Do This Before You Write a Single Word

Welcome back!

This week we’re looking at the lessons I’ve learned on writing world-class headlines from copywriting legend Clayton Makepeace.

He’s one of the highest-paid copywriters in the world. And this one skill is perhaps the most important you can master as a copywriter.

So, let’s get right to it …

Now that you know dominant-emotion copy is the key to writing great headlines, it’s time to uncover what emotions you need to tap into.

Here’s lesson #2 on writing powerful headlines from Clayton:

In order to write great headlines that reach deep into your prospect’s deepest desires and emotions, you’ll need to do some serious research before you write a single word.

There’s no way around it. You’ve got to know who you’re writing to, “like the back of your hand.”

So, how do you do that?

Here are a few methods Clayton suggests you try:

  1. Walk a mile in their shoes: This is one of Clayton’s favorites. Simply sit down, close your eyes, and imagine being your prospect. Feel what they feel. Notice what they’re thinking. Pretend to be them during different times of the day – at work, at home, with family, etc.
  2. Talk to friends and family: This is especially good if some of your friends or family members fit the profile of your ideal prospect. Ask them questions about how they feel toward the particular area you’re writing about. Get a sense for how they feel and notice any facial expressions, changes in vocal tone, etc., as they talk about it.
  3. Visit forums and blogs: This is a great one if you want to get a quick “read” of how your prospect must be feeling right now. Just do a Google search on the topic you’re writing about, plus the words “forum” or “blog,” and you’ll get plenty of results to work with. On a blog, make sure to read the comments to get a good idea of what people are thinking and feeling. And on forums, read entire topics and threads to delve deep into what’s on your prospect’s mind and in his or her heart.
  4. Amazon.com: Choose a book on a topic you’re writing about (or one similar to it). Now look at all the 4- and 5-star reviews. Notice the things people say. Look at phrasing and the benefits they point out as being positives. Now, look at all the 1- and 2-star ratings. Notice the words they use and the overall tone of their writing. Also pay attention to the things they dislike. This alone can give you a wealth of information on your prospect’s dominant emotions.

And, while you’re at it, be sure to check out this article from Clayton on this very topic. He shows you how he gets BILLIONS in marketing research on his prospects – absolutely free. Click here to read it now and let me know in the comments what you think.

Tomorrow, you’ll discover how to take everything we’ve learned from Clayton so far and turn it into a bankable skill. Stay tuned …

The Quick-Start Copywriting System

Clayton Makepeace's Quick-Start Copywriting System

Copywriting legend Clayton Makepeace gives YOU the tools you need to upgrade your copywriting skills. These are the insights he uses to bank royalty checks of six-figures up to $1.4 million per month! Learn More »


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Published: July 22, 2014

4 Responses to “Do This Before You Write a Single Word”

  1. This is a very good advice. Writing to get the attention and action of somebody you do not know well will surely be a failure.

    Bertha AJuly 22, 2014 at 2:59 pm

  2. That is one crazy process, it's no wonder he's so successful. I really like the way Clayton pulls you in and drags you around the bookstore with him while going through every thought detail by detail. It gives me new ideas on what to do in my spare time.

    John DeProspoJuly 22, 2014 at 5:14 pm

  3. Four excellent ways to wade even deeper into the emotional morass of our perfect prospect. When coupled with Clayton's billion dollar bookstore browsing bonanza, what chance would any mere mortal have to resist our next marketing message.

    Alan SteacyJuly 22, 2014 at 9:40 pm

  4. This is wonderful advice. As a person new to the world of copywriting, I am learning tons of new things everyday! I love the fact that everyone is so willing to share their experiences and are so helpful. Got to go - I am headed out to the local book store!!

    Elaine DJuly 31, 2014 at 3:23 pm


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