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When you can turn the most casual website, visitor or reader, into a customer—you know your website copy is doing something right. So how do we make sure that those casual website visitors, customers, are actually swept off their feet with your sales copy?

Well, today I’m spilling a secret because if your website copy, if your brand messaging, doesn’t include this one key ingredient, it’s DOA, baby. You can almost guarantee the potential sales will be out the door before you even knew it. 

Now, I’m not going to keep you on the edge of your seat for too long here. I’m just going to go ahead and let the cat out of the bag. I want you to understand how to incorporate this little piece of data and information all the way throughout your sales copy. And, I’m going to pull a landing page screenshot from one of the new landing pages on our new website, because I want to show you the overlap of exactly how much of the messaging includes this thing. 

“Okay, get to it, Ashlyn. What is it?”

How to write compelling copy | Ashlyn Writes

The BIG secret is >>> your sales copy has to be chock-full of things that your customers, or your clients, are actually saying—not what you think they’re saying. <<<

What they actually said to you. That’s it.

If your website doesn’t have multiple, what I call them, “get out of my head” moments, then we’re missing out.

I know this sounds super simple, and you may have even heard this said before, but it merits being said again, or at least studying and looking at it a little in depth and how you can do a better job going out there and getting it. 

Let’s break down how to get this key piece of messaging and positioning right. Make sure to read until the end, I’m breaking down our new website—exactly how much is stuff that was said by clients and customers versus how much came out of my own head. 

Okay, let’s go ahead and get into it!

No. 1| Always be filing

My step number one tip for you is to always be filing. It’s like that sales saying, “always be closing”. I want you to always be filing information.

In a recent video, I mentioned my copy banking strategy. It’s a template inside The Copy Bar. I am obsessed with categorizing and pulling different messages that I hear with the same level of obsession, probably, that I was consumed by when I made collages in, like, the 90’s and the 2000’s. 

Abc Cameron GIF by The Bachelorette - Find & Share on GIPHY

But what I want to show you here is a data spreadsheet that we’ve started using inside my business. We’re actually putting this inside the new Copywriting for Creatives curriculum because it was so very helpful and we’ve dubbed it, “the research rainbow”.

This is what I’m using to file pain-points, sticky messages, desires, everything. So I’m filing this information. Great. Now, I always got my ear to the ground, figuring out how I can get it. And when it comes to collecting this stuff, yes, absolutely surveys—you probably knew that.

One tip that was major helpful for me as we revamped the website, I re-read every single client, and even customer application, from 2019, it was? Through 2020, into 2020 when I pulled my data. I started writing the copy at the beginning of 2021. I pulled that timeframe and I read all of these. When I have little snippets in these messages that I knew would fit into the research rainbow, I would copy and paste them into that.

Related: 4 Ways to Easily Organize Your Market Research

client & customer voice hacking quick start guide-ashlyn writes

You have to get obsessed with doing this.

It does take some time but this is not only going to help you with sales copywriting and marketing in your business, but with product development and research too. Or, when I say product, your client services, the things that you provide to them, it’s going to help you better those as well. 

Like I said at the beginning, I want you to stop using the words and the phrases that you think that they’re saying, and I want you to use the words and the phrases, they actually are.

My Copywriting for Creative students know I call this your client-and-customer voice hacking– the process of gathering all of this. There is enough nuance of a difference in what you think they’re saying and what they’re actually saying, that it will make a difference in your copy. By and large. And I know I’ve said this in some videos, the best copy is never in your head— it is in their heads— it’s your job to go out there and get it from them.

Related:How to Write a Website that Converts

No. 2| Fold customer voice into your above-the-fold copy.

Tip number two for you. I want you to fold client and customer voice into your above-the-fold copy. This may get some tomatoes thrown at me, but this is why I’m not really that big of a fan of the whole headline on a website that says, “Hi, I’m ‘blank.’ And I do ‘blank’ for ‘blank.'” Come on. We can do better than that—and I know you’re up for the challenge.

I’ve also talked about heat maps, talked about that in last week’s video. But a point I made in that video is worth saying again—100% of your website, visitors are landing on this above-the-fold piece of your website. And like Ogilvy said, if we’re not spending the time on that, then that’s 80, 90% of the dollar that we spent, wasted. Because the percentage of people that read this and decide to keep reading or not is sky high. 

So my tip here: spend the MOST time writing the headlines for your website.

