Copywriting For Beginners: How To Write Web Copy That Sells Without Being Cheesy | Jesse Forrest | Skillshare

Copywriting For Beginners: How To Write Web Copy That Sells Without Being Cheesy staff pick badge

Jesse Forrest, Copywriting Veteran

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17 Lessons (1h 2m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:43
    • 2. What Is Web Copywriting?

      0:57
    • 3. Content Writing VS Copywriting

      1:43
    • 4. How To Understand Your Audience

      2:41
    • 5. How To Speak Their Language

      4:27
    • 6. 5 Tips For Writing For The Web

      8:26
    • 7. Ultimate Clarity: The 5 Second Test

      4:35
    • 8. How To Write Headlines That Get Attention

      5:34
    • 9. How To Write Meaningful Sub Headlines

      3:43
    • 10. Your Call To Action Micro Button Copy

      4:00
    • 11. Turn Boring Features Into Irresistible Benefits

      7:15
    • 12. 11 Ways To Answer 'Why Choose You?'

      5:14
    • 13. 3 Ways To Get Visitors To Trust You

      0:36
    • 14. How To Write A Great Testimonial

      4:09
    • 15. Build Trust With Visual Elements

      1:09
    • 16. The Power Of Demonstration

      2:36
    • 17. 3 Tips For Overcoming Writers Block

      3:40
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About This Class

Copywriting for beginners. Lessons from a veteran web copywriter.

There is so much noise online. Literally millions of websites, social media posts, emails and advertising messages all competing for attention. 

If you want to cut through the noise, stand out from the competition and generate leads and sales, then you need to effectively communicate your message online.

Discover how to write web copy that sells your products and services (even if you’re a total beginner) with lessons from a professional copywriter with 14 years’ experience writing copy for 153 different industries.

This class is for beginners, experienced writers and anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of writing for the web.

If you’ve ever struggled to come up with the right words to describe your business in an exciting and engaging way. Or if you’ve ever stared at a blank screen with no clue what to write next, then this class is for you!

In this 60-minute class, delivered in 16 short video lessons, you’ll learn how to write for the web and turn cold website visitors into warm leads, sales and customers.

  • Copywriting 101. Master the fundamentals of writing for the web – so you can write effective landing pages, emails, web pages, and more.
  • How To Write Headlines. Create your own attention-getting headlines by following 3 proven headline writing templates.

  • Read Your Audiences Minds. Uncover your target audience’s deepest desires and fears with our 8-point research questionnaire.
  • Speak Their Language. Uncover the exact words your target market uses with an amazing and free research tool anyone can use.
  • Fill-in-the-blanks Templates. Quickly and easily write headlines, sub-headlines, call to action button copy with proven templates.

  • Stand Out with Competitive Advantages. Learn how to stand out in a noisy marketplace with your own competitive advantages. 
  • Content Writing VS Copywriting. The key differences and why it matters.
  • Turn Boring Features into Irresistible Benefits. How to create sizzling benefits by asking yourself 2 simple questions.

  • 3 Ways to Overcome Writers Block. Follow easy exercises to help you break free of writers block and get back to writing.

 

