The Step No Writer Can Afford to Skip
I really messed up a few weeks ago …
I had a great project, and I was really excited about it. The product was an informational program. I read the entire thing — twice.
When I was finished, I felt like I really understood the product. I was personally excited about the benefits because I was a potential buyer of the program. I got so excited that I dove right in to writing.
Then, I submitted the first draft and waited …
The feedback was not good.
The Big Idea I had come up with — the one I was so excited about — didn’t match the product well enough. And, to make matters worse, I didn’t have any evidence to back up my claims that the product would work.
I had to start over — at the very beginning.
In fact, I had to start with Step One: Research your product.
I know how important research is, but I let my excitement rule my writing. I didn’t follow the basics — or the foundation — of writing great copy.
A good indication that you’re skipping the basics is sitting down to write without reviewing what makes great copy great …
Like Michael Jordan said, “The minute you get away from fundamentals — whether it’s proper technique, work ethic, or mental preparation — the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing.”
No wonder my first draft stank.
After I started over, and with a lot of help from my friends, I was able to finish the project with great feedback.
Since then, to make sure this doesn't happen again, I’ve gone “back to the basics.” I’ve studied up on all those things we can’t afford to forget — or ignore — no matter how long we've been copywriters.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about why great research is the foundation of great copy.
What are the biggest lessons you've learned from your mistakes? Go here to join the discussion.
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