A Conversation With Legendary Copywriter Gary Bencivenga – Part 6 Of 6

Dear Business Builder,

I’m sure you’ve heard of Gary Bencivenga.

Only a handful of copywriters in our generation have ever competed at anywhere near Gary’s level over the long haul. And if our little fraternity held an election today, Gary Bencivenga would be unanimously elected King.

The following is the conclusion of my six-part interview with master copywriter, Gary Bencivenga.

Clayton: Just a bonus question: as far as I know you were the first to really exploit magalogs.

Gary: No, actually not. That honor belongs to Jim Rutz, the copywriter, and Ed Elliott, the designer. They did the first magalog for Personal Finance. I did the second one for Personal Finance, which beat theirs. But as soon as I saw that format, my eyes lit up. These guys discovered a format so powerful I don’t even think at first they knew how powerful it was even though it did become a control. I had a standard number 10-package control for Personal Finance for KCI. They came in with a magalog. On the front was a cartoon of an investor with a dartboard and he was picking his teeth with one of the darts and on the dartboard were the various investments.

I had the background from Ogilvy and Caples who said to never make your space ad look like an ad — always make it look like an article. Ogilvy had tested this and when a space ad looks like an article, his very scientific readership study showed that 500% more people read the ad than if it looked just like an ad. In other words, headline, body copy, call to action —– every word is identical except the layout. If you run in The Wall Street Journal and you make it look pretty much like a Wall Street Journal article, even if they slap that slug on there that says “Advertisement,” you’ll get a 500% boost in readership for that ad.

And that was pretty consistent across all the space ads that he tested. That means right out of the gate you get a 500% increase in readership by making your ad look like an editorial article. Caples has always preached the same thing. As a matter of fact, in one of his books, he tells about a test in Reader’s Digest. I think it was an 81% increase in actual orders for Reader’s Digest when it looked like an article instead of a typical ad.

There’s lots of evidence for space ads but I could never think of a way to harness that same principle with a direct mail letter. As soon as I saw that first magalog, I knew these guys had done it. And they didn’t realize they had done it because very few magazines have a cartoon on the cover. So they found a very entertaining and informative format but most magazines really look like magazines with a photo on the cover, like Business Week or Forbes or Time.

Magazines aren’t cutesy with a cartoon — so I saw my opening, my toehold. I went back to Personal Finance and said, “Look, I know you’ve got a new format and I can do that format too. I’ll make mine totally different with different copy. I believe my existing copy is still very strong actually but there’s this great new format.” And they asked, “What do we even call this format?” I said “Well, it looks something like a magazine but it sells like a catalog, so let’s call it a ‘magalog.’” So I named it, but it was Jim Rutz and Ed Elliott who invented it.

Now, what I did for mine — having had that training from Ogilvy and Caples saying to camouflage your ad and make it look like an article — was to make our magalog look just like Time magazine. We gave it a red border. We used a real photograph — not a cartoon of an investor. It looked just the way Time magazine might. We put a real photograph of a headshot of Richard Band. He looked like the “Man of the Year” on the cover of Time. We said something like, “Hottest investment opportunities of the next year,” and the bullets said “Great opportunities in treasuries, page 5; Once in a lifetime real estate opportunity coming up next year, see page 7,” and so forth.

We had all the same body/copy articles on the inside as my previous direct mail package, but we made them look like real articles with photographs. And then the copy read like an article written by Richard Band, the editor. Let’s say we’re talking about real estate. We talked about which forms of real estate are hottest right now and said, “By the way, we have a special report on how to make money in single-family homes. They’re great investments for the small investor. You’ll get that report free for signing up with Personal Finance.”

For every article, whether it was on bonds or stocks or whatever, we had a little tie-in to a premium. But the article was a real article, it gave a lot of good information. This new venue, called a magalog, was very valuable to read itself.

When I asked myself, “Can I beat Jim Rutz’s package?” I saw that I had a much better cover. We had a bigger, broader table of contents just the way a magazine does. And we had lots of photographs throughout that looked more like a magazine. So when I analyzed all the components of my package versus Jim’s, I felt pretty confident that I was going to win, and I did.