Transcripts

1. Introduction: My name is Jesse Forest, and I'm a Web copywriter. I help business owners come up with the right words, so they can turn more of their website visitors into leads, sales, and clients. For the last 14 years, I've worked with hundreds of businesses both big and small. I've written about every topic imaginable from financial planning firms to dating workshops, and even Japanese toothbrushes. I've already shared my copywriting tips at conferences around the world and for companies like Chanel, Disney, and Sony. now, I'm excited to be teaching my first ever Skillshare class: Copywriting Tips for Beginners, how to write Web copy that sells without being cheesy. This class is for beginners and anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of writing for the Web. If you've ever struggled to come up with the right words to describe your business in an engaging and exciting way, if you've ever stared at a blank screen with no clue what to write next, then this class is for you. So, in this class, I'm going to be teaching the key differences between writing content and also writing copy. You're going to learn how to write headlines that stand out and command attention. I'm going to be showing you how to use your words to stand out from the competition online, and also, how to turn boring features into irresistible benefits. To fill in the blank templates to help you write headlines, subheadlines, call to action buttons, and so much more. So, if you're ready to learn how to write Web copy that's going to effectively sell your products and services, then I hope you take the time to enroll in this class. I look forward to seeing you in the course dashboard. 2. What Is Web Copywriting?: So, what is web copywriting? Well, my definition of web copywriting, it's writing the words that inspire people to take action online whether it's getting people to buy a product or service, to subscribe to a newsletter, or even just click a button. So, copy is so important nowadays. It's important to learn about copywriting because if you want to effectively communicate the value of your product or service to your target audience, then you need to learn how to write for the web. Nowadays, attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. There are just millions of websites competing for attention online. You've got social media, e-mail messages, push notifications. There's a lot of noise out there and if you want to cut through and get people's interest and attention, then you need to be able to communicate to them effectively online, and that really is what website copywriting is all about. 3. Content Writing VS Copywriting : Now, you may have heard of content marketing and you may have heard of content writing. Well, that is not the same as copywriting. Copywriting is a specialized form of writing and it's very different to content writing. I want to make this distinction because when I talk to a lot of people, whether it's at conferences or seminars about the difference, I find business owners in the past, they've tried to hire somebody to write their blog post, but then to also write their website home page. These are two very different types of writing and let me explain. Content writing is all about writing a piece of content, whether that's a blog post, an article, a how-to video, or even an infographic. It's all about writing content that's going to build a relationship with your audience. It's giving value to them, so you can build a relationship, and then eventually, you can sell something to them. So, content writing is all about informing, entertaining, and also educating people, whereas copywriting is all about getting people to take action. So, let me show you different types of copywriting and content writing. So, we have here for copywriting: websites, landing pages, sales pages, email campaigns, video scripts, and white papers. That's all Web copywriting. Then, we have content writing. Things like articles, blog posts, ebooks, reports, newsletters, and so on. So, as you can see, there is quite the difference between the two. So, copywriting is not content writing. Again, copywriting is all about inspiring action and content writing is about educating, informing, inspiring, and building relationships. 4. How To Understand Your Audience: How to research and understand your target market. So, research is really important. In fact, as a copywriter, I always tell my clients that we spend at least 50 percent of the project time working on their copy in research mode because you can't effectively write or influence anyone unless you truly understand that person first. I have this quote from the legend of advertising himself, David Ogilvy, and he says, "Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals." You really have to understand your target audience, their problems, their desires, their frustrations, their challenges, understand them on a deep level before you write to them. Because if you don't take the time to research, then you're just going to be guessing what they're interested in, you just going to be guessing what their problems are. So, I think research is so important. Let me put it to you this way. Imagine you have to sell your product or service to two different types of people. The first person is a close friend of yours. The other person is a stranger on the street. Who would you have a better chance of selling your product or service to? Well, if you like most people you probably choose your friend, and that's because they know, like, and trust you already, right? You have that relationship with them. Stranger on the street, it's going to be a lot harder to convince them because they simply don't know, like, or trust you, right? So, this is the same with copywriting. When we do our research and the type of research I'm going to show you in just a moment really let you get into their minds and to understand your audience on a deeper level, so that you can write persuasively. If you do research well, when you do it right, I've had people react with, "Wow, how did you know so much about me? It felt like you've been following me around." Because you just understand the target market so well and your copy is going to be so much more effective if you've taken the time to do your research. So, to help you out, I've provided you with a worksheet. This is the research questionnaire that I use in my own copywriting agency in order to understand whatever target market we're writing to. It's going to ask questions like, who is your target market? What problems are they experiencing right now? What benefits does your product or service deliver? Also, how is your product or service better than the competition? Now, there's a lot more questions in the questionnaire, but you'll find that available in the class project. So, when you get the chance download that, answer those questions, and really get to know your target market on a deeper level. 5. How To Speak Their Language: Well I'm going to give you a trick right now which allows you to tap into research that's already been done for you in your own target market. This is amazing when I discovered it, and I highly recommend this technique for really getting a very fast read on your target audience. Basically, you head over to amazon.com and on Amazon, you're going to look at the book reviews for books that relate to your target audience. Now you might be thinking, ''Well, I'm not a bookseller, I'm not selling books, how is this helpful?'' Well actually on Amazon, let's say I'm a financial planner and I want to learn more about my target audience, people that are interested in hiring a financial planner, I go to Amazon, I find the books in the financial planning category, I find the best selling books and then I read the reviews. When I read those reviews, people are going to tell me everything I need to know. They're going to tell me why they purchase that book, what problems motivate them to search for the solution in that book, what they're looking to learn and so much more. So, just by reading those reviews, you really get to tap in on that target, demographic can help you answer that question and so you can understand them better. So, let's shop on to amazon.com right now and I'll show you how to do this. As you can see, here we are at amazon.com and we've gone over to the books department. So, you can go through buy Clifford apartments, finding books, and it gives us all the different categories of books or at least most of the categories of books. So, going along with the example that I was talking about earlier, we're going to look for business and investing. So, let's imagine I am wanting to write and research about financial planning, because that's my business. I'm going to go over to business and investing because that's the category, and it's going to show some of the popular books. So, here it