How To Make Your Writing Sell Stuff

In the survey I put out last week about this newsletter, one thing that became pretty clear was that you guys want more long-form, actionable writing lessons.

So with this being prime selling season, I thought it only made sense to share my best tips on...well, selling. With words.

I’ve written fairly consistently about this topic for the past four years, so I’m breaking down some of my most valuable articles on the topic (and linking to them) in a TL;DR format here. 

That way, if you want the whole thing, you’ll know where to find it. Gunna keep it brief here though, because it’s very possible you’re just scanning for the good stuff here anyway. I READ YA.

Quick Note from Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers

Real quick, though: I want to share one interesting/relevant thought on the topic that I recently heard during Joanna Wiebe’s presentation at the Content Jam conference in Chicago.

She explained that for a long time now, selling--especially within the context of writing--has been a dirty word. 

We’ve been told over and over not to make an ask within blog posts and resources--we’re just supposed to educate and nurture leads freely--and then they’ll convert on their own in exchange for the value you’ve provided.

This the same message Gary Vaynerchuk wrote a whole book about (Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.)

But Joanna rejects that idea. She says that all writing--even on your blog--is geared toward selling and converting people. AND THAT’S OKAY. 

As long as you’re creating high-quality posts and the ask is relevant and contextual, including a sales-oriented call to action doesn’t make you a slimy marketer.

It means you’re doing your job and providing actionable steps for the reader to take next. Just keep that in mind this week. Writing + selling is totally okay. 

So, how do ya do it? Let’s look at some in-depth lessons on writing that sells.

1. Psychology & Persuasive Writing

Read my full how-to on Sumo

To make your writing sell, you have to first understand why people buy things.

This post is a deep dive into persuasive writing tactics that tick the psychological boxes for customers of all kinds (and convinces them to buy.)

2. 7 Copywriting Tricks for Sales Writing

Read my full article on Kissmetrics

There’s a psychology-backed approach to almost every sales writing formula you’ve ever heard of before.

Take a look at some of the more common ones and find out what’s happening behind the scenes (so you can re-create the same magic in your own writing.)

3. Empathy in Marketing + Mirror Neurons (AKA how to science the sh*t out of your writing)

Read my full how-to on Copyhackers

Empathy is a major component of emotion-based writing that sells. The reason: mirror neurons located inside the human brain.

I get waaaaay nerdy about the science behind empathetic writing/marketing and explain how you can activate your reader’s mirror neurons so they buy your stuff.

4. Headlines that Sell and How to Write Them

Read my full article on Medium

Marketers and copywriters have been using the same headline-writing approach for more than 75 years.

It’s true: I found an ad from 1939 that could’ve been written by a Buzzfeed writer. Find out what the secret is to writing headlines (or subject lines) that lure readers in for the sale.

Hope these articles give you some actionable steps for better, more effective writing that drives sales. 

This article originally appeared in my newsletter, A Cup of Copy. Sign up and get these free tips sent right to your inbox every other Wednesday.