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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

About Copywriting

Title: Keyword Use That Goes Beyond the Search Engines Word Count: 695 Summary: When you mention keyword use, all thoughts normally go to the search engines. Copywriting, however, is more about your human visitors than it is the engines. If you want truly effective SEO copy, you'll take time to learn that keyword use goes beyond the search engines Keywords: seo copywriting, search engine copywriting, online copywriting Article Body: © 2006, All Rights Reserved It seems to be a single-sided debate. When you mention keyword use, all thoughts normally go to the search engines. Copywriting, however, is more about your human visitors than it is the engines. In fact, even the mainstay of SEO copywriting (keywords) is based on a need to spur visitors along as they work through the information on your site. If you want truly effective SEO copy, you'll take time to learn that keyword use goes beyond the search engines. Let's go offline for a moment. Go get your telephone book. If you were going to conduct a search for, say, an office desk, how would you go about it? You'd look in the Yellow Pages™ under office furniture. Next you'd drill through the ads in search of ads that specifically mentioned "desks" or perhaps the particular kind of desk you want. SEO for Newspapers? When looking through the inserts that come with your Sunday newspaper, your eye would be especially drawn to office supply flyers that featured the word "desks" or a picture of desks. Why? Because you've got desks on the brain right now. You're going to be especially sensitive to that word because that's the current need you're trying to fill. The same, exact thing applies when someone searches online. Keywords started out because human Internet searchers typed them into the search engines, not because the search engines selected the terms. The same holds true today. You don't just make up keywords. You use services and programs that allow you to research the exact phrases human beings are typing to Google, Yahoo! and other engines. When you incorporate those words and phrases into your website copy, you're doing way more than attempting to boost your rankings; you're also helping to navigate the site visitor from the search engine to the right page of your site. If you're the owner of the office supply store we've been talking about and you want to create a newspaper ad to sell a new line of desks you carry, what do you think might appear in the headline? The word "desk" or perhaps the phrase "office desks." Why would you do that? There are no search engines to optimize for in the newspaper industry. You'll include those keywords because it makes sense to do so. You'll include them because they are descriptive of what you're selling. You'll include them because it will attract the readers’ attention and draw them to your store. That's not search engine optimization; it's just good marketing. Lead, Don't Shove The same applies when writing copy for your site. There's more than one reason to include keywords in your copy. The primary one is not the engines…it's your site visitors. Strategic keyword placement helps guide your visitors to the information, products or services they are looking for. Don't shove keywords in everywhere you think you can possibly fit them. Instead, use keywords to lead your visitors in the right direction. Even if there were no such thing as search engine optimization, your copy would almost certainly still contain keywords. It only makes sense to have keywords in the headline, so visitors will know what the page is about. Sub-heads? Sure thing! People scan more than they read, so having keywords in sub-heads is a great idea. And in the body copy? You bet! After all, it's pretty hard to sell desks without actually using the word "desk." Since there are school desks and computer desks and many other desks, you'll want to make it clear that your sale is for "office desks." That, too, only makes sense. As you can see, keyword inclusion has been going on far longer than the Internet has existed. It's been an important part of copywriting since marketing was invented. When you create a copywriting plan for your site pages, think through which keywords you should use and where the most effective places to position those keywords would be. Then develop your SEO copy with a goal of directing your visitors to the right information. When you do, you'll naturally optimize for the search engines at the same time.

Learning Copywriting

If you are a good writer, you should be able to pick up copywriting.  The key behind copywriting is that you must understand that you're writing in a different style and to a different audience. A good quote that will be used to start this article comes from the book The Copywriter's Handbook, A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Copy that Sells.  "A copywriter is a sales person behind a typewriter." (p.1 of book mentioned above)

This is the key when you are learning copywriting.  You must learn to communicate with the audience in a way that persuades them to buy the product or service that you are writing about.  There must be an initial connection that is made or else you'll find that you've lost the audience's attention.  In this day and age, people are inundated with the number of advertisements that they see every day and quickly discard any advertisement that does not fit within their perspective immediately. You must realize that your writing cannot be for the entertainment of an audience now but rather to sell a product or service.

As a quick introduction to some of the important points on learning copywriting, the first key is to pay attention to the headline.  The headline is read more often than copy at an exponential rate.  If you cannot catch someone's attention with the headline, you have wasted the rest of your sales copy.  A sales letter essentially only has about five seconds in which you can grab a person's attention and the headline is one the most important factors in being able to pull that attention.  This is just an example of copywriting and what you must look for.

In learning copywriting, look into the works of Dan Kennedy.  He is one of the foremost experts on the subject and he has said before that he became better by continual development of his skills.  If you would like to learn more about any one of his books, look into the following title: The Ultimate Sales Letter. You will want to make yourself a lifelong student of the subject in learning copywriting because there is always something more to know.

Hopefully this article on learning copywriting has helped you. This field will seem very challenging but at the same point it is one of the more interesting fields that you can find out there.  The key to being successful and copywriting is to learn from what you do.  If you constantly read and continue to develop your skills, you'll find that you will become a great copywriter.  It is hard within a single page to truly give you an idea of what it takes to be a copywriter but go back to the quote at the beginning of the article that a copywriter is a person who sells.  Your goal is to educate an audience in a way that persuades them.  This is the only difference between how you currently write and how you will write as a copywriter.



Title:
Lower Cost & Increase Conversion of Your AdWords Ads

Word Count:
767

Summary:
When you qualify your AdWords leads, you can reduce the click-through rate (CTR) of browsers and help direct only those most interested in your offer to your site.  How is it done?  By inserting text that will purposely eliminate arbitrary visitors.


Keywords:
search engine copywriting, ppc, pay per click ads


Article Body:
Comparison shoppers are the mortal enemy of pay-per-click (PPC) advertisers.  When you're paying each time someone clicks your AdWords (or other PPC) ad, the last thing you want is a person determined to visit every site to find the best price, the closest location or the most secure guarantee.  But, with many categories of products or services, it's bound to happen.  There is a way to eliminate many of the lookers, however.

When you qualify your AdWords leads, you can reduce the click-through rate (CTR) of browsers and help direct only those most interested in your offer to your site.  How is it done?  By inserting text that will purposely eliminate arbitrary visitors.

Qualifying Your PPC Leads

Purposely eliminating visitors sounds like an awful thing to do, doesn't it?  Perhaps, until you consider the fact that - once these visitors got to your site and found out the details of your offer - they'd most likely leave anyway.

Why not save yourself a click (and the money associated with that click!) and prevent the visitor from running up your monthly AdWords bill?  This is exactly what Steve Jackson of Conversion Chronicles and I discussed awhile back.  Since that discussion, I've come up with a process that will allow you to easily write pre-qualifying ads when you use these simple steps.

Step One

Outline the specifications of your offer.  Be precise.  List all the details of the offer, the price, length of time, physical location, size, etc.  For example, say you have luxury cruise packages available.  You'd want to list the details such as: packages depart from New York City and go to several destinations in Mexico including Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán from December 5-15 for a cost of $2500 per person.

Step Two

Go back and highlight anything that would be a deal breaker.  This is a luxury cruise, so the cost of $2500 per person might be too much for most people.  Quite often, cruisers are looking for the best deal possible.

Also, the cruise only leaves from New York City.  The additional airfare cost might not be something your site visitors want to add to the cost of their trip.  Or, it may be inconvenient to depart from New York City.

What about the dates?  These cruises are only available on the dates of December 5-15.  Your site visitors may not be able to take a holiday during that time.

Does the visitor want to sail to the locations on the itinerary?  Maybe they've already been to Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán and are looking for a cruise to Cabo San Lucas.

Are there other factors that might force shoppers to decline the offer and move to another site?  If so, list them here.

Step Three

Now, decide which bits of information you want to include in your AdWords ads.  You'll want to test and track to see which combination of details bring the lowest click-through rates along with the highest conversions.  For example, your ad might read:

Luxury Mexico Cruise 12/5
Tour tropical Cozumel, Puerto
Vallarta & more. Leave NYC. $2500pp
www.whatever.com

That would give a lot of information that would keep unqualified visitors from clicking through to your site (and running up your AdWords bill).  At the same time, the use of words like "luxury" and "tropical" help the searcher visualize their wonderful vacation.

Another example could be a special shipment of microwave ovens.  Let's go through the steps once again.

Step One

The specifications include: convection/microwave combination, built-in with light and vent features, 1200 watts, white, $900, available on the Internet only.

Step Two

Any of these could be used to weed out visitors.  Someone may not want the convection feature.  They want a countertop microwave rather than a built-in model.  Twelve-hundred watts may be more powerful (and larger) than the visitor needs.  Their kitchen may have stainless steel or black appliances, not white.  Lastly, $900 could be more than they have budgeted for a microwave.

Step Three

Again, you'll want to test and track to see which tidbits of information work best to bring qualified leads, reduce CTR and costs, and improve conversions.

Your ad might look like this:

Powerful Convec/Microwave
Special purchase. Attractive range
built-in with 1200w. Only $900.
www.whatever.com

Rather than using generic terms to describe high cost or frequently compared PPC items, get as specific as you can with "disqualifying" copy.  By weeding out those who would likely take one look and leave, you can save yourself a lot of money in AdWords expenses while increasing conversions.

Title:
Make Or Break Headlines

Word Count:
807

Summary:
"Learn one FREE technique that INCREASES PROFITS by $1,000s or more in under two minutes!'

Did that headline grab your attention? Are you anxious to learn what this amazing free technique is?

Why, it's the headline itself!

You have one chance and one chance only to grab your audience's attention like our headline grabbed yours. If your heading doesn't draw readers in, odds are that they will never even get to the second sentence. Instead, they'll move on—right to you...


Keywords:
improving headlines,writing headlines,improve writing headlines


Article Body:
"Learn one FREE technique that INCREASES PROFITS by $1,000s or more in under two minutes!'

Did that headline grab your attention? Are you anxious to learn what this amazing free technique is?

Why, it's the headline itself!

You have one chance and one chance only to grab your audience's attention like our headline grabbed yours. If your heading doesn't draw readers in, odds are that they will never even get to the second sentence. Instead, they'll move on—right to your competitor.

A strong headline guarantees that you will never lose a visitor before they stop to learn more. More people stopping translate directly into more sales and more profits!

By keeping just a few key points in mind, you can start writing engaging, money-making headlines in minutes. The sooner you improve your headlines, the sooner you can enjoy the wealth that has been waiting for you inside them.

Key Point #1: Be Specific!

 Stand out from the competition!
 Real numbers and dollar signs attract the most attention.

Chances are you have some competition selling something similar to the same people you are targeting. Get ahead of your competitors by specifically telling customers what they have to gain—and lose—from you right upfront.

In our example headline above, we didn't simply say that our technique increases profits. Instead, we said it increases profits "by $1,000s." By adding this tiny detail, it immediately changed from a generic headline to an enticing offer.

It's easy to overlook the thousands of messages we come across each day. They all promise to create undisclosed amounts of money in undisclosed amounts of time. However, it's hard to pass by a headline promising to reveal how to make $1,000s in under two minutes. (This second headline detail drives home the idea that our technique is *really* fast!)

Leave the vague promises that everyone else is trying behind. Today, start to attract customers' curiosities with headlines full of concrete facts and figures.

Key Point #2: Choose Your Words!

 Choose positive ("winning") instead of negative ("not losing") language.
 Headlines should always be upbeat and inspiring.

Always keep your headlines positive, upbeat, and full of inspiration. By the time a visitor gets to the end of that very first line, they should not only want to keep reading—they should be *eager* and *excited* to keep reading!

Think carefully about how you word each portion of your heading. Focus on the verbs, or action words. How are you currently describing the action? How else could you describe that same action? Which wording sounds most attractive?

For example, say that you stay home to watch a football game instead of going out to the grocery store. You could describe your action in two ways: "staying home to watch the game" or "not going out to the store."

The former ("staying home to watch the game") is the more upbeat of the two and makes a better headline. It involves a positive action ("staying") and a positive result ("to watch the game"). In contrast, the second option involves a negative action ("not going") and a boring result ("to the store"). Negativity and boredom will not interest the reader, and they'll quickly be headed elsewhere.

Key Point #3: Longer Is Better!

 Never skimp on the critical first sentence.
 Highlight key points.
 Use a sub-headline if necessary.
 Four key questions your headline MUST answer.

In most writing, we are taught to be "short and sweet." In other words, to say as much as possible in as few words as possible.

Not with headlines!

You only have one sentence to hook a reader—make it count!

By the end of that first line, the reader should know what they stand to gain; how easily they can benefit; and how fast they can start benefiting!

Touch on as much of the following as you can:

- What your product is (i.e. "an e-book," "a technique")
- How it's used (i.e. "right from your browser," "effortlessly")
- What's required to use it (i.e. "less than two minutes of your time")
- Benefits from using it (i.e. "increases profits," "doubles memory")

Make the main ideas of your heading stand out! Pepper your headline with uppercase letters, underlines, italics, and/or bold text.

Too many important details? Consider adding a sub-headline. The real headline should include the most captivating points, but a sub-headline can add information to really seal the deal. When positioned close together, many readers can be "tricked" into reading both sentences right off the bat!

Your headline is ultimately what makes or breaks a sale. If it cannot capture your readers' attention, it cannot bring in sales. If you think your current headline is doing its job, think again. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how much success you'll enjoy—all from taking just two minutes to incorporate the above key points into your headlines.

Title:
Making It Easy for Customers To Choose You

Word Count:
742

Summary:
If someone were standing in front of you and told you that they were considering buying my desk from you or from Vendor Z, what would you say to convince them to buy from you?


Keywords:
copywriting, online copywriting


Article Body:
© 2006, All Rights Reserved

Isn't it frustrating?  All you need is a new computer desk (or whatever you may be currently shopping for), but you can't make a decision you're comfortable with.  It shouldn't be this hard, should it?  What's holding you back?  Probably lack of information.

Here's something every web site owner should know.  When visitors come to your site, they are looking for a reason to buy from you.  Think that's stating the obvious?  You'd be surprised!  I come across countless sites every day that do everything but give the visitor a reason to buy, subscribe, click, call or otherwise take action.  It's a fatal mistake in any business, but it's especially damaging for web-based companies.

Let's continue with our example of buying a computer desk. You start with the big three office-supply stores.  You click the "office furniture" link, and you're faced with a barrage of links to pages about lamps, printer stands, bookshelves and more.  Then you get to the desks.  Computer desks, desk collections, metal desks, workstations… geez!  There are lots of links, but no information.  Finally, after drudging through pages of links, you find some actual copy that describes a desk you think you might want.

You look over the features. You write down the price.  You gather the shipping or delivery information.  Great!  Now, on to the next site.

When you arrive, everything looks almost the same except the logo.  Same navigation, same links, same inventory, same prices.  The shipping amount is the same, and the delivery policy is identical to the site you just came from.  As you click from site to site, it's like déjà vu.  How are you supposed to make a decision to buy when all your options are equal?  What will be the determining factor between site A and site B?

If you're feeling frustrated just reading this scenario, imagine how your site visitors feel.  When they come to your site, they are looking for a clear reason to buy from you instead of all the other sites.  Do you give them a reason?  Do you give them several reasons?

If all factors are equal - even if all factors are similar - your visitors will find it difficult to make a decision.  When they start guessing at which site would be best to buy from, you start losing business.  Maybe they'll choose you, maybe they won't.  There is a way to ensure you are chosen over your competition.  You have to clearly point out how you are different or better than every other option available.

MarketingExperiments.com recently published their findings in regards to differentiating your company from others.  They reported that most companies - when asked what their most unique aspect was - answered, "Our great customer service."  I have bad news for you.  That won't cut it.  Why?  Because, in most cases, when customers are visiting sites to gather information and make purchasing decisions, they won't come in contact with your customer service department.  It would be a nonissue until something went wrong.

Also, since most businesses are claiming excellent customer service, it's an overused promise that has begun to carry less and less weight.  You need something solid.  You need something that is persuasive.  If I were standing in front of you and told you that I was considering buying my desk from you or from Vendor Z, what would you say to convince me to buy from you?  Here are some things to consider when trying to discover ways to differentiate yourself from other businesses.

· Offer free shipping (on all orders or on orders over a certain amount)

· Increase your inventory


· Decrease your inventory and only carry specialty items

· Lower your prices

· Raise your prices (works well for premium goods & services)

· Increase your area of expertise (for service-based businesses)

· Specialize or narrow your niche

· Achieve ratings or rankings from well-known associations or organizations

· Apply for a patent

· Win awards

· Offer a customer loyalty program

Conduct an online survey of your visitors to ask what they want.  (SurveyMonkey.com is great for this.)  Look back over your complaints and other feedback for ideas about how to set yourself apart.  Email existing customers (if you have their permission to do so) and ask them why they chose you.  Whatever you do, don't stay in a position where you are exactly the same as (or highly similar to) your competition.  The chances are far too great you'll get lost in the crowd.

Million Dollar Copywriting

Copywriting can be a very lucrative field and is for many writers out there today.  Within this article today, we'll focus on how you can make copywriting a strong field for you so that you have million-dollar copywriting.

The first key and developing million-dollar copywriting is to make sure that you have the right skills for the job.  Many people will focus on copywriting as a potentially lucrative field but do not have the necessary experience or expertise for this area.  When you are looking to make a great deal of money in copywriting, make sure that you have a solid base of copywriting experience before you start to sell your services.  If you have a solid base of copywriting experience along with testimonials and references from past work, you will have a better chance at being able to set your own rate.

To ensure that you are doing a great deal of copywriting, you will want to make sure that you are consistently prospecting for new business.  As you are working on your current business and making your high rates, you'll always want to make sure that you have worked in the pipeline.  This will ensure that you are able to consistently bring in high revenues while not having to have as much slow time at some other freelancers have.

To effectively develop and prospect for new business, you must make sure to have your own website and have proven marketing techniques so that you can develop your million-dollar copywriting skills.  You may be the best copywriter in the world but without a demand, you will not have a chance to prove your skills or bring in the paychecks that you want and deserve.  There are many copywriters today who still do not have a website but this is just another way for you to set yourself apart from the competition.  Another way you can set yourself apart from the competition is to develop a niche.  This could mean that you do a great deal of copywriting within the healthcare industry because you worked with in it for several years.

Hopefully this article on million-dollar copywriting will have a strong effect on you.  Demand on copywriting comes down to the same fundamentals that all new businesses have: an ability to prospect and sell your company to others while building and maintaining a strong client base.  You will develop a strong client base by providing great work so that clients will come back to you for repeat business.  This will limit the amount of time that you potentially have to prospect for business because you will have clients who will have consistent demand for it.  For a company to survive, they must market and marketing requires copywriting.  Marketing and copywriting are as essential to a company as oxygen is to human beings.  By developing a particular niche within a field, you will set yourself apart from others who are trying to do it all.
Title:
One Product, Three Customers, Three Different Ways To Write

Word Count:
630

Summary:
Before assuming that every member of your target audience is alike, take some time to do a little research.  Then write so that you communicate directly with them on their level.  You'll find your conversions rise when you give your visitors the information they want.


Keywords:
copywriting, web copywriting, internet copywriting


Article Body:
© 2006

My soapbox is just about worn out.  I've been preaching the necessity of knowing your target audience for at least 10 years.  "You can't write effectively to someone you don't know," is how my spiel would normally go.  When one day someone asked me to show him what I was talking about.  "I'm writing copy for computers," he said.  "Everybody needs and can use a computer.  How could a general product like that possibly have different target audiences?"  I'll show you exactly how.

Be Specific With Your Definition

Don't ever begin an analysis of your target audience with the word "everybody."  The people who fit into your target group are individuals.  They certainly share common traits, needs and wants, but they are unique.  When defining your customer base, and the segments within it, be as specific as possible.

Senior Citizens

If we go back to the computer example, we would surely find several segments within the target group who buy computers.  One would be senior citizens.  According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project Report, 54% of Americans ages 60-69 go online.  In fact, 21% of those over the age of 70 also go online. In order to surf the Internet, these people need a computer.

What concerns do seniors have when it comes to computers?  Fear is a big emotion that comes into play with this crowd.  While they love the idea of being able to keep in touch with family and friends, many in this age bracket have a hang-up with learning to use new technology.  Ease of use and a low learning curve are some things that must be communicated clearly.

High School and College Students

Having grown up using computers in the classroom, and most likely at home, students are generally very comfortable and confident with this technology.  If something breaks, they'll figure it out themselves or just get a new computer.  Portability, the latest technology and speed are the biggest factors for students.

With many younger users, gaming is a primary function, so the computer they want/need has to have large amounts of RAM, hard drive space and virtual memory.  What about cost?  Mom and dad are almost always the money source for a student's computer, so the student isn't interested in the price.  If mom and dad can't afford it, there is always grandma and grandpa.

Small Businesses

While computers are a tax-deductible business expense, small businesses are still concerned with price.   They are also leery of low price points and special offers because, most of the time, small businesses will need to add a good bit of additional equipment to a basic computer which ups the price.

Small businesses also normally have no full-time IT staff, so support is an issue that comes into play.   Is help available to answer questions or troubleshoot if and when networking doesn't go smoothly?  What about repairs?  If the computer requires any service, is it done on-site or does the computer have to be shipped to some nameless service center?  Is there a guaranteed time for repairs to be completed?

As you can see, each segment has its own concerns about buying a computer.  While "everybody" may need one, every person does not have the same concerns or needs when making a computer purchase.

Before assuming that every member of your target audience is alike, take some time to do a little research.  Conduct an informal survey, ask questions and talk with customers one-on-one.  Find out what their wants are, what concerns they have or what they'd most like to see you offer.  Once you find out, write so that you communicate directly with them on their level.  You'll find your conversion rates rise when you give your visitors the information they want.

Title:
Perfect Grammar Is for Sales Sissies

Word Count:
658

Summary:
If you’re like me, you’re not writing that banner ad, Web site, or landing page to make your English teacher proud. You’re writing to sell.


Keywords:
marketing, grammar, copywriter, copywriting, sales, copy, prospect, copywriters, direct response


Article Body:
If you’re like me, you’re not writing that banner ad, Web site, or landing page to make your English teacher proud. You’re writing to sell.

