It’s long. It’s deep. It’s the envy of other guys.
God, get your mind out of the gutter.
I’m talking about how to write amazing material, people!!
My team and I just launched an Ultimate Guide to Remarkable Content. Use this to write amazing blog posts, emails, or Facebook posts that get shared and spread.
And it’s yours free, for being an IWT reader.
In this guide, you’ll discover:
- The anatomy of a viral blog post
- How to find time to write, on time, every time (even if you’re busy)
- “Lessons From The Masters,” who’ve generated tens of millions of views
I think you’ll be impressed. And if you can learn even one small insight, you can use it for the rest of your life.
Click here to get your Ultimate Guide to Remarkable Content, free.
P.S. My goal is to create free material that’s better than anyone else’s paid stuff. Here’s our latest attempt to knock your socks off — free. If you know anyone else who might be interested, please share this widely.
When I moved to New York City, I’d get asked “So, what do you do?” roughly 5 million times a week. Since I’m a weirdo who loves to test everything, I’d try all kinds of different answers to see what would get the most positive response. I might say I was an author, writer, or even garbage man.
What was interesting was how job titles that sounded virtually the same — like writer or author — got a completely different response. I’d say writer and they’d say, “Oh I have a friend who’s a writer. He’s trying to publish his book on using cucumbers to generate sustainable energy for –” NO YOUR FRIEND IS NOT A WRITER, HE’S UNEMPLOYED.
But when I’d say author, they’d perk up, “Oh? What do you write about?”
You can get vastly different reactions from people when you say the same thing, just with different words. This gut-wrenching video proves the point beautifully:
That can be the difference between
- a Facebook post people like vs. one they ignore
- a resume that gets you a job vs. one that isn’t even read
- someone buying from you instead of a competitor
Let me show you what I mean:
How the right words get you customers
At IWT we’re always testing to see what words resonate with our readers. One of the ways we do this is to write different subject lines for the same emails and see which get opened.
Even when we say the same thing, the responses change dramatically based on the words we used. Here are a few of the email subject headlines we’ve recently tested against each other. See if you can guess which ones performed best:
Subject Line A: Exactly what to do to start an online business
Subject Line B: Behind the scenes of my “online business playbook”
Subject Line A: $11,476 in one day — here’s how (Zero to Launch closes at midnight)
Subject Line B: Enough info. Time to decide. (Zero to Launch closes tonight)
Subject Line A: Ramit Learns to Dance
Subject Line B: Ramit Learns to Dance (IWT case study)
In every instance above, subject line A was opened by at least 3,000 more people than subject line B. We were able to engage far more readers simply by tweaking a few words.
The words you use matter. Use the right ones and more people will listen to what you have to say, buy the products or services you’re selling, and even refer their friends and family to you.
Now how do you find the exact words that your customers need to hear?
In today’s Call To Action Copywriting Bootcamp, you’ll learn exactly that. You can join for free here.
Want to spend 30 minutes on the phone talking about sales copy?
To celebrate the launch of my brand new copywriting course, Call To Action, I’ve decided to do something special. I’m giving away my 3 favorite copywriting books, plus a 30-minute copywriting call. You can ask me questions, get my advice — I’ll even write copy for you right there on the spot.
Strong copy has been the engine of IWT for years. It’s how we’ve grown a list of over 500,000 subscribers, 30,000+ paying customers, and millions in sales every year.
— Dejan Gajsek (@dgajsek) November 4, 2015
@ramit I just joined. I have learned SO much about copywriting as a member of your list alone. I can't wait for this. Thanks for sharing.
— John Garvens (@JohnGarvens) November 5, 2015
"I AM GOING TO JUMP UP AND BEAT SOMEONE WITH AN ONION. (That way it's unclear why they're crying.)" Re-reading @ramit's book for the comedy.
— AJ (@aj_burt) November 4, 2015
Unlike most contests where you just sign up, this time, we’re going to have a little fun. To win, you’ll need to flex your copywriting muscles and impress me with your powers of persuasion.
Here’s how to win:
If you want to win a free, 30-minute copy call with me, follow these three steps:
Step 1: Write something — even a half page — using compelling copy on why you joined the free Call To Action Copywriting Bootcamp. You’re coming, so you’re doing others a service by letting them know about it, too.
Step 2: Post your copy on the internet with a link to the bootcamp registration page (http://www.thecalltoaction.com/challenges/call-to-action-copywriting-bootcamp/). This could be published on your blog, your forum, your Facebook page, YouTube…wherever. Someplace people can see it that allows them to join. Tag it #thecalltoaction (I’ll be posting my favorite ones on Twitter throughout the week).
Step 3: In the comments below, add the link to where your copy is. (Don’t forget this part! If I can’t see your copy, it can’t be in the running.)
I’ll select the winner with the best copy. I’ll analyze why I loved your copy, and I’ll FedEx you my 3 favorite copywriting books — plus I’ll call you to talk about copywriting for 30 minutes.
