This is a guest post from Dusti Arab, a professional copywriter. Stay tuned to the end for a special webinar invitation. Take it away, Dusti! 🙂
It’s the ultimate frustration. You’ve put time into your blog, you’re following the popular advice, and you’re doing XYZ to your blog because important-blogger-so-and-so says it works for them. Everything seems to be going smoothly, so you decide to take the leap and put up a sales page for your new service.
And then you wait. If you put it up, they will come, right?
You know better. This is not the way to take your blog to a business.
You might be an amazing writer. You can have subscribers who love you, even.
But the #1 reason your product or service isn’t selling is: Your copy sucks.
Don’t feel too bad. There are tons of good writers out there who have no idea how to write a sales page, let alone good stand-alone copy for the rest of their site. That’s the real difference between having a blog and an online business. Businesses have great copy that speaks to their audience. Blogs don’t.
If you don’t know how to talk to your people when it’s time to offer them a solution to the problem you can uniquely solve for them, you’re in for a reality check.
Fortunately, it’s not too hard to figure out what’s wrong with your site copy. Here are the main problems of my copywriting clients – and they’ll probably sound familiar to you, too.
4 Likely Reasons Your Copy Sucks
And they are:
- You don’t know who you’re talking to.
- You don’t know how to talk to them.
- No one knows what you’re actually selling.
- No one knows why you’re selling what your selling.
These sound super simple, but addressing each one of them means you have to know your business inside and out. As a seasoned copywriter, I’m going to take you through a couple of the exercises I take my copy clients through to get them crystal clear on each of these common mistakes.
#1 – You Don’t Know Who You’re Talking To.
Yep, it’s all about your target audience. If you haven’t drawn – yes, drawn – up a customer avatar yet, do it! There is a reason major agencies use them. They are effective.
When I was developing the business side of my blog, I could often be found having animated conversations with Sheila, the avatar pinned up next to my desk. (I love Sheila. She’s like my best friend.)
Creating an avatar gives you a clear, explicit idea of who you are talking to. So where do you start? Easy. When you think of who you’d like to talk to, who pops up in your head first? Don’t judge your first instinct – just get it all out on paper.
Who are they? What are their likes/dislikes? Focus on the psychographics over other potential ways of classifying them because online, psychographics are the basis of how people find you. They were looking for an answer to their problem – and they foundyou.
Your customer avatar will evolve and change over time – this is normal. And your copy will start evolving, too. Roll with it!
#2 – You Don’t Know How To Talk To Them.
It’s been said over and over on marketing blogs for a reason: talk to one person. Why? Because if you’re talking to one person, you can address their needs and desires specifically. By speaking to their needs as an individual, your reader is much more likely to feel understood. And feeling understood is one the deepest human desires.
So talk to an individual! Write a post with one reader in mind who loves what you do. Then, rewrite your sales page to show them how your service fixes their problem in a more complete way – because you understand what they need.
#3 – No One Knows What You’re Actually Selling.
I don’t believe in talking to your audience like they are brain-dead. That’s not the person you want to have a conversation with. You want to engage with the person who understands the issue you’re talking about.
However. That does not mean this super awesome person can read your mind. You have to explain exactly what you’re selling. Don’t leave any room for guessing.
Are you selling an infoproduct? What kind? What mediums (ebook, mp3 recordings, webinars, etc.) does it use? How many words or pages in the book? Do I get to see a free chapter to decide if it’s for me?
The most important thing to clarify on your page of offerings, though, is the problem you solve and how you solve it.
Example: As a copywriter, I tell the stories of others when they can’t tell them themselves. I do this by working through an extensive questionnaire and interview with the client, drawing out their key stories, and translating them into beautiful copy. Depending on the type of copy package they purchase, that translates into more sales, more readers, and/or more exposure. (Usually all of the above.)
Key pieces to identify for your product or service include:
- The price
- The problem you’re helping them solve
- The solution you’re presenting (it’s not a secret – you want them to know it)
- The exact method of how you help them solve their problem
- All of the deliverables they can expect to receive
#4 – No One Knows Why You’re Selling What Your Selling.
It’s the difference between douchy marketing tactics and relationship-based businesses: Tell me your freaking motive. What are you getting out of this? Why are you offering this service? Is it just about the bottom line?
So what is your motive? Make a list of all of the reasons, personal or professional, why you are putting this offer on the table for your people. Pick the best ones, and talk about them with your audience! They’ll love you for it.
Great copy begets great business. Make sure yours is telling the story you want it to, and you change the game. Your blog can transform into a business – but you have to start treating it like one first.