The history of marketing dates back to the early century as ancient art.
Barkers were hired in the Babylonian seaports by merchants to announce the arrival of spices, wine and fabrics.
In Greece, Greeks hung “Lost” posters in an effort to find and reunite with jewelry, children, or even slaves.
In Pompeii, billboards were extensively painted as signs that were used to announce carnivals, plays, and races.
These early realms of marketing drew on tactics, tools and strategies that you still use today, as a marketer to promote your products and services or brand.
You might be asking, “But Julia, why does this matter?”
Besides being fascinated with all the stories that you never imagined could’ve happened years ago, knowing history can affect how you work today — especially in copywriting.
You’ll even get to know what type of content has moved societies, and why some content trends remained effective until today.
Marketing history can help you learn:
- How you shouldn’t organize a campaign
- How you can comprehend and guide the constant human psychology
- Forgotten fundamentals of marketing
- Unusual copywriter strategies that work
- How to save time and money by testing the right decisions
- New publicity insights that you never imagined could be possible
- Straightforward strategic thoughts of verified advertising directors
Lastly, knowing about the history of marketing and good copywriting can introduce you to a few of the best copywriting experts of all time. Wouldn’t it be nice to know timeless copywriting advice from the classics?
Today’s post is dedicated to your ongoing inspiration as a writer. As a writer, I know more than anyone it can be hard to get the muse to strike. Browsing through a few quotes from some of the greats in our industry can help re-ignite that love of writing inside your soul. Let’s dive in!
Top 57 Timeless Pieces of Copywriting Advice: Secrets to Improve Your Writing Skills
Here are the best 57 copywriters of all time and their best ideas. Although some are passed away and others alive, their ideas are timeless and very inspirational.
While you will be familiar with some names, others will be totally new to you. However, what matters is how you can apply their timeless advice and ideas into your copywriting career today.
Note that these experts have been sourced from various disciplines because our most memorable advice as copywriters can sometimes come from other unrelated fields.
The advice or quotes do not just govern our writing, but also relationships with ourselves and others.
We gain the insight to not just sell products and services, but also use the power we have to transform people’s lives.
Here are the best 57 copywriting experts of all time and their best ideas to give you insights into writing to engage and succeed. Learn and enjoy!
1. “Be vivid. Tell a story. Don’t be bland.” – Seth Godin
This copywriting tip is absolutely timeless because of how much it inspires us all (as online creators) to be original. That’s about as foundational as you can get with writing advice.
Giving your own insights, unique thoughts, additional expertise, and new perspectives on something will give you that edge you need to stand out in today’s sea of content.
Seth Godin’s timeless advice is all about writing copy without fluff, which in his words he calls “weasel words.” They do not add any value or flesh to your story, but makes it bland and dull.Be vivid. Tell a story. Don’t be bland. @ThisIsSethsBlog Be inspired by Seth and 56 other #copywriters Click To Tweet
2. “Swap places with your readers.” – Ann Handley
According to Ann, in her book “Everybody Writes,” you need to swap places with your readers to get a feeling of what goes through their minds while reading your copy.
Is your point clearly brought out throughout your copy?
Is your tone honest?
Have you been hooked into the content despite it being of no interest to you?
Did you enjoy reading it?
If you answer yes to all the above questions, then your copy is ready for the reader, otherwise, revise it.
Create a lasting impression in your readers’ minds by writing interesting, factual and memorable content.Swap places with your readers. - @annhandley This & 56 other bits of wisdom from top #copywriters in our blog Click To Tweet
3. “Where a web page is the terrain, the copywriter’s the tour guide, instructor, concierge, maître d’, and of course, sales clerk. If the copy can’t seal the deal, it must offer something compelling to start some sort of relationship.” – Barry Feldman
Write compelling content that is good enough to lock in your prospects. Even if they don’t buy now, they can buy in the future.
Feldman recommends writing engaging content that converts: here are the copywriting strategies that work to retain your prospects.
4. “Copywriting with passion, creating a shared, emotional experience of desire, delight, excitement, and awe, is the primary challenge all copywriters face.” – Aaron Orendorff
Just like any other profession, it takes passion for you to succeed in your field.
Passionate copywriting can help you create exciting, delightful and compelling copy that will leave your readers wanting more.
