What Effective Selling Looks Like (and What Doesn’t)

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Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published on September 25, 2008.

There’s a well-loved myth out there that if you do something reasonably remarkable and distribute passionate content, you’ll automatically have an audience who will support you in style for the rest of your life.

You don’t have to do anything scary. Like sell, for example.

Now if that works for you, that’s terrific. So does it?

The painful truth is that there are lots of trusted, loved, and wildly influential smart people out there who are working like maniacs creating amazing content.

And who are nonetheless still broke.

It’s easy to think that if your audience loves you, all that love will translate automatically into paying customers. But if one of your goals is a financial payoff from your content, you still have some work to do.

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Steal This Trick: What Confident Content Marketers All Have in Common

man with wide eyes and glasses - stand out by getting weirder

Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published on October 23, 2009.

There are a million techniques that make your content better and more popular.

(Probably a half-million just here on Copyblogger.)

Strong headlines, smart copywriting techniques, storytelling, humor, etc.

But there’s one insider trick that makes the rest of it easy.

It starts from the very beginning, when you’re figuring out what type of content you want to produce.

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Reminder: Webinar Tomorrow on Avoiding Product Fails

free webinar - how to avoid product failure

Just a reminder that tomorrow Chris Garrett and I will be leading a webinar on The 3 Reasons People Fail When Creating Products Online.

Chris and I have taught lots and lots of folks how to build successful products and businesses on the web — and we’ve also seen some patterns that consistently result in frustration and failure.

We’d love to help you kick all of the “Fail” parts to the curb, so you can get on with the good stuff: creating and marketing products that your audience will love.

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Webinar: The 3 Reasons People Fail when Developing Online Products

free webinar - how to avoid product failure

I wrote a post last week about the awesome things that can happen when you build a business around selling your own products or services.

If you haven’t read that post, spoiler alert: You make more money.

It’s also fun, and interesting, and lets you connect with your audience in a deeper way, beyond the connections you make on your blog or social media accounts.

But it’s not all rainbows and unicorns.

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2 Ways Your Business Can Be More Like the Apple Store

find the most profitable slice of the market

Any one of us would have been proud to create the retail giant Best Buy. It’s a powerhouse.

At its peak, Best Buy controlled about 19 percent of the electronics market. They’ve sold lots and lots of stuff. And they still do. Any kind of television or MP3 player or computer you want, Best Buy probably has it.

If you could collect all of the profit from just one Best Buy store, that would be extremely cool, right? You’d have every customer in the neighborhood, and you could sell each one exactly what they wanted.

Now compare that to a store that sells just one brand of computer. Just one brand of MP3 player. Just one brand of smartphone or tablet.

That doesn’t seem like it would do as well, right?

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What Makes the Difference Between Success and Failure Online?

exploding the myths of online business

Running an online business seems simple. All of those guru-type people make it sound that way. But what happens when it isn’t?

On paper (or in pixels), it all looks pretty straightforward.

Start an online-based business around helping people reach a certain goal. Maybe it’s a fitness goal, or a parenting goal, or learning a new professional skill.

Online education is exploding, so we know that more and more people are looking online to learn a task or skill they care about.

Some people seem to start a small site, gather an interested audience, and then before you know it they’re making a living with a course, a coaching program, or even a simple ebook.

But when you try it … it’s not so simple.

(It wasn’t so simple for me, either. Not by a long shot.)

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