In the copy bar shop, I do have a headline template that you can use. It’s going to help you craft 35, at least, first-draft headlines you can use for your offers and the services that you provide. At the end of the day, the concepts I’m bringing up, the fact that you even go out there and get what people are saying and the fact that you need to fold them into these frameworks that are tried and true and work. It’s easy to say, it is hard as anything, to execute.

Related: How To Write Headlines That Sell on Your Homepage

I want to show you an example of the website copy on one landing page of my website. And I want to highlight for you exactly how much of it is voice-of-customer data, or is attributed to client and customer voice hackings. Copy that didn’t come out of my head, but stuff that I gleaned, and insights that I garnered from listening and putting my ear to the ground. 

No. 3| Work down the page with a framework & keep folding in client and customer voice into the copy.

I want you to work down the page with a framework that works and continue to fold in this client-and-customer voice hacking into the copy. We talked about the importance of always be filing and we talked about how to insert your client and customer voice hacking into your above-the-fold copy.

 Love this classic marketing quote. “People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, ally their fears, confirm their suspicions and help them throw rocks at their enemies.” A copywriting formula, or framework: That’s going to help you have some sort of paint-by-number approach to the hierarchy of the messaging that you’re including.

client & customer voice hacking quick start guide-ashlyn writes

That will help you and support your message in 4 ways:

  • Formatting (we just talked about that)
  • Readability—it’s so much easier to read copy when it’s formatted like this
  • Ability to keep the audience’s attention—we talked a little about this in the heat mapping video.
  • Telling a Compelling Story

I have done videos before where I’ve talked, not just through storytelling, but about frameworks and why you should be using them on your website. I have the A-R-T-I-S-T framework for your “about” page. I’ve got my P-A-R-I-S sales copy framework. Love a good framework. 

All right, now you know your sales copy has to be chock-full of things that your customers, or your clients, are actually saying—not what you think they’re saying. If you are truly ready to double down on a client and customer voice hacking and writing sales copy that converts—do not miss your spot on the Copywriting for Creatives waitlist. This is my baby. I love this program so very much. Get yourself a spot on the early bird waitlist and you will know when seats open!

All right, now, you know all about how to pull your client and customer voice hacking data. I’ve hinted at it a couple of times, but I did a deep dive in why you need heat maps, what they are, and exactly how you can install them on your website—you can watch that here.



How to write compelling copy | Ashlyn Writes

Reading Time: 7 Minutes When you can turn the most casual website, visitor or reader, into a customer—you know your website copy is doing something right. So how do we make sure that those casual website visitors, customers, are actually swept off their feet with your sales copy? Well, today I’m spilling a secret because if your website copy, […]

Are you missing out on a huge opportunity to use heatmaps? Heatmaps can help you wrap your head around, and understand how to create a better website experience, and create content and copy that really generates the clicks you actually want to happen.

Essentially, what it’s doing is using color variation to interpret data over a given landing page or a section of your website.

Okay, great. But how does that actually help you write better copy?

Well, I am willing to die on the hill that copy dictates design and the messaging hierarchy and not the other way around.

How to write better copy using Hotjar heatmaps | Ashlyn Writes

The design doesn’t come first, copy leads and design enhances that, makes it a more beautiful user helpful experience. Being able to metabolize that information, that copy and design bring together through the lens of a heat map is so very helpful. 

If you’ve been around here, you know that copywriting is absolutely essential to your small business. It’s going to hook your audience, turn heads, and ultimately help them understand that you are the missing puzzle piece to help get their problems solved. Imagery and design alone on your website can’t do that. 

Okay. If you’re ready to go ahead and start using heatmaps on your website, promise it’s easier than you think. Let’s jump in!

⬇️Don’t forget to click here or down below grab my website template freebie!⬇️

No. 1| What do heatmaps have to do with copy? 

What do heatmaps even have to do with copy? Heatmaps are just another tool for you to put in your backpack as you start to try to figure out what works and what doesn’t work on your website. You already have things like customer surveys, even on-page surveys or chat boxes. You’ve got those Google analytics that you’re hopefully taking a look at from time to time. A/B split testing, and you’re also I hope trying some session recordings kind of like what user testing is.

<< All this helps you do two big things >>

#1 See where your copy and content is working or failing. 

#2 It’s gonna help you brainstorm some ways that you can problem solve at those sticky points on your landing page.

The coolest thing that any of these tools do is they give you a little window into the mind of your reader. You actually get to get outside of yourself and see how somebody else experiences your website and moves around it.

