Write Better Blurbs That Aren’t Lame

A few weeks ago, I told you about a few copywriting hacks that would enhance the power of your message. In one of my hacks, I made a quick reference to a framework for writing better blurbs and then moved on. Like a thief in the night, I gave you a goldmine of information and didn’t expound upon it at all.

A few readers asked me to flesh that out a little more, so, here we go. I’m going to tell you how to write better blurbs in 3 sentences every time that will make what you’re communicating clear, compelling, and simple. Here it is:

Their Problem

Your Solution

Call to Action

Let’s pick on Men’s ministry events today to illustrate how to use this simple copywriting method.

Their Problem

Remember that the problem you want to address is theirs, not yours. Your problem is getting men to attend the Bible study, but that’s not their problem.

When you get ready to launch your men’s Bible study that meets at 6:30am on Saturdays (great choice, guys), it’s important that you start with your audience. Who are they? In this case, I’m assuming they are men. Also, due to the fact that you’re trying to meet so early in the morning on a weekend, it’s probably older men.

Now you have to ask yourself, “What pain point are they struggling with most?” It could be that they want friendship and community in a Bible study or maybe they feel like they need to stay sharp in the Word because they teach. I’m going to pretend to know this imaginary crowd and say that the major thing they want is to spiritually lead their families well. But there’s more.

What drives that need? Go deeper. Probably something along the lines of wondering if they have what it takes to actually lead their family. Thanks to our culture, they probably feel like they are stupid and clumsy, and have a lot of reservation with the Bible because they honestly don’t know much. There’s a lot of self-doubt there.

So, in the interest of illustration, let’s try to use that in the blurb.

Your Solution

Since we’ve gone past the exterior pain point of “I just want to know the Bible more,” and gotten to the internal struggle of self-doubt, your solution can’t just be “learn/grow more at Bible study.” Sure, that’s what they’ll do if they come, but that’s not why they’ll come. Your solution has to speak to that pain point.

Let’s say your solution of “come to men’s Bible study” transforms into the idea of confidence or boldness in leading your family because of what you’ll learn by attending.

Call to Action

Now, even though I know it will go against every false humility line you’ve been taught to regurgitate, we have to ask them to do something. What is that call to action? What do you want them to do?

You’re probably thinking “Come to Men’s Bible study.” But they already know that’s what you want to do. That honestly feels a little more like “Hi, I’m Seth. Want to be best friends?” Too much, buddy. Take it down a notch.

You want to make the call to action something simple but also something likely. Sometimes, we ask them to email someone, but then they have to find the email and copy/paste it to their email in a new window, and….too hard. If you’re writing for a social post or a website, this is where you have a button that automatically opens up a web form that will email the leader of the group. You may even set up a system that they can enter their email address and someone contacts them. Just make it likely.

Hold up, we’re not done with this call to action. Make sure that the call to action is super clear, on a big ol’ button, and that the button says something action-oriented.

              Click here. ←—-NO.

That’s boring. What the button actually says may stem from your copy. So, let’s write this baby up for a web blurb, and yes, of course, I’m going to be ridiculous.

Men’s Bible Study Blurb

The only time a man can truly be brave is when he is afraid. A few brave men meet every Saturday to explore what it means to be a man of God in our homes and our workplaces by looking through the Bible. Click the button to join this brotherhood of faith that will always have your back!

        Button: Punch Fear in the Face

I might have borrowed the button copy from Jon Acuff and that’s probably the wrong copy for the older man demographic, but hey, we’re just being hypothetical here, right? Tell me you wouldn’t click that button, though…

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So, that’s the basic structure. We’ve just written a very manly blurb for men’s bible study that has a clear message that any medieval Scotsman with a scar across his eye and a sword on his belt will love!  

Why will they love it? Because I didn’t say “Hey, we’re awesome and we’re doing awesome stuff so come join us and you’ll be awesome too.” I kept it focused on the person reading it. The only time I had it focused on the church was to convey relevant information like “click the button” but then immediately went back to what you get if you do.

When you’re writing copy, it’s really easy to just write about what you need from them. But what really connects is when you start telling them what you are going to do for them.

Let Me Help

Let’s do this…If you have something you’re writing an ad for or a blurb, put it in the comments below and I’ll help you work out the copy. I’ll do that for the first 5 people that comment and help you get a message out that connects.

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Showing 13 comments
  • Colin Rowley

    Thanks, Seth. I feel manly enough to tackle this effort now. 😉

    Probably one of my biggest headaches is asking people to serve in Kids Ministry. For them, it’s a year-long investment of their time and requires prep up front. But, maybe that’s irrelevant. How would you tackle asking peeps to serve in Kids?

    • Seth Muse

      Colin,

      Honestly, before we even get to the copy, the best volunteer recruitment is done by the department lead and it’s done in person by asking them specifically. If your Kids pastor isn’t willing to do the leg work here, no amount of brilliant copy is going to bring volunteers.

