Do You Know the 5 Steps to Copywriting Success? Part 1

5 Steps to Copywriting SuccessPerhaps you’re a small or large business getting ready to launch a marketing campaign. Or maybe, you’re a mom- or solo-preneur working hard to get your name out there, but have an overflow of work you can’t handle without extra assistance.

Are you one of those folks who has made the mistake of hiring your cousin’s sister’s brother because “they’ll do it for free?” Perhaps you thought “it’s easy to write copy so why pay a professional for something anyone could do?” In the end, you may have quickly discovered that you didn’t get the desired results you’d hoped for. Wonder why?

Well, think about this . . .

If you have a toothache, you go to a dentist. If you’re sick, you go to a doctor. If you need a brochure or Web site designed, you go to a graphic designer or Web programmer. And, whatever your line of work is, you hope people will recognize you as the specialist in your field and hire you when they need someone with your expertise.

It makes sense that, if you are not a marketing copywriter yourself, you’d contact a professional to do the best job for you. When you don’t have the creative talent and marketing background, call upon an independent copywriter to assist you.

How Do You Know You’ll Get Great Results?

Working on any promotional literature, be it a Web site, brochure or a direct mail package, is a team effort – a partnership created to develop the best tools for promoting your product/service. Each person in the partnership has certain responsibilities.

The purpose of this blog is to help you be aware of your role – obtaining and organizing the valuable information a copywriter needs from you.

Being organized and prepared before you meet with the writer for an input meeting will save you time and money in the long run. And, it increases your chances of getting the results you’re looking for – record-breaking ones.

There are 5 steps to follow to help you gather the appropriate information you need to pass along to your writer. Here are Steps 1 and 2 (Steps 3-5 will be covered in Part 2).

1. Define your goals — convey them clearly.

What is it that you want to achieve with the project you’re going to assign? Do you want to:

  • Sell more products/programs/services?
  • Gain name recognition?
  • Increase your exposure?
  • Create a brand image?
  • Generate new leads?

Remember, if your objectives are too complex then you risk confusing your copywriter. Simply state your goals. It sets your copywriter off in the right direction — to create an effective, results-oriented promotion for you.

As a professional copywriter, I take the time to listen to you. Tell me what it is you need to say. I’ll tell you how to say it. I make sure that I clearly understand your goals, translating them into fresh ideas that sell your product/service.

2. What does the project entail?

Marketing isn’t just one element or another – it’s several components that come together like pieces of a puzzle. So, let your writer known which components she’s going to write. For instance, are you asking her to write content for a:

  • Blog
  • Brochure or Self-mailer
  • Direct mail package
  • E-mail autoresponder(s)
  • Newsletter
  • Postcards
  • Press release
  • Sales page
  • Social media update(s)
  • Video sales letter
  • Web site

Now that you’ve read Steps 1 and 2, what do you think? Have you been heading in the right direction when working with your copywriter? Share your most recent experience in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks.

Ready for Part 2? Here’s where we explore Steps 3-5.

Debra Jason

Marketing & writing with heart, not hype at at The Write Direction
A recipient of the “Creative Person of the Year” award, Debra educates and empowers creative solopreneurs and enthusiastic business owners to create a lifestyle business that provides them with the flexibility, fun and freedom to do what they love. She also inspires you to communicate your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal, raving fans - even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past.


  1. Excellent start … I’m sure you’ll cover things like style guides and deadlines in the next installment 🙂
    Suzi Shumaker recently posted…Treat Others as You Would Want to Be TreatedMy Profile

  2. Hurry up! I can’t wait for the next three!
    Thanks for the share.
    Roy A. Ackerman, PhD, EA recently posted…The Ides of March… Plus 3My Profile

  3. Even a dentist, with a variety of diagnostic tools, needs to know ‘where does it hurt’ before s/he can make it all better! Too often, despite making the smart choice to seek relevant help, the client assumes part of the professional’s bag of tricks is reading minds. Of course, some day that will be an app I can buy on iTunes but, in the meantime, clarity of purpose is something a professional counts on you bringing to the table!

    Thanks for laying it out there, Debra.
    Andrea Feinberg recently posted…Part 2: Building a Relationship with Someone You’ll Never MeetMy Profile

    • You’re welcome @Andrea. One of my first clients did expect me to read his mind (perhaps the turban had something to do with it – just teasin’). When I started asking him questions he said, “if I knew the answers, I wouldn’t need you to write this for me.” Imagine my surprise as he was very serious.

      Of course, when all was said and done, he came around and realized that I indeed was not a mind reader and together we got to where we needed to be for him to get his desired results.
      Thanks! ~Debra

  4. Thanks for the tips, Debra. I agree with your first two steps. Communicating really clearly with a designer or copywriter (or whatever professional you outsource to) is really important.
    Leanne Chesser recently posted…How to Improve Time Management With Three Simple QuestionsMy Profile

    • You’re welcome @Leanne. It’s true about anything, don’t you think? There’s little point in making others guess about what you want or need. Best to be clear about all the details up front. Thanks for taking the time to comment. ~Debra

  5. So many things seem to come down to Defining Goals. That also lets the outsourcing professional contribute if they know what you are looking for.
    Darlene Cary recently posted…Not Sexy, But Vital: Your First Steps Toward A Stable Accounting Base (With 10 Page Bonus Guide)My Profile

    • @Darlene, it is important to know which direction you’re heading in before you start outsourcing to others. After all, they’re there to help you get the best results! So, it’s in your best interest to be clear about where you’re heading and what you want from the “get go.” Thanks. ~Debra

  6. Good article – and so completely agree about the importance of communication. Not only do you get better results if you can tell your partners what you want, but the process of getting clear enough to explain is also usually helpful!
    Corie Weaver recently posted…Purposeful ProductivityMy Profile

    • @Corie, glad you liked the article and that you’re in agreement. Some of my best clients are those who can clearly tell me what their goals are and how they serve others, but they struggle to convert those ideas into words on paper (or onto a Web site, etc.). That’s why they head in The Write Direction (LOL). Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. Much appreciated. ~Debra

  7. Well, I have had both good and bad experiences with copywriters. Regardless of how well you define your project and how clearly you convey your goal, sooner or later, you will run into a bad copywriter. Having said that, I believe that to successfully outsource writing work, you should find a good copywriter and then stick to him for all your work.

    • @Andrew, sorry to hear about your bad experiences. Whether one is hiring a copywriter, doctor, or lawyer, it’s always a good idea to ask for referrals and do your due diligence. However, there are those occasions (hopefully, rare) that you discover the person you chose doesn’t quite meet your needs.

      Best to move on to someone who you feel a partnership with that gives you the results you seek. We all choose doctors & dentists and other providers who, when we like them, we continue to turn to them for many years. So, as you suggested, when you find a copywriter you like and work well with, it’s a great idea to stick with him/her as well. It’s a partnership dedicated to achieving a common goal.


  8. Wish I had a copywriter for my optin pages 🙂
    Linda Ursin recently posted…Sassy Saturday SayingsMy Profile

    • Linda, thanks for sharing your wish.
      If you read Part 1 and Part 2, you’ll now be better prepared to work with a copywriter to get the content you desire.

      I’m only a phone call away. Check your e-mail as I sent you a message as well.

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