Sumo explains heatmaps as a visual guide to help you understand your readers’ habits. There are three types of heatmaps I’m gonna unpack right here. Two, in particular, are the favorite children—at least for me. 

Scroll maps—These will gonna show you how far down people scroll. Traditionally, I think this is the picture that comes to mind, people think of when they think of a heat map. We’re seeing here, what percent did you even hit the call to action?

Are they dropping off? Sure. It may be because the design was distracting and cluttered, but the copy and the content also come into play there. Maybe it got super boring and dull. It was unclear. It’s confusing. And they dropped off.

How long did they scroll down? 

Did the copy and the design help them read from one line to the next to the next to the next? 

Click maps. A click map is gonna share this information in more concentrated, dark spots, where people are clicking a lot, that’s a popular spot. And the more faded spread out places, not a lot of people are clicking there. What’s so cool here is to see what CTAs are actually of most interest to people.

What up in your navigation bar are they not interested in at all? Yes. Your Google analytics and things like that will tell you, but you can just see it so visually and crystal clear with the click map.

Another cool thing is that you start to see what may look like a button but isn’t actually functioning as a button. We’ll talk about that more towards the en.

Mouse tracking— The third and final type of heat map I’m gonna talk about, but not as much as the other two is mouse tracking. This is where you can see how someone moves their cursor around your website. What areas of the page they’re flocking to the most. 

Here’s a pro tip : Absolutely install these on your website before you do a major website gut or refresh. Otherwise, you’re just picking things to update because you think you should update them, but we have got to actually listen to what people need and how they’re moving around and make the data-driven decisions off of that for your new website refresh. I’m gonna show you later in this post how to set it up. It’s super simple but just wanted to throw that out there. 

Okay. You understand how heatmaps pull together how people read and interact with your website in a visual manner, but how does this wizardry happen, you ask? Basically, it’s collecting aggregate data like any tool would do, it’s just pulling information together, and then it’s reporting it back to you in a visual layout.

 So if you can read a weather radar then you can read a heat map because it’s very similar in how it visually translates that information to you.

The darker areas are more concentrated, those are getting a lot of action. And the lighter, more sparse areas are less popular. All of this works in tandem to give you a more complete, robust picture of how your website’s working for your users. 

No. 2| How to use heatmaps

That brings us to the juicy part, how to actually start using heatmaps. Okay. TBH, this is probably gonna be the easiest marketing task on your to-do list all week. You’re welcome…I love you too. 😉 It takes about two to five minutes to do.

I am gonna recommend a tool called Hotjar. That’s been my favorite in the agency side of my business, that’s the tool that we use when we’re working with clients and we’re pulling these, like I said, we’re gonna do this pull of information and data before we start judging and even reworking their website copy, and brand message. So this is my preferred tool, but there’s other great tools like Sumo, Crazy Egg. You could pretty much just do a search for heat map tools and find one, but I’m gonna show you how to do it with Hotjar

So we just launched my FIRST custom website, been in business five and a half years, it feels good. Have not installed heatmaps on that so I’m gonna flip the camera around and in real-time show you this install so you can follow along. 

I recommend that you install heatmaps on five major pages of your website —>

  • Home
  • Work-with-Me/Services page
  • Most popular blog post 
  • Blog page
  • Your money maker’s biggest page (i.e. the most popular item in your shop, your signature course, your signature done-for-you offer, etc.)

Okay. That’s it. If you follow these instructions, you’re gonna have a live functioning heat map on your website, ready to go ahead and start collecting it though.

All right. That brings me to this last part. I’m gonna give you quickly six changes that you could make from reading a heat map. So you let this little baby bird fly. 

<< Related: The PERFECT Copy To Have On Your Website Homepage >>

No. 3| What changes can I make with the results?

You have the heatmaps running on your website. Now once you get back the data and the reports, those click maps and those scroll maps, you’re gonna start looking at them and making decisions. This part is important. I don’t know if you’re like me, but sometimes I put things out there to measure. You actually have to look at the data, interpret it and make changes. Otherwise, I’m just running tests for the heck of it. So this part is important. Okay. 

#1 HubSpot tells us about 55% of visitors on your website, they’re spending less than 15 seconds on your website. And Sumo tells us that about 80% of visitors and readers that are soaking up all that beautiful long-form content you’re putting out there.

