The 5-Step POWER Copywriting Method

The 5-Step POWER Copywriting Method
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Reader Comments (66)

  1. I have been following this site for some time now as I’m working on making money on-line from my niche website but I’ve moved to a new sales/marketing position at my day job and I’m writing some ad copy. Tips like this have been helping a lot. Thank you.

  2. “This isn’t art, after all. It’s business. So if something needs to be changed, change it.”

    Dean,

    I was a little apoplectic at this phrase, but like a good trainer… you present what it takes to be a lean mean copy writing machine….and I say that with the highest of kudos. This goes into the reference notebook.

    And quite frankly, it IS the art of copy by (Sun Tzu) Dean Rieck. Targets look out.

    Of all things learned here, that up front consideration is key IMO. The execution a discipline and the green and red thing…brilliant.

    So does POWER copy writing apply to blogging? Brian asked, “What is a blog?” yesterday. And Seth, John ,Chris and Tim were talking this am about being “curators of conversations”, “concierge services”, “community organizers” and that our products need to be “souvenirs of a good experience”. Are we in effect writing copy even though we are having conversations? It the unique voice versus edited copy that has me stumped here. I apologize for the length of the comment.

    All best, Jan

  3. This is a must read for any person with a website and/or blog who struggles anytime over writing good content. And anyone who has to write that content is bound to struggle at times. Just what I love—a simple, easy to follow and understand process. Both sides of my brain agree.

  4. very helpful post. i especially like the last two points: edit and review. i often return to copywriting work after a brief two or three hour respite, and come at it with a fresher eye for how to most effectively turn a phrase.

  5. This is a great step by step guide for copywriting. It’s something that everyone does, but you don’t find a lot of “how to” articles or posts about it, so you definitely filled a much needed void. Thanks for the post!

  6. Awesome breakdown of copy writing. Exactly what I was looking for. I’ve learned some great stuff from Alex Mandossian’s video/seminar but this really gives a step by step process that ties it all together.

  7. This is by far the best post I’ve ever read about copy writing. You’ve laid it out in such a simple and concise manner that a monkey could follow this! lol

    This is getting bookmarked right now!
    Thanks so much!

    Eddy

  8. Nice post, I especially like the 5-second test.

    I do differ in one thing, and is the over-use of keywords that are being exploited right now, like the example you used above, “7 step online business plan generates cash instantly”. I’m starting to distrust these kinds of ads.

    Though the rest is great info, thanks for sharing. I do some software and this really helps, bookmarked.

  9. Sending the link to this story to everyone on my team. Great, concise – applicable to all types of writing. Love especially the advice to write headlines first, then subheads, then body copy.

    How do you feel about the editing tip to cut your wordcount by at least 10-20% after the first draft no matter what?

  10. I like this post a lot. I was afraid I would hate it when I saw the headline, but it’s excellent. I will bookmark it and study it more closely, very useful.

  11. Dean, thanks for reminding us copywriters that hype
    and the newest way to sell just don’t hold a candle to tried and true marketing principles…

    It is the simple stuff that sticks to your customer’s ribs- like a good burger or warm soup on a chilly day. Your copy must inspire emotional response.

    Nice job.

  12. Janice: I believe you could use this method for a blog, sure.

    Kristen: I’ve been at http://www.directcreative.com for a long time. Come visit. I have YOUR blog bookmarked.

    CurlyBrace: Just because you see some words or phrases used a lot doesn’t mean they are not effective. Don’t let personal preference affect your business judgment.

    Tiffany: Editing a first draft is usually a good idea, but I wouldn’t put a number on how much you should edit. Reread Strunk and White and cut everything you don’t need.

    copywriting911: I said use the active voice in subheads. It’s better for body copy too. I don’t mean necessarily using commands. I mean avoid the passive voice or flat statements. So “Try the new Widget 500 today” instead of “Widget 500 ordering instructions.”