When we started rolling out, Time called up and said, “You’re using our red color on your cover.” And we said, “What do you mean your color? How can you copyright a color? You can’t copyright a color.” And they said, “We have a lot of lawyers who say we can.” Vickie Moffett at KCI didn’t want to get involved in a big legal tangle so when they mentioned their lawyers, she said, “Well, how do you feel about blue?” They said, “Blue’s okay, that’s not our color.” So we went with blue, and it went almost as well, not quite as well but still it was a giant hit for several years.

Clayton: All of us remember what a huge lift we got when we started testing magalogs. I was in 6 x 9s at the time and was running very long copy, up to 24-page sales letters. But going with magalogs really radically changed how I wrote my copy as well. Instead of being a sales letter, I was now writing value-added copy that rewarded the reader for plowing through my 24 pages by giving him practical things that he could use now.

Gary: That’s very true. That immediate gratification is very important.

Clayton: Yeah. Everyone’s looking for the next big format breakthrough though.

Gary: I really think it’s here already. I think it’s the e-zine. I’m finding that with the clients that I’m a partner with, I almost don’t want to do direct mail anymore. It’s too tough to send a 24-page magalog to a prospect who doesn’t know you. I don’t think direct mail will ever be dead, but rising paper costs, rising printing, and rising skepticism argue against people responding to cold mailings that are trying to sell them something right on the spot. I think these factors argue instead for an elongated courtship of an e-zine that is of great value — where the selling process starts more subtly, a lot more softly. Perhaps in the future the most profitable use of much direct mail will be to drive people into an e-zine relationship.

Direct mail is also destined, inevitably, to become the province of higher-cost products. When I started, you could sell a $12 book by direct mail and make a lot of money. You can’t do that anymore. My first freelance client was a little company called Farnsworth Publishing and we sold a lot of books. I would write a space ad that would run in The Wall Street Journal on estate planning or some form of investing or how to buy a small company or other very esoteric subjects. We also had an active direct mail campaign for the same book, a #10 package and a letter selling a book for $12 or $19. You couldn’t possibly cover that cost today, you’d go in the hole.

That bar is constantly being raised. I think pretty soon it’ll be very hard to make money on a $39 offer unless you’ve got a very healthy back end and are willing to break even or even lose a little money up front. Again, it depends on what you’re selling.

I think one of the great things that you did, Clayton, for Phillips Publishing was your package for Health & Healing. It wasn’t just a homerun, it was a grand slam World Series winning blast in the bottom of the ninth inning. That’s how memorable your Health & Healing launch package was for Phillips.

That package built that newsletter to astronomical heights. I don’t think anybody could’ve ever envisioned that. I’m sure that Tom Phillips never thought that this little newsletter on health that he just launched as an additional product to have, would become the towering profit maker of Phillips Publishing.

But not only that, it was such a perfectly natural vehicle for selling vitamins and supplements to those who are signing up for the newsletter. So the newsletter in effect became a paid advertisement. The prospects would literally pay to receive additional offers for supplements and cruises and everything else that you would want to sell associated with Dr. Whitaker, who is the editor of the newsletter.

So you had 500,000, or however many subscribers they had in time, each one paying $50 a year to start with and I guess those prices ratcheted up over the renewal period. I can’t even do the arithmetic. I think that would break my calculator just to figure out the money they were making on the subscriptions. And then there’s all the money coming in from supplements and vitamins and all kinds of arthritis remedies and water filters and all the other back-end products. That was just a gigantically profitable business that you helped them create.

Clayton: They only thought I wrote that package. That was a Bencivenga package from beginning to end.

Gary: Is it too late to tell Tom this because I understand he was just made extremely wealthy by the sale of that company? Maybe somehow you can finagle for me a slice of what he just received.

Clayton: We sold between one and two million subscriptions in three years.

Gary: Wow. Clayton, I had nothing to do with that. We all learn from each other and I learn from you and that was your homerun totally unaided by me.

Clayton: I think this interview should be absolute must-reading for every soul in the direct response industry, Gary. Your insights are staggeringly brilliant. Is there anything else that you’d like to add before we close?