says, ''Business and money,'' and then we have all of these subcategories. So, let's again assuming we're a financial planner, we might look for finance or we might also look for investing. You're going to decide, or maybe looking both of them. Let's start with finance. Amazon is going to show us there is even subcategories. So, we've got Financial Risk Management, Wealth Management, we've got the best sellers of the entire of all the categories we can look through, you can do that just by scrolling. Let's go through wealth management. Just to get really specific on the category and again it's going to show us the best sellers. What we're looking for is a bestselling book with lots of reviews. Now here's one, Building Wealth One House At a Time. So, we can see that has 49, five star reviews or four and a half star reviews on average. Click on that, what we're interested in is reading the reviews and you can click on the customer review section, it will take you down to that area. We're going to look through some of these reviews. Look at how interesting is this, rate reviews that are mentioned, and then it's got some of the most common words that Amazon has found in these reviews. Things like beginner, investment, houses, homes. So, already we're getting a sense of the language that this market of customers, people who've purchased books. Amazon is already telling us what are some of the most common words? Which is giving us a language right there. That's just fascinating. As you read these reviews, you're going to hear people's stories. What they like, what they don't like, what are some of the problems they've had, what they're looking to achieve, all of those things are going to be super helpful. No lengthy storytelling like other real estate books. So, already if we find patterns, we're looking for patterns as we look through these reviews, we're looking for patterns of language and language that we can use. Also we're looking for what are some of those problems or benefits, as well that these people found. So, we can use that language in our copy. So, that's just a very quick example of how you can use amazon.com as a great, free and fast and easy research tool for finding about the language your target market are using. 6. 5 Tips For Writing For The Web: Five tips for writing for the web. So, one thing that's important to know about the web is that people behave very differently online than they do offline. So, let's imagine you're reading a book. If you're in the western world, you going to open that book and you're going to read the words left or right on the page, top to bottom. So, people read offline very differently how they read online. Online, people are more likely to skim, scan, and scroll web pages that they land upon. So, we don't read them from top to bottom like we might a newspaper or an article or a letter we might receive offline. Online, people will behave and read very differently. That's important because if you're writing for the web, then you want to write for the scanners and the scrollers. That's how people are behaving. We'll get to exactly how to do that in a moment. But I want to share with you something that was said by Jacob Nielsen and he's the founder of a research group called Nielsen Group, published some amazing white papers on how people read online and he said "79 percent of our test users always scanned any new page they came across, only 16 percent read word by word." So, almost 80 percent of people are scanning and scrolling your copy. So, we need to write and format our copy in such a way that's going to grab their attention, stop them from scanning and scrolling and actually read the words. But we're also going to have to communicate on the page in a way that's going to say everything we need to say in almost less words than we might write offline. I want you take a look at this heatmap. If you're unfamiliar, a heatmap is eye tracking software that tracks where they predict people are looking at web pages, and this example here shows in the red and orange areas of this page different colors, and the red indicates where most of the attention, most of the eye movement is going. As you can see, people are darting and scanning all over the page, not reading it left to right or top to bottom. So, you need to remember that when you're writing web copy. I also want to show you another example, this is a readability chart and it's showing two examples. This is the same information in the top paragraph as the bottom paragraph. So, that top paragraph had a 27 percent readability. Meaning, when you present a paragraph, a chunk of information, on average 27 percent are going to read that. But when we converted that same information into a bulleted list, as you can see here readability increased by almost 100 percent. So, that just goes to show a bulleted list of conveying your web copy online is going to increase readability and therefore increase your conversion rate, your sales so much more than just having a big chunk of text, which again, the scanners and the scrollers are probably just going to scroll past. Put it in that bulleted list, more people are going to raed it. So, that's just one of the tips for writing web copy. There's actually five tips. So, the first tip I would give you is you want to highlight or bold important information. That important information might be benefits, they might be results you are promising in the copy, or they're might be even some of the problems that you help the target market overcome. So, I want to highlight and bold important information. We also want to have bulleted lists as I've explained. Meaningful subheadings. Subheadings are kind of what you see as headings between paragraphs, they help break up the page and they increase conversion and readability. Also, we want to have short paragraphs. Short paragraphs are far more effective again with getting people to read your copy and get involved in your copy. Also, we want to have short punchy sentences. We don't want to have rambling or long winded sentences that aren't going to convey out information very effectively. So, what I want to show you now that we've covered this five tips for writing for the web and why writing for the scanners and the scrolls is so important. I now want to show you just an example of how this all comes together and what an effective page that utilizes these five rules looks like. A case to narrow up one of my client's websites. This client is a stylist and what I'm about to point out to you is how we used the five tips for writing for the web in a real example. Now, I understand that it's very difficult to find an example that is going to appeal and relate to everyone who watches this video because everyone has different businesses or services they offer. So, not everyone is going to relate to the example that I'm about to show you. So, what I do encourage you is to look for examples that do relate to you. One way to do that is to Google what I've just Googled here which is landing page examples. You're going to find tons of different examples that hopefully do follow that five tips that I've already outlined in the video and you might be able to find one for your specific industry. But, regardless these tips should relate to every industry and business. So, let's go through it. So, they've got a great headline and some hero imagery which is good. The image here supports the headline, it's related. What you notice here is this is what we call a meaningful subhead. What are you silently communicating? So, the goal is to remember people are scanning and scrolling, then they scroll down here past the above the fold area which we've talked about in some of these videos. As you scroll down here, this subheading is going to get their attention and get them to start reading. So, that's a meaningful subhead and you'll see the subheads through out the page. Sometimes you use questions like, is your image sabotaging your success? Because you know that's going to speak to the target audience and get them interested in reading more. Some of them, of this subheadings are about a benefit like making a great first impression. So, they're meaningful subheads we talked about. Bulleted lists. So, I wouldn't say bulleted list here but similar to bulleted lists. Where we have those short paragraphs and short sentences. Remember, we're trying to appeal to 80 percent of the readers who are scanning and scrollers and to do that we have what you see here which are short paragraphs and also short sentences. Again, to draw people into the copy. You'll notice that we've bolded some of the words. We've given mini headings to some of these are benefits of taking up the client service of image styling and we've bolded those important words there as well. Moving down here we've got some visual elements that again conveying that copy and that message visually, which is