5. “Begin your bullets with dynamic action words, and keep them brief and punchy.” – Casey Demchak
Add powerful bullets in your copy, beginning them using action words while keeping them sharp and short.
Bullets are always a must in our Write Blog posts to make every long-form content easier to read.
Source: Express Writers
6. “Decide the effect you want to produce in your reader.” – Robert Collier
Whether you are a direct mail or self-help copywriter, Robert Collier is a name that should ring a bell. He was prominent in the copywriting field and lived between 1885 and 1950.
Collier is best known for his book, “The Secret of the Ages,” that he published in 1926 and sold over 300,000 copies in his lifetime. He’s a legend in faith, abundance, visualization, desire, and of course, copywriting.
Collier’s books sold for millions of dollars. He shared and explained the direct-mail letters he wrote and why they were successful in his book ‘The Robert Collier Letter Book.
How did he manage to write many successful sales letters?
He explained the secret to his success as a copywriter: you must first decide on the effect you want your copy to have on your audience even before you can start writing.
What kind of feeling or emotion do you want to trigger in your audience? Could it be flattery, envy or pride? Any of these trigger words should get you started in selecting the right effect you want on your reader upon reading your copy.
With the chosen effect or emotion in mind, write to invoke that specific feeling. Start out with intensive research to kick-off your writing for a pre-determined emotion in your audience.
7. “Show your product in use.” – Victor Schwab
Schwab kicked-off his career as a secretary and lived from 1898 to 1980. He worked for Maxwell Sackheim at Rathrauff & Ryan’s.
He successfully improved Sackheim’s copy and that saw him get promoted to a copywriter position. That’s how he became “the greatest mail-order copywriter of all time.”
Schwab was a deep researcher and used coded coupon ads to track his outcomes. He evaluated his copy appeals, calls to action, headlines, copy length and split runs.
He created comics for Dale Carnegie, Sherwin Cody (Classic English Courses) and Charles Atlas, a bodybuilder, as a content marketer.
Source: Do You Make These Mistakes in English?: The Story of Sherwin Cody’s Famous Language School PDF
He explained through his book “How to Write a Good Advertisement” that you should put your product in action for it to be successful.
Schwab explained that it has been proven that, your product can get more attention when you showcase it in your advertisement while in use. For instance, accomplishing or doing something using the product for your audience. According to W.S. Townsend, “that makes it live and breathe and serves right in front of the eyes of the prospect.”
Similarly, incorporating videos on your landing pages can improve your conversion rates, which can double your landing page conversions.
8. “In writing, rhythm is defined by punctuation and the stress patterns of words in a sentence. Long sentences sound smoother, while short sentences make your content snappier.” – Henneke Duistermaat
Keep your sentences concise for readability and ease of understanding.
Use rhyming words to create compelling content.
Duistermaat explains how you can make your words swing and swirl in your copy.
9. “Open like a Reader’s Digest article.” – John Caples
Agencies like Ruthrauff & Ryan’s that clearly “understood” advertising had it easy during the Great Depression.
Seen as a hard-sell mail-order shop, before the Depression, with templates similar to tabloids, the agency was perceived to warn people of sensitive issues, just like a soap ad warns of bad body odor.
However, the most successful copy headline ever was written in the shop’s humble premises.
Working for this agency, John Caples mastered the art of crafting mail-order copies based on perfected results.
The success of the headline saw Caples dominate the advertising industry for almost five decades. He wrote the copywriting book ‘“Tested Advertising Methods” and has an industry award named after him.
Caples says Reader’s Digest is specific, telegraphic and packed with facts and a few adjectives to arouse curiosity in your readership.
Similarly, open your blog posts with short (even one-word) sentences and use the right quotes.
10. “Tap into one overwhelming desire.” – Eugene Schwartz
Schwartz lived between 1927 and 1995. He was not just a successful direct-mail copywriter who addressed businesses and individuals with killer headlines like “Give Me 15 Minutes and I’ll Give You a Super-Power Memory,” but wrote various legendary books like Breakthrough Advertising.
Going for at least $95 on Amazon, the graduate-level book offers insights into direct-response copywriting. He covers how to write irresistible landing page copy, writing exercises that can improve your copy and how you can get what you want by giving people what they want, among other great ideas.
Schwartz was pushing for writing a copy that meets a single main desire, despite its complexity. He said, “Tap into one overwhelming desire in the hearts of many people actively seeking to meet it at the very moment.”