Gary: No, that’s it, Clayton. When I was coming up through the ranks of the direct marketing agencies in Manhattan — Ogilvy & Mather, BBDO and a couple of others — my favorite time of the week was on Friday afternoons when most writers would kick back and just meet in the copy chief’s office and shoot the breeze about great campaigns and funny art directors and neurotic account executives and other comical gossip. We’d just tell jokes and learn from each other about advertising.

Mostly we young guys just shut up and listened because the old timers had so many great war stories of campaigns that were breakthroughs and how they were developed and funny characters they met along the way, like the art director who slept in his cubicle because his girlfriend threw him out and he had no place to go and that’s the real reason why he was so early for work in the morning — he lived in his cubicle.

Those sessions were just so instructive and I think this is sort of the modern day equivalent of that — where two guys just talk shop on the phone and if we can help others save some time by avoiding the mistakes we made, so much the better.

Clayton: I just want you to know, Gary, that if there’s ever anything at all that I can do for you all you have to do is ask. I don’t know what plans you have for Bencivenga Bullets or future products or services or educational tools or whatever, but just count me in.

Gary: The Bullets are free and I offer them to anybody who wants to learn what I know. I want to leave something of a legacy, partly to carry on in the same tradition of those great old copy chiefs who taught me. You don’t have to know thousands of things to be a really good copywriter.

A relatively small handful of insights as your guideposts will save you years of effort and save clients perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars in their testing. Those are the secrets I share for free in the Bencivenga Bullets.

Loan Modification: Stopping Foreclosure The Legal Way

The economic crunch has everyone desperately holding onto to whatever assets and properties they still have, including, for those still lucky enough to have it, their foreclosure-free homes. Others aren’t so lucky. Many have taken out a second mortgage on their homes, with a lot of them barely knowing how to work out the first one. Those lucky enough to know about loan modification have a significantly better chance of stopping foreclosure on their homes than those who do not, and this should not be the case. More people should know more about loan modification and how it can help in stopping foreclosure of their mortgaged homes.

Knowing more about loan modification is also beneficial in the way that it will help many, particularly those depicted as “token victims” of loan modification scams, such as afro-american families and those of Hispanic descent. A lot of scammers are specifically targeting these particular groups and taking advantage of their apparent lack of knowledge of the particulars of a loan modification, posing as middlemen who can supposedly “help” them in applying for, and getting an approval for a loan modification, when in truth, they are just out to hustle desperate homeowners out of their last savings without actually arranging anything to help the one in debt.

The trouble lies in the fact that so few know about loan modification, and some who do know about it don’t know enough to avoid the scammers, hence encouraging more scammers to target them. Homeowners and those in debt with lenders should know that a loan modification is something they can work out by themselves. All that is needed is for them to call their lender and apply for the loan modification themselves, this way, the homeowners themselves will know what requirements they will need to qualify for a loan modification. They will also know the particulars of the new arrangement done on their loan, and should the lender deem them as eligible for it, the homeowner may even be rewarded with a reduction in the interest rate on the long-term loan.

Ultimately, seeking loan modification as a way of stopping foreclosure could prove to be beneficially enlightening, since looking into and studying the particulars and specifics of how to apply and get approval for a loan modification affords a homeowner a better insight into the workings of home mortgaging, lending procedures, and arrangements in loan payment terms.