If you get an “A” while you’re at it, great. But don’t count on it. To get prospects to click, call, or buy, you’ll need to take some liberties with the English language.

As direct-response legend Herschell Gordon Lewis so aptly said, “Grammar is our weapon, not our god.”

Although copywriting requires a different approach than Strunk and White would advocate, don’t burn your grammar books just yet. It’s important to know the rules before you break them.

Following are some rules to keep and some rules to bend or break. But first an important principle.

Clarity

Next time you face a grammar grappler, ask yourself this question: Which word construction will be clearer to the prospect or customer?

Clarity comes first because it’s the prescription for fast comprehension. Copywriting that blurs meaning (which sometimes includes grammatically perfect writing) slows reading and jeopardizes interest -- and sales.

WARNING: This isn’t license to play havoc with the English language. Literacy must prevail. Following are some rules to keep.

Rules to Keep

Subject and verb agreement. Whether you’re writing an infomercial or War and Peace, singular subjects take singular verbs and plural subjects take plural verbs. Always. A simple rule, execution is sometimes problematic. The key is to clearly identify the subject of the sentence.

The active voice. If you want your copywriting to have maximum punch, use the active voice at every opportunity. Active voice: I wrote the sentence. Passive voice: The sentence was written by me.

Use of Modifiers. Modifiers can cause a variety of problems. There are the questions of which and how many modifiers to use. Again, let clarity be your guide. Also, poor placement of modifiers results in confusion, your enemy. To make comprehension easy, put modifiers near the words they’re modifying.

Rules to Bend or Break

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain ushered in a new era in American literature. One of the main reasons was Twain’s use of vernacular. He wrote the way people talked, a departure from the stiff, formal English common during the Victorian period.

For copywriters, writing the way people talk is absolutely essential.

Why? Because copy that is friendly, informal and conversational stands a better chance of getting prospects to click, call or buy. Which is exactly why sacrificing the following conventions can be in the copywriter’s best interest.

Ending sentences with a preposition. To some a no-no, ending a sentence with a preposition can warm up your copywriting. Which sounds friendlier to you: “Here is the information you requested” or “Here is the information you asked for”?

Beginning sentences with a conjunction. Beginning sentences with conjunctions (and, or, but, nor) is more common, even in journalism. Not only is it the way people talk, it can shorten sentence length, a plus in delivering sales messages.

Other informal devices. Use contractions to warm up your message. Also, use sentence fragments. Not only do they shorten average sentence length, they add rhythm. And drama.

Punctuation. Use punctuation to your selling advantage. I’m inclined to use more dashes and an occasional exclamation point and ellipsis to add drama and excitement to the sales message. Commas can be pretty subjective, so I have a tendency to use the minimum amount to keep readers moving through the copy as quickly as possible.

Parting Reminder

Keep that grammar book, stylebook, dictionary and other writer’s references nearby. You’re still going to need them.

But also don’t let grammar be your god, or your next online promotion could be a giant sales flop.

(c) 2005 Neil Sagebiel

Title:
Pharmaceutical Copywriter? Maybe?

Word Count:
478

Summary:
Why writers are finding their way into the world of pharmaceutical advertising!


Keywords:



Article Body:
So you are just getting out of college. You want to earn your living as a writer, and you decide on a career as an advertising copywriter. Naturally everyone wants to write the next great sneaker ad, or be the brainchild of the newest 20-year Vodka campaign, right? Not so fast.

While a career in “consumer” advertising has always been the benchmark of the industry, more and more young copywriters are finding their way in the growing world of pharmaceutical advertising. So why would someone want to write about a depression drug rather than a soft drink?

Here are three major reasons for this trend:

Stability:

With Job security as low as it has been since the crash of 1929, young creatives in general consumer advertising on Madison Avenue are finding themselves out of work an alarming rate. Pharmaceutical advertising is generally a bit more stable, as the market is simply smaller.

Money:

Initially, the salaries earned by consumer and healthcare copywriters is roughly about the same. That is to say, not very much. However, successful healthcare writers see larger salary increases and title promotions sooner than their consumer counterparts.

Sense of Importance:

At first glance the content, regulations and demographic would imply that pharmaceutical advertising wouldn’t allow for as much creativity as a general consumer advertising. And while your “creative box” may be a bit smaller in pharmaceutical advertising, the work does allow and lend itself to a more dramatic and strategic end result. Furthermore, many creatives in pharmaceutical advertising love the fact that the message matters, and feel that their work truly is important.

So while writing the dream sequence spot for that new video game is fun, at the end of the day you’re simply marketing a video game.

Pharmaceutical writers are asked to really devour the product; it’s chemistry and most importantly how the condition for which the pharmaceutical product is indicated affects patients. In many cases, writers are asked to interview and meet patients to talk about their condition(s). It has been debated ad nauseam if medication is truly the best therapy. And while I’m smart enough to not opine on that topic, there is no arguing that awareness and education for both patients and healthcare professionals are necessary.

In any case, we can be certain that medicine has historically done more for society than any sneaker, soft drink or video game ever has.

To learn more about a career as a pharmaceutical copywriter please feel free to email me at anthony@dolagroup.com

Anthony Hemsey is a Sr. Trainer/ VP Placement Specialist at Dola Group Professsional Development. Dola Group is a consulting and executive search firm dedicated soley to the medical pharmaceutical advertising and marketing arena. To learn more about Dola Group’s current program and job openings please visit dolagroup.com

To begin a dialogue with one of Dola Group’s professional consultants please send an email to chat@dolagroup.com-– and mention this article!

Title:
Pharmaceutical Copywriters are just what the doctor ordered

Word Count:
496

Summary:
More an more copywriters are finding more stable, lucrative and rewarding career's in the world of pharmaceutical advertising. Find out why this prescription is working!


Keywords:
dola group


Article Body:
So you are just getting out of college. You want to earn your living as a writer, and you decide on a career as an advertising copywriter. Naturally everyone wants to write the next great sneaker ad, or be the brainchild of the newest 20-year Vodka campaign, right? Not so fast. While a career in “consumer” advertising has always been the benchmark of the industry, more and more young copywriters are finding their way in the growing world of pharmaceutical advertising. So why would someone want to write about a depression drug rather than a soft drink?

Here are three major reasons for this trend:

Stability:

 With Job security as low as it has been since the crash of 1929, young creatives in general consumer advertising on Madison Avenue are finding themselves out of work an alarming rate. Pharmaceutical advertising is generally a bit more stable, as the market is simply smaller.

Money:

Initially, the salaries earned by consumer and healthcare copywriters is roughly about the same. That is to say, not very much. However, successful healthcare writers see larger salary increases and title promotions sooner than their consumer counterparts.

Sense of Importance:

At first glance the content, regulations and demographic would imply that pharmaceutical advertising wouldn’t allow for as much creativity as a general consumer advertising. And while your “creative box” may be a bit smaller in pharmaceutical advertising, the work does allow and lend itself to a more dramatic and strategic end result. Furthermore, many creatives in pharmaceutical advertising love the fact that the message matters, and feel that  their work truly is important.

So while writing the dream sequence spot for that new video game is fun, at the end of the day you’re simply marketing a video game.

Pharmaceutical writers are asked to really devour the product; it’s chemistry and most importantly how the condition for which the pharmaceutical product is indicated affects patients. In many cases, writers are asked to interview and meet patients to talk about their condition(s). It has been debated ad nauseam if medication is truly the best therapy. And while I’m smart enough to not opine on that topic, there is no arguing that awareness and education for both patients and healthcare professionals are necessary.

In any case, we can be certain that medicine has historically done more for society than any sneaker, soft drink or video game ever has.

To learn more about a career as a pharmaceutical copywriter please feel free to email me at anthony@dolagroup.com


Anthony Hemsey is a Sr. Trainer/ VP Placement Specialist at Dola Group Professsional Development. Dola Group is a consulting and executive search firm dedicated soley to the medical pharmaceutical advertising and marketing arena. To learn more about Dola Group’s current program and job openings please visit dolagroup.com

To begin a dialogue with one of Dola Group’s professional consultants please  send an email to chat@dolagroup.com-–  and mention this article!

Title:
Pharmaceutical Copywriters are just what the doctor ordered- literally.

Word Count:
505

Summary:
So you are just getting out of college. You want to earn your living as a writer, and you decide on a career as an advertising copywriter. Naturally everyone wants to write the next great sneaker ad, or be the brainchild of the newest 20-year Vodka campaign, right? Not so fast.


Keywords:
pharmaceutical healthcare advertising


Article Body:
Pharmaceutical Copywriters are just what the doctor ordered- literally.

So you are just getting out of college. You want to earn your living as a writer, and you decide on a career as an advertising copywriter. Naturally everyone wants to write the next great sneaker ad, or be the brainchild of the newest 20-year Vodka campaign, right? Not so fast.

While a career in “consumer” advertising has always been the benchmark of the industry, more and more young copywriters are finding their way in the growing world of pharmaceutical advertising. So why would someone want to write about a depression drug rather than a soft drink?

Here are three major reasons for this trend:

Stability:

 With Job security as low as it has been since the crash of 1929, young creatives in general consumer advertising on Madison Avenue are finding themselves out of work an alarming rate. Pharmaceutical advertising is generally a bit more stable, as the market is simply smaller.

Money:

Initially, the salaries earned by consumer and healthcare copywriters is roughly about the same. That is to say, not very much. However, successful healthcare writers see larger salary increases and title promotions sooner than their consumer counterparts.

Sense of Importance:

At first glance the content, regulations and demographic would imply that pharmaceutical advertising wouldn’t allow for as much creativity as a general consumer advertising. And while your “creative box” may be a bit smaller in pharmaceutical advertising, the work does allow and lend itself to a more dramatic and strategic end result. Furthermore, many creatives in pharmaceutical advertising love the fact that the message matters, and feel that  their work truly is important.

So while writing the dream sequence spot for that new video game is fun, at the end of the day you’re simply marketing a video game.

Pharmaceutical writers are asked to really devour the product; it’s chemistry and most importantly how the condition for which the pharmaceutical product is indicated affects patients. In many cases, writers are asked to interview and meet patients to talk about their condition(s). It has been debated ad nauseam if medication is truly the best therapy. And while I’m smart enough to not opine on that topic, there is no arguing that awareness and education for both patients and healthcare professionals are necessary.

In any case, we can be certain that medicine has historically done more for society than any sneaker, soft drink or video game ever has.

To learn more about a career as a pharmaceutical copywriter please feel free to email me at anthony@dolagroup.com


Anthony Hemsey is a Sr. Trainer/ VP Placement Specialist at Dola Group Professsional Development. Dola Group is a consulting and executive search firm dedicated soley to the medical pharmaceutical advertising and marketing arena. To learn more about Dola Group’s current program and job openings please visit dolagroup.com

To begin a dialogue with one of Dola Group’s professional consultants please  send an email to chat@dolagroup.com-–  and mention this article!

Title:
Professional Advertising Copywriting Experts London UK

Word Count:
1305

Summary:
Copy can be quite emotive, not least because it’s the one area of advertising that anyone can do – we don’t all know the media, we can’t all design, but we can all write – so we all bring our own opinions/pet hates to it.


Keywords:
Professional Advertising Copywriting Experts London UK Advertising and Website Design Company London UK


Article Body:
Back from a nice week in Devon, doing nothing except walk on the moors and lazing about. Couple of calls to the office – “Anything good happening?” “Well, it’s good you aren’t here” – and that’s about it. Didn’t even bother to travel 30 miles to take up the offer of a free lunch at Cornwall’s most famous seafood restaurant though, as this was compensation for a lunch I had there last year that pole axed me for three days with food poisoning, my non-attendance wasn’t 100% sloth related.
Arrived to find an article - “How to Write a Job Ad” – left open on my desk (rather pointedly, I thought) which was vaguely thought provoking, though things like “most are full of corporate puff and management-speak…fail to give detailed information…generally don’t get the people you want” were a bit too sweeping for me (and I hate all sweeping statements).

Copy can be quite emotive, not least because it’s the one area of advertising that anyone can do – we don’t all know the media, we can’t all design, but we can all write – so we all bring our own opinions/pet hates to it. For example, there’s lots of things I don’t like; from “previous” experience (isn’t all experience in the past or previous?), “staff” as opposed to “employees” (I use a staff to round up sheep. Well, I would if I had sheep. And if I had a staff), “meticulous” attention to detail (you either have attention to detail or you don’t). None of these are likely to alter the response to an ad (which probably should be the test of whether any copy change is necessary in an ideal world) but I will still try and amend any of these, every chance I get, so the ad is done “my way”. To be honest, I can get a bit precious about my personal copy conventions (aka “he’s off on one again”), so much so that we actually have a little list of them that we refer to – hey, at least it ensures consistency. Though I like to think some of them achieve more than that – isn’t “attractive” salary a better sell than the rather dull “competitive”, isn’t “you” rather more personal than “the successful candidate”, isn’t “we thank all candidates in advance for their interest and would appreciate all replies by xxx” warmer than “closing date xxx”?

Anyway, back to the article where, after the ritual slaughter of almost the entire industry’s copy (“banal” was another description used), the authors laid out their modestly titled “Seven Golden Rules”, based on psychological research, to get to the people you want – “who are so busy being successful in their current job that they don’t have the time or inclination to read the recruitment section”. Ignoring the fatal flaw in this argument (if these successful people are too busy to read the recruitment section you could write an ad that could outsell the entire “Harry Potter” phenomenon and it still wouldn’t work, would it?), their rules were:

1. Be bold about job title, salary and location

2. Spell out what you want

3. Describe the job in detail

4. Use questions

5. Tell a story about why you are advertising the job but keep it real

6. Make applying easy

7. Fly your flag - put your logo in the ad.

On the face of it nothing much new there, although it was a shame that their own example of good copy for a sales position “you’ll be called in to clients when the door of opportunity has been opened, to provide the technical detail to close the deal” seemed to include the type of management-type speak they abhor and was too wordy - the one thing all clients dislike – because, for example, “you’ll use your technical knowledge to turn qualified leads into sales” says pretty much the same. In over 50% less words.

The idea of using questions (4) and telling stories, while keeping it real (5) are well known advertising techniques which, research shows, do boost response (questions involve the reader and make the process two way, while people do read stories). But I can’t think of many examples where questions can be, or are, used meaningfully in recruitment (interestingly, the authors don’t provide any examples) apart from the ubiquitous “interested?” just before the response details. Which, incidentally, is another of my pet hates – because if they aren’t interested, I’d like to know what they are doing reading the ad through to the end. Perhaps ploughing through ads of no interest is their sad hobby or something?

As for telling stories about why you are advertising the job, I have two issues. One, I’m not entirely sure that, if candidates see jobs advertised that they really want, they give a fig why it’s become available. And two, as a Golden Rule, it has the severe limitation that jobs only become available for a very limited number of publishable reasons – mainly growth or replacement (and, with the latter, you can’t, for example, advertise that you need a new FD because the last one was a total twonk), so I’m not sure how ad after ad repeating one version or another of these reasons enhances response to any of them.

Their other point about telling stories is that “recruitment sections read as if failure never happens so you should stand out of the crowd by talking about your failures as well as your success”. Hmmm. I can’t recall the world’s number one brand – Coca Cola – advertising much about the effects of all that sugar on your teeth (If any, of course – Legal Editor). I’m all for truth (or tooth. Ho! Ho!) in advertising but, in recruitment, think this should be limited to facts – which I’d have as a Golden Rule – and a description of the challenges or opportunities. Talking about your problems because “chances are, you want people who can handle problems. And good people want a job they can get their teeth (what’s this new dental fixation?) into, not one where the problems are all solved” isn’t particularly logical or realistic; I’d be interested to see if the authors could sell this “warts ‘n all” approach to any client, anywhere.

From my point of view, a recruitment ad is a little bit like riding down a few floors in an a elevator with your candidate – you only have a few seconds to make a favourable impression - so tone (friendly, personable), facts (turnover details, number of employees rather than “one of the largest”) and having a real selling point for the job are far more important than whittering on about the issues you face, asking questions and telling stories. I’m not that keen on their rule about describing the job in great detail either - a Marketing Manager knows what a Marketing Manager does most of the time without having every single detail spelled out as if for the hard-of-thinking.

Basically I’m still a big fan of the Price Waterhouse 1990’s research into recruitment advertising, just about the only objective work of this kind of which I’m aware. This found that candidates want straightforward adverts, giving facts, cutting out excessive jargon and glossy adjectives. That candidates get irritated by the over-use of words like “dynamic, pro-active, forward thinking, visionary etc”. That they get tired of “motherhood statements that tell us nothing”. That many simply find the text of advertisements hard to believe. And that popular stocking fillers like “growing, challenges, exciting opportunities” are not the winners any cursory glance at any recruitment section would have you believe. Quite the opposite.

They’re in fact seen as evidence of “mass corporate delusion”. Whoops.

Title:
Profit Boosters Copywriting Checklist

Word Count:
436

Summary:
This checklist is based on what works best from over 1,200 copywriting projects.


Keywords:
copywriting, website design, marketing, advertising, internet


Article Body:
You can use this copywriting checklist when you are copywriting - or to evaluate copywriting.  It is based on what works best from over 1,200 copywriting projects we have done since 1978.  It will lead to significantly more response from your copywriting.


Before writing:

1. Study the company and the product/service being sold thoroughly so you have all the information you will need.

2.  Research the prospects and the market to determine what benefits the prospect wants most, secondary benefits wanted, objections, and what would get him to buy now. Key:  Don’t guess; research.

3.  Develop the main emotions you can touch with your copywriting for this project, and how you will do it.  The strongest emotions are love, fear, greed, acceptance, survival, anger, and health.

4.  Think like your prospect; and not like the marketer.

5.  Develop the best offer(s) you can make to the prospect.  Your offer includes pricing, terms, bonuses and guarantee.

At this point, you know the company and product, what the target prospect wants most, his objections, the main emotions you can touch, and you have developed a terrific offer.

Headline and start of copy:

6.  Write at least 20 different headlines before choosing the best one.

Headline winners include a big, bold promise of the benefits the prospect wants most, specific figures, a guarantee, credibility enhancers, a special offer.

Legendary marketers John Caples and Claude Hopkins proved that one headline can pull 10 times the response as another headline … with no other changes in the copywriting.

7.  Start of copy should re-enforce the main benefit(s) of the headline, elaborate, and incorporate the secondary benefits the prospect wants most.

Body of copy:

8.  Develop the prospect problem and pain points.  Reinforce how these problems will remain or even get worse unless he takes action, and how your product/service is the best solution.

9.  Copywriting should be first person, one-to-one, conversational.

10.  List the prospects likely objections to buying, and overcome those objections.

11.  Sincerely flatter the prospect if you can.

12.  Get the prospect to mentally “picture and enjoy” the end-result benefits of buying.

13.  Use testimonials, specifics, tests, clients, studies, success stories and memberships to add credibility and believability.

14.  Be sure it is easy to read and “scan”.  Use sub headlines with prospect benefits, short sentences, short paragraphs.

15.  If any copy is dull or boring, cut it or revise it.

16.  If the flow gets slowed or stopped at any point in the copy, fix it.

17.  Copywriting must be passionate, enthusiastic.

18.  Create urgency to get a response now.

19.  Tell the prospect what he will lose if he does not respond now.

20.  Tell the prospect exactly what to do.

21.  Close, Close, Close.  Get action now.

Radio Ad Copywriting

Within this article on radio ad copywriting, we will look at what makes up a successful radio ad.  Copywriting is similar because you are always trying to sell a product but the way that you write and sell will be different depending upon the particular media vehicle that you choose to use.

Whenever you start to do radio ad copywriting, you must make sure to first do your research.  Research is one of the most important parts of the job and this is true no matter what type of copywriting you are doing.  If you do not do your initial research, you will not know how to present your message to your target audience.

When you are looking into doing radio ad copywriting, you should talk with the particular station that you are thinking about advertising with.  They should give you an idea of the typical demographics of their listening audience.  This will allow you to know which particular radio station you should work with in getting your message out.

When you are looking at doing radio ad copywriting, you must make sure that you are much more direct with this particular form of advertising than you would if you were writing a sales letter.  You have a much shorter period of time in which to make an impression upon your prospects so you must be completely focused with your message.

One way to make sure that you are writing for a good radio ad copywriting is to listen to the ads that your competitors are running on particular radio stations.  Each radio station focuses on a particular and very narrow demographic so if you continue to hear the same ads over and over again, you will have a good clue that they are probably very successful.  Pattern your ideas in a similar vein to what you're hearing.

Here are a couple of quick hitters to help make your radio ad copywriting successful. You must make sure to not just list a bunch of facts but rather try to tell a story.  This will keep your audience interested.  If you are trying to sell a technical product, make sure to use technical jargon early on so that you can get your target niche within your demographic tuned in to what you have to say. Radio ad copywriting must also use testimonials if you can because of the credibility towards a product that you are selling. Hopefully these quick hitting tips can give you some idea of what to do when writing your radio ad copywriting.

Hopefully this article on radio ad copywriting has helped you out.  Copywriting is a large field and if you choose to write on radio ad copywriting, listen to radio stations to see what works.  You must continue to learn and be educated and this is a way to do it on your off time.  You must make sure that you are very correct in your writing because you only have a short amount of time to impress a particular product or service upon your target audience.
Title: 
Review: Words That Sell

Word Count:
598

Summary:
"Know your target audience." It's the #1 rule of copywriting. With the Words That Sell reports, all the hard work has been done for you. Just pick a profession and you'll get tons of insightful details to help you write better copy.


Keywords:
copywriting, target audience, website copywriting, sales letters


Article Body:
by Karon Thackston © 2005
http://www.copywritingcourse.com/wordswork.html 

It's the Golden Rule of copywriting.  "Know your target audience."  It is impossible to persuade someone you know nothing about to take any type of action.  But the question remains: How - exactly - do you get to know your prospective customers?  

For copywriters, this task is the most time-consuming.  When you're faced with making a connection with someone you've never met, it can be frustrating.  That's why I was excited when I found out about a series of reports entitled "Words That Sell" (see: http://www.copywritingcourse.com/wordswork.html.) 

