Sometimes ideas are 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?
Hmmm. That’s the problem.
I do need them. And so do you.
If you want to learn how to get people to click on your copy, the one thing you’ll need in abundance – more than any other skill, in fact – is the ability to come up with good ideas.
They are at the root of all good copy.
I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you: without a strong idea backing it up, any piece of copy will be limp, full of waffle and ultimately a failure (or a bomb, as it’s known in the trade).
Whether it’s a 50-page direct-response sales letter or a three-line PPC advert, it needs an idea behind it or it’s going to suck.
I think most proven copywriters will admit, the ability to come up with good ideas can cover almost any other flaw you might have as a writer.
Can’t spell so good? Don’t worry, that’s what spellcheck is for.
Not too hot on grammar? Who cares, read your copy aloud or get someone to read over it for you.
Struggle to edit yourself? Waffling isn’t ideal, but a thumb over each sentence will show you which ones aren’t necessary and they’re easily deleted.
But here’s the catch…
If you can’t think up new ideas, you’ve got a major problem and you need to fix it ASAP.
Quite simply it’s a matter of balance: if you want something new to come out of your brain, you’ve got to put something new in.
You see, your brain is like Audrey II from The Little Shop of Horrors: it demands to be fed.
Ideas are like those new shops you suddenly notice have opened.
You can’t remember seeing the premises being renovated or new signs being put up – just one day it wasn’t there and today it is.
But just because you didn’t notice the work being done doesn’t mean it wasn’t. Ideas are definitely built.
Only problem is: ideas are built in your subconscious (which is why you don’t see them being built) and it’s difficult – no scratch that – it’s impossible to know exactly which raw materials you need to build them.
Therefore you need as many different raw materials as you can get your hands on.
The good news:
Anything is useful, from high-brow literature to crappy reality television.
The bottom line is:
To make sure you’re able to kick out good ideas, read as much and as varied as you’re able.
P.S. If you enjoyed this piece, you should pick up a copy of my book as it originally featured in there.
You can grab a copy quite cheaply on Amazon right here.