OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
In this great podcast, we explore copywriting for authors that can help sell books including headline writing, capturing people's attention and the call to action as well as exploring authenticity and Facebook ads among other topics!
Paul Lonergan is an author, ghostwriter and copywriter with AlwaysWrite.com.au. For more than 20 years, he's been using words to sell everything from stock-broking services to beauty products
In this podcast you will learn:
- How Paul started out in writing, working for free at a radio station and then moving into writing copy. He moved into Reader's Digest in copy department learning how write direct mail advertising, and then started AlwaysWrite. He now writes websites, blogs, and advertising copy as well as 7 ghostwritten books and 2 of his own books.
- What is the difference between copywriting and writing fiction/non-fiction books? The skills are similar but the outcome is different. Skills like clear and concise writing. Natural flow and engaging the audience is key.
- Selling is not a dirty word! We all have to sell ourselves and other people. Selling is putting forward your views and your book to people who might be interested. It's not forcing people to read.
- How can authors get people's attention when there are so many books published and so much else to read? A blog/ social networking is all a baseline expectation now. Getting people to your website is one point but then you need to engage straight away with a good headline. Targeting your market is totally necessary e.g. On using Facebook ads for books “Do you like James Rollins thrillers? then you'll love this book”.
- Understanding the call to action. You have to ask for the sale, don't be shy! Create a relationship first and people won't feel pressured. People need to know, like and trust you in order to buy. Relationships take the hard sell out of the equation. Tell people what they need to do.
- On authenticity and how important it is now. Copywriting is not about serious language, it's about a connection. Be yourself and engage with people. They want to hear your own personality coming through. These days people act as curators of material to their audience. It's about trust and a relationship. Writers are really nice people as well! (generally!)
- Creating desire in order to get people to buy. This is from AIDA which is an advertising ‘rule'. It stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. You need to create a desire in other people e.g. to get lost for hours in your book, or for an experience.
- How copywriting works with video. It's about succinctly communicating a message, no repetition, gets across the message with a call to action… within 3 minutes! Copywriting can help you script the video before hand. But remember you can edit! Another idea is to talk for a while, write down key points and edit hard! [We mention a top YouTube video blogger Natalie Tran – The Community Channel who is not an author, but is making several hundred thousand $ with her videos so is worth learning from!]
- How curation of content seems to have moved from publishers and TV channels to online trusted sources.
- On working for free as a way to change your career. It's what many of us are doing with our writing and our platform building. It seems to be the main way to become a success at anything, and it allows us to change and grow over time. It also gives time for the most persistent to rise to the top. (yeah!).
- Here's the interview on being an introvert that we also mentioned.
You can connect with Paul at his website AlwaysWrite.com.au