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Creating The Blueprint in Web Copywriting

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I’ve distilled the entire web copywriting process into five easy steps that make the task of writing web copy as easy as pieand as enjoyable. 

Each step in the blueprint takes the form of a question.  Once you answer each of the five questions about any product or service, you’ll have the blueprint, a miniversion of your web copy. 

Note:  As you are answering these five questions, don’t get creative.  Just answer factually.  We’ll get creative later.

Question 1.  What Is the Problem?
Most sales, both online and offline, are based primarily on solving a problem.  Having identified your target audience, your job now is to identify the problem that your target audience has that can be solved by your product or service. 

In copywriting terms these are known as the “three Ps”–pain, problem, or predicament.
This is where you play doctor. 

You diagnose the problem.  The people in your target audience may not even know they have a problem, so it is your job to make them recognize it. 

Many web copywriters and marketers shove the solution down their viewers’ throats before their readers distinguish that there is a problem. 

That’s like a doctor prescribing medicine before you feel sick or undrstand that the shot will prevent the flu.

There is another aspect to it as well.  Once your audience understands they have a problem, you have to let them know that you understand their problem. 

There’s an old saying that goes something like this:  “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Step 1.  Write down your target audience’s problem. A few senners will do.  Your reader must be able to say, “Hey, she really understands my problem,” or “He reads me like a hook,” or she knows me so well it’s as though she’s been eavesdropping in my conversations or reading my mail.” 

That’s why I keep emphasizing that before you write a word of copy, you have to know your audicnce.

Question 2.  Why Hasn’t the Problem Been Solved?
Extending the doctor metaphor, this is where you further idently the history of the problem, predicament, or pain and look into the previous remedies or solutions that have been attempted but failed. 

As you progress through all five steps of this blueprint, you’ll begin to see how the answer(s) to this question serves to build your audience’s anticipation about a new solution you’re about to reveal.

Step 2.  Write down the reason(s) why the problem continues, percents or lingers.  How is it that they haven’t solved their problem, and why are they still stuck in the rut?  Again, a few factual sennuers will do.

Question 3.  What Is Possible?
In coaching parlance, this is called possibility thinking.  This is where you set the stage for what life could be like–what could happen–when your audience’s problem, pain, or predicament is eliminated. 

You must go beyond stating the obvious.  “The pain in your lower back will disappear,” is not enough.  You must draw a picture of what is possible now that the pain is gone. 

“You will be able to engage in activities [specify activities] you were unable to engage in because of your back pain, or “You can accomplish all your goals and dreams because the pain is no longer there to stop you.”  This is the dramatic promise.

Step 3.  Write down what’s possible.  Paint a picture of the way things will be when your prospect’s problems are solved.  Again, a few sentences will do.

Question 4.  What Is Different Now?
How will things change for your prospects?  This is where you explain who you are and how your product or service can help them, as well as what’s different about your product or service that will eliminate their problem. 

This is where your unique selling proposition (USP) comes in.  A USP is something that sets you, your product or service, or your business apart from every other competitor in a favorable way.  It’s the competitive advantage that you proclaim to your prospects, customers, or clients.

Step 4.  Write a few sentences about what differentiates your product/service.  Present just the substance–not the details.

Question 5.  What Should You Do Now?
you answered the first four questions, and established your decive, you know what the answer to this question is. 

You apply tell your viewers to do what you started out wanting to do–that is, to sign up, pick up the phone, register, opt or buy the product or service you’re selling.

Step 5.  State clearly what you want your prospect to do.  This is call to action.
There you have it.  Once you have answered the five questions, you have the structure; all you have to do is decorate it.  The act is, with this blueprint alone, you can make some sales.

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