No matter how important a copywriter you are, getting this critical step wrong would render your copy useless.
Getting it right could get the world ticking and dancing to your tunes.
11. “When we talk about something negative, it doesn’t have to be dramatic, but there should be some cost of turning your offer down. What’s yours?” – Amy Harrison
Studies show that we respond better to positive people and positive messages. Therefore, it’s better to write in an optimistic tone for your content to convert.
12. “Make the advertiser the character.” – Maxwell Sackheim
Maxwell Sackheim wrote one of the most powerful headlines in history for a patented English mail-order course dubbed “Do You Make These Mistakes in English?”
This magnetic headline saw the ad run for about four decades, a period many businesses can’t even last.
However, his effective strategy of making the advertiser a “character” was less known.
Your advertising letters should come from the words used by your customers.
A good example is his disarming letter ‘The Gloucester Fisherman” that was written for his client Frank E. Davis. The client showcases his weaknesses in his inability to write, but only took part in what he does best: fishing.
Source: Good Morning Gloucester
He is honest in the letter about his ugly side. He wants to make a living and hopes for customers who can buy his catch.
13. “Develop a Unique Selling Proposition.” – Rosser Reeves
Rosser Reeves began his career as a reporter in Virginia and lived between 1910 and 1984, and later relocated to New York City.
He was another great marketer during the Great Depression and joined Bates agency in 1940.
Reeves had an eye for the finest things like food and drinks, in addition to being well-read and well-traveled. He believed that the goal of advertising is to sell and he did just that.
He successfully ran several campaigns ranging from marketing Colgate toothpaste to Viceroy Cigarettes. However, his most famous ad was for Anacin. It promised customers to relieve them from depression, pain and even tension, in an amazing way.
His aim was for customers to recognize a particular, unique brand proposition. He was following the footsteps of Claude Hopkins and John E. Kennedy by mimicking the no-nonsense approach to “advertising must sell” taken by the duo.
Reeves focused on identifying a product’s unique benefit, feature or meaning and repeatedly putting emphasis on it in an advert as a way of selling a unique proposition to prospects.
For this reason, Rosser Reeves is known as the “Prince of the Hard Sell.”
The unique selling point (USP) has gone through so much alteration and revision since its invention by Reeves.
Today, your USP doesn’t have to be unique as long as it’s persona-driven or founded on a metaphor.
When you restate your USP and when you repeat words are two totally different things.
Keep that in mind.
14. “Copywriting is way more than putting words onto a screen. … [the] context and situation that influence the copy is called user experience.” – Neil Patel
User experience is more important than ever. Your audience wants a great experience using your product, reading your copy, etc.
Write interesting content with your audience in mind to ensure they have a great time reading your copy or merely browsing through your website. You’ll need these 5 essential content marketing skills from Patel as a copywriter to give your audience a great experience.
15. “Find the inherent drama in your product.” – Leo Burnett
Leo Burnett was named one of the 20th century’s 20 most influential business leaders by Time Magazine in 1998. His career began then, and he lived from 1891 to 1971, atop being the only advertising executive named by the magazine.
Burnett built one of the largest ad agencies worldwide during the Great Depression.
He believed that every product has a story or drama behind it.
How do you find this?
You need to dig deep into your subject with honor and love while being obedient to your hunches as you work really hard.
Burnett used representations of American values in the form of mythical creatures to tell great stories. Some of these characters include the Marlboro Man and Jolly the Green Giant.
A good example of this concept today is well represented in Volkswagen’s advertising story “Once More – The Story of VIN 903847.”
16. “When you don’t give your customers enough information, the right information, or put it where it needs to be on the page, you run the risk of giving them the impression that you care more about the sale than them.” – Jen Havice
Your customer should come first and so are their needs.
Provide them with informational content that answers all their queries and meets their needs.
Havice explains how you can create persuasive yet informational content to increase and retain your readership.
17. “Wrestling with a 2,000-word essay is not unlike birthing a calf. A life is at stake here. Your job is to make sure it survives.” – Demian Farnworth
When writing long content, ensure consistency throughout with regards to creating a compelling copy that will interest your readers and keep them engaged all the way from the start to the end.
18. “Value is best communicated when it’s designed to be believed, not just described.” – Bernadette Jiwa
Create valuable content your readers can believe.
