5 Copywriting Exercises: How To Write Better Sales Copy

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You have heard me say it before… The secret to writing great copy? First, write bad copy… And then fix it. And here’s how… Hey guys, welcome! It’s Alex and over the next few minutes,
I’m going to walk you through 5 super simple copywriting exercises that you can start doing
right away to turn your copy from good to great! Now, these exercises are crazy valuable whether
you’re a brand new copywriter just starting out or a seasoned vet, they can be used throughout
your entire copywriting process… And I frequently use these exercises to improve
my copy. And with a few of these exercises, I’ll
even let you look over my shoulder and show you a couple of really, really cool copywriting
tools that I use almost every single day on my laptop. So guys, if you’re an entrepreneur or freelance
writer looking to grow your business with crazy good copy, be sure to hit subscribe
below so you don’t miss a single copywriting tutorial from me!! Okay now, let’s dive into the 5 copywriting
exercises for writing killer copy… All the great copywriters and marketers I
know have an Inspiration File – essentially of collection of screenshots, emails, sales
pages and products from other people, businesses and brands! I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve
signed up for something online and I think “Oh, nice! I like what they did there.” Boom. I take a screenshot and I add that
to my Inspo File. It’s a Dropbox Folder that I can easily
access or add to from my phone or my laptop because hey, you never know when inspiration
will strike! I have it split into different subfolders like Emails, Landing Pages, Sales
Pages, Upsells, Products etc. This makes it way easier to go back later
when you’re looking for ideas for future pieces. I frequently buy other people’s products
to see WHAT they are doing behind the gate. it’s one of the best ways to learn! And another tip… I like to sign up for a bunch of email lists
from related businesses. And then rather than just let those emails
clog up my inbox, I add a filter in Gmail that skips the inbox and tags them with “Inspo”. Then, anytime I’m looking for a subject
line or an email on a particular topic, say a webinar replay… I can just search “webinar replay” in
my inbox inspo file and see all the other emails that people have written on that topic. But guys… I have one BIG FAT FREAKIN’ DISCLAIMER
HERE. The point of this exercise is to find INSPIRATION. NOT COPY WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING. I’ve seen this happen so many times and
it’s just not cool. Plus if someone finds out that you’re copying,
your reputation is GONE. These days it’s really not hard at all to
find duplicate content online. This actually happened to one of my clients.
Someone copied nearly every single word from their landing page, INCLUDING CLIENT
TESTIMONIALS! Are you kidding me? So, be copy writers and not copy cats, alright? Give me a thumbs up below if you’re with
me on this one… And then lets move on to Exercise #2… I swear I haven’t haven’t had anything
to drink today. But seriously, as a copywriter if an online
thesaurus is not your best friend who knows all your deepest darkest secrets, you’re
DOING IT WRONG!! I like to bring in the thesaurus into the
final step of my writing process. After I’ve written the copy, I’ll go through
it and sprinkle in some more interesting and compelling language. Use POWER words that evoke emotion or action. For example, replace scary with bone-chilling. Or boring with mind-numbing. Unaccepted with controversial. You get the idea. Now quick challenge… I’d love to hear your genius twists on the
word “Great”… As in “Wow, this video is really great!” Comment below… And let me hear from you. Now, one very important thing to remember
here is that the words you use should be more INTERESTING, not complex or confusing. Just because a Thesaurus says amalgamation
is a synonym of mix doesn’t mean you should use it! So mix it up, and don’t amalgamate it up
if you catch my drift! And let’s move onto, Exercise #3… And I love this one. Just because we’re copywriters, doesn’t
mean we always KNOW what hook or angle will convert the best… So, TEST YOUR HOOKS to your audience before
you commit to any one in particular in your sales copy… So how do you do this? One of the best ways to test this EARLY on
is to spend a few dollars running multiple paid ads – either on Facebook or Google
– with different hooks to a pre-launch landing page where you can give something of value
to your audience. But, remember, the goal here first is not
to track lead or sale conversion rate, but ad CLICK-THROUGH-RATE. It shouldn’t take too much time or money
to spot a clear winner. You can’t lie with data – your ads will
tell you what hook is more compelling to your audience. Or in other words, what hook garners more
attention and drives more CLICKS. Then, make sure to use that same hook throughout
your entire sales funnel and messaging. You don’t need to get all fancy with this. You can easily set up Facebook ads. It’s super easy to do and can save you a ton of
time and money on writing an offer based on a hook that just doesn’t work. Ok, now let’s move onto exercise #4. So you’ve heard me say before that the average
person reads at the 7th-grade level. One copywriting tool that I use all the time
is the Hemingway Editor. Named after the master of literary brevity
himself, the super simple tool aims to tighten up your words and make them more concise and
impactful. And yes, more easy to read by everyone. So common, let me show you how to use it. Ok so to use the Hemingway Editor just go
to Hemingwayapp.com and you’ll come to the free web version of Hemingway
Editor. Now, the Hemingway app makes your writing bold and clear as it says here. But it’s really cool! Essentially you just
