Category Archives: Copywriting

Loose Tracking Methods – #1 Reason for Business Failure

Small business owners don’t have money to waste on loose tracking methods, but they keep doing it. It’s the number one reason for business failure because it means you’re constantly bleeding cash into advertising that produces little or no result.
ad-tracking2
Here are three effective, easy to do fixes for loose tracking methods.

Loose Tracking Methods Fix #1 – Continue reading

Editorial Copywriting – the uniquely common niche

Hi,

When’s the last time you heard someone mention Editorial Copywriting?

I’ll bet it happened when you were standing next to me or Bob Bly.

Google tells me the keyword phrase “editorial copywriting” is searched only 36 times each month. That’s incredible when you consider Continue reading

Repurpose Your Content

Hi,

Lot’s of people talk about repurposing content. I’ve even mentioned here in this blog.

A new facet of repurposing has come up in my work.

It turns out that work I’m doing on a new List Building book with Bob Bly is also useful to me for the teleseminar project I’m developing.

Add to that – both projects are obviously Continue reading

The Obama Protocols are coming

Start by knowing that Barack Obama doesn’t really know any more about the internet than you or I. What he does know is how to take advice and guidance from the professionals.

And eleven of us – experts in marketing, copywriting and the technical arts – have gathered to show you The Obama Protocols.

Every Wednesday – live at noon eastern – we’ll be covering everything you need to know to

Engage your audience…

Inform your prospects…

Empower your customers.

The site goes live one week from today, so I’ll fill you in when we’re ready for you to register.

Conrad

A Break from Serialisation

Hi,

As you’ve no doubt noticed, I’ve been serialising Writing E-Books for Fun and Profit.

I’m taking a break for two reasons. The first is to ask if you are finding the serialised posts helpful. Are you?

And, of course, I have to give you the URL for the e-book. www.TheBookOnEBooks.com

The other reason to take a break is because Pam Foster just released a new course for anyone who wants to write for the web. That’s anyone – copywriters, business owners, anyone who is putting content together for a web site.

The best things about the course – in my admittedly biased opinion – is that it’s in e-books format. Isn’t that cool?

And Pam has put together a whole basket of worksheets to go with it.

When Pam told me about it, I asked her to send me a paragraph to describe it. She did, and she described it better than I can.

“It walks you through very clear steps and tools you can use to work with clients in a methodical manner so nothing gets confused or lost in the process of building a web site.”

The first thing that popped into my head is that you can use the whole package as a checklist for your own site – to build it, or do a review on it. Then you can take that information and put it to work with clients.

“Some of the steps and tools are from my original Internet Jungle Guide book, but this is expanded for web copywriters and their specific needs. So there’s much more for the web copywriter including sample proposals, fee ranges, screen shots, best practices, etc.”

I have Pam’s Internet Jungle Guide and I found it hugely helpful when I was putting my own site together. I’ve also loaned it out to friends, and used the information with clients. So when Pam says she has expanded on the IJG and made it better, I’m thinking it’s worth having a look.

Pam sent me the URL, so if you want to have a look just go to http://www.awaionline.com/web-marketing/clients/learn/organize-web-content/

And, hey, let me know what you think.

Conrad

Focus – Your Attention Is Valuable

Hi,

I have to remember – when I write a Friday post – not to say I’ll be writing “tomorrow” when I mean “Monday.” I apologise.

Which brings me to Focus.

Would I have made the same mistake if I were more focussed? Would you have still broken the vase, Neo, if I hadn’t said anything? hmmm…

Anyway, on Friday, I was writing about focussing – or working – on just one project at a time. You get to enjoy the fruits of your labour sooner. I also mentioned I’d tell you how making that change has been going for me.

The simple answer is – slow, steadily and I’m enjoying the results.

Anyone who wants a little more detail – just keep reading.  😉

You know it’s more than just a matter of waking up one day and saying “Okay, I’m only working on one project at a time from now on.”

I have my own e-book tele-workshop series launching in March, clients to write and edit for, plus books to research and write. Following Rich Schefren’s advice about working on one project at a time is something I have to work at deliberately.

As much as any individual project, this is something I have to plan. Let’s start by looking at the kinds of work that are on my plate right now.