again going to stop people from scanning and scrolling and get them to start reading. Again, some more bullets here. Some more meaningful subheads and the reason for these meaningful subheads is because it breaks up the page and the copy too. So, we usually have one subheading per section as you can see here. We also changed the background colors as well just to increase the design value of the page but also the novelty. So, as people scroll, they're not sure what's going to happen next, what color they're going to see and it livens up the page as well. Got some great testimonials here again, short sharp to the point and focusing on benefits which again we talk about in the testimonial video. Another great subheading here are some more bolded. We've bolded the benefits which is save money, save time, become more attractive, its all the reasons why they might want to decide to sign up for this client service. Again, numbers are short, paragraphs, short sentences, bolded. We've got the subheading here as well. So, as you can see, this page really does follow a lot of the examples that we talked about in this class as well. So, that is the five tips for writing for the web in action. I do encourage you to start noticing online as you browse the web for what pages do follow these tips and what pages don't. 7. Ultimate Clarity: The 5 Second Test : The five second test. Did you know that on average, 90 percent of first time visitors leave within the first five seconds of arriving on that page? That means over 90 percent of your website visitors are coming to your website and leaving within five seconds. That's astounding when I first heard it. But when you do a bit of research, you understand why this happens. Most websites aren't very good at conveying what they're actually about. So many websites are trying to be cute or clever with their copy and as a result, people just don't understand what the website is even about, and so they leave. There's really three questions that people ask when they visit your website, and your website needs to answer these very rapidly. Otherwise, people are just going to leave and go to the next website. So, these questions are number one, what is the website about? You need to have ultimate clarity and we'll go through examples on how to do that. Number two is, what can I do here? Is this what I'm looking for? Is this website relevant to me? Is the content relevant to me? Is it what I've been searching for? Lastly, how is it useful to me? Is this website going to be useful to me? Is the information going to benefit me? Is it relevant to me? So, you need to make sure you answer these three questions on your website, and the way you answer it is an area called above the fold. This is an old newspaper terminology because back in the days before the Internet, we only had print, and newspapers were in the market of selling newspapers, and they were often competing with a lot of other publications. So, imagine a news agency, you've got a newspaper, stack of papers, and they want the above the fold which is what you see before you unfold the news paper to have their top stories, the most compelling content because that's what's going to sell the newspaper, the front cover. So, the above the fold area, like we can see here in this example, is where 80 percent of your visitors will spend their time. That's the part of the website they see before they start scrolling. So, does your website answer those three questions? Does it do it effectively and within five seconds? It should, if you want more people to stay on your website. So, we're going to do a five second test here. You can play along of course at home. What I'm going to do is, I'm going to show you a website. I'm going to show you the above the fold area of a website, just for five seconds. As you look at this example, I want you to just imagine your head or if you're alone at home shout it out, just whatever impression that website gives you. What is it about? Okay. So, are you ready for the first website? All right, what was that website about? When I first looked at it, I had no idea. I've shown this at seminars as an example and people yelled things out like, "Panda, green, technology, office supplies." It seemed like no one really knew what this website was about, didn't convey or answer this question very well. Now, let's look at a second example. Again, you have five seconds. If you're alone shout it out, if you're not, maybe just think it to yourself, but what is this website about? All right, so what was that website about? Well, if you're like most people, I've yelled out things like apartment, finding a place to stay, accommodation, a hotel. You may have recognized this example from airbnb.com. They've spent millions of millions of dollars communicating their message effectively. What we'll show in the rest of this class is how you can do the same thing. So, what we're looking at now is above the fold and there really are three things that we want to write in the above the fold section. The first one is an effective headline. You want a headline that really commands attention and gets the attention of your target audience. I'm going to give you examples on how to write an effective headline in just a moment. You also want to have what we see here is a subheading, and I'll explain what a subheading is, but that's got to be there in the above the fold section too. The third most important thing is a CTA button or a Call-to-Action button. That's a button that has a bit of copy in it that's going to really entice people to click on it and take the next action step that you want them to take. So, that's just an example of a website, and that's the above the fold section with these three important elements which I'm now going to cover in the next couple of videos. I'm going to show you exactly how to write each of those elements. 8. How To Write Headlines That Get Attention: How To Write Headlines That Command Attention. I have another quote here from the godfather of advertising, David Ogilvy and he says, "On average, five times as many people read the headline as they read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent $0.80 Out of the dollar." So, what David is showing there is really how important headlines are. That's not just in web copy. That's whether you're writing offline copy, whether it's a print ad or any type of advertising. Your headline is going to be really really important, and it certainly is important online. So, I have a couple of rules for writing an effective headline. The first one is clarity. Clarity is always better than being cute or clever. Unfortunately, a lot of advertising copywriter from the old school days are trying to come up with headlines that are really smart or cute or clever or show how creative they are because they want to win some advertising award. At the end of the day, your market really doesn't care about how cute or clever or creative you are. They just want to know especially online as we've said already, what will this website do for me? Is this what I'm looking for? So, it's way more important to have a headline that clearly conveys what the benefits are to the audience, as opposed to something that's going to be very me centered and be creative will show how cute I can be. So, clarity is really important. Also, you want to avoid hype. You know we're not writing click bait style headlines here. We're not writing the five amazing shocking secrets that will help you lose weight tomorrow. No, people don't believe that stuff. Ogilvy also said, "The consumer is not an idiot. The consumer is your wife." What he meant to say is, don't treat your audience like idiots. Don't write hypy or outrageous types of headlines that people are just going to think are really bullshit. You also want to be as specific as possible. When you're specific, when you use numbers in your headlines, it somehow just has so much more believability and credibility. If I said a headline that said 'How To Lose Weight.' You know that might be enticing because it promises a benefit, but if I said 'How to lose seven kilos' or 'seven pounds in seven weeks,' that, even if we may or may not believe that, if we've ever tried a diet, that at least has some numbers in it. Being specific, it's better to say instead of saying we have uses all around the world, it's much better to say we have 12,000 users in 52 countries. So much more believable by being specific, and it gives you so much more credibility. So, they are just three important tips to remember when writing a headline. What I want to go over with you now is three different formulas for writing effective headlines. Then later, you can follow the course project, where I actually give you a template for writing the headline, the sub headline, and the call to action burden. I'll give you three different templates that you can follow and use. And