How to write awesome copy using other peoples’ experiences

This article will help you write copy to sell something, even if you’ve NO IDEA why people would want to buy it in the first place! Read on for some tips:

You’re probably aware that to sell something, your copy HAS to resonate with the reader. You MUST solve your readers’ problems and offer fantastic solutions.

BUT if you have limited knowledge on a subject, problems can occur. If you’re writing about something you don’t personally need it can get tricky, even if you’re an article-writing guru or a copywriting master.

I’ve personally been in this situation. I needed to sell a service but I had never used it. I didn’t even know why people would need to use it!
web copy inspiration

So, what did I do?

I applied my technique, which I’ll share with you now:

How to put others’ experiences in your copy:

This blog post will show you where to find other peoples’ experiences to work them into your own copy. These techniques will allow you to connect your writing to your readers. You’ll be solving their problems, giving them reasons to buy and hopefully closing in on the sale.

So, let’s get started:

Visit Google and type in your keyword, product or thing that identifies your niche. I’m going to do this now, pretending that my problem product is ‘luxury hand cream’.

web copy discussions

Next, visit the left of Google’s page where you’ll see a ‘more’ button. Click this and then a box full of links (like those on the right) will open up. Click on ‘discussions’ to see your search performed in forums and Q&A websites. You can even filter discussion posts by the last hour, day or week to find really topical information. Click ‘all time’ to find the most popular, influential discussions.

Tip: Read as many discussions as you have time for: skim read and note down common problems people are having or questions that are being answered.

Look deep into the discussions for ‘benefits’ to work into your copy. I suggest writing things in a note pad as you’re skimming from post to post.

Now, use these real, human experiences to help you sell!

Here’s what I found about luxury hand cream after a couple of searches:

  • Factors a good cream will have
  • Fragrance, advice on smells of different creams
  • What’s best to use for really dry hands
  • Phrases, language and style used in discussions
  • What’s considered a ‘good’ ingredient / what’s bad
  • Great benefits of using luxury hand creams
  • Common problems experienced by cream-users

By now, you should have a similar list. So, it’s time to work all of these into your web copy or article.

Use the information you’ve just researched to make your copy sell.

How to make your copy sell using your research:

Here are my top three tips, follow these and you’ll notice a difference to your conversions:

  • Take care to use similar language/words to those used in the discussions
  • Make sure you write about how YOUR product solves any common problems you’ve noted
  • Use your research to pin point unique selling points and highlight these in your copy

Follow these and you’ll have a more interesting, engaging piece of copy, geared up for selling.

A few final tips:

Try tapping in keywords about your service/product, and if applicable, any other words like ‘problems’, ‘help’ and ‘ideas’ into Google. Think about what potential buyers would search for. E.g. somebody looking to BUY luxury hand cream may ask for ideas or advice in a forum.

web copy Google

Affiliate bloggers: use these tips to make more money!

I think this is a great method of copy writing that affiliate bloggers/shop owners could really benefit from. If you’re into affiliate marketing, make sure you research your products  using my methods and use your findings to boost your copy!

web copy experiencesSome more places to try:

If you’ve pumped the forums dry, try searching on these websites too:

  • Yahoo Answers (and other Q&A sites)
  • Twitter (and other microblogging sites)
  • Facebook (and other social networks)
  • Online groups and communities
  • Social media websites like Digg, Delicious and Reddit
  • Search blog posts and comments too.

[eShop Series] Five questions to ask yourself – Pt.2 Problem solving

This is part two/five of my eShop marketing guide, perfect for e-commerce newbies and online shop owners with no marketing experience.  We’re looking at ways you can increase your shop’s conversion rate, which will mean more sales for you!

Here’s yesterday’s post on ‘audience’ if you missed it.  I will be posting the rest of the questions over the next four days Edit: I’ll be posting these during the week instead now, thanks. Please subscribe to ensure you don’t miss out on any advice.

Let’s begin!

Day two – ask yourself ‘am I helping people solve problems?’

Look at your shop’s copy.  Do you list specifications or do you tell your audience how your product will solve their problems?  In reality, you should be doing both.

After identifying your target audience, use your product description and website copy to solve their problems.

Remember yesterday when we hypothesised about owning a pet store?  We created a ‘Paris Hilton’ persona and thought about how we’d sell to her.

So, with ‘Paris’ in mind, start thinking about potential problems she could be having as a dog owner, and how your products will solve her issues.

Where should I start?Solve your audiences' problems.

Start with your product.  Think about what it actually does.

What’s great about it compared to the alternative? Imagine situations where your audience would need to use your product. What would they be using it for?

Don’t worry if you’re unsure, read the example below and it’ll give you some ideas.

Solving people’s problems – a practical example:

Think about those dog poo bag holders we sell in our hypothetical eStore.  Why would our Paris Hilton wannabe audience need to buy those?  To pick up dog poo, is the obvious answer.

So, let’s dig deeper.  Think about the alternative to your product.  Instead, Paris could recycle her used carrier bags to pick up dog poo.

Would your Paris Hilton wannabe enjoy walking down the road with holey plastic carrier bags from her local shop?  Probably not.  It’s hardly glamorous.

At last, something to start with.  So let’s look at working it into our description.

We’ll change it from:

‘Pink bone-shaped canister comes with refill (25 bags)’

To something that will solve Paris’ problem:

“Sick of carrying plastic, hole-ridden bags to pick up your dog’s poo?  This cute pink canister holds 25 bags and clips to your lead so you and your pooch can go for walks in style.  You’ll never forget your dog poo bags again, so no more embarrassment when he’s caught short in the middle of the street!  Only £2.99”

Can you see the difference?  She’s not just buying a poo bag canister, she’s buying a solution to a problem too. We’ve solved another problem in there too!  Using the handy clip attached to the canister Paris will never forget her poo bags again!

Bonus point: Did you pick up on the language I used? I purposely targeted the description to our Paris-wannabe audience (“walk in style”, “cute”.)

Still unsure?  Take a look at this second example:

It’s for a hypothetical website that is selling a top of the range computer:

Audience: Designer.
Problem: Does it take you days to load up Photoshop and design huge images?
Your solution: Upgrade to render your images quicker than before – save time and never wait for loading programs again.

Audience: Hardcore gamers.
Problem: Is your slow processor holding back your gaming experience?
Your solution: Encounter your games exactly as intended – with exceptional horsepower.  Upgrade today.

Can you see the difference?  We know our audience, we know their problems and our products can solve them.

A quick practical exercise:

Have a go yourself, write descriptions targeted at casual computer users who don’t venture past Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer on a daily basis.  What problems might they encounter?  Why would an upgrade to a faster machine solve those problems.  Think about up-selling too – could you convince them to buy an upgrade of Office from you at the same time?


  • Imagine situations where your ‘persona’ would need to buy your product
  • Think how your product would help in those situations
  • What problems would your product solve in your persona’s life?
  • Work these into your store’s copy.

Image credits:  [Dog jigsaw]