1. the e-book tele-workshop series. 21 teleseminars focussed on showing business owners the step by step for how to enter the information marketing arena. A one time sort of project.

2. copywriting clients – writing for them, and editing their material. This is ongoing stuff – they pay a monthy retainer.

3. books – these are a combination of the other two. Writing the book is a one time thing, but it’s ongoing because of the marketing of the book, and planning to write an updated version.

So, how can I work on one project at a time when I”ll always have clients sending me things to edit – or asking for something to be written?

Good question. Here’s how I’m finding the answer.

The most important project is the e-book tele-workshop series. (It also happens to be the biggest – just coincidence.) It involves a lot of joint ventures, creating support tools for affiliates, plus promotional copy, call scripts and e-mails. Remember, it’s also a one-off thing.

So I”m taking five hours out of each day to work on it. Sometimes more, but I am promising myself to spend at least that much time on the project.

Then come the books. In the big picture, these have longer lasting importance than the tele-workshop series. First, I’m working on just one at a time.

The Instant Amazon Best-Seller Formula is done and in the hands of the designer. It’ll probably be out this month. Now I’m working on Marketing Web Sites for Freelance Copywriters – Bob has given me his first set of edtis.

When that’s done, I’ll put my energy into the book on List Building.

Right now, I’m putting four hours each day into books.

Okay – we’re up to a nine hour work day.

Then there’s work for copywriting clients. For the most part, I can get that work done by putting in two hours each day. I don’t take a lot of copywriting clients – I prefer writing books, actually.

So now we have an 11 hour day. Add to that the time I spend writing a blog post each day, writing an article, doing admin stuff, etc. etc. etc.

It’s a good thing I enjoy being up at 4:30 and going to bed at 10. I need all 17 1/2 hours!

This should make it EXTREMELY clear why Rich Schefren’s adivce is worth following. If I were working on just one project – that’s PROJECT – at a time, I’d have a lot more time to myself each day.

Writing copy for clients is something I’ll always do. It’s fun, I like meeting people, and there’s always something new to learn. There will always be admin work, blog posts, and articles to write.

That “part” of every day is a constant.

The problem right now is that I have the tele-workshop series (a project) and two books (two projects) to work on. That’s three projects at one time.

Dividing up the day like I have works for me. It isn’t the burden you might think it is because everything I’m doing is pleasing to me. That said, I don’t want this kind of workload to continue indefinitely.

So, I’ve decided to work six days each week. The extra day gets put into the tele-workshop series.

When the current book is written, I won’t accept another. The book on List Building has a planned release for the end of the year anyway, so there is lots of time to work on it.

What I’ll do in the future is plan one big project every two years – a project like the tele-workshop series. When I’m working on something like that, I won’t take any book projects.

I’ll keep copywriting commitments down to about 4 or 5 hours each day. This will keep part of each day open for working on every current project.

There it is. My way of putting Rich Schefren’s advice to work for me, and enjoying the results.

What do you think? Would you do it differently? How will you put Rich’s advice to use for yourself?

Conrad

List Building – You could be part of a new resource

Hi,

We haven’t said much about this because it’s still in the research stage.

Bob and I are working on a new resource for List Building. Part of the research is looking at what’s out there in the cryberworld, and talking with other marketers about what works for them.

I’ll tell ya something…there is an amazing – I mean just stunning – amount of material to cover when it comes to list buidling. The outline alone is four pages!

So how can you be part of the resource? Easy…

Tell me about a list building technique you used and the results you obtained. Did you find the technique in a course from someone? Out of an article you read? Or maybe from a service provider’s resources…

And feel free to send results from both directions. Knowing what bombs is just as important as knowing what flys.

Here’s something for everyone: http://www.email-marketing-reports.com/listmanagement/

This takes you to a particular article. The site is filled with information, tools and resources that help you understand list building and make it happen.

Remember: Take just one or two ideas and Put Them Into ACTION.

After you get some results, decide whether to keep using those ideas. Then add JUST ONE more idea at a time.

Believe me, there is so much material available on list building – getting “analysis paralysis” is easier than slipping on ice. It’s ultra important to stay focussed and work on just one or two approaches at a time.

