Copywriting Tips: 5 things to do before writing ANYTHING
Yesterday’s video went over REALLY well – we got lots of good feedback. So I’ll be doing them regularly, once again. Just keep sending me in questions to answer, here.
Today, let’s talk about writing.
For most people, writing is the kind of thing you have to sit back and “take a deep breath” for. There’s a lot of psychological wind-up before you sit down and write.
I’ve been writing so long, and have written so much during the last 11 plus years, that for me, it’s like getting on a bicycle, or going to the gym. It’s just “something I do,” like rinsing off a glass and stacking it into the rack inside the dishwasher. More of a routine than anything else.
But since you probably do NOT feel this comfortable or “at ease” when it comes to writing a sales letter, a marketing piece, or even an e-mail… let me give you a few things you should be doing before you write, that’ll make you much more “at ease”… and make writing much less anxiety-producing.
1. First, make sure you’ve done all the research you need to do.
We discussed this last week or the week before (just enter ‘research’ in the search box on this page, for information on this), so you already know how important this is.
If you haven’t done this, nothing else is going to matter.
However… at the same time, knowing you’ve DONE all the research you need to do, gives you a TON of confidence when you sit down in front of that computer screen.
2. Make sure your desk isn’t cluttered or filled with papers and stacks of crap you hate looking at.
The top of my desk is a HUGE slab of glass, and I generally clear it all off and wipe it down with Windex before I start writing. I love when my area is neat and clean — it gets you motivated and ready to “attack.”
Then, you can spread out your “battle plans” in front of you… and focus on what’s important without having any distractions.
3. Get inspired by reading something else that’s good.
In this month’s Seductive Selling Newsletter, I talked about a sales letter I recently wrote. It cost around $400 bucks to mail it out (to a small list) and the return will be no LESS than 135 to 1 over the next six months alone (conservatively).
So, one of my Mastermind members read this and sent me an e-mail that said, “I am back on the wagon of writing. I am working on 2 step lead generation for… (can’t tell you what this is). After about 45 minutes, I picked up your current newsletter and started studying. Thank you very much for the kick-ass section on 2 step lead generation. A little serendipity is a great way to start the day.
You happen to mention the high response you got from your recent sales letter to attract Mastermind Members. Could I get a copy of it? I love to study your writing. I try and sync myself into the conversational rhythm of how you write. Don’t worry, I am not becoming a groupie, but reading your writing before I write helps me get in the flow.”
The point here, isn’t to tell you how wonderful I am. (I assume you know this already, lol…)
The point is… lubricate your mind before you sit down to write. Lubricate it creatively… and strategically.
This is no different from when you’re in the gym. You don’t start off lifting your heaviest set first — you generally start at a lower weight and then work up.
Your mind is a muscle and needs that same kind of lubrication.
4. Know what you are going to do — ahead of time.
The time to figure out what you’re going to be asking your buyers or prospects to do (your call to action), or what your strategy is going to be… ISN’T when you sit down to write.
You should know this before you write. So take some time to plan what’s going on, strategically — PRIOR to writing.
Again, to use the gym analogy – the best workouts are usually planned and written down or at least, written down “in your head,” before you get to the gym.
If you want to accomplish a lot in the gym, you should be using your time working out. If you want to accomplish a lot when you’re writing, then use your time to write, nothing more.
5. Never start with a blank screen.
You should never start with a blank screen, or a blank sheet of paper in front of you. Sure, this sounds great in the movies — it’s really romantic to think an artist starts with a blank canvas in front of them, and creates something beautiful from nothing.
But that’s not how things work. Artists, like writers, have typically designed their painting, drawing or whatever… long before they actually sit down and start creating it.
For example, have all the notes you’ve taken when doing your research, right there in front of you… (if you read Chapter 23 in my book, “How To Make Maximum Money With Minimum Customers,” I show you exactly how I do this)… make sure you’ve checked out lots of swipe file materials… and know what direction you want to take your reader in, before you sit down to write.
If you’ve done all this, you won’t be sitting there with your thumb up your ass, staring at a blank screen and wondering what to do. That is a paralyzing feeling you do not want to experience.
And there you go, that’s it.
Years ago when I first started, I once read that you should listen to some good music before you write, and I always listened to “There Is Nothing Left To Lose” by the Foo Fighters. But today, I don’t have time to do things like this. Nor frankly, does it make me any more excited to get into things, than I already am.
And I once read something about how listening to Brahms or Bach or some other classical music, actually lifts your IQ and makes you calmer. But I’m not into classical music, and I’m not that smart in the first place… so I had a hard time with that one.
Sometimes you have to use some common sense here, too, you know? Like if someone said, “Listening to your ex-wife rail on about what a loser you are, is going to TRIPLE your earnings….”
You know, there’s only SO much I’m willing to do for a buck.
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
P.S. GREAT Eugene Schwartz interview in this month’s Audio Success CD — shipping now with Seductive Selling
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