19. “When your customers feel that you’re talking to them on a deep emotional level and understand their hopes, fears, and desires better than the competition, you’re gonna get the sale.” – Adam Kreitmann
Get to know your audience–their fears, hopes and desires on a deeper level and communicate that in your copy.
Relate with your audience emotionally and watch your content attract more prospects, and ultimately sales.
20. “Write to one person, not a million.” – Fairfax M. Cone
Fairfax M. Cone lived between 1903 and 1977, only to begin his career in 1929 at Lord & Thomas that was based in San Francisco. He became a manager at the company in 1939 before relocating to New York City a couple of years later as the vice president.
He took over the company’s largest account, the Lucky Strike cigarettes account, before launching his own agency “Foote, Cone & Belding,” in partnership with Albert Lasker.
Cone advocated for honesty and clarity in place of clever and cute copy. He explained that real people with real issues only wanted honest and clear solutions, not clever and cute ones.
These people want INSTANT answers.
He explained that good advertising is written for a specific person, and when aimed at millions, doesn’t work.
Your goal should be to discover your ideal readership or audience. Get to know your reader’s profession. Is she a farmer, a marketer like you, or simply a teacher? Where is she located?
Discover who your ideal reader is. Once you know her location, interests, profession, etc., write to her and her alone.
21. “Brevity is the soul of wit.” – Shakespeare
Use concise and brief sentences to create your copy.
Keeping your sentences short makes your point easy to read while maintaining the flavor of your copy.
22. “Your prospects need a reason behind your product based on three factors: why your product is the best, why your prospects should believe you and why they need to buy the product right now.” – Brian Clark
Your prospects could be wondering why they have to buy your product when they are better off with what your competition offers. After all, they know your competition better and your products don’t seem to have any difference.
This is where you come in to differentiate your product from your competition. Find a winning difference between your copy and that of your rivals. As discussed earlier, you need a deeper understanding of your unique selling proposition (USP) to set your product apart from the rest.
23. “Your customers don’t care about you, your products, or your services. They care about themselves.” – Joe Pulizzi
Your customer comes first and so are their interests and needs. Get to know them and what they want and give them just that because they only care about themselves.
Write to them based on what you know about them.
24. “The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say.”– Mark Twain
Your draft is simply your ideas put on paper.
Use it to create a well-organized, clear, intelligent and compelling story to share with your readers
25. “Transubstantiate your product into something else.” – Bill Jayme
One of the world’s best direct-mail copywriters in today’s magazine industry was Bill Jayme (lived from 1926 to 2001).
Jayme considered himself a star in “junk mail”.
He launched his career at Time magazine with a great unorthodox “Cool Friday” letter in which he addressed his audience as “Dear Reader,” before he spoke a little off-topic and delved into his main point.
Before becoming his own boss, Jayme also worked for CBS and McCann-Erikson.
Jayme wrote subscription letters for various publishers in the 60s, 70s and 80s, including Esquire, Smithsonian and Businessweek.
Some publishers even offered him up to $40,000 for each letter he wrote.
He had his way of making friendships with his readers by being fascinating and respectful of their intelligence.
He had a way of getting into the minds of his editors, publishers and even readers based purely on intuition, his gut feeling.
Magazines like Mother Jones, Bon Appetit, Worth, Cooking Light, New York, Smithsonian, and Food & Wine owe their existence to Jayme, a true testament that his approach worked.
He capitalized his motivation and creativity to produce magical copies or letter: transubstantiation is all about transforming a service or product into something ‘magical.’
For instance, when selling a course on mastering PCs, he didn’t focus on the features of these devices, but on the end result, the greater benefit that his readers actually cared about.
He focused on success.
This is how he began his letter:
“You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it. If you’re planning to succeed in business over the coming decade, you’ve now got just two choices left. You can come to terms with the computer. Or you can marry the boss’s daughter.”
In this letter, instead of selling the various parts or features of a personal computer, he sells the ultimate benefit of using a PC, a new experience. It is only by mastering computing basics that users can get a taste of that life.
26. “Everybody in the world divides his mail into two piles.” – Gary Halbert
Gary Halbert (lived between 1939 and 2007) is a direct response marketing legend who came into the limelight after his 381-word human psychology marvel letter was published.
