Freelance copywriter advice for writing sales copy

A few people have asked recently what advice I would give to rookie freelance sales copywriters. Well, top of the list is to play it relatively safe until you have the experience to take more risks.

Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Just be disciplined in following the established rules of copywriting. These include short sentences, plain English, first person narrative, and leading with the benefits.

In terms of structure, the AIDCA formula of attention, information, desire, conviction and action still works as well as anything. However, good writing is just part of the picture – you will need to be a good psychologist too.

That’s because the reader only wants to know about what a product or service can do for them. Your job is to tap into their psychology, moving them to action. Once you have achieved this a few times for satisfied clients then word about you will spread.

If you are looking for a book to help you I can highly recommend ‘Write to Sell’ by Andy Maslen. This book is concise, highly readable and has helped me more than any other.

What I particularly like about ‘Write to Sell’ is that it introduces copywriting as a craft rather than an art. It reads a bit like a self-help manual and doesn’t try to intellectualise the subject. I often refer back to it if I need to refresh my approach.

So there you have it. Those are my nuggets of wisdom on getting started as a freelance copywriter. It’s nothing spectacular, I grant you, but it would be disingenuous of me to portray sales copywriting as some kind of Da Vinci code. Hopefully this simple and honest advice will give you the confidence you need to succeed.