How Not To Become A Copywriter

Copywriting is a strange mix of art and science. Do more than what is required and you end up with a piece of junk. Do less and you have a good-enough vehicle that won’t start. It can be terribly frustrating and there’s a lot of tiptoeing you need to do, but hey, isn’t that what copywriters should do? Here, to help some new ones and to remind some old ones, are tips and tricks that no copywriter worth his ink should do: Put enough mystery to baffle your readers. It may seem like a good thing to do, to inject suspense into your writing, but some of the best clever stuff fall on deaf ears or for that matter, confused eyes. If it takes your readers more than a minute to get what you mean, you’ll just frustrate them. They’ll be off looking for another site that leaves little to the imagination, so to speak. If you’re trying to write copy, leave the cryptic stuff for your future suspense novel where it will be put to better use. Use clever words only when absolutely necessary. Or if they are part of the copywriting style you want to use for effect. Even then, use only one or two. Don’t expect your readers to know that Latin word you encountered in high school. Your readers are too busy looking for information to actually stop and look the word up in a dictionary. Ignore the needs of your readers. As a copywriter, your main customer is your reader. If they say they want bagels, then give them bagels. Don’t give them crème brulee. Don’t even give them mousse. As a reader yourself, you know how frustrating it is to be led to believe one thing and then get another. Require a translator. Overestimating your readers can also spell disaster. If you don’t work in the same frequency, there’s no point for your reader to stay and read what you labored on for two weeks and a day. They’ll just ignore your pearls for some plain but easy to digest peanuts. Horrifying, isn’t it? But it is a fact of life that some people just don’t have the patience for copywriting that may rock, but in a totally different solar system. Write in a style and form that your readers don’t appreciate. Anyone who’s had to write pieces for six-year-olds understands this completely. Believing that today’s kids are smart enough to understand a Faulkner-like fable will not win you any fans. Well, maybe a few. Those six-year-olds who are members of Mensa. Ignore the medium you are writing for. Writing general copy for a website is different from writing copy for a magazine like Time, for example. Take the subject of gardening. If you’re writing for time, you will need to do intensive research on gardening, visit plots of land in Europe and America and maybe plant a few seeds yourself just to write about gardening and outline different styles that had an impact on that country’s politics and economy. If you’re writing for a gardening website, it’s different. You want your copy to be simple enough to encourage visitors to stay and read. Remember that they’re always in a hurry, ready to jump to another site that offers a better option (and maybe better pictures). You’ll need short but sweet sentences that say everything at a cursory glance. Concise is the order of the day. Write and write and never review. Once the writing bug bites, the venom is lethal and fast. It is also highly unpredictable and could last for weeks and weeks to as little as a few hours. That’s why we try to squeeze in as much writing as we can during the moment of inspiration. Never mind the grammar, I’ll check the spelling later, don’t care if there’s no comma there… later, later… That’s perfectly fine, until you forget to proofread. Proofreading yourself is like trying to find your flaws when you look like Brad Pitt. It’s hard. But if you look closely enough, you’ll find a few glitches here and there, some lines that are not supposed to be included, a few extra skin on the intro, some loose items… it could go on. Try to proofread at least twice or thrice. If you can, proofread five times. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ve missed and what you should have trimmed. Don’t be shy about it. Even the best writers do it and we all learn from the best.

What Is A Copywriter And What Does A Copywriter Do?

A copywriter is a person tasked to write the text used for advertisements in magazines, newspapers, television, radio and other kinds of media. A copywriter may also be assigned to come up with the words for press releases, informational or promotional pamphlets, and other promotional materials. A copywriter may also be tasked to rewrite or edit existing materials. Thus, a copywriter’s job is a very flexible and potentially exciting career in the wide world of advertising and marketing. Where Does a Copywriter Work? A copywriter usually works in advertising firms, retail stores, and marketing companies in a metropolitan area. The working environment of a copywriter is usually found to be quite hectic, which makes creativity under pressure necessary. Advertising is known to be a very fast-paced field where many crises can suddenly occur. A copywriter is usually pressured by short deadline and successive assignments daily. A copywriter is often asked for several revisions at the last minute. This job is therefore not for the weak-hearted or the unengaged. How Fulfilling Is a Copywriter’s Job? Novice and assistant copywriters usually start off with an annual salary of about $30,000 to $35,000 working it up to some $40,000 when they become full-pledged. A senior copywriter may eventually earn some $100,000 a year and about $125,000 if he or she becomes promoted as copywriting chief. A copywriter has the potential to later become creative director and earn as much as $200,000 annually. A copywriter, like most other workers, is usually required to work 40 hours a week, but it is usually expected to have a lot of overtime in this career. Fortunately overtime is compensated accordingly. A copywriter becomes most busy during key times depending on the nature of their firm’s trade – department store copywriters work most during holiday and sale seasons, advertising copywriters work a lot during big advertising campaigns. Many copywriters today are privileged with profit-sharing schemes afforded by their company. A copywriter also gets the usual benefits such as paid vacations and holidays, pension plans, health care, hospitalization insurance and life insurance. Copywriting can be quite a rewarding job. How to Become a Copywriter? A copywriter is expected to be skilled in coming up with great advertising ideas as well as putting them to paper in a very articulate and effective manner. A copywriter should also have a good grasp of layout and typography because visuals are also very important in advertising. Most advertising agencies require aspiring copywriters to have a solid background in the field, preferably working for at least three years in the business. Copywriters are of course expected to have obtained a college degree, usually in liberal arts, communications, business management, and marketing. A lot of copywriters take college courses that combine creative writing with marketing and this prepares them well for a good copywriting career. To get hired as a copywriter, one has to be able to combine a solid formal education with an active writing experience. Most copywriters not only had degrees in communications or business, but they actually wrote while studying whether in school publications or community newsletters. A good idea is to present well-written works such as essays and articles. Are there Opportunities for Growth for a Copywriter? There is much room for growth for a copywriter. Copywriters working in department stores can become chief of copywriting or fashion coordinator and work their way to become division manager and even advertising chief. Copywriters working in advertising agencies may be promoted as copy supervisor, advancing to copy chief, and then account executive, and ultimately to creative directorship. A copywriter’s job can indeed be quite fulfilling. In the growing world of business and advertising a copywriter can find a great home with many opportunities for earning and career expansion. Some people undermine the work of copywriters merely because their job seems to be placed at the bottom of the bureaucracy. However a copywriter with the right determination and skill can definitely work his or her way to the top the way their more business-oriented peers do. Copywriting can be a very fulfilling career for those who have the right skills for the job. If you are full of bright ideas and know how to write well then you might want to try out becoming a copywriter.

