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Bad advice for sales copy newbies

write-a-powerful-sales-copy

This is either a frustrated newbie crumpling a sales letter, or a very intricate origami piece.

Today, I opened up an email from a self-professed marketing newbie asking if I’d look over his sales copy and give him my honest opinion.

I could practically see his eager, smiling face as I opened up the the attachment he sent me.

So what did I find when I looked at his draft? An incomprehensible mash of words organized in a way that mocks a sales letter.

The thing was a mess. I didn’t even know where to start. The elements of a sales page was there, but the copy had huge ‘sales bumps.’

For example, the first word of the headline was “Learn”.

I don’t care what your 3rd grade math teacher said, no one has ever wanted to pay money to ‘Learn’ anything.

We pay money to solve problems. We pay money to feel better. Heck, 99%* of the people who go to college aren’t there to learn – they’re there because they want to land higher-paying jobs.

People also don’t want to “Work” or “Earn.” Remember – sales copy isn’t an exercise of logic. It’s an appeal to emotions that people later back up by logic.

Apart from that starting gaff, there were plenty of uncertainties “You might enjoy this…” and vague promises “This works the best!”

But I couldn’t be mad at him – his monstrous copy attempt was the result of a piece of common, kicked around copy advice.

“Bleh! I vant to ruin your copy!”

When newbies ask how to write good sales pages, so many of us copywriters (myself at one point included) have suggested they study and learn from popular sales pages out there.

Bad advice.

The problem is this advice is the equivalent of telling an aspiring doctor to “Go ahead and watch a few episodes of ‘House’ and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ then go ahead and perform an open-heart surgery next week.’

Sales copy isn’t surgery, but it is about hitting emotional triggers that lead up to sales. And they can use all the bolded words, exclamation points, and highlights that they want – and it still won’t sell if they can’t guide their reader down the right mental path.

Here’s some useful advice for sales copy newbies

When you’re trying to write up ANY sales copy – whether it be a small ad, a booklet, or a long sales page – immerse yourself into what your customer is going through.

People don’t want to be sold to. They want to find solutions to their problems.

They can sniff out an average sales rat miles away.

So if you can’t make heads or tails of what made that popular Clickbank sales copy work – then skip it.

In fact, before you teach yourself about ‘sales writing’ – learn basic human emotions. What drives people to take action? What do people in your market fear and desire?

Even if you’re not the most gifted writer, by merely having the ability to get people to react emotionally to what you’re writing, you’ll be more likely to pull in sales than a lyrical writer who talks at an informative level.

Do I have more to say on this subject? You bet! Am I going to stop here for now because my pending projects are impatiently tapping their feet behind me. You bet!

Hope you’re having a spiffy week

Danielle

* I’m at least 75% sure that the college percentage listed above was a completely arbitrary number pulled from my left shoe

3 Key Rules for all SEO Copywriters

3 Key Rules for all SEO Copywriters

Here’s my thoughts on little article I wrote a few months back on3 Key Rules for SEO Copywriters :

In many ways, an ‘SEO Copywriter’ seems like a paradox. Search Engine Optimizers are like builders – they build the traffic that comes to your site and usually just focus on getting the best quality and quantity of traffic. Copywriters are like artists – they weave words to persuade and convince readers to purchase or subscribe to your site and usually just focus on creating conversions through persuasive writing.

And although their work goes hand in hand, sometimes the term “SEO Copywriter” seems a bit much. It’s like asking a mural artist to construct the building he’ll be painting on.

However, in this ‘internet age’ – SEO Copywriting is a skill that is needed by many small and mid-sized businesses. And if you’re an online copywriter, this is a must-have skill. But it definitely takes a skilled hand to know how to balance both copywriting and search engine optimization. So if you’re just starting out as an SEO copywriter, or are looking to hire one, here’s 3 things all good SEO copywriters should do.

1) Never Compromise The Content Quality– A copywriter’s primary job is to create an action from the readers. Don’t focus on the SEO so much that the ‘call to action’ is lost in the optimization.

2) Remember To Use Keywords In Headlines – Headlines are important to both readers and search engine spiders. And having keywords in the headlines are equally important to both. Again, just make sure the focus is more on the message to the reader.

