Saturday, December 13, 2008

Great Copy that works EVERYTIME!

As part of the research into my critic's comment yesterday (scroll down a little if you want to read that one first) I went looking for purposeful blogs and for possible topics of such a blog and gee-whizz there's a lot of overly sincere people writing mostly very dull things about nearly anything you can think of. So I constrained myself to about 2 hours looking only at copywriting. I must say that I did learn a lot in that time.

Hot Sex NOW
For example, I didn't realise how critical sub-headings are to the ongoing readership of one's copy. But many articles touched on or heavily emphasised this facet of writing. This seemed to jar a little bit with my view of the world, but then I discovered a hitherto unknown nuance - copywriting must be persuasive - it is promotional by nature. Anything else is just 'content'. Maybe this is where I've been going a little astray. I thought there was reporting, literature (or just fiction or story if you will) technical writing and then copy. Obviously my mental organisational systems have been limiting me. I read on and discover that not only does my copy/content not use enough sub -headings, but that when I do use one (as above), it's all wrong. Here's how that sub should have looked:

5 Tips to the Hottest Sex You'll Ever Have
1. Be really hot yourself
2. Get a really hot partner
3. Writhe around in a hot state of undress
4. Do it during summer
5. Buy my ebook for 27 kinky tips to set your love life on fire! Just $19.95 if you use this code: HOTMONKEYSEX

Wow. Do you feel the sizzle in that copy!? See that mad 'call to action'?! That is by-the-book AWESOME copy right there. Told you I wasn't wasting my friday night googling "monetise your blog for hot results now".
Mum rang last night in the middle of this mind-altering experience to give me an update on Riley (he's been moping around the house, bored and lonely - so he's gone for a mini-break to play on the farm until Sunday) and mum says "Are you doing anything special tonight?" and I am sitting in my jammies in front of the computer. I should have had the presence of mind to lie and say "Yeah I'm out at dinner with some friends" which would be a pleasant fiction for both of us. Sadly no. I say (with a bit more enthusiasm than it really warranted) "I'm reading about copywriting."
There's a cool pause.
"You're on the internet, aren't you?"
"Yes. Yes I am."
Another coolish pause.
"We found that bull that was missing. We put an ad in the paper, and it turns out he was about 3 kilometers away. He had gone up through Spicer's place but then must have cut through to the back of Joan's and kept going. He's up by Twohill road. Well worth the cost of the ad."
"Oh, I'm glad he isn't dead."
"Yeah, we'd started looking for a bad smell."

So after that call, I made a vodka & tonic and returned to the world of red, bold sub-headings atop numbered lists and people making outlandish claims about how much money they make EVERY DAY from ebooks and long copy and repeating the ask. Oh yeah, and the guy who insisted that no article of under 500 words should ever take more than 20 minutes to write. WTF?! - I mean I know 500 words is not all that long, but I can't even type that fast let alone compose a line of thought. oh, he says "I think about it and write it out in my notebook for a few days prior." "Oh", I think, "so lying to make the story better is still ok, and what I'm reading is story or copy - not reportage." Picky freakin bitch aren't I. How am I ever going to be tempted to click through to that ebook if I'm always thinking criticially?!

I learnt a lot about what people who call themselves "the best copywriter on the internet" think great copy on the internet is all about, but I don't think it's going to help me create the best possible 1500 words about the historic Cobb & Co Trail for a new tourism brochure that I need to give a client on monday . I think I'll risk not using the red bold sub-heads on that job.

In his defence, my critic apologised when he realised that his throwaway line had been a bit hurtful, but I honestly don't mind. I am long-time companion of self doubt and I think that's an ok thing to live with and make decisions with. He had a clear-hearted intention and besides, he's only little. As far as he's concerned the internet has always been there, it has always been huge, corporatised and socially networked, in a way he has been looking out for me - doddering dinosaur that I am.

We've strayed a little way this morning off the topic at hand and I've now been sitting in front of the computer (still in the jammies) for about an hour and Rage is coming to a close, which means it's nearly time to get the day officially underway. So let's wrap this thing up.

I really love writing. It is fun and it can be beautiful. I love swimming too, but not the same way. I can live without swimming for months at a time. I'm good at swimming and am naturally buoyant which helps (sometimes it rules to be fat!) although a lot of the time I like to just float and feel held by the water. That's what this blog is. It is my floating pool with a big sky all around and a nice breeze. I'm held here and it makes me happy. Sure there's the odd spider or frog fallen in, and sometimes the water is a bit frosty or i'm sick and can't get wet, but otherwise it is perfect.

So I think that's where I wan to be right now. Visualising this blog as a pool of surrender to physics and the sensuous nature of the physical world, participated in by the willing and friendly. So Come on in if you like, the water's gorgeous!

(BTW:Stay tuned for my up-coming SF thriller "Monkey Jockeys Riding Fascist Ex-Bankers" in which voodoo blood magic takes hold of a small community of Squirrel monkeys being kept for smuggling to rich collectors. These infected, possessed simians find deep roots and power in the spiritually weakened areas of New York (Wall Street) and take command of hollow primates to do their bidding. It's gunna rock out - really).

P.S. Buy my ebook NOW for 27 kinky tips to set your love life on fire! Just $19.95 if you use this code: HOTMONKEYSEX


Michael said...

where do i enter the code? will you throw something in for free? like $400 worth of other e books? and then reduce the price again down to $9.95?

J9 said...

Actually, it's just a photocopied phamphlet from the 50s that i found at a church fete, but i can throw in some rum slice as a deal sweetner!?
(or HOTMONKEYSEX - your call. Although the monkey is starting to get picky...)

UberExec said...

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