So What Is A True Copywriter?

Obviously a copywriter has something to do with writing. Copywriters can work for themselves as individuals or they can have a variety of clients. A copywriter can work with such places as corporations, advertising agencies, magazines, and so much more. Most of the time a copywriter will work as parting of an advertising group. Usually, the copywriter has the original responsibility for the advertisement as far as what its going to say, how it will read, and the contents that go into the advertisement itself. It’s always a good idea for the copywriter to come up with the best ideas and the most effective word content even if the copywriter has to do research on the advertisement. Believe it or not because the copywriters that are working in advertising and different agencies, copywriters because of the similarities in words think that copywriters have something to do with copyrighting and the laws dealing with copyright. These are two different careers and are not even in the least related. The only similarity of a copywriter would come with that of a technical writer and their careers may overlap to a certain extent. However technical writing and the technical writer’s job is to inform readers rather than to persuade them. For instance, a copywriter will write an ad so sell a house, and all its benefits, accessories and potential. While, a technical writer would do writing about the building of the house, the blueprints, the materials and those areas. So, initially there are differences in the copywriter as to the technical writer. When a copywriter is asked to do a job, they concentrate on “selling” the product through the importance of words. The way they are arranged and the best things concerning the product. Such as why you would benefit from the product. Internet copywriters are often called on as a team for a website, to of course do the advertising on the web site. While the others in the teams do their assigned parts making it into a great and productive web site. One that will generate traffic, show the people the benefits of the web site products and other aspects of the web site. Internet copywriters can be expensive, however they take on the ultimate responsibility of literally turning a web site or an advertisement for a web site into a glamorous, why you need to visit web site, or buy the product on the advertisement, by the use of only the words they are writing. Sometimes this can be very difficult for various items or products and sometimes they also have to do research on certain products in order to do the very best job at which they have been assigned. If products on a web site don’t sell, it is not going to be anyone’s doings but the one who has written up the description of the product or the information on the web site, which of course is in fact the copywriter. This is why some copywriters get paid as well as they do, their jobs are important; however most copywriters are very good at what they do. Published at: https://www.isnare.com/?aid=213480&ca=Career

