Guest Posts Welcome (Sticky)

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Post your articles… Showcase your writing skills… Promote your brand…

As an active member of this community you’re invited to contribute your own quality articles or essays to this site.

Your articles can be about anything related to the craft of quality writing… Writing techniques, writing style, writing mindset or philosophies… (or pretty much anything related to the craft of quality writing)

 

As a bonus… You can include a Bio description that appears at the end of all your articles. Your bio can include an active link back to your own personal website. (Only 1 bio per author. The same bio will appear in all of your articles)

Contributing articles to this community is another great way to increase your credibility, showcase your expertise, and attract new clients.

 

We do have a couple guidelines that need to be followed for all submitted articles and essays. So read them over and make sure you agree with them before sending us your articles. Thanks.

The guidelines are…

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copywriting-secret

Part 2 – The secret to writing persuasive sales copy

Reading Time: About 5 minutes

 

Well let’s just dive right in and pick up where we left off in part 1 of this post, the secret to writing persuasive sales copy

Last time we ended with the age old proverb…

People buy on emotions and then justify the decision with facts.

And more than 20 years of sales experience has taught me it’s true about most people (Probably everyone, but I try to steer clear from making absolute statements about people. Especially when it comes to personality traits).

So most people buy on emotion and justify the decision with logic. And most marketers understand selling on emotion.

But I still see a shit ton of copy out there that neglects the “logic” part…

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copywriting-secret

The Secret To Writing Persuasive Sales Copy

Reading Time: About 7 minutes

 

What’s the secret to writing persuasive sales copy?

Simple enough question… with a simple answer…

 

THE ANSWER : I do not know… and neither does anyone else.

That’s because there is no “secret” to writing persuasive sales copy.

No secret sauce… No magic formula… No two thousand year old discovery that can show you how to instantly get a 100% response rate…

 

There’s only fundamental salesmanship that can be tweaked and tested to fit different situations.

The truth is, nobody knows what copy will get the best response, before it goes live. The last 100 years of direct response have proven that great looking copy can flop, while mediocre copy, delivered at the right time to the right people, can knock it out of the park.

 

Now in all fairness, many good books have been written on the awesome power of selling through the written word. And you don’t need me to write another cookbook just to reheat yesterday’s leftovers.

But my hope for this post is by sharing a small taste of my own personal thought process, it might resonate with a few more people.

And who knows, maybe it’ll even help someone up their game a bit.

 

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Why Simple Writing Works Better

Reading Time: About 4 minutes

Someone once asked me…

Why I would, so often…

(At least in copy)…

Use so many…

One-line sentences…

And so many… well… of these things: “…”

Of course, the above is exaggerated.

But there’s no getting around it…

Many copywriters really do use a lot of one-line paragraphs.

Or even one word sentences.

Why?

Let’s explain using a demonstration.

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seo-content-writing

Here’s Why SEO Writing Can Destroy Your Content (and what you can do to make it better)

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What is SEO writing?

Simple definition… SEO writing is content that’s Search Engine Optimized.

Which basically means having the right format, and density of “keywords” or “keyword phrases” in your writing, so the search engines know how to index your pages.

When we get the SEO right, our web pages show up at the top of search results.

And that’s what we want, right?

Well, yes… and no.

 

Yes, we do want our content to be Search Engine Optimized, so it has the best chance of showing up at the top of search engines.

But the problem starts when we write content with SEO as the main, or only focus. It might get us to the top of the search engines, but here’s the caveat…

Search engines don’t buy anything! People do.

What good is having your content show up near the top of google, if no humans actually want to read it.

 

Always remember, people use search engines to look for a particular phrase because they want to know more about it, or because they want to buy what you’re selling.

If your content reads like it was written by a robot, for robots, then you can pat yourself on the back for getting to the top of google. And when you’re done patting yourself on the back, you can spend the rest of your day wondering why your bounce rate is north of 98%

 

That said… There is a balance between SEO content, and HUMAN optimized content.

And that’s what we’re going to look at right now. How SEO copywriting can destroy your content (and possibly ruin your brands reputation at the same time). And what we can do to avoid this mistake, while still ranking in the search engines…

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pretesting-salescopy

How to pre-test your sales copy BEFORE it goes live…

Reading Time: About 4 minutes

Of course the only way to know for sure if your sales copy is effective is to test it and measure the results.

But there is a way you can pre-test your copy to give you a better than average chance that it’ll be good…

 

Have people read your copy before you put it out into the world.

In fact, have as many regular / average people as possible read it before you put it out into the world.

If you work at a company, show it to the non-advertising people. Show it to the mail clerk, show it to the maintenance guy, show it to the person who brings you coffee in the morning…

 

If you don’t work for a big company, then show it to friends, neighbors, or family members. Hell, you can even show it to the mailman if you get the chance.