      That said, you can still influence someone, but you have to think about who your audience is. There are probably two people you’re talking to: Those who haven’t thought about serving that you want to start considering it and those who are considering strongly, but just need a little push to actually do something.

      In your context, which group do you think you have more of? I’d write to them. Let’s say it’s the crowd who hasn’t even considered serving.

      “Every person on the planet will leave a mark. But legacies aren’t measured by how much you did, they are measured by the lives you’ve affected. Our kids ministry needs a few imperfect people to show them how to follow Jesus with all their heart. Is that you? We think it could be. Call/email us and let’s find out how you can leave a legacy of faith for the next generation.”

      Or something like that. If your target is the one who has considered it but just hasn’t committed…

      “No one is ever truly prepared for the biggest things in life, they just handle them. Buying a house, getting married, having kids. We know you’ve been thinking about serving in our kids ministry, but you just haven’t jumped in yet. We’ll help you learn on the go and you will start making a difference in our kids’ lives on day one!”

      Hope that gets you started!

  • Jeremy

    I’m trying to write for a blurb(possibly recurring) for posting our sermon videos to social media. Don’t want it to be just “check out our most recent sermon!” Is there a way to get something generic/recurring that’ll work for that?

    • Seth Muse

      Check out the blurbs that New Spring puts on theirs. The blurb for their series “Slaying Giants” reads like this (my comments in parenthesis):

      We all want more out of life. (They’ve defined the problem/felt need of their audience.)

      But too often, obstacles stand between us and the full life God promises. They loom over us like giants blocking our path.

      Greed, fear, anxiety, bitterness, and comparison — these “giants” are real and they are ready to fight. We can either turn and run, or we can start slaying giants. (Now they’ve set you up with their solution. The Call to action is implied in that you’ll find out how to slay giants by watching the sermon, which is why you’re probably on the page anyway).

      Blurbs can’t be generic if you want them to work. “Generic promotion will get you generic results.” – Kenny Jahng

      Model your blurb after this one (basically copy this until you learn the formula) and you’ll be better off. Thanks!

  • Laurel Swanson

    Intro to the Bible class. Used to be called 3rd Grade Bibles, but we want to expand so that ANYONE who wants to understand how to read the Bible, history, etc, would want to attend.

    • Seth Muse

      Laurel, the first temptation of writing copy is to try and be inclusive as you can by targeting everyone. Most people don’t know that this isn’t the most successful tactic. Have you defined the center of the bullseye yet? Is it a 30 year old female with 2 kids? Is it a 45 year old male with college kids? Is it singles in their twenties? Since it’s an intro class, I would think that would appeal to a younger demographic (if you have one). Either way, the best thing you can do is define the center of the target. Then, I would try and define that groups felt need? Do they feel like they don’t know enough about God to talk to their friends? What problem that THEY care about would this Bible study solve? Answer those questions and you’re on your way!

  • Carter Featherston

    Hi Seth.
    I lead a retreat for men, but it is a more “intense” retreat of self-discovery with spiritual breakthroughs. The point of the retreat is “Making a Change at the Level of Identity.” It is hard to get men to consider this weekend of vulnerability and sharing your (read: poo-poo) with other men. I need help in getting men to consider this. Every man that comes on the retreat loves it. But they never leave and accost their friends to attend the next one . . . because they don’t have many best friends. I can send you my latest email-ad, and see what you think.

    • Seth Muse

      Carter, Yeah, send me your latest email ad and let’s work on it! First, way to recognize the issue: Men don’t like to be vulnerable. Let’s go from there!

  • Laurel Swanson

    We do an intro to the Bible Class that used to be targeted to 3rd graders. We really want it to be for anyone who isn’t comfortable with how to find things in the Bible, how to look up passages, what the Bible is all about, etc. Adults too!

    • Seth Muse

      I see. Well, I wouldn’t try to get adults to come to something that 3rd graders will be part of. So, let’s say the new target is adults between the age of 30-40ish? If the felt need is “I’m not sure I know enough about the Bible,” that really speaks to confidence.

      So, let’s say: Let’s be honest, the Bible is a big, somewhat complicated book to those who are not familiar with it and following a sermon can be tough if you have to jump from verse to verse! If you would like to become a lot more confident navigating the Bible, finding Scriptures, and learn to read it for all it’s worth, join us on ________ at _______ each week to get a grip on the greatest book ever written!

      • Laurel Swanson

        LIKE! I’m hearing, too, that we could offer the same basic class content but to different groups at different times.

        • Seth Muse

          You’ve got it!

  • Jennifer Poole

    We are hosting a “Family Day” for the families in our church — we know parents want to be better parents, and we want to help them with tools and resources… One of those resources, is the Orange Strategy which we use in both our children’s ministry and our student ministry. In November, we are hosting an event, inviting families to come, have fun together, eat lunch and learn about the different phases of a child’s life. The theme is “It’s Just a Phase – So Don’t Miss It!” Any thoughts?

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