copy in any copy that you’ve written, and the Hemingway Editor immediately will tell
you the readability of your piece. So, here are the 5 things that the Hemingway
Editor will highlight in your piece of copy. The first thing and the most obvious is the
red and yellow sentences. So, essentially a red sentence is anything
that the Hemingway Editor deems to be complex. The yellow sentences are hard to read but
not entirely complex… Still something worth looking over to see
if there’s anyway you might be able to easily simplify those sentences. The purple words are words that you can replace
with a simpler version. It also highlights the adverbs which are overly
descriptive, might not add that much to the copy… Which you can consider omitting. And then it will also highlight the green
passive copy which could probably be written in a little bit stronger, direct tone. So I’m going to show you a quick example
here. One of my clients Numeologist.com send out weekly newsletters. So I want to show you the first version
of a newsletter that was written to go out sometime last month. So you can see here immediately this copy
is written at an 11th grade level… So now remember if someone’s reading your
copy and they reach a point where there’s no longer cognitive fluency they will leave
because brains like simple information that’s easy to process. So, this piece of copy I worked though…
I changed some of the sentences made it a little bit simpler for the average person
to read, and this is the new version of the copy that I came up with. Essentially not changing any of the essence
of the message, just simplifying and removing words and also breaking the longer walls of
text or paragraphs into shorter sentences. So overall a much more effective piece of
copy. So I highly recommend you check out Hemingwayapp.com and put it to use. Comment below and let me know if you found this helpful. And with that let’s move onto Exercise #5… One of the most powerful things you can learn
as a marketer and copywriter is the difference between features and benefits. So here’s a quick distinction: A feature is something that your product has
or is. It is planned, built, and executed in order
to directly solve a common problem. In sales copy, features are factual statements
about what your product or service is, and they are NOT what entice your customers to
buy. Benefits, on the other hand, are why someone
is purchasing your product. They are RESULTS expressed through desired
emotions and answer the question… “What’s in it for me?” So here are a couple of examples… Feature: 1 Terabyte Hard Drive
Benefit: Take hours of video worry-free! Never forget the day your child took their
first step. Feature: Batteries Included. Benefit: Ready to use! No disappointed child on Christmas morning. Feature: Low-Calorie
Benefit: Look better than Heather at the high-school reunion. Obviously. So, if you’re stuck on how to turn your
product features into super juicy benefits, I actually created a simple 5-question Feature
to Benefit Converter that I’m going to show you how to use right now. Alright guys, so what you see here is the
Feature To Benefit Converter spreadsheet. I will link to this in the description below.
You can download it and then re-upload it to your Google Drive or whatever is easiest for
you. You’ll see that you start here in column
“A” with listing the feature. Then the five questions you want to ask yourself
are “Why is this feature notable?” “What problem does this feature solve?” “What is the core pain point this problem
creates?” “When does this matter most?” and “Why
does your customer need this?” as in the feature. Then finally write your final benefit. So I already pre-populated this Feature To
Benefit Converter with a couple of examples that I gave earlier in my video. You’ll see here a one terabyte hard drive. Ask yourself, why is this feature noteable? Well, more storage space, more backup. Right? That’s really why you’re listing this as a
feature. What problem does this feature solve? I mean it probably solves a few but think
of the core problem… The biggest problem that someone might have
if they don’t have a one terabyte hard drive… Lost files, right? Now what is the core pain point that this
problem creates? So maybe sadness, disappointment… that might
be a big one, but really the loss of memories. I mean, that’s huge. Now when does this matter the most? Well, vacations, baby’s first steps… think
about all of those times where this problem is actually a really big frickin’ deal. Then you want to ask yourself why does the
customer need this? So I like to think of this in terms of desired
emotions… A one terabyte harddrive is sort of a hard
thing to tack emotions to but when you go through these 5 questions, all of a sudden
the emotion behind why someone might need a one terabyte harddrive becomes evident. So peace of mind, right? Trust. I won’t lose any more memories. Okay, then you can write the benefit. Once
you’re in that place of thinking of the desired emotion the benefit becomes a lot more evident. Never forget the day your child took their
first step. Boom, benefit. It can be simple here and then of course when
you work it into your copy you can add a little bit of finesse. Add in a few more emotional
words or power words like I talked about earlier. But there you will have so many juicy benefits
that will be much more compelling to your audience. Ok guys, there you have it! 5 copywriting exercises that’ll have you
writing like a pro in no time! Please give me a thumbs up below if you found
this video helpful! And next up, check out my video on the 5 biggest
copywriting mistakes you could be making. You can watch that video right here. And please subscribe to catch my video next
week! Till then, I’m Alex. Ciao for now!