you can just do that as an exercise for writing your headlines to get better at copywriting too. So let's go through some of these examples, the first formula is say what it is, and that's really just quite simple say what it is that you're offering. Here's an example from PayPal and they say 'PayPal is a smarter, faster, and safer way to pay.' You know that's just coming out with what PayPal is. Another example here from a software Web site, and that says 'Small business sales and marketing software.' It's really just saying what it is and as simple as that, saying what it is that you're offering. Another formula, formula number two is say what it is and who it is for. Saying what it is like we've just shown in those examples, but who it's for relates to your target audience. Here's an example from campaign monitor it says, 'E-mail marketing software,' so that's saying what it is, and then it says who it's for, 'For designers and their clients,' you know really that simple saying what it is and who it's for. Another example you might be familiar with Xero the accounting software, it says 'Xero is online accounting software for your small business.' Again, very simple, but remember people bounce when they don't know what a website is about. They don't know how it's useful to them. If you say what it is and who it's for, they think wow that's for me, and that's what I'm looking for. So much more effective than trying to be cute, clever or creative. The third example is actually my favorite, and you'll see that because I'm using one of the examples from my own website, and this is saying what it is and what you were able to do with it. This is an example from copywritingcrew.com.au, which is my copywriting agency and it says, 'Professional web content that turns your visitors into customers and clients.' So saying what it is, what we're offering, professional web content, which you could also say copyrighting. That and then was saying what you were able to do with it, which is turn your visitors into customers and clients. Another example, I think this is from fresh books, 'Small business, accounting software, that makes billing painless,' again so simple that formula, but so effective and I really encourage you to try that at home. Spend a few minutes writing that headline of your own and then post it in the class projects, so that I can take a look, give you some feedback. 9. How To Write Meaningful Sub Headlines: Subheadline. The purpose of the subheadline is to further expand upon and explain the headline. Should also answer the following two questions: Why should I choose you over the competition? What benefits or results can I expect? So, remember in the above the fold example, we have the headline, the subheadline, and the call to action. So, now we're going over the same headline. I'm going to show you some examples from popular websites that have millions and millions of users. One of them, you're probably going to recognize immediately, and that's uber.com. Now, Uber is changing their website all the time. That's another important copywriting lesson, and that's the idea of if you want to continually test different types of copies. So, change your headline. Change your subheadline. Change some of the copy on your page. If you already have a website already, apply these techniques and see if you see an increase in response, in increasing conversion rate. So, let's look at uber.com, and this is the home page. So, what we're looking at here is we got the headline, which reads Tap the app get a ride. But we're really focusing on in this video is the subheadline. That's what we're reading underneath, and it says, "Uber is a smartest way to get around. One tap and a car comes directly to you. You're driver knows exactly where to go. And payment is completely cashless." So, let's break that down. Remember, your subheadline should communicate or answer the two questions, why should I choose you over the competition? But also, what benefits or results can I expect? So, in this example, where can we say and why should I choose you? Well, I would point it out as saying, Uber is the smartest way to get around. So, they're positioning themselves as a smarter alternative maybe to taxis or other companies. Then also says, "One tap in the car comes to you. Driver knows exactly where to go." So, what that's saying is two things. Why they are better than the alternatives, being taxis and other forms of transportation. So, what about the benefits? I would say one tap and the driver comes directly to you. That's a huge benefit. I can do it on my phone, I don't have to pay or pull out cash. It's done for me automatically and just jump out of the car. So, Uber has done a really good job in the subheading of answering those two questions. Let's take a look at another example. This is from trello.com. Trello has millions of users, they are project management platform. So, looking at the subheadline, and actually, I've modeled this subheadline to come up with a really cool template which, again, you'll find in the cost projects on how to write your own subheadline and I encourage you to use it. But the competitive advantage here it says, drop the lengthy emails, out of date spreadsheets clunky software. So, they're mentioning three things that they know, their target audience, people that use project management software, have probably hated about other types of software. The fact that this email threads or its out-of-date spreadsheets or the software is clunky, they know about those problems. They have mentioned them straight away in that subheading. Then of course we get to the benefit. So, first it's saying what it isn't. It's not going to be lengthy email threads or out-of-date spreadsheets or clunky software or sticky notes, and then they're go in the benefits of what it actually is and how it helps. So, they say, "Trello lets you see everything about your project in a single glance." It really does. It's a awesome piece of software. So, again, say what it isn't and comparing it to all the other crappy software merging tools out there or project management tools, and then they say what it is and the benefits. So, really great example there. 10. Your Call To Action Micro Button Copy: Call-to-Action button or CTA button. These are really important and these are really step three in the above the fold section of your website. So, what we're talking about here is that little button, but specifically the text of the copy within that button. It's really important. It can make a really big difference in how many people click on it and actually take action on your website, which is really what copyrighting is all about, getting people to click on that button, fill out a form, or contact you. So, button copy or CTA button copy is really important. So, let's go over the rules of writing effective CTA button copy. It's important that the button informs people what will happen or what they get when they click on it. It's a good rule of thumb to follow in writing your Call-to-Action button. I want to give you a few do's and don'ts for writing the button. First of all do, do prominently place the button on your website. Meaning, have it in the above the fold section, don't bury it further down. It's really important you have it up there. We also like to have the CTA button at the very bottom, towards the footer of the page because what happens in a lot of web pages, people scroll, remember scanning and scrolling, they scroll all the way until they cannot scroll anymore and often that's at the bottom of the page. So by having it down there as well, they're getting a second opportunity to get them to click and take action. So, do promptly place it. You also want to use bright and contrasting colors. So bright colors, think of all the different highlighter colors. I mean, I've got my desk here with some pens, I like blue and that's why I only have blue pens. But what you want to do is think about all the different highlighted colors, whether it's a hot pink, or orange, or red, or turquoise blue, whatever it is have a bright color because you want that CTA button to stand out. So, that's really important. It shows also a contrast. You don't want to have a red background color and then an orange button because it will be probably hard to see. It's much better to have a contrasting color to the background color. So, don't use the words submit unless you're a dominatrix. Submit is really a boring word that doesn't really invoke action and no one truly wants to submit again unless you're in that scenario with a dominatrix. So, we want to use action orientated words and I'm going to give you a whole bunch of them in just a moment but remember, never submit. So, here's some good and bad CTA button examples. We've got, "Sign Up Free, Get Started Now, Get in Touch, Join Free, Shop Now, Add to Cart , Book a Class." Notice how these are