Copywriters: Beat The Blank Page Blues

Do you find yourself staring at a blank page (or in more modern terms, screen)?


Stuck for how to get started writing your copy and singing the blues?

I’ve found that I get much better results if I use some “quick start tactics”.

These keep me focused, and get me started on the right track with a copy project.

Here are 3 “tricks” I use…

Maybe they’ll work for you, too:

  1. Write the benefit bullets. Don’t worry about writing body copy just yet. Just start banging out all the benefits of owning the product. This will be more extensive list than the one in the order box (which is our next “jump-starter”).
  2. Write the order box copy (the offer!). This is the part of the copy where you clearly spell out the price of your offer, and the bullet points of all the main benefits of owning the product. Select the MAIN benefits (the one with the most “persuasion power” for the order box.
  3. Write 10 possible headlines for your copy. Don’t worry if they’re not “good enough”. You can even use some of the bullets you’ve written as starting points. Use a headline “swipe file” to spark ideas. Just get 10 headlines written.

Once you’ve finished the 3 “jump-starters” above, you will have written quite a bit of copy. It will be focused on the benefits of owning the product. You’ll be off to a good start on your copy project.

Question: what tricks do you use to give yourself a copywriting “jump-start”?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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26 thoughts on “Copywriters: Beat The Blank Page Blues

  1. I keep a box of 3×5 cards with headlines, factoids, power phrases, metaphors, etc… written down.  When i need a little inspiration I grab a handful and read through them.  It almost always works.

  2. I also write a list of headlines to help “jump-start” the copywriting process. I use two different headline templates to help me do this. One is from your book, Writing Riches, where you mention 9 different types of headlines and the other is from Jon Morrow’s Headline Hacks. Once I start thinking about the headlines I can build on that.  Thanks for the post Ray!

  3. The temptation is to Google something related to where you are stuck… but that can lead down a  rat hole very quickly, it tends to make me lose focus.
    I found that it is best to stay focused on the document in front of me and scroll through it to work on another piece.

  4. As I’m just getting started into copywriting, these “tricks” are like gold and make a enormous amount of sense, especially for getting the wheels turning and the ink flowing. I especially like your second trick, writing the order box copy. Beginning with the end in mind will go a long way to bringing clarity to the body copy.

  5. “Focus” is the operative word there for me. I’ve found that I cannot have anything else around, like the bills to sort or a project list to check or Facebook open… or even lunch to get. I’m easily distracted. So, having your simple guideline here is very helpful to me, simple steps upon which to focus.

    And I too like the idea of the question at the end of the post. Going to start doing that.

  6. Reminds me of your post to cultivate the power of thinking. I have been engaging in this more lately and encouraging others to do the same!

  7. This sounds like it will work as it forces you to put something down. The hardest part is getting started, and this gives you a way to do that.

  8. I’ve found myself in this situation far too many times as well. To beat that, I create an outline, or a bullet list, since the body is usually the first thing that comes into my mind. Oh, and I do my best not to panic. Never let that fear conquer me. :)