22 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you Alex. I'm SO glad I found your page and videos.. I've been trying to improve my copywriting and your tips have definitely helped me take my writing to the next level! Will try out these exercises next 🙂

  2. Your videos are always packed with value! This one’s another hit 🙂 Love exercises 3 & 4. I SO appreciate the actionable content 🙏❤️

  3. How do you tag emails to go automatically in to certain sub folders?

    I can really use that. I’m often manually moving emails around.

    Btw – another tip, focus on writing about the transformation. This can sometimes work more effectively than focusing on benefits.

    If you can provoke visually stimulating copy which expresses and shares the transformation they’ll gain (benefit from) – then you’re golden.

    This works well for sales pages and emails.

    Take the reader from where they are now to where they desire to be when all is said and done.

  4. Wow! This video is 'marvelous'. 😉 Thesaurus is my best friend! When I write anything, that tab is always open right next to it. The Hemingway App is really cool and I'll definitely be trying that out, thanks!

  5. Omg can't believe I haven't used the Hemingway app before! Life saver, as I've been manually rereading and simplifying my sentences. And ditto on making the thesaurus a best friend haha. Thank you for this helpful video! xx

  6. Now THIS is some amazing content!!! I can’t believe you gave this all away for free! Super valuable and really insightful, practical and actionable. Thank you!

  7. I love your videos Alex! They are super helpful and awesome. Filled with valuable content and yet for free! Thank you so much !! 🙂

  8. awesome content as always Alex, and you're right… I watched this video literally the day after the Raptors won. Congrats!

  9. Thank you for the website to check my copy. On the first try, my copy was at the 6 grade level. I am now able to change the sentences that need work. The ones I was unsure came out clean. Such a great tool, the Hemingwayapp.

  10. Love your videos. Binge watching. I’ve also done of thesaurus thing forever but then again I also used to read encyclopedias so there’s that. Annnd your content is hittin 😛 Hemingway app is a big deal. Wish I had it in school

  11. Hey..any tips to clear the interview for a senior content writer post. Please do reply I have this interview and can really use some help right now.

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