Copywriting is the art of writing in a way that sells products. The primary concern isn’t branding; it’s conversion rate: the percentage of people who buy after seeing your sales page.
Even if you’ve never written a sales page before, learning the basics will allow you to increase your selling power greatly.
This five-minute crash course will show you how to use one of the oldest and most proven copywriting formulas in advertising history: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action (AIDA).
The first and most important step in the copywriting formula is attention. Attention is the first impression. Can you catch your readers’ attention in five seconds or less?
The best way to catch attention is through a strong headline. Your headline should speak directly to your readers’ needs and make a bold promise that keeps them reading more.
Most copywriters spend an inordinately outrageous amount of their copywriting time on the headline. Why? Because if you don’t catch their attention, nothing else you write matters. Your headline should get someone to stop whatever they’re doing and pay attention.
The interest phase is when you explain the problem and hint at a solution.
This is where you outline what their life is like right now and describe what their life could be like if you solved their problem.
During this step, your goal is to get them invested. Paint vivid pictures of what their lives could be like in the future. Use powerful and provoking words to hit emotional points home.
This is where you introduce your product and use rock-solid proof to show that you can deliver your promise.
Your product should be introduced as if it were the greatest thing since sliced bread. As if all their life, your reader has been waiting for something like your product.
To back up this kind of claim, you need to have proof. Testimonials are a good start. Before and after videos are good as well. Proof videos can go a long way. Photos of your product in action can be compelling.
There’s a big difference between getting someone interested and having someone take out their credit card and pay you.
The action step bridges this gap. In the action step, you bring the emotional desire back to a peak and end with a strong, specific call to action. You tell them exactly what you want them to do and reiterate exactly what they’ll get if they do it.
Tell them to place the order. Tell them to call the phone number. Tell them to take out their credit card and punch it on the next page. If they do, they’ll finally get “X” (benefit) in their life.
This formula has been used throughout the ages to launch highly successful companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Master the AIDA formula, and your sales will soar.
Become a CPA Advertiser
Becoming a CPA advertiser can be one of the most lucrative methods of marketing online. There are literally marketers earning upwards of a million dollars a month selling everything from spyware removal to diet pills to dating site subscriptions using CPA advertising.
Becoming a CPA advertiser is tough. It’s not for everyone. You need to really understand the arena you’re getting into before you jump in, or you could lose a lot of money.
So how do you become a CPA advertiser? What are the requirements?
==> A Rock Solid Understanding of Your Sales Funnel
The term CPA refers to “Cost Per Action.” That means that instead of paying for a sale, you’re paying for leads.
To make sure you don’t lose your shirt over these leads, you need to know exactly what a lead is worth to you.
Let’s say you’re in the seminar business. You teach $10,000 seminars about real estate investing and have several products priced between $200 and $2,000 on DVDs and CDs.
The all-important question you need to answer is: what’s a lead worth to you?
A lead can be as simple as a name and an email address. Or it could include a phone number and an address as well.
If you paid $5 a lead, could you turn that into a profit? What about $10 a lead?
==> At Least $50,000 in Start-Up Capital
Getting into an affiliate advertising network isn’t easy, especially if you don’t have a reputation in the industry yet.
First, you need to set up all your technical systems. You need to make sure you can track all your traffic, sales, and leads. You need to have systems in place to identify profitable and unprofitable affiliates.
To get listed in an affiliate network, you’ll usually need to put down a deposit – around $10,000. This is money they’ll essentially hold in escrow and use to pay out to affiliates. For established advertisers, this often isn’t necessary, but for new advertisers, it usually is.
Starting, you want to be in at least two or three affiliate networks to test the quality of the traffic.
You’ll also need enough cash on hand to pay affiliates while you wait for your sales funnel to come through and turn those leads into money.
==> A Relentless Staff
Finally, it would be best if you had a staff that’s relentlessly dedicated to incremental improvements. CPA is all about slowly making small improvements that add up at the end of the day.
This means split testing your landing pages every day. It means going through your affiliate traffic source IDs and kicking out affiliates who’re sending bad traffic. It means constantly refining your sales funnel to eke out every percentage of improved ROI you can.
If you match all these criteria, becoming a CPA advertiser can be very lucrative. If you can get on the networks and profitably buy leads, you can get millions of dollars worth of business through your door – on the affiliate’s dime, rather than your own.
Cheap Places to Find Great Outsourced Work
The internet has been called “the great equalizer” by many. Work that might cost you $20 an hour in the United States, Europe, or Canada could easily cost you just $2 in India. In the past, the geographical gap outweighed the price gap. The internet has changed that.
Today, with the help of the internet, you can find great outsourced work online extremely cheaply. You need to know where to look.
Here are some of the top places to look for top-class outsourced work at a bargain price.
==> Amazon Mechanical Turk
The Amazon Mechanical Turk system allows you to outsource easy tasks for meager rates.
For example, you can ask any number of people to take a five-minute survey for pennies – literally. Many gigs on Mechanical Turk pay as little as $0.20 or less.
You can choose to accept only first-world country workers or global workers.
==> Craigslist India and The Philippines
Craigslist isn’t as active in India and the Philippines, but it can still be a great way to reach cheap outsourced work.
Just create a posting in either “Jobs” or in “Gigs.” Even at rates, we might consider low, the demand for paid work is extremely high in these countries.
You’d be surprised with what you can get for just five dollars on Fiverr. Fiverr is an online outsourcing site where people earn a set price of $5 for their services.
You can get all kinds of work done on Fiverr. You can get drawings; you can get 3D rendering; you can get animations; you can get voiceovers; you can get writing; you can get proofreading; you can get data entry.
If what you’re looking for is something that can be broken up into smaller tasks, chances are you can get it on the cheap on Fiverr.
DigitalPoint is an online forum geared towards the internet marketing community. It has an extremely active trade section where you can hire people to do just about anything, from graphic design to web mastering skills.
DigitalPoint has a feedback system called iTrader that works very similarly to eBay’s. You can use it to gauge who’s trustworthy and who’s not.
==> Elance, ODesk
Finally, you have the traditional outsourcing sites. Though these sites might be slightly pricier than what we’ve talked about above, especially since outsourcers have to pay about 15% to the site itself, it still often makes sense to use these sites.
On Elance and oDesk, employers are protected by various systems, from payment escrows to public feedback systems. It’s much harder to get ripped off on these systems than through other systems.
These are some different places to look for cheap, quality outsourced work online.