He is known as “The King of Copy” and “Prince of Print.”
He created a business at the back of the letter, which was later bought by Ancestery.com.
Several legendary ads he successfully published followed in later years. You can find his marketing letters on an online print newsletter called Gary Halbert Letter.
Gary shared several lessons on direct response culture, amongst them is how you can sort junk mail.
According to Halbert, we all divide our mails into two piles, the first being A-Pile and the second B-Pile. The first pile comprises of letters that are either personal or appear to be so. Everything else falls under the B-Pile: catalogs, bills, brochures, envelopes with sales messages printed on them, printed announcements, etc.
When you create direct mail promotions, ensure that your letter falls under the A-Pile. The reason is that we open all our A-Pile mail and only some of our B-Pile mail.
With the internet age, not just readers are a click away, but also your competitors. The only time you have to grab their attention is four seconds.
So, do whatever you can just so your audience can notice you.
Get attention and keep it at just that.
27. “Free is the most powerful word in the copywriter’s vocabulary. Everybody wants to get something for free.” – Robert W. Bly
Use free yet powerful words to captivate your audience such as guarantee, easy, quick and free.
The Copywriter’s Handbook shows you how to use the right language to successfully communicate to your audience.
28. “Do not worship at the altar of creativity.” – David Ogilvy
David Ogilvy (lived from 1911 to 1999) is another legendary in advertising, the father of copywriting. He was called “the most sought-after wizard in today’s advertising industry” by Time magazine in 1962.
I highly recommend you to read these books.
Ogilvy’s sophisticated look in suspenders, polished manners, and a British accent created an aura of casual elegance in the headlines and content of ads he created.
His brevity and elegance are seen in many of his pieces, including the “Guinness Guide to Oysters,” “The Man in the Hathaway Shirt,” “How to Create Advertising That Sells,” and “At 60 Miles An Hour” for Rolls-Royce.
Create advertisements that are interesting enough for readers to take their time and read and even go ahead to make purchases, not having them see your creativity in every piece you craft.
He became famous for his direct-response speech to advertisers in India, recorded on video. He said that we all know the kind of ad that works and their equivalent dollar values.
He then advises copywriters and marketers not to worship at the creativity altar.
What did Ogilvy mean by creativity?
You can sell your product successfully through “advertising that sells” without focusing your attention on the product itself.
Ogilvy emphasizes that you repeat your winners. You can increase your readership by making a maximum of five repetitions in your copy.
Clearly, when he mentioned “creativity,” he meant that as long as your ad is generating some revenue, there’s no need to make alterations to it based on your creativity or just for the sake of change.
If your ad still generates revenue 6 weeks down the line, consider keeping it running. Even if it’s 12 months, keep it running. Twenty years, just keep it running.
Unless your new principles are repeatedly backed up based on results, stick to your fixed principles.
Ogilvy isn’t against innovation. He just wants that you start a trend rather than follow it.
He says you can save yourself from general advertising’s manifold lunacy by worshiping at a direct response alter rather than a creativity altar.
Don’t forget your job is to sell.
29. “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” – Ernest Hemingway
Be as honest as possible with your audience in your copy. Communicate with them heart to heart.
30. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo Da Vinci
This quote by Da Vinci is very inspirational.
It is meant to influence your writing style to a form that resonates well with the reader.
Your writing style should be readable, concise or short and very simple in the reader’s eyes. Your readers will better understand your copy when you keep it simple.
31. “You can have everything you want in life if you will help enough people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar
One of the most successful salesmen the world ever witnessed was Zig. Moreover, he was an honest businessman and an enthusiastic teacher.
He is proof that ethics and business can co-exist. Zig simply means that your success as a copywriter is not dependent on a particular product, article or even person.
Your success is totally hinged on the number of readerships you can attract with your writing. The more people you can help with your writing to reach their goals and get what they want, the more success you can attain.
32. “The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time.” – Thomas Jefferson
You don’t have to look at copywriting as an expense. When you save a penny, it is just that or even a cent lost.
When you invest in your writing to become a good copywriter, you’re not spending on an unnecessary cost, but a lifetime investment.
33. “We have become so accustomed to hearing everyone claim that his product is the best in the world, or the cheapest, that we take all such statements with a grain of salt.” – Robert Collier
Your audience can smell hype from a distance. Don’t just claim to be the best copywriter with the cheapest services, but prove your worth.
