"pen and paper" system for pumping out captivating copy

copywriting Oct 13, 2022

What would you say is the most important copy ingredient in the world?




Having a bazillion dollars to test stuff??

All those are good. 

But in Ning Li's world, the most important copy ingredient is what I call the VEHICLE. 

A vehicle is the "thing" that delivers a benefit.


  • Russian twist burns up to 2 pounds of belly fat
  • Poker-faced emoji triples Facebook ad conversions
  • 7-word sentence flips price objections

The italicized words are the vehicles.

Simple concept...

But many struggle to come up with an interesting vehicle that grabs people and commands their attention. 

That's why I'll share a simple exercise that will turn you into a vehicle-creating monster. 

This exercise requires a bit of thinking. 

(And that's non-negotiable btw. If you want to make the big bucks as a copywriter, you need to think.)

Here's what to do:

Take a pen and paper and write down 10 different descriptions for whatever you're selling. 

Don't filter your imagination here. 


Suppose we're selling pens. 


For me, the subject is as exciting as politics hahaha.

So how can we turn something mundane and boring... into something that's exciting and interesting?

Ask yourself: 

What else could this be used for? 

What are all the possible characterizations I can give it? 

For the pen, here's a small list: 

  • ink dispenser
  • recording tool
  • letter writer
  • permanent pencil
  • stabby self-defense tool
  • little stick
  • status symbol
  • recorder of history
  • collectible 
  • powerful transmitter of thoughts 
  • storyteller's paintbrush

Some ideas are bland. 

That's cool. 

All newbie copywriters need to pump out a ton of "OMG that sucks" words before they create a masterpiece. 

Same with ideas. 

You need a bunch of CRAPPY ideas before you come up with a gripping one.

How do you know if you got a great idea?

Ask yourself:

  • Is it unique in the niche? The "30-second morning ritual" vehicle crushed it the first time it appeared in a weight loss offer. Now everyone and their brother-in-law use it in the niche. But... it could beat controls left and right if you used the same angle in another niche (There's always value in taking an idea from one niche and transferring it to another) 
  • Is it easy to understand? People won't waste a single second of their busy lives to figure out what you try to say. If you're selling a self-defense course, you might come up with the idea of a "stunning trick" for a vehicle. But some might not know if you're talking about a trick that's impressive... or a trick that stuns people. 
  • Is it visual? "Bizarre fruit" is OKish. But "purple banana" is more powerful because it creates an image in people's heads. 

This brainstorming exercise will take time.

But I promise it gets easier the more you do it. 

And the more you do it, the more you'll stand head and shoulders above other, lazier copywriters. 

Talk to you soon,

- Ning 

P.S. Did you enjoy this tip? 

Tips are cool but having a system that shows you how to pump high-converting copy effortlessly is waaay better. I believe my Zero To $5k video course is said system. It will transform your copy and land you clients who are a pleasure to work with.

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