Your Best Links For Words That Sell
Stuck for words for your website?
What would it mean to you to write phrases that grip your readers? And draw them to buy?
Listen: you can totally hook that up.
And - to show you exactly how - I've gathered all the best website copywriting resources right here.
Let's jump right in:
Brand new to this?
Done it before, but want to brush up on your fundamentals?
Turning your readers into buyers begins with the basics.
Start by learning the difference between features, advantages and benefits.
Then move on to the Collier Principle.
Copyblogger's free Copywriting 101 eBook rocks. It's ideal for beginners - experts will find a few things to love too.
Declaring War on Bland: Copywriting as Fresh Literature is a talk by copywriter Jean Tang outlining what great copy is all about.
101 Copywriting Dos and Don'ts is an excellent collection of tips for new players.
Copywriters are hardly immune to jargon. If you're at all confused by any of it, this glossary of copywriting terms is for you.
Most copywriting principles work similarly in any medium.
If you really want your website to bring you as many buyers as it can, be aware of a few things particular to the web.
This is a great infographic on how people read online.
Here are 14 mistakes you make when writing content for the web.
It's easy to overlook the meta description. But huge websites like Google and Facebook use them for snippets, making them one of the most visible parts of your website. Here's how to write a good one.
404, Story of a Page Not Found is a video taking a fun look at what goes into a custom 404 error page.
Screenfly is what I use to see how copy looks on different screen sizes.
What if I told you that you could write feature content that was so insanely useful that readers couldn't help but cut a path to your website?
Not all in one spiky sugar high of website visits.. but over and over again.. day in and day out.. and all happening on autopilot?
What if I then told you that these visitors could be laser targeted to your business?
And that - by giving so much value - you could immediately be seen as a trusted authority? Someone desirable to buy from?
Sounds too good to be true, yeah?
There's a catch - it won't happen just by publishing any old thing. You've gotta do it right.
Here's how it works:
The Content Marketing Handbook is a book-length guide to creating and promoting effective feature content.
Neil Patel is one of the biggest names in content marketing. Here's his Advanced Guide to Content Marketing.
And here's some advice on catering to short attention spans in your blog and article content.
Get this: if you do everything else right but your headline sucks - then your copy sucks - because nobody reads beyond a sucky headline.
A weak call to action also means good work wasted. Because if your visitor doesn't buy, sign up, subscribe, or whatever else it is you were looking for.. then what was the point?
Because you rely on these elements so much, it's crazy not to study how they work.
How to Write Magnetic Headlines is a free 11-part, 56 page guide to - you guessed it - writing headlines.
Here are 114+ Copywriting Formulas for headlines, calls to action, and more. This is stuff that you could actually use in the real world.
So you want to understand the nuts and bolts of persuasion and desire?
Good news: some very clever cats have worked very hard to figure some of that out.
Here's how you can use social proof to influence decisions.
Rory Sutherland's TED Talks are a London ad man's vivid and often hilarious look at how people make decisions and perceive value. Must-watch stuff.
We're All in Marketing: What Evolution Teaches Us About Marketing is a great TED talk that compares commerce with nature.
Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman's “Thinking, Fast and Slow” talk compares mental intuition with conscious deliberation.
Grabbing - and holding - your potential customer's attention is so important.
But all the eyeballs in the world won't make you one lousy dollar unless your customers buy.
Conversion strategy is all about turning your hard-won attention into sales:
A lot of what makes great copywriting is just great writing.
You'd be nuts to look only to marketing professionals for writing advice.
Politics and the English Language by George Orwell - some Orwell readers will cringe when I say this - but this essay is the original “6 Quick Tips to Improve Your Writing Today”. His criticisms of bad political writing apply doubly to writing in commerce. Follow his simple advice and you're ahead of most of your competitors already. Copywriting nerds: notice also how closely this follows a classic Problem Agitation Solution formula.
Is There a Right Way to Write? is a veteran London journalist's take on grammar and style.
Hemingway is a clever app that highlights bloated sentences and anodyne phrases.
Maddox's home page has been a hugely popular corner of the web for decades. This is all built on the strength of his writing. So check it out.
How to Make Your Writing Funnier, a video lesson by Cheri Steinkellner.
Who else wants winning formulas, strategies, tips and tricks shown to work in the real world?
Let's do this:
Shining a light on your industry's insider secrets can be some of the strongest feature content you can write.
I use this all the time: The mother of all cheat sheets for bucket brigade phrases. Not sure what a bucket brigade is? That's in there too.
Ever notice how Game of Thrones can feel so addictive? Open loops are your devious but effective device to keep your reader glued to the end.
Use power words to trigger emotional response.
Want search engine traffic? Who doesn't? Search engines are often the first (and sometimes the only) place your customers look.
SEO - or “search engine optimisation” - copywriting is the art and science of website copy that search engines love.
The Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimised Post is your always up-to-date reference on tweaking content for SEO.
Wanna rank? Then write epic shit.
Success Works' SEO copywriting blog
The Search Talk Live podcast looks at white hat SEO techniques driven by strong content.
If you're really serious about killer copy, throw a few bucks at cheap paperbacks by top professional writers. These changed everything for me:
I've read The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy countless times. This is the manual on long form direct response copywriting.
On Writing Well by William Zinsser improved my writing immensely.
The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman
Predatory Thinking by Dave Trott is less a step-by-step guide to writing copy, and more a collection of insights and short stories that happens to be written by an excellent copywriter. This is a masterclass on creativity and finding different ways to view situations and problems.
Think Write Grow by Grant Butler is a former Australian Financial Review journalist's guide to thought leadership and content marketing.
So you made it this far, huh? Here, have a kitten.
These don't fit elsewhere - but are so insanely useful I couldn't leave 'em out.
Working on a blog post or DIY project where you don't have access to a professional designer? The Non-Designer's Guide to Blog Graphics is a great little cheat sheet for a convincing title graphic. Then check out this post on Free Blog Post Images: Where to Find Them, How to Use Them.
The Gary Halbert Letter was a regular newsletter by one of the best direct response guys in the business. It once cost $195 a year. You can now browse the complete archives for free.
How Algorithms Shape The World. This will make your jaw drop.
Malcolm Gladwell's TED talk on Spaghetti Sauce might change the way you think about who you're writing for.
Thank you for checking out my guide.
If you liked it, please share!