Key Questions to Ask Before Beginning a Copywriting Assignment

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“We get wise by asking questions, and even if these are not answered, we get wise, for a well-packed question carries its answer on its back as a snail carries its shell.” James Stephens

As a Wealthy Web Writer member, you know how important it is to ask key questions before beginning a project.

Some copywriters follow the old newspaper mantra of “Five W’s and an H” — Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How” — at the start of every new marketing project. Others believe that the best place to start is by asking yourself, “What keeps my customer up at night?” Still others ask perfectly valid questions like “Who am I selling to?”, “What am I selling?”, “What’s my offer?”, “Why should anyone believe me?”, and “What’s the story nobody else is telling?”

The point is, asking key questions is a great way to dig into any selling challenge. Questions are a great way to find those hidden gold nuggets and “Big Ideas” that transform a good piece of copy into something great.

With that in mind, here is a list of key questions to consider at the onset of any copywriting project. The list is certainly not all-inclusive, but it offers a solid foundation for getting you headed in the right direction, gaining some excellent new insights, and maybe even uncovering a very big selling idea.

1) Who is your ideal customer? Yes, we’ve said it here a million times, and we’ll likely say it a million times more — it’s that important. You simply must know your ideal customer on an intimate basis.

2) What’s the biggest benefit my reader can expect to enjoy once they use this product or service? The prospect may or may not know the answer to this. You, on the other hand, must know it! How will what you’re selling change your prospect’s life or even society as a whole?

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John Torre

I reside in North Brunswick, NJ, with my wife, Lynn, and daughters Kasey, Jaclyn, and Shelly. We also have a 110 pound, lovable Rottie named Leo that keeps us on our toes! When we're not hard at work we enjoy spending weekends at our bungalow down the Jersey shore, or take extended trips to Walt Disney World as members of the Disney Vacation Club. For kicks, I draw on my dominant "right-brain" and play guitar in classic rock and blues bands, act for local plays and independent productions, and enjoy writing creative fiction. I'm a published author in short fiction and stage plays and a graduate of a local community college's Commercial Writer's Certificate Program. After graduating from the program I was selected as an instructor and taught "Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror" writing for 8 years. I enjoy many fine relationships I made with my students to this day.

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