 

And here’s the key to this whole process…
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common-enemy-in-sales-copy

Persuasive Copywriting Technique – Find a Common Enemy

Reading Time: About 3 minutes

There’s an old saying that goes… “The enemy of my enemy, is my friend”.

And when it comes to writing great sales copy this can be a very powerful thing to remember.

 

When writing copy, if you really want to rally the troops behind your cause, few things sell better than a little outrage at a common enemy.

If you and your target audience share resentment towards the same institution, corporation, or deity, then you’re already on the same side.

And when you’re on the same side, it’s easy to get people to pay attention to you when you speak out against the enemy.

 

In religion, it’s the devil trying to get your soul…

In finance, it’s the big banks or the government that wants to steal your money…

In the health industry, it’s bogus medical claims from the other guys, or it’s big pharma and the FDA that’s corrupt, and they’re the ones who are keeping you fat and sick…

In many retail sectors it’s the big box stores, or Amazon that’s destroying the livelihood of small business…

 

By drawing on a common enemy, you create an emotional reaction in your reader. (the most likely emotion is “fear” or “outrage”).

And invoking emotion is the holy grail when it comes to copywriting.

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The Fastest Way to Master Copywriting

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What’s the fastest way to master copywriting… or anything, for that matter?

You could sign up for the courses online. You can read all the books. You can go to the seminars, drink protein shakes at the keyboard, or slaughter goats at the foot of a guru. And all are good, except maybe the goat bit.

But there’s an even easier way.

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too-many-choices-kill-the-sale

Why giving customers too many choices can kill your sales

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Have you ever wanted to buy something, so you decide to do a little “due diligence” in order to find your best choice? Only to discover that the more you learn – the more confusing it gets to make a decision?

 

Who knew there were so many different types of earbuds for my mp3 player?

I just wanted a pair that sounds good at a reasonable price. So I headed over to Amazon only to discover 400 pages of earbuds for sale!!!???

Holy crap!!! (I thought this was going to be an easy purchase, but now I don’t know which ones to buy)

 

Do I want sound dampening? (whatever that means?)

Noise reduction? (No, I want them to make noise. It’s kinda the whole purpose)

Wide ones or skinny ones? Rubber tips or plastic tips? Over the ear or not?

And what the hell are “Airpods”???

 

Now I’ve got a headache, when all I wanted to do was buy a pair of earbuds for my mp3 player.

 

Of course, that was Amazon where we expect to find a massive variety of choices for sale.

But there’s a valuable lesson here for all of us smaller marketers…

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Syntax-and-Context-in-copywriting

Syntax and Context in Copywriting

Reading Time: About 4 minutes

I was having a chat with a friend of mine (who’s also a writer) and after a little while, the conversation came around to the topic of syntax, and context in writing.

(yeah, I guess that probably makes us a couple of nerds. But this is the kind of stuff we’re interested in. So it’s not that weird for us to talk about advertising and copywriting)

Anyway, I thought I’d share the highlights of our conversation with you.

If you’re interested… then read on.

If you’re not interested… then I guess you can go nerd out somewhere else?

 

First, let’s start with a quick definition of syntax, just to get the ball rolling…

Basically, “syntax” in writing refers to the order of the words you use.

By using the same words, in a different order, we can completely change the meaning of the message.

 

Take this next sentence for example (Warning: cheesy example coming up…)

“The dog bit the boy”

Now, let’s change the order of the words…

“The boy bit the dog”

 

See how that works?

Same words, but the sentence now has a completely different meaning. Especially for the boy (and the dog)

 

So how can this syntax thing help you with your copywriting?

Let’s say you have a bonus offer with your product, and you want to add a touch of scarcity to your call to action.
The way you word it can have a huge impact on how it’s perceived by your audience.

Take this next example…

 

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storytelling-in-copywriting

The power of story in copywriting

Reading Time: About 3 minutes

If you’ve ever heard a good story, or got caught up in a great movie, then you already know the power that stories have to enchant an audience.

One reason stories captivate us so much is because, as humans, for thousands of years it was the way we taught lessons and communicated ideas from one generation to the next.

So basically humans are hard-wired to tell, and listen to stories. And they’re an essential part of human communication.

Another reason stories work so well is they have the ability to create empathy with the characters. They can stir up our emotions and cause us to create a bond with the main characters and their situation.

 

As copywriters we can tap into this natural urge for stories and draw customers into our message, and into our brand.

In fact, stories can be one of the most powerful marketing tools we have, because when used properly stories can influence our emotions, behavior, and ultimately our buying decisions.

So the real question is… “How do we use stories to sell our products”?

 

Storytelling to engage consumers…

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