( PSA, I did a video the other week on my content creation template. So grab that, watch it next) 

But 80% of people aren’t making it to the bottom of that long form long page that you have. So the first thing I want you to look at is what did people do on your website before they bounced? Before they left. If they left without converting, I wanna know what it was they were doing. 

Also, here is a plug for my Google docs website template freebie. You have got to have drill down even for your homepage, every page of your website, you need to note the one goal you want the reader to do, the user to do, because that is how you’re going to start measuring the conversions or what it is that you want to happen. I work with so many creatives and sometimes the website’s up and it’s beautiful, but how do you actually know it’s working? 

<< Related: How to Plan & Write Your Website Content >>

So for instance, if you’re looking and you see that one section of the page is getting a majority of the attention, you can go ahead and shift your most important and impactful copy to that section. Maybe that’s where you’re gonna go ahead and focus and drop off some of your most incredible get-out-of-my-head moments in your copy. 

So maybe you learned that page, that spot on the website is where you wanna focus some of that. Another thing you may wanna do is move the call to action up or duplicate it and have the call to action again above the fold. Once you look at this heat map, you at least know a hundred percent of the traffic is hitting that top part of the page, right? That’s where everybody’s landing—go ahead and use that to your benefit. 

Then go ahead and take a look at your click maps.

Here are five things you may wanna do to change up your website as you’re reading that aggregate data 👇👇

✏️ What was a wasted click? I don’t know why this is one of my favorite things to learn, but it’s so cool to see like where people are clicking and you think that that’s not even a button. Why are you clicking there? But maybe it’s an image or something that looks juicy and clickable, make that a URL link or if the purpose of the imagery or design element is not to cause them to click, but to push them to keep reading or whatever it is. That design element, imagery element is serving, maybe you wanna change it a little bit more so it isn’t so clicky looking. 

✏️ Look up in your navigation. You’ll look at this in tandem with your Google Analytics, but what happened to navigation bar is absolutely no one in their mother clicking on. That is just wasted space up there, cleared it out, clear the clutter. It’ll be a lot cleaner up at the nav bar. 

✏️Call to Action (“CTA”) You can always look to enhance your CTA. So how can you make those buttons even more clickable? Do you need to use a really bright, standout color, complimentary color in your business? This is one thing again, I’m calling out my creatives because I work with so many, but is everything so on-brand and dreamy that the CTA buttons don’t stand out? People like to click things that look like a button so go ahead and make it pop. Make it a little bit bigger maybe than you’re even comfortable with. Make the copy on there big and stand outit has to look like something I want to press.

✏️ Headline or Hook Copy. Next up, you may decide you wanna strengthen your headline or your hook copy. Even once you enhance that call to action button itself, maybe you learned that you wanna make the button even juicier with the body copy around it. The sub headline, the headline, whatever is surrounding that, maybe that would help enhance it. 

✏️ Are they clicking nothing? Oh no—this is the worst thing that could happen. Butttt sometimes it happens again because I said everything is just so beautiful and dreamy and ethereal that I don’t know what to click on because nothing really is calling me to click, or conversely, it’s so cluttered and overwhelming that ad analysis paralysis. I don’t know what to click on. I’m stressed out a little bit. So I don’t know what you’re trying to get me to do on the website. I feel like it’s like the Oriental Trading magazine effect. If you ever got that to your house in what was that, the 90s. It’s just so much that I give up. 

I hope you’ve seen how heatmaps can be an absolute game changer for your website and your copy for your business. Heatmaps can be a game-changer for your copywriting and website in general—you don’t want to stand up to start talking and everyone peace out or click over to another tab—this will help you find that!. Not only will you be able to see where your website viewers are spending the most time, but you’ll also be able to see where’s the best location for your messages, and CTAs in particular. 

All right, if you liked this video and you want more tips like this, then tap that thumbs up button or the heart, that’s gonna let the algorithm know you wanna see more of this, you know how it works. And go ahead and leave in the comments too. I’m curious.

Do you want to try heatmaps? Have you started? Did you do this tutorial as I walked through it? Are you using Hotjar? Do you recommend another tool? I love to know.

Like I said, be sure to subscribe to the Ashlyn Writes YouTube channel over the next few weeks, I’m gonna be getting even more of my hot takes on sales pages and how you can really enhance those in your business to start converting more on your website. And that does it, check out this video next — I’m gonna be jumping into some of my very best tips to write faster. The copy and the content of your business is a bear, I know, so be sure to check out that video and speed up your habits.



