How to Prep before Writing Your Copy

If you’re ready to put in the hard work that writing copy needs, you’ll do all right. Persuasive sales copy is the difference between success and failure. Seriously – it really is.

Well-written copy can make or break your marketing efforts. While copywriting comes naturally to some people, it’s a foreign landscape to many and they don’t know how to explore it. The few who have mastered it are usually the proverbial cream of the crop.

Well-crafted copy need not beat customers over the head, nor does it need to have bold typeface and capitalization. The message should be able to stand on its own without too much hyperbole and design embellishments.

You can write effective copy with these five steps.

1. List Your Product’s Benefits

The first step of copywriting is outlining your product’s benefits; this is the groundwork for your marketing campaigns.

A benefit is the value of your products or services to your customers. It’s what your product can do for your customers or how the product can make your customers’ lives better.

So, before creating your copy, start by putting in words the reasons your product is the best in the market and better than what your competitors are offering.

The key to writing effective copy is fully understanding all the benefits of your product. This is the only way you’ll make sure that your customers know how your product can meet their needs. By exploiting your product’s benefits, you’ll be able to create copy that resonates with your audience.

2. Explore Your Competitors’ Weaknesses by Listing Your Product’s Features

To write compelling and persuasive copy, you must know what sets your product apart from the pack. Start by listing your competitors’ weaknesses. You can do this by comparing your product’s features against what your competitors are offering. This will help you tell your customers why buying your competitors’ products would be a huge mistake.

By conducting extensive research on your competitors, you’ll understand the products or services they offer. Then, list down the features of their products that are inferior to yours. Go all in and tear the competition apart. However, be realistic in your comparison. And make sure you can support your claims if you’re challenged.

3. Understand Your Audience

You’re not creating your ad for every single person in the world. Each ad has a specific audience that should see it, and it’s your job to find the right placement to make sure your target audience sees your ad.

To make sure your ad reaches the right people, take your time and research your audience thoroughly. In most industries, 20% of customers are responsible for 80% of sales. This 20% represents your best customers. Thus, it’s your job to determine who that 20% is.

Test your customers and create a demographic profile of your most valuable ones.

Several attributes can help you create a demographic profile of your best customers. These traits can guide you:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Family status
  • Occupation
  • Income
  • Education level
  • Interests

By knowing who your audience is, you’ll know their pain points, desires, and needs. And this will help you create copy that resonates with them.

4. Communicate “What’s in It for Me?”

There are many reasons for creating marketing copy. However, before you start creating your copy, you need to fully understand what you want to achieve with it. This is because the copy you create for each ad or marketing piece will vary depending on your goals for each campaign.

For instance, marketing campaign goals such as generating leads, communicating a special offer, or raising awareness will influence the copy you create.

Your copy must inform your customers how your product or service will make their lives easier, make them feel better, help them save money, help them save time, etc.

To achieve this, you have to build on the work you’ve done so far by listing your product’s features, benefits, and differentiators. And you must specifically describe how your product will directly affect the lives of your target customers in a positive way.

Here, list all the answers to your target customers’ question, “What’s in it for me?”

Since you’re paying for ad space, don’t waste your money by placing ads with ineffective copy that doesn’t clearly tell your customers what they’re getting by buying your product or service.

5. Gather Images

Images help customers to instantly understand a situation or a benefit. They also make your copy more exciting to read.

Using images makes your copy memorable. So before creating your copy, gather images that you’ll use to emphasize your product’s benefits.

Copy-writing isn’t as hard as it sounds. If you do your prep work and research, your copy will be successful. Don’t be afraid to take risks and learn from your mistakes, but don’t waste your advertising budget either. By doing the prep work first and thoroughly completing your copy-writing outline, you’ll have a working document you can use to produce your copy now and in the future.

Spend some time upfront to create a first-rate copy-writing outline, and you’ll reap the benefits later with an increase in sales, profits, and a higher ROI.

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