Your readers don’t need the hyped salt, keep it low.
34. “Copy is a direct conversation with the consumer.” – Shirley Polykoff
Before founding her multi-million-dollar advertising agency, Shirley worked for Foote, Cone & Belding.
She became one of the advertisers through her “Does she… or doesn’t she?” promotion of Clairol. The campaign saw the company’s customer bases rise from 7% to about 50% of the female American population, increasing sales from $25 million to about $200 million.
When you write ad copy, you’re simply conversing with your prospects. Therefore, your language and style should be simple and similar to that of your audience for them to relate to your product or service.
35. “The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife. You insult her intelligence if you assume that a mere slogan and a few vapid adjectives will persuade her to buy anything.”- David Ogilvy
Talk to your prospects and give them enough reason why they should buy from you. They are more intelligent than you think.
Use more than just one or two words to convince them to choose your brand.
If possible, tell them a story. We all like nice stories that we can identify with.
36. “Poor copy cannot overcome faults or gaps in dealer distribution; it cannot even cash in on the finest dealer setups. But good copy can, and does, surmount many dealer difficulties, making them secondary, and selling in spite of them.” – Victor Schwab
Writing a good copy is key in winning your prospect’s heart and money. Once you win them, any difficulty or fault regarding your product or service becomes less important.
Writing good ad copy sells not just your product or service, but also the person or company responsible for making the product.
37. “Let us prove to the world that good taste, good art, and good writing can be good selling.” – William Bernbach
You don’t have to use questionable language and shocking techniques to draw prospects to your brand. It takes just good writing with good taste and some creativity to sell your product or service.
Write well to attract a larger audience.
38. “Make it simple. Make it memorable.Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” – Leo Burnett
Write simple and attractive content to lure your readership.
Readers find great content fun to read and easy to remember. Isn’t that just what you want?
39. “You must make the product interesting, not just make the ad different. And that’s what too many of the copywriters in the U.S. today don’t yet understand.” – Rosser Reeves
Research, research, and research.
Discover what’s unique about your product or service. why should your prospects get excited about it?
Write just that. Do not exaggerate your product by advertising what your product can’t even achieve.
Be honest. Make your product just as interesting as your copy, and watch your sales grow instantly.
40. “The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.” – William Bernbach
Be honest with your prospects. We all love honesty.
41. “Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes it’s an ad.” – Howard Gossage
Create interesting content for your readership. Make your ad as interesting as possible.
42. “Make your advertising too valuable to throw away.” – Sonia Simone
As the co-founder and Chief Content Officer of Copyblogger, Sonia Simone emphasizes the importance of writing for value. Your copy should be so important that no one can afford to throw it away.
43. “A copywriter should have an understanding of people, an insight into them, a sympathy toward them.” – George Gribbin
You need to understand your audience, your target market. Know their needs and create a product to help meet that need.
When you focus on understanding your audience well first, you can write copy specifically made for them that meets their needs.
44. “Believe me; nothing works as well on the web as deadlines.” – Clayton Makepeace
As one of the highest-paid copywriters in the market, Clayton Makepeace recommends using urgency to motivate your audience.
Create a deadline for your promotion and have it in the call-to-action.
45. “Every product has a unique personality and it is your job to find it.” – Joe Sugarman
Find your product’s unique personality and use it to create your unique selling proposition.
Differentiate your product from your competition and sell its unique personality.
Always write unique content. Your readers will appreciate that.
46. “On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. It follows that unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money.” – David Ogilvy
It goes without saying the essence of your headlines. Your readers will decide to read your copy — or not — based on your headlines.
Create killer headlines to attract more readership.
47. “Wake up and realize it’s not 1964 anymore. You can’t rehash that old stuff. Don’t use scandalous blog headlines on your business website if you want conversions. Talk and write like a real person.” – Peep Laja
Be realistic in your writing and create great headlines for your copy. Don’t forget to test your content titles the right way.
48. “If you can just support the emotions that they’re feeling, and you can do it with integrity—you really do have the solution—then you don’t really ever have to sell hard, or even push to sell.” – Ray Edwards
Understand your audience’s needs and emotions. Use integrity to give them the support they need.
Write copy aligned to your reader’s needs and emotions. Speak their language and use their voice in your copy.
