Just dedicating a few weekends to studying the art of copywriting is enough to put your content ahead of that of most affiliate websites.
The value this will bring to your affiliate business is significant. Yes, many people on the internet skim web pages without reading a word. But there are also heaps people who do read articles, or at least parts of it. And the likelihood of these folks clicking on an affiliate button and buying a product increases tremendously with strong copywriting.
Then there are also several direct and indirect SEO-advantages that come with good copywriting.
In this article you’ll find some great resources to help you bring your copywriting to the next level.
The best books and websites on copywriting
The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman
If you were to ever only read one book on copywriting, then let it be The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman.
Drawing from his decades of experience in the mail order business (where he earned many millions), Sugarman draws back the curtain in this book and shows you his secrets of copywriting.
Although the case studies in this book might feel a bit dated (mail order as a business doesn’t even really exist anymore), the copywriting principles which are shared are anything but. These principles still underpin much of the effective copy you see today.
The book covers a lot of ground and deals with topics such as:
- The importance of the first sentence (and the one that comes after that)
- How to create a slippery slide (or, how to keep your readers reading)
- How to resonate with your readers
And much more. All in all it’s a great starting point for those affiliate marketers interested in upping their copywriting game.
Ca$hvertising by Drew E. Whitman
Despite the somewhat tacky title, Cashvertising is a really good book which you’ll find on the bookshelf of many affiliate marketers.
The book has a strong psychological angle. It looks at what drives and motivates people and how you can use this in your advantage when it comes to writing persuasive copy.
For instance, it looks at the foundational principles of consumer psychology (e.g. “the fear factor”, “the bandwagon effect”, “repetition and redundancy”) and lays out the secrets of the most effective ad agencies out there, such as:
- The psychology of simplicity
- The power of extreme specificity
- The psychology of color
It’s a really good read that will greatly impact your understanding of effective copywriting.
All books by Henneke Duistermaat and her blog
The Enchanting Marketing is a great free resource for copywriting insights. Henneke Duistermaat’s (the blog’s founder) articles are short and to the point, and fun to read.
Duistermaat also has a couple of books:
- How to Write Seductive Web Copy
- Blog to Win and Business
Both are very compact and have a friendly price tag, a few bucks each. They are geared towards effective writing for the web. They are great if you don’t feel like reading hundreds on pages on copywriting, which is the case with the works of Sugarman and Whitman.
Quick tips to improve the copy on your affiliate websites
I sincerely recommend you to read one or more of the above books on copywriting. It will give you considerably more understanding about the topic than I could ever hope accomplish through this one blog post.
Having said that, here’s a few quick tips you can use to improve your affiliate content today:
- Keep your introductions super short. No one likes to wade through a wall of text before getting to the meat of an article. Capture your readers attention through super short, snappy intros. Think 10-12 lines tops here.
- Use short sentences and paragraphs. My sentences used to be way too long. It’s a nasty habit I picked up spending too much time on academic writing. Short sentences increase readability dramatically, helping to keep your readers glued to your pages. An extension of this is using short paragraphs. Keep your text chunk-sized to make your content seem less daunting.
- Don’t use any complicated words. “Use” instead of “utilize”, “constrast” instead of “dichotomy”… Ditch the fancy, complicated words in favor of those words even a primary school student would understand.
- Address a single person. “You” is the magic word in copywriting. Whilst you might be targeting an audience of thousands, your content is still getting read by one person at a time at the end of the day. So make sure you sprinkle the word “you” and its variations throughout your copy generously. You want to get your text to be as conversational as possible.
- Benefits > features. People don’t care about the features of a product. They care about what’s in it for them. It’s fine to talk about the features of a product, but always explain to your readers why they should care about them. In other words, what are the benefits?
Studying the art of copywriting is really something that can separate you from the pack as an affiliate marketer.
I recommend you to check out all of the above books and resources. However, if I had to pick only resource from this article, it would be Joe Sugarman’s book. He’s pretty much the godfather of copywriting and the lessons from the book have had a strong influence over large swaths of the commercial part of the internet.
Enchanting Marketing is a great option if you’re looking for a free resource with tons of valuable copywriting insights.
To kick things off though, I suggest you check my own copywriting guide for beginners.