“How can I get better at copywriting, fast?”
This is an incredibly common question. Especially from newer copywriters who want to get into the paid-for-results direct response niches.
After all, the better you get at generating response, the more you can make.
So it would only make sense to get better, faster. Because you can make more, faster.
And of course, there’s the classic advice of handwriting out other copywriters’ copy.
That’s not bad advice in itself. It can be a good way to pick up some of the feel of good copy. There’s a certain cadence, a rhythm to good copy. And internalizing that through handwriting helps.
But there are definitely other methods that can help you get even better, even faster.
The Agora method…
Here’s what Agora Financial — one of the world’s most successful copy-driven businesses — recommends their copywriters do every day.
First, study a promo. Look at something that’s working in the market today. Read it. See what jumps out at you. Try to decide why it’s working, what’s making people respond. Perhaps even consider what would make it more appealing.
Second, write at least a page of copy. This is whatever copy you need to get done today. Just make sure you’re writing, all the time.
Third, develop a big idea. Try to turn a raw idea into at least journal-level copy, where you’re constantly playing with ideas and retelling them in the most appealing way you can.
This approach was developed by Joe Schriefer, the Publisher at Agora Financial (essentially the CEO). And the success of their copy and their business is a testament to its effectiveness.
I agree 100%, with an emphasis on point #3…
I’m actually redoubling on my own efforts here.
I once had the chance to interview Bill Bonner, the Founder of Agora, and the world’s first billionaire copywriter (to my knowledge).
His emphasis was largely the same.
He’s always trying to find the stories that will be most appealing to his market. And then telling them in the most compelling way, to inspire action.
That all comes down to capturing ideas.
And specifically, capturing ideas in copy.
This is a muscle and a habit you build. It’s not an inborn talent. It’s not magic. It’s something you practice and develop.
And how do you build muscles?
You have to do your exercises, over and over again. Consistently.
This trains your muscles — physical and mental — to perform.
Applying this to writing copy, you want to constantly be practicing writing the most important copy.
That is, the copy that has to grab and earn your prospect’s attention. The very first thing they’ll read.
When you do this with regularity, you’ll learn to spot compelling stories in the market. You’ll learn to focus on the important details. You’ll learn to capture them and present them to create immediate impact.
You’ll strengthen your copy muscles.
Some days, you’ll suck…
Some days, it will be painful to get through.
Some days, the copy won’t be any good.
Anybody who is consistent with any kind of physical or mental development will tell you there are many days where you struggle tremendously just to get your reps in.
Those are the most important days to just do it, get it done, and move on with your day.
Not because those are the days where you’ll create breakthroughs. But because the consistency you bring on those days will lay the groundwork for the breakthroughs to come.
Just keep cranking them out…
As you go, you’ll have great days, too…
And I’m not necessarily saying you’ll feel great about the copy as you’re writing it. Maybe you will, maybe you won’t.
But if you make it a point to occasionally review what you’ve been writing, you’ll realize some of the copy is much better than the other copy.
And that will be copy you can develop into a finished promotion.
The good news is, if you’re doing this consistently, you don’t have to develop great ideas with a high hit rate.
If you’re only developing ideas every time you need to write a new promotion, maybe you have somewhere from 4 to 12 big ideas you really develop every year. You have to have a pretty high hit rate for that to work out.
But if you’re developing ideas daily, and you only pick the 10% you like best, you have a new big idea every 2 weeks, or 26 per year.
This is also fuel for testing…
Some businesses are better equipped to test these ideas rapidly. Others require you to pick out the few you like best for full development before testing.
Either way, if you have a ton of solid ideas based on consistency of doing this, you’ll be in good shape.
And if you test quickly, you may be able to pick 1 out of every 10 ideas to quickly develop into something that can at least be run through a benchmark test, to see if the idea resonates.
For example, you could run an email to an order form, with the idea fleshed out just enough that someone can buy if they’re interested.
The first one or two of these tests likely won’t be too exciting. But if you’re doing these tests regularly, you can get a sense of what’s working and what’s not. Comparing test results from idea to idea. And when something works really well, putting more effort into developing that.
No matter what, you’ll be developing your copy muscles, fast…
In weightlifting, there’s a concept called progressive muscle overload. That’s where you work your muscles slightly harder over time, so they continually adapt to that harder work.
That’s what you’re doing with this approach to fleshing out big ideas on the regular.
You’re working your mental muscle a little harder, and a little harder, and a little harder. Continually developing your strength in writing to your market, trying to appeal to them.
And as you turn some of these sketches of ideas into tests and fully-fledged copy, you’ll get feedback from the market to show you just how much you’re developing.
If you follow this approach, it will be very hard NOT to get much better at copywriting, very fast.
Especially if you add on other methods of learning, such as reading my emails, going through training, and studying copy that’s working right now.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,