18 steps to perfect copy – The copywriting process

Someone just asked me how I write copy. Hm.

Unable to answer straight away because I do it on autopilot, I fired up a Word doc and jotted down the steps I take to complete the copywriting process. Assuming I’m writing from scratch and not editing existing content, in my world the copywriting process goes something like this.

The copywriting process

  1. lay down the basic structure, indicating where the <h1> header, <h2>subheads and body copy go
  2. start with the opening sentence
  3. write it then go back and edit it any numer of times ’til it reads beautifully
  4. create the second sentence
  5. polish it until it’s perfect
  6. go back make sure the sentences sit together properly and flow smoothly
  7. carry on until all the sentences in the first paragraph are the best they can be
  8. rinse and repeat for every paragraph
  9. on finishing each paragraph, check the copy from top to bottom to ensure it all hangs together properly, rolls off the tongue and says exactly what it needs to say
  10. when the body copy is complete, add the <h1> header – I find it easier at this stage because the message is fresh in my head
  11. create <h2> headers
  12. check the whole thing again for flow, style, grammar, spelling and so on
  13. check the key terms are included
  14. check the keyword density is natural, not spammy
  15. write the call to action
  16. check the whole thing yet again, making final adjustments
  17. come back an hour later and tweak it one more time, seeing it through fresh eyes
  18. then and only then… send the first draft to my client!