After You Write


Review Your Copy

Come Back To It With Fresh Eyes – Put away your copy and don’t look at it or think about it for a couple  of days. Take a break from it before doing another review. You’ll be amazed at how this will allow you to see your copy from a totally new perspective.

Spell Check – Do a complete spell check of your copy before passing it off to your client for a review. While there’s no avoiding some spelling errors, more than a few will not set well with most clients.

Hire A Proofreader – To ensure you deliver as error-free copy as possible, hire a professional proofreader to review it.

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Review Your Copy In Reverse, From Finish To Start – Read your copy backwards, from the last sentence to the first. You’ll discover errors you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

Cut The Boring Parts – Don’t be afraid to remove chunks of your copy because they now sound boring to you.

Read It Out Loud – Read your copy out loud, in a normal speaking voice. This helps you discover unnatural or odd- sounding sections of your copy. Make sure it sounds conversational.

Do Some Simple Real-World Testing – Get a second opinion about your copy before sending it out. A trusted colleague is best, but your spouse’s input can be valuable as well.

Review A Hard Copy – Print your copy and go through it with a red marker. Highlight points that are boring, awkward, or break its flow.

Pay Attention To Small Details – Remove unnecessary words, phrases, and sentences. If something doesn’t contribute to the core of your message, then remove it!

Cut The Fluff – Eliminate words like ‘very’, ‘really’, ‘actually’, and ‘extremely.’

Check Your Copy For Readability – Run your copy through a Flesch-Kincaid readability calculator (Microsoft Word has a built-in tool for this, or search Google for readability calculator). Shoot for a high reading-ease score, and a grade-level of 7.5 or less.

Use A Checklist – Put all the copy you write through a copywriting checklist, which can be an excellent way to make sure you maintain a standard of high quality. Either create your own custom checklist, or find one online by searching Google for copywriting checklist.

Manage Client Reviews

General Client Review

Don’t Be An Arrogant Jerk – Always be understanding of your clients’ comments and feedback, even if you feel they don’t understand the art of copywriting. Kindness is always better than arrogance.

Ask, Why? – Ask for specific reasons why your client wants something changed. This will either help them to clarify to you what it is they do want, or it will help eliminate a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction they may have to something they don’t fully appreciate or understand.

Choose Your Battles – If you feel strongly about a change or critique, then speak up! You are the expert.

Always Copyright Your Material – For any ads, emails, brochures, etc., that you send to your client, make sure you identify them with a copyright notice (© Copyright 2010 Your Corporation). This will deter unscrupulous clients from simply stealing your ideas without paying you for them.

Legal Review

Run It by The Lawyers – Have the client (and/or their attorney) double-check any statements or claims containing the following words:

Free
Guaranteed
Best, lowest, fastest, etc.
Or your money back
Risk-free
No risk
No purchase necessary
No cost
No obligation
No investment
100 percent
Promise
No questions asked

Test

Test the following to achieve the best results:

Headlines – Individual words, shorter vs. longer, questions vs. statements, font sizes and colors

Subheadlines – Individual words, shorter vs. longer, questions vs. statements, font sizes and colors

Main Copy – Longer vs. shorter, more bulleted lists vs. less

Lead – Try different leads, long vs. short

Price – Higher vs. lower, ending in .00 vs. .97 or .77

Guarantee – Individual words, length of guarantee (90 days vs. 60 days vs. lifetime), guarantee graphic

Testimonials – More vs. less, longer vs. shorter, photos vs. no photos

Call To Action – Displaying credit card logos vs. not, the look of the order button, the text on the order button

Your P.S. – Including one vs. not, the content of the P.S., a single P.S. vs. multiple P.S.’s

Bonuses – More bonuses vs. fewer bonuses, the order of bonuses

Flow – Move various elements up or down the page (make sure they still make sense in their new context)

Graphics – More vs. fewer, switch graphics out, larger vs. smaller

Main Typeface – Serif vs. san serif, font size, with of columns

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