Start With Why Copywriting

FLICKR / JEFFREY JAMES PACRE

FLICKR / JEFFREY JAMES PACRE

Content marketing is a pretty big deal right now. If you haven’t heard about the growing trend towards content marketing, you can check the Content Marketing Institute, or this report by Marketing Sherpa. Basically, content brings in the bacon.

The problem is that writing copy content, while inexpensive, takes a lot of time; time which is often hard to find, especially for time-starved entrepreneurs.

There are all kinds of guides available online on how to write effective content copy, but often these guides are targeted to professional writers who simply need to tweak their technique to convert traffic. What do you do if you need to create something effective, quickly?

You use ‘Start With Why Copy’ (SWWC).

SWWC is about writing in layers in order to communicate intent and remain coherent. First, the writer identifies why they are writing, then they break it into points, flesh each point out, and then publish it. Each step should be critiqued by a neutral party who can provide effective feedback.

START WITH WHY. Are you selling a product? Are you educating your audience? Do you want to build brand awareness?

For this post we want to help entrepreneurs create high quality content, quickly. So we wrote our purpose at the top of the page to remind us why we were writing.

DECIDE HOW. What information will your audience have to know? How are you going to tell your story and walk them through the process?

Write down the questions you will need to answer. For this post we wrote down the following questions:

  • What am I going to talk about?
  • What is SWWC?
  • How is SWWC applied?
  • Why use SWWC?

ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS. This is the first draft of actual writing. Don’t get too concerned about wording, just get your thoughts out. The questions you wrote out serve as subheadings, and each sentence should relate to the question you are answering.

GET FEEDBACK. Ask someone who has no idea what you’re talking about to read your copy. Listen carefully and respond to what they say. Repeat this with a few different people (at Design4Change we use a minimum of three) until you’re ready to publish.

This method provides a simple, four-step structure for writing. It helps to ensure clarity and prevents the writer from losing their train of thought partway through a piece. As a result, this process produces better results much quicker than attempting to write something in a single push.

Give it a shot, and be sure to let us know how it goes! @design4change_