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The Art of Copywriting - what you need to know

Copywriting is portrayed as something of a dark art by those in the industry, but in truth there is no mystery to the subject and many people make decent money writing copy for adverts and other published items. Copywriting has been around as long as advertising has existed, and the basic elements remain the same with subtle differences for the method of advertising concerned; remember that the internet is now a powerful advertising medium, and many adverts are written for online publication.

The headline: a headline is a vital part of any copywriting assignment, for a less that arresting headline will not draw in the buyers. Attention grabbing headlines in adverts and sales letters can have a considerable effect on the number of people who read the piece. For example:

“XYZ for sale” is less interesting than “Buy XYZ Now and Get Six Months Free!”

The offer of something for nothing is always worth the effort. Indeed, the word 'free' is on that copywriters file under 'magic words': these are words that make the offer or item more attractive, and include the likes of 'discover' - an invitation to something new - 'incredible', which implies something better than normal, and even 'you' and 'yes', as the positive and the personal are attractive to readers.

Indeed, the personal approach is essential in successful copywriting: the potential buyer wants to believe you are talking directly to them, not to the public at large, and creating such a relationship is one of the most successful copywriting ploys in existence.

Creating a mystique about the product or service on offer is also a clever move, and promoting it as a 'limited edition' or as 'first come first served' brings about a certain uniqueness and sense of urgency to proceedings. Again, the art is in making the buyer believe that they are getting something special, something unique.

Testimonials in the copy make great additions to any advert: real people giving a short sharp account of how their purchase was more than satisfactory and how it was of benefit to them gives added assurance of the worth of the product.

A golden rule to all advertising copy is this: offer a guarantee. If people see they are buying on a basis that allows them to back out if they are not satisfied, they have more reason to indulge.

Copywriting is about selling - there is no point in having the reader get to the end of the advert and turn the page; make sure you give the buyer a method of purchasing - there and then - as that is your ultimate aim!

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