all action oriented language, they're getting people to take action. Some bad examples here are like "Submit, Click Here, or Download." You could be so much more creative without words than using those borings examples. Now, I want to give you a few real world life examples of CTA buttons in action just so you can see how they're worded. The first again is going back to my website and we've got, "Get in touch" and that's because I want people to fill out a contact form. So, get in touch is a really relatable thing to say and it's asking them to do something. So, that's very effective. Here's an example from Netflix. Netflix, obviously attesting everything on their website till they get maximum exposure and conversions, and they've got, "Join free for a month" and that's obviously a very effective CTA button, telling people what to do and what they get when they click that button. Here's one from Treehouse, another website. This one, I don't love because again, the colors isn't contrast with the background. I mean, it's on white but this button says, "Claim Your FREE Trial." Excellent use of copy in that button, but I'd rather have a different contrasting color that's going to make that button really pop and stand out. So, this is just some examples of CTA buttons from the real world and a whole list of examples of CTA buttons that you could write, as well. So, make sure you come up with your own, and if you feel like it, post in the class project and I'll be sure to check it out. 11. Turn Boring Features Into Irresistible Benefits : Features and benefits. Features and benefits. This is something that's discussed a lot in the copywriting world because it's so important. Too many websites are just talking about themselves and the facts or the specs about their products and services and those things really aren't interesting or even sexy to your target audience. You know people are always listening to one radio station and that's what we call, what's in it for me? Or, W.I.I.F.M. What's in it for me? That's what we care about at the end of the day. So, you want to make sure that your copy, a good way to test is if you're talking about the benefits of what people get and not just the features, a good way to quickly check is to do a word count, how many times are you using the word "you" as opposed to using the words "we", "us" or "our". You know, you're just talking about yourself and how great you are and how great your products are, or are you talking to your audience and explaining the benefits and the problems that you help them with, or how your product or service can help solve those problems. So, it's really important and I've got an exercise in this video that you could walk through, that's going to really help you quite quickly transform boring features into irresistible benefits. When people buy products such as a drill, they're not actually buying a drill, they're buying a hole in the wall, you know, they're buying what that drill can do for them. No one really cares about this lumpy product, a drill, they care what it can do and what they can build, what they can create, and that's what you got to think about when you're writing your benefits or when you're turning your features into benefits. So, this simple exercise is going to help you and it's really asking yourself one of two questions when you're thinking about your features and turning them into benefits. So, the first question is, "Which means?" and the second question is, so what? Which means or so what, ask yourself either of these questions when you're looking at each of your benefits, sorry, each of your features. You've got a worksheet inside the class project and in this worksheet, you're going to see the very exercise I'm talking about. You'll see a couple of columns and I've already provided an example here and this is from the iPhone 8. So, I looked at the iPhone 8 and I took two of their features. One of them is, it has a 13.5 hour battery life. So, that's a feature of the iPhone 8. It also has a 5.5 inch retina HD display, okay? So, there are two of the, you know, product specifications or features of the iPhone 8. Now, what you see here is, I transformed into those into benefits, their own benefits that I would probably use if I was hired to write, you know, the landing page for the iPhone 8 and you simply ask a question which means or so what. So, with a 13.5 hour battery life, well, so what? Well, so what? You'll be able to watch videos, view photos, browse the internet for almost the entire day without running out of battery. So, that's the benefit of what that 13 and a half hour battery life can do for me, that's what it does for me, that's the, which means benefit. Then we have another one which you can read in your own time about the retina display as well. So, use that exercise for transforming your features into benefits and take the time in that worksheet to write down as many product features that you can think of your product or service. Think of as many as you can think of and then take them, ask yourself one of these questions, transform them into benefits. Okay, so that's how you turn boring features into irresistible benefits. But then, how do you use or display your features and benefits in the copy? I want to give you an example right now. We'll dive on the computer and I'll just show an example page on how I like to lay out my features and benefits in a landing page. So, the website we're looking at here or the landing page is from Shopify. Shopify is a place where you can set up your own ecommerce website to sell things online. It's like an all in one you know, website builder and marketing suite as well. So, what I want to show you on this page is how they're using copy to talk about their features and benefits. This is something that Apple first came up with, Apple as a company and Apple on their website. You'll notice a lot of the Apple's landing pages or product pages, use the same method when they're laying out their features and benefits. So, what I like to do is, I think of the page as sections and when I'm talking about the features or benefits. I take the biggest features and benefits and I dedicate one section per feature or benefit. For example, one of the things they're talking about here is the domain name. Here, you don't need to be a designer or a coder, you can do it all yourself easily, okay? So that's a big feature and benefit. So, they're using an image here to draw the eye into this section, they've got a heading, subheading and then a copy and that really talks about that feature and benefit in this section alone. So, let's focus on one feature and benefit, the fact that you can design it how you want your brand, you don't need any of design skills. So, a big they want to mention. Then we go down and then we have another section here and as you'll notice, the images have swapped. So, now the images on this side and the reason for that is, remember when you're scanning and scrolling, we want to get people's attention. We want to keep them interested in the copy and staying on the page and the way we do that is by providing a surprise and because that image it's swapped, it's now in a different section, that engages people because they don't know what to expect, they don't know what's going to happen next. Now, they want to talk here about everything in one place and notice how they're using a bulleted list for those scanners and the scrollers they're using interesting cartoon image and then this talks about, you know, one particular feature and benefit and how everything is in one place and can be controlled easily. So, that's again a section dedicated to that. As we go down more, they have, you know, different sections here, more sections these are more testimonials and the number of users. But then down here, for those people that want even more information, they want to know about all of the features, it's customary to have something like this section especially when we are talking about software, but it could also work for a gym, could work for bridal or weddings, it could work for restaurants, it could work for any industries. If you want to talk about all of the features that you offer, features and benefits, you can then have some of those important ones or maybe less important ones further down the page and you can organize them like this. So, that's just one of the ways I like to lay out features and benefits. Obviously, I did not write the Shopify landing page, but I do identify with it as a great strategy that we often use when laying out our features and benefits on any of the web pages that we're writing. 12. 