It’s like Rich Shcefren pointed out at ETR’s Bootcamp 2008…

Imagine you have three projects to do. Each project will take 60 hours to complete.

If you work on all three projects at the same time, then you can only put 20 hours into each one – each week. (Wow. A 60 hour work week!)

It takes three weeks to finish all three projects – and you don’t make any money until they’re done.

But, when you work on one at a time – the first project is finished in the first week. You start making money on it in the second week.

The second project is finished in the second week. Do you see where this is going?

By the time you are finished – it still takes three weeks to finish all three projects – you will have made money on the first project for two weeks, and on the second project for one week.

Much better to work on one project at a time.

Wait ’til you see tomorrow’s post. Rich gave that information, and ever since – I’ve been working at making it happen for me.

You see, I’m one of those people who likes to work on several things at once. I’m also one of those people who wonders why I don’t get more things finished. Know what I mean?

Aha – it’s clicking, isn’t it? Yep. I’m taking Rich’s advice. I’m getting projects finished so I can narrow everything down to working on just one project at a time.

You want to know an amazing thing? I’m starting to find all kinds of time to do those little, pesky “business chores” that I never seemed to have time for before. Talk about making life easier!

That’s it for today. Wow – this was a long one.

Remember to tell me about your list building adventures. You could see your name in print in my list building book.

Conrad

Horses & Carts – When to upgrade

Hi,

This is something that has been boucing around in my head all weekend.

On Saturday, I spoke with a stranger and we got talking about internet marketing, information marketing and writing in general. The thing that got me – and it really bothers me – is that this fellow told me about several “programs” he had purchased that were supposed to help him increase his profits.

A couple of the things he mentioned were programs and products by people I am familiar with.

He bought them, but felt he hadn’t gotten his money’s worth. That didn’t jive with what I know of the people involved – especially since I happen to own one of the products he mentioned.

Okay. First, you’re probably wondering why I’m not naming anything here. Especially since I am generally un-reserved about using people’s names. My reason is that I don’t know all the programs and products he mentioned. I’m not going to name something or someone if I don’t know they represent quality.

Second: Here’s what I have to say about this fellow’s complaints.

Until you have some clients, or are selling some products, it makes no sense to purchase anything that will double, triple or otherwise increase your sales and profits. After all, multiply zero by any number you want, and you still get zero.

The fellow I spoke to Saturday didn’t have any clients or products, and he didn’t seem to have any understanding of the materials he owned. I think maybe he bought them expecting the act of making the purchase to generate results.

Folks, if you buy a book and don’t read it, don’t expect to get any smarter.

For everyone who is looking at starting in internet marketing (information marketing, writing books (ebooks) or affiliate marketing), there is one resource I recommend for getting started – and it’s completely free.

Go to www.strategicprofits.com. This site belongs to Rich Schefren. The resource you want are the five free reports he gives away through his site.

Why?

Because Rich will show you that internet marketing is not all that different from how people have been running their hometown businesses for decades. It’s different, sure. But most people think it’s apples and oranges. Rich will show you that it’s more like oranges and grapefruit.

The other thing Rich does with his reports is give you “how-to” information – invaluable stuff for beginner and pro alike.

When you’ve read through Rich’s stuff, visit the sites of other internet marketers. Www.Bly.com will give you over a hundred examples of landing pages for selling information products. Bob also has a library of articles you can read.

Just think of the people you buy from, or who you get newsletters from. Visit their sites and REALLY LOOK at what they do. How often do they send an e-mail? What’s in it?

The plain, simple fact is that writing a book (ebook) or making sales (by internet or in person) means you have to do some work. Yep, there’s that nasty little four letter word.

I know. I just finished another book, I’m working on two more, and I put in a lot of hours every day.

And, folks, I wouldn’t trade what I’m doing for the Site Superintendent’s job on the Shangri-La build happening right now at Richmond & University in downtown Toronto.

For those who don’t know – I have 20 years of construction experience. The Shangri-La is a 67 floor hotel & condo tower with condos starting at $1 Million dollars. It’s a prestigious project.