Why You Need a Copywriter

If you do any type of online business communication, send out sales letters, make manuals or work on designing your company’s web site then you probably need a professional copywriter and editor. Many people and this are quite obvious if you look at some of the stuff that is sent out these days, believe that they can do it themselves and it is just as good. This however is not the case and even a small mistake can cause a client to question your expert status or advice. This indeed can hurt your sales. Spending a few dollars up front with a good copywriter or editor makes a lot of sense for sales down the road. Saving a few dollars now can cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the future in lost sales. The worst part about it is you will never even know that you lost the sale. A potential customer or client will simply throw your sales letter in the trash or click out of your web site and go buy from your competition. This is why you need a good copywriter and you probably don’t even know it yet. Is a good copywriter’s hard to come by? Yes, good ones are and there are a lot of people claiming to be copy writers and editors out there who are not very good. Some of their stuff is too flowery for the Internet and too wordy for sales letter. But if you find a person who understands the game then that is the copywriter for you. While it’s important that most businesses today have a website presence, it can only be as effective as a promotional resource if it’s designed well enough and full of interesting copywriting to maintain the visitor’s interest. Keeping your visitor on the site long enough to be intrigued, is the only way they will look around to see if what you are selling or offering is worth their time. Making your website stand out from the crowd is an effective way to use your website as a positive promoting tool. Following these simple guidelines can help you understand exactly what is important to accomplish this. Reasons Why You Need Effective Copywriting Services? Specifically define the problem of your site’s minimal traffic Imagine you are a doctor, lawyer or other professional with a solid business in a specific town and have a website stating that fact. Your site lists important information such as what kind of business you are what your phone number is and maybe a map how to get to your office. The site might also state what your specific line of business does. Why your visitor might find this information handy, they are most likely trying to get off your site before they fall asleep. If on the other hand, your website looks professional, has many intriguing photos of people interacting with each other, with smiles on their faces, and shaking hands, the visitor might stay around long to read the copywriting. However, it is important that the copy also be intriguing, and has a direct connection with the photos the visitor is viewing. If your visitor can make the correlation of smiling face of resolution to the problem may have by reading the copywriting that verifies that (“we are here to solve your problem, and here’s how”), they are more apt to stay, gather information and call. Specify exactly why you are different then the next business Remember that doctors, lawyers and other professionals are a dime a dozen. Having your smiling face beaming out from the front page of your website is not going to be enough to hold your audience, no matter how beautiful you are. Your customers, patients or clients need to make a connection between you and them, if they are going to put their trust in you to do whatever job is required. Relating personal stories of yourself, your clients, customers or patients with happy-endings and resolutions is the connection they need to feel satisfied and comfortable calling on your services. Specify exactly how you can solve their problems Finally, you have to be the answer to their problem. Specifically you have to be the only answer to their problem. Writing good copy, filled with stories and information intriguing enough to hold their interest is what it is going to take to make that connection between you and them. Finding yourself a good copywriter is the difference between having a profitable website drawing visitors, patients, clients or customers to your business. Published at: https://www.isnare.com/?aid=1959361&ca=Business+Management

Who Needs A Copywriter Anyway?

This would be like asking a milking company why they have to have cows, someone has to do the initial work right? Okay, every business whether small or large, has to promote itself. Regardless if it is on the Internet or off of the Internet a copywriter is needed. Because all new products and designs need to be promoted or no one ever knows or hears about them at all in the long term scheme of things. The retail market is growing very fast, and if these companies didn’t have someone such as copywriters to promote their items they would be in a horrible fix. Copywriters entice the readers by using words to get them to understand that a new product is being released, and to give them all the possible information they possibly can about the new product. Almost everyone and anyone who releases advertisements or brochures on a product need the assistance of a copywriter to promote the product through the use of advertising. The more information or advertising you can have to promote a product the better. And big companies as well as the small companies are aware of this. There are several ways to promote a product however the most effective is that of the copywriter and the use of words to get a point across. It is like painting a picture without the use of colors, you use the ideas and words to describe to the best of your ability the product. Companies know this and rely on these copywriters to do the advertisements for them. It doesn’t really matter who or what the company is the fact remains they have to promote their products as well as introduce new products that are coming out or being released in the near future. The copywriters who design the advertisements for these companies have a certain amount of time to get their assignment accomplished, and at times this entails their own research on the products they are being asked to do the advertisement on. Of course, most companies or those who are in need of the copywriters, will do as much as they can to assist the copywriters by initially supplying them with as much information on the product they would need, however sometimes this isn’t actually easy especially if this is a new item coming out. Then the copywriter only has so much to go by and has to entice and improvise to get the readers interested in the product. For the most part, they all know what they are doing, and there are many copywriters in the world today. Agencies that have nothing but copywriters for the plain interest of advertising and marketing. Car dealerships, department stores, internet web sites, and so many more companies need the assistance of copywriting because they have to have the advertisements in order to in turn get out a profit. Otherwise the company without the use of advertisement will result in losses. So, the concept of people needing copywriters is pretty self explanatory. Without them advertising and marketing solutions would obviously suffer as well as the companies who do not enlist in their assistance. Published at: https://www.isnare.com/?aid=216497&ca=Jobs

