Welcome to Training Module 2

Training Module 2 will make you a better writer. Endless literature exists on the subject, however, if you are new to online writing you wouldn’t have a clue where to even start. 

Want an example of great online writing? Read this.  

https://www.copyblogger.com/benefits-and-features/

As a matter of fact, your homework is to slowly read through 5 blog posts from copyblogger.com. Pay attention to the way the articles are formatted, the frequency of headings and how they use images. 

Brilliant isn’t it? 

None of that happens by accident. There is a formula to good copy. A way to go about making a big chunk of text look nice on a page. 

Quick and Dirty Writing Tips In No Particular Order

 

Headings - Use them often, not too often, but often enough to break up the page.

Headings are extremely important they decide whether or not your copy is opened or ignored. 

The father of advertising, David Ogilvy, has a rule about headings. The 50/50 rule. David would spend about half the time it took him to develop a piece of content working on his heading. 

His logic was that 5 times more people read a heading than any piece of content, therefore it’s 5 times as important. I think it is nonsense. If an article takes 10 hours to write, don’t spend 10 hours working on your heading. 

I have a different rule of thumb. Write a good heading. Don’t rush it. Understand how important a heading is and the role it plays.

As you work through your post continue to write good headings. Open every section with an invitation to keep reading. Headings structure your content. They are containers into which you put all your text. 

I have known content writers who write all their headings first, and content writers who do them all at the end. You can Ginsberg it and print out all your paragraphs, cut them up, and try rearranging them. It doesn't matter. Just spend enough time on your headings. 

Images - You are a writer, not a photographer. Why should you worry about images? The simple answer is, reading hard and boring. Present a reader with a big chunk of text, they will leave your site immediately and go directly to another source. Do not pass go. Do not collect Adsense revenue. 

Unless the information delivered is truly blowing minds and shattering expectations, it’s unlikely that anyone will give you the time of day if you don’t sprinkle in some images. When copywriting, think of images as page spacers. Like paragraphs, they break up the page and make the experience more enjoyable. More palatable.  

Spacing - It’s strange how what makes online copy great, is the absence of copy. When freelancing you’ll often be responsible for uploading and formatting your copy on WordPress or another CRM. Don’t worry, we will go over all this in time. To get better at spacing words on the page just copy other people. 

Copyblogger 

Neil Patel

Jon Morrow

Moz

Heidi Cohen

Chelsea Fagan

“If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants” - Issac Newton. 

Study their writing, pay attention to how they space their words, lines and paragraphs. You’ll start to notice something. Not one of these greats is writing chunks of uninterrupted text. It’s rare to find more than 4 sentences bound together. More common than a chunky paragraph is a single line of text. 

Reserve you single line for powerful statements, conclusions and other standouts.

Tips To Constantly Improve Your Writing 

 

Writing is hard. 

That sentence above took me 10 minutes to settle on. It became a sort of self-evident truth and so I decided to leave it.  

Let’s face it, the grim reality of our craft is that it’s easy to do, and very difficult to do well. Luckily, writing is like most things, in that you can compensate for a lack of talent with effort and time. 

You’ve gotten this far, so you must believe you have what it takes. For now, that will be enough. 

Kill Your Darlings - A timeless piece of writing advice which means kill those phrases you love most. When we write we grow attached. Attached to ideas, attached to sentences, attached to all the research we spend 3 hours on. To write well you need to strategically sever your attachments. 

Sometimes we get so caught up in making something fit, or we spend so long trying to make a sentence pretty, that it becomes a wank. Better to just remove it. Objectivity is important. If you are afraid to be honest with yourself, when you write or edit, stuffs going to make it through that doesn’t belong. Pretend you didn’t write it and edit without remorse It’s the only way. 

Edit, Edit, Oh and! Edit

https://smartblogger.com/proofreading-editing-tips/

This post by smartblogger is a very good place to start improving your editing. You’re a writer now go learn some grammar. Improving your grammar is a real confidence boost and it will save you from some embarrassing moments.

Once you know the basics -Hopefully you already do- learn stylistic grammar. 

Why don’t they teach this in school? Stylistic grammar is about making writing design choices. It includes: 

Expletives

Visceral verbs

Colloquialisms

Nominalization

Redundancy 

...and much more. 

Often, we overdo sentences and hide our meaning in excess.

Less is more.

Break Grammatical Rules 

Once you know the rules it’s time to break them. If a comma gets in the way, throw it out. The one unbreakable rule when writing online is don’t be boring. Use -- and … and !!!. But refrain from using them all at once. Excessive punctuation is disorientating for the reader.    

Actively Try To Improve 

Our profession can get pretty meta.

The best place to learn online copywriting is from other online copywriting. Specifically, the online copywriting written to teach you how to write copy. 

Don’t skim these resources. The blog posts are your textbooks and worksheets. Study and digest them. Take notes and create structured lessons for yourself. 

You can do it. If you have ever taught yourself an instrument or a video game, you have the capacity. Trust the process and take the days one at a time. 

The surest way to fail is to try to tackle something all at once. Allocate a topic to a day, and don’t move on until your confident you could teach that same topic to someone else. 

Writing every day will make you better. Advice that you’ve heard over and over again. And It’s true. Do something enough and you get better at it. Improvement is the human species’ superpower. 

Writing every day with a structured improvement strategy is how you exponentiate your learning curve. This sounds complicated, but it can be as simple as reading a blog post about content writing once a day and jotting down some sentence with what you read in mind. 

PowerWords

This sentence is good. 

This sentence is Epic

This sentence is tremendous

Do you want a proven secret to six-figure copy? Saturate your text with power words. 

Intice desire in the reader. Envoke outrage and envy. Words, done right, are unstoppable, unforgettable, colossal

Jon Morrow’s list of power words is the best on the internet. You’ll need to subscribe to smart bloggers’ email list to download them. Do it. Power words are a no brainer. Sprinkle them on your writing, and the finished product is effortlessly better. 

https://smartblogger.com/power-words/

Flow & Style

 

When starting with a new client it’s a good idea to read at least 75% of the content that they have on their site. Businesses work really hard to build brand voices, and they want continuity across their site. Read their content and then replicate the voice in subsequent posts. The right voice is important to inject some life into the topics and generate engagement. Research the topic thoroughly, you will be able to put concepts into your own words in a way that sounds natural.

If you are writing B2B copy, you could choose to adopt a voice that’s professional yet informal. Remeber with B2B copy there are multiple decision-makers.  B2C has a lighter tone and it’s only for one person. 

If you don’t know the difference between B2B and B2C copy? Read this

Furthermore, try to copy as much of the client’s styling as you can. If they use lots of lists, use lists. Pay attention to how they format the page and mimick as much as you can. Done right, this will significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to write a post and likely lead to less or no revisions of the content you submit. 

You Have Completed Module 2

I hope you had as much fun reading module 2 as I did writing it.

Apply these techniques liberally, and it will work wonders for your copy. In Module 3, we are going to leave the theoretical and tackle the practical. It’s time to take on SEO, WordPress, and Yoast. Tools that you’ll use every day as an online content writer.  

What’s Next?

In this module you learned what kinds of starter writing jobs are out there, and where you can connect with clients looking for an expert who understands the latest requirements for high quality on and offline copy. You also got a tip on how to get started creating samples of your abilities, which you can show to potential clients

Next we’ll take a look at what you can expect when you decide to really pursue a career as a copywriting professional, from how to land clients to what you can reasonably expect to make.

Click Here To Move On To Training Module 3