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: FRIDAY, 11/13, at 11:59pm PT
The winner of this contest will be announced Monday, November 16th, during the live copywriting master class I’m hosting. Since you signed up for the Call To Action Copywriting Bootcamp, you’re already registered.
Hints for winning:
- People are not persuaded by dates, facts, and figures. Tell them about personal meaning (why you believe in my copywriting material), results (what results you’ve gotten following IWT), use comparisons of good vs. bad copy. Study other people’s copy on the link below.
- Do not get hamstrung by technology — use Tumblr or Facebook if needed.
- The best copywriters also know how to spread the word. They know that “write it and they will come” is a myth, so they also use their copywriting skills to drive traffic to it. Think about people who need to learn more about copywriting — you’re doing them a service.
What to do now
Write something — even a half page is fine — using compelling copy that shows people why they should join the Call To Action Copywriting Bootcamp. Post your copy online, then paste it along with the URL in the comments below. Be sure to tune in to the copywriting master class on Monday, November 16 at 9PM Eastern (6PM Pacific) to see if you’ve won.
You’ll get more details on the copywriting master class soon.
P.S. Tag whatever you write #thecalltoaction. I’ll tweet some of my favorites to my 94,900 twitter followers.
If there is one type of person I avoid like kryptonite, it’s someone who describes themselves as “overwhelmed.”
These are the frenzied, harried people who always seem to be running around doing something…but none of it really amounts to anything.
You know who I’m talking about. They do a “little bit of everything,” which really means they can’t focus on anything important. Then they justify it by saying, “It couldn’t hurt.”
For example, I emailed back-and-forth with a woman who complained that her business wasn’t growing. When I looked at the 5 URLs (!!) in her signature, I discovered that she posted more than I do on Instagram — even though she only has about 200 followers.
Ramit: “Out of curiosity, why spend your time posting on Instagram? My IG account doesn’t even grow my business — it’s just for fun. And I have 10,000+ followers! Why not spend time on something that will grow your business right now?”
Her (offended): “I post on Instagram because it’s a long-term investment. Are you saying I should only think short-term? Because I just can’t agree with that.”
Ramit: Backs away with both hands up, as if walking away from a deranged serial killer.
The problem is — I get it! We’re told that we “need to” post on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. We also “need to” network, build a personal brand, start a side business, dress better, feed the homeless, travel to the far east…
Honestly, just looking at that list, I want to roll over, pull up my blanket, and start watching Netflix.
Let me give it to you straight. You could take away my Twitter account (94,900 followers) and Instagram account (13,600 followers) and it would not affect my business one single bit.
STOP DOING POINTLESS THINGS THAT DON’T ACTUALLY HELP YOU!
The 80/20 Rule: Easy to understand, hard to actually do
You know the 80/20 Rule? How 80% of your results come from 20% of your activities? If you took an honest accounting of what you’re doing…what if you found that you could eliminate most of them, tweak a couple, and get awesome results?
I’m not just talking about business. Think about where you spend your time.
Would we be honest enough to face the reality that some of the things we’re spending our time on…actually don’t matter? I have to say, this is tough. Easier to just keep doing what we’ve been doing. “It couldn’t hurt,” right?
Take the typical business owner, who mindlessly writes blog post after blog post. They think if they throw enough content out there SOMETHING will stick and get them traction.
I found an example of this on a marketing forum. After writing 200 articles, the only thing she had to show for it was 156 Facebook likes (hint: Likes don’t matter).
200 articles and still struggling to be noticed
Now, what if I suggested that perhaps, just maybe, her strategy isn’t working and she should try something else? How do you think she would respond?
This isn’t just about writing. It’s about your workouts, your career, your money.
The answer is, with 99% odds of certainty, she would reject my suggestion and keep doing what she’s doing.
Most people would rather keep doing something unsuccessfully, than take a chance at something new and possibly fail. I know.
What happens when you take a different approach
One of my students, Danny M., is an IWT graduate who teaches people how to become freelancers.
He didn’t mindlessly write blog posts. HE WROTE TWO — JUST 2! — AMAZING POSTS.
Zero to Launch graduate Danny M’s income from a single day
That’s revenue he made in a single day.
Notice the difference. You could spend years doing a little bit of everything — or carefully, methodically plan 1-2 powerful things. And those can make all the difference. They are truly the “Big Wins” of business and life.
Copywriting: Learn how to do this
Last week I announced that I’d spent the last year working on a premium copywriting product called Call To Action. It’s designed specifically for busy entrepreneurs looking to double their business using copywriting.
People went nuts. I could have made $100,000 if I had included a sales link at the bottom of the e-mail. That’s what a lot of other businesses would have done.
But I’m not interested in making a quick buck. I want to build relationships that will keep people coming back for years. So instead of simply looking for a quick 6-figure check, I created a special event called The Call To Action Copywriting Bootcamp. It’s a free sneak peek into Call To Action to make sure only the right people join.