11 Ways To Answer 'Why Choose You?': Why choose you? It's an important question to answer. Why should your visitors choose you and not the competition? There might be hundreds thousands even tens of thousands of competitors in your marketplace. Why should they choose you? I'm going to help you answer that question and then show you how to make it interesting and exciting to your demographic, to your target audience so they can feel comfortable about choosing you and not the competition. Because at the end of the day, studies are showing that your competitors really just one mouse click away. People might click on your Ad, visit your web site, have a look, go back and click on the other ads or listings in google and choose someone else. Your competition is always one click away and often consumers will look at three different competitors before making a buying decision. So, I really want to help you come up with some compelling reasons why people should choose you and not the competition. I've given you 11 competitive advantage examples. So, what we're coming up with in this video is your competitive advantages. Giving you 11 examples, things like, do you offer better pricing? Do you have a faster service whether it's delivery or results? Do you offer free shipping? Do you offer a money back guarantee? Is your product of higher quality, a longer lasting? It's a whole bunch of examples that you could read through and then maybe decide which of those are relevant to you or which are not. But definitely take the time to write down as many reasons or as many answers as to why should I choose you and not the competition as you can. Have a look at some of these examples to get some inspiration. Now what we want to do is use this exercise to really write down all of your competitive advantages, whether it's speed or quality or maybe you give them more value than the competition, come up with as many as you can, and then what you want to do is ask yourself the question, what does this mean to my target audience? What does this mean to my visitors? For example, we offer better pricing or we're more affordable. This example I'm showing you here in the worksheet is, well that means you'll save money and feel satisfied you getting the best deal on the highest quality products. Right? So, I've taken that example, I've expanded on it, and remember using the word you or your and then talking about the benefits. What that means to the visitor in that descriptive way. So, you can do the same thing, have a look at some examples here to come up with your own copy as well. But you're taking that competitive example or advantage that you have, and then you're saying what that means to the target audience, to your potential customers. So, take the time to do that in that exercise and I'm going to show you right now how I've laid out some of the examples from my own website to really explain why our company is better than the competition, and in a way that's going to get people excited about choosing us. So, let me share an example of that now. Here we are at my website copywritingcrew.com. We're going to scroll down here to the area where I answer the question, why should you work with us? So, why choose us over the competition. So, there's six reasons on this page and I answer that question in this section, which is directly underneath the above the fold area and I've got three reasons here. Affordable copywriting, fresh content delivered fast, and then professional native English copywriters. I did my research and I know what my audience, my target market cares about. So, I made sure that the reasons we're coming up with are true and that also they care about. Now, you'll notice here that we have an icon image above each of these reasons, and then we have a small heading or mini heading, and then we have a short paragraph of text. Now the reason is the icon or the image draws the eye into that area of copy. So, images are great because that's what people notice first before they noticed or read text. So, we incorporate that image to draw the eye into the copy, and then remember people scan and scroll the page. So, that's why we have a short mini heading here that summarizes the short paragraph below. So if they're scanning and scrolling, they can read days and get a quick idea of what all of this is about. Worth a part of that 16 percent likes read word by word, they can then read more as well. So, we're really laid out this page in the copy for the scanners and the scholars, and further down the page am giving them the final three reasons, reasons four, five and six, and again following the same methodology, but directly answering the question why work with us. Here's another three reasons. Again those reasons you can read, but the idea again is to answer those questions and do it in a way that's going to appeal to the scanners and scrollers on the page as well. That's how you answer the question. So, you can do the same thing on your website, or your landing page or whatever you are marketing materials are. Be sure to answer those questions and lay out your copy in a way that's going to be appealing to those people. 13. 3 Ways To Get Visitors To Trust You: The people are still skeptical about buying from unknown websites. Now, they've never heard of you, never seen your website before. It's a bit of a leap to then make a buying decision. So, we want to do everything we can with our copy and on our websites to really convince people that we're trustworthy, we're credible, we're believable, so they then have the confidence to part their money with us. So, I'm going to give you three ways in this video, three proven methods, for using copy and other visual elements to boost your credibility to make people feel like they can trust you and that's so important nowadays online. 14. How To Write A Great Testimonial: So, the first way is with testimonials. Testimonials are a powerful way to increase credibility and trust. In fact, 61 percent of shoppers read product reviews before making their decision, and that's why websites like Amazon, and eBay, and other big retail websites, they use and rely so much on customer reviews with their product description because they know. Even the hotel websites, so Expedia and Booking.com, they know the power of having real customer reviews. It's going to help people in the decision-making process. So, while we might not be a big e-commerce website or a bookseller, we can still use the power of testimonials or product or customer reviews in order to boost our credibility online. But unfortunately, not all testimonials or reviews are created equal. Some testimonials are actually going to hurt your credibility and probably lower your conversion right. So, I want to give you examples of good and bad testimonials and show you the difference in how you can write the same or get the same from your customers or clients. Here's an example of a bad testimonial, something you definitely don't want to use. I've just made this up but don't accept or use any testimonials like this. "Jesse is great! Working with him was awesome. It was an awesome experience. I highly recommend him!" Then we've got J. Thomas. Not even someone's full name. How much they love the product or my product or service if they wouldn't even use their full name? Clearly, this testimony was either made up by me or was given by someone who doesn't really believe in what they're saying. So, never use a testimony like this. It's also really vague. It doesn't really say anything, does it? Other than this person was excited about working with me. You need to have more information in your testimonials, more compelling information. I'll show you how to do that with a much better example. This example is from my website again, and I'm going to break it down and show you why this testimony is so much better and way more effective. So, first of all, let's look at the headline. Yes, this testimonial has a headline, and it mentions a specific result, over $100,000 worth of sales. Remember how we said, being specific is so much more powerful than being vague. So, what you want to do when you get a testimonial from someone is look for any result or benefit that's specific in the testimonial and then use that as a headline for the testimonial. That's also going to help with the scanners and scholars. As they go through, they're going to see. That is going to pop out. They going to know the gist of the testimonial without having to read the whole thing. So, take the most salient result or benefit from the testimonial, put it in a testimonial headline for that testimonial. So, specific result in the headline reveals this person's full name, which is Dale Beaumont. We've also said who he is. So, we've used who he is that's going to give him credibility. We're not just using his initials. We're also using a mugshot photo, and this photo, again, shows that it's a real person or so much more believable than not is in someone's photo, who also draws the eye into that testimony by having a photo image. Yeah, all of those things are making that testimonial so much more believable. It's also not long-winded. People might give you testimony that is always like an essay. We don't need the whole life story. We want to know how this customer was helpful, benefits they got, what they most liked about working with us, and would they recommend us. That's what we want in testimony, not some long-winded life story essay. All right. So, testimonials are really important if you can get them from your customers, is as simple as just asking for a testimonial, asking for feedback. If you get a call from a client or a customer who's really excited, be like, "Hey, this all sounds great. Do you mind if I write some of this down and send it to you? If you prove it, can I use it as a testimony?" You might email someone after they buy for you. You'll be like, "Hey, I would love to hear your feedback or I would love to use you as a customer review or a case study of my website. May I get your thoughts on working with me." So, just ask your customers or clients. Often, you'll be surprised at how many be more than happy to give you a testimonial. 