How to Write Copy that Sells

I am a big believer in continuous learning, no matter the topic or subject. One of the areas that I have studied for the past few years is copywriting.

The ability to write persuasively and effectively is becoming more of a basic skill set as the internet continues to evolve. Getting your message out into the world is hard enough. Without effective copy, it is nearly impossible for your work to get noticed.

I have always been fascinated with writing both fiction, and non-fiction. I have spent time writing for fun and for work. Writing is a skill that I have continuously worked to improve upon. The more I write, the more confidence it breeds. A few years ago, I discovered a different form of writing. A form that was able to persuade the reader to take an action, call a number, sign up for something with an email address.


Copywriting is an area unlike other forms of writing. It has a clear purpose in mind; to get the reader to take an action. It has a personality to it. It is punchy. It tells a story that the reader can instantly connect with. And it is sweeping the internet. Copywriting is not new, but it is getting smarter. With the advent of the internet, people are searching online for social proof, reviews, testimonials, and anything else about a person, product, service, or brand in order to make a decision to trust them.

Copywriting is the answer to building trust.

Who is Ray Edwards?

Ray Edwards (@RayEdwards) is a well-known copywriter based in the Pacific Northwest who has worked with some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Michael Hyatt, Jeff Walker, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul). He also hosts The Ray Edwards Show podcast, and is the creator of Copywriting Academy. Recently, Ray wrote a book titled “How to Write Copy That Sells.” The book is fast-paced, well written, and provides steps you can take to improve your writing immediately.

My favorite part of the book is the very first page of content. Ray writes:

When it comes to marketing, there’s one important element many business owners are missing. This single element is the key to more sales, more profits — and more of the success all entrepreneurs pursue.
This is the one marketing tool that has created more multi-million dollar empires from scratch than any other
It’s the single strategy that most people (and companies) ignore, thinking it is merely a small compartmentalized function of the business, when in fact it is the heart of the enterprise.
And this is the one skill that can most quickly leverage an idea into income, and turn passion into profits…
This alchemical business ingredient: copywriting.

Reading these first few paragraphs immerses you into the copywriting world that Ray thrives in. He’s sharing the one element your business may be missing or not doing as effectively as it could. When I first read this text, I could not stop. The book became a page turner as if I were reading a thrilling murder mystery. The best part was, I could use the information I was taking in. I could not put the book down.

Throughout the book, Ray shares tips for how to write emails, bullet points, guarantees, and copy that closes the deal. One of the most useful concepts that is covered in detail is the P.A.S.T.O.R. Framework.

The P.A.S.T.O.R Framework Applied to Copywriting

Person, Problem Pain: Identify the person you are writing to, the problem that your product or service is intended to solve, and the pain your person is experiencing.
 Amplify: Stress the consequences of what will happen if that problem isn’t solved.
 Story and Solution: Tell the story of someone who has solved that problem, using your solution.
 Transformation and Testimony: Articulate the results that your product or service will bring, providing real-life testimonials to strengthen your case.
 Offer: Describe exactly what you are offering for sale, focusing on the transformation instead of on the deliverables (“the stuff”).
 Response: Ask the customer to buy, with step-by-step instructions telling them what to do next.

This framework is so powerful because it provides a roadmap and the building blocks necessary to build the case for why your target audience should buy your product or service. Each component of the framework can be written separately, then stacked in an order that will provide the most impact to the reader.

Ray dives into detail with the framework in chapter 1, breaking down each component to provide step-by-step instruction on how to think about the copy you are trying to write. This chapter alone is worth the cost of the book. On top of that chapter, Ray discusses

Applying it to the BrandedWorld Framework

The BrandedWorld Framework works on both internal and external strategies in order to develop a cohesive brand experience. Copywriting is an essential skill to help organizations and brands connect with their audience. Copywriting begins with writing your purpose, vision, and mission then carries over into the story of your organization. The message that your brand shares with its audience is shared through effective copywriting.

Originally published at on September 1, 2016.