covered.

Who? Tell the reader who your product will help. This should be your target market.

What? Tell your reader what your product or service will do to improve their lives. In other words, tell them the benifits they will receive, what's in it for them.

When? When is the offer good for? If there is a special offer, when does it expire? When will the product or service help them, immediately or over time?

Where? Where can you order the product or service? Where will it work?

Why? Tell your reader why he or she needs your product or service. Why will it benefit them? Why should they sign up or order today? Why is the quantity or offer limited?

How? How do they register or order? How much will it cost? How much return will they see for their investment? How does it work?

Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? There is no trick - it really is as easy as that. Put yourself in the shoes of the reader and answer the questions you would likely ask or want answered about your product or service. Answer those questions clearly and thoroughly and your Web copy is complete.

These copywriting tips and copywriting techniques will work not just for Web copywriting but also for direct market copywriting, other online copywriting, and offline copywriting as well.

Below are a few other copywriting basics that will help you write your web site copy:

1. Keep it simple. No one wants to drudge through a long, drawn out confusing explanation. If you can't say it simply, that's fine. But by all means, simplify when you can.

2. Make sure your copy urges a call to action either in the body copy, or text of the article, or in the headline. Words like "Act Now," "Limited Time Offer," or "Limited Supply" will urge your readers to contact you sooner rather than later.

3. Keep it honest. Don't make wild claims just to get business. Build a good reputation by being up front and honest with your potential customers. In addition to appreciating your honesty, they will recommend you to others as a business owner who is true to your word and claims.

4. If you make an offer, make it one that is hard to pass up. Don't waste your readers' time with small, worthless offers. Think about the coupons you see in magazines and newspapers. Do you take time to clip them? If so, it's because the offer is of value to you.

5. How long should your copy be? As long as it takes to adequately answer the above questions for your product or service.

An unanswered question is considered an objection in your potential customer's mind. So, be sure to answer all their objections.

Keep these Internet copywriting basics in mind as you prepare the articles or sales letters that will appear on your Web site. Don't be intimidated because you don't have any professional writing experience. Most people want to do business with an honest person who knows the product or service well that he or she is trying to sell.

You don't have to be a professional writer to do that. The only requirement is that you truely believe in the product or service which you are trying to sell. If you do, your enthusiasm will shine through your writing. If you do not believe in your product or service, your lack of enthusiasm will shine through also.

So, in summary, answer the above questions as clearly and simply as you can, be honest, avoid hype, make an irresistable offer, and be sure to include a call to action.
If you do all these things you will master the copywriting basics and should have no trouble converting your Website visitors into customers.

Copyright 2005
About the Author
George Dodge is owner of http://www.CompellingWebCopy.com where you will discover 757 explosive web copywriting techniques guaranteed to skyrocket your sales and stuff more cash in your pocket - even if you haven't written a thing since high school!
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