15. Build Trust With Visual Elements: So, this is why you use visual elements like logos or awards or do you have any qualifications, maybe associations you've worked with, or even media mentions? Maybe, you are featured in a few different publications or websites that other people recognize in your target audience. Maybe, you can use these on your website to show that other people are trusting in you, and therefore your visitors can trust you as well. Here's an example, trusted by leading companies, again this is from my own website. But, these are some companies that we've worked with, we have written copy for. We're showing them off and we have permission to do so. That just gives us a lot more credibility in our web copy. So, use those as well. Here's an example of a company that using different businesses they're certified with. It says we're fully certified and registered to support and advise you on all financial and taxation matters. They're showing they have a CPA registered with MYOB and Xero and they're chartered accountant. Again, they're showing off their qualifications and certifications. So, if you have those use them. They're going to help with your credibility. 16. The Power Of Demonstration: Number three is a bit different. This is all about the power of demonstration. We often laugh at infomercials late at night but they've sold often, some of those infomercials at 3:00 AM, selling all kind of weird and wacky products. They sell millions, sometimes hundreds or even hundreds of millions, or even billions of dollars worth of product all through the power of demonstration. You might laugh at some of these infomercials or you might have bought some of their products. By the end of the day, if you can show video of you actually using your product, demonstrating how it works, or someone experiencing your product and showing the benefits that it can receive from using it, how fast it chops off, slices, or dices, or whatever it does. If you can show videos of your product being demonstrated with an explainer video, or if you can show a product demo if it's a software, or if you even just show photos of your product and how it's used, it's going to increase the desirability of your product. But also people say, "Wow, that is a real product and I can see the benefits being realized." So, examples of that, dropbox.com you might have heard of. Soon as they added an explainer video and I think it was only a two minute video to their website, they raised 10 million additional customers. Now, they were getting already millions of views or visitors to their website by adding that video, showing how dropbox worked. They increased their users, their customers by 10 million which is incredible. Again, not every website is going to get that result but video, that's the power of demonstrating your product. Dollar Shaver Club, you might have heard of. Soon as they add this kind of quirky video to their home page, they saw 12000 new orders within two days. Again, an incredible result. Not typical but it shows the power of video. If you can do that, you're going to get amazing results. Here's another one from Ties.com. This is an e-commerce store selling ties. By having high quality product images of their products from different angles, for an e-commerce store was really really helpful in increasing trust, believability, credibility, and also desirability for the product because people can see and how awesome it looks. So, do invest in either getting a video made if you can demonstrate your product, or just get some great shots of your product or service being used. It will increase your conversion rate, typically speaking. So, that is really the three different ways that I show proof and trust online. When I'm writing copy, they're are some of the visual elements and the testimonials they. Do see if you can gather those and incorporate into your copy, I think you'll see great benefits. 17. 3 Tips For Overcoming Writers Block: Copywriting, if you're not familiar with it, might seem daunting. It might seem overwhelming to look at that blank screen or piece of paper and you just don't know how to get started. So, I wanted to leave you with some mental tips for really approaching copywriting. I want you to know that even the pros struggle from time to time when it comes to writing. But the difference is we've gone through the process so many times we know when an obstacle pops up that it really isn't the end of the world and that we can write around that obstacle. I know that myself, at times in my career, I've struggled with writer's block, with self-doubt, with negative self-talk. I think those are constant things that writers go through, that creatives go through. So, I really want to encourage you that the way to overcome if you ever get stuck with writing, if you don't know how to approach it, or if you're in the middle of your copy and you're just getting stuck or frustrated, one of my best tips for you is to leave that environment. If I'm getting writer's block and I'm not really able to progress in my writing, sometimes the best thing is to take a break. I get up, I go for a five-minute walk, I go make a cup of tea or coffee, might call a friend for a few minutes. I just get away from that and then come back to it. Allow myself to decompress. I want you to imagine if you went to high school and you had exams. I remember exam time, I would be so stressed and nervous about the exam. I'd sit down. I had 45 minutes for the exam and I'd write out trying to answer the exam, and then what I found was as soon as I left the exam hall and the exam was done, I would leave and then, suddenly, I'd have all these ideas flood in that I hadn't thought about during the exam time. The reason was I was just stressed and anxious during the writing process in that exam. But as soon as I left, kind of decompressed, I was able to get that inspiration to come back in and that allowed me to then go back, well, not to the exam but with my writing, can now come back after that short break and I can then continue with the writing. Another thing to remember is that: Write many first drafts. I aim to write many crappy first drafts. I know that the first thing I sit down to write isn't my best piece of work. So, what I'd often do is write many first drafts, realizing the first few are quite crappy but I don't have high expectations to begin with. I know that the first draft is probably going to be crappy, but by the third or fourth draft, it's going to be something usable and quite good. But too many new writers, they sit down and think, "I've done this course or class, I'm now ready." If it doesn't come out smoothly and perfectly, they mentally beat themselves up, and then might leave the situation feeling quite deflated. Don't set yourself up for failure. Know that your first few attempts are probably going to be quite crappy and that's totally okay. It happens to all of us. But approach writing from the easy parts first. If you know that you're going to write your headline, you're going to use one of the templates, great. Do that first. If you know that you're going to write about your competitive advantages first, do that first. Writing isn't linear. You can start from any part of the web page that you're writing and then you can move, once you've done the easy parts, to a harder part later. So, that's just some tips for approaching copywriting, especially as a beginner. Know that it's difficult. Know that the pros often struggle. Give yourself a break if it gets a little bit hard. You can always come back to it, and of course, write the easy parts first. I really hope you've enjoyed this class. This is my first kosher class. I'm going to be publishing a lot more in the future. Please, stay tuned for those. I hope you post your class project in the section and I look forward to seeing you in a future class.