How to Write a Good Advertisement: A Short Course in Copywriting Paperback – December 1, 1982
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Frequently bought together
- Publisher : Wilshire Book Company (December 1, 1982)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 236 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0879803975
- ISBN-13 : 978-0879803971
- Item Weight : 1.29 pounds
- Dimensions : 8.25 x 0.58 x 10.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,890,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I don’t work in advertising. I just want to be able to publish my own content that grabs peoples attention and persuades them to take action on my content. This book offers exactly what I needed to learn.
Here are the 4 main lessons it taught me:
1. There are 5 basic elements of a good advertisement: get attention, show people an advantage, prove it, persuade people to grasp the advantage, and ask for action. He breaks each element down in its own chapter, providing concrete examples as well as abstract concepts. He adds quizzes at the end of each chapter to make sure you know the important parts.
2. How to write a good headline. I couldn’t believe this book was originally published in 1962. The headlines and advice he offers could easily be used for teaching a masterclass on writing youtube clickbait titles in 2018. At the beginning of the book, he provides 100 successful headlines with comments on why they work, and several sections on effective themes you see throughout the headlines. The way he provides these real examples with immediate feedback on why they work is the most effective way to learn, not employed enough in books. It will also be a resource I use for when I need to get inspired for writing headlines or titles in the future. I used the advice in creating this headline (did it get your attention?).
3. People make decisions based on feelings or emotional appeal they want to experience or avoid, but facts are needed to rationalize the decision to go after or avoid that feeling or emotion. Moreover, the stronger and more effective your emotional appeal is presented, the more readily your facts will be believed. When presenting facts, start with the easy ones you know the reader already agree with, leaving the unfamiliar ones at the end after he or she has already started accepting your facts as true.
4. How to be a better writer. He offers lots of advice on how to write clearly and keep the reader engaged to the end. This is important in copy. The longer your ad holds the readers attention, the more persuasive it is. At one point in the book, he offers 22 ways to hold interest longer. I already wrote them down in a personal notebook to review whenever I write something in the future.
This book is worth it for anyone interested in learning about advertisement or how to sell things online. Its well written, timeless, and provides tons of examples and chapter quizzes to make sure you understand the key points it offers. I wrote down so many notes and highlights that I’ll using for reference years to come.
Some practical takeaways include...
The 5 step process for effective ads
100 captivating headlines and why they work
How to create stronger calls to action that motivate people to act quickly
Tips and tidbits you can use to improve any advertisement or copy
I've invested thousands of dollars studying influence and copywriting, and you can get many of the same principles in this book for only a few bucks. It's a no-brainer to get this.
Perfect for beginners (either small business owners, or aspiring copywriters) to get a solid head start.
Considering everything that has changes since it was published, it has aged quite well, and you can easily apply it to the digital world.
For seasoned copywriters it might not be groundbreaking, but it is a welcome reminder that we shouldn't expect books to single-handedly revolutionize our ad-writing skills either. It reminds us of solid fundamentals, and sends us to work, doubling down on them & improving through testing & continuous learning & growing.
Don't let the older publishing date fool you, everything is still applicable today. Many modern books just rehash what these older books first taught.
The book will help you improve your copywriting and especially for your headlines.
Facebook ad writers and bloggers will benefit from reading it.
It doesn't matter if you're writing about hamsters or hydroponics, this book will make your writing better.
There are short tips at specific stopping points to 'self test' you really got the idea.
Don't worry. This isn't like college theory, it's for those who want to get their ads to produce results.
And before you pay out hundreds of dollars, get this guide and dive in. Mark it up, highlight what you find and start anywhere you want. You will learn why some ads such in actual buyers, and how you can do your own.
Top reviews from other countries
It seems to me that there are three types of copywriting books available.
1 Those that appear with plenty of hype (the authors are copywriters after all), become popular, garner a lot of five star reviews and then, in a few years, are forgotten, lying dusty on bookshelves or unopened on someone''s Kindle.
2 Classic copywriting texts that have well and truly stood the test of time. Some like "Scientific Advertising" by Claude Hopkins and "Tested Advertising Methods" by John Caples, date back to the period between the two world wars. Others like this one hail from the 1960s.
3 A small number of recent books are destined to avoid the ignominy of group 1 and will pass into the second group. The trouble is, it's impossible to identify them before reading and not even clear afterwards. You need to keep being pulled back to the book. I'm expecting most of these modern classics to be strongly kinked with breakthroughs in marketing psychology, neuromarketing and behavioural economics. We're starting to be able to explain why the tested and proven methods of the historical masters actually work.
There's a reason why books in the second category are still valuable despite the obvious exclusion of references to websites and social media. That's because the underlying psychology of people is hard wired into us and will only change gradually over centuries, regardless of the media used to carry the words.
If you're an aspiring or practising copywriter or a marketing professional , I urge you to spend the few hundreds of pounds acquiring the classics before you commit even more to another training course. There is so much to learn.
If you're a business owner looking for tips on how to write do it yourself copy for your website, sales letters or advertisements, you don't have the time or interest to assimilate all these different perspectives so I suggest you look for a general guide on copywriting (I like "The Brain Audit" by Sean D'Souza) or a more specific one for writing copy on your intended media. Even better, you might want to find what widely read copywriters who will do it for you.
As for my own views on the book, I have my favourite business books in both paper and digital formats wherever possible. I may prefer looking at the real book but the digital version is always with me and available to check if something is nagging away in my subconscious. I have both versions of this book.
Paul Simister, a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck, get unstuck.
PS, sorry about the rant. It's something I've been building up to for a while as there has been a flurry of books about copywriting appear.
It is an excellent book and the proof of the pudding was that after learning certain things and changing the wording on advertisements on my own website I saw an immediate jump in CTR. Highly recommended.