3) Avoid Keyword Stuffing – This is common knowledge for expert SEOs and Copywriters alike, but some newbie copywriters think SEO means to stuff their writing with keywords. Don’t. It looks like spam to both spiders and readers.

If you do hire an optimizing Copywriter, you’ll be left with a clean, easy to read, exceptionally persuasive writing piece that shoots your company to the top tiers. Be prepared to pay big bucks for this smooth writing – but trust me – it’s well worth your investment.

My personal thoughts in all this?

Really – focus on the copywriting.

Before anything else, you’re a copywriter. When a client provides you with keywords, integrate them into the sales copy without hurting the pitch, and let your client know if you think any keyword adjustments would hurt their sales. Why?

As a professional copywriter, writing clear copy that reaches human eyes and ears and gets people to take action (you know – purchasing) should be your number 1 goal.

A key ‘trouble area’ to watch out for is the header. Oh the header… It’s a prime SEO real estate location, and also a prime ‘human eye’ location.

So when you need to put keywords in to the header, be careful of it might take away from the ‘selling edge’… especially when you have to add ‘long tail keywords’ at the end of an otherwise strong headline.

Good Example: ”Get Sexy Legs in 7 Minutes a Day”

Annoying Keyword Example: ”Get Sexy Legs in 7 Minutes a Day at Newport Beach Day Spa”

See what I mean?

No go forth and write optimized copy — with knowledge!

Talk to you soon,

Danielle

Unfinished products profit

Unfinished products profit

What if I told you that instead of finishing that product you were working on, you should stop where you’re at right now, set up shop, and open your doors to paying members?

Well a few weeks ago I would have been one of the first to say: “Buddy, you’re setting yourself up for disaster!”

But Corbett Barr of ThinkTraffic.net has done just that.

A while back, I wrote up an article for Think Traffic on the 7 Biggest Conversion Killing Mistakes.

And time to time I go back to check the site out (they have some nifty articles on there!)

When I hopped over there last week, an article he wrote grabbed my attention.

Corbett and his team has been setting up a s service site called Fizzle, a video training platform for online business builders.

Alright, fair enough, you think.

But what grabbed my attention was the fact that Corbett and his team openly launched the product unfinished.

Nothing shady or tricky here, the purchasers were made aware that they were currently paying for a product in development. And you know the results?

They sold out the first round of memberships in just a few hours.

Why? There’s several reasons. First off, Corbett has always been very open and honest when it comes to his business. Being upfront and candid has helped him build a loyal and responsive community base.

But also because people knew that he would continue to tweak and improve the membership – and they would be able to help lay the groundwork for the change.

This is a product development methodology known as “waterfall” – explained below by Corbett:

“Waterfall is a sequential development process where all analysis is complete before planningbegins, which in turn is completed before implementation begins, which is completed before testing, etc., etc. A project is then released only when all requirements have been implemented.

In software, the waterfall methodology has fallen out of favor over the past decade because it often leads to failed projects. For most software projects, it’s impossible to know everything you’ll ever need to know about a phase before moving to the next. Customers, for example, likely won’t know what they really want until they get to interact with an actual interface.” – Corbett Barr

Waterfall works best with products that constantly get tweaks – for example, Software or Membership sites.

The main idea here, is get the product out there. Don’t wrap yourself up in all the bells and whistles! You can always add those things later as you keep improving your product.

But the only way this methodology will work is if you’re DEDICATED to your product

Don’t think you can just throw out a half finished product because you’re too lazy to finish.

You have to actually care about the development, and put it out there with the intention to continue to improve and grow it.

But if you utilize this technique correctly, you can save yourself a lot of wasted time and heartache – while giving your customer EXACTLY what they want.

Free marketing research help and a full ‘testing’ team that pays you while they get to help develop the product? Sounds like a win/win!

Go on and check out the original article here, and pop in a comment! 

5 Quick n Easy Call to Action Phrases

Call to Action Phrases

Start Reading the Text Below

You’ve heard me blather at you about using call to action phrases all the time.

Why? Cause they’re so darn important!

Your mind-blowing banner could have all the elements of a perfect ad, but if you don’t get the sale, then it’s pretty much a failure.

And while call to actions don’t guarantee the sale, they tell your customer what to do. Which is a LOT more important than you think.

