For those who may be curious, this is a high-level overview of how we work together to write your project.
My writing process
In order to make the writing process a logical and painless operation, I use a simple method for writing projects.
Step 1: Gather information
Good writing begins with good information. The best way to gather the information is with a thorough copy brief or Q&A session. Here are some basic questions that will help me prepare your writing project. The answers to these questions are important for any business writing project.
- Description. Briefly, what is the product or service you are selling?
- Purpose. What does this product or service do for the customer? How does it work?
- Price. What is the suggested cost? What are you asking for it?
- Features. What are the most important facts and specifications about this product or service?
- Benefits. What do the features mean for the customer? What problems are solved? What needs are filled? Of all the benefits, which is the most important?
- Competition. From the customer’s point of view, why is this product or service better than what the competition is offering?
- Your Business. Do you have a special history, unique owner, awards?
- Guarantee. How strongly do you believe in the product or service? How will you back up your belief? 30 days free trial? Money back guarantee?
- Prospect. Who do you visualize as the ideal buyer? Male or female? Income? Job title? Interests? Concerns? Fears?
- Objections. Why would someone NOT want this product?
- Testimonials & Endorsements. Letters from happy users? Media coverage? Celebrity endorsements?
- Objective. What do you want prospects to do when they see this project? Ask for more information? Buy immediately? Come to your Web site? Request a demo?
- Offer. What is the deal you are offering to prospects? Lower price for a limited time? Free information? Gift with an immediate order?
- Deadline. When does the offer expire?
- Required Points. What legal information or disclaimers must be included?
- Taboos. What can never be said or promised?
- Method of Payment. Credit card? PayPal? Installment Billing? (if it is an ad or sales message)
- Method of Ordering. How should a buyer place an order? Phone? E-mail? Web form? (if it is an ad or sales message)
Step 2: Organize your information
After gathering information, I need to organize your information. This is simply a matter of writing the essential points concisely. These are still just notes for reference. I’ve found that writing and rewriting notes is a great way to focus the mind and shape ideas.
I focus on getting a clear understanding of the following points:
- Benefits / Prime Benefit
You’ll notice that this list doesn’t include everything from the first step. Some of the information collected in Step 1 is for background only. The items in Step 2 are those most likely to be used directly in your project.
Step 3: Write your project
Now that I’ve collected and organized your information, it’s time to start writing your copy.
Step 4: Edit
This is essential to get the clean, crisp results you’re looking for.
Step 5: Review and submit
I put your project aside for a few days and read it again later when I’m fresh. When I’m happy with it, I send it to you. Review it closely. One revision is included in the price of your project if the revision request is received within thirty days of when I submit it to you.