How Not To Become A Copywriter

Copywriting is a strange mix of art and science. Do more than what is required and you end up with a piece of junk. Do less and you have a good-enough vehicle that won’t start. It can be terribly frustrating and there’s a lot of tiptoeing you need to do, but hey, isn’t that what copywriters should do? Here, to help some new ones and to remind some old ones, are tips and tricks that no copywriter worth his ink should do: Put enough mystery to baffle your readers. It may seem like a good thing to do, to inject suspense into your writing, but some of the best clever stuff fall on deaf ears or for that matter, confused eyes. If it takes your readers more than a minute to get what you mean, you’ll just frustrate them. They’ll be off looking for another site that leaves little to the imagination, so to speak. If you’re trying to write copy, leave the cryptic stuff for your future suspense novel where it will be put to better use. Use clever words only when absolutely necessary. Or if they are part of the copywriting style you want to use for effect. Even then, use only one or two. Don’t expect your readers to know that Latin word you encountered in high school. Your readers are too busy looking for information to actually stop and look the word up in a dictionary. Ignore the needs of your readers. As a copywriter, your main customer is your reader. If they say they want bagels, then give them bagels. Don’t give them crème brulee. Don’t even give them mousse. As a reader yourself, you know how frustrating it is to be led to believe one thing and then get another. Require a translator. Overestimating your readers can also spell disaster. If you don’t work in the same frequency, there’s no point for your reader to stay and read what you labored on for two weeks and a day. They’ll just ignore your pearls for some plain but easy to digest peanuts. Horrifying, isn’t it? But it is a fact of life that some people just don’t have the patience for copywriting that may rock, but in a totally different solar system. Write in a style and form that your readers don’t appreciate. Anyone who’s had to write pieces for six-year-olds understands this completely. Believing that today’s kids are smart enough to understand a Faulkner-like fable will not win you any fans. Well, maybe a few. Those six-year-olds who are members of Mensa. Ignore the medium you are writing for. Writing general copy for a website is different from writing copy for a magazine like Time, for example. Take the subject of gardening. If you’re writing for time, you will need to do intensive research on gardening, visit plots of land in Europe and America and maybe plant a few seeds yourself just to write about gardening and outline different styles that had an impact on that country’s politics and economy. If you’re writing for a gardening website, it’s different. You want your copy to be simple enough to encourage visitors to stay and read. Remember that they’re always in a hurry, ready to jump to another site that offers a better option (and maybe better pictures). You’ll need short but sweet sentences that say everything at a cursory glance. Concise is the order of the day. Write and write and never review. Once the writing bug bites, the venom is lethal and fast. It is also highly unpredictable and could last for weeks and weeks to as little as a few hours. That’s why we try to squeeze in as much writing as we can during the moment of inspiration. Never mind the grammar, I’ll check the spelling later, don’t care if there’s no comma there… later, later… That’s perfectly fine, until you forget to proofread. Proofreading yourself is like trying to find your flaws when you look like Brad Pitt. It’s hard. But if you look closely enough, you’ll find a few glitches here and there, some lines that are not supposed to be included, a few extra skin on the intro, some loose items… it could go on. Try to proofread at least twice or thrice. If you can, proofread five times. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ve missed and what you should have trimmed. Don’t be shy about it. Even the best writers do it and we all learn from the best. Published at: https://www.isnare.com/?aid=116446&ca=Career

What Is A Copywriter And What Does A Copywriter Do?

