I woke up with a song in my head yesterday from my childhood.
I don’t know how I feel about this right now.
But it has me on a spiral of listening to other songs that remind me of it.
A lot of religious and church music. Gospel.
I like the music a lot.
Anyway, as I listen to a song as I write this — “This Battle Is Not Yours” — I have to say that music does help calm me as I write. The right music.
No matter what you’re going through
Remember that God only wants to use you
-Yolanda Adams, “This Battle Is Not Yours”
Today’s lesson is not in any way related to religion. It is simply a paraphrased checklist of things to remember when copywriting.
This music just moves me to write — kind of like the novelist James Baldwin. He listened to gospel too. And similar to music, the words we write also have the power to move. And inspire. Melody with our words.
Anyway, these are the things that we should remember when writing/copywriting.
1. Find the essence of a business.
This idea is complex, in a simple kind of way. What you should do here is look at the base-level value that you or someone else offers to the world. One way to unearth this truth is to ask the question “So what?”
Let’s take an example of a veterinarian. We know that s/he makes animals better. But, so what? So that our pet will be healthy. So what? Because, we love them and want to be around them, and want them to be around us.
So the essence or truth of a vet’s office is to be the medium to help you enjoy friendship, camaraderie and love, to the fullest, from a beloved pet. And them toward you. Health is “simply” a means to this end. It allows us to live fully.
2. Speak the language of your audience.
We should write in a way that is easily understood. Our approach would be different if we’re speaking to industry insiders vs. people who generally have no idea about our expert area. We have to keep this in mind when writing.
3. Check your spelling and grammar.
Check your writing for things like spelling, subject-verb agreement, run-ons, sentence structure, etc. Grammar rules. And reread what you write.
4. Focus on the benefits more than the features.
A benefit will get to the heart of why a person should care, how something helps them. So, to keep the vet example, if they have an on-call emergency number, it’s not this feature that we should highlight.
We should share the benefit of it. That our pet would never have to worry about not getting help during off-hours.
- So what? Meaning you’d always have a fast way to communicate, and get help if needed.
- So what? The ultimate benefit of the vet’s office would be that it provides 24–7 access, in a way, to being able to take care of your pet’s health, and enjoy its company.
5. Create a strong headline.
Two tips for this are to share the benefit, and to make your headline specific. There’s more, but I’ll stop there.
Say what you want someone to do after they read your words. Do you want them to download an information sheet? Then say “Download now.” Do you want them to learn more? Then say “Email us for more information” or “Call us for a free quote on how you can get 15% off or more on your car insurance.” Or some variation of the latter.
This is all.
These are 6 things to use for a checklist of things to pay attention to when you’re writing.
This checklist is something I learned from the copywriter Belinda Weaver.
Thanks for reading.