Copywriting for Non-Copywriters
By Robert W. Bly

A Step-by-step Guide of Effective Copywriting for Non-copywriters

An intensive training session that teaches managers, engineers, and others who are not copywriters how to write clear, concise, result-getting copy for white papers, Web pages, product sheets, articles, e-mails and other online and offline content and marketing materials for internal and external audiences.

Every session is customized to your audience, company, product, corporate culture, learning objectives, and the types of documents your group needs to create.


Here is a partial listing of topics covered. Your seminar can cover all topics or just the ones that are most important to your business.

Module 1: Overview

·                     What is copy? How does it differ from content?

·                     What makes for good copy? Good content?

·                     7 key differences of business-to-business vs. consumer copy

·                     Differences of general vs. direct response copy

·                     Differences and similarities of online vs. offline copy

Module 2: Writing to Get Attention: Headlines and Subject Lines

·                     The 4 functions of the headline

·                     8 basic headlines—and how to use them

·                     How headlines and visuals work together

·                     The 4 U’s formula for writing headlines and subject lines

·                     A checklist for creating effective headlines

·                     Techniques for producing headlines

Module 3: How to write Clear and Understandable Body Copy

·                     10 tips for writing clear copy

·                     The secret of getting to the point

·                     Tricks of the trade

·                     Copywriting checklist

Module 4: Persuasive Writing

·                     Features and benefits

·                     The motivating sequence

·                     The big promise

·                     The unique selling proposition

·                     The “reason for being”

·                     How to understand your reader’s core complex – the BDF formula

·                     A checklist of copy motivators

·                     How to determine the right length for your copy

·                     The FAB pyramid

Module 5: Research: Getting Ready to Write Your Copy

·                     4 steps you must take to prepare for a copywriting assignment

·                     Using interviews to gather your facts

·                     Online research methods that work

·                     Organizing your information

·                     The 3-Step writing process

·                     Techniques for producing ideas

Module 6: E-Mail and Landing Pages

·                     Writing e-mails that people open, read, and respond to

·                     Must all e-mails be short?

·                     HTML vs. text vs. rich media e-mails

·                     Creating an effective company e-zine (online newsletter)

·                     How to construct landing pages for maximum conversions.

Module 7: Web Content and Pages

·                     How to organize and write product pages.

·                     How to organize and write effective content pages.

·                     Ideal length for Web pages.

·                     Strategies for links and search engines.

Module 8: White Papers

·                     What is a white paper?

·                     How long should a white paper be?

·                     Are white papers overdone? How to make yours stand out.

·                     Who generates the content for the white paper? Who writes and edits it?

·                     Creating white papers your prospects actually want to read and download.

Module 9: Writing Product Sheets and Other Marketing Documents

·                     Writing product sheets, data sheets, and spec sheets.

·                     Writing print and online catalogs.

·                     Writing for CD-ROM and multimedia.

·                     11 tips on writing better brochures

·                     How to organize the 3 basic types of brochures
—product brochure
—service brochure
—corporate brochure

·                     Writing annual reports.

·                     Scripting flash presentations.

·                     Banner ads, e-zine ads, and print ads.

Module 10: Writing Public Relations Materials

·                     12 tips for writing press releases

·                     How to put more news in news releases

·                     How to get more inquiries from your press releases

·                     How to write a feature article

·                     Speech writing

Module 11: Writing Direct Response Copy

·                     9 advantages of using direct mail

·                     Who can profit from direct mail?

·                     How to increase response through the right selection of a powerful OFFER

·                     How to select the best mailing lists

·                     Testing rules and techniques

·                     How to write powerful sales leads

·                     How to write and design effective direct mail brochures

·                     Tips on improving order forms and reply cards

·                     Response-boosting techniques and ideas

·                     How to create successful lead-generating direct mail

·                     How to sell products, services, membership, and attendance via mail order

·                     Special techniques for business-to-business direct response

·                     Profits from postcard decks

·                     Self-mailers—how to design and write them, when to use them


Preparation and Customization

All clients must submit a completed questionnaire along with samples of their copy in advance of the seminar date. The seminar is tailored to your specific educational needs based on this information. Actual samples are used throughout the presentation as examples, for critiques, as exercises, and to illustrate and dramatize ideas presented in the classroom.

In addition, we further customize by going through the course agenda with you and having you tell us which items you want stressed and emphasized. There is no extra charge for this customization.

Number of Students

Recommended number of students is 6 to 20 per class; however, you may send up to 25 attendees for the base price. There is an additional materials and preparation fee for each student above 25 registrants.

Length and Fees

Full day (5-6 hours)
Half-day (2-3 hours)
Lecture or speech (30 to 90 minutes)

For the two-day program, I recommend a day of formal seminar presentation followed by breaking the class up into three or four groups for a second day of more personalized hands-on work-shops and tutorials that address their individual needs more directly. Call Fern Dickey at (201) 797-8105 for pricing and availability.


A 50% nonrefundable deposit authorizes CTC to begin preparation and customization of your seminar and puts a firm hold over the dates you requested. Balance due net 30 days after presentation of seminar.


Client is billed at cost for all out-of-pocket expenses including long-distance telephone calls, fax transmissions, Federal Express, and messenger service.

Client must provide prepaid hotel reservations and prepaid round-trip plane tickets from Newark Airport (Newark, NJ) for all out-of-town engagements.


Textbook recommended (but not required) for seminar attendees is The Online Copywriter’s Handbook (McGraw-Hill) by Bob Bly. We provide article reprints, checklists, samples, and other study materials to students during the seminar at no extra charge; these handouts cover all important topics, so purchase of the book is not required.

About the Seminar Leader

Bob Bly is an independent consultant and copywriter specializing in high-tech, business-to-business, industrial and direct response advertising. Clients include Value Rent-A-Car, Edith Roman Associates, Sony Corporation, Timeplex, Associated Air Freight, IBM, Microsoft, and Philadelphia National Bank.

Mr. Bly is the author of 50 books including Internet Direct Mail and The Copywriter’s Handbook. In addition, he writes a column for DM News and has taught copywriting at New York University.

For More Information

To discuss the specifics of your seminar and reserve a date, call or write Bob Bly: at CTC, 22 East Quackenbush Avenue, 3rd Floor, Dumont, NJ 07628, phone (201) 385-1220, e-mail

What Clients and Attendees Say About Bob Bly’s Seminars and Consultations

“Your talk was well prepared and excellently presented. Not only was it extremely informative, but you succeeded in offering some startling insights that many of us failed to realize about our business-to-business advertising communications.”
— Walter Lewis, Business/Professional Advertising Association

“Thanks for your seminar. Besides clarifying some technical points, you gave me insight into my position, and my abilities, as a writer. And, observing you in action was excellent training.”
— Mike Goldscheitter, Loveland Controls

“Thanks again for joining us in Atlantic City on Thursday. I, and the entire group, found your thoughts insightful and right on target.”
— Edward H. Moore, Communication Briefings

“Well balanced, interesting, moved right along. Everything you promised and more.”
— John Pfister, Del Haven, NJ

“Your presentation for our seminar was sparkling, enthusiastic, and informative. The audience response was wonderful to see and hear. Our group benefited greatly and were quite vocal in their praise of you.”
— Wendy Ward, Women in Communications

Bob Bly
Copywriter, Consultant and Seminar Leader
22 East Quackenbush Avenue, 3rd Floor, Dumont, NJ 07628
Phone (201) 385-1220, Fax (201) 385-1138


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