The Art of Irresistible Copywriting

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I’m going to tell you a secret.

It’s a copywriting secret that the immortals — from Aristotle to Ogilvy to Draper — have known, but few have stated as directly as I’m about to.

By now, you know the standards of effective copywriting

Know your audience. Know your product cold. Research. Nail the headline. Write plainly, in the language of your audience. Research more. Write fascinating bullets. Craft a great offer. Include a strong call to action. Et cetera.

These elements are the standard for good reason. They get the job done.

This little truth I’m about to tell you is the foundation that makes all the rest of it work.

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What Bestselling Fiction Can Teach You About Writing Better Landing Pages

image of spy with gun

Imagine you’re having a discussion with a talkative, hyperactive teenager.

The conversation goes something like this …

We went to the mall, and like, there was this fire in the mall. And we went from there to the movies, but we didn’t have any money and anyway the popcorn machine was broken, and so we didn’t really want to go to the movies without popcorn. But right after that we went to have some pizza and there was this creepy guy outside the store. But listen to this — because that’s not the best part. The best part is that Sylvie dumped Josh, and like, they ran into each other in the street …

Annoying right? Then why do we so often write our web copy just like that teenager talks?

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Words that Matter, Business as Gardening, and More: The Copyblogger Weekly Wrap

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I think there comes a time in every person’s life when he has to ask himself, “Am I most effectively doing what Copyblogger tells me to do, to the point of abdicating my free will and possibly granting its editors power of attorney?” So this week, I took inventory and decided that I wasn’t spreading my words widely enough.

To remedy the situation, I finally put some stuff up on Kindle as several people keep telling me I should do — my 2008 humor collection, two manifesto-weight posts to disseminate amongst the Kindle users of the world, and a short story from over a decade ago that I was shocked to discover I still really liked.

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What Works With SEO Right Now and Why No One Does What You Want

I deleted a bunch of crap on my laptop yesterday.

It was all stuff I’d been thinking might be useful someday. Apps, folders, documents, etc.

Call it minimalism, call it OCD, whatever. I like to work simply, and only with the tools that actually work for me.

SEO, content marketing, email marketing, these can all seem to be very complicated responsibilities of the modern online publisher. But, with a few good tools — and one “killer app” in particular — you’ll be on your way.

This stuff isn’t easy, but getting down to what actually works is fairly simple.

So let’s do just that …

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49 Gorgeous Premium WordPress Themes

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Yeah, you can sign-up for some WordPress hosting, then pick up a random theme to bolt onto your site.

But why would you go just about anywhere to find something that’s so vital to your work? This is 2011 after all.

Your website should be stunningly designed.

It should make performing the basics of good SEO very simple.

You shouldn’t have to worry about things like state-of-the-art security, hassles with manual updates, or wondering if the underlying code of the theme you’re using is silently undermining all your work.

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How to Make Your Writing Real

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In this day and age, substance matters.

What you say must be meaningful to the people you’re trying to attract.

Your content must solve real problems and satisfy real desires.

So why should it matter how you say it?

The reality is, how you say it has always mattered, and it matters even more today.

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Sickly Sales Page? Try These 3 Copywriting Remedies

image of woman sneezing

Say you’ve been feeling under the weather for a few days, and you decide to go to the doctor.

The moment you open the door to your doctor’s office, she takes one quick look at you, thrusts a prescription into your hands, and slams the door in your face.

No check-up, no conversation, just a bottle of pills and her bill in the mail.

Are you confident she’s given you the solution — the correct medicine — you need to make you feel better?

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Are You Losing Business When You Hunt for Customers?

image of hunter aiming a shotgun

To listen to some people, you’d think marketing were a battle or bloodsport.

Think about all the military metaphors we use — identifying a target market, launching a campaign, and using strategy and tactics to crush competitors and win that desired customer.

Even such apparently innocuous business terms as staff, officer, headquarters, division, and operations are rooted in military terminology.

And of course, no self-respecting business leader’s library is complete without a dog-eared copy of Sun Tzu’s Art of War.

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Copyblogger Weekly Wrap: Week of September 12, 2011

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Here’s an actual conversation I had with Brian, which I may have paraphrased and/or written while getting a massage from a clown:

Brian: “So, do you want to start writing the Wrap again?”

Me: “Sure, sounds like fun. Are people missing it and wondering when it’ll come back?”

Brian: “No, not really. We got all kinds of mail asking when the radio show was going to return, but nobody’s asked about the Wrap.”

Me: “Has anyone specifically said that they’ll complain or cancel their subscription if the Wrap does return?”

Brian: “No. Nobody has said that either.”

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Are You Flushing Your Marketing Down the Social Media Toilet?

Building your Facebook following?


Depositing all your content capital in The National Bank of Twitter?

Dumb. Let me rephrase: compounded dumb.

We’ve talked a lot about the dangers of digital sharecropping. So now let’s talk today about a specific news item that could affect your business — at any time.

And, in the tip of the week, we cover writing great headlines in light of Led Zeppelin’s fourth album.

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