Continue reading.

It’s like posting a sign for a ‘Glorious Yard Sale’ but never posting directions on how to get there.

So even if the person reading your sign would love to give you money for your old lawn gnome, it’s not happening unless you use that call to action and tell them where to go!

Want somethin’ fast and easy?

Take a look at these 5 Call to Action Phrases:

1) Click here

Universal call to action for the Internet. The text is a link. You tell them to “click here” after any statement. Want to lose weight? Click here! Just make sure you don’t use this call to action on a print ad.

Variations:

  • Click here to grab your free copy of X
  • Click here to get started now.

2) Try it Now

Fantastic for software or product samples. People who are interested in the product based on your original pitch will be eager to give it a test run. Having the ‘try it now’ call to action shows them where to go when they want to get their hands on it. Once they try it, it will be easier to sell to them.

Variations:

  • Try Product X for Free Now.
  • Go to X to try it Now!

3) Learn More

I don’t like this one. Why? Because most of us don’t want to learn. Most people are looking for instant gratification. In that light, ‘learn’ becomes another obstacle. Still, if you’re talking about a problem, solution situation, and are enticing readers or viewers to get more information. The variations are ‘learnin’-free’ but have the same info-prompt type of message.

Variations:

  • Call XXX-XXXX for more information.
  • Click here for more information.
  • Visit www.awesomesite.com for more information.

4) Sign up here

This is commonly used to collect your information. Before, it was your home address and telephone number. Now-a-days, people like to collect email addresses.

Variations:

  • Grab your free X here!
  • Sign up now to get your X!

5) Call me now!

Ms. Cleo knew what she was doing when she told people what to do. There was no uncertainty – if you wanted that free reading, you had to call her… NOW!

Variations:

  • Call XXX-XXXX Now.
  • Send me an Email at me@email.com today

Does this Call to Action list seem pretty… bland?

That’s because call to action’s in their bare form are pretty bland.

Here’s the SUPER SECRET call to action formula:

VERB -> RESULT.

Click here.Get free junk.

Sign up.Lose weight.

Give me money.Get donut.

Hey – I said they were quick n’ easy.

How do you make a brilliant ‘call to action?’

Simple, make the verb a simple step. Make the result the desired solution.

Make it easy, make it clear.

Want an example?

Enter your email below.

Get awesome copywriting and marketing goodies.

Go do it!

Danielle

10 Reasons Why You Should Use Social Media For Your Business

Social Media

A Text Book Example of the “I Figured Out How To Make Social Media Work For My Business” Victory Pose.

For those of you living under a rock, social media marketing through sites such as twitter and face book has become a norm for anyone running a business. If you’re wondering what all the hoopla is, here’s a simple post that outlines the marketing phenomenon that is social media marketing.

Here’s why social media marketing works so well:

1) People are more likely to buy from friends. If you had a plumbing problem, and you had a friend who was a plumber, you’d most likely hire him than random plumber x, right? The same concept follows with social media. Why buy from random business x when you could buy from the business that you tweet with daily?

2) It’s Free. Since sites like twitter, facebook, digg, etc are free, the only investment into your social media marketing is your time.

3) It works for businesses of every size. Everyone from multi-billion dollar corporations to celebrities to start-up businesses can all utilize twitter, facebook, digg, etc. Those are some wide-ranging tools!

4) You Market To Targeted Traffic. People pay to get traffic. They hire SEO experts to get traffic. With social media marketing, all you have to do is tweet to get traffic. Traffic that is targeted to your market. Wow.

5) It’s fun! Come on – who doesn’t like to chat it up with business associates, read useful articles, and find new deals… while calling it work!

6) You can access it from anywhere. Because social media networks are browser based, you can access them from phones, laptops, ipads – anywhere there is an internet connection.

7) There are tons of resources to help you get started – Even if you’re in the dark, there’s many great pages, tools, and resources to help you on your social media marketing journey. So, no excuses.

8 ) Did I mention dirt Cheap marketing?Yes – I mentioned the sites are free, but please. Take a moment to consider this – social media lets you market directly to people interested in your market. For free. Most companies have had to pay thousands of dollars- if not more- for the type of lead generation a single tweet can give you.

