In our affiliate marketing training, we are told over and over that content is king. It’s your well-written quality content that brings readers to your site again and again. Therefore, it behooves you to learn how to write such content.
In our company, Wealthy Affiliate, we have a weekly webinar that is given by our training coach, Jay O’Neill. On one of his webinars, he showed us a book that he considered quite valuable. I ordered a copy, and must agree with Jay that the book has a great deal to offer.
It’s called How to Write Copy That Sells, by Ray Edwards. This book is important because it tells you your copy doesn’t need to be just great — it needs that added something that prompts people to buy what you are selling. Then it tells you how to create the added something.
In the introduction to this book, Ray Edwards issues a warning. Here it is in part:
“The information supplied in this book is extremely powerful. It gives you the ability to literally manipulate people’s thinking and actions. The ability to write good copy is one of the most powerful psychological tools or persuasion known to men….”
This little book has 12 chapters of material that can teach you how to write your content in such a way that you can win your reader over completely. Here is a list of the chapter titles:
- How to Sell Without Being “Salesy”
- The Magic Building Blocks of the Perfect Sales Letter
- How to Write Headlines That Grab Readers by the Eyeballs
- Inbox Magic: How to Write E-Mails That Make More Money
- How to Write Bullet Points That Virtually Force Your Prospects to Buy
- The Triad That Sells More: Irresistible Offers, Risk Reversal, and Powerful Closes
- How to Write Guarantees That Dissolve Fear and Unleash a River of Sales
- How to Write Copy That Closes the Deal
- How to Write Irresistible Offers
- The Secrets of Product Launch Copy
- The Secrets of Writing Blockbuster Copy by Watching Movies
- The Copywriting Challenge
Now let’s look at chapter 1. In it, Mr. Edwards says working out a “sales pitch” is not enough; you must learn how to write effective copy.
He says to start by boiling down your “big idea” into a single sentence that is crystal clear.
Your big sentence should look something like this:
Any [your audience] can [solve their problem] by using [your product] because [how it solves the problem.]
Here’s an example sentence:
Any [obese person] can [become lean and fit] by following [the free from far forever diet, ] because it [uses your body’s built-in fat-burning furnace.]
In the first chapter Mr. Edwards outlines the P.A.S.T.O.R. technique, so I tried to follow it. There’s a link to the post I created at the end of this description of the technique. Read it and let me know if you think I followed the technique successfully. The original meaning of the word “pastor” was “to shepherd,” so he or she cares for, feeds, and protects a flock.
It is suggested that you adapt that loving, caring, protective role as you write your copy. P.A.S.T.O.R. becomes an acronym for the major sections of your copy. Here’s how the P.A.S.T.O.R. copywriting formula works:
P stands for Person, Problem and Pain. In this first part, you do the following:
- Identify the person you want to reach with your message
- Understand the problem you are solving for this person.
- Identify the pain caused by the problem
If you can describe your reader’s problem in terms to which they can relate, they will feel you must have an answer to that problem. Use words they might use to describe their problem.
Describe their experience; don’t judge. Show that you empathize with them. Expose their problem and make a clear connection to the pain it causes.
Zig Ziglar has a good saying: “Selling is essentially a transfer of feelings.”
Here’s an example of this technique: You might say, “You’ve tried every food diet that comes along. You’ve started and stopped multiple exercise programs in several gyms. The truth is, you just can’t seem to take the weight off or keep it off. Perhaps you are feeling a bit disgusted at yourself because you can’t control your eating and your weight. You feel like whatever you try, it won’t work.”
A stands for Amplify and Aspirations
Amplify the consequences of not solving the problem and then show them how their life can change. You must demonstrate that, without changing, they may suffer serious consequences. Establish a need in them to change. Make them aware of the cost of indecision. Then paint a picture of what life will look like when the problem is solved.
S stands for story, solution, and system
Now you tell the story of how to solve the problem. Perhaps you can use your own personal experience. Perhaps you can tell how you helped someone else solve the problem.
Give some of the details of the dilemma the person has now, before solving the problem. Stories grab and hold people’s interest.
T is for transformation and testimony
Your client is not purchasing the item you are selling, but they are purchasing the transformation the item can bring about.
Offering testimonials of real-life stories of people who have experienced this transformation helps your client decide you are offering what they need.
There are three questions people will ask when you are selling coaching, consulting, or instruction about anything. They are:
- Have you been able to do what you are describing for yourself?
- Have you been able to teach other people how to receive these results?
- Will you be able to teach the client how to receive these results?
O is for offers.
At this point, you describe exactly what you have for sale. Though you don’t have to talk about the structure of your offer, you need to focus 80% of your copy on the transformation that will be brought about.
R is for response.
Don’t be shy — you need to ask the customer to buy.
Tell them they are at the point of decision, when they decide to continue on the same path, or to embrace the change. Urge them to make a new choice so they can get a new outcome.
Then, very specifically tell them what to do: Click the button; fill out the order form; whatever action you want them to take. Directness is the best way to go here.
To see the post I wrote in which I attempted this technique, go to https://build2winaffiliates.com/the-secret-to-affiliate-marketing-success
The P.A.S.T.O.R. is only one suggested process, and takes you through chapter 1 of the book. There are so many other great ideas in the rest of the book. If you can get your head around the ideas in this book and start using them, you should find that your sales increase dramatically.
Some commenters say that this book is a must-have, and give rave reviews about their results. Never fear, Amazon is here — and I am offering this book for sale right here at the end of this post. Please remember that, as an Amazon associate, I may make a small commission from your purchase.
How To Write Copy That Sells, by Ray Edwards
The step-by-step system for more sales, more customers, more often