Have you been staring at a blinking cursor for waaaay too long?
Got a piece of copy to write but you just can’t seem to get moving?
It’s easy to get lost in the task at hand and forget about the simple things that make the difference between words on a page and words that move potential customers towards a sale.
Sometimes I like to go back to basics. I find that it can help to clear the blockage.
In an article for Entrepreneur, Gail Goodman lists the 10 commandments of great copywriting as follows:
- Know your audience (create a customer persona so that you can visualise who you are selling to)
- Determine your value proposition (why is your product better and why should your customer buy it?)
- Find a unique selling proposition (what can you offer that your competitors can’t?)
- Establish an objective (what is the purpose of your communication?)
- Use a compelling subject line (convince readers why they should open your email or read more of your post)
- Write a great headline (ensure it grabs attention and make the reader want to know more)
- Avoid weasel words (words like maybe, hope and perhaps that are a bit weak and don’t ‘command’ action)
- Don’t use the passive voice (for example: “Ten new designs were created” (passive) vs. “We created 10 new designs”)
- Include a customer quote (this adds credibility)
- Keep your copy clean and concise (get to the point, cut unnecessary words and ensure the message is clear)
These commandments are a great checklist to keep on hand when writing any marketing communications, but I also like to be inspired by quotes.
Here are 15 of the best copywriting quotes to remind you of the basics of great copywriting and inspire your best writing.
A two minute read at most. Take a few sips of coffee and enjoy – feel free to share on Pinterest 🙂
Selling the steak not the sizzle (focusing on benefits over features):
'Consumers don't buy products, they buy product benefits.' ~ David Ogilvy Click To Tweet
'Sell a good night's sleep, not the mattress'. Click To Tweet
'We are not selling technology. We are not selling the product. We are not selling you. We are selling peace of mind.' ~ Dimitri Lambermont Click To Tweet
Never turn away a project because you the think the subject matter is boring – your expertise can make it shine!:
'There is no such thing as a boring subject. Only boring, unimaginative writers.' ~ Ben Hurt Click To Tweet
The importance of making every word count:
'Write every sentence like nobody takes the time to read it.' Dimitri Lambermont Click To Tweet
Don’t let writer’s block or perfectionism stop you – just start writing and after a while, the words will start to flow:
'If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word'. ~ Margaret Atwood Click To Tweet
'You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page.' ~ Jodi Picoult Click To Tweet
How copywriting complements marketing:
'If marketing is flirting, copywriting is flattery' Click To Tweet
The importance of being clear and concise:
'If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.' ~ Albert Einstein Click To Tweet
'Our business is infested by idiots who try to impress with pretentious jargon.' ~ David Ogilvy Click To Tweet
What all good content marketing copywriters know – it’s all about helping your reader:
“The more informative your copy, the more persuasive it will be” ~ David Ogivly/ Copyblogger
'Add value to your customer. Share helpful tips for free. When they need your services, they'll buy.' ~ IBloom.co Click To Tweet
Don’t forget to include a call to action!
“Good content always has an objective: it’s created with intent. It, therefore, carries triggers to action.” ~ Ann Handley
Using stories to sell
“Tell a story. Make it true. Make it compelling. And make it relevant.” ~ Rand Fishkin
“If your stories are all about your products and services, that’s not storytelling, it’s a brochure. Give yourself permission to make the story bigger.” ~ Jay Baer
And finally, the fact that every good piece of copywriting has an understanding of and empathy towards its target audience at the heart:
'A copywriter should have an understanding of people, an insight into them, a sympathy towards them.' ~ George Gribbin Click To Tweet
OK, so that’s actually 16 quotes in total… I ended up adding another one after I published the article. In fact, I’ll probably be updating this article regularly.
I created all of these images using one of my fave graphics Apps – WordSwag. It’s free! All images are totally royalty free too. I’d love you to share the images on Pinterest or Instagram if any of them appeal to you – please tag me if you do!
Do you have a favourite copywriting quote? I’d love to know what it is!
Want to know more about how to write compelling sales copy? You might find my article ‘5 simple ways to write a call to action that sells‘ helpful.