Practice
Makes Perfect

Copyright 2003 By Willie Crawford

Practically every webmaster I come across could easily increase his web sales. 

In fact, some could generate ten times the sales with only a few hours work. Yet, most seem oblivious to what they *need* to do to make this happen. They just plod along without implementing this one simple change, and expecting to miraculously start making a lot more sales from their website.

What is this one thing that practically any webmaster can do - today - to dramatically increase the conversions he gets from his website?

They Need to Learn 
How to Write BETTER Copy!

Web site owners tell me, "I knew that Willie, but writing copy is hard."

Well, I've talked to some very high paid copywriters, and I've read what many more had to say. I also own complete copywriting workshops on audio and videotape. 

They all say the same thing. 

To learn to write good copy, you merely practice writing it. 

That's right.  Just like any other kind of writing, if you want to get better at it, all you need to do is practice.  Practice makes perfect.

Some of those top copywriters actually advise students to take a winning sales letter or ad, and write it out over and over. In the process of writing good copy over and over - perhaps hundreds of times, you begin to get a feel for the flow. Soon you see the patterns. Soon the things that the high-priced copywriters are doing begin to jump out at you.

Practice is the secret to doing a lot of things by the way. 
Repetition is the mother of mastery. 

So you develop or copy a system, and then you do it the same way, over and over again. Soon it becomes a part of you. That's how I have practiced karate for over 20 years, and that's how you master copywriting or any other kind of writing. Let someone who is doing what you want to learn to do - show you, and then practice over and over again until their system is yours.  

Yes.  There are some basics that are universals in good copywriting and I'll cover that here as well. 

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Anything I don't cover in this short article, I am going to refer you later to a system that I recommend to all of my private coaching clients. It breaks things down for you into a simple, easy- to- follow, 32-step, time-tested system.

One of the things you must remember in all of your copywriting is to focus on the benefits to your buyer rather than product features. 

Make a list of every feature that you can think of, and then take every item on that list and turn it into a benefit. 

So, for example, "available for download in PDF format" could be changed for much greater impact to "instant delivery so that you can use these killer techniques within minutes."

 Do that with every feature. 

Turn it into a benefit that the customer *cares* about.

Many copywriters teach that people respond better to moving away from pain than they do to moving towards pleasure. So your copy should make the prospect acutely aware of the pain he is in. For example, point out that without website visitors, nobody sees his website, and he ends up just sitting and waiting, with absolutely no sales. Then go on to point out how your product solves that problem for him.

Notice I said "to him." 

What I mean there is that your copy needs to read as if you are speaking directly to the reader. You are not writing for an audience of many. It's individuals that make decisions and consequently you must communicate with the individual if you intend to make sales. 

It may help to imagine that individual sitting across from you. Some copywriters actually have a photo of their ideal prospect hanging on the wall across from them as they works. This keeps them focused on "who" they are "talking" to.

Another important universal:  Have a guarantee that embodies complete risk reversal. All of the risk of the transaction should be on you. Your prospect should feel that there is no way he can lose. 

I do this with a full, one year, 
no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee. 

That conveys the confidence that you know your product is good enough that it will deliver tremendous value. You should convey that if you don't deliver, you demand that the customer ask for his money back, and he gets to keep the bonuses or gets something extra for his trouble.

With guarantees, also avoid time-frames that are too short. If you only give your customer 2 weeks to decide whether or not he likes your software, he will quickly decide that he probably doesn't. If he's like me, he probably downloads it into a folder on his computer and may not even get to look at it in those two weeks. Give you customer time to feel ownership of the product and to see the benefit of using it.

Alex Mandossian (one of the great copywriters) teaches that you should also "teach your prospect to consume the product." 

You can do this with follow-up emails that point out how to get the most out of the software, or some type of training. If the customer is using and benefiting from your product, he is going to keep it!

The web is getting more important every day so chances are that if you continue to write that you will someday be writing for web surfers.  Bob Serling, one of the greatest copywriters I have studied has an excellent course on web copywriting. It's one of the few that I have studied that is devoted exclusively to web copywriting. 

Most copywriting courses I have taken are written for people in the offline, direct marketing industry. Bob's book focuses on what works on the web. I use it in writing the copy for all of the new sites I create and for sites I revise. Get Bob Serling's Book, "Power Copywriting For The Internet" at: http://PowerCopywritingForTheInternetByBobSerling.Com 

One more thing.  Use testimonials. 

Having someone else say how great your product is adds tremendous credibility. Having someone "just like your prospect" saying how great your product is shows your prospect that he too can benefit from it. Use testimonials from someone your prospect can relate to as well as testimonials from recognized experts or authorities.

Make it incredibly easy for your prospect to place his order. This means giving them as many options as practical. Don't force them to jump through hoops to place an order, because they want. Instead, accept as many forms of payment as possible, and give them as many different ways of submitting the order as possible.

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A big pet peeve of mine is the hidden price. I believe that you should put the price right on the front page. 

My testing indicates that hiding the price or making customers click through to the order form to locate the price decreases conversions.

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Issue a clear call to action 

Tell the customer exactly how to order. For example, if you want him to click on the link and use your secure order form tell him that. 

If you want him to print out the order form, fill it in, sign it, and fax it to you, tell him that. 

Don't make them guess what they need to do. 

People like to be told/reassured that they are doing it correctly.

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The other thing you seldom see discussed is "the offer." 

You literally want to make the customer an offer that he would be crazy to refuse. This requires a delicate balance though. 

If you make the offer too good, then the customer wonders why it's so good. 

For example, if you offer too many bonuses, that conveys to many customers that the basic product must not have much merit on its own. If you offer too many bonuses, it also sometimes conveys that the bonuses must be junk. Otherwise, why would you be "giving away" so many valuable items? 

So, use good judgment in crafting your offer.

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We've just touched upon a few things that you need to consider in revising your web copy. If you are pumping out copy every week but nobody is buying, then obviously your copy needs some more work. If you don't have the ambition to work on your copy, your results aren't ever going to improve. 

Yes, practicing is work, but it is not hard work. Keep going and keep testing. After while it even becomes fun to see if you can improve on your "control."

Practicing your writing is undoubtedly the greatest investment you can make in your writing career. Spend some quality time this week, practicing your writing. That is exactly what I will be doing.

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Willie Crawford has been teaching others
how to build an on-line business since late
1996. Frequently featured in radio, magazine
and newspaper articles and interviews, Willie
teaches the average guy what the top marketers
are doing but seldom talking about. For example,
Willie demonstrates the power of automated
residual income through his system at:
http://ProfitAutomation.Com  Test drive this system now.

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