How would you like it if someone else did the hard part for you?  Then take heart!  The people at The Brooks Group (publishers of these reports) interviewed hundreds of professionals in a wide range of occupations to get the specific information included in the ebooks.  

These reports target people in 38 different industries in detail including medical professionals, chief executives, entrepreneurs, human resources, dentists, doctors, hospital administrators, engineers, real estate managers and so many others.  What do they deliver?  Details.  Exact details about what words work, what words don't and why.

What's Good About These Reports

A lot of research went into the making of these reports.  It took years to interview countless professionals then compile and sort the data.  Then the creators of the reports developed easy-to-read ebooks written in everyday language for each profession.  Inside you get:

· background and personality profile
· psychological profile
· exact wording to use
· reasoning behind why some words work and some words don't
· exact wording NOT to use
· sample letters, headlines and copy to use
· and more

You get a lot of information in each report.  These are not just 5- to 8-page lists of words to use.  Each report is 20-25 pages long and has insightful, specific information that will make your job as a copywriter go much more smoothly and quickly.

I also liked that I could buy each report individually or in "combo" packages for a discount.  That way, if I need just one, I only have to pay a small price.

These reports are quick to read, and for busy copywriters, that's a real blessing.  I find myself going back to them over and over and - because of the simple layout - I can get the information I need quickly without having to reread the entire report again.

What's Not So Good About These Reports

They need more examples.  Yes, you do get examples of how to use the information, but more would be nice.  (Can we ever get enough examples?)  The examples given are definitely suitable, but could be more "real world."  They seem rather elementary to me.

Also, it would have been my preference to include a table of contents with clickable navigation links.  A minor point?  Maybe, but when you use the reports, as much as I do, it would save a great deal of time over the long run.  

Overall, the Words That Sell reports (http://www.copywritingcourse.com/wordswork.html) are a huge timesaving tool.  They are interesting, accurate and very useful.  The sales copy claims you'll double, triple or even quadruple your profits.  I can't attest to the quadruple part, but I have seen the use of the information in these reports double and triple sales for some of my clients.

Are they worth the $28 (each) price?  Absolutely!  They'll save you way more than $28 in research and brainstorming time, and you'll have a powerful new tool for converting lookers into buyers for 38 different industries.

Title: 
Sales Letters that Sell!

Word Count:
2015

Summary:
A step-by-step guide to writing powerful sales letters that produce results. Packed with tips, techniques and proven strategies that turn letters, emails and mailers into high-impact selling tools.  Learn to overcome the barriers to selling by tapping into the deepest psychological motivators of prospective buyers. Discover the three critically important parts of your offer, how to motivate procrastinators, and how to structure the all-important close that turns prospects into customers.


Keywords:
sales letters, writers, writer, writing, copywriter, copywriting, letters, mailers, email writer


Article Body:
The average consumer is inundated with sales pitches. So if you’re selling a product or service to today’s ad weary consumer, if you want your sales letters to get results, you’ll need a step-by-step plan that breaks down the barriers to buying. A plan that bypasses the head and goes right for the heart. 

If the heart’s in it, the brain will follow.

Buying anything is largely emotional.  Whether it’s paper clips or plain paper copiers, emotions lead the purchase.  Facts, specs and the like are simply used to justify the decision, once made.  Which means that everything about your sales letter, every sentence, every phrase must appeal to your customer’s emotions.

What emotions?

The simple truth is, there are only two emotions that really motivate people: The promise of gain or the fear of loss--with the fear of loss being the stronger. Example: Given the choice of headlines: “Save money in legal fees.”  Or  “How to keep from being sued.” The latter will probably get a better response. 

Supporting the promise of gain and the fear of loss are seven key emotional hooks or basic human needs. No matter what your product or service, to be effective, your sales letter must directly address as many of these basic needs as possible:

• Safety/Security
• Wealth
• Good looks
• Popularity
• Self-satisfaction
• Free time
• Fun/Excitement

So how do you get them to act? How do you go from head to heart? What’s the copy paradigm?  Imagine you’re in a baseball stadium facing an audience in rows of bleachers.  It’s the game of the century, ninth inning, bases loaded.  And you’ve got a bag of peanuts you absolutely must sell or the boss will fire you on the spot.  What would you do to get their attention? Yell “Peanuts?”  

Start with a verbal “2x4”

You’ve got to hit them over the head with an emotional motivator.  And that means you start with the envelope.  Remember-- gain or loss--it has to be right there on the outside, in bold. (When was the last time you rushed to open a plain white envelope?)  Two examples:

Gain-- “We Put a Money-Making Miracle in this Envelope.”
Loss-- “Throw This Away and Work Hard for the Rest of Your Life.”

Okay.  They’ve opened the letter and what do they see?  A boring paragraph about your leadership in the industry?  Stuffy sentences about commitment, innovation and dedication? 

Whoosh.  In the round file it goes.   

Time to visit our key motivators--gain or loss. Again, it’s got to be there in a headline they can’t miss.  And it must reinforce the headline that compelled them to rip open that envelope. Both headlines must dovetail in their message and emotional impact.

Example: “Finish reading this letter and you’re halfway to becoming rich.”
Next comes the all-important body copy.  What to say to leave them begging for your product. For this we go right into the consumer’s emotions, mining for clues to the perfect selling pitch. 

What’s the problem? 

A while back, McDonalds was beating the pants off its competitors. So Burger King hired a big powerhouse ad agency to gain them market share. They tried everything--analyzing secret sauces, elaborate contests, toy tie-ins. Nothing worked. Finally, they sent out questionnaires, did focus groups, and literally stopped people on the street.  And you know what they discovered?  Not what consumers liked, but what they didn’t like about hamburgers. For on thing, the leading hamburger came practically “factory made” with everything on it.  Some folks liked pickles, others hated onions or mayo.  That was “the problem.” The solution was simple: hamburgers made to order, followed by the now all-too-familiar slogan “Have it Your Way.” The point is, you’ve got to find and exploit your consumer’s problem.  And make your product the hero. 

Life without your product--miserable

So, you’ve succeeded in getting your reader’s attention. You’ve discovered their “problem.”  Now it’s time to remind them how many ways that problem affects their lives. If you’re selling a cordless electric lawnmower, you’ll want to remind them of all the headaches of their old gas powered mower.  Like running out of gas, finding the gas can, taking it to the gas station, driving back with a can full of smelly gas in the car, maybe spilling gas on the carpet. Once at home, there’s the annoyance of yanking the starter until your arm feels like a wet noodle. And the fire danger of having a can of gas in the garage with kids playing near it.  The point is, you want to paint a very troublesome picture of life without your product.

Life with your product—absolute bliss

Now that you’ve raised your reader’s interest by making them feel the pain of life without your product, it’s time to provide your solution.  Here’s where you’ll briefly introduce yourself and your product or service.  No more running out of gas, no more smelling gas cans in your new car, no more yanking that starter cord till your arm falls off.  Just flick the switch and you’re ready to mow. Plug it into your electric outlet and it charges overnight.  Your worries are over. You go on and on, hammering home the fact that your product or service is the perfect solution.  At this point, your reader will probably ask, “Sounds interesting, but who the heck are you to think you can solve my problem? I never heard of you.”

Credentials time

Here’s where you build trust by detailing key facts that build confidence in you and your company. You could start by listing some testimonials from satisfied customers.  If these come from people in the industry who your prospect is familiar with, so much the better.  And if you can get photos, phone numbers and so forth, it will add even more to your credibility. This is also the time to mention how long you’ve been in business and any articles that about your company and/or its products that have appeared in the local or national media (these can be particularly valuable, since they come from an impartial source).  

Now that you’ve assuaged their fears about doing business with a complete unknown, they’ll want to be totally sold about your product or service.  Here’s where you go into detail.  And this is the perfect time to do so, because you’ve established trust. They won’t be thinking about who you are, but what you can do for them--how you’re going to solve their problem.  

Detail benefits, not features

A key caveat here.  Don’t get your reader quagmired in “Featurespeak.” It’s easy to do and it’s what most unskilled writers fall victim to.  Featurespeak is for your sales team, not your potential customer.  Avoid things like “Our new cordless electric mower features the X9T Autoflex handle, or the PT600 Zenon Battery. Better to say, “Our new electric mower’s handle easily adjusts to your height for maximum comfort.” Or “The easily rechargeable battery lasts up to 5 years without replacement.” If your product or service has more than three major benefits, list them in bullet point form to make them easier to read.  
Make them an offer they can’t refuse

This is the crucial part of your sales letter. Your offer should be compelling, irrefutable and urgent. You want your reader to say, “This is a great offer, I’ve got nothing to lose but my problem.” Try to combine the big 3 in your offer--irresistible price, terms, and a free gift. For example, if you’re selling a cordless electric mower, your offer might be a discounted retail price, low interest rate, and a blade-sharpening tool.  Try to raise the perceived value of your offer by adding on products or services--for electric mowers, it might be an extended warranty or safety goggles.  Augment this with compelling benefits these additional products or services will provide. 

Assuage with a guarantee

There’s a little voice in the back of every customer’s head that whispers, “Buy this and you’ll be sorry.” So make your offer bulletproof.  Take the risk out of the purchase. Give the absolute strongest guarantee you can.  It tells your reader you’re confident in your product or service.  Enough so to back it up with a strong guarantee. Don’t be afraid to make this final commitment.  

Motivate the procrastinators

So they’re reading your letter and are pretty convinced that your company and your product or service can solve their problem.  They want to buy.  The mind is willing but the flesh is weak.  Time to bring in our key motivator—fear of loss.  One way to tap into this fear is by convincing your reader that because this is such a good deal, only a scant few mowers remain.   Or that the extended warranty is being offered only for the next few days, or for the next 50 customers.  Our old motivator--gain--can be used here as well.  Example: “Buy now and get a $20 gift card--FREE!” 

Call to action--KISS

You and your staff know what readers need to do to buy your product or service, but your readers are inundated with offers every day. And each offer has a different procedure for buying. Give them a break and walk them through the order/purchase process. And KISS (keep it simple stupid). Use simple action words like “Pick Up the Phone and Call Now!” If your phone number spells out a catchy slogan or company name, always add numerical phone numbers. If they need to fill out a form and mail it, say so.  And if possible, use large type on your form—especially if you’re selling to seniors.  Be clear on what they’re ordering and for what price. 

ABC!

Follow Alec Baldwin’s admonition in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross—“ABC…Always Be Closing.” Sprinkle your call to action throughout your letter.  Ask for the order.  Then when you give the call to action at the end of the letter, it won’t come as a surprise, but just another reminder.   Better still, if they’re ready to order halfway through your letter, they’ll know what to do.  

Postscripts are magic

Nobody reads postscripts, right?  Wrong. The P.S. is the third most read element of a sales letter—after the headline and any picture captions. The top wordsmiths use several (P.P.S) in their letters.   It’s one of the best places to remind readers of your irresistible offer.  But you have to be brief and compelling, establishing urgency and value, and drawing on your key motivators of gain and loss. 

Drive it home on the order form

The order form is where some of the greatest sales are won or lost.  It’s where that little voice in the back of your customer’s head comes alive once again and says, “You’ll be sorry” or “You sure you want to buy this now?” It’s what I call Preemptive Buyer’s Remorse.” Time to bring in our top gun persuaders--gain and loss--one last time.  Use the same persuasive arguments as before--only be brief, more compelling and urgent.

Do you want the steak knives or the El Dorado?

Okay, you’ve got the prized Glengarry leads. And the formula for writing a winning sales letter. Start by knowing your prospect’s problem, then drive home key benefits using the emotional motivators I’ve described. And don’t forget Alec Baldwin’s other maxim, AIDA--Attention. Interest. Decision. Action.  Get their attention, build their interest, convince them it’s the right decision, and finally, urge them to act.  Good luck.  You’ve got 26 letters in the English alphabet.  How you use them can make all the difference …between getting the steak knives or the Cadillac El Dorado.

Search engine copywriting

Search engine copywriting is a field that continues to develop each and every day.  Copywriting as a field continues to grow but this particular niche is growing at a much faster rate than the overall field.  As the Internet continues to grow, more and more companies are relying up on the Internet for a higher percentage of sales.  This will ensure that search engine copywriting will continue to be in demand.

To give a general background on search engine copywriting, we must first look at why this field is growing so rapidly.  The number of searches that are done on the Internet is in the hundreds of billions annually. The way that most people are able to get to a website these days is through search engines.  It is much harder for your website to be highly ranked without being optimized for search engines.  The number of pages on the Internet has grown to over 4 billion so increasing importance has been placed upon the fact that your webpage is easy to search and is indexed by search engines.  If this is not done, you will find that you will not have the sales results that you would like from the Internet.  You are able to buy traffic to come to your website but you will find that you are missing out on an important piece of the sales pie by not focusing on organic traffic.  This traffic can often be more highly concentrated and better leads for you then can traffic that you buy to send to your website.

To get your website indexed within the search engines, you must have original content that is in high demand.  Search engines index web pages by sending their search bots through these different web pages.  The search bots are looking for many different factors but the key is that your writing on certain topics and at the information is valuable.  The information must be valuable both to the search bots so that they index you as well as when people were searching for your information.  Search engine copywriting companies play an important part in this role because they can help develop your website to be optimized for search engines as well as convert traffic into sales.  While it is important for you to get traffic, the key is also to make sure that this traffic can turn into dollars in your pocket.

Search engine copywriting is a growing field which demands that you must have knowledge of how the Internet works as well as great copywriting skills.  If you are able to provide both of these skills, you will be able to write your own paycheck.  If you want to learn more about search engine copywriting, search on the Internet under the terms "SEO tutorials." This can give you a great deal more information as far as what search engines look for and how different search engine copywriting firms operate.  There is a great deal of competition in this field today so if you're interested, there is a great demand for your services.
SEO Copywriting Service

There are a great many companies that offer SEO copywriting service.  This is a very competitive field but it is a growing field due to the demand and need for good web content.  This article will focus on how you can sell SEO copywriting service.

The first key when talking about SEO copywriting service is to make sure that you have a good understanding of copywriting and experience within the field.  Copywriting is a subject that takes a great deal of time to learn so you want to make sure that you have some experience and education before you start to go the route of SEO copywriting service.

SEO copywriting is a little different and more difficult than many other forms of copywriting due to the demands placed upon the writer.  Often when you're writing copy you are writing for a particular audience and know what the audience wants.  This is where SEO copywriting can be a little more difficult is because you are writing for a couple of different audiences at the same time.  You must walk the tightrope in being sure that the web content that you develop fits with what the search engines search bots are looking for when indexing sites but your web content must also entice your target audience to buy your products or services.

To become good at SEO copywriting service, you will want to focus on learning what the important keys to building a good website are.  The first key is being sure that you have very good web content that the search bots are looking for and that your audience desires.  The second key one is to make sure that you develop good back links.  Back links are developed when other web sites link back to your web site. This helps the search bots find your website and index it potentially higher in the search engine rankings.  There are many other factors that go into having a high page rank and being noticed by search engines but these are the two factors that stand out most in importance.

There are many different companies that offer this service so you will want to develop a particular niche in which you can focus.  By learning the common steps of SEO copywriting, you will have a general basis to focus on many different industries but if you focused on one particular niche, this could allow you to have specialized knowledge in a competitive advantage over many other competing firms.

Hopefully this article on SEO copywriting service has been beneficial to you.  This field can be difficult to learn about because you have to make sure that you know about copywriting but also how to put it in a format that fits for the Internet and allows your copy to excel.  There's a great deal more competition potentially on the Internet due to the fact that there are over 4 billion web pages out there.  It can take a great deal of work to get a website indexed and noticed and this is where good SEO copywriting service comes into play.
SEO Copywriting Services

Within this article today, we will look at SEO copywriting services from a couple of different perspectives.  Within the first half of this article, we'll help you look at good SEO copywriting services and we will use the second half of this article to show you how to develop good SEO copywriting services.

If you are looking for an SEO copywriting services company, there are many to choose from on the Internet today.  When you are looking for an expert within this field, do not take the first company that you come across.  You want to ask certain questions to make sure that his company knows what it is doing and that it has been successful at developing high ranking websites in the past. You want to ask the company how long it has been around and what particular niches it has focused on.  You want to make sure that this SEO copywriting service company can understand your niche so that it can write effectively for both the search bots as well as the people searching for your product or service.  You want to ask for testimonials from a couple of previous clients of the SEO copywriting services company.  Take your time to search the Internet for a couple of different companies that you would like to work with and then compare prices and services of the companies you like.  By doing a comparison as well as checking up on the company for its reputation and pass service, you will be putting yourself in a good position to work with a company that knows what it is doing.

That part of the article focused on how to look for a SEO copywriting services company.  Within the remainder of this article, we will look at ways that you can work to create your own SEO copywriting services company.  This is a very crowded field with many players today so you must make sure that you do something to set yourself apart.  You could be the best SEO copywriter out there but if you do nothing to set yourself apart no one will know the difference.  It may help to focus upon a particular niche where you know that you can write very effectively and with a strong background.  This can be a competitive advantage that you use to market your firm so that companies feel comfortable coming to you.  If you have done little SEO work in the past and are interested in this field due to a passion for the Internet and experience in copywriting, take the time to build a couple websites for yourself.  You can use these as training modules so that when you land a client, you will have some experience from which you can draw on.

Whether you are looking for an SEO copywriting services company or looking to start your own, they key is to make sure that you know how to separate the good from the bad.  Hopefully this article on SEO copywriting services has helped give you some ideas based upon which perspective you are looking into his article at.  The key is to go out and do your research so that you can benefit from the SEO industry as a whole. 
SEO Copywriting

Within this article today on SEO copy writing, we will look at the specifics of a search engine optimization world and how copywriting pertains to that.

A brief introduction toward search engine optimization is that its goal is to position your website well within the search engine page ranks so that you can gain a great deal of natural traffic to your website.  One important part of the high page rank work is developing good web content.  The importance of copywriting within this field is that you must be creative in developing web content so that it can meet the demands of both the consumer looking for information on the Internet as well as the demands placed on your website by search engine bots.

There is a great deal of writing on the Internet today which is very boring and does not interest people.  The key behind SEO copywriting is that you are looking to impress both the search bots as well as the people who are surfing the Internet and stumble upon your page.  You do not get a great deal of time to impress your site upon these people so what you have to say and how you say it is going to be the difference between a sale and another lost lead. 

If you are interested in SEO copywriting, look into some of the following sources for more information. Here is the website of one particular company where you can learn more about SEO copywriting in a tutorial forum: http://www.seo-gold.com/seo-tutorial/.  To find many more resources, search the Internet using the following term: "SEO tutorials." You will have great success in learning more about this particular field.

Good SEO copywriting focuses on many different factors such as the good web content as well as keyword optimization.  Keyword optimization is making sure that your website has full use of a particular set of keywords so that when people search the Internet for these phrases, your site will be on the first page of results.  This is how you generate good organic search engine traffic.  This deal does go beyond just keyword optimization when looking into making a website work.  Take your time to learn more from the resources that were listed above.  This can give you a good idea of what you will need to become an SEO copywriter or give you some criteria on when to hire one. 

Just as some general information, a good SEO copywriter should help you develop a high page rank within the different search engines as well as help build the sales at your website.  It is important to get traffic to your website but is also important that you have a good lead conversion ratio.  What this means is that you want more people to visit your sites and that gradually more of these visitors convert to quality sales for you.  By providing good content that sells, you are setting yourself up as a person who excels at SEO copywriting. Hopefully this article on SEO copywriting has benefited you. This can be a very lucrative field if you learn to market on the Internet.
Title: 
SEO Copywriting Makeover: Finding the Right Trigger

Word Count:
883

Summary:
Watch as professional SEO copywriter Karon Thackston takes a site with no emotional appeal and no search engine rankings and turns it into a great success!


Keywords:
copywriting, seo copywriting, search engine copywriting, website copywriting


Article Body:
by Karon Thackston © 2005
http://www.copywritingcourse.com 

You've got a great product or service.  Now, how do you make buyers sit up and take notice?  How do you get them excited about what you're offering?  You have to pull the trigger.

There is at least one trigger for every product or service on the market today.  Finding it is the hard part.  Once you determine what will set your customers in motion, you've won half the battle.  This was the case with ForecastWatch.com.  

With a new site, the owner of ForecastWatch.com (Jeff) was unsure of what to do with the copy in order to connect with his site visitors and cause them to take the action he wanted them to take. Not to mention, Jeff wanted to rank highly with the engines as well, so search engine optimization (SEO) had to be taken into consideration, along with the selling aspects of the copy.

The Problem

The only real problem was finding the right trigger.  The original site had little to no usable copy.  That's not an insult; it's the truth.  You can see the original home page here: http://www.copywritingcourse.com/forecastwatch-original.pdf.  Jeff knew he needed help from a professional copywriter, so he spent little time on the site content.

The Solution

To determine the most powerful trigger, I took a look at all the segments of ForecastWatch.com's audience.  It was broken down into three distinct types of customers.  They were all interested in the most reliable weather forecasts possible, but for three very different reasons.

One group was made up of meteorologists.  Their obvious interest was in being able to provide the most accurate forecasts to their viewers and listeners.  A second group was compiled of weather risk managers.  It is the job of these professionals to accurately assess weather for industries such as the stock exchange, construction, transportation, national defense and more.  The last group needed weather forecast accuracy for personal reasons, usually as a hobby or for sports reasons (coaches, etc.).

While the last group was primarily interested in the weather as amateurs, the first two segments (meteorologists and weather-risk managers) have a lot on the line when it comes to weather forecast accuracy.  Their reputations and their jobs are on the line.

And that's the trigger!  I put it right up front in the headline, which read: 

ForecastWatch.com
Because Your Reputation Depends on 
Being Right About the Weather

The headline hit the nail on the head.  It got the attention of weather professionals, was of great interest to hobbyists and included part of one of Jeff's keyphrases.  The last word in the headline (weather) tied into the first sentence of the copy and, thus, created a keyphrase.

Keep in mind that engines don't read spaces or line breaks or punctuation within the copy, so having one word of a keyphrase in the headline and the remainder of the keyphrase in the first sentence of the copy is an excellent way to make the copy flow and keep in line with SEO protocol. 

