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Your path to greater copywriting success begins right here, right now!
Writing compelling copy centers around making a connection with the reader. In today's multi-media assault on the senses, it's harder than ever to compete for attention and cut through the clutter to get your message heard. Readers don't have time to search for hidden benefits or slog through bloated prose that doesn't get to the point. As a copywriter, your job is to grab them, hold their attention and convince them to take action, all within a few paragraphs (or sentences, for that matter!).
Have you ever read copy that bored you senseless or made you think, "no one really talks like that", or left you wondering why on earth the writer buried the benefits at the end of their spiel?
First Things First: Grammar and Copywriting Basics
- How to edit, review and proofread with speed and accuracy
- Master these little-known features of Microsoft® Word — they will have you writing better in minutes!
- Find your writing voice — tips and tools for tapping in to your unique style
- How to avoid letting others' ideas and opinions block your creative flow
- Handle criticism: what to do when your client or boss hates what you wrote
- Best ways to deal with difficult and/or demanding clients and bosses
- How to rebound from negative criticism without pausing your passion or crimping your creativity
Writing Techniques to Add Style and Substance
- The art and science of writing great headlines to make your readers want more
- How to play up your USP and make your offer irresistible
- Catch phrases — what good copywriters need to know
- The fine art of balancing your steak with just the right amount of sizzle
- Power words that add color and interest to your copy
- Copywriting red flags to avoid — they will send your readers running every time!
- Techniques for bringing dry, dull copy to life
- First person or third person? When to use each
- Word power: less is more! How to choose the right words to convey your message every time
- How to avoid unbelievable or "over the top" marketing claims
- Tips for toning down the hype and establishing credibility through your writing style
- Critical differences between writing text and writing scripts
- How, when and where to use humor to best effect
- Features vs. benefits: learn to focus on features while selling benefits
Your Audience — Who Are You Writing to?
- Who is your audience? What are their interests? Desires? What actions do you want them to take?
- Discover the psychological truths behind why people buy — and why they don't
- Learn writing strategies for instantly establishing credibility and gaining readers' trust
- Informative copy vs. persuasive copy: use the right one at the right time
- Write successful copy for niches and target markets
- The deadly sins of copywriting: which have you recently committed?
- The top copywriting mistakes that muddle your message, confuse readers and drive off sales
- Get to know your audience — writing to "the one"
- How to write for different age groups: language, phrases, colloquialisms and more that appeal to one group and not another (e.g.: gen-Xers vs. boomers vs. millennials)
- Discover why writing to just one personality can leave your audience craving more
The Art of Illogical Thought: Creativity Begins Here!
- Foolproof strategies, tips and tools to generate loads of creative ideas (even when you're feeling stuck)
- Writer's block: what it is, why it happens, best ways to beat it
- When and how to break the rules for maximum impact
- Out of the box thinking — how to train your brain to get "out there"
- Using words to create imagery, evoke feelings and provoke thought
- How to take risks and embrace bold, innovative ideas, even if they aren't always the safe choice
Nuts and Bolts of the Copywriting Process
- Gain skills to help you organize and manage your project from start to finish
- Best research methods for gathering the information you need to get started
- Learn to "hear" what the market really wants and deliver it every time
- How to manage a project budget, even if you're not financially savvy
- Where to find quality vendors
- The insider's guide to getting comparable quotes
- The art of negotiating the best deal for you and your client or company
- Standard formatting templates for common projects including brochures, sell sheets, press releases, letters, Web pages, etc.
- Tips project managers use to handle multiple projects simultaneously and bring them all in on deadline
- How to get your work approved when your client/boss is slow to respond
- Learn to translate concepts into production-ready works of art
- How to establish and adhere to style guidelines
Production Tips, Tools and Techniques to Take Your Work From Design to Completion
- Tips for moving between media: brochures, letters, scripts, TV, radio, press releases, etc.
- Understand heat maps and how to apply this technique to various visual layouts
- Tips and tricks for delivering on-target technical writing
- Three critical components for creating a successful (printed!) press release
- Secrets of effective direct marketing: brochures, post cards, sales letters and outer envelopes
- Explore the anatomy of a great ad and examine award-winning examples and case studies
- Best practices for writing copy for each type of media
- Scriptwriting 101: examine the differences between copy that's spoken aloud and copy that's read
- How to use color, typography and fonts to boost the visual excitement and appeal of your projects
Writing for the Web
- How to write SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) copy
- Violate these online rules and your website could be banned from Google™ forever
- How to assimilate keywords into your copy without sounding forced
- Google's new Panda update: what it means to you as a Web writer
- How to incorporate social media into the press releases you write
- Subject lines that will increase your click-through and email open rates
- Did you know? Shocking facts about social media that could affect you and your clients
- How to create a social media calendar to stay on top of social media posts and entries
- Great ideas for creating fresh content for all your social media outlets
- Learn the art of writing tweets, posts, blogs and other social media communication
- How to personalize your social media writing and sound like you're talking to readers one-on-one
- Discover how a large, multinational company used social media to "Digg" itself out of a PR nightmare
- How to write for websites: writing home pages vs. landing pages
- Learn to decrease your "bounce rate" and send your Google ranking to #1
- How to write scripts for Web-based videos and presentations
Keeping it Legal: Copywriting and the Law
- Ethical copywriting — what this means to you as a writer
- How to use and credit testimonials
- What you need to know about the FTC
- Proper use of disclaimers
- Plagiarism vs. copyright infringement
- The New York Times vs. Sullivan: how this landmark decision affected "freedom of the press"
- Proper acknowledgement of other's work
- Federal penalties for plagiarism (may include jail time)
- Are parodies legal or illegal?
- Using the Copyright symbol ©
- What you should know about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998
- The top myths of copyrighting
- Guidelines for gaining permission, using images online and using others' names and companies in your work
- What "public domain" means and how to tell which materials are considered in the public domain
- Understand fair use laws
- Legal or illegal: can you tell the difference?
- Copyright infringement through the eyes of the courts