Everyone's a critic of great copy

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When it comes to copywriting, everybody is an expert. Think about it. From an early age, we are all taught to use a pen and write words. Everything we do and communicate uses words, for example essays, tests and term papers.

Everyone by nature is somewhat a copywriter. Not so with its counterpart, art director - not everybody can draw. Very few can design, but writing, hey, we all know how to use a pen. Herein lies the problem.

With so many critics, it's no wonder final copy is difficult to get a buy off on look. Great copy means different things to different people. All I can tell you is what I was taught, what great copy is and isn't. Here goes:

Great copy is conversation. It is not a product sell sheet. Copy is the voice of your brand. It takes the place of sending salesmen out to talk to your customer. So it better be likeable and convincing. It should sound like the brand is across the table speaking to your customer.

Great copy is not grammatically correct. It's not perfect, just like people aren't perfect. It's okay to use ain't or gonna or any other taboo words your English teacher slapped you on the wrist for using. If a word suits the message you are trying to convey, use it. Remember you are using words on paper to replace a real live salesman to pitch your brand or product.

Great copy is full of emotion. Just like a real salesman would be. Makes you want to hear more with every sentence. It helps to talk your copy to a person, like a salesman would before you finalize it.

Great copy is clear. It is not vague or ambiguous. "I get what you came to tell me."

Great copy is convincing. It makes the consumer anxious to buy your product. They "just have to have it now."

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