Review: The Step-by-Step Copywriting CourseWritten by Jill Whalen
by Jill Whalen © 2005 http://www.highrankings.com/copywritingcourse I've spent past couple of weeks reading Karon Thackston's copywriting course, and boy-oh-boy is it a winner! Karon spent five long months putting down on virtual paper everything that she's learned in her 20+ years as a veteran copywriter. In fact, she told me that hardest part was consciously making note of what comes naturally to her when she writes. I understand that perfectly, as that's same thing I do when writing or speaking about search engine optimization. But, man, when you can get that natural process stuff down on paper, it really makes for killer material, and a great learning experience! The major focus of course is online and search engine copywriting, since Karon's been into that since 1999. The course itself is actually a jam-packed, 150+-page .pdf file, which could be read as a book if you wanted to be lazy and just learn basics. However, if you're serious about learning how to write great copy, you should take course in manner in which it was intended. That is, read all lessons and try to complete assignments. This is a self-paced, self-scoring course so you've got to use your own willpower for that one though, since no teacher will be standing over your shoulder waiting for you to hand it in!
Business Writing: When Not To Be ProfessionalWritten by Lisa Packer
It’s time to write your next ad or brochure. Maybe some web content. You’ve done all your research, and you’re staring at a blank computer screen. You want to look good in print. You want to put your “best foot forward.” And, of course, you want to make a barrel full of money.
Well, you’re going to have to pick one, because you can’t do all three.
Not, that is, if “looking good in print” means sounding like an educated professional. Or using perfect grammar. Because unless all of your prospects are English teachers, they’re going to respond better to more natural writing – writing that reads like people actually speak.
Real people don’t speak like “professionals” write. (Neither, for that matter, do most professionals.) Real people use sentence fragments. They start sentences with “and”, “or” and “but.”
Every now and then they kind of trail off like…
One thing real people do not do is use big, fancy words when shorter ones will do. And neither should you.
Real people do not say things like, “I am committed to finding lowest cost alternative.” Why, then, would you want to be “focused on providing” it?
Copywriting that uses stuffy, complex language just doesn’t sell. You know what I mean: The verbose, impersonal, corporate-speak that sounds more like a mission statement (which nobody cares about) than a personal communication. The kind that strokes CEO’s ego when it should be stroking prospect’s.