Mastering 3 Tough Copywriting Challenges

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A lot of people think writing copy is just about the words. The truth is, once you know what you’re writing about, and who you’re writing for, the rest is a downhill ride.

Not easy. You still have to steer and stay on track. But definitely easier.

Challenge #1 — The Hook.

One of the hardest parts of copywriting is finding the hook. That’s the part of your copy that grabs the reader’s attention. It’s what makes your offer irresistible.

For instance, suppose you’re targeting an audience of salaried workers who are seeking financial solutions. They can’t do much about their income (because they’re not considering options outside corporate life, but that’s another topic). But they want to stretch their budgets to enjoy some luxuries and add quality of life.

How about, “How to live a $100K lifestyle on a $20K salary.”

Now there’s a hook… if you can make good on the promise, of course.

Challenge #2 -The Opening Paragraph

For me, one of the most difficult parts of copywriting is the opening paragraph. You’ve got to start with the hook, but then you have to move your audience to a deeper level.

One solution I discovered recently is to use the opening chapters of high-quality fiction as swipe files — i.e., words you can use as models for ideas and rhythm. Of course, a fiction writer can make up a story beginning, ‘I hadn’t enjoyed a real vacation in five years.” But if you write first person, you have to be accurate and also consistent with your brand.

Challenge #3 — Finding the benefits.

Another copywriting challenge is to keep remembering that we’re selling solutions, not features. Even seasoned copywriters forget sometimes; the benefits can seem so obvious. It takes an outside pair of eyes and/or a reminder to keep drilling down and adding, “so that…”

It’s even more important to realize that products can be named for the solutions they provide. A dog food brand was called “Best Friends for Life” because that’s what it promised: nutrition to let your dog live a longer, more active life.

Dr. Cathy Goodwin is an experienced copywriter and online marketing strategist. She helps service-based businesses establish their online presence and attract ideal clients with storytelling. Cathy has lived all over North America (including Alaska and Canada). She is now happily settled in Philadelphia with two adopted cats who refuse to share their stories.

If you’d like to learn more, download a free ebook — 7 copy tips to jumpstart your sales —

Originally published at .

Helping entrepreneurs and independent professionals grow their businesses one story at a time.

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