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Copywriting Principles Explained!

The aim of copywriting is to bring the product or service on offer to the attention of the intended market. The copy needs to show, as clearly as possible, what the benefits of buying the product will be for the reader. Copywriters generally use one of the following methods of copywriting to demonstrate these effectively:

  • AIDA
  • You vs We
  • WAYS



Dating back to the 1920s, AIDA is one of the best known, most successful and oldest formulas for creating sales copy. Its longevity is testament to its power and adaptability.

AIDA stands for:

  • ATTENTION – any sales copy should attract the ATTENTION of the reader
  • INTEREST – it should then arouse INTEREST in the product or service
  • DESIRE – the copy should then stimulate a DESIRE to purchase
  • ACTION – finally, and possibly most importantly, it should prompt ACTION from the reader


You Vs We

Good copywriters will always focus on what benefits YOU will enjoy as the purchaser, not what features WE, as the company, are providing. So, to create effective advertising copy using the words ‘you’ and ‘your’ a lot and using ‘our’ and ‘we’ or ‘us’ less often is a good rule to employ. It keeps the copywriter focused on the reader rather than switching the focus back to the business.

Effective sales copy must always:

  • focus on the reader
  • play on their hopes and fears and explain how the product or service will address them
  • highlight the benefits of the product or service the purchaser will enjoy



This is the least well-known of the copywriting principles explained here. Its basic premise is that copywriters should Write As You Speak – leaving out the ‘ums’, ‘ahs’, ‘erms’, ‘you knows’ and ‘as I say’s’ that litter speech! Most people do not want to be wowed with vocabulary they’ve never heard before, confused by complex sentence construction or amazed by literary style, unless the aim is to sell a product or service offering these as a benefit! In most circumstances the best way to approach writing sales copy is to write as you would speak to someone in a friendly, face-to-face conversation.

So, the copywriter should concentrate on:

  • keeping it simple
  • giving the facts needed to make an informed decision
  • keeping the prospect’s question ‘What’s in it for me?’ in mind
  • showing the benefits
  • engaging his emotions
  • creating an image in the prospect’s mind
  • addressing his concerns


Following any of these three methods is a sure fire way to write winning copy.

If you want to find out more about being a freelance copywriter request a free Writers Bureau Complete Copywriter Course prospectus today!


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Lisa Harrison

"I’d just like to say thanks. If it wasn't for your lovely tutor giving me some really positive feedback, I wouldn't have dared to try and become freelance copywriter and leave a full-time job. Since I've started out on my own, my quality of life has improved dramatically. I'm happier, my little boy is happier and I'm excited to grow my business over the next year. I've earned £1940 in just under six months working on a part-time basis. '’I've got three regular clients. I'll always be grateful to them for taking me on despite being new to this profession."

Lisa Harrison


Institute of Training and Occupational Learning

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