Johnny’s Copyblogger Wrap-Up:
Week of June 14, 2010

Let's Do it for Johnny!

The problem with doing what I do online is that I have no idea how to describe what it is that I do. You may think that’s dumb fodder for a Wrap-Up intro, but since I’ve established that gloomy 80’s guitarists and product placement tattoos are fair game, an identity crisis should fit right in.

Telling folks that I build blogs and websites is accurate but doesn’t give the whole picture, since I also do consulting and create courses and other stuff.

If I tell them I’m a blogger, they get all confused and think it’s slang for “unemployed.”

So if anyone else has the same quandary and has solved it, let me know what you tell people when they ask. Until then, my temporary solution is to tell people I sell drugs and smuggle black market cattle.

While I sort out who exactly I am, feel free to check out what happened this week on Copyblogger:


It’s the Simplicity, Stupid

The way Hugh McLeod gives us good lessons while also blatantly insulting us is really near and dear to my heart, since it’s something I’ve done occasionally in the past. So you’ll want to focus your ugly self on this one.

Although he’s gotten a lot of mass media exposure over the last decade, Hugh’s own popularity has ultimately come from one person telling another who tells another. The bottom line is that if you’re not doing one specific, simple thing in your marketing, you’re missing the boat.

I’m not going to tell you what that thing is, so you’ll have to read the post. It’s a clever copywriting technique much like blatantly insulting you is, dummy.

Read the full post here.


How to Boost Your Sales with a Strong Guarantee

I actually don’t like guarantees at all, but I’m going to faithfully write this up anyway so that Dean Rieck won’t end up outside my house with a tire iron. Again.

But actually, my dislike of guarantees is one of those instances where my personal feelings are dead wrong, much like my appreciation of The Smurfs. The truth is that you can have great stuff, but there’s still a huge barrier to buying that great stuff in the minds of an increasingly skeptical breed of customers a lot of the time. Overcoming that mental hurdle and getting more people to buy is where the guarantee comes in.

Read the full post here.


How to Make More Sales With the Help of ELO

So I’d never realized that the Electric Light Orchestra’s signature spaceship thing is essentially a giant Simon Says. When one of those little scout ships wanted to dock on it, I’ll bet the pilot would have to hit an annoying long series of colored buttons and if he got it wrong, it’d give him this “EEEEEEEH” fail sound and then the Simon Says would shoot him out of the sky.

After this realization, imagine my consternation when I realized that Chris Garrett wasn’t actually writing about Electric Light Orchestra at all in this post. He is instead coining an acronym of the three things to remember to connect better with your list subscribers so that you can get more sales and generally not irritate them.

And, I suppose, allow them to hold on tight to their dreams. Yes kids, that’s an ELO song reference.

Read the full post here.


Four Steps to Finding Your Ideal Writing Voice

This post by Joy Tanksley is all about developing your blog’s “voice,” a hard-to-define concept referring to how you sound and seem in the minds of your readers — kind of like your “style,” but with a bit more to it. Voice is pretty important, because the same basic concepts can be discussed in two different voices on two different blogs, and one of those voices will resonate with readers while the other will clank and nobody will want to keep listening.

Personally, on my blog, I’ve taken the voice concept almost literally and am trying for an “in your head” audio quality that combines Orson Wells with High-Pitch Erik from the Howard Stern show. I know it works, too, because I get emails constantly saying things like, “When I read your site, it’s like I’m listening to a dramatic radio play that makes me feel like an obese, mentally slow giant who is afraid of fish.”

Read the full post here.


5 Reasons Why Trying to be Successful Will Keep You Poor

I don’t want to put words (or anything else, really) in Steve Errey’s mouth, but I think this post is one of those “a-ha!” things where at the end, you realize he’s not trying to steer you away from success so much as redefine what success means. Then, by doing that, you might discover that you’ve accidentally found success along the way. It’s similar in concept to a heartwarming story about a boy who believed in magic, then stopped believing, then discovered that the magic was inside of himself.

(At this point, I’m going to resist my impulse to make a reference to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” Wait. Too late.)