9) You Can Use It As Much as You Want – While I don’t recommend sending facebook updates and tweets at all hours of the day, there really is no limit to how much you can send. And since it’s free, there’s no need to sweat the costs.

10) It keeps Your Business Fresh In Your Customer’s Minds. When customers and clients get used to seeing your tweets and posts every day, your business is constantly present in their minds. So even if they don’t need a plumber, an seo expert, or even a copywriter today – you can bet when they finally do need one, they’ll come to the person they know and trust!

So if you don’t already have accounts, go make them! Even if you end up using them only occasionally, you’ll be surprised how far that tweet or post can stretch.
And while you’re at it, add me! I look forward to seeing you on the social dance floor

Talk to you soon,
Danielle

P.S. I haven’t forgotten about my SEO or Slogan Posts – I like to mix things up a little – so check back here soon for some more Clear Copywriter goodness!

3 Reasons why you should NOT choose a Niche

choose a Niche

Starting out – and choosing a niche already? Why not stab yourself in the foot instead.

For those of you wondering, Niche: A specialized faucet within a larger market – i.e.”Weight loss for christian women” would be considered a niche of the weight loss market.

Look, there’s a lot of fantastic arguments for specializing in a niche. Here’s some of them:

  • When you work in a niche you can charge more
  • It’s easier to research the market since you’re familiar with the niche
  • You can go to niche conventions and meetings and become the ‘go to person’ for the service you provide in that niche
  • You can come up with deeper arguments and ideas since you understand the customers on a more intimate level

So logically, you think I’m crazy or I’m going to say to you “Aha! Yes, that title was a trick to lure you in here and harp on about the benfits of a niche!”

No.

I’m serious, when I say you need to think twice before you chose a niche.

For all the good benefits they bring, they’re not for everyone. And certainly I don’t recommend them to newbies – especially not newbie copywriters.

3 Reasons why choosing a Niche can be a bad idea

1) It limits your ability to play the field.

While choosing a niche means you attract specific people, it also locks out other people. So it makes it a little harder to diversify and get a feel for other businesses. Heck, who knows, you might enjoy the painting industry more than the auto industry you’re currently specializing in. Remember, I didn’t say that you CAN’T work on other businesses if you choose a niche. But just like having a niche will attract certain businesses to you, it will repel other businesses.

And one of the best parts of being a ‘general copywriter?’ People pay you to study their business from the inside out. Most copywriters I’ve known use copywriting as a stepping stone to build a business or start marketing. Now, later on, it may make sense to choose a niche – when you figure out what market you want to grow a business in. But when you start out, sampling different markets and styles will give you a much wider range and marketing perspective.

2) It can make your work stale.

I mean, there’s only so much you can write about one thing before you start to Google information on how to tie an effective noose.

That doesn’t mean that when you specialize you can only work within that niche… but when your mind is always in a certain realm, it’s easy to get stuck in certain patterns of thinking.

Gotta keep things fresh, yo.

3) You may choose niches for the wrong reasons.

Some people choose a niche because they already know a lot about it. That can be a good reason to choose a niche… but also a bad reason. If you worked in finance for 20 years and hated it, you might know a lot about the niche… but what’s the point in running a business you hate!

Others choose niches because they heard they could make a lot of money in them. Let me tell you something buddy – money won’t buy you happiness. But it will buy you a good length of rope.

Just sayin’.

So the answer then is to never specialize and always be a “business handyman”… right?

WRONG – look. Although I have several awesome reasons for not choosing a niche fast, there’s also those great reasons for choosing a niche.

The key? Even if you’re in a niche, make sure you step out of your comfort zone now and again. If you do a lot of Internet marketing, write something about bunnies. If you’re a medical copywriter, take some time to check out the software niche.

We grow by taking on new challenges and keeping our minds fresh.

It’ll make you learn new styles, reach new markets – and help you grow as a copywriter, designer, business owner – and person!

Easy Marketing Research – Go ahead stay under your rock

Easy Marketing Research

Mmm, you can almost taste the benefits from here.

In a perfect world, a new client would come to you and say “I want you to write me up some copy for my product. I’ve done all the research on my target market and have compiled it here for your reading pleasure. Also, here’s a bagel.”