49. “I believe writing copy for Mr. Spock is a recipe for success. If something is logical it is, by nature, persuasive.” – Art Anthony
Write a logical copy to convince your readership.
Check out these copywriting tips for Mr. Spock by Art Anthony to take your writing skills a notch higher.
50. “When you are looking directly to your swipe file for inspiration, don’t look for phrases to copy, or formulas to fill-in-the-blanks. Think about the psychology behind the copy.” – Casey Meehan
You can write great content from an existing copy. But don’t copy phrases from the original-inspirational copy.
Understand the psychology behind it and work from there.
51. “Nobody has the time or patience to read linear content. Instead of writing long indigestible blocks of text, make your content skimmable.” – Tania Cheema
Write skimmable content with 1 to 3 lines in each paragraph.
Write copy with short paragraphs to enable your readers to skim through your content easily and judge whether it’s something they want to read or not.
52. “If the average person needs a dictionary to translate your copy, you’ve lost multiple sales already.” – Martina Mercer
Write your copy in a simple style using simple words.
Your audience can easily read and understand your content when it’s written in simple language.
Don’t use jargon or complex words.
Mercer offers these great 7 copywriting tips to help you write easy to read and understand copy for reduced bounce rates and increased sales.
53. “Use words – all words – with an eye, ear, and nose for the odor of skunk. If you’re not sure how a reader will interpret or respond to a word … if it’s possibly confusing, ambiguous, or offensive … that’s your signal to look for a different way of saying it.” – Will Newman
Avoid ambiguous words in your copy.
Use simple, easy to understand words. You don’t want to confuse and offend your readers.
54. “The often overlooked subhead is really a stealthy and lethal ninja writing weapon just sitting there quietly waiting to be put to good use.” – Gary Korisko
Incorporate sub-headlines in your copy. You can use this guide to write killer subheads in your copy.
55. “The best marketing – and the best copy – is not about duping the reader into believing something, but about amplifying their need, alleviating their fear and exciting them to action.” – Joel Klettke
Know the needs and fears of your audience and showcase them in your copy.
According to Joel, persuading your audience to read or buy your product isn’t enough.
Call them to take action at the end of your copy.
56. “Curiosity will open up your mind, and therefore, the world; an inquisitive mind is easily one of the writer’s greatest strengths.” – Julia McCoy
Yes, a quote from yours truly!
“So You Think You Can Write?” is my bestseller on Amazon, launched this April 2016; and I’ve heard from others that it offers timeless copywriting advice. This quote is from page 173—and this sentence simply sums up what I learned along the way, as a self-taught writer.
When you are curious, you get to learn and discover new things that you can share with your audience. Your readers are always hungry for new information. Your own curiosity will see you quench their thirst and feed them with the information they want to read through discovery.
57. “Your job as a writer means placing enough information in front of your audience that they can see your point, rather than be utterly swayed to it. It’s critical to know your audience well so that you don’t over- or under-persuade.” – James Chartrand
Know your audience to write for them without over or under doing it.
Advertising Today as It Was in History
In 1477, the first printed English ad that offered a prayer book for sale was in the form of a 3-by-5 inch handball.
This was followed by the world’s most sustainable ad campaign in ancient years: “Colonizing America.”
In “Soap, Sex and Cigarettes,” the author, Julian Sivulka, states that all marketing campaigns are aimed at luring settlers and investors to the new world, with a promise of free land.
Advertising today has the same persuasive power it had over 300 years ago.
However, it wasn’t until the mid-1800s when advertising differentiated. It evolved and various positions emerged to help meet the demand for the services in the market:
- Account executive
- Commercial illustrator
- Advertising Agent
It was the copywriter who carried the day and dominates the field today.
Sivulka commented on the Roaring Twenties ads saying, “It was obvious that the most prominent member of the advertising team was the copywriter because illustrations and photography are almost interchangeable.”
In the 21st century, this notion remains true for all content marketing agencies. Of course, professional copywriters nowadays are equipped with modern copywriting skills such as writing content that is SEO and social media ready.
We hope these pieces of copywriting advice has inspired you to develop new content marketing ideas that can attract your target audience to engage and help you reach those conversions you’ve been aiming for.
Just a note: Don’t hesitate to delegate copywriting tasks when things have become too overwhelming for you. Check out our Content Shop to find the right service for you.