In today’s post I will be featuring an interview with highly successful writer, Sean Platt, of GhostWriterDad.com, in which Sean talks about a way to make hundred times more than you get for regular freelance writing jobs. In case you’re just hearing about Sean, I recently interviewed him about kindle publishing, and the interview got some positive responses.
In this interview, I asked Sean just 4 questions, and if you can read and reread those 4 questions and his answers to them, I’m sure they can change your life forever.
In the meantime, if you have a minute, Sean is participating in a writing contest at Writetodone.com, and it will make a lot of difference if you can vote. WritersinCharge is also participating in the same contest, but if you’re yet to vote for me, I’ll recommend you use the vote for Sean instead – why? Sean just rocks, and I’m sure you will discover that too at the end of this interview.
Here’s the interview I did with Sean.
ONI: I’ve been following your work for a long time now, and I have noticed you emphasize the importance of learning to write a sales letter. As a freelance writer, how important do you think knowing how to craft the perfect sales letter is compared to doing regular freelance writing jobs?
SEAN: If I could go back in time, I would learn to write sales letters earlier than I did. Freelancing is fine, but a lot of the pay simply isn’t that good. And I’m not interested in fighting other writers for pennies. A single sales letter can pay more than a couple hundred keyword articles. Sure, sales letters take much, much longer to write, but a couple of month will more than pay the bills, and they’re a lot more fun to write.
But big benefit is that sales letters help you become a better writer. The basic copywriting techniques you use when writing a sales letter: keeping people on the page, driving them toward action, crafting a persuasive argument – these are the same elements that separate good writers from great writers. Whether you want to build an amazing freelance career or write fiction as I’m doing now, learning to write sales letters is a great place to grow your career and ability as a writer.
ONI: What do you think is the basic element every sales letter must have?
SEAN: I’m going to say there’s two, and I don’t think one can exist without the other. Every sales letter must be persuasive or there’s no point. If your sales letter doesn’t make a clear, concise argument, leading the reader down the page to a clearly stated call to action at the end, then it’s an ineffective sales letter from word one. But every bit as important the argument being made, the sales letter must have flow. Once a reader starts reading a sales letter, you can’t afford for them to stop. That means every sentence must lead into the next. From your compelling headline which acts as a promise to the final PS, your copy must create a slide your reader gets lost going down. I also think there’s a third – every sales letter must have empathy.
ONI: If you only have an option, how will you get in touch with people interested in you writing a sales page for them?
SEAN: I no longer take client work, so I’m not looking for business. Fortunately, I was known for the quality of my sales letters so I didn’t have to look even back when I was writing them. But if I was looking for clients, I wouldn’t go shooting in the dark. Writers who want to write sales letters should know those topics they can write about most effectively, then target people in that niche. For example, sales letters in the financial space pay ridiculously well. Yet, I’ve turned down sales letters in that space because they require too much research, or I knew I couldn’t get into the head of the reader in the time I had. And that’s everything. If you don’t know who you’re writing for, or don’t truly understand the market, you will write an anemic, ineffective sales letter.
ONI: What do you think is the most important thing every writer must know before starting to write a sales letter?
SEAN: No doubt, the most important thing you can do is know your market. And the best way to research your market is to go to Amazon, check the reader reviews of books in the industry or niche you’re writing about. Read what people are saying. The reviews will help you know the language of the market, give you their specific pain points, and help you craft a better sales letter. Most importantly, it will give you the empathy you need to slip into their head.You must know what pain your potential buyers are facing. If you don’t know that, you’re not speaking their language. And if you’re not speaking their language, you’ll never make the sale.
The above are 4 simple but smart questions, and Sean’s answers can never be better. Reread the interview and ponder on what you just read, and determine whether you should go the sales letter writing route or not.
If you want to get started sales letter writing but don’t know how to, check out Sean’s guide, Sales Letter Sellout. If you love Sean’s style and want to follow his work, visit his blog at GhostWriterDad, and if you’re yet to vote in the Writetodone writing contest, make sure you vote for Sean’s “GhostWriterDad.com” now. It will mean a lot to him, and I’d also be thankful to you for doing so!