How to write better copy using Hotjar heatmaps | Ashlyn Writes

Reading Time: 10 Minutes Are you missing out on a huge opportunity to use heatmaps? Heatmaps can help you wrap your head around, and understand how to create a better website experience, and create content and copy that really generates the clicks you actually want to happen. Essentially, what it’s doing is using color variation to interpret data over […]

Writing copy for your business or for your businesses’ website can be a tedious task—I get it, we just launched a mini website. I feel like I birthed two babies this year—one, the website, I carried a lot longer than the *actual* human baby.

Okay, but the thing is your website, my website, it’s got to work when we can’t. I believe that so firmly it is worth putting the time into figuring out how to get great words that actually convert and pull their weight. 

Today, you’re gonna learn how to make your website copywriting process work for you, because whether it is your home page, your services page, about page, blog posts, whatever it is, most of us just want to get that done, checked off our list and moved on so we can go do other things—I’ve got two kids andddd I get it.

Productivity hacks are my side hobby—I may have missed my calling as a supply chain manager, but found it here as a copywriter … where I DEFINITELY need productivity tips.

I counted up last week’s words, and realized I wrote 3,296 words JUST for my business’s marketing last week (1 blog, YouTube video script, copy for Instagram captions, and email newsletter copy).

That’s a lot, but I’m guessing you’re not too far behind.

“Every 2 days, we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization until 2003.”

-Eric Schmidt

WOW, right? That’s a lot of content for our noisy globe to handle.

It’s a big responsibility, too: it’s our job as creative small business owners to put out GOOD, worthy, and relevant content … content that is thought-provoking and worth the time it takes to read.

And if you’re like me, you kind of hate the blinking cursor. Today, I’m gonna take you through six tips that you can do to start writing faster, whether it’s your website copy that you need to tackle or blog posts or just some other business writing task.

Here are 6 tips that I use to write content and copy faster, so you can create BETTER content and produce less noise.

Let’s go!

No. 1 | Hack Your Time

Write during the best time of day for YOU.

Want to write faster? Opt for—typically—the first 4 hours of the day.

If possible, Gary Keller writes in my favorite business book, The One Thing, “select 4 hours first thing in the morning, when you have the most willpower.”

That is usually when I work best when I’m a maker in the morning, a manager in the afternoon. But if I want to write more creatively, it’s usually best to write whenever you’re groggiest actually, whether that again is possibly early in the morning, or even later at night.

WIRED Magazine referenced an Albion College study that tapped into college students to see when their most creative answers came.

“The larger lesson is that sleepy students … benefit from the inability to focus. Their minds are drowsy and disorganized, humming with associations that they’d normally ignore.”

So interesting, right?

Typically when I’m doing client work, which is writing since I’m a copywriter, I can kind of turn it on and just be in the zone and actually write and crank out the work. When it comes to my own business, sometimes I’m the hardest client to write for. 

What I found is that I could shake off some of those nerves. If I started writing really early in the morning, like four o’clock, five o’clock when I was just kind of still dreaming, I think, or maybe it was very late at night, my kids were down, I can pour a glass of wine or a cup of tea and just sit down and just have the freedom to write. If that’s you and you tend to put a little pressure on yourself when you’re writing, then try the time hacking tip. And that segues me right into tip number two here, is embrace the sloppy copy.

(You’ll need to edit anything, sleepy or not—click here for a blog I wrote about how to DIY edit your work, and go ahead and install Grammar.ly for free to catch 99% of typos/edits you’ll make.)

No. 2 | Use The Pomodoro Technique

Next up, use the Pomodoro Technique or give yourself a hard stop.

You’ve probably heard of Parkinson’s Law before, the concept that work either expands or contracts to fit the time available for it.

Essentially, if you have four hours to finish a task, it’s gonna take you four hours. If you tell yourself it’s only gonna be able to take you 30 minutes, you’ll probably fit it in closer to 30 minutes, and as a very crude explanation, but essentially download and use the Pomodoro App. It is fabulous, it’s free, I use it all the time.

AW Prelaunch Workflow

Basically,  just ask me how I can stretch out a Netflix date with random British documentaries about castles if I don’t cap it.

A Pomodoro sprint helps you stay on track during the task at hand: 25 minutes on, 5 minutes off.

Rinse and repeat.

Basically, just sprint out 25 minutes of grinding (no snack time, no IG!) before a 5-minute break. It works, I promise!