Now, the task would be to keep that same emotional twist and energy throughout the copy.  With the old copy, Jeff had no rankings with the engines for his chosen keyphrases, so the optimization of the copy needed to give him a presence.

The Rewrite

In the opening paragraph, I touted the praises of weather professionals, letting them know their expertise was recognized and appreciated.  I also used one keyphrase twice and the second keyphrase once.  In addition, I used the individual word "weather" and substituted "specialist" for "risk manager" in some instances to add to the flow and give a well-rounded environment for the spiders and bots.

Next, I provided a good overview of what ForecastWatch.com offered.  Again, a keyphrase was used in the headline (because it worked for both the visitors and the engines, not strictly for SEO purposes), and a keyphrase was used in the paragraph.

Finally, the copy was broken out into segments that targeted specific individuals.  This gave them precise information on what benefits ForecastWatch.com offered them.  Boxes for meteorologists, weather risk managers and weather enthusiasts were created. Within the copy for each block and again in the anchor text for links to internal pages, keyphrases were used where appropriate.  These boxes lead each visitor to information that was most relevant to him/her.

You can see the new copy here: http://www.copywritingcourse.com/forecastwatch-rewrite.pdf. 

The Results

I always like to let the customer take over in this section.  Here's what Jeff had to say about the rewrite of his home-page copy.

"Traffic has steadily increased, and I've gotten a lot of leads and my largest non-weather-company business customer from Internet search.  The rewrite helped me with more than just the website.  It helped me to define my business goals and to articulate them in other marketing materials as well."  In addition, rankings continue to rise with current positioning in the top five for one of his keyphrases.

Take the time to do a little research.  Put yourself in your customers’ place.  Uncover what's most important to them, and you'll be rewarded with greater conversions in the long run.

Title: 
Should You Write a Long-Copy Ad or Keep it Short?

Word Count:
735

Summary:
Should you write a long or short ad? The truth is, the reason people read ads has nothing to do with copy length.


Keywords:
copywriting, copywriters, writing, advertising copy, ads, brochures, mailers, web content


Article Body:
Okay, you’re ready to write the ad of a lifetime.  The one that will pull like crazy and leave them begging for your product like Somalians for food.  So, do you whet their appetite with a short and sweet ad?  Or write a long-copy ad that’s stuffed with information?  

The 80-20 rule says 80% of the people only read the headline (and maybe a caption, if you have one).  But the fact is, readers will read a long-copy ad.  One McGraw-Hill study looked at 3,597 ads in 26 business magazines. What they discovered was that ads with 300 or more words were more effective that shorter ads in creating product awareness, inducing action and reinforcing the decision to buy.  Another ad for Merrill Lynch crammed 6, 450 words into a single New York Times page.  It pulled over 10,000 responses—even without a coupon!  The truth is, the reason people read ads has nothing to do with copy length.


“Nobody reads long ads…” and other urban ad legends

People shun too many of today’s ads—long or short—because several misleading myths have stubbornly remained with us. Things like “negative headlines are a downer since people want to feel good when reading your ad.” Or “show the product or they’ll never know what you’re selling.”  Then there’s the stuffy axiom, “there’s no place for humor in business advertising. “ Or the ubiquitous saw,  “all your ads should look the same, blend in or be swallowed up.” The list goes on and on.  Presented with unabashed hubris by the high priests of advertising.  The basic fact is, ads really fail for three reasons.


Your ads are all about you

You’re telling customers what you want to hear, not what they want to know.  Impressive sounding features are fine to motivate your sales force, but your customer is only interested in one thing: “What’s in it for me?” This offense is particularly egregious in business-to-business advertising, which is infamous for its addiction to phrases like “the XP90 does it all” or “now with Duo-Pentium Processor”—without a hint of what these features do.  Also contaminating many of today’s ads are such chest-pounding headlines as “Taking the lead,” “The promise of tomorrow, today,” or “A tradition of quality.” They sound good but say nothing.  


Your ads are boring

You’ve got to break the boredom barrier—big time.  Many ad gurus say blend in, be one of the pack and survive.  No wonder so many ads look alike, proudly showing big pictures of their products, or worse yet, featuring a giant photo of the company’s CEO—usually with a caption that’s been scrubbed clean of originality or compelling information.  If you want people to stop and read your ad, you have to make the ad more interesting than the editorials in the publication you’re in.  Give them real news, a fresh new way to look at what you’re offering them.  Stand out from the crowd.   Start trends, don’t follow them.  One of the most interesting car ads I ever saw showed the car only sparingly; instead, it featured an animation of a human heart beating furiously to the soundtrack of an accelerating engine.  Breakthrough stuff. 


Your ads don’t make human contact

They’re not reaching readers on an emotional level.  We all want to be liked, appreciated and loved.  We want to feel secure in our lives and our jobs.  So be a mensch.  Create ads that touch the soul. Use an emotional appeal in your visual, headline and copy. Don’t just show a car on the road; show the guy captivating his sweetheart with the car.  If your buyers were on the moon, would they care about your car’s styling?  No.  They’d get an ugly, crawly vehicle that got them from crater to crater.  Selling computers to business? Show the guy getting a raise or promotion for selecting your latest model.  You’re selling the emotional end result, the human need-based bottom line, not a box, or vehicle with four wheels and an engine. 

So if you’re struggling with the notion of whether to write a long- or short-copy ad, you can do both and still get results.  The key is not length or lack of it, but information, interest and involvement in your customer’s needs.  These are the ingredients to creating a successful ad.

Title: 
Simple Steps to a Killer Headline

Word Count:
223

Summary:
Writing a killer headline is the key ingredient in your sales copy.It forces the prospect to read on abe further influenced.Learn the key points to writing a killer headline.


Keywords:
advertising, marketing, online business, promotion, ecommerce, SEO


Article Body:
The headline is undoubtly the most crucial factor of the sales copy. You could have the best sales copy ever written but a poorly written and not thought out headline will almost single handly ruin your business.The following points should insure your headline is quality and will force to read on.

1. Ultra Specific

You need to be as specific as possible. For example. Instead of "how an ebook author make thousands every month",change it too "how an ebook autor makes $2,678.85 every month".Its more specific and alot more believable.

2. Keep it unique and original

You really need to come up with your own original headine.For example im sick of seeing this headline. "Finally,the simple way to get free to your site. Its this word "finally",its been totally overused.

3. Keep the urgency

This really forces the reader to view the sales page further.Give the headline a sense of urgency. For example, giving a special offer for reading on,deadline dates or total amounts available.

This techniques have personally been proven by myself, they work some better than other, the key is to keep tweaking and testing with the above points always in mind.

I use these tips in the headlines I create. I ALWAYS MAKE SURE MY HEADLINES GRAB THE ATTENTION. My website ebookprofitmaker.com currently has a conversion rate of 3.3% and 76% of my vistors read past the headline.

Title: 
So You Want To Be A Copywriter?

Word Count:
1582

Summary:
Wannabe copywriters often check out my site for information relating to my services and fees. And quite right too! I still give my competitor's websites a 'gander' every now and then, in case they're doing something that I should be doing.


Keywords:
copywriting, content writing, marketing, web sales letters


Article Body:
Wannabe copywriters often check out my site for information relating to my services and fees. And quite right too! I still give my competitor's websites a 'gander' every now and then, in case they're doing something that I should be doing.

I receive many emails from students working towards their marketing or other media degrees, asking for a few tips about securing work in the 'Copywriting Industry' I didn't realise we had an industry! If we have, it's surely a cottage industry because most copywriters are freelancers who work on their own and usually from home.

"Well what about advertising and marketing agencies?", They enquire. "Well what about them?", I ask. And so it goes on and on until they realise that a copywriter who works for a structured and institutional organisation, is a totally different animal to that of the freelancer.

Institutional versus Freelance 

So what are the differences between them? There are many. Let's look at the agency writer. He or she is likely a talented person with creative skills and a good command of the English language. They will have learned, from their course work, the psychology of selling, aspects of communication and how to write in a flowing and interesting style.

Each day, at the agency office, they will work on their assignments, which have been delegated to them by their manager. Their work will be scrutinised by their manager or team leader, who, in the interests of their company, will decide whether it's worthy of publication.

After a couple of years, doing similar 'run of the mill' stuff, they may be offered the opportunity of coming up with something completely original. All by themselves, with no guidance, un-tethered by their mentor. And, in the interests of the company, not to mention their job security, they will produce something as institutional as they have been doing previously. They'll play it safe. Well wouldn't you?

Eventually, their creative awareness and talent may break through the institutional membrane and they'll want to move on. They'll want to do something for themselves. They may even become a freelancer.

A freelancer is just about anyone with a passion and a flair for writing. Some have started out on their career path by working for agencies, some have graduated in English and just feel 'qualified' to do the job, whilst others come into the 'industry' from a variety of other routes.

By whichever means, once they become a freelancer, they quickly learn to survive. To survive and prosper as a freelancer you must have the ability to adapt, diversify and develop the skill of writing in any and every style humanly possible. But there's more! You will have to meet deadlines, sometimes work for less than the lower national wage limit and learn to turn your brain inside out. Sounds painful!

What does it all amount to? What's the bottom line? 

Let's summarise thus far.

A copywriter working for an agency will work in a nice warm office with nice friendly colleagues, writing simple institutional letters, brochures, ads and information packs. They'll be paid somewhere between 18K to 26K, get 4 to 5 weeks annual paid holiday and get to slag off the boss at the office Christmas party.

Sounds pretty good to me. If you want to be a copywriter, I recommend you go down this path. It offers a good salary and a steady secure position.
The freelancer's life is not so clear cut. They mostly work on their own, write all kinds of stuff about everything and wonder where their next packet of fags is going come from. They only take short breaks, get stressed and slag everyone off at any party. 

They're self-employed, so have to keep accounts. They have to buy all their own stationery, stuff their own letters and post off their mailings. They have to advertise or even worse, they have to compete to sell their services for a pittance to unknown clients through some online freelance website. The pits!
Sounds terrible doesn't it? Then why do we do it?

The uncovered truth about freelancing 

Well, obviously I can't speak for everyone so I'll tell you why I do it and how I do it. "Listen up"

The main reason I write for a living is because I love it. I've always been a creative person so writing comes as second nature. And let's face it, it's not very difficult to do. 

I love the challenge that each assignment brings. I have ghost-written several books for clients and each has been on a completely different subject. The downside of ghost-writing is having to sign away all rights to the work, which means you can't showcase it or put it in your portfolio. The client gets all the credit for your masterpiece.

I've written many articles for websites, emails and sales letters. I write poetry, humor and boring stuff like FAQ's and product information. But I'm never bored because the work can be so varied.

Then there's the money of course. A good freelancer should be able to make around 50K a year. Some make less but some can make over 100K a year. There really is no limit. Make a name for yourself and not only will you be earning a good living, you could possibly find yourself in the enviable position of being able to pick and choose the work you do.

Still want to be a copywriter?

Good! Now let's dispel a few myths by answering a few questions that I get asked all the time.

The 6 Most Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do you need a formal education and a degree?

No way! Although most agencies will only employ graduates, there's no reason why a freelancer needs anything other than a good command of the English language, creativity and a flare for writing. There are many copywriting courses available, if you're a little unsure or want to hone your skills, but make sure the course work is set by an experienced and reputable copywriter.  

2. Can previous work experience help?

Yes! Sales and marketing experience is very useful if you intend to make a living as a sales copywriter. At the very least, you should understand the sales process and the customer service aspect. 

3. I don't have a portfolio. How can I get work?

Create one! Write some articles, write a small book, write some sales letters, brochures and emails. Show what you can do. Write for free. Write for charities, magazines or newspaper letter pages. Use your imagination and write about anything.

4. Where are the best places to get work?

You could try contacting marketing agencies by way of a letter of introduction, but don't hold your breath. Magazines are always looking for fillers, so this would be a good place to start. Local small businesses might be interested in having some leaflets written for door to door delivery. Contact them by letter, listing your services and your rates.

When you have gained a little experience, go online and subscribe to some of the freelance websites. Elance, Freelance Work Exchange and Getafreelancer are quite good, but be prepared to compete with other bidders from all over the world. Some Indian freelancers will work for as little #3 an hour, so you're up against it. Still, I think it's worth the experience. I get some of my assignments this way.

Build a website or have someone do it for you. I'm of the opinion that all businesses should have a website if they want to stay in business. 
Create a mail shot and work your way through your local Yellow Pages. Sell yourself. It's what you will have to do anyway, so get used to it.
5. What should I charge for my services?

This is just a guide. You'll instinctively know when you've become established.
A one page letter consists of around 500 words and should take no more than 2 hours to write, revise and finalise. If you want #10 an hour, that'll be #20 for the job. Don't bother quoting a price per word as you'll find yourself writing a load of drivel in order to fill the pages.

Again, once you're established you can charge what you think your work is worth. It's not uncommon to charge #400 for a 6 page sales letter, if you're good.

6. What do you think is the most essential skill of a successful copywriter?

If you can't do this, you won't be very successful.

"Write as you talk"

That's it! You must be able to communicate with your reader right off the page. Your words must be conversational. You must be able to 'speak' to your reader and stir their interest, their emotions, their desires.

If you're trying to sell them something, you must be convincing. Your letter has to be compelling and attention-grabbing. Finally, your letter has to make them take some action. This could be filling in a form, making a phone call or writing a cheque. It's a call to action.

Still think you have what it takes? 

Then go forth and return with the bountiful harvest of your creative genius! 
If you want to know more, and there is a lot more, subscribe to my newsletter.
Good luck and warm regards,

Bill Knight

Title: 
The 2 Most Common Mistakes When Writing With Keywords

Word Count:
757

Summary:
There are two mistakes almost every amateur search engine copywriter makes.  Let's take a look at each one.


Keywords:
search engine copywriting, seo copywriting, keyword copywriting


Article Body:
© 2006, All Rights Reserved

It really gets my blood pressure up.  SEO copywriting has begun to get a poor reputation all due to carelessness.  How so?  Because too many people claim to know what they are doing.  In reality, they simply shove keywords into copy without any concern for how the copy flows.  Copy that sounds mechanical or stiff is a sure sign that an amateur writer has had his/her hands in things.  

When you write SEO copy, you should take the time to find out what works and what doesn't.  There are two mistakes almost every amateur search engine copywriter makes.  Let's take a look at each one.

#1 - The List

Let's say you visit the home page of a website that sells beauty supplies.  As you read the copy, you keep coming across a string of items: hair salon supplies, hair salon equipment and professional manicure tables.  The copy reads something like this:

------------------------------------------------------------

The Best Selection of Hair Salon Supplies, Hair Salon Equipment and 
Professional Manicure Tables On the Internet

When you're shopping for hair salon supplies, hair salon equipment and professional manicure tables, you need a vendor who offers great selection as well as great service.  Because buying hair salon supplies, hair salon equipment and professional manicure tables can be an expensive venture, you also want a company that delivers the lowest price.  

Trust ABC Beauty Supply to bring you the widest selection of hair salon supplies, hair salon equipment and professional manicure tables in stock every day.  Orders are shipped within 24 hours and - for all hair salon supplies, hair salon equipment and professional manicure tables orders over $100 - shipping is absolutely free!

------------------------------------------------------------

Do you see how that flows (or doesn't flow) when you use all your keyphrases in a row every single time?  One time, sure.  That's fine.  Even twice, depending on the length of your copy.  But to put all your keyphrases in a list and use them every time you have the smallest opportunity is just far too repetitive.  What do you do instead?

Discuss each one in its own section.  Talk about the various types of hair salon supplies.  Review the reasons your hair salon equipment is better than that sold by others.  Or even list the features and benefits of the line of manicure tables you offer.

#2 - Substituting Keywords for Generic Terms

This technique (just like the one above) is perfectly fine IF you use it in moderation.  However, to replace every instance of a generic term with a keyphrase will cause your copy to sound downright silly.  Let's have a look at an example from a Web design site.

------------------------------------------------------------

New Orleans Web Design

Our New Orleans Web design firm offers a high level of creativity to businesses located in the general area. Our New Orleans Web design styles are never made from templates.  Each New Orleans Web design is a custom creation just for your site.

------------------------------------------------------------

If you walked into a Web design company's office and the employees began to talk like that copy is written, you'd most likely think they were on drugs!  So why in the world would you write your site copy that way?  The reason is because most amateurs mistakenly think they can't write for both the search engines and the site visitors.  I'm delighted to say they are wrong!  You can most certainly write for both with great success.

Try this:

----------------------------------------------------------

Progressive, creative, upbeat.  Those are phrases that best describe many online businesses based in New Orleans. Web design for your organization should match your style. Never created from templates, the site designs you’ll receive will be truly reflective of your corporate personality.  Because we work exclusively with companies located in or near New Orleans, Web designs retain that Big Easy feel.

----------------------------------------------------------

Did you see it?  The phrase was broken up using punctuation.  That won't hurt your rankings one bit, but it will make your copy sound a LOT better.

These are not all the mistakes.  I wish they were!  But most of the mistakes made by amateur writers can be fixed using one simple test.  Read it out loud.  If the copy sounds ridiculous to you when you read it out loud, it is going to sound equally ridiculous to a site visitor.

Take your time.  Learn the ins and outs of SEO copywriting before you begin to create the text for your (or your clients’) pages.  Then you can rest assured that your copy will convert better while it contributes to your high rankings.

Title: 
The Best Place to Put SEO Copy on Your Web Page

Word Count:
567

Summary:
Does your copy have to be at the top of the page? Do you have to keep all your text together on the page?  Find out if these are fact or fiction.


Keywords:
copywriting, seo copywriting, search engine copywriting


Article Body:
It seems like a funny question to me, but it gets asked a lot.  "Where should the SEO copy go on my Web page?"  That question gets asked so much because there are several pieces of out-of-date information, rumors and myths with regard to text placement, when writing SEO copy.  

For instance, many absolutely swear that the copy has to be as high up on the page as possible for the search engines to find it.  Not true.  The spiders will find the text regardless of where it is on your page.  Others say all your text has to be in one block.  Also not true.  The spiders will find the text regardless of where it is on your page.  

Other statements I've heard regarding text placement include:

· Your headline must appear at the very top of the page.

· Copy placed inside tables throws the search engines off.

· Copy must be positioned above the fold to be found by the spiders.

None of these are true.  The spiders will find the text regardless of where it is on your page.  (Or did I already say that… twice?)  This is true in 99.9% of the cases, with only some very rare exceptions. 

So where is the best place to put SEO copy on your Web page?  Wherever it makes sense to the site visitor!  

Spiders will find your text regardless of where it falls on the page.  Want proof?  Here's a test.  Go to Google and type in any working URL.  When the result comes up for that site, click on: "Show Google's Cache of…"  In the box that appears at the top of the next page, click on this option: "This cached page may reference images which are no longer available. Click here for the cached text only."  What do you see?

You see exactly what the search engine sees.  If the text appears in this text-only cache, that means Google's spider can read it and index it.

Put Copy Where It Is Most Beneficial to Your Visitors

Since the engines will find your text regardless of where it falls on the page, your focus should be placed on the site visitor.  This is where your focus should always be.  The people who have the money come first; the search engines come second.  :)

If it makes sense for your visitors to see your headline as the first thing on the page, then put it first.  If a graphic design element makes more sense, then put that first.  If you use photos or other images, include captions so your visitors understand what these photos mean and how they relate to the sales message.

If you have an ecommerce site, create pages for each category of products you offer in order to help guide the visitors' steps.  Then add short copy segments that quickly describe what is offered for each specific product.  Even though the copy is scattered all about the page, the engines WILL find it.

When it comes to copy placement on your Web pages, don't agonize over what the engines want you to do.  Give 100% of your consideration to what would be most useful for your visitors and place your copy in those areas.  The spiders will find it with no trouble at all.

Title: 
The Bible - The Source Of All Copywriting Secrets

Word Count:
874

Summary:
I've been a student of the Bible for practically all my life. There is a lot of reason why this book remains the number one best-seller year after year. I think that it is the source of ALL wisdom, yes, including successful copywriting!

What do I mean by this? 

Simply put, every copywriting strategy can be found FIRST in the Bible. This may appear to be a strong statement but I challenge the reader to prove otherwise. As I did the research for my latest ebook "77 Ways t...


Keywords:
copywriting, sales letters, internet marketing


Article Body:
I've been a student of the Bible for practically all my life. There is a lot of reason why this book remains the number one best-seller year after year. I think that it is the source of ALL wisdom, yes, including successful copywriting!

What do I mean by this? 

Simply put, every copywriting strategy can be found FIRST in the Bible. This may appear to be a strong statement but I challenge the reader to prove otherwise. As I did the research for my latest ebook "77 Ways to Skyrocket Your Website's Conversion", I kept saying to myself "but that's in the Bible … that's in the Bible."

I would like to take a look at FIVE copywriting principles and show you that they are as old as the Scriptures. This article is not meant to 'convert' you so read with an open mind ... ready? Let's go!

1. Stress benefits not features.

It's the Garden of Eden. The serpent approaches the woman Eve to get her to take of the forbidden fruit. Does he rave about the color, taste and texture of the fruit? No, he sells Eve on benefits. "Your eyes will be opened, you will be like God ..." (Genesis 3:4). Now that's a benefit, not a feature at all. And did Eve fall for it? She surely did.

That may seem like a 'negative' example - a plain deception. But look at what the book of Revelation promises the "overcomer". Eternal life, health, recognition, wealth and mansions without mortgages.

2. Use lots of testimonials.

If you have just a cursory knowledge of the Bible you know that the gospels of Matthew, Mark Luke and John make up the first four books of the New Testament. They all cover the same ground and share many common stories. So why would we need four different people saying practically the same thing?

You see they all wanted to tell THEIR story about the Rabbi Jesus Christ. So the writers (all satisfied customers) relate the life-changing encounter they each had - the more testimonies the better.

The entire Bible relates stories of peoples encounter with the supernatural and how it affected their lives. In fact, Jesus related to the disciples after His miraculous resurrection that all the Old Testament was really about Him.

