Review: Copywriting Made Simple by Tom Albrighton

My book review of Tom Albrighton’s highly recommended introduction to copywriting for newbie writers and marketers.

Copywriting Made Simple by Tom Albrighton provides copywriting newbies with a strong, illustrative introduction into the art of writing with a purpose, and acts as a well-needed refresher for the more experienced copywriter.

Copywriting Made Simple by Tom Albrighton cover design

What’s the book about?

Written by freelance copywriter Tom Albrighton, Copywriting Made Simple is the Ronseal of copywriting books. It does what it says on the cover: makes the key concepts of copywriting easy to understand and therefore easier to implement in your own writing.

It’s clear that this guidebook is full of techniques used and advice borrowed from Albrighton’s own successful copywriting career, which give Copywriting Made Simple that genuine and insightful tone that is complemented by the countless relevant copy examples and illustrations throughout. I know I personally learn best by examples, so these are a huge plus for me!

In my experience as a seasoned copywriting book reader, I’ve found that, while many books are great at explaining copywriting techniques, they overlook the fundamental concept of copywriting. However, Copywriting Made Simple expertly weaves the how’s – how to write a killer headline – with the why’s – why a headline is such an important part of your copy from a psychological perspective.

Copywriting Made Simple is a book that you can pick up and dip in whenever you need to, depending on which copywriting task you’re on, but it’s also an accessible read if you decide to go from cover to cover picking up tips that you can apply to your writing more generally.

From the initial brief to dealing with feedback, and sharpening your copy, Copywriting Made Simple is logically laid out with invaluable advice and words of wisdom found in every chapter. Some of my favourite tips covered by Albrighton in this book include applying the “so what” test to help you establish the benefits from the features – so helpful when creating product descriptions or sales copy – and the “if this, then that” rule to help you construct a sentence that sells.

My advice: head straight for Chapter 17, “Project Tips”, if you’re stuck with something and need a quick pointer or two to get you back on track. In this genius chapter, Albrighton provides simple suggestions on how to amend and tailor your writing to different mediums, such as websites, social media and print copy.

Key quotes from the book

“You can’t be all things to all people. If you try to appeal to everybody, you’ll end up appealing to nobody. Instead, you should focus on the people who are most likely to appreciate the product and its benefits, because they’ll be the easiest to persuade”.

Too often, it can feel like your brief is to write something that attracts everyone to the product or service you find yourself writing about. This is when it’s really worth spending that bit of planning time at the beginning trying to identify the real reader of your copy. Another top tip here is to imagine the ideal persona being one person. Writing to that one person can really focus your copy, making it sound all that more relatable for the people who are most likely to convert.

“Don’t fall into the trap of writing for your client instead of the reader. Instead of trying to please the client with the copy itself, impress them with the thinking behind it”.

We’ve all been there! Although it can be difficult to justify your copy to a client who just “doesn’t get it”, be confident in expressing why your copy is valid and valuable to their client.

That’s who the copy’s really for, after all.

Who’s this book for?

While pitched at the newbie copywriter, Copywriting Made Simple is an extremely informative and practical book that’s ideal for copywriters of all levels. It’s a must-have for those writers and marketers who continuously strive to improve their skills and love to learn from those who are further along in their field.

Copywriting Made Simple is an accessible, actionable read that I recommend to anyone who needs to write persuasively a lot.

I share more copywriting tips over on my blog hereand more tips on my Instagram here.

Like reviews? You can also read my review on Mark Shaw’s Copywriting.