  13. Dean Rieck: I think you’re more than 100% right. Needless to say, many of my not-so-liked keywords do attract a lot of people. I guess the best way to know is comparing it to other keywords and see what drives more traffic.

  14. Great article, Dean. Practical tips that, I think, really do help simplify the process in a way that can be easily understood for people to whom it doesn’t yet come naturally.

  15. Hello Dean, very informative and well said. I do have to say I agree with CurlyBrace in that I’m starting to get tired of seeing the over-used sly headlines to hook you to click. I understand they work and get clicks but I guess from someone with a little marketing or copywriting background, they are so obvious.

    I visited someone’s blog the other day and ALL their blog headings were how to, 7 ways to, Warning:, etc. and I just laughed.

    But . . . then again I’m a hypocrite because I just wrote a post entitled “8+ Ways To Train Yourself To Be Creative.”

    I suppose what I’m meaning is if catchy headlines are used in moderation that’s fine, but if all your headlines are tactics to get me to click, I get frustrated and in a way feel like I’m being spammed . . . but that’s just me. I know you’re just pointing out ideas that work (just wanted to add my 2 cents worth).

    I don’t know – what do others think? Are you guys getting tired of those headlines or is it just me? I’m curious.

  16. Thanks for the simple breakdown. We write a lot of marketing letters for our business. It never seems to get easier though and I’ll certainly be referring to the advice you’ve given here next time.

  17. Love your stuff dean!
    This is strange, cause what you have written as an outline, is what I naturally do now. It was not always the case but after some lazy but resultful use of glyphius, it seems that now, I easily and naturally have good usage of copy coming out time and again. Hence now, even without the software, I am surprised that I flow naturally with such ease.

    Keep on writting
    Duke

  18. Great advice. We find that many people who have good ideas are poor editors. Writing and editing require different skills, and making the mental switch between the two can be challenging. Perhaps this is because the writer must step back from the text and consider it objectively as if reading it for the first time, which can be difficult. However, when a writer is able to do this, he has a better chance of transforming poor writing into something that will impress readers.

  19. I agree with what others have said here – this is a great way to approach writing of all kinds. I used to use a similar method in college to write papers.

    In the world of blogging, I think we often forget the “review” part. It is more than just a simple edit. Is our post REALLY relevant to readers? Is it something they will remember? Is it original? If not, posting it is just further filling the web with junk.

  20. This is the best posting I’ve read since I started my job in the web marketing department. My company keeps hiring people that don’t know the proper way to write, and we recently had the main Marcom quit. I’m going to print this out and put it on the bulliten board for the new replacement to read and use as a guideline. In the meantime, I have to put some content together and I’m not a writer, but with using your guide it already seems less intimidating.
    Thank you for all your insights. This is really helpful.

  21. I never knew that it was that simple.Each point in this post is precious.But the way you have covered preparation its just awesome.It covered all.It is really a power method.

  22. I like the acronym and the info, but as an advertising copywriter myself, I wonder how you might adapt this to include tips for collaborating with art directors and designers. As you know, copywriters usually don’t work in a vacuum – we have to integrate our concept ideas, structure strategies and text with the work of other creatives.

  23. Noel: That’s an interesting idea. And I might tackle that sometime, since I’m also a designer. But this method was created originally for a class I was teaching for business people to write their own ads. The copy does the heavy lifting, so if you can at least get that right and find a designer who won’t screw it up, you should come out okay.

    FYI: The reason I started doing design was that designers kept screwing up my copy. So as the anal type I am, I wanted total control and that meant writing AND designing my stuff. I noticed my response rates skyrocketing as a result. So…I’m agreeing with you. Copy does NOT exist in a vacuum.

  24. Nice post. Very concrete and helpful. One of the best things about the Internet is you can test and measure copy to see what works best.

  25. Excellent summary. Sometimes it is easier to just start writing, let it sit, and then follow this structured approach to tidy up. Starting is half-done !

  26. Thanks for sharing!

    My fave – the five second test: with a five-second glance, will your audience “get” what it is that you are trying say?

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