3. "Create a damaging admission and address flaws openly"

That's the title to chapter 3 of the master copywriter Dan Kennedy's book "The Ultimate Sales Letter". He goes on to explain that if you openly admit the drawbacks of your offer then your credibility goes up instantly with the customer. For example, your price may be higher than your competitors so you may say: "If you are looking to save a few bucks then you can find many other companies who will be willing to give you some 'quick fixes'. But we provide a very thorough and expert service, hence the higher price"

You are admitting that you are expensive but showing why - the customer gets a superior service.

In the gospels we see many potential disciples who wanted to follow Jesus and he told them openly that it was a sacrificial walk. He told them in no uncertain terms that it involved a "cross", leaving father and mother behind, even possible death - but you will gain eternal life in the process. Talk about a "damaging admission.

4. Place a limit on your offer to motivate procrastinators.

This is a very important element of the "call to action" section of any sales letter. Humans are naturally procrastinators. We always put off what should be done now for a 'later' that never arrives. That is why the copywriter must show that supplies are limited or the special offer is for a 'limited time only'.

In many 'call to action' sections of the Bible we see the same warning to procrastinators. "Today if you hear my voice do not harden your heart .." (Hebrews 3:7). In the story of the great flood procrastinators were found outside the ark. Jesus told the story of the covetous farmer who built bigger barns to store his grains not knowing that death would come knocking on his door that very night.

Jesus never sent one of his listeners to go away and think about it. Today ... now, was the only time that anyone had. His message was "ACT NOW!"

5. Research your potential customers to know their problems and needs.

Dan Kennedy refers to this as "getting into the customer". Getting into the head and experiences of the customer -walk in his moccasins.

The whole Christmas story is about Jesus getting into the skin - literally - of the customer. The writer of Hebrews says that Jesus is touched by our feelings and infirmities. He became like one of us so that He may understand "the customer" better. That is why he could speak to the needs of the human heart with such authority because he knows what is in man.

I've just briefly looked at 5 copywriting principles but this applies across the board. Whether you accept the Bible as just another book or as inspired writings, there is no denying that the principles are there.

I would love to hear from the reader if he or she would like to challenge me on finding a useful copywriting principle that's not in the Bible.

Title: 
The Hidden Secrets of a Perfect Sales Copy.

Word Count:
861

Summary:
Learn the facts about how your sales copy should be. What main points you have to just not remember but strictly follow to generate sales.


Keywords:
web copy, Home based business, internet marketing, free, online business, affiliate programs, work at home, free website, bonus, money, business opportunity.


Article Body:
We are living in an e-age where everybody wants to sale their product or
services through Internet. In the physical world your interacting behavior and
friendly relationship can create a better avenue for selling your products. Your
face to face interaction can completely convince an individual to buy your 
product.

But in the internet world everything is different. You just get 10 seconds to grab a visitor's attention who may turn into your customers. Your only way of 
interaction with your customers is your sales copy. So it must be a copy which really generates sales. It's not an easy task to make your visitor pull out their credit cards out of their pocket.

Are you also thinking of selling your products or services on net? Well it’s a great decision. Now what points you should consider when creating a sales copy for your product or services. Here it is:

1. Head line:
Head line is most important part of your web copy. In fact a great headline is 
90% success of your sales page. When somebody comes to your site, usually 
you have only 10 seconds to grab his attention. Most people will make a decision about reading your sales page in less than 10 seconds. If your headline is compelling enough to grab your visitor’s attention they will stay otherwise they will go to other website.
>> Tell about the biggest benefit of your product in headline.
>> Create some serious problem and tell your visitors that you can solve their problem.
>> Show specific results of using your product in your headline. Like if you are selling a book about dog training, tell them that in next 15 days your dog  will follow all your instructions.
>> Use attention grabbing words in your headline like Free, Save, Guaranteed.
Many big copywriters say that headlines can increase response rate by up to 
1500%. 

2. Sub Headline: 
A sub head line gives you one more opportunity to grab your visitor’s attention and pursue them to read your sales page. Highlights your product’s benefits again and create a feeling of urgency in your sub headline so it encourages your visitor to read your sales page.

3. Bulleted Points:
In today's world everybody is very busy and always in hurry. Usually your visitors first quickly skim your webpage to know what’s in it for them. Bulleted points always grab attention because it’s easy to read. So always tell your product’s benefits through bulleted points. Remember bulleted points just act like bullet and triggers a human mind.
A bit of suggestion: always convert your products features into its benefits.

4. Credibility:
It's also a key point of a successful web copy. Your customer must feel that it's not just a sales copy. A real person is sitting behind it. You should put your photo, your full contact details (not just email, full physical address and phone number) in your sales copy.
Testimonials are one of the best ways to build credibility but it should be real not  fake. Many people think that they can fool their visitors by placing fake 
testimonials but I want to make you clear that whatever you think about your 
visitors, your sales page reflect that.
A strong Guarantee is also essential to build your credibility. You may also place an audio or video message to give them a sense of belonging and a kindly feeling.

5. Bonuses:
It's a human psychology to aspire to get one or more thing free with the 
product. Offer them some bonuses related to the product you are offering. If you are selling dog training book, you may offer a dog food recipes ebook or a dog health checkup guide. 
Try to feel them that the bonuses you are offering are worth more than the price they are paying. It’s a good idea to offer digital products as bonus because you have to invest only once to create them and delivery cost is also zero.

6. Sense of Urgency:
You must create a sense of urgency in your sales page. Make them realize that once they lose this offer they will never get it again. Give them an extra price discount, more bonuses, or any lucrative offers which make them buy. You can also offer personal email consultation if they buy within a time frame.

7. Ask for order:
Many people make a great mistake in their sales letter. They write a wonderful sales letter but never ask for order. In the sales letter make it a key point that you are here to sell your product. So ask your visitors to place an order in clear words. It is a must to call them again and again to buy your products on a single sales page.

8. P.S. Lines:
Life goes busy and no one have a spare time to even read your sales copy. 
Sometimes they just see your headline and your P.S. Lines. Top copywriters 
believe that 9% success of a sales letter depends on P.S. lines. Make it strong and compelling. Pinpoint your product's benefits, bonuses and any special offer you are offering.

These are some points for a perfect sales copy. If you follow these simple points, your dream of having a long queue of customers eager to buy your products will get true.

Title: 
The indispensable qualities of professional copywriter

Word Count:
405

Summary:
Provides an insight into the process of choosing professional copywriter and the qualities that the copywriter must possess.


Keywords:
copywriter, writing article, create press release


Article Body:
Whatever industry you operate in and whatever web site you have, it indispensable that the content on your web site is written easy-to read, appealing and attractive style. Your potential customers will visit your web site and judge both you and your company by the information presented on your web site. It might be enough to have appealing content in offline advertisement, but it is not enough just to have attracting content to be successful in online environment. However, how can one make sure that your web site will stand out from the numerous other identical ones on the internet and it will attract the attention not only of your visitors but the search engines as well? In order to get high rankings the text of your web site should be well optimized as well. Undoubtedly, this is where the skills of experienced and skilled copywriter count.

It is widely known that the copywriter should be creative, ingenious and must possess excellent writing skills. But apart from these well-known facts, what qualities and experience should professional copywriter possess? First he should know how to perform keywords search and keywords analysis. In my experience there are some specialists in the company, who can perform this task for copywriter; however it is imperative to find out whether the copywriter can perform this task before hiring him.  Second, he should have good knowledge of modern marketing tools. He must understand current online advertisement strategy and the techniques that allow receiving high rankings on your web site.  He also should know how develop highly efficient marketing program that will advertise the site and gain promotion of it online. For instance such techniques as press release and article writing that help to promote you as real professional should be known to your copywriter.

Third, the text written by him should induce customers to take some actions. One should remember that it is crucial to have action –driven text on your web site to get high results. Fourth, the copywriter should be custom-oriented and understand how the potential customers write, talk and act in order to write as much convincing as possible. Killer-Content.com is one of the leading copywriting companies, that provides its customers with appealing, attracting and ingenious copywriting SEO and web content. It also provides its customers with efficient press release services. The writers of Killer-Content.com create press release that helps to get exposure of your company.

Title: 
The most sacred secrets of copywriting services

Word Count:
447

Summary:
Provides an insight into the process of the designing and writing of effective, compelling and attractive copywriting and explains several useful tips on how to write efficient web site copywriting.


Keywords:
copywriting services


Article Body:
Successful copywriting is one of the most important elements of your advertising.  It attracts attention of your potential customers and makes your message memorable and it might induce your clients to take some actions. Many research in psychology show that words may affect our vision, they may either change our depressed mood or uplift our spirit.  Words can convince other people to hold a particular point of view or adopt certain way of live or belief.  Words, in short, are ones of the most powerful tools in the communication process. You and your customer are communicators. The task of every copywriting text is to grab the attention of the visitors on your web site and encourage him to explore your site further. The ultimate aim of your web site content is to induce your customer to purchase your products and services.

How to get these results? The answer is by writing the copywriting copy. Either by yourself or by some copywriting services. Each copywriting copy should comprise several indispensable elements: it should posses intriguing headline, well-written, coherent and logically structured text as well as encouraging final paragraphs. Moreover the most effective copywriting copy must communicate directly with your customer, do not try to communicate with the group of people; use the word “you “in your copywriting text. “Our clients will value our products” sounds weaker than “You will want to value our products”. One should not forget that one must start writing and designing the copywriting only after the marketing research has been conducted. Effectiveness of your copywriting copy depends on how well you have evaluated your market, the advertisements techniques of your major competitors and the demands of your potential customers.

Do not forget that you must target only those persons who are really interested in the products and services that you provide. The persons who are interested in ski resorts visit other web sites that individuals who evince their interest in the manufacturing of the cars. It is easy to follow this rule in real life; however it is not so easy in virtual, online environment. In order to get your site to the right people at te right time one should conduct keyword research before starting the writing of the content of your web site. These are just several useful tips that might help you in the writing of your content. It might sound simple and it might be easy, yet it is advisable to hire some professionals who have knowledge and experience in the writing of the web sites.  Remember that if this task is performed incorrectly, it might harm your business and entail negative consequences for it for many months to come.

Title: 
The NEW Secrets to Copywriting That Sells

Word Count:
963

Summary:
This article will show you what copywriting needs today to get maximum response and profits.


Keywords:
copywriting, writing, direct mail marketing, direct mail, advertising, marketing


Article Body:
Anyone who has worked with me over the past 25 years knows that my mantra has always been “benefits, benefits, benefits.”  Benefit headlines … benefit copy … benefit subheads … benefit captions … anything to hammer home the customer benefits.

Benefits are still a vital key, but today, copywriting needs much more than just benefits.  To sell the most, copywriting needs to connect at a much deeper and more dramatic level than ever before.

There are 6 main reasons why.  I call them The New Secrets to Copywriting That Sells.


1.  The “Yahoogle” effect

Thanks to mega search engines like Yahoo and Google, tons of information on just about any topic, product or service is literally at your fingertips … for free.

Here’s what that means to your marketing:

Internet search engine rankings for your business/product/service are vital.  Most people search on the internet for things they are interested in.

People won’t pay for information they can get online for free.  You can’t succeed selling generic basic plain vanilla information any more.

You can’t get away with outrageous claims.  Everything you say can be checked out in an instant.

Many people comparison shop on the internet before making any purchase.

Solutions:

Use search engine optimization (SEO) to get your website ranked high.

Most businesses will have to use Pay-Per-Click advertising for their best keywords and phrases.

Copywriting must uncover and feature the unique advantages and superiority of whatever is being sold.

Your offering must be extremely differentiated from the competition – or else you’ll end up having to compete on low prices alone.

You must make it clear – very quickly – that you are providing something they can’t find elsewhere online for free.


2.  Advertising Overload Filter

In today’s hectic, media-frenzied world, people are bombarded by hundreds or even thousands of advertising messages every single day.  Therefore, to maintain their sanity, most people have become more immune to advertising.

They can’t possibly devote their full attention to every message they receive, so they’ve learned to “scan” and “filter” the messages they receive in a matter of a split-second or two.

So, to succeed today – marketing must cut through the “advertising filter” and get attention and interest from target prospects.

Solutions:

Don’t send out “advertising.”  Instead – send out valuable helpful information.  Make it something that will obviously benefit your prospect just by reading it.  Weave your sales pitch into this helpful information.

Make your marketing look and sound valuable.

Use specific numbers.

Make a great offer.  You can “buy” a new customer this way and profit from their Lifetime Value (LV).

Consider a free offer to get prospects/customers into your marketing funnel.

Be outrageous, crazy, unique – if appropriate.

Be personal, corny, homey – if appropriate.


3.  Super SKEPTICISM

You may be the most honest person in the world.  Your company may be the most honest in the world.  But all your potential customer knows is there are a lot of dishonest people out there.

Internet scams, ID theft, companies going bankrupt, and credit card fraud are all in the headlines almost daily.  And many people simply disregard claims that sound “too good to be true” today more than ever.

To succeed today, you need to add heavy credibility to your marketing.  This will reduce the risk or fear people may have about doing business with you.

Solutions:

Show the number of years you’ve been in business, membership in trade organizations, awards won, etc.

Offer a free sample or free trial.

Offer a risk-free, money-back guarantee.

Sign your name to the ad or sales letter.

Use a photo of the person writing, product photo, business photo, employees photo.

Use customer testimonials extensively.

Use case studies.

Use lots of specifics.

List your physical address, phone, fax, email and business hours.

Have an “expert” be your spokesperson.

Acknowledge any doubts or “sneaking suspicions” your prospect may already have, and give them valuable, factual information to support your product/service.

Don’t make claims that could sound “too good to be true” – even if they are true.


4.  The Entertain-Game Society

Today, entertainment is everything.  Even hard news websites are full of flash, video, audio, surveys, contests, games, etc.

So, use this new environment in your marketing as an advantage.  Look for ways to entertain and get prospects involved with your marketing promotions.

Solutions:

This can include new uses of traditional “action” devices like stickers, rub-offs and inserts.

Personal stories/testimonials in your promotion are entertaining and engage people on a personal level.

Surveys with results

Self-tests with answers

Trivia

Celebrity spokesperson

Games

Streaming audio and video

Humor – if appropriate


5.  The Right Now Factor

The days of “please allow 6-8 weeks for shipping” are dead and gone … just like any company who still thinks anything close to that kind of policy is ok.

More than anything else, the internet has conditioned consumers to expect everything instantly. Instant ordering … instant payment … instant confirmation … and, in many cases, instant downloading of product.

Solution:  If you are going to grab the attention of today’s consumers, you must let them know you can satisfy their needs IMMEDIATELY.  Play up how fast they will get their product, premium or first issue.


6.  The Bonding Factor

We all want a hero, a guru, someone we can relate to, and someone we feel has our best interests at heart, right?

Today’s consumer is very jaded, skeptical and frustrated with the lack of love and bonding in his life, whether consciously or subconsciously.

Today, you need to be seen as a guide and friend first, and a helpful confidant second.  If you even smell like just a greedy salesperson, you will lose your advantage.

Solution:  Be likeable, friendly, personal, passionate, unique and different.  Be authentic – a person and company that your prospect can genuinely bond with.

Title: 
The One Word Every Prospect Craves

Word Count:
513

Summary:
It’s arguably the most important word in the copywriter's arsenal. It ranks right at the top with words like "free," "new" and "savings." Do you know what it is?


Keywords:
copywriting, copy, you, free, new, savings, marketing, copywriter's, your, you'll, you've, yours


Article Body:
It’s arguably the most important word in the copywriter's arsenal. It ranks right at the top with words like "free," "new" and "savings."

I’m talking about "you."

"You" is the word that gets your prospect’s attention and keeps them involved. As Herschell Gordon Lewis says in The Art of Writing Copy, "Unless the reader regards himself as the target of your message, benefit can’t exist. Benefit demands a ‘We/You’ relationship."

While the "We" in the "We/You" relationship is important, it’s better implied than communicated literally. If your goal is to put prospects first, then it’s best to have the "you’s" far exceed the "we’s."

It’s the "you’s" that matter to prospects. They’re your workhorse for communicating your message and include all derivatives such as "your," "yours," "yourself," "you’re," and "you’ll."

Powerful ‘You’

What makes "you" so powerful? For one thing, it addresses your readers directly. In effect, it says "Hey you," which is much harder to ignore than "Hey somebody."

Say "Hey you" in a crowded room and a lot of heads will turn. Say "Hey somebody" and a few heads might turn.

While your copy won’t actually say "Hey you," it can clearly identify to whom you’re talking. Once you have your audience's attention, use "you" to help keep it.

Personal ‘You’

Why does "you" get and hold attention? For one thing, it’s personal. It’s used in personal conversation every day. What do you think? How was your weekend? You’ll be glad to know …

When people say these things to you, they’re bound to get your attention and involvement. After all, they’re interested in your opinion. They’re interested in the things you do. They have something to tell you that will make you happy.

That’s the goal of you-oriented copy. Address your audience directly, personally and in terms of their interests. Be conversational and "you" will pop up in the copy naturally.

Counting ‘You’

It was mentioned earlier that "you" is a workhorse. A classic example is contained in "The Do-It-Yourself Direct Mail Handbook" by Murray Raphel and Ken Erdman. They highlight a "Newsweek" magazine subscription letter used for nearly two decades.

The subscription letter was written by direct mail expert Ed McLean, who used "you" nearly 30 times on the first page alone. More than 100 million copies of the letter were mailed, a testament to its effectiveness.

Try counting the "you’s" (and "you" derivatives) in your copy. Compare them with the number of "we’s" and first-person derivatives. If the "you’s" don’t outnumber the "we’s," consider reworking your copy.

Excessive ‘You’?

Can you overdo "you"? Yes.

If you load your copy with "you’s" but forget the benefits, your message will have a phony ring.

"You" can’t save you if there’s nothing meaningful to offer your audience. Likewise, it will help put you over the top if there is.

(c) 2005 Neil Sagebiel

Title: 
The Secret Power of Words

Word Count:
621

Summary:
If the best way of communicating with prospects and existing customers was through sign language, we’d all have to learn to sign. Or if the best method of communication proved to be some kind of mutually understandable code, we’d all have to learn that code in order to say anything. Thankfully, our communication process is much more simple…or is it?


Keywords:
copywriting, learn to write, sales copy, ad writing, creative writing, sales copywriting, marketing


Article Body:
If the best way of communicating with prospects and existing customers was through sign language, we’d all have to learn to sign. Or if the best method of communication proved to be some kind of mutually understandable code, we’d all have to learn that code in order to say anything. Thankfully, our communication process is much more simple…or is it?

A sales person has the benefit of meeting his prospect face to face, and will be able gauge his pitch according to visible response signs displayed by his prospect. An experienced salesman will instinctively know from the facial expressions and body language of his prospect, whether he’s hitting the right buttons. This is usually indicated by the prospect’s head nodding up and down combined simultaneously with a beaming smile and wide-eyed appreciation.

A telesales person has much less to go on. They can only judge response to their sales pitch through the prospect’s answers to questions and the actual tone of their voice. Most telesales people find their job easier when they try to imagine the look on their prospect’s faces while they’re talking to them. But, the deciding factor will almost always come down to the tone of voice deployed by both parties.

The Internet and Direct Mail Marketer have no such advantages over their prospects. They can’t see them and they can’t hear them. Their only weapon in their armory of sales pitches is their written word.

How we communicate through our written words holds the absolute key to successful selling online and offline. Whether it’s a sales letter, an email or ad, the written words must convincingly convey the sales message directly into the prospect’s mind. But first, you have to get your prospects to actually read your message, and usually this very first hurdle will claim many, many casualties.

Getting someone to read your sales pitch will almost certainly depend on your headline. Your headline is your introduction. Your ‘hello’, your ‘hey you’ and your ‘listen up’. If your headline doesn’t grab the attention of your prospect within two seconds, it’s goodbye and farewell.

Other important aspects of a ‘killer’ sales message are sub-headings. Sub-headings are generally used to maintain interest throughout the copy. But they’re also included for the benefit of prospects that first scan your message before deciding to read it in full. To some degree, they’re almost as important as the headline itself.

Then there’s the body copy. It’s here that your copywriting talents and skills should really shine through. Here you have the opportunity to use any words in the English language to describe and explain in fine detail, the benefits and features of your product or service on offer. And the English language is positively rich in adjectives, so there can be no excuse.

But the real secret to creating captivating copy is to use ‘sense’ words. That is, words that arouse the senses. Touch, see, smell, taste and listen is what we instinctively do every day. They represent our human survival mechanisms and for the most part, we trust them. Other mammals rely on them totally. 

When you use sense words in conjunction with emotionally fuelled trigger words,   you can elicit all kinds of responses, which can be carefully channeled into the heart of your message for maximum impact. Harnessing words for profit in this way is a skill, and it’s a skill that every online and offline marketer needs to fully comprehend.

Learning to write outstanding and emotionally charged sales copy is not an essential requirement for business success, but recognizing the effectiveness is.

Never underestimate the secret power of words.

Title: 
Top 10 SEO Copywriting

Word Count:
906

Summary:
I love testing and tracking so, it was only natural for me to track the moves of a little SEO copywriting experiment I did.  My findings were quite interesting.


Keywords:
SEO copywriting, search engine copywriting, keyword copywriting, copywriting


Article Body:
What would happen if…?  I'm a person to always ask that question.  I love testing and tracking to see what factors can improve or worsen a situation.  So, it was only natural for me to track the moves of a little experiment I did involving SEO copywriting recently.  I'll gladly share my findings with you.

Before I do, however, I want to make a couple of things very clear.  The outcome of this experiment will not be the same for every keyphrase on every page of every site.  There are too many unknown factors at play in the overall SEO equation.  Not to mention, all keyphrases are not the same, and all sites are not the same.  In addition, this experiment takes no account of link popularity, which is a huge factor in achieving high rankings.  With that said, let me show you how I took the home page of one of my sites - that didn't even rank in the top 50 - and caused it to rank in the top 10.

