Why Every Business Owner Needs to Master Copywriting (And 7 Free Resources to Start With)

copywriter

Copywriting is difficult because it’s nothing like the writing we learned in college.

Thanks for that, college!

But the facts don’t lie:

Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing tactics while still generating 3x more leads!

That’s why content marketing is on the path to becoming a $300 billion industry by 2019.

That means businesses need to get on board with it. Otherwise, they risk falling behind the competitors who are using it.

And you can’t always rely on outsourcing your content if you want to keep the quality high.

If you run your own business, you know everything about it like the back of your hand.

You’re the best person to communicate the passion and spirit of the company because you spent all those nights, days, weeks, months, and years bootstrapping it.

So you need to be fluent in copywriting.

Why? Everything in business revolves around it.

Most companies report that content marketing (and copywriting) increased both the quantity and quality of leads.

I could write an entire article about these stats. And there’s a reason for that:

Content marketing is the most cost-effective way to grow your company!

And mastering copywriting gives you a full toolset that can help you stand out amongst the millions of content pieces that are published daily.

Here are 7 detailed resources that you need to start mastering copywriting and bringing in countless more leads.

1. Start with the basics of Copywriting 101 

You can’t just jump into the deep end of the pool without a basic swimming lesson.

Just like you wouldn’t hurl yourself into AdWords without a clue about how to generate a positive return on investment.

First, you need to focus on building a solid foundation that can pave the way for more refined copywriting skills like headline hacking and creating conversion-inducing copy.

Don’t worry. We’ll get to those two in a few minutes.

The first free resource I recommend you start your copywriting journey with is Copyblogger’s Copywriting 101.

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Here’s how the first line starts:

“Copywriting is one of the most essential elements of effective online marketing.”

Truer words have never been spoken!

Copywriting is the trick to getting people to click on your PPC ads, open your emails with creative subject lines, and drive CTRs through the roof on organic blog post headlines.

Almost everything marketing-related comes back to copywriting at some point.

And that’s what this Copyblogger guide starts to prepare you for.

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Tip #1. Headlines: How to craft persuasive headlines that are almost impossible not to click.

This guide gives you formulas, proven methods, and countless examples to base your future headlines off of.

Here’s an example of a great headline, along with the tips you can expect in this e-book.

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Tip #2. Formulas: These are the basic, proven copywriting formulas that are known to grab attention. One of my favorites includes PAS, or Problem, Agitate, Solution.

These formulas are still around, decades later, for one simple reason: they work.

They are also one of the easiest ways to structure your articles and give the reader a reason to stick around.

If you don’t present a problem that the reader has to solve right now, there’s no urgency for them to stick to your content like glue. The first distraction will send them off on another path.

However, if you can write like this next example, people won’t be able to look away.

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Tip #3. Storytelling: How to write like a real human being telling a story to their friend.

Formulas help give you a structure to write effective content. But storytelling is the trick to keep people reading more.

People want to hear real stories about real struggles, pain, journeys, and successes.

Tip #4. Scientifically proven tips: Power words, emotion-based copywriting, and persuasion.

Using specific words and sentences that tap into basic human emotions turns good copy into irresistible copy.

For example, discovering the top five most persuasive words can increase reader engagement overnight.

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This e-book is one of the best places to start honing your copywriting skills.

It covers almost everything from A-Z with templates that you can use to write better copy in just minutes.

Give it a shot!

2. Refine those basic skills with The Definitive Guide to Copywriting

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Okay, I might be a little biased on this one, but it’s for good reason.

This guide has a plethora of information that Joseph and I spent countless hours developing.

It’s a 30,000+ word guide that will help you write effective copywriting for SEO, content marketing, link building, and more.

It covers the basics.

But then it will expand on them to show you how these lessons apply to different niches, customer segments, and use cases.

These tips are also the exact strategies that I’ve used to optimize my own website copy.

Here’s what you get with this free guide:

Tip #1. The basics: Laying a solid foundation of strategy, copywriting formulas and ways to understand your customers better and write conversationally.

This guide runs through proven formulas like PAS, AIDA, and more.

