Dean Rieck devised a simple and painless method to assist copywriters. When using the POWER Copywriting method to create good copy, he suggests incorporating 5 steps to ensure you make the most of your copywriting ability.
Step 1: Prepare
Good copy provides information. Concentrate on including necessary and relevant information which will assist your audience in making informed decisions regarding your product. Create a list to assist when writing your copy.
List information like a description of your product, its purpose, its price, its features and its benefits. It’s advisable to note information about your business and any guarantees that you offer on your product. Testimonials and endorsements from customers and reviewers help to substantiate your product’s usefulness.
Make notes of promotions – their objectives, when they start and end, and what special benefits are available to customers throughout their duration. Make sure you also have any legal copy requirements marked down.
List your taboos – what you cannot promise and why not. Identify your methods of ordering and payment and make a note thereof.
Once you’ve researched and listed everything you will need, begin organising your lists.
Step 2: Organise
Assess your created list from Step 1 and decide what needs inclusion in your copy and in what order. It’s clear that something like your list of taboos won’t appear in your copy but it serves a background purpose and reminder, as may other points you have listed.
Start plotting your course of action sequentially. Be more detailed and add ideas to your list as they reveal themselves. As in step 1, treat this step as a reference point but you will begin to notice how the plan for your copy is beginning to take shape through adding order and more detail.
When you are satisfied with the order of your list and the added details, you’ll be ready to start writing.
Step 3: Write
Some copywriters prefer to begin by writing a headline while others choose to write the copy first and devise one from that. Either way, you’ll need to devise a headline that is eye-catching and best conveys your product’s benefits and features. Depending on the tone of your copy, your headline could be direct, informative or in the form of a question. Write a few down and choose what feels right.
Subheaders are almost as important as headers. Make them topical and preferably in order of importance. Use active voice and expand on your header as much as possible. Remember that subheaders emphasise what comes below them so make them relevant.
Your body copy will explain everything in more detail. Emphasise audience benefits thoroughly, using your subheaders as points from which to expand. There’s more writing involved, but with good subheaders you will be able to draw applicable detail and context in a defined manner, and the process shouldn’t be too time consuming. Hold your readers’ interest – your header and subheaders would have piqued it enough to read on already – so provide depth and clarity without the need for any frills.
Your pitch is very important. Using active voice in a direct manner, provide a call-to-action by relating all of the information from your research in a manner that will want your audience to buy. Don’t be afraid to read other writers’ pitches if you’re not sure.
Once your copy is completely written, you need to move on to editing it.
Step 4: Edit
Re-read everything you’ve written. Proofread and correct where necessary. Shorten sentences where necessary so that your finished copy is concise and refreshing to read. Remember that your audience is visiting your platform to potentially buy, not to read a novel. So ensure your copy is factual and on-point. Even long form marketing copy needs every word to be relevant.
Never be concerned about changing your copy at this stage – rewriting headers, subheaders or sentences and stanzas to create more audience impact is seldom a bad thing. When you’re satisfied that the editing process has improved your work, set it aside for a little while if you can. Reviewing your copy later with a clear mind can often improve your improvements!
Step 5: Review
Whether you begin reviewing an hour or a week later, you will find that you can read your work from a new perspective. At times, and we all go through this, we can be in a mood that is either too creative or not creative enough when writing. Only after a break from a project can we review it in a clear and objective manner. If there is no time to wait before reviewing, consider asking an objective, qualified person to read your copy and provide feedback.
When you’re happy with your finished product after review, go ahead and present or publish it. You have successfully used your POWER to provide sustainable, relevant and crisp copy.
Read Dean Rieck’s original article for more detail on how to use the POWER method here.
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