First of all, I'm not a big fan of checking rankings on a regular basis.  I don't run ranking reports for all my sites to be sure they are all in the positions I want them in for every given keyphrase.  I'll do it from time to time just to satisfy my own occasional curiosity.  This experiment began when I noticed the home page of one of my sites was ranking highly for a keyphrase that didn't seem to appear anywhere in the text.  Upon further investigation, I saw that the keyphrase was included in the ALT tags (a.k.a. image attribute tags) and that it was also included in the title tag. 

I knew ALT tags previously carried a lot of weight with the engines, but had been downgraded in importance because site owners had badly abused the tag.  Had ALT tags been reinstated in their level of importance?  I decided to find out.

Keyword #1 was currently in the ALT tags and the title tag, so I decided to eliminate the keyword in the title tag.  This would let me see if the ALT tags alone could hold the position in the search engine results pages (SERPs).  To make things more interesting, I also decided to research and find a keyword that was a little more competitive and insert it into the title tag.  On the same day I removed Keyword #1 from the title tag, I inserted Keyword #2.  My home page was not ranked in the top 50 at that time for Keyword #2.

A few days later, the Googlebot came by and boosted my home page to position #18 for Keyword #2.  Not bad!  The page fell one spot (from #17 to #18) for Keyword #1 since the removal of the phrase from the title tag.

Keep in mind, these are not the most competitive keywords ever known.  They each got between 100 to 200 searches a day.  Also, the home page of this particular site had been (and still is) well ranked for years for other keyphrases and had a positive legacy with Google.

Five days later, Keyword #2 was moved up three notches to a ranking of #14 while Keyword #1 stayed the same.  Things remained in their status quo for roughly 10 days and then began to shift again.  Keyword #1, the original that was previously in both the ALT tags and the title tag, vanished completely.  It was not found in the top 50.  Keyword #2, that was only found in the title tag and nowhere else, dropped to position #25.  

Four days later, Keyword #2 was back up in the rankings and was now at #16. To see if I could improve rankings further, I began to make small tweaks to the page attributes.  I added Keyword #2 to the ALT tags (taking the places where Keyword #1 had once been), and I also added Keyword #2 to the body copy.   The keyphrase was added to one, bold sub-headline and at three places within the body copy: none of which were above the fold.  It was not added to any primary headlines that used tags, and no keyword density formula was followed for the body copy.  No other pages on my site used this term as anchor text in links pointing to the home page.  That gave the page keyword placement in the:

· Title tag

· ALT tags

· Body copy

Seven days later, the home page hit the top 10 for Keyword #2!

So, what does all this mean?  Simple.  There is no single primary factor in search engine rankings.  It takes balance, testing and tracking to find out what works for your particular pages.  Your best bet is to do exactly what I did… begin one step at a time and track your progress.  Did something cause a positive movement?  Keep it.  If something causes a negative shift, take it out.

I'm not finished with this page yet.  I'll keep trying different things from time to time just to see what happens.  Maybe I'll add anchor text links from the internal pages to the home page.  I might try writing articles with keyword-rich anchor text links to help boost the rankings more.  There are many acceptable practices I can implement for this page (or any page) that will allow me to observe the shifts in ranking.  As the old saying goes, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket."  A diversified approach to SEO copywriting that includes tags, copy and links is always a wise start down the road to top 10 rankings.

Title: 
Unimaginable power of the content- most sacred secretes of effective copywriting revealed

Word Count:
334

Summary:
The article describes efficient techniques for the developing of easy-to read, appealing and attractive copywriting content that should help businesses to increase the sales and improve the ratings of their web sites. The article also focuses on the skills and experience that the copywriter should possess in order to develop modern copywriting content.


Keywords:
copywriting, website copywriter


Article Body:
Few of the web site owners do not understand the importance of well-written and well-optimized content. The demand on experienced and skilled copywriter, whether he specializes in the web site copywriting, offline or internet copywriting, is constantly rising. However, how could one define experienced and highly- skilled copywriter? What skills and experience should he possess to design and compose effective copywriting content?!

Undoubtedly he should know SEO copywriting process, none of the web site content can not be written without it. Copywriter should understand how to get high rankings on your web site, how to perform keywords search process and organize and optimize your web site.  Certainly it might be advisable to see some of the web sites designed by your potential copywriter. One should evaluate them thoroughly in order to understand the ability and aptitude of your copywriter. These are just of the few requirements that should be met by experienced and highly-skilled copywriter. Certainly, the format of this article does not allow enlisting all of them. Each company that hires copywriters sets special standards and requirements for its individual copywriting process. 

Experienced and highly-skilled copywriter is an essential specialist in your advertising copywriting process. Upon his skills, aptitude, creativity and originality depends the efficiency of your advertising campaign. Apart from pure technical knowledge, your web site copywriter should possess several other skills which are  necessary for the writing and composing of appealing and attracting content. The advertising copywriting should meet several important criteria, such as the ability to write in clear and easy-to-read style; moreover the text of your content should induce your visitor to make some actions. Effective advertising copywriting should communicate with your customers, should produce trust and induce them to purchase the products and services at your company. That means that your text must emphasize the advantages and uniqueness of your products and services, and you company in general. In order to achieve these results one should emphasize on the training and the improvement of composition and writing skills.

Title: 
Use the 5 W's to Rock Your Marketplace

Word Count:
502

Summary:
I’ll let you in on a secret: The 5 W's aren't just for reporters writing breaking news stories or publicists cranking out press releases. You can use them to strengthen marketing pieces, even advertising. Let me show you how.


Keywords:
marketplace, marketing, message, 5 W's, W's, marketing, advertising, sales promotion, PR


Article Body:
Meet the five W's: Who, What, When, Where, Why.

Oh, them, you say. Inverted pyramid and all that journalism stuff. The five W’s are old-timers, old news.

Well, yes. But there’s a reason they’ve been around a long time.

Plus, I’ll let you in on a secret: They’re not just for reporters writing breaking news stories or publicists cranking out press releases. You can apply the 5 W's to marketing pieces, even advertising. Let me show you how.

Beyond PR

The five W’s have long been the mainstay of PR professionals who must write newsworthy press releases to get media attention for their clients. By effectively using the five W’s, they’re speaking the language of journalists and the news business.

However, marketing, advertising and sales promotion are undisguised selling. How do the five W’s apply? Let’s run through them. Think about an ad, Web site, brochure, or sales letter.

Who – Who is the audience, customer, or prospect? Who are you?
What – What is the product, service, offer?
When – What is the time element? Why is it important or urgent now?
Where – Where is the market(s) or company (yours and/or theirs)?
Why – Why should they respond or buy? What are the reasons or benefits? Why you instead of your competitor?

I’m not suggesting that the five W’s are a marketing cure-all.

You still need to stick to marketing basics: presenting products and services as solutions to problems; showcasing features and benefits; providing proof with testimonials, opinions and statistics; and having a strong call to action.

Simply use the five W’s to help flesh out all aspects of your message.

Stress-free Interviewing

With a firm grasp of the five W’s, I believe you can adequately steer your way through any interview. The five W’s give you the question-asking framework to approach any person, subject and project.

Ideally, you prepare for an interview, considering the focus of your piece, gathering background information and preparing questions in written form or in your head.

The five W’s are a good starting point, but you’ll find them absolutely indispensable in those instances when you have little or no time to prepare for an interview. The five W’s will help you ask some decent questions and come away with what you need to write the piece.

Don’t Forget ‘How’

Not widely publicized because it doesn’t begin with a "W," "how" is a frequent sidekick of the 5 W's.

How important is "how"? It’s of prime importance in every rags-to-riches story. We all want to know how they did it. It’s critical to new technology, as in how it works. You can probably think of other examples. Lean heavily on "how," for it can be just as important as the five W’s.

Copyright (c) 2006 Neil Sagebiel

Title: 
Useful tips how to make your content sell

Word Count:
430

Summary:
Examines major techniques of the writing of informative and convincing content. Provides information on the influence of marketing on copywriting process.


Keywords:
content, copywriting, web content


Article Body:
Whatever niche of the market you operate in, you should always have direct, convincing and appealing communication with your existing or potential clients. Steadfast and returning customers will undoubtedly judge you by the quality of the products or services that you provide. They might recommend your company to their acquaintances, friends or relatives; yet majority of persons who do not know your company will judge you by the text that you present on your web site, your web content counts. Attracting and convincing content can really perform the miracles. Many of us know that the memorable phrase can influence our decisions, can transform our understating of existing situation and induce us to take some actions. Copywriting does the same; in a nutshell copywriting is a written message, text or content that promotes your business and induces your customers to purchase the products or services that you provide. Professionally written copywriting transforms a casual visitor into a steadfast client.

How does it work? It works by technique that includes memorable content intriguing headlines and easy-to read yet convincing texts, by developing web content. In today’s rapid word it is indispensable to grab the attention of a person immediately once he has visited your site. Remember that the majority of your potential clients skip through rather than read all your text. Nevertheless, not every text will do, what is appropriate for one person, can be wrong for another and visa versa. The content must target your audience- group of individuals who are really interested in your products and services; therefore copywriting and marketing should go hand in hand in order to achieve the best possible results.

It imperative for every copywriter to write the content based on research of the market the company operates in. The typical marketing research for copywriter should contain the following information: Detailed information on the market (the trend on the market, saturation of it and etc); Information on the major competitors of the company (what tactics do they use, how they advertise their products and services); Information on your potential (the preference of your potential customers, what products and services they would like to purchase). Once you have found out this information you can start develop and write copywriting. However, one should remember that this is a complex process and it might be advisable to give some professionals to complete this task especially if this is the first time you get down to it. Once this task has been completed you might try to use this copywriting copy in the writing of your future copywriting messages.

Title: 
Value Added Copywriting

Word Count:
789

Summary:
I know a preacher that can burn any pulpit down within an hour. His sermons cause the greatest stirs and responses in his audience and he really can keep his congregation awake. But there is one tiny problem. Ask many of his listeners what they think about his sermons and they’ll quickly respond with only words of acclamation. Follow that questions with a request for what the sermon was about and you’re met with only blank stares.

They knew that the sermon was “great” but ...


Keywords:



Article Body:
I know a preacher that can burn any pulpit down within an hour. His sermons cause the greatest stirs and responses in his audience and he really can keep his congregation awake. But there is one tiny problem. Ask many of his listeners what they think about his sermons and they’ll quickly respond with only words of acclamation. Follow that questions with a request for what the sermon was about and you’re met with only blank stares.

They knew that the sermon was “great” but cannot recall what they learned. 

This reminds me of the popular selling tenant referred to as ‘selling the sizzle and not the stake’. In other words, build enthusiasm and curiosity about your product without giving away too much. Let them hear it, smell it, imagine it but never taste it until they buy.

I find however that when you’re selling high ticket items, because you are asking for a higher level of commitment from the prospect, you have to give something in order to get something back. So you have to give some ‘steak’ along with the ‘sizzle’. This is what is commonly referred to as ‘value added copywriting’.

I use some of this myself at my website http://www.webcopy-writing.com to sell my copywriting services. Right there in the sales letter itself are some tips and ideas on how to sell to prospects online. So the reader gains some value from reading the letter even before he or she uses my services. 

But this “free information” also serves a few other purposes:

1. It helps to establish goodwill with the potential client. My willingness to share this information shows that I’m not stingy and helps to develop a relationship with the reader. So even if the prospect doesn’t use my service he walks away with something.

2. It helps to establish my credibility. This is an opportunity for me to show that I know what I’m about and have the qualifications to help the reader’s business.

3. It serves as a teaser. It’s obvious that I’m not saying everything that I know and that there is a ‘lot more where that came from’. In other words, if I’m willing to give away this information I must have a lot more ‘secrets’ up my sleeve. 

4. It lowers the sales resistance of the reader because I’m in the giving rather than the taking mode. There is really no argument against someone who is giving you something for free.

5. It provides a natural incentive for the prospect to read your entire sales letter. Any device that encourages readership will also improve sales especially with longer sales copy.

It will be therefore helpful if you can provide your prospects with useful information in your sales literature. This may be in the form of a free report, an email course or case studies. Once this information is useful and not seen as an overt sales piece, then this should lead to an easy conversion of a new customer.

This technique of value added copywriting works very well in service-type industries. There are many services where the professional can ‘reveal’ a lot without fear of losing his value to the customer. This often occurs because even though someone may know how to perform a task, the job may be sufficiently difficult or unpleasant that it may be better left to the professionals.

A quick example comes to my mind. I know how to do simple maintenance work on my vehicle but I’ll prefer to pay to have this done. I’ll happily read all the available literature from my mechanic about how a mechanical repair should be done. The fact that my mechanic made this literature available to me gives me confidence in his performance of a great job.

So, in the same way, a lawyer may want to provide information on how to fill easy legal forms, while a plumber may provide information on performing simple repairs around the home. When a prospect read this helpful information and they need further ‘expert’ attention they would easily think of that lawyer or plumber. 

Because the public today is bombarded with so many advertisers’ messages the usual sales talk is having less impact. With the advent of online advertising where it is easier and cheaper to get your message before thousands of eyes your sales message must have a lot more bite than its bark; a lot more steak where only sizzle use to be.

After listening to your sizzling message, your market congregation will need to recall more than the enthusiasm of your delivery. They must be able to recall enough value to want the whole shebang from you.

Title: 
Watch Out! Copy Mistakes Are Sinking Your Site

Word Count:
291

Summary:
No matter how well you write, or even if you have a professional writer create your web site copy, you're going to have errors. Misspelled words, awkward sentences, phrases that don't make sense, and words that are used incorrectly run rampant through many sites. And it's no wonder. Writing well is hard work. Even a good writer will be too close to the copy and won't see ALL their mistakes, even when re-reading the copy carefully.

Mistakes in your copy can sink your web si...


Keywords:
web promotion,copywriting,editing,website design


Article Body:
No matter how well you write, or even if you have a professional writer create your web site copy, you're going to have errors. Misspelled words, awkward sentences, phrases that don't make sense, and words that are used incorrectly run rampant through many sites. And it's no wonder. Writing well is hard work. Even a good writer will be too close to the copy and won't see ALL their mistakes, even when re-reading the copy carefully.

Mistakes in your copy can sink your web site. The online audience who accounts for most of your customers are a rather literate group of people. Studies show a large percentage have a good knowledge of spelling and punctuation. If they find your copy has several errors in it, prospects will figure you do sloppy work.

The solution is simple. Get a proof reader to carefully check your copy. You can enlist the help of a friend who has a sharp eye for spelling and punctuation. Better yet, get a professional proof reader to read your copy. Proof reading is almost always affordable and the investment will pay off big time in avoided embarrassment and missed sales.

Don't get too comfortable with spell checkers. Many have limited numbers of words they recognize, and will skip past some misspelled words. One of the most common problems is that a spell checker can't help you if you use the WRONG word. 

Don't feel like I'm picking on you. I worked in the TV and movie industries for many years. I can tell you from personal experience that even Hollywood's writers struggle with typos and other errors in their copy. None would dream of turning in a script without first having a capable proof reader go through their drafts and revisions.

Web Copywriting

Within this article on Web copywriting, we will look at copywriting in general and how to succeed in this particular niche of copywriting.  Copywriting is a growing field but some of the greatest growth is coming in the niche of Web copywriting.

There is a great deal of demand for Web copywriting today as more and more people realize the importance of good web content.  This is critical for two reasons and explains why there is such a demand for Web copywriting.  The first reason is that there are more than 4 billion web pages out there according to Google and this number continues to grow in leaps and bounds every day.  With such a large number of web pages, it is very hard for your website to get noticed if you're writing average content that no one wants to read.  The second reason that is important to have good web content is that it will give you a better chance at having your website indexed.  The way that websites are indexed is that search engines have search bots go through and find different web sites.  The search bots analyze the page and look for particular keywords.  To truly know what you should write when developing a website, you need to have some knowledge of Web copywriting.  There are many different factors that go into getting your website indexed and noticed by the search bots so this is where experience in this arena can greatly help.

If you have experience in Web copywriting, you will find that you will have a great deal work available for you.  You can write Web content for websites as well as sales letters and other types of marketing materials for websites.  In addition to the reasons that you must write good web content, this content must also be easy to read for your prospective audience so that the traffic driven to a client's website can be converted into sales.

Web copywriting will continue to grow in leaps and bounds due to the difficult nature of this task.  You must work to get your website noticed by both search engines as well as human audiences.  This is a difficult task because you're writing for two audiences as opposed to one and making sure that you can sell at the same time.

Hopefully this article and Web copywriting has given you some good information if you are thinking about going into this field.  There are a great deal of opportunities and it is a very flexible and high-paying occupation due to the fact that you can work from around the world if you have an Internet connection.  You'll want to take some time to read more about the field so you have a better grasp of how you should write for people.  Any person can write Web content but it takes a strong copywriter to write content that can sell as well as get indexed.  This is a field which will take a great deal of time to learn so be sure to expand your Web horizons as well as you can.
Title: 
Web Copy – How Much is Enough?

Word Count:
964

Summary:
These days, there’s widespread acceptance that a website is an integral part of the marketing plan of any business. Likewise, it’s commonly accepted that web copy is a vital component of any website. But how much web copy is enough?


Keywords:
web copy, copywriting


Article Body:
These days, there’s widespread acceptance that a website is an integral part of the marketing plan of any business. Likewise, it’s commonly accepted that web copy is a vital component of any website. But how much web copy is enough?

The pure volume of information available on the Internet is daunting – often counterproductive. There are approximately 550 billion documents on the web, and every day another 7 million are added. According to an A.T. Kearney, Network Publishing study (April 2001), workers take so long trying to find information that it costs organizations $750 billion annually!

Yet people continue to use it. Information gathering is the most common use of the Internet (American Express survey, 2000). And it seems work-related searches are amongst the most common, with 48% of people using the Internet to find work-related information, as opposed to 7% who use magazines (Lyra Research, 2001).

Interestingly, however, the average person visits no more than 19 websites in the entire month in order to avoid information overload (Nielsen NetRatings in Jan 2001).

So how do you ensure your site is one of those 19? How do you make your content helpful without making it overwhelming? That’s what this article is about…

I’ve written several articles on WHAT to write on your website in order to make it helpful. (See http://www.divinewrite.com/benefits.htm, http://www.divinewrite.com/webbenefitwriting.htm, and http://www.divinewrite.com/webwriting.htm.) But that’s only half the battle… Businesses also need to know HOW MUCH to write. Here are 5 quick rules of thumb to help you decide how much is enough.

1)  Know your audience (Reader or Search Engine?) 

Think about whether you’re targeting human readers (potential customers) or search engines. This must always be one of your very first questions, as the answer will determine your approach to content. 

In general, human readers think less is more. Search engines, on the other hand, think more is more (well, more or less…). In many ways, it comes down to a question of quality versus quantity. Human readers are interested in quality, whereas search engines are interested quantity. Human readers want you to answer their questions and make it clear how you can benefit them. And they don’t want to wade through volumes of text. Search engines want a high word count, full of relevant keywords, and short on diagrams. (See http://www.divinewrite.com/seocopy.htm for more information on writing for search engines. See http://www.divinewrite.com/SEOCEO.htm for an introductory article on search engine optimization.) 

You need to think carefully about your audience. In most cases, it’ll be a trade-off. A high search engine ranking is important (or at least beneficial) to most businesses, so a happy medium is required. The following tips will go some way toward providing this balance.

2)  Make it concise

Say everything you need to say, but always ask, “Can I say it with fewer words?” The literary world may be impressed by complex writing, but visitors aren’t. Keep it simple, and keep it brief. Your home page shouldn’t be more than 1 screen long. In other words, visitors shouldn’t have to scroll. Subsequent pages can be longer, but try to keep them to a maximum of about 300-400 words each (approximately 1 scroll). A lot of people will tell you that you also need 300-400 words or more on your home page for a good search engine ranking. You don’t. If you focus on the right keywords and generate a lot of links to your site, you can achieve a high ranking without losing your readers’ interest by padding

TIP: For most businesses, a good rule of thumb is to make it conversational. Old school writers and would-be writers oppose conversational copy; don’t listen to them. Unless you’re writing for an old-school audience, feel free to write as people talk.

3)  One subject per page

On this, both readers and search engines agree. Don’t try and squeeze too much information onto a single page. For example, instead of trying to detail all of your products on a single Products page, use the page to introduce and summarize your product suite, then link to a separate page per product. This way, your content will be easier to write, your readers won’t be overwhelmed, and you’ll be able to focus on fewer keywords (so the search engines will get a clearer picture of what you do).

4)  Make it scannable

According to a 1998 Sun Microsystems study, reading from a monitor is 25% slower than reading from paper. As a result, 79% of users scan read when online. So make sure you accommodate scanning. Use headings and sub-headings. Highlight important words and sections. Use bulleted lists and numbered lists. Use tables. Use statistics. Use meaningful indenting. Use short sentences. Most importantly, be consistent in your usage. Oh… and follow rules 2 and 3 above.

5)  Use a simple menu structure

Try to keep your high-level menu (Home, About Us, Contacts, Products, Services, etc.) to a maximum of about 10 items (5-8 is ideal). If you have too many options, your site will seem unstructured and your visitors won’t know where to start. In order for a visitor to want to come back to your site, they need to feel comfortable when they’re there. They need to know what to expect. If they can’t identify any logic in your menu structure, they will always feel lost. What’s more, this lack of structure will reflect badly on your business.

The Internet can be an incredibly cost-effective form of promotion because the cost per word to publish is so low. Don’t be fooled into thinking more is more just because it costs less. Audiences – even search engines – don’t want everything; they just want enough. 

Happy writing!

Title: 
Web site copywriter in the 21st century

Word Count:
319

Summary:
The article provides you with an insight into the process of hiring professional and skilled copywriter. The article examines the skills and experience that highly skilled web site copywriter should possess in order to compose attracting and appealing content.


Keywords:
web site copywriter, web site copywriting service


Article Body:
The process of keywords search is well-known.  However large the company can be, whatever industry it operates in there are usually some persons at the company who can perform this task. However, once the keyword search has been performed one should start working these keywords phrases into the text of your web-site. The person who performs this task is a web site copywriter.

