What is “Copy” and How to Write It Gooder. Goodest. Most Gooder.

Rene Daumal

“It is still not enough for language to have clarity and content… it must also have a goal and an imperative. Otherwise from language we descend to chatter, from chatter to babble and from babble to confusion.” – Rene Daumal, Born Mar. 16, 1908.

This is especially true for us. Persuaders, I mean.

If there isn't s goal for the piece – a measurable outcome that your writing is supposed to elicit – then, it's not copy.

It's probably not even worth publishing. Be a poet if you want to write words that don't DO anything.

But we aren't poets here. Are we? I'm not.

To persuade is a goal. To persuade to what? Depends.

What do you want them to do? Once you decide that, we need to know how well you did.

So how do you measure that action? Figure out what stats you can collect that will indicate success or failure.

Finally, did your message work? Figure out the ratio between all readers, and the ones who actually did what you asked of them.

That's your magic number. The holy “conversion rate” – the thing that actually matters.

Once you know what the target is, THEN you can effectively attempt to hit it through a process of improvement over time.

You can try to make your next message do better. Or you can improve the effectiveness of your previous message and show it to a new audience. Preferably, you're doing both, continuously.

How do we try to improve that magic score? It's almost always a matter of more clearly presenting that goal to the reader, and sufficiently incentivizing them to fulfill it.

So start with that end goal in mind.

Is it a piece that has a purchase link? If not, what's the goal? Subscribe? Click? Think? Share? Or…

You decide. But if it doesn't have a goal, you can't measure degree of success. And if you can't measure degree of success, you can't systematically practice to improve.

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