However, I’ve come to terms with the fact that the world is not perfect, and bagels aren’t handed out with freelance projects– and that for most projects, I’m going to have to do my own research.

Research? What’s this… grad school?

Well, as you may or may not know, writing is only a tiny part of copywriting. The biggest part is understanding who your target customer is, and writing in a way that speaks directly to their desires.

Which means, before you put even a dot of ink on the paper (or click even a single key on your laptop) you’re going to have to figure out WHAT their fears and desires are.

What are they going through?

Let’s go with bagels for a little bit.

It’s easy for us to stand on a platform and yell out to the masses “We have the best bagels – they’re delicious and they’ll fill you up in the morning!”

Well okay. But you’re not really talking to me, you’re talking at me.

Here’s something closer “You can pick up a special treat for yourself in the morning on the way to work – and look like the office hero by spending a few bucks for a dozen or so for your coworkers”

Not bad – so now I’m touching on the emotion of WHY I’d get a bagel (beyond needing nourishment, of course.)

How did I come up with the much more targeted second version?

Well.. I cheated a little. You see, someone might have told you I love bagels. And being a bagel lover, I know what emotions I’m going through when I make the purchase.

It’s not because the bagel would truly nourish me. I could eat much healthier things. But for me, the bagel is tasty, comfort food that’s easy to pick up. And I can justify swinging by there before I’d head to a meeting to buy clients something a little extra.

But what if you can’t jump into the customer’s mind on your own?

Yoga…? Far out, man.

Lets say I had to write about something I had no idea about – like a book on the benefits of dog yoga.

I’m not a dog owner, so I’m not entirely sure what drives people to get their dogs to do stretches. But hey – there’s a market for it.

So where would I start? Here’s 4 ways to market research without ever leaving your writer’s den.

1) Pop in some keywords on Google– Okay, take google search results with a grain of salt since they’re arranged based on SEO… not how informative the post is. However, you can find what other people are talking about. Perhaps someone has a site up on dog yoga. It doesn’t hurt to check it out and make some notes about what angles they’re taking.

2) Check out Reviews on Amazon– Believe it or not, this is a FANTASTIC way to get into your customers’ heads. People really vent and gush on Amazon reviews. You can almost hear their frustration being pounded out on the keyboard. Check out products in the same market you’re selling and read, read, read.

3) Head over to Forums – Another place that people share their opinions – very freely. You can even engage forum-goers and ask them questions yourself. Be wary and don’t share WHY you’re asking these questions, most forums contain Trolls.

4) Talk to your Client– More times than not, your client released this product after creating it as a personal solution. For example, perhaps the client’s dog had medical issues, and your client figured out how to help ease the pooch’s pain. They can share with you everything they went through if you just ask them!

Just remember, never skip the research step. In fact, with good research, copy practically writes itself! So splurge some time into the process.

Do you do anything different market research-wise?

Talk to you soon,

Can one little question hurt sales so much?

question

Do you use questions in your sales copy?

If so… are you sure you know what you’re doing?

Because frankly, when I first started out, I didn’t have a clue.

I had no idea why so many of the older copywriters would ‘hem’ and ‘haw’ when asked the ‘question’ question.

At the time, it seemed to me that questions would be a great way to engage the reader.

After all, when you first talk to someone and meet someone, asking them questions and getting them to talk about themselves is a great way to get them to open up to you.

However, things work a little differently when you’re writing questions in copy.

Why ask questions at all?

When you write up sales copy, especially to ‘cold’ readers who have no idea who you are and what you’re about, it’s important to get them agreeing with you right off the bat.

That way, when you make the big product reveal, you’re not just some greedy company. You’re someone who ‘gets’ them. So you must know what they like.

One of the ways to do this is to get the reader to nod their heads.

For example, if you’re selling a magazine to cat lovers called “Kitten Aficionados Monthly” you might begin the pitch something like this:

“Nothing brightens your day quite like a kitten. (nodding their head “yes!”)

“Cuddly, fuzzy, and full of wonder —kittens make us laugh and feel warm inside (jabbing each other in the ribs “that’s spot on!”)

“In fact, the only thing better than a kitten … is more kittens! (“oh God yes, please shower me with an endless sea of kittens!”)