A copywriter is a person tasked to write the text used for advertisements in magazines, newspapers, television, radio and other kinds of media. A copywriter may also be assigned to come up with the words for press releases, informational or promotional pamphlets, and other promotional materials. A copywriter may also be tasked to rewrite or edit existing materials. Thus, a copywriter’s job is a very flexible and potentially exciting career in the wide world of advertising and marketing. Where Does a Copywriter Work? A copywriter usually works in advertising firms, retail stores, and marketing companies in a metropolitan area. The working environment of a copywriter is usually found to be quite hectic, which makes creativity under pressure necessary. Advertising is known to be a very fast-paced field where many crises can suddenly occur. A copywriter is usually pressured by short deadline and successive assignments daily. A copywriter is often asked for several revisions at the last minute. This job is therefore not for the weak-hearted or the unengaged. How Fulfilling Is a Copywriter’s Job? Novice and assistant copywriters usually start off with an annual salary of about $30,000 to $35,000 working it up to some $40,000 when they become full-pledged. A senior copywriter may eventually earn some $100,000 a year and about $125,000 if he or she becomes promoted as copywriting chief. A copywriter has the potential to later become creative director and earn as much as $200,000 annually. A copywriter, like most other workers, is usually required to work 40 hours a week, but it is usually expected to have a lot of overtime in this career. Fortunately overtime is compensated accordingly. A copywriter becomes most busy during key times depending on the nature of their firm’s trade – department store copywriters work most during holiday and sale seasons, advertising copywriters work a lot during big advertising campaigns. Many copywriters today are privileged with profit-sharing schemes afforded by their company. A copywriter also gets the usual benefits such as paid vacations and holidays, pension plans, health care, hospitalization insurance and life insurance. Copywriting can be quite a rewarding job. How to Become a Copywriter? A copywriter is expected to be skilled in coming up with great advertising ideas as well as putting them to paper in a very articulate and effective manner. A copywriter should also have a good grasp of layout and typography because visuals are also very important in advertising. Most advertising agencies require aspiring copywriters to have a solid background in the field, preferably working for at least three years in the business. Copywriters are of course expected to have obtained a college degree, usually in liberal arts, communications, business management, and marketing. A lot of copywriters take college courses that combine creative writing with marketing and this prepares them well for a good copywriting career. To get hired as a copywriter, one has to be able to combine a solid formal education with an active writing experience. Most copywriters not only had degrees in communications or business, but they actually wrote while studying whether in school publications or community newsletters. A good idea is to present well-written works such as essays and articles. Are there Opportunities for Growth for a Copywriter? There is much room for growth for a copywriter. Copywriters working in department stores can become chief of copywriting or fashion coordinator and work their way to become division manager and even advertising chief. Copywriters working in advertising agencies may be promoted as copy supervisor, advancing to copy chief, and then account executive, and ultimately to creative directorship. A copywriter’s job can indeed be quite fulfilling. In the growing world of business and advertising a copywriter can find a great home with many opportunities for earning and career expansion. Some people undermine the work of copywriters merely because their job seems to be placed at the bottom of the bureaucracy. However a copywriter with the right determination and skill can definitely work his or her way to the top the way their more business-oriented peers do. Copywriting can be a very fulfilling career for those who have the right skills for the job. If you are full of bright ideas and know how to write well then you might want to try out becoming a copywriter. Published at: https://www.isnare.com/?aid=115282&ca=Career

Custody Concerns: Quick Guide to Understanding Legal Custody

Determining custody after a couple has split up can become a complex and confusing affair. Even couples that feel as if they parted ways in an amicable manner could run into issues months or even years down the road. With over 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce, it is important for all parents to understand how the custody process works and what factors will be taken into consideration.
The Best Interests of Your Child

The laws do change between states, but every judge is going to make the best interests of the child their priority. This means that all other factors will not mean much if the judge feels as if the child will be neglected, abused, or not have a good quality of life in a certain situation. Parents that are looking for full or partial custody will need to speak with their attorney about how they can demonstrate that they are what is best for the child.
Keeping Both Parents Involved

Emotions are often high after a divorce, and this means that many parents file for sole custody. What these individuals should realize is that most courts favor a situation in which both parents are a part of the child’s life. Judges want a child to grow up with both the mother and father in their life unless one of those parties is unfit to be a parent.
Your Child’s Age and Preferences

Just because a child wants to stay with a specific parent does not necessarily mean that the judge will agree to it, but it will be taken into consideration. The judge will first take a look at the intelligence and emotional stability of the child to ensure that they are not being coerced or making a bad decision. As the child becomes older, their personal preference on custody will hold more weight.