How does a copywriter come up with ideas for what to write?

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Ideas for what to write? Or ideas for what to market?

Usually, a copywriter works on demand for an existing product or service.

The key to any good copywriting ideas start with finding a big idea.

Then, a unique mechanism.

From those 2 key ingredients, you can start working on your headline complex, hooks, objections, and any other elements to be found in your copy.

Being a copywriter myself and a self-help/self-improvement expert, I’ll illustrate what I just said with a concrete example. Imagine you are asked to promote a self-help book.

The best way to fail is to be one more white sheep in the herd. What you want here is to have a different color. To do so, find a big, unique idea you have seen nowhere else or one that is rarely addressed or no so-well developed, implemented or executed.

Let’s say your books is about winning more friends. True friends.

The classical approach could be to be nice with people around you and try to please them and satisfy their needs. Boring. Deja vu. Great, we're kicking open doors

A different approach could be to think of winning more friends in terms of getting rid of false and fake friends, who might please you by interest and may be gossiping about you or stab you in the back some day. Does your brain start seeing where I’m going to? The type of big idea you could get?

Now, let's throw in the unique mechanism, the secret sauce that sets your pitch on fire. How about this: "The Scorched Earth Principle — Torch Fake Connections, Cultivate Real Bonds."

Here's your “hook” in a developed version: "In a world drowning in surface-level relationships, it's time to unleash the wildfire. No more playing nice; it's about playing real. Friendfiltration isn't about adding; it's about purging. Burn the fake, fuel the authentic. Ready to set your social circle ablaze?"

So, here's the breakdown and pragmatic summary for you:

Big idea: Friendfiltration.

Unique mechanism: The Scorched Earth Principle.

Hook: Ignite Genuine Connections, Incinerate the Fake. Now, go pen the rebellion.

So, to complete the circle coming back to the question, where did I get the ideas I just shared? It all started with the product main “feature” and related benefits: winning friends. From there, I started thinking in contrarian way… knowing that I needed at least my top 3 ingredients to start preparing my copywriting recipe and cooking my copy.

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