Writing a Killer Amazon Listing Just Got Easier!
Update Jan 2016: I’ve been selling on Amazon for nearly two years. All new posts related to Amazon selling and private labeling are on my new site PrivateLabelPreneur.com. This is still a very relevant post to read so don’t miss it!
If you’re interested in following my journey, come on over and get on the email list! I’ve also expanded/updated my Resource list, you can find it here: PrivateLabelPreneur.com/Resources.
I’ve been writing my entire adult life. But the skills needed for producing effective corporate training programs or writing blog posts that inspire are different from those needed to write a killer Amazon listing.
I’ve been selling on Amazon for about six months now. In the process, I’ve listed single products, made multipacks and created bundles. Some listings were simple: I jumped on listings that were created by someone else. Others were more difficult because I had to write them myself.
It’s worth the time it takes to write a good listing
I know how it feels. You busted your butt looking for product to sell, dragged the stuff home and processed it (removed labels, took photos, bagged items, etc.).
By now you’re sick and tired of the whole thing and just want to get the shipment out but that darned listing is standing in your way. If I can offer some advice, it’s this: Don’t be lazy when it comes to your Amazon listings!
Your products (or bundles) might be great, but if you have a boring listing with bad or nonexistent search terms, all your work was for nothing.
While easier, I found that the listings you tag on to are often lackluster and worse yet, you have no idea what, if any, search terms they used. Maybe the person who originally wrote the listing was tired, in a hurry, a terrible writer or didn’t realize the importance of certain aspects of the listing.
It’s always better to write your own listing if you have the opportunity. Why? Because taking the easy path just might kill your chances of winning as an Amazon Seller.
So what do you do if you don’t have confidence in your writing skills?
You have some choices. If you aren’t confident that you can write a great listing, You could:
- Wing it. This is the blind approach. Scratch out a listing just to get it done.
- Hire someone to write your listing for you. This comes with a price tag and an element of risk. How do you know that you can trust they will do a better job than you? If you go this route:
- Ask for examples of their work. Be forewarned, they may be unable to show examples if their clients are secretive about their products.
- Find out if they have ever sold on Amazon. If not, they might not understand the beast. Amazon has some very specific guidelines for getting your product ranked and visible to buyers.
- Learn what it takes to write a killer Amazon listing. I highly recommend this approach for a number of reasons. Here’s a biggie: If you ultimately decide to outsource this task, you are better served by learning first what a great job looks like. That will make you much better at employee/consultant/VA selection and you’ll be able to quickly and authoritatively direct their work.
Before I discovered Karon Thackston I thought I had it down…
I get a lot of people contacting me through my blog wanting to guest post or get on my Resources pages. I easily weed out 90% of these requests because it’s clear that there’s no alignment with our goals and values. For the others, I reply asking for more information…they usually never respond.
Then there was Karon. She sent me an email about her new ebook, Amazon Advantage: Product Listing Strategies to Boost Your Sales, saying she felt it would be a good resource for my readers who are interested in selling on Amazon. I’ll admit I was skeptical but I replied and asked her some pointed questions. Her reply piqued my curiosity.
I ended up asking Karon for two things before agreeing to add her book to my site. First, I needed to read it. Second, I asked her to do a review of one of my recent listings so I could see how she would improve it.
She agreed to both and I was floored by what I discovered!
Karon’s book is a source of gold
This is a tool every Amazon seller must have. Grounded in personal experience as an Amazon seller, Karon understands the machine. She offers creative ideas for finding out what your target customer really wants/needs and helps you write to appeal to them.
Throughout the ebook she shows examples of listings that are lacking compared to those that stand out and compel you to buy. Karon then goes on to peel back what it takes to make the good listing what it is.
She provides excellent worksheets to help make researching and preparing to write your listing a breeze.
Keywords are critical. Without them your listing will be buried and buyers will have a hard time finding your product. When it comes to keywords, Karon has some real gold nuggets to share. I’m going to use her techniques to revamp the keywords on my most profitable listings.
The ebook isn’t cheap, but it’s worth every penny. If you’re not sold yet, take a look at the advice she gave me on my newest listing. AND, She is offering a 30% discount for Escaping Dodge readers. Simply enter REE30 at checkout to get the discount. (Thanks, Karon!)
My listing’s transformation based on Karon’s review
Karon gave me specific feedback for four elements of my listing:
- Product Name
- Key Product Features
- Product Description
- Keywords (Search Terms)
All of the feedback Karon gave me on this listing ties into what you’ll learn in her ebook (plus a lot more). Here we go, let’s see how she worked her magic!
While Amazon recommends putting the brand name at the beginning of the title, Karon doesn’t suggest this unless it’s a well-known brand. That’s because a truncated version of the title is shown in other places (e.g., the Amazon Best Sellers page).
If your brand won’t stike a buying bell with the reader, don’t put it first. You’ll learn more about this plus a bunch more in Chapter 5 of Karon’s book. Take a look at the difference in the before and after versions of the title. Much better, thanks Karon!
Key Product Features
Karon suggested some tweaks to my bulleted list. In Chapter 6 of her book, Creating compelling bullets/features, she provides loads of great advice for how to write compelling, and selling, product features. She also provides a worksheet to help you craft your own.
See if you can spot the differences in my before and after list.
I really didn’t give the product description much attention…just another field to fill out. While I did write one, I see now where I could have done so much better! I gobbled up this part of Karon’s book: Chapter 7: Developing product descriptions that Set you apart.
Remember, a well-crafted description will help the customer choose in your favor.
Keywords are extremely important. Without them finding your product will be like trying to find the proverbial needle in a haystack. Don’t do that to yourself or your customer; make it easy to find your products with effective use of keywords.
In Chapter 4, Optimizing listings for Amazon and Google, Karon reveals a wealth of knowledge about how to use keywords to your best advantage. She sites tools (many free) and techniques that will make building your keyword list much easier. The book was worth the price for this chapter alone!
Now that I’ve read Karon’s ebook and seen just how valuable her advice can be, I’ll keep it handy and review it each time I need to write a new listing. Don’t forget to grab your 30% discount by entering REE30 at checkout!
What about you? What is the most difficult part of writing your product listings?
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