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Writing/simple copywriting skills

Guidance from the great David Ogilvy:

The better you write the faster you’ll be promoted.  People who write well, think well.

Good writing is not a natural gift.  You have to learn to write well; and practise, practise, practise.  Start with these eight points:

  1. Write like you are in front of your readers, talking to them. Be natural.
  2. Keep it simple.
  3. Don't jump around all over the place.  Keep the flow going - and keep it logical.
  4. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
  5. Avoid  jargon.
  6. Check your quotations.
  7. Tell a story.  People listen to stories.
  8. Don’t send an important email/letter on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning - and then edit it.

    If it is very important, get a colleague to improve it.

    And before you send it make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.

  9. Finally if you want ACTION, don't write. Pick up the telephone.

“If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular.”

David Ogilvy

Guidance from the great Drayton Bird.

Drayton's simple,  7 step plan for writing great copy:

  1. Lead with your biggest benefit
  2. Expand on the other benefits.
  3. Add specifics that prove why points 1 and 2 are believable.
  4. Support with testimonials.
  5. Tell them why they must act now.
  6. Your summary.
  7. Ask for action.

Learn how to write great headlines.


 And when you write, use as many of these 7 emotions as you can:

  1. Anger
  2. Fear
  3. Flattery
  4. Greed
  5. Guilt
  6. Salvation
  7. Exclusivity

This structure has been tested thousands of times, is used by copywriters everywhere - and it works.  See Drayton's website for more.


Some areas of best practice

Use as a great reference guide to all areas of copywriting.

  1. An example of great selling copy
  2. Article writing
  3. Blog - writing
  4. Content marketing
  5. Contract - writing
  6. Creative Brief - writing
  7. CV covering letter
  8. Document writing skills
  9. Finding a copywriter
  10. Free trial to boost response
  11. Guarantees – exploiting them
  12. Have you written a great headline?
  13. Headline writing
  14. Long copy or short copy?
  15. Long sentences or short?
  16. Marketing plan - writing
  17. Newsletter - writing
  18. Online copywriting
  19. Pay-per-click ads
  20. Press releases
  21. Proofreading
  22. Radio ad - writing
  23. Risk – removing feelings of risk
  24. Some of the ‘rules’ of writing
  25. Slogans/straplines
  26. Testimonials
  27. Using ‘you’ in your copy
  28. Words and phrases that will keep them reading