My First Attempt at Good Copywriting

Copywriting:

The activity or occupation of writing the text of advertisements or publicity material.
— Dictionary.com

 

I decided to take a swing at this. I looked at the copywriting of two websites to come up with a formula to do it well.

Here’s what I learned.

Notes on the first website:

The Middle Finger Project

Website homepage

Right away, as soon as you land on this page, you see a woman looking ferocious with the tagline “Disobey the rules.”

Right off the bat, I know this website is different.

I can tell their approach is unique, unconventional, and offbeat. The coloring of the page — sharp contrasts between black and white; dark, bold, fonts — give off a general disdain of normality yet with a bit of professionalism.

This website isn’t for everyone. The title “middle finger” shows that. Everywhere you can find reasons for someone to get offended: “Sex! Vodka! Waffles! Just kidding, it’s the blog.” The tagline before the blog; the use of categories with names beginning with “WTF?” and multiple F-bombs. Yet with all that, the writing is well-done, engaging, and attractive and interesting titles (like “You can’t sell a $50 steak to someone who’s there for a $2 enchilada”).

What kind of impression does all this give?

Someone who doesn’t care for rules.

Someone who doesn’t care about societal expectations.

Someone who is ready to get down to business

Someone who isn’t in it just for a good time, but to actually get something done.

They’re not afraid to show me who they are, and aren’t trying to cozy up. It makes me believe they’re making promises they can keep.

Despite the profanity, this is someone I’d like to work with.

 


Notes on the second website:


Praxis

Website homepage

Right off, the color of this website feels exciting: A smooth, professional-looking red and white letters. I’m already feeling called to action.

The writing: “The degree is dead. You need experience.”

This is a bold claim. But bold claims are the ones that draw you in. Instead of “college degrees aren’t worth as much as they used to be” or “degrees are great, but experience is better”, this page flat-out says:

The degree is dead.

Dead. Gone. Worthless.

So if this is the case, what’s next?

Praxis gives the answer:

You need experience.

They make a bold claim, and they back it up with an alternative. This makes sense since Praxis itself is an alternative to college. Let’s break down that second paragraph.

“We’ll help you find and build your skills, then put them to work in a startup apprenticeship.”

There are several nuggets in this.

“We’ll help you.” — You’re not alone in this world, trying to figure out what to do or how to get experience.

“Help you find and build your skills.” — Not only are you not alone, but you’re also getting real, valuable advice. You might not know what you want to do, but Praxis is there for you.

“Then put them to work in a startup apprenticeship.” — “Work” shows that this isn’t going to be easy. “Startup” and “apprenticeship” shows that this website is offering something unique: startups are new, and exciting, while apprenticeship is an old term that you don’t hear often.

If nothing else, these words should lead you to curiosity. I felt a call to action myself.

Underneath this beginning, to enhance their credibility, Praxis includes where they’ve been featured, a few statistics, and three testimonials.

After that, they explain the program in extensive detail.

The best part about this: You don’t have to sign up to find out what the program is. I’ve seen plenty of websites offering a service that requires you to enter your email to get any info. And while you can download a program guide or apply right away at the top of the page, scrolling down the homepage gives you all the information you need to know before taking a step further. I love this. While I feel called to action, I don’t feel pushed to do it right away. I can learn what I’m getting into before I take a leap.

Also, including all these details increases their credibility. You’re more likely to trust them before they’re telling you what you’re getting into before you have to make a choice. And the cost isn’t mentioned till the bottom of the page when you’ve already been convinced it’s valuable.

Can you see why I was drawn to joining Praxis?

Now. The formula I’ve built based on these two websites’ examples of copywriting is this:

Be bold. Don’t be afraid to show off your personality, who you are, and why you and your product is valuable.

Show off how you’re different. Whether you’re offering a common service (like editing, for instance) or something novel (like an alternative to a normal product), it’s important to show why you’re different and why you’re worth it.

Prove why you’re worth the time of day. Showing testimonials, giving proof to the fact that your product is worth it is incredibly important.

Call the consumer to action. Give them the chance to subscribe to your email list, apply for an apprenticeship, try a quick free trial of your product… whatever it may be. But make sure you’re showing them that this product is worth it and that they need to make a move on it right now. Because, why not? Because if your product is as good as you’re claiming, they should feel moved to engage with it right away.

I decided to come up with a mock copy for a service I could offer, using the formula I learned.

Rose’s Home-In Boarding (working title)

A generic photo; I would use my own photos if this were a real service. I would include photos throughout.

Your pets’ happiness is important.
That’s why they should be somewhere they feel loved and safe. And that place is home.

 

Quick Facts:

Dogs can have separation anxiety when at a boarding facility.

Cats tend to hate to travel and being in a different scenery, so boarding facilities can be a no go.

 

Your pet is family. They deserve to be happy and comfortable.

That’s why we come to you.

 

Set Up a Boarding Time link

 

Rose’s Home-In Boarding has a number of staff who have been taking care of pets for years, in their own homes. Here’s what our clients have to say about us:

 

“Rose’s Home-In Boarding is so different from any other boarding service I’ve seen. They come and stay at your home, where your pet is happiest. My dog, Sadie, has never been happier!” — Jenna, client since 2017

 

“I can’t believe the difference with Rose’s Home-In Boarding! Rita is a high-strung Persian kitty, who likes her time alone and having her own space. She always wants the same routine, every day. And going to a boarding facility always made her so unhappy and stressed. Now I don’t have to do it anymore! She’s been so happy since I hired Rose’s. Highly recommend!”

— Lucy, client since 2018

 

Our Services

 

Rose’s Home-In Boarding is a new kind of boarding service.

We offer:

Pet and house sitting: We come and stay at your place, taking care of your pet for however long you may need.

We watch over your house and do any tasks you may need (such as collecting the mail and newspaper).

Further services mentioned here.

Our Staff

All of our staff have gone through extensive background checks and each has three or more references to their personal and professional integrity. Get to know them here!

Blurb about each individual staff member, with a link to set up a schedule with each for boarding.

 

Our values

 

Your pet is your family. We treat them as you would. We take care of them as if they were our own. Any medications, any special foods, we are more than happy to give. Your pet’s safety and happiness is a requirement for us.

Your property is valuable and wholly yours. We do not mess with anything in your house and make sure that your privacy and personal belongings are protected for the duration of our stay.

 

Our Schedule

Link to calendar

 

Set up boarding today!

Copywriting is a lot harder than it looks at first. It takes time, refining, and creative thinking. You’re never really done with it, either; you can always do better.

 

Looking back over my first attempt, I’m already seeing how I could’ve done better. This is a lesson that I will continue to learn and with practice, good copywriting will slowly — but surely — become second nature for me. I’m determined to work at it. Constantly.

 

How are you going to get better at copywriting?

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