In the first 24 hours we had thousands of people sign up. Some will end up joining the full Call To Action course. Some won’t. That’s fine — but do you see how it’s a totally different game than the pitch-pitch-pitch game that most people play?
Take a different approach. It makes all the difference.
And btw, I’d love to see you in the copywriting mini-course.
We released the first lesson in The Call To Action Copywriting Bootcamp this morning (it’s all online), but I can still get you in.
Before I get to showing you an $85,000 example of writing great copy, I want to tell you about a great quote I once heard:
“You never hear anybody yelling in a Mercedes commercial.”
Just close your eyes and think about two different car commercials.
First, a used-car commercial. What do you see? What are they wearing? Are they YELLING HOW YOU NEED TO BUY RIGHT NOW!!!!??
Now think about the slow, thick, husky voice of a Mercedes commercial.
Calm. Totally confident.
Both are selling cars. But one does it in a totally different way than the other.
“Fine, Ramit…I get it. Sound confident. Don’t yell. Be different and stand out.”
We all nod and smile.
So how come we constantly see copy like this?
Ugh. Who wants to buy from these people?
Who even wants to read this?
I want to take a shower with a steel wire brush.
Guys, copy matters.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling a product, inviting people to your birthday party, or crafting your Tinder profile. If you’re on Tinder and you write:
“I love to go out, but I’m also just as comfortable staying in to watch a movie”
…then you are effectively the screaming used-car salesman. You are the same as everyone else. And that means you are invisible.
You can write about the same exact topic as someone else — but if you write in an engaging way — a way that draws people in and makes it irresistible to stop reading — you stand out and win.
Doesn’t matter how many other people are writing about the same topic. Nobody has the same experiences, the same ideas, the same drive…as you.
That’s why I’ve written for some of the most competitive markets in the world (personal finance, careers, entrepreneurship), and my material stands out.
And you can do the same, too.
The best part: Writing great copy is not some magical ability you’re born with. It’s a skill you can learn.
COPYWRITING EXAMPLE: DATING AND CHARISMA
Remember those terrible examples of “GET OUT OF THE FRIENDZONE” copy above?
There’s another way to write tight, compelling copy that actually reaches people.
One of my students, Sarah, did exactly this. She’s a men’s dating coach at introvertedalpha.com, which means she’s competing against the overly aggressive, hyperbolic copy shown above.
We taught her about doing research and writing great copy that stands out from the hype-y, noisy promises in her crowded market.
Here’s some of the copy on her website. Note how different the tone is from the examples above:
Good copy sounds natural and authentic
Totally natural. Best of all, her approachable copy helped grow her business dramatically:
- 0-6 months: $33,000
- 1 year: $85,000
From $0 to $85,000 in sales in 1 year
Outstanding work, Sarah. You see the same warm, friendly tone in all her copy. From her website to her emails.
Now, let’s dig a little deeper. Look beneath the words you see.
In that simple example of BAD COPY vs. GOOD COPY, there is so much going on beneath the surface. Let’s assume you’re a guy who wants to improve his dating skills.
- Which one appeals more to you?
- Now, what if I told you that the above “bad” examples get way more traffic and newsletter subscribers? How do you explain that?
- Finally, what if I told you that, even though the “bad” copy has more traffic and subscribers…Sarah’s “good” business actually generates way more revenue?
How can you explain that?
I’ll tell you.
Most people look at copywriting on the surface. They look at the words and say, “Ugh! That feels so scammy” or “She seems nice.”
That’s like a toddler evaluating a 5-course meal at Per Se.
Real copy is strategic. It determines exactly who you’re targeting, it qualifies them, and it directly leads to business results.
HINT: I JUST DID IT IN THE ABOVE SENTENCE! Do you think some scammy idiot who wants to make money quick is going to keep reading when he sees a sentence like “real copy is strategic”?
No, of course not. That moron just closed this window, deleted all my emails, and went back to his corner of the internet where he can learn about “15 headline examples” and “How to write an ebook on copywriting by writing an ebook on copywriting for people who want to write an ebook on copywriting.” Please die.
In the examples of “bad” vs. “good” copy, think about how her copy attracts/repels certain audiences. Think about the quality of those audiences (very important). Try to trace how that affects business factors like conversion rate and LTV.
If you don’t know what any of this means, I will teach you.
Copy is so much deeper and beautiful than people think. They see the surface. I’ll show you what’s beneath it — and how to write copy so irresistible, people will not be able to stop reading.
It will help you grow your business. It will help bring more people to your birthday party, your dating profile, your proposal at work. Use it as you want — and know that the skill of writing great copy is so powerful, no one can ever take it away from you.
Come learn with me. On Monday, I’m launching a free Copywriting Boot Camp, where I’ll show you how to write amazing copy — even if you’re not a writer. We’ll go behind the scenes of million-dollar-copy and I’ll show you how it was created. And how you can do it, too.
I’d love to see you there.
P.S. As always, our goal is to make our free material better than everyone else’s paid stuff.