Apart from being creative and have an aptitude fro producing appealing, memorable and attracting content the professional web site copywriter should be able to write the text in easy-to-read, convincing and action-driven style. He should also be able to perform thorough web site analysis and understand how the web site maintained by you should be changed or adjusted in order to get higher conversion rates.  But even if he has these qualities it may not be enough. It today’s highly competitive and ever-changing online world it is indispensable for him to understand current marketing trend, what customers want to purchase as well as what expectations they have.  Apart from this he must also analyze marketing and advertising strategy of the main competitors of the company and propose effective adjustments in the content of the web site to countervail them.

If you are hiring experienced web site copywriter it is advisable to look through his portfolio in order to get an insight into his experience. Experienced web site copywriter who has already provided some copywriting service should indicate what type of copywriting he has been working on and what results he has achieved. Moreover he must also understand modern marketing techniques such as writing press releases and writing article. The web site copywriter should always keep himself abreast of the latest changes in marketing in order to produce high-quality content. If the web site copywriter you intend to hire matches the above mentioned criteria, than he will be able to bring high results for your company.

Title: 
Website Copywriter Tips: Homepage Copy – The Transition Zone

Word Count:
935

Summary:
Have you read Paco Underhill’s fascinating book, "Why We Buy," about the psychology of retail store shopping? One of his major tenets about brick and mortar shopping holds the key to effective homepage copy – something he calls the “transition zone.” If your homepage copy creates a sales zone not a transition zone, you could be losing sales.


Keywords:
website, copywriter, tips, homepage, copy,


Article Body:
Have you read Paco Underhill’s fascinating book, Why We Buy, about the psychology of retail store shopping? One of his major tenets about brick and mortar shopping holds the key to effective homepage copy – something he calls the “transition zone.” If your homepage copy creates a sales zone not a transition zone, you could be losing sales.

The Transition Zone Explained 

Think about the last time you visited a brick and mortar store… Maybe it’s raining or snowing outside. Maybe you just left the dry cleaner before arriving at the electronics store. As you first enter the store you constantly make adjustments to changes in lighting, temperature, sounds, and visual stimulation. You need to get your bearings. Underhill calls this part of the store the “transition zone,” a place for adjusting from outside to inside, not selling. Selling attempts in this early stage are lost. 

When does your homepage copy start selling? Unless your answer is never, it is too soon.

The Trade Show Lesson 

I remember that the worst trade show booth to have was just inside the front door of the trade center. Instead of making sales I was giving directions, demoted from VP Sales to greeter, gopher. You would think that being first was an advantage. This position might be true in search engine ranking but not in trade shows booths. The fact is many people don’t even notice the first booth until they have completed their adjustment process. By that time they are well past the first booth and buying from booth number 4. 

Most website visitors behave like trade show guests. Is your web site copy trying to close business in booth one or giving the visitor time to adjust to the new digs? Why not put your actual sales copy in booth two or three or four? Better still distribute the message across all three.After all, that’s where the customers are headed anyway once they have transitioned to your site. 

Cushion Don't Convince 

So if selling is inappropriate what can you do to make your homepage copy sell without selling? Effective homepage copy cushions the hard landing strangers feel when they first arrive at your site. A soft landing is a receptive landing. Why not use your homepage copy to give visitors what they need:

  • Acknowledgement

  • Anticipation

  • Acclimatization
  • Acknowledge Your Visitors 

    Let’s go back to your recent store visit… You’re barely inside the door and the overly friendly sales clerk asks, “Can I help you find what you are looking for?” Most times this clumsy sales attempt is made too early in your transition to the store from your previous location. For most people shopping is an experience not a mission. Instead of being sold during their time of transition, most customers simply want to be acknowledged – greeted, recognized. 

    • How does your website copy acknowledge visitors to your site?

    • Does your homepage copy confirm that your visitors are in the right place?
    •  

    • Does your copy welcome them?
    •  

    • Does your web copy make demands of these shaky travellers too soon?
    •  

    • How does your homepage copy help them adjust to the change in environment?
    •  
      Build Anticipation 

      You’re standing ten feet inside the store. And there it is, way over there - the outline of that gorgeous HD TV you’ve been after. As you walk towards this target your heart races a little as you anticipate getting up close and personal with your quarry. The closer you get, the more you notice the details of your treasure. 

      By putting products a little off in the distance smart retailers build anticipation. You know what it’s like. Details come into focus over time. Expectation increases.

      • Where could you put your best offerings to heighten anticipation without killing transition?
      •   

      • How can you replace assertiveness with anticipation?
      •  

      • Wouldn’t it be a good idea to introduce your value proposition in your homepage copy, without demanding customer action right away?
      •  

      • Where could you place the copy that supports this value proposition?
      •  

      • Shouldn’t your remaining pages build expectancy and familiarity at the same time?
      •  

      • How about making your web site copy one integrated “time release capsule”?
      • Deepen Acclimatization 

        Whenever copy goes against the customer’s natural order, it becomes a threat, losing credibility and any chance of influence. It doesn’t make sense to challenge the site visitor’s natural need for transition. Why not embrace this idea? Remember the old ABC’s of selling? Instead of “always be closing,” why not use the transition zone strategy “always be comforting.”  

        Think of ways your homepage copy can help your customers acclimatize to your site. 

        • Do you repeat your key ideas to build familiarity?
        •  

        • Is the look and feel of your copy consistent?
        •  

        • Does your copy give a snapshot of what’s possible on your site?
        •  

        • Is your navigation system explained?
        •  

        • Has your homepage copy briefly highlighted your content?
        •  

        • How can your visitors gain quick control of their journey?
        •   
          That’s acclimatization. Now you’re ready to sell. YES! Effective homepage copy smoothes the transition from stranger to guest using acknowledgement, anticipation, and acclimatization. Done well and it’s sales zone time for the customer. Done poorly and it’s cortisone time for you.

          Title: 
          Website Copywriter Tips: Web Copy 101

          Word Count:
          757

          Summary:
          You already know how to create great web copy. Just remember your childhood nursery rhymes. As silly as it sounds, “3 Blind Mice” will show you the way.


          Keywords:
          website, copywriter, tips, write, Web, copy,


          Article Body:
          You already know how to create great web copy. Just remember your childhood nursery rhymes. As silly as it sounds, “3 Blind Mice” will show you the way.

          For some reason, “3 Blind Mice” paid me a visit. As I heard the 100th replay, it hit me – this would make great web copy. As a matter of fact, this simple little ditty contains 10 elements of Web Copy 101. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s how it goes. 

          "3 Blind Mice; 3 Blind Mice.
          See how they run; see how they run.
          They all ran up to the farmer’s wife;
          She cut off their tails with a carving knife
          Have you ever seen such a sight in your life
          As 3 Blind Mice?”

          Let’s see how this children’s nursery rhyme is a model of Web Copy 101.

          Web Copy 101 #1, 2, 3 …3 Blind Mice (title or heading) 

          1) Try singing “A trio of visually impaired rodents, A trio of visually impaired rodents.”  Catchy? Formal writing doesn’t sell. Write the way people speak and you will be heard. The title does something else for this song. 

          2) If you had to choose between songs entitled “Cows,” “Ducks,” or “3 Blind Mice,” which one would you choose? The title in all web copy has to grab the attention the reader.  There’s more. 

          3) This alluring title makes the content clear right away. How many times do you stumble on a website only to find you’re not sure what they are selling or how it relates to you? Be sure your web copy uses the title or headline to set the table for the visitor.

          Web Copy 101 #4 …3 Blind Mice, 3 Blind Mice (first line)

          4) This song is going to be about little rodents, not geese. Does the first line of your web copy highlight what you offer, or at least whom your site is for? Good web copy is not mystery writing. Instead it says, “We’re here to sell you something and here’s why you need it today.”

          Web Copy 101 #5, 6 … See how they run, See how they run 

          5) Repetition is the key to any message track and a staple of effective web copy. From a psychological point of view it lets your message become familiar and safe. From a search engine point of view repetition builds your keyword density and raises your search results. From a net reader perspective repetition in your web copy reinforces your message for the superficial reader who is scanning your site quickly. Repetition works on many levels. Let me say that again – repetition works on many levels.

          6) The invitation to watch how the mice run around is also a clever way to involve the readers by getting them to do something. Does your site invite some kind of reader activity in the body of the web copy?

          Web Copy 101 #7 … They all ran up to the farmer’s wife; she cut off their tails with a carving knife 

          7) A good way to stitch your ideas together and build more active involvement in your copy is to use pronouns (they, she). By forcing the readers to build connections between previous and current information pronouns keep your site visitors more engaged. 

          Web Copy 101 #8 … Have you ever seen such a sight in your life? 

          8) Do you know the best way to keep someone interested in what you are writing? What is 3 times 3? If you thought “nine” you proved my point. If you thought “eight” try night school. If you thought anything at all, you demonstrated the power of questions to generate reader participation. Everybody loves and needs to answer questions. Does your web copy provide thought provoking questions that get your reader thinking and involved?

          Web Copy 101 #9, 10 … As 3 Blind Mice 

          9) Brilliant web copy. More repetition. Plus, the story ends where it started. One of the advantages of writing with search engines in mind is that keyword focus helps you stay on topic.  The glancing reader needs this controlling idea to get the essence of why they need what you have, now. Is your site's central idea consistently expressed all the way through your web copy? 

          10) True, the song is written for children, but notice the use of short, crisp sentences to tell the tale. How are you telling your tale? You want your web copy to be clear, smart and direct.

          I hope they get stuck in your head – the 10 lessons that is, not the lyrics. By the way, no animals were hurt during the writing of the article about web copy 101.

          Title: 
          Website Copywriter Tips: Web Copy Sabotage

          Word Count:
          753

          Summary:
          How does your personality affect your web copy? Whether you mean to or not, your site reflects you in ways you might not notice: sometimes good, sometimes bad. While personality peccadilloes can be endearing in social situations, minor personality flaws can cause web copy sabotage.


          Keywords:
          Website, copywriter, tips, write, web, copy,


          Article Body:
          How does your personality affect your web copy? Whether you mean to or not, your site reflects you in ways you might not notice: sometimes good, sometimes bad. While personality peccadilloes can be endearing in social situations, minor personality flaws can cause web copy sabotage. So before you get out your keyboard, get out a mirror. 

          Why not see if any of these 3 personality traits are seeping into the design and copy of your web site?

          • Insecurity

          • Pride

          • Anxiety
          • Web Copy Sabotage #1: Insecure people create timid sites

            Most people are insecure in certain situations as they vary their image to gain the favour of others. Nothing kills web copy faster than trying to be a people pleaser. Insecure people create timid sites that try to be all things to all people. Instead of declaring, “Here’s who I am,” insecure web copy tentatively pleads, “I can be whatever you want; hope you find something you like.” How forgettable and phony is that? Secure people on the other hand have learned to get real.

            Some people like them; others don’t. Their web copy stands out because their authors stand up. Their web copy is memorable because it is authentic. Does your web copy take a stand or does it sit on the sidelines wanting to be liked? Is your web copy real or real phony? 

            Web Copy Sabotage #2: Proud people produce narcissistic sites

            While timid web copy aims overly outward, narcissistic web copy looks too far in the other direction. Business owners have a justifiable pride in their business. Sorry to say this pride can lead to web copy sabotage.


            • Many owners lost in their delight often boast, “Look what I can do,” instead of proclaiming, “Look what you get.”
            •  

            • Their web copy tends to focus on features instead of real customer benefits. It highlights trained staff rather than peace of mind.
            •  
              Missing are empathy and impact. Nothing kills internet rapport like a one-sided, relationship. Does your web copy brag about you or resonate with strangers?

              Web Copy Sabotage #3: Anxious people make nervous sites

              Nervous sites are the most common form of web copy sabotage. They don’t gaze outward or inward; they look nowhere, all hurried and patchy. The visuals are the first give-away:

              • a little red here and a dash of purple there

              • a touch of bold with a smidgen of underlining
              •  

              • a bevy of random quotations
              •  

              • a frenzy of isolated graphics
              •  
                Where’s the rhyme? Where’s the reason? Where is the message? The web copy reads more like a digital ransom note than a calm presentation of a distinctive value proposition.

                The sad part is this kind of web copy sabotage is that it frequently betrays an honest business person who is just not comfortable about expressing his business. This web copy unfairly depicts sleaze and incredulity. 

                Sometimes the anxiety is driven by a specific learning style. A number of individuals are more comfortable with trees than a forest, preferring details to the big picture. That’s too bad because site visitors usually crave the big picture before they invest their care and clicks. What image does your web copy convey – calm or chaos?

                Web Copy Sabotage: What can you do about it?

                So you’re not perfect. Everybody is a bit insecure, a tad proud and slightly anxious. The trick is to keep these failings from invading your web copy. So what can you do to prevent web copy sabotage? 

                Your human shortcomings might populate your site because you are just too close to the data to detect your demons creeping up the keyboard. 

                You’ve got to get some distance. First have a third party who’s not a family member play site doctor, looking for symptoms of insecurity, pride, and anxiety in your site design and copy.

                There’s nothing like conducting your own foible check to be sure you parked your sabotaging issues at the curb, not in your web copy. Here are 3 questions to ask:

                • What exactly does my site stand for?

                • How do my visitors see themselves?

                • How have I organized my design and copy?
                • If these tactics don’t help you improve your web copy, you could either see a qualified psychiatrist or hire – you know – a handy copywriter.

                  Title: 
                  Website Copywriter Tips: Write Web Copy for People not Technology

                  Word Count:
                  771

                  Summary:
                  Every website copywriter faces a trap – Search Enginitis. Writing web copy with technology makes sense, but writing web copy for people makes the sale. Here are two ways to connect with people across broadband and create web copy that sells.


                  Keywords:
                  Website, copywriter, tips, write, people, technology,


                  Article Body:
                  Every website copywriter faces a trap – Search Enginitis. Writing web copy with technology makes sense, but writing web copy for people makes the sale. Here are two ways to connect with people across broadband and create web copy that sells.

                  Your website looks great: solid words, easy navigation, graphics just so, and maybe even a bit of flash with some multimedia. But customers are not buying.

                  The Technology Trap 

                  You wonder if it’s the web copy itself. How can that be? You remembered the two key mantras of powerful web copy - “write for the search engines” and “write for the medium.”
                  Your web copy used appropriate keywords to help search engines find you and traffic is up. Surely, customers enjoy reading your content because your web copy is laid out with the internet in mind using:

                  • short sentences

                  • brief paragraphs

                  • bullets
                  • Customers might be reading your words, but they still are not buying your product.

                    Chances are your web copy has been optimized for technology not people.

                    Even on the internet, selling is still about connecting to people. Selling on the internet means writing web copy for people not technology. So how do you press the flesh across broadband? Start where brick and mortar relationships do – trust. Why not become the trusted provider in your marketspace?  Your web copy can use words to raise your credibility in at least 25 different ways. 

                    Here are two ways to craft web copy for people not technology:

                    • write the way customers speak

                    • replace your pitch with a theme.
                    • Write Web Copy for People not Technology Step 1:

                      Write the way people speak. People instinctively trust strangers who speak like them. 

                      If you find this article useful, how would you tell someone? Are you really going to say, “I read an unusually amazing web copy article that fundamentally increased my sagging sales”? Not likely. 

                      Weak web copy, not everyday people, uses too many modifiers. “Amazing,”  “fundamentally,” and “sagging” weaken trust.  How’s your site for modifiers? 

                      Give your web copy the finger test.

                      You might not want fingerprints on your screen, so I suggest printing a copy of your homepage content. 

                      • put your baby finger on the first modifier you can find.
                      •  

                      • put your ring finger on the next adjective or adverb.

                      • repeat until you run out of modifiers or fingers.
                      •  
                        If your page is a handful, you’ve got too many modifiers and your web copy is hype heavy, not trustworthy. In addition to giving readers web copy that matches how they speak, it helps to give them time to get to know you.

                        Write Web Copy for People not Technology Step 2:

                        Replace your pitch with a theme. Customers need time before they trust.

                        They will get used to your site in tiny steps, so hold off selling; buy some time with thematic web copy. Have a theme for your site, introducing your offer only after your customer feels comfortable. Themes are a subtle form of repetition because they continually reinforce a single concept. Repeated exposure to an idea usually makes it familiar and safe. Remember the first time you used instant messaging or the family car - not so scary now.

                        Let’s say your site sells dental floss.

                        Here’s how your web copy might handle it. Instead of listing the benefits of DentaThread, you could tie the presentation together under the central idea “Some people have nothing to smile about.” 

                        • The opening section could point out how the discomfort of Gingivitis wipes the grin off a person’s face.
                        •  

                        • Another segment of the web copy would show how ugly cavities make someone too self- conscious to smile.
                        •  

                        • Yet another piece would reveal how the high cost of root canal causes an individual to frown.
                        •  
                          In this way, the web copy offers three versions of one idea to help the site grow on the visitor: one idea, three versions. Does your homepage have a theme? How many chances does your web copy give visitors to get comfortable with you?

                          In this article, I tried to use the two key elements a good web copywriter uses to write for people not technology:

                          • the language of my readers

                          • a central idea, trust
                          • Did it work? Did my web copy help? If yes, I guess I proved my point. If no, I have 23 more ideas to go.

                            Title: 
                            Website Translation and Localization: DIY Guide

                            Word Count:
                            1093

                            Summary:
                            Surprisingly many people think that creating, say, a website in a foreign language means just to translate the existing English version. It's not that simple. Conveying messages to people who speak other languages and may have cultural background other than yours is a tricky task -- but it pays.


                            Keywords:
                            content writing, website translation, website localization, foreign audience, other cultures, customs, traditions, e-business, communication, conveying a message in foreign languages, copywriting, 


                            Article Body:
                            Expanding businesses into other countries means that you will be conveying your messages to people who speak other languages. What's more, your audience may have cultural background other than yours -- and it does matter. 

                            Surprisingly many people think that creating, say, a website in a foreign language means just to translate the existing English version. Good translation by all means is very important. But what about putting your message into the context of the particular culture, which is native to your new audience?
                            This process is called "website localization". It is like "tuning" your website (both content and design) into unison with mentality of other people -- the prospective visitors.
                            Here I won't describe the part of web site localization which deals with programming; this issue itself is complex enough. I will focus on writing content for your website and its further translation. 

                            What part of this work you can do yourself? Probably not all of it, but quite a lot. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you in the process.

                            Step Zero: Remember: Your Website is Not for You. 
                            It is for VISITORS. So it is logical to consider what THEY think such websites should look like. It is their points of view that matter, not yours. When you memorize this axiom, go to  

                            Step One: Learn!
                            Self-education is useful in itself; besides, this knowledge is going to save you money and bring profit later. Learn as much as you can about your prospective audience. The more, the better.

                             It's a rather time-consuming but exciting process. I hope you will manage, as Ancient Romans used to say, "Miscere utile dulci" (to mingle the useful with the pleasant). You will find out plenty of interesting things about another culture. Customs and traditions, rules of etiquette and moral principles, stereotypes, superstitions and lots of other stuff for you to consider when addressing people from a country other than yours. 

                            You can find plenty of information in the Internet. Search Groups as well.  Show your interest in other culture, and almost any native will appreciate it and help you as an expert. In addition, you will make good friends with great people.

                            Travelers' guides can be an excellent source of information; they will help you avoid costly mistakes not only during a trip abroad. Just one example. You must have seen websites with pictures showing people gesticulate. Note that any gesture which is quite OK in the USA may be misunderstood somewhere else. By the way, do you know what the "OK" gesture means in some Asian countries? Demand for money, that's what. In Tunisia it will be interpreted as a threat to kill; in Arab countries -- "go to h…" In France it means just "zero" or "nothing." In Denmark or Italy it can be taken as an insult; and so is in Brazil, Guatemala and Paraguay -- here it is considered very obscene. So, you'd better make pictures of your website "culture-neutral".

                            The farther in, the deeper… What is considered rude, impudent, offensive, or impolite in this culture? What is respected, valued, venerated? What traits of character are appreciated most? What are the favorite colors and what are they associated with? What are the most noticeable differences between your culture and this one?

                            Don't be surprised if points of view on what is beautiful and what is ugly will also differ from yours. When you come to the conclusion that your text won't do and the design probably needs changing as well, go to 

                            Step Two: Analyze!
                            Turn your findings into tips for writing another text. "Don'ts" here are of much more important than "Do's" 
                            Realize how you shouldn't write. Learn what won't work. Find out what to avoid in graphics and website design. 
                            When arranging content and graphics, it is very important to know whether the audience reads left-to-right, right-to-left or vertically.  

                            Step Three: Write for your audience. 

                            What to begin with when writing for a person from another culture? Put on his shoes first. Well, that's second. First, take off your own shoes. I mean don't be a representative of your own culture -- just for a short time you'll be writing the content. 

                            • Avoid jokes, slang, idioms, proverbs and sayings. They are YOURS, not theirs. Allusions to books they probably haven't read, quotations, however familiar they are to you -- all that won't work.


                            • Be cautious with metaphors and similes (comparisons).  Pretty clear and familiar to YOU, for others they might be not so obvious.


                            • Symbols can mean something very different in other cultures. If you can't do without one, find out what it means THERE.


                            • Abbreviations and acronyms are tricky, too – they may be unknown to your audience.


                            • You will have to explain stuff you think to be trivial. Not everybody in the world knows what is eBay, Paypal, or Amazon. Celebrities' fame isn't worldwide, either. Big companies and brands may be unknown on the other side of the globe.

                            • Step Four: Find a RIGHT translator

                              If you can, get a well-educated native speaker of a language you are going to have your text translated into (it is called "target language")

                              The reason is that nobody can ever say: "I have learned this language" -- only "I have been learning". We all have been learning our mother tongues since birth. That is why native speakers have an advantage. The larger the translator's vocabulary, the better your message will be expressed.   Besides, a native speaker often has precious knowledge on the culture -- it's precisely what you need for website localization-- and will help you in the process. 

                              Step Five: Bring it to Perfection
                              How to check the end result? Ask somebody from this culture to proofread the text before launching the website. 

                              Encourage feedback when your website is launched. Correct mistakes, if any, at once. Improve your website all the time. 

                              Getting your messages understood in other languages and cultures is a tricky task. It takes plenty of effort -- but it will pay. Not only will you make profit and avoid bitter losses caused by misunderstanding. As a bonus you will get deeper undestanding of people whose languages, cultures  and even ways of thinking are different. This understanding is the key factor of your success in doing business or communicating with these people. 

