13 Jul 3 Copywriting Formulas for When you have Writer’s Block
Let me paint the picture: it’s Monday morning and you’re sitting at your desk. Your boss has told you that the company website needs some updating and it’s your turn to do some copywriting. So, there you are, twiddling your thumbs as you stare at the screen. You’re facing the hurdle of the infamous blank page. What you’re going through is the process of having to write, but having no clue as to where to start. You’re stuck. And bored. Bored just by looking at your computer screen.
The pressure to produce results builds up, so you go on to scribble a few words out, knowing fully well you have no idea what you’re doing. You publish the mumbo jumbo you managed to squeeze out and see that it gets no interest and no results whatsoever. Only cricket sounds. And the occasional tumbleweed.
Does this sound familiar?
It sure does to me. I’ve been in that place many times. But thanks to luck (and some serious hard work), I’ve learned and adopted a resource that has helped me prevent having to ever go through that agonizing scene again: copywriting. A must in the marketing world.
So what exactly is copywriting?
I’d simplistically summarize copywriting as the art of writing something that turns reading into decision-making. Along with a website’s visual elements, copywriting affects user behavior and interaction with our webpage and, therefore, with our company. Done well, copywriting motivates readers to take action. If copywriting is poorly drafted or written, the reader won’t care at all about your business. You’ll probably lack credibility. And trust.
To avoid that happening to you, let me clarify something first before going into the details of how to produce great copywriting. Writing for the web is not the same as writing for a book, magazine or newspaper. It sounds obvious, but I’m surprised to find out there are a lot of people out there who miss this point.
One of the most useful differences I’ve learned during my career as a copywriter has been that, unlike a book or article, writing for the web means writing as you speak. That means avoiding using long, eloquent and unpronounceable words. Instead, the text of a website should have a conversational and lighthearted tone. Easy to read, easy to soak in, easy to understand. No ambiguous, overtly technical jargon or cliché words. Active voice instead of the passive. Shorter sentences. Bla bla bla.
But, despite knowing all of this, sometimes copywriters get stuck. Because, let’s face it, you can know all the theories and still not know diddly squat about writing.
As a helpful tool for the times when the mind goes blank, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort by resorting to a myriad of formulas that prove to be effective in communicating your ideas in an engaging way.
Copywriting expert tips
We’ll share a few formulas developed by copywriting titans such as Ann Handley, Bob Stone and Joseph Sugarman, among others. These formulas are infallible and we recommend using them whenever you need a hand getting stuff written. They do the job, hands down.
1. PAS (Problem-Agitation-Solution)
Problem: First identify the problem your potential customer has. This requires understanding the customer’s reality, problems, and needs.
Agitation: Once you identify the problem, agitate it using emotionally charged language. Appeal to emotions.
Solution: Finally, introduce the proposed solution, be it your product or service. In addition to offering a solution, you must demonstrate that that solution works. It has to be credible.
Problem: You want to increase traffic to your website but you don’t know how.
Agitation: Are you tired, overwhelmed, and exhausted from spending hours writing posts so that no one reads or acknowledges them?
Solution: What if we told you there is a solution? Try our free copywriting class and learn how to attract the attention you want.
2. AIDA (Attention – Interest – Desire – Action)
Attention: The title or first sentence of the text should captivate the reader’s attention. It could be a dramatic sentence, a story, an anecdote.
Interest: Explain what you offer and introduce information of interest that meets your client’s needs.
Desire: Generate desire for the benefits of what you offer with facts you can prove.
Action: Call to action. Invite the reader to do something, to take action.
This formula is usually used for landing pages.
Attention: Enough losing. It’s over.
Interest: We’ll teach you how to save time and money with the help from copywriting formulas that’ll teach you how to maximize your results and minimize your efforts.
Desire: Applied to different websites, our formulas have been shown to increase traffic, likes, and click-through-rates by 40%.
Action: Keep reading and learn the basics of copywriting
3. Bob Stone’s “jewel”
Advantage: Introduce the most important advantage of what you offer.
Expand: Provide more information.
Explain: Explain how the reader can experience that advantage and include a call to action.
Advantage: Learn the basics of copywriting and double the traffic to your website.
Expand: I myself experienced that change while learning copywriting. Copywriting is a technique that seeks to invite your audience to take action.
Explain: Next, I’ll explain the basic structure of copywriting so you can then apply it to your website. Keep reading and find out what copywriting can do for you.
Final advice to conquer the copywriting beast
So there you go. Some practical formulas for when the inspiration dries out.
Remember: quality copywriting isn’t only about implementing these kinds of structures. It’s also about paying attention to words, tone, and style. It’s also a good idea to maintain consistency in all the pages of your website in order to offer greater credibility, trust, and consistency to your proposed values.
Getting your copywriting to generate better results is a long-term process (and learning to master it is also long-term). Take it easy and remember to review, review, then review again absolutely everything you write. Include other people in the process, and have someone else check your work. Our brain self corrects its own spelling mistakes, so it’s important that whoever corrects is someone other than who writes.
Eureka! Now that page no longer has to stay blank.