Tip #2. Headline hacking: You only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention, especially if you don’t rank high in the SERPs already.

Here, we lay out templates, strategies, and proven methods to drive CTR through the roof.

Tip #3. Persuasion and proven tips: Stop writing about yourself and start writing about the benefits a consumer will get from your product or service.

Use copywriting to convince people that they need your product or service.

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Tip #4. Conversion-printing copy: Countless tips on how you can use copywriting to close sales and drive conversions.

If you’re writing blind on your landing and pricing pages, you’re simply doing it wrong. I’ll teach you how to do it right by writing with conversions in mind.

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Tip #5. Design and copywriting: How to combine them to give the best user experience possible.

Oh, and we also cover different ways to increase conversions, if you’re interested in that.

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If you’re ready to expand on the basics and hone those growing copywriting skills, this 30,000-word guide will be your perfect companion.

It includes all of my best tips, from headlines to learning conversational tones and using copy to close more sales.

Put these tips to good use, and you’ll soon see conversions trending in the right direction.

3. Turn your website into a copywriter’s dream with the ConversionXL Quick Course

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ConversionXL’s Quick Course on Effective Website Copywriting is the next great step in mastering copywriting skills.

The truth is that 79% of people skim blog posts and long-form website content. People don’t like to read today.

That’s why your website content needs to be punchy and direct. You need to deliver the message with as few words as possible, without skimping on the value.

Peep Laja’s guide will help you do just that. You’ll learn how to simplify your writing while still providing the same message to convert more readers.

Here’s what you will learn from this guide:

Tip #1. How to communicate benefits rather than features: Your pricing pages are the perfect example.

You’ll learn how to transform features into results and outcomes for a user:

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See that copy?  Start accepting credit cards today.

They effectively communicate the benefit of buying their product rather than talking about the technology or how great their company is.

Tip #2. Outlines and guideposts: This is the best way to structure your site, so it flows naturally with the copy you write.

You’ll also find out how to use conversion paths with effective copywriting.

Sound good? Check out the free guide here.

4. Remove filler from your copy with Unbounce’s Dejargonator

At last, a free resource that doesn’t involve reading, studying, and practicing. You’re welcome!

So what, exactly, is jargon anyway?

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It’s filler.

It’s words, sentences, and fragments that hold no meaning and simply take up space.

For example, you see something like this on websites all the time:

“This product is the next greatest, big thing!”

You can’t derive any meaning from that sentence.

Unbounce’s Dejargonator can help you catch these nonsensical statements before they go live.

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Here’s how it works.

You open up your landing page, blog post, or any other document with text content.

Then you fire up this Chrome extension.

For example, let’s say this is your landing page:

jargon filled landing page copy

Notice the headline? You can’t really tell what’s going on. It’s useless, meaningless copy that isn’t going to work.

The Dejargonator helps you quickly highlight which sentences and words are useless, like so:

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The tool is super easy to use.

I find myself using it on a daily basis to run through everything I write to make sure I’m not wasting word counts with filler.

People don’t enjoy reading extra words if they don’t have to. So, don’t make them.

Use this tool to refine your copywriting skills and use words that persuade, convince, and provide real meaning for the reader.

5. Landing page copy that converts with HubSpot’s Landing Page Copy Checklist

Landing pages are your chance to dazzle visitors with the value you can offer them.

And to do that, you need copy that creates urgency, action, and desire.

HubSpot’s landing-page copy checklist teaches you exactly how to do just that.

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ROI is everything as a business owner.

Picking up a few new powerful copywriting strategies can give you the quickest bang for your buck.

Think about it for a second.

A 1% conversion rate increase on one of your landing pages could translate into tens of thousands of extra dollars in your pocket.

And HubSpot’s landing page checklist can help you spot some of those key pressure-point areas on the site.

Here’s what’s included.

Tip #1. Learning how to use action-oriented language: Writing with words that communicate and encourage action.

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Tip #2. Communicate value: Communicating value is critical for getting conversions.

Nobody needs your product, so you’ve got to make them want it.

The trick is to explain it in a way that makes sense to them.