Ask Brian Johnson (Rich Schefren’s right hand) if he puts in a lot of hours. He does it because he enjoys it.

I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but, folks, if you don’t enjoy writing and marketing enough to put in lots of time and energy – then maybe you should spend a little more time finding your passion.

Okay. Go ahead and rip me a new pooper. Call me insensitive and crass – go ahead.

Conrad

Writing is like Vegetables

Good Morning,

Tim sent me some files to edit yesterday, and mentioned he’s having a hard time committing to writing every day. Maybe the advice I gave him will help you, too.

The writing Tim is doing gives him content for articles, an e-zine and blog posts. It seems to me that all this work is a lot like a vegetable garden.

There’s a lot of work in the beginning to break up the soil, mix in some fertilizer and get ready for planting.

Developing the habit of writing, finding places to collect ideas, and putting together the blog, and e-zine and finding article banks – that’s a lot of work, too.

Then after the garden is planted, you still have to keep it watered and pull the weeds. You also get to lean on the fence and admire the sprouting plants with your neighbours. Maybe even sip a cold beer while you imagine the harvest to come.

Tim’s getting close to this point. The weed pulling in writing is called editing – that’s what I do for Tim. I edit, answer questions, and chivvy him along in his writing.

As soon as you start putting articles, blog posts and other content out “there” – into the internet – people notice. Even if you do nothing to PUSH your content – no PPC or other traffic generation – people are going to notice what you’re doing. Just like people notice your veggie patch when they walk past your house – even when it’s in the backyard!

Then as summer moves along, you start to pick a few veggies and enjoy some of the fruits of your labour.

Writing is the same way. The benefits accumulate over time. As the you instill the habit in yourself, and your writing improves, more people notice.

More of your articles get picked up, more folks hear about your blog and visit.

By the time you have firmly entrenched the habit of daily writing, you’ll also notice traffic increasing at your site and more inquiries coming in.

Now here’s the important part: This works for EVERY business.

It works for hairdressers, accountants, carpenters, landscapers – everyone. When you give people useful information without trying to sell anything, you are proving your desire to help them succeed. That translates into trust. It means they are willing to give you their attention.

When they do see a “selling message” from you they will be willing to listen.

It takes time to enjoy the bounty from your vegetable garden. In time, your daily writing will become the words in your customers’ mouths.

Conrad

E-books – No Such Thing As Not-For-Profit

Hi,

Steve and I have been having a chat about this recently. Steve is a copywriter and he’s thinking about writing an e-book to use as a premium.

What we’ve been talking about (be e-mail) is that there’s really no such thing as a not-for-profit, or free, premium of any kind.

First, you should put a List Price on every report, e-book, white paper or whatever that you write and make available. Putting a price tag on it, and having it for sale on your site, is what allows you to say that premium is worth XXXX dollars. (Watch for the example I’ll give for when you definitely do not want to attach a price to something.)

If you never put a price on it, then it has no value.

The next thing is that – even when you appear to give the premium away – you are always collecting a price for it. When it comes to the internet, the price you are collecting is often a name and e-mail address.

Why do you collect those names and e-mail addresses? Isn’t it because you expect to make a profit by marketing to them?

An excellent example of this – building relationships and positioning as an expert by giving information away for free – is Rich Schefren. www.StrategicProfits.com

Rich is a wizard when it comes to list-building – collecting those names and e-mail addresses. The thing that’s unique about Rich – well, one of the things – is that he has five reports that he gives away for free. The reports have no List Price, and they are of excellent quality. (I know. All five are printed and sitting on my desk as I dissect each one.)

Rich is also the example of how to use a report or e-book when you absolutely don’t want to attach a price to it.

You can download every one of his reports – in exchange for your name and e-mail address.

Why? Because these reports are the wide rim of his product funnel. They are your first step in developing a relationship with Rich.

Okay. Bob Bly and I are writing a whole book on List Building, so I’m not going to go into great depth on this. At the same time, I want you to understand how to use premiums well and be motivated to produce them for yourself or for clients.

So let’s do this: If you have a question, then post it here as a comment. I’ll make a point of answering it here so everyone can benefit.

That’s it. Have a good day, and a good week.

Conrad