The Mad Men’s guide to writing stellar copy (part 2)

I’m stoked about part 2 of The Mad Men’s guide to writing stellar copy series because it covers the most exciting aspects of constructing superb copy that gets read, shared, and brings in the dough. If you missed part 1, you should read that before returning to this post. 

 Here’s the rest of it: 

Commit to your writing: ask any writer about their writing process, and they’re either going to tell you that they write every day at the same time or that they struggle to stay disciplined with their process. I’m in the latter camp, primarily due to conflicting priorities in the wee hours of the morning. 

 Getting in the right frame of mind is essential to writing a good copy. A structure allows you to think about your copy profoundly and at the same time give you the freedom to find creative inspiration in the ordinary or even the specific, like commercials, other people’s work, movies, or even nature! 

 If you’re stuck, take the liberty to experiment with your writing. Send a letter to a friend selling your product or service. Assume you’re living in the future; write an email to your past self (this can turn a little corny, though). 

 “We’re gonna sit at our desks typing while the walls fall around us. Because we’re the least important most important thing there is.” (Don Draper)

Write outstanding copy: I know it’s easier said than done, but as with life, everything boils down to fundamentals. How well do you know your audience? What excites them? What makes them wince in pain? What distracts them? Having answers to these questions allow you to write cerebrally, letting you plant every word in your reader’s mind. 

 It’s also helpful to write for the correct medium. Long-form copy doesn’t work for LinkedIn or Instagram or Facebook; for emails, go for it! Likewise, to write a video sales letter as if it’s written to be read instead of written to be delivered verbally is stupid. 

 It’s also essential to protect the audience from getting lost in your story. Give them enough to be entertained, make your point, and close the sale. Anything more is overkill, and you’re better off shipping them your novel or the whole damn script than boring them to death. 

 “When you run an ad that’s positive, you convince those already on board. When you run an ad that’s critical, you move people off the fence.” 

 “Describe a sentiment that’s so basic; people feel like they know it but hadn’t thought of it.” 

 “you are not an artist, Peggy. You solve problems.” (Don Draper)

Always be advertising: the advertising industry has received flak for doing “too much,” which is utter BS. Why? The whole concept of advertising is based on bringing happiness. Advertisers would go to lengths to convince you that life doesn’t have to look hard. “take the cap off the bottle.” 

 And there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s why the most creative advertisers will try to blend happiness and sadness through the products or services they’re selling to make them look better. 

 “Use what people do to sell what people should do.” 

For more insights, read the original piece on Copyhackers that’s got a cool infographic too! Curating parts 1 and 2 as blog posts and sharing them with you was fun. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. 

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