And then from there, you get them to acknowledge that having and endless mob of kittens may not be the best solution to their cravings, but you have the next best thing – a kitten magazine with countless kittens for them to ogle.

Now, if you were to use questions, you might ask something like this:

“Doesn’t your heart just melt when those little kitten eyes stare lovingly at you as it purrs in your lap?”

That’s a fairly safe question. We already are targeting ‘cat lovers.’ We’re not just asking them “Doesn’t your heart melt when you hold a kitten?”

We’re triggering the actual heart-melting response by getting them to picture the experience paired with the question.

The result is that 99% of the cat-loving readers and going to gush “YES!”

The problem with asking the wrong type of question

Now lets pretend we asked this sort of question.

“Is there anything more precious in the world than a kitten?”

Woah. Stop there. You know what you just did? You asked them to search their mental database.

That’s dangerous.

So now, instead of nodding with you, they think to themselves. “Hmm… I dunno- IS there aything more precious than a kitten? Maybe my nephew? My lawn gnome?” And from that point on, you lost them.

Now you’ve put them in a ‘scritinizing’ mindset. Instead of flowing and reading your copy, now they’re sizing up every line and checking it with their database.

By the time you reveal the product to them, they’re thinking to themselves “Well, do I even need this?”

Examples of bad questions in marketing

Another bad question example is any one that they can easily say no to.

Do you wish you could change your long distance plan? No.

Do you hate the way your lawn looks? No.

See? Some people might say “yes,” but you risk alienating an alarming amount of people by asking such open-ended questions.

Making statements is a little safer.

Until you get a feel for what questions are ‘safe’, stick to statements.

People are more likely to listen to you, and less likely to question what you’re saying (unless you say something WAY over the top.)

And best of all – you’re more likely to make the sale.

I’m thinking a more in-depth post talking about how to determine if a question is a good one or not is in order!

Do you use questions or not in your sales copy?

Talk to you soon,

Danielle

Checklist for Writing a Sales Letter

Writing a Sales Letter

NOTE: This is an outdated post. I don’t subscribe to the “sales letter forumla” idea – sales letters are much more organic. While there are factors that are commonly found in a sales letter, I find that going by a list or forumla stifles creativity – and potentially brilliant copy.

However, there are useful tidbits still in this post, so feel free to read!

When I write out my sales letters, I’d like pretend I do everything organically. The truth is, I use my own checklist as I write to make sure I’m hitting all the right targets.

See, anyone can write a sales letter. But it takes real dedication and understanding to write a sales letter that actually sells anything — and a handy checklist wouldn’t hurt either.

Questions To Ask Before You Start Writing

  • Who is my target customer/audience?
  • What problem(s) are they trying to solve?
  • How can this product/service help them solve these problems?
  • What makes this product/service unique and different from the competition?
  • How can I use sales copy formatting to my full advantage?

The Sales Letter Mini-Checklist

  1. Attention Grabbing Headline
  2. Talk to your reader while building off the headline – stay relevant, if they started reading based on the headline, then don’t go in a new direction
  3. Back up any promise you made on the headline (i.e. I’ll show you how to x) you don’t want to linger on this – show that you deliver on promises
  4. Irritate/Relate to their problems – note don’t be MEAN about it, just remind them why they’re trying to look for a solution in the first place
  5. Provide the solution (which will be whatever service/product you’re offering)
  6. Show how easy it will make their lives (easy to use/ much better than whatever they’re using currently)
  7. Show results, or give accurate projections
  8. Show why you’re worth listening to, and that you’re not just a fly-by-night deal (credentials and what not)
  9. Go over the features and benefits in detail (this is also a good place to pull excerpts from an ebook or screenshots/pictures of whatever you’re offering so they can view something ‘tangible’)
  10. Display ‘social proof’ i.e. testimonials and what not. (You can also scatter testimonials through out the copy – which is very effective if done properly)
  11. Make the pitch – this is where you actually start to tell them to purchase the product. Up till now you’ve been just telling them how awesome it is. Don’t forget to actually ask for that purchase.
  12. Throw in dem bonuses – this is building up the perceived value of whatever you’re offering
  13. Reveal your price ( you can do ‘price cutting’ here where you show that it would be higher, but you’re slashing the price to a lower amount for a while anyway)
  14. Add your ‘scarcity’ (time/limit to numbers) ONLY do this is you truly intend to keep to it. People can smell ‘fake’ scarcity a mile away – and it will break your credibility if misused.
  15. Tell them your Guarantee – again, very important. Always offer a guarantee. You’ll make MUCH more sales with one than without one.
  16. Call to action – again, tell them to buy.
  17. End it by reaffirming the high value they’ll be getting

