12 lessons Jim learned about copywriting:
- Emotional response: good sales copy speaks to people on an emotional level. It used to baffle me why companies said things like “AT&T is proud to announce…” It’s why at BPF we like to include emotion words and actions, like showing teeth gritting, butterflies in the stomach, etc.
- Readers want to connect with a character on an emotional level. It’s why the first sentence after the hook is reserved for meeting the character, without introducing plot details.
- Clarity over cleverness: people skim sales copy. Especially with book blurbs. Word choice is critical. So if anything is confusing or unclear, most will disregard and move on. Think about when you search for a book on amazon. There are literally millions to choose from, so imagine you’ve narrowed it down to two books that both look enticing. Good covers, genre-appropriate titles. If one blurb is confusing, that could be the deciding factor that loses the sale. Speak simply: don’t use a word like “impetuous” when “reckless” will do just fine. Show your copy to people. If they find it confusing, don’t tell yourself “well they just don’t get it.” Explore why it’s unclear.
- Cliches are fine. Cliches get a bad rap because they’ve been done to death. But remember, clarity over cleverness. When you say someone is “in over their head” the reader will instantly know what that means. No confusion.
Tune in next week to hear the next four lessons!