The Strangest Copywriting Secret

Copywriters – those who write the words that sell products and services – are always looking for new “secrets”.

Portrait of a bald writer

We always want to know the latest techniques, the latest nuances that can give our copy that extra edge of persuasion.

After all, as a copywriter, one's objective is to get people to do what we are asking them to do. It may be changing their mind about a subject, it may be considering a new idea, or it may be buying a product or service.

Copywriters tend to be suckers for gimmicks. We love to read about hypnotic language patterns, NLP copywriting techniques, or the “secret combinations” of words that will unlock the keys to the prospect's heart and mind.

I propose to you that this is misguided.

The oldest, and most effective copyrighting secret is one that is so simple, we overlook it. We get so focused on talking about ourselves, our products, our companies, the structure of our offer, that we forget the one person whose opinion really matters: the reader.

The fastest, easiest, best, most ethical way to influence the reader is by knowing what is already influencing them. Once you understand that, the words you need to say become obvious.

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at

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  • Good point. It brings out why you need to research your target audience.

  • Kahmara Gabri El

    I hope everyone sees the simplistic beauty of this post.

  • And Ray lowers the boom, drops the mic and walks off the stage. : ) So true. Authentic persuasion = leading people based on their natural motivations. We discover that best by taking the time to listen, learn, and care (in my opinion).

    • Daniel, you gave me an actual chuckle with this. Thanks.

  • Kim

    If you know who you are selling to, then yes its easier to write the words needed to so called influence them. Very simple idea for sure!

  • I spend hours reading about the gimmicky stuff…like anyone else, i cannot resist a magic formula. The best ‘tricks’ are those that enable you to gain a deeper insight into your target audience.

  • Ray,

    I watched your video interview as part of the members-only content available on Michael Hyatt’s Platform University today. I am writing to let you know that I downloaded your free copywriting guides after registering for your site.

    I used the guide on writing headlines, and did a test post on my site to see what would happen. I wrote an article for a specific audience, and then posted the link on the pages of several prominent players in that market.

    The response was significant. Aside from my featured article for the day, the test page using your formula had the 2nd highest traffic on my site.

    Thanks again for posting such useful content!

    • Jason, thank you for your kind words. I’m so excited to hear about your results!