So if you’re aiming for success, your compass should be adjusted. I don’t want to blow the post for you, but think confidence.

P.S: Speaking of confidence, I don’t recommend engaging in this “confidence game” I once played with a nice young fellow. It was fun, but somehow I ended giving him my house and life savings.

Read the full post here.

About the Author: Johnny B. Truant is a writer or something, which means he kind of makes words, but also builds blogs and websites for people. Johnny also builds popular business courses and is somehow involved in internet marketing and various other wholesome activities.

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Reader Comments (21)

  1. Ward Jones says

    Having recently published an ebook, I’d be interested in seeing some of your web and blog sites for authors like me, also in knowing how much you charge.

  2. says

    I finally have an answer to that “What do you do?” question after having answered it fifty times for the nice people at the quickly-disappearing Day Job.

    “Website advice for delightful weirdos”.

    Presumably, your version is “I build websites for fans of late 80’s rock melodica.” :)

  3. says

    I tell people I’m an internet writer, that I write the words that go on websites and that I am not a coder except for basic text coding. If I’m talking to someone who knows a bit about the internet and how it works, I say I am an internet writer, editor and marketer.

  4. says

    JBT, your wrap up is one of the things I enjoy most about Copyblogger. Did I read somewhere that you said if only 2 people out of 100 found your jokes funny, you’re doing ok? However many other people are smiling, laughing, gently guffawing…at your weekly roundup, I’m definitely one of them.

  5. says

    Very good sum up of the week. I have to say the posts that stuck with me the most were thursday and friday. For the first question all I tell people is I “work” online if they want me to go into depth I usually say I don’t have nearly enough time to explain all that I do. Anyway good post.

  6. says

    lol, A lot of people has been asking me what i do?, my answers is always, am a blogger or better still a young entrepreneur or sometimes, i make a living through internet biz and there were like?, “WHAT?, You’re such a Lazy ass!!”..humm, I think i need to be telling them, i sell drugs now lol..wink

  7. says

    Yeah, it’s accurate, but it does miss the picture as you say. You just need to bubble it up and I’m a fan of one-liners:

    – You help people every Joe get results online

    If it’s not every Joe and it’s a different niche, then just swap it out, but I think you’re strength is helping ordinary people get extraordinary results.

  8. says

    Hi guys,

    It’s funny how people don’t believe blogging is a real source of income. They just don’t understand how you can actually make a living blogging. I just tell people I write articles for this website.

    Kind regards,

  9. says

    If I tell them I’m a blogger, they get all confused and think it’s slang for “unemployed.”

    People also think “consultant” = “unemployed.” Especially older relatives at family reunions.

  10. says

    I usually say I help small businesses find customers on the web. That’s if I want to actually convey what I do. If I don’t, I tell them I’m a blogger, which makes them instantly change the subject. I tell my mother-in-law I have a marketing job, which explains the pink hair and is about all she wants to know.

  11. says

    I tell them that I help companies get clients. And that my typical client is a self made entrepeneur who’s company makes something between 10 and 350 Million Euro a year. Then I say that my work is to write stuff that brings results. After that I talk about one or two examples of clients and what I have done for them.
    The next question that comes is where I get my clients. They come to me via my blog or via referrals. That positions me quite powerfully.
    Markus Trauernicht

  12. says

    I actually ran into this problem this past weekend, DESPITE thinking about it while writing this, when I went golfing with four of my high school friends. I failed trying to describe what I do yet again.

    I think I’m going to take a cue from Tim Ferriss in The Four Hour Work Week and start telling people I’m a drug dealer. (Funny… I had forgotten that when I wrote the drugs joke above. See? Drugs are helpful to everyone.)

  13. says

    When I get “What do you do?” I usually say “What do you want me to do?”

    Don’t ever say that you’re a lawyer (true or not) because you will be asked to get someone out of a ticket or through a divorce.

  14. says

    What was going through your mind when you were writing this post? I know you can be more hilarious than this.

    Anyway, the post was engaging and suspense filled.

    Keep it up!

    Seun Kilanko

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