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Long Copy

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Writing copy to grab your reader’s attention is hard. You might spend weeks testing different ideas for nothing. Even if the product or service you’re selling is great, it doesn’t necessarily make writing captivating copy any easier. But there is an exercise you can do to write copy with a much greater chance of success. And strangely, it involves spending time in your reader’s bed. Huh? Between the sheets Of course, I don’t literally mean…

Do people read long copy? On an almost daily basis someone suggests to me people don’t. The argument goes: In this modern world of failing attention spans no one gives anything any longer than a few seconds. What do you think? I think this whole question is piffle. I’ll tell you why in a minute… But to be fair, I should first lay down a disclaimer. I’m biased because I know long copy can make…

A quick reminder before I get into this piece… My fiancée Ruth and I…otherwise known as ‘Gluth’…are running the Great Grimsby 10k this year and raising money for the British Heart Foundation. For the many readers outside the UK who are wondering what on earth ‘Great Grimsby’ is…it’s where I’m from. Grimsby is a small fishing port on the east coast of England. And it’s, er, great. Anyhow, we’re over 60% of the way towards…

Take a look at this scrap of paper: Though it might look like nonsense right now… I guarantee it will help you shave hours off the time you spend reviewing and editing your copy. And it’ll make your copy a damn sight more effective. It’s almost too simple to follow… And it only takes about five minutes from start to finish. Sound interesting? Good. Let me show you what it’s all about… Why the golden…

Ideas are irritating. Sometimes they’re right there in your face, shouting at you like an arrogant teenage kid who thinks they know best… Other times they’re nowhere to be seen, like your broke mate Steve who’s always in the toilet when it’s his round at the bar. I’ll tell you what… From now on, let’s boycott ideas. Who needs them anyway? Not me… Well. Er. Hmmm. That’s the problem. I DO need them. And so…

Too many copywriting gurus go on and on about what they DO know… So to freshen things up a little, here are five things about copywriting that I definitely DO NOT know. 1. I don’t ever know what the best headline is for any particular product or service that I am selling. Even when I write a sales promotion that works effectively and is taken as the control, at no time can I ever assume…

Pictures paint a thousand words, right? But when it comes to using pictures in a direct-response sales letter, a badly chosen image will more likely lose you a thousand sales. More often than not, in my own sales letters I tend to avoid using stock images altogether. After all, when writing long copy you’re really constructing a persuasive argument as to why someone should buy what you have to sell… using WORDS. Obviously, to do…

When someone decides to pay money in return for a product or service, it’s a serious thing. Good copy should respect that. I was sat in a meeting recently when a sales letter I had written was brought up on the screen. Though I naturally recognized it as mine, the people I was meeting with did not. Rather than point out that I’d written it, I thought I’d wait to see the reaction it got…

Whatever you think about Woody Allen ‘the man’… As a filmmaker, he’s made some truly great films. That’s a simple fact. For what it’s worth, I think he’s a brilliant writer, a great director and a good actor…. You only have to look at Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters, Play It Again, Sam, Deconstructing Harry, Zelig, Whatever Works and on and on and on and… OK, you get the picture! But anyway… Recently…

It’s an objection that’s often raised… If handled badly, it can destroy a promotion. But get this right and it could be one of the most important things you do. AllGoodCopy.com reader, Jon Steel, asked an interesting question about this very subject on the website: “Is there a good technical reason why so many of these sales letters go on for ages and repeat themselves endlessly ?” As I replied at the time, the repetition…