Want to scoop up a few more productivity tips? Here are 3 mindset-shifts I made in year one that grew my business quickly.

No. 3| Embrace the Sloppy Copy

For some this almost sounds elementary, but I had to remember this since I was writing my website. Sometimes you just need to get that first draft, second draft, third draft, even over and done, and you can come back to it and reiterate it, and by the time I finished the 11th draft, it feels like it sometimes looks absolutely nothing like the first, second, third, fourth, so on and so forth. I had to get through those to even get to the point of having an 11th draft.

Writer Anne Lamont says in her book Bird by Bird, start each day anywhere and let yourself do it badly. 

This probably doesn’t seem like a task at ALL, but it’s a mindset shift you have to make to write faster.

Before you write, own that this will NOT be published today. It will take editing.

Back in agency days, my boss never let us send anything to our clients at Delta Air Lines without looking at it with “fresh eyes” the next day, so think about doing that.

Write messy, don’t pause to edit, and just get it out.

You will always need to come back and edit. That’s part of the process. 

I’ve done videos that have an entire blog post on how to self edit you can read here, but you’re never gonna get those incredible final drafts if you don’t go through the process of pulling out all the different things like a magician that could be in the hat and then you’ll get the bunny. I don’t know where that analogy came from. 

Bonus tip? Create your own little code for things you’ll need to fill in later: I pop in placeholders constantly while I write a draft so I can move faster without having to stop to look something up.

For example, I use “NAME” when I can’t remember someone/something’s name, “TK” if there’s info that I don’t have yet (journalist-speak for “to come”), and “RSFF” for research/fact-finding I need to do.

Here’s what that would look like in action in a draft of caption copy:

Camellia bushes and azaleas from NAME cozied up on my porch this weekend—we’ll find a home for them [RSFF about when I need to plant them for seasons], but for now, I don’t mind their plastic containers one bit. 😉 Want more tips about first time gardening? Grab my free guide at TK!

So, that’s it. Accept that when you sit down to write this, it’s gonna be a sh**ty first draft.

Keep writing, and use placeholders, TK, etc. as needed.

No. 4| Start with a Structure

Always, always start with structure. I write for a living very rarely. Am I just going to open up a document or a Word tab and just start writing, even when I’m writing in my journal for free time, for fun, I like a prompt, I like something to just get me going.

There’s a John Caples quote that copywriting should be approached the same way an engineer approaches the building of a bridge. Heck yes!

You can use templates for:

Start with a structure, a framework of formula and let yourself fill that in based off of the order in the hierarchy that the messaging should come in.

This is why I created The Copy Bar. It’s the template shop side of my business. I love it so much and there are a lot of templates that I use all of the time as prompts to just get my wheels turning and get my juices flowing. You can and should use some sort of a framework or an outline or a template if you’re sitting down to write a pillar blog piece in your business, mine is in the shop, I used it to even create this post. Things like captions or canned email responses, sales pages, homepages about pages, subject lines.

There’s some sort of tried and true framework or hypothesis that someone has put out there and tested and you might as well see if you can take that and riff off of it, or at least just don’t start with nothing. I haven’t said it in one of my videos for a while, so it’s time. 

Best practices are essentially pooled ignorance, unless you know how they’re going to work on your audience, or if you’re at least willing to test it. 

So while having a framework or a formula to play off of is good, at the end of the day, you’re accountable and responsible for seeing how that performs with your audience or with your brand and with your messaging, and then basing your findings and tweaking things based off of what comes in, right? What data comes back, but it’s at least somewhere to start, right?

Related: 5 Unexpected Ways to Rethink Your Content Creation Process (My Template)

Give me a template and I’ll love you forever.

No. 5| Copy Bank

Always pull your research and start to create some sort of a copy bank. Can’t even tell you how much I relied on my copy bank as I ripped my website, pulling little snippets that, oh yeah, I pulled that like three years ago and I love that phrase. I just have never had a place to put it before until now, I can slide it in.

I was definitely a collage kid in the nineties, two thousands when I grew up, and no, we don’t have the Seventeen and the Y magazines to pull from now, but it’s kind of that same process is I want to be able to look at a whole sampling of phrases and words that I can pull from and assemble the best message possible. So I keep those messages and corral them in what I call, a copy bank, quotes, quipes, one liners that made you laugh, absolutely voice of customer data and research. 

I’ve done a video where I talked about three ways that you can kind of kick off your swipe file and get going, that could help you with concept if it is a little bit new.