You can explain why they need your product by highlighting the benefits they’ll get out of it that will change their lives.

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Also, this quick guide nails some crucial points like writing in the second person, formatting copy for conversions, and writing concisely.

Give it a shot. It only takes 8 minutes to read and provides incredibly actionable advice on how to better your copywriting skills!

6. Write better headlines in just minutes with Copyblogger’s Magnetic Headlines!

Only 8 out of 10 people will read your headline.

And on top of that, only 2 out of 10 will read your post.

That’s where these magnetic headline tricks come into play. They help you beat those odds!

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Headlines are important because they have the ability to increase your CTRs by 10%.

This e-book contains countless headline formulas that you can use on blog posts, landing pages, and even email subject lines.

The formulas are already laid out with examples. So you can craft a headline that’s going to increase your CTR in just minutes.

If that’s not value, I don’t know what is!

Here’s an example of what to expect:

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There are dozens of templated headline variants with examples to help you understand why each works and how to use them.

I refer to this e-book daily when crafting my next blog headlines, emails, PPC ads, and more.

One of my favorite tips from the e-book is the proven success of listicles.

Or this one, which comes directly from the e-book!

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36% of readers prefer reading a list-based post. That means using a listicle-style post will statistically drive more traffic.

And if the list post is odd-numbered, you’ll potentially get 20% more traffic than if it was an even number.

List posts also dominate search engine result pages (SERPs). Check out this real example:

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Why do they work? Because they simplify the value they’re providing into an easy-to-follow list.

You’re not forcing people to read through an entire 400-page book. Instead, you’re helping them do what they already want to do online: Scan.

Listicles help people jump from point to point faster and easier.

7. Learn to persuade your way to conversions with the 5 Most Persuasive Words

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If you take nothing else from this post, remember the next few words.

  1. You
  2. Free
  3. Because
  4. Instantly
  5. New

These are commonly referred to as the five most persuasive words in the English language.

How powerful are these words?

There’s an entire MIT-backed study on it. Here’s the gist of what happened.

Dan Ariely tested a group of people, showing them two variations of ads to see how they reacted to pricing changes.

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In this first image, he tested a Lindor chocolate with a Hershey Kiss. Obviously, the Lindor brand is known for higher-quality products than Hershey.

So, at that price point, it’s reasonable that most respondents chose the higher-quality option.

But here’s what happened when they altered the price of the Hershey Kiss to “free”:

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People practically stampeded to get the free Hershey Kiss. This is yet another perfect example of loss aversion.

When something is free, we don’t want to miss out on it.

This Copyblogger guide will show you how to instantly increase results with a new secret arsenal of tricks.

See how effective those are?

You should also combine these simple, effective words with the other tips from this article.

For example, check out this headline:

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What does this post title bring to mind?

It includes two of the most persuasive words in the world with “immediately” and “your.”

And the listicle headline indicator at the beginning helps put it over the edge.

You get the point here.

Persuasion hooks people in and gets them to take notice.

The goal of copywriting isn’t to trick anyone. In fact, it should do the exact opposite!

The best copywriting can make your pages more valuable for readers.

They’ll finally understand the benefit of what you’re selling. And they’ll finally understand why they should give your product or service a try.

Conclusion

Copywriting is a special skill that takes hours of practice.

Writing is already difficult. But writing to sell through persuasion can be even more challenging.

It requires years of refining and training to master.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a few tricks right now.

Learning anything new can be time-consuming.

There’s almost no better bang for your buck, though, than copywriting.

Adding a few headline formulas to your blog posts can instantly increase readership.

Even inserting a few new words in your subject lines can lift click rates on your very next campaign.

So we’re talking about a few minutes’ worth of extra work at the most each day.

The results can be so lucrative that you almost can’t afford not to learn how to write copy.

This one skill will improve almost every aspect of your marketing overnight.

If you want to start converting like you never thought possible, take the time to master copywriting.

Trust me, it’s worth it.

What copywriting resources have helped you hone your skills as a master copywriter?

The post Why Every Business Owner Needs to Master Copywriting (And 7 Free Resources to Start With) appeared first on Neil Patel.