You can gain a lot from copywriting to make your classroom more fun and more productive.
King and Adams write for different purposes. Both advocate simplifying your writing.
If you want your students to be less confused, more engaged, more confident, and more positive about your class copywriting can help.
What is copywriting?
Copywriting is writing in a way to get a reader to take action.
Professional copywriters produce “copy” to sell food, cars, cell phones, whatever. A good copywriter wants to give enough information for a potential buyer to take action and no more.
They also provide multiple opportunities for someone to buy.
Copywriting involves understanding your audience. To get your audience (students) to understand you and take action you need to understand them first.
Understand your students pains, dreams, and desires. Be aware of that when writing. (We will get into implementing that knowledge into your lesson plans, presentations, etc.)
How Could Copywriting Be Used in Your Classroom?
I am not telling you to start writing letters to your students. Teachers will greatly benefit from knowing how to write in a way that their students easily understand.
- What grade level are your students reading at?
- What are their interests?
- What do they want to avoid?
If your students are reading at a 6th grade level you should probably be writing to them at a 5th grade level or lower. You want your students to easily understand your instructions.
What do student like about your class?
Cater to that when writing and keep it brief.
What do students dislike about your class or school in general?
Be aware of that. USE IT!
They don’t want to read long sentences. Students don’t want to read long blocks of uninterrupted text with no pictures.
No matter how important YOU think something is keep it as brief as possible.
Be extremely selective about how much information you are “dumping” on your students and the way that information is packaged.
Break up your text. Use bullet points. Use bold. Add pictures if you can.
Do these things to increase your success and your students success. This actually becomes fun as well.
Should’t education leaders be asking professional copywriters that companies trust to reach millions of potential customers to buy something in just a few seconds and with just words?
Write in short sentences.
Write in short paragraphs. (See how much easier this is to read?)
You are writing for your audience. Not for yourself.
You are tiring their eyes and brain writing in long sentences. Knock it off!
My Experiments With Copywriting
Readers of this website know that I am frequently look outside the education world for ideas.
I found out about copywriting reading Jon Morrow, Mike Cernovich, and Copyblogger. I not enjoyed the content of their writing but their style. I wan’t sure what it was at first. Eventually, I found out that they all knew copywriting and used it.
[Side note – Why not also teach teachers how to use body language, NLP, psychology?]
As I dug deeper on the topic I stumbled on Gary Halbert and his work. I followed his advice and rewrote some of his letters and ads by hand.
I was rewriting these by hand during my best writing, or most productive writing time.
You will IMMEDIATELY notice that some of what you read has been written by someone following the principles of copywriting. You will also get impatient with overly complicated writing.
You don’t have to literally write out Halbert’s letters to get started. You should at least review some famous examples of good advertisements and good writing though. Why is it good? What did it to hook the reader and compel them into action?
Steal some of what you learn and implement it into your class.
Start off just writing for yourself, then bellwork, then full class lessons.
Copywriting is not just about writing but a mindset of delivering information in smaller chunks that your audience understands, agrees with, and will take action on.
My students experiments with copywriting
Presentations and graphics are a simple way to immediately start using this in your class.
Let your students know that it is ENCOURAGED to be brief with the visuals in their presentation and to start thinking of their audience first when presenting.
Get them thinking of putting their words and text into bite sized pieces for their classmates. Get them ready to explain what they learn to each other in SIMPLE, brief terms.
Have them create presentations using LARGE fonts (I use it here and in class for a reason – at LEAST 18 point font).
Have your students write an essay and then explain it in bullets points after. Have them explain a scientific concept in bullet points. Have them explain a math procedure in brief, bolded points.