If It Doesn’t Sell …

Advertising legend David Ogilvy hated the word “creative” in the context of the work his firm did for clients. In Confessions of an Advertising Man he wrote, “I tell new recruits that I will not allow them to use the word creative to describe the functions they are to perform in the agency.”

The job of advertising, Ogilvy rightly maintained, was to sell the product or service. If it didn’t do that, the advertisement was a failure, no matter how “creative” any of its other attributes.

Madison Avenue has continually failed to heed Ogilvy’s advice. Will you?

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7 Timeless Business Lessons You Can Learn from Hollywood Screenplays

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I love movies. In fact, movies are what led me into copywriting and eventually to building a successful software company.

Better explain that one, huh?

Back in 1997 when I bolted from the big law firm and moved down to Austin, my plan was to become a screenwriter. Feast or famine, damn the consequences, starving artist type stuff.

Well, instead of writing screenplays, I got caught up in the Web 1.0 boom, and read a lot of books about the film industry in my downtime.

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Traditional Advertising is Truly Dead

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Warning: If you’re addicted to spending ungodly amounts of money in an effort to interrupt enough people into becoming “aware” of your product, service, or idea … skip this. You ain’t gonna like it.

Mad Men. The Walking Dead. The Killing. AMC has created some of the best television of the last two decades. So, when I saw the trailer for their latest — The Pitch — I was pre-sold.

Two nights ago, I took the dog for a walk, grabbed a drink, and then settled in on my beloved blue couch to see if AMC could do it to me again.

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A Ridiculously Simple Way to Get More Revenue and Build Your Audience

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Here’s something you might not know about your audience: They’re willing to pay for something that’s available for free.

Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Given the option between paying nothing and paying, let’s say, a dollar for the same product, some people voluntarily choose the paid version.

Yeah. I know.  

But it’s true. In fact, that’s exactly what recently happened to a colleague of mine. He’d been playing around with creating and publishing ebooks on Kindle, and just for fun he packaged one of his lengthier and more popular blog posts as an ebook.

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How to Discover Your Hidden Remarkable Benefit

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What if you’ve got something going for you so remarkable that it virtually guarantees your success?

What if you’re just not seeing it?

Every business needs a remarkable benefit (or USP) in order to stand out from the competition.

Identify that unique element, and you’ll know exactly what the theme of your content marketing should be, because that will be the big story of your business.

The fact is, often that extraordinary element is something you take for granted.

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Four WordPress Themes for Building a
Powerful Content Platform

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It’s been almost two years since I got the email.

It was late on a Tuesday night. I was drinking something good and wondering how the rent was going to be paid when it came through …

“Sonia and I want to hire you,” Brian Clark wrote. I was not a professional copywriter. I had not spent $100,000 on ad school tuition. I was not well known on the Internet or elsewhere.

I may tell the entire story later, but the primary reason Brian and Sonia hired me for this gig revolved around a sustained demonstration of my abilities as a writer. Specifically, I’d written and published over 300 poems to my website over a period of three years.

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