Things to ask yourself after you write the sales page

  • Did I grab my reader’s attention?
  • Did I clearly understand/relate to their problem?
  • Did I provide a solution?
  • Did I push past any ‘objections’?
  • Did I show proof?
  • Did I check for spelling/ grammar issues?

Is there more to a sales letter than these steps? Absolutely. But this should give you a great start.

More resources: I was inspired to write this post after reading a post called 21 step sales letter formula by Perry Belcher and thought I’d give it my own spin/explanation.

Thoughts? Comments? Flying monkeys? Place them in the comment box yonder!

Talk to ya soon,

Becoming a Better Copywriter – An Intro to Copywriting Workout

Copywriting Workout

What if you could become the best at whatever you wanted to be?

Would you eagerly await my next word? Wrinkle your nose at me? Roll your eyes?

Consider what I’m asking. What IF you could temper and improve any skill you wanted?

It’s easy to get caught up in the grind of day to day business activities. But improving your skill sets can carry on past your work into every aspect of your life.

So… what are you doing to improve your skill set?

I ask.. because I asked myself that very question today. ”What am I doing to help myself become even better each day?”

Improving our copy skills one step at a time.

I disagree with people who say you need to have an inherent talent to be good at something.

Here’s my thoughts: A person who has ‘born talent’ may have an easier time writing copy than the average starting-out person. But if that ‘average person’ continues to learn and teach themselves to get better, there’s no reason they can’t become a master at what they do.

If I paint each day for 8 hours a day, don’t you think that by the end of a few months, I’ll be a better painter than when I started? In fact, isn’t it likely I’d be a better painter than the average starting-out painter? Heck, if I kept painting for years, there’s a chance I’d be a better painter than a starting out painter with ‘inherent talent.’

I read somewhere that failing math students who were told that the brain was a muscle that could be improved with time, raised their math grades from “Fs” to “As and Bs” in just a couple months.

So if they can do it… why can’t we improve our own skills – wherever we choose to?

Then I realized, well Danielle, are you really working out that big grey muscle in your head? Do you have a plan? A “business work-out” regiment?

And I thought, shoot. Here I am writing copy, reading books, and working hard – but half the time I’m not actively putting these fascinating techniques I’m learning to use outside of my projects!

Why not take it a step further?

So just this morning, I had an idea.

Why wait for projects to push and temper my skills? Why not reach out and challenge myself?

I sat down and thought about how I’d go about doing this. I figured, why not give myself a new challenge each week?

Something to help me push my writing, marketing, and business abilities to the next level: techniques to chart and mark my progress against?

So why not?

Lets go on a journey together.

I love challenging my mind, pushing the limits, and trying new things.

On my own, I was going to go ahead and try out little exercises.

But I thought, why not include you?

A comrade in skill-growing in this little journey of curiosity and exploration.

Introducing the Can-Do, Positive, Skill-Set-Boosting Copywriting Workout

(A name in progress, until I find something snazzier.)

Here’s how it works:

Each week, I’m going to post an exercise.

It doesn’t HAVE to be about writing per say. Anything about self-improvement, business improvement, copy improvement – things that all contribute to running a smoother, happier business and improving your copy skills while going about it.

I’ll explain what the exercise is about, and how it helps you do X, and what it’s supposed to help. I’ll outline the steps.

Then, I’ll put them into action – and share my results.

You can pull up some popcorn and watch me work at it, or you can join in and be my work-out buddy! Share your progress with me.

I’ll do writing challenges, research challenges, human behavior challenges. I’ll test the limits of my marketing skills, and sometimes go outside of my comfort zone. But each time, we’ll do something new.

What about the blog!?

Oh, the normal blog posts aren’t going anywhere. Think of this as another ‘section’ of the blog. I’m introducing this new segment for fun, for exploring, and just because I figured “why the heck not!?”