As far as housing this, Trello, Evernote, Asana whatever tool you’re already using, don’t complicate it, just use that and then be like a sticky wad of tape or something rolling around and as you start to hear and pick up on little bits of sticky messaging, no matter where you hear it, it could be from somebody talking on a podcast, it could be from a book you’re reading or a magazine you’re flipping through, or some Instagram account you’re scrolling.

When you see a little phrase or a snippet, just grab that and put it in your collage bank and you’ll start to build this repertoire of words over time that you can then turn around and use, and insert in your copy. 

Writing an in-depth blog on something? Pull facts, stats, studies, and notes together.

Writing in your brand voice and still not super comfortable DIY’ing your copy? Have your brand voice style guide on hand to check yourself as you write.

Writing your own content? Have your editorial calendar pulled up so you can see what other posts may need to be referenced and the big picture. Click here for a read on how I plan my ed cals.

Writing anything? SAVE IT! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started a blog or Instagram caption, decided not to publish it, and just filed it … later, I’ll be able to salvage a bit of it for another post!

The other thing I like to have on hand is what my Copywriting for Creatives students know I call a “Copy Bank”—it’s basically a swipe file, but it’s more than just example email copy or headlines I like. Quotes, quips from magazines that made me laugh, one-liners I read on a BuzzFeed article at 2 a.m. when I couldn’t sleep … The Copy Bank system keeps me creatively charged.

I personally love Trello for this, but made The AW Shop’s Copy Bank Kit Evernote-ready, since so many creatives love Evernote, too.

To note, I don’t reference my Copy Bank until AFTER I write most of the content … I just peek at it afterward, and if there’s a phrase that fits perfectly, I pop it in. I said it in the video last week, it’s a classic copywriting quote that copywriting is not written, it is assembled, and that’s what I’m talking about here. 

No. 6 | Write Somewhere Enjoyable

This goes to the concept of grand gestures. Maybe you’ve heard how JK Rowling would rent out an entire hotel room as she worked to finish the Harry Potter books. That’s what I mean here.

How can you create a space that is lovely, and enjoyable, and you actually want to sit down and write in?

I’m gonna tell you a couple of things that I did to finish the gargantuan of a website that we just launched. I bought two candles, I put them on the business and I know when I light that candle, it means go time. I’m priming myself, I’m teaching myself that the only way that I can light that candle is I’m gonna be head down, working on something furiously, putting every single bit of my energy into it and then when I blow it out, I’m done and I’m walking away.

Headphones, white noise, the Calm app, you can get so many great sounds on the free version of it. The premium version is pretty good too. 

Another thing I did a lot was go to my favorite coffee shop in town and I knew when I got there, I was gonna focus and I was gonna work and I’d only let myself go as a treat. And it also back to the comment that I made about the Pomodoro time and going on sprints, I knew that I had a hard stop where I was gonna have to leave and go home. I couldn’t stretch it past that. Knowing that I had a hard stop, pushed me to get a lot of writing done and copy done for the website, so I could turn it over to my team to look at and edit before we pulled it in and started installing. 

Having a good workspace you actually enjoy writing in, hacking your time and writing when you’re best on, whether it be creatively or geared up to write quickly, giving yourself a hard stop, whether it’s through an app or through some kind of hard timestamp, you actually need to quit working at and always having some sort of copy bank system ready that you can pull together the collage of phrases that you wanna say. Can you have that voice of customer data ready and at hand? All of that is gonna equip you to write your copy that much faster for your business.

Okay, I want to hear from YOU! Comment below—what takes you forever to write? Could any of these tips speed up your flow?

If you found this video helpful, be sure to tap it, give it that thumbs up, and don’t miss this video—I’m breaking down and showing you a template that you can use to structure your pillar pieces of content and go to blog posts for your business. I promise you’ll win in on these copy tips.



Reading Time: 11 Minutes Writing copy for your business or for your businesses’ website can be a tedious task—I get it, we just launched a mini website. I feel like I birthed two babies this year—one, the website, I carried a lot longer than the *actual* human baby. Okay, but the thing is your website, my website, it’s got […]

Get a front-row seat to sales copy tips & hacks I’m applying to write first-rate/top-shelf funnels for clients, what’s on my desk (and in my earbuds), and what lessons I’ve learned … sometimes the hard way. Hope you’re ok that I’m a little more personal here than I am in social media land. 😜

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