                              Good luck to you! Success be to your efforts!

                              Title: 
                              What Does It Take To Succeed As An Independent Copywriter?

                              Word Count:
                              1302

                              Summary:
                              In looking back on the nearly four dozen aspiring copywriters I've trained and mentored over the years and asking which personal qualities posed challenges and roadblocks and which enable beginners to carve out a lasting niche for themselves, I have zeroed in on four key skill areas. To build and sustain a copywriting or marketing consulting business, you need to be or become good in these four competencies:

                              1. Writing. To develop persuasive written materials, you must lea...


                              Keywords:
                              copywriting,marketing consultant,consulting,copywriter,freelance,business success,careers,mentors


                              Article Body:
                              In looking back on the nearly four dozen aspiring copywriters I've trained and mentored over the years and asking which personal qualities posed challenges and roadblocks and which enable beginners to carve out a lasting niche for themselves, I have zeroed in on four key skill areas. To build and sustain a copywriting or marketing consulting business, you need to be or become good in these four competencies:

                              1. Writing. To develop persuasive written materials, you must learn to meld creativity, which involves being able to put forth fresh ideas, concepts, phrasings and images, with proven formats - structures for sales letters, brochures, press releases, home pages and so on that embody techniques that work.

                              If you learn only the latter, your work comes across sounding formulaic and hollow. It can attract clients and produce results, but only to a limited extent. Perceptive clients will notice that your projects tend to come out much the same. They'll conclude that you're either still in the apprenticeship phase of mastery or that you lack the problem-solving skill they need to get the kinds of results they crave.

                              And on the other hand, if you depend too heavily on creativity, you fail to use the little devices, turns of phrase, formatting tools and finishing touches that help improve response. I see this weakness in a lot of my beginning students - which is fine, because any halfway decent copywriting training course, whether live or canned, can remedy this shortcoming.

                              To achieve the ideal balance between creativity and the tricks of the trade on your own, you'd need great instincts and loads of practice. Top-notch mentoring, with frequent feedback from an experienced master, is a surer and faster route to finding your feet as a copywriter.

                              2. Pleasing clients. I've seen people who have no trouble with #1 flounder or become miserable because of this essential factor. Again it's necessary to strike a balance, this time between doing great work and making sure that the person or company paying your fee is satisfied.

                              Without knowing how to please clients, you can turn out terrific copy and have clients refuse to pay, or pay up but never come back. It's crucial to be able to listen to the client's goals, to keep those goals in mind while shaping the work, to explain what you've done and why, and to talk through differences in perception so that the two sides eventually see eye to eye.

                              This skill did not - does not - come naturally to me. I have learned this painfully and repeatedly, by overlooking or forgetting it, analyzing what went wrong and resolving to do better in the future. Sometimes the error here is in accepting projects where the client's expectations are at odds with the way you think things should be done. Sometimes there's not enough communication with the client and education of the client away from what you see as wrongheaded ideas.

                              While this factor still goes awry for me a few times every year, most of my projects go well because I attract plenty of clients who love the way I do things and respect my opinion where it differs from theirs. If you build a strong enough reputation, clients tend to listen to you - though not always.

                              On the other hand, I've seen plenty of beginning copywriters as well as colleagues with years of experience struggle with the opposite side of this balancing act. They know how to please clients but in doing so, they make themselves unhappy.

                              For your own sanity, you need to be able to set firm boundaries - ground rules, policies and things to say when clients become unreasonable in their demands. If they demand rewrite after rewrite, insist that their ignorant ideas are superior to what you know, expect you to chitchat endlessly whenever they feel like calling or otherwise drive you nuts, you must be able to head off these problems, negotiate solutions and disengage.

                              Having trusted colleagues to discuss problems with, an online or in-person peer group or a coach help immeasurably in finding your way with pleasing clients.

                              3. Business skills. How much should you charge? How many clients do you need, and how can you find them? What if your sure-fire marketing tactics fail to bring in clients, or bring in more than you can handle? What if clients who say they loved what you did don't pay?

                              No one is born knowing any of this stuff. With guidance from people who are running or have run a successful business, you can learn key business skills. If you've run any other kind of business before turning to copywriting or have watched successful entrepreneurs up close, you'll probably find this skill area easy.

                              Years of membership in the New England Women Business Owners organization and my prior experience as a freelance writer for national magazines taught me how to be tough with clients when needed, charge what I'm worth, keep on trying when I felt I was on the right track, regroup when necessary and avoid dumb business decisions most of the time.

                              One of the most common business challenges I've seen for aspiring copywriters involves money issues. Charge too little, and you may be working very hard, have loyal clients and yet not be earning enough to sustain yourself (or your family) over time. A support group or mentor can help you battle the inner demons that keep you from raising your rates, whereupon almost always you discover that the best clients don't mind paying more, and you feel happier about the business.

                              The second most common business challenge involves perseverance. If something doesn't work out the way you'd hoped, do you retreat in hurt and disappointment, or do you simply try something else? I've watched a couple of people jump into the copywriting business with supreme enthusiasm and then brood obsessively over every minor reversal. Unfortunately, this type of person isn't suited to self-employment. If you give up or feel overwhelmed easily, then you may be better off working on salary for an employer.

                              4. Discipline. To earn a living writing copy for others, you must be able to manage deadlines and details. By deadlines, I mean not only the obvious point that if you've promised that a project would be finished by June 30, it must be, but also the less obvious point that you need to be able to complete top-notch work in a reasonable amount of time.

                              If you can reach excellence only painstakingly or through a slow process of repeated drafts, you may not be able to make it in the business. Few clients are willing to pay enough for a web site, or be patient enough, to let you treat their project as if you were Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel.

                              Another personality type that has trouble with discipline is a Crisis Cathy - someone who masterfully and continually creates emergencies, problems and roadblocks so that things never get done, but with seemingly legitimate excuses. Family members may put up with this kind of behavior, but clients generally won't, especially if it rears its head more than once.

                              As for details, you must have the discipline to proofread, check facts and get things like names and numbers right. I've seen a couple of writers who can't spell or use proper grammer become fabulously successful nevertheless, but I do not recommend this. Where clients are concerned, it's a much bigger handicap than these blithe spirits will admit. Most clients do not take well to carelessness on your part. When you deliver work containing mistakes, they consider it disrespectful and unprofessional.

                              So there you have it. These four competencies are roughly equal in importance for success as an independent copywriter or marketing consultant, I believe. Do you measure up? Are you willing to work on developing the qualities you don't have?

                              Title: 
                              What SEO Copywriting Is… and Isn't

                              Word Count:
                              479

                              Summary:
                              It seems people just don't get it.  There's lots of talk about SEO copywriting these days, but hardly any of it is on target.  Everyone seems to be forgetting the fact that SEO copywriting is primarily about copywriting, not the search engines.


                              Keywords:
                              seo copywriting, search engine copywriting, copywriting, search engine optimization


                              Article Body:
                              I've been frustrated lately.  It seems people just don't get it.  There's lots of talk about SEO copywriting these days, but hardly any of it is on target.  The majority of the conversations, posts and articles I've seen deal with topics like keyword density, allowable limits, over optimization and such.  These people are making search engine copywriting all about the search engines.  They are forgetting the fact that SEO copywriting is still copywriting.

                              What that means - generally speaking - is you are still writing promotional copy designed to cause a *person* to take a specific action.  Your target audience (your site visitors) should come first.  The elements designed to help the copy rank well absolutely come last. 

                              What good is all the traffic in the world if your site copy doesn't convert visitors into buyers?  Not much.  That's why - when writing SEO copy - the human visitor comes first.

                              Unfortunately, SEO copywriting is getting a bad name because so much of what is being cranked out is repetitious babble. Most of these pages would never have made it on to a site, except for the fact that the site owner wanted to rank highly for certain key terms.

                              So, in the interest of salvaging the good name of search engine copywriting, before it's too late, let me offer some guidelines.

                              SEO Copy Is:

                              · first and foremost - written for the visitor.

                              · unique and purposeful.

                              · natural-sounding - it flows.

                              SEO Copy Is Not:

                              · written exclusively with the engines in mind.

                              · mirrored, adjusted or altered to create new pages by simply changing keyphrases.

                              · stiff, forced or overly repetitive. 

                              The Dos of SEO Copywriting

                              When writing SEO copy, you'll want to:

                              · understand who you are writing to.

                              · choose what the focus of the page will be.

                              · create a plan outlining the message you want to convey.

                              · decide how best to communicate that message to your particular target customers.

                              · choose which keyphrases will be incorporated into the copy.

                              · make sure those keyphrases work well with the page and the planned copy.

                              · incorporate keyphrases as you write (not after you write), so they flow naturally with the planned message.

                              The Don'ts of SEO Copywriting

                              When writing SEO copy, you should never:

                              · create a plan based solely on how to rank high.

                              · replace *every* instance of a generic term (car) with a keyphrase (red, convertible car).

                              · add pages of copy simply to appease the search engines.

                              · rely on useless keyword density ratios and formulas.

                              · shove keyphrases in everywhere possible. (No, it won't get you banned, but it will sound completely ridiculous!)

                              SEO copywriting is not the process of writing exclusively for the search engines.  It is the process of writing copy to appeal to your visitors, while including elements to help the search engines and your visitors understand what the page is all about. 

                              If you remember who truly makes or breaks your site's success (your customers!) and focus on them, you're sure to create SEO copy that rings true.

                              Title: 
                              What the difference webcopywriting makes

                              Word Count:
                              409

                              Summary:
                              Provides an insight into the process of the designing and writing of effective, compelling and attractive web site copywriting.


                              Keywords:
                              web copywriting, online copywriting


                              Article Body:
                              Web site copywriting is special method that allows the companies to advertise and promote themselves. In today’s highly competitive and ever-changing online environment it is not enough to rely on the texts alone. One should combine the knowledge of offline copywriting with online realities.

                              Professionally written web site copywriting is one of the most significant and important elements of your web site. It is widely regarded as one of the most effective ways to communicate with your potential customers, retain old ones and attract new clients. In the developing of your web site you should understand that web site copywriting is one of the most significant elements of your marketing strategy. It is used by many companies to promote their businesses and services. It is widely regarded as one of the most efficient tools in the developing of online copywriting process.

                              How do people get on your web site? How do they find the site of your company? Certainly some of them already know your company and some of them might visit your web site because they have read advertisement about your company. However, most of the visitors visit your site by the results of search engines after they put search terms they are interested in into the search engine boxes. Once the visitor has come to your web site you should try to grab his attention immediately. One should remember that most of the visitors do not have much time to read the whole text of your web site, the bulk of them just skip your text through. That is why one should develop trustworthy and reliable connection with the visitor right from the start. This is a prerequisite of transforming him into your potential client. If the visitor is not interested or not impressed with your text he will be impressed with the text of your competitor.

                              Try to be precise, coherent and communicate with only one customer at a time. One should be engaged in direct dialogue with your customer. Individuality is what matters. By emphasizing that you speak directly to a person you might make your message more custom-oriented. The most successful web site copywriting copy is the one written based on the marketing research of your targeted audience. That is why the services of marketers who can evaluate the competitors of your market, as well wishes and expectations of your potential customers must used in conjunction with the development of well-written copywriting copy.

                              Title: 
                              Why Great Website Makeovers Begin With Copywriting

                              Word Count:
                              577

                              Summary:
                              "Can you give me some feedback on my website?" a life coach named "Kevin" asked his e-zine subscribers. "I just revised my site - -finally!"

                              Naturally, I couldn't resist clicking over to see what Kevin had done. I knew Kevin was a thoughtful coach with a reputation for high integrity.

                              Kevin's new site cried out for a re-makeover. He had paid a designer to get drop-down menus and a bit of flash. As a result, Kevin admitted, "I have no budget to pay a copywriter."

                              Ouch...


                              Keywords:
                              internet marketing strategy,  web site, business coaching, internet marketing solutions


                              Article Body:
                              "Can you give me some feedback on my website?" a life coach named "Kevin" asked his e-zine subscribers. "I just revised my site - -finally!"

                              Naturally, I couldn't resist clicking over to see what Kevin had done. I knew Kevin was a thoughtful coach with a reputation for high integrity.

                              Kevin's new site cried out for a re-makeover. He had paid a designer to get drop-down menus and a bit of flash. As a result, Kevin admitted, "I have no budget to pay a copywriter."

                              Ouch.

                              After skimming a few pages of the site, I emailed Kevin. "Who is your target market? What do you offer? How are you unique?"

                              Kevin replied, "I asked for feedback. I don't have time to answer a lot of questions. And everyone tells me the site looks professional."

                              Okay. I can take a hint.

                              Sure, the site looks professional. But Kevin admits he's in trouble. So far, he's gotten nothing but compliments -- no orders and no calls.

                              What can we learn from Kevin?

                              (1) Copywriters can save you money.

                              Often I (and other experienced copywriters) can save clients money on web design. Kevin didn't need all those bells and whistles. In fact, some Internet marketing gurus claim they do more harm than good.

                              And Kevin didn't understand HTML, let alone CSS. A copywriter might serve as go-between, translating Kevin's requirements into web design language. Your web designer saves time - which translates into saving money.

                              (2) Copywriters help you earn money.

                              Reading between the lines, I discovered Kevin could be a stand-out. He has developed an innovative 5-step process to help clients overcome obstacles and take charge of their lives.

                              But Kevin doesn't realize why he's unique, so his website reads like five thousand other life coaching sites: vague promises of "take your life to the next level," "discover what's important to you" and "enjoy the work you love."

                              Naturally I'm disguising the details of "Kevin's" story, but I really don't have to. Hundreds (maybe thousands) of sites sound just like Kevin's.

                              (3) Copywriting is collaborative.

                              Like Kevin, my clients often think they can show me a few pages of a website and say, "Make it sell!" Copywriting requires energy and planning, whether you're a do-it-yourselfer or a firm believer in outsourcing to a specialist.

                              My clients often invest many hours answering my questionnaire. As they write, they often realize there's a hole in their business strategy. Or they're sitting on buried treasure.

                              Until I know what Kevin wants to do with his website and his business, I can't make realistic recommendations - even as a casual ezine reader. I need to evaluate Kevin's copy in the context of Kevin's own goals, target market and unique selling proposition.

                              Kevin could do this himself. But, like most busy business owners, he didn't want to invest the time. And he wasn't sure what questions to ask.

                              When clients hire me, we have the luxury (and fun!) of creating a marketing message that hits the target market squarely in the center of the bull's-eye.

                              Bottom Line: Websites deliver messages. Without a message, a website is a calling card - nice when you have more business than you can handle.

                              Most of the time, revising copy brings traffic and sales. Websites typically earn back the copy investment with just a few new clients, not to mention saving energy and funds by avoiding a makeover to recover the makeover.

                              And one day you realize you're not getting compliments... but you *are* getting sales.

                              Title: 
                              Why Should I Bother With Optimised Online Copywriting?

                              Word Count:
                              709

                              Summary:
                              How can optimised online copywriting help your website?
                              What can optimised copywriting bring to a website?


                              Keywords:
                              online copywriting optimised copy writing freelance copywriter copywriters web site website search engine


                              Article Body:
                              It's no good having a creative, individual website with brilliant, informative copy if customers can't find you on the internet. On the other hand, it's also detrimental if you have a website that can be easily found (has a high ranking) but people become bored and alienated reading it.

                              Producing effective online copywriting is a creative process blending art and science in a balanced technique combining many different elements. This integration of disciplines is required to satisfy both the technical and the aesthetic objectives of a website.

                              Optimised online copywriting should ensure that your website is:

                              •    highly readable to your viewers
                              •    highly visible to the search engines, and thereby
                              •    commercially successful for you.

                              Many people and businesses don't have the time to actually write web copy themselves. A professional freelance copywriter can furnish you with keyword-rich, highly original web content to enhance and improve the quality of your website, with the aim of transforming more of your visitors into customers.

                              Rarely will you get a second chance to engage your customer's attention, so your first shot must be formatted for maximum sales potential, catching the eye of the search engine robots as well. But not too much… If your copy goes overboard in favour of the search engines it can earn a penalty from Google that will negatively effect your rankings. Your website must always have the reader as priority. This makes more business sense anyway.

                              Search engines provide a way for potential customers to find you on the internet. People type a keyphrase or keyword into a search engine, such as Google, Yahoo or MSN (or one of the many other popular engines) and this returns a page of listings - web page suggestions for that particular phrase or word. Obviously, you want your website to feature highly in this list. 

                              Optimised online copywriting specifically targets the words and phrases people are using when searching for a product on the internet (Search Engine Marketing (SEM), keyword research). You want to make sure your website stays at the top of the listings so people go to your website before others. With targeted copy in place, search engines are more likely to index your web site on page one, than if it does not include keyword-rich copy. This is an ever more important issue when dealing with Google, the leading search-engine today.

                              To rank highly in the search engines the words on your web pages should never be an afterthought, but should be included right at the beginning in the original design of your website. Content development is the most valuable asset web developers can utilise in the bid for productive, successful search engine optimisation and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

                              Hiring a professional copywriter is a wise investment in your business future. Even if you don’t want to optimise your site you should make sure that the words on your site are reasonable, enticing, spelled correctly and artfully arranged to engage attention. Just because you can type letters or write some emails doesn't mean you can write the copy for your website. The writing on your homepage is often the way people determine whether the website is a scam or the genuine article, good quality or a shabby affair. Your website’s credibility takes a nose-dive if the spelling is wrong, the grammar incorrect, or it just reads like bad, clumsy English. People will be disinclined to trust your content.

                              Within the search engines new technologies and algorithms are being developed all the time to make search methodologies smarter, more astute. It's never a coincidence when someone types in a search phrase and your website is indexed highly on the page. Keyword rich online copywriting is a significant and critical component in gaining high rankings on the search engines.

                              Recently, Google has been pioneering a new trend of intelligent search engines which are not attracted by mere repetition of words throughout the text, but which look for meaning, attempting to make grammatical sense of the information, trying to understand what the web page is actually saying. This is forcing webmasters to improve the content on their web pages or suffer the consequences. The old saying has never been more relevant: "content is king."

                              Title: 
                              Writing Benefit-Driven Web Copy – 4 Steps to More Sales

                              Word Count:
                              1390

                              Summary:
                              You've identified the benefits you offer your customers, but how do you turn a list of benefits into engaging web copy which converts visitors into customers?


                              Keywords:
                              web copy


                              Article Body:
                              You've identified the benefits you offer your customers, but how do you turn a list of benefits into engaging web copy which converts visitors into customers?

                              Recently I wrote an article explaining how to identify the benefits you offer your customers (http://www.divinewrite.com/benefits.htm). That article challenged business owners and marketing managers to think in terms of benefits rather than features when writing their web copy. 

                              What the article didn’t discuss was how to actually write the web copy once they had identified their benefits. That’s what this article is about. (It even gives you a couple of templates you can use to make your job a whole lot easier!)

                              As a website copywriter, many of the projects I undertake are completely new websites. The client has some general ideas about what they’d like to convey, but they need someone who can fine-tune their message, and create web copy (and a web structure) which engages their readers. As a result, over the years I’ve developed a process for doing this effectively. There are four main steps:

                              1) Identify benefits

                              2) Identify how you deliver these benefits

                              3) Prioritise your benefits

                              4) Write the content

                              Although this article touches on step 1, it’s mostly about steps 2, 3, and 4.

                              STEP 1 – IDENTIFY YOUR BENEFITS

                              Branding aside, most websites are about selling. Customers don’t want to know what you can do; they want to know what you can do for THEM. That means the first question you should ask is, “What benefits do I offer my customers?” This is usually the first step toward identifying the key message to be conveyed. 

                              That’s not to say that your website shouldn’t describe your products and services. You just need to make sure it describes them in terms of benefits to your customer.

                              But benefits identification is outside the scope of this article. If you’d like to find out more about how to engage your customer with benefits, go to http://www.divinewrite.com/benefits.htm.

                              STEP 2 – IDENTIFY HOW YOU DELIVER THESE BENEFITS

                              Of course, you can’t just claim to deliver benefits and stop at that. You need to support that claim. On your website, you’re going to need to convince your audience that you actually do deliver these benefits. Anyone can say they deliver benefits, but few can say it persuasively.

                              From step 1 you’ll have a list of benefits. Now you need to think about how you deliver each benefit in that list. This is where you start talking about features – price, product highlights, distribution channel, competitor weaknesses, external factors, USPs, etc. It’s helpful if you draw up a table with one column for benefits and one for the features which deliver those benefits. (Click http://www.divinewrite.com/downloads/benefitsfeatures.doc to download an example Benefits-Features table – 20KB.)

                              You’ll probably find this process much easier than identifying benefits. In fact, you’ve probably got most of this information written down already… somewhere. If not, chances are you uncovered a good portion of it when you were brainstorming for benefits.

                              TIP: If you’re having trouble identifying supporting features, before filling out the table, try listing everything you can think of which relates to what you do and how you do it. Don’t worry about the order. Just braindump onto a piece of paper, a whiteboard, a Word document, anywhere… Don’t leave anything out, even if it seems unimportant. (You’d be surprised how important even the most insignificant details can become once you start assigning them to benefits.) If you start getting lost, think back to the question you’re trying to answer: How do you deliver your list of benefits to your customer? Once you’ve done your braindump, read through it and decide which specific benefit each feature delivers. 

                              STEP 3 – PRIORITISE YOUR BENEFITS

                              Now that you’ve identified all the things you COULD say, it’s time to figure out what you SHOULD say and where you should say it. This is where your benefits-features table comes into play. Read through your list of benefits and prioritise them according to how compelling they will be to your reader.

                              The reason for this? Priority determines prominence. The most compelling benefits will need to be prominent on your site. 

                              TIP: Be aware that your list may include some benefits which everyone in your business category could claim. In other words, they’re not just specific to your company, but apply to the type of service you offer. For example, if you sell a Content Management System (CMS) for website creation, you may list “Greater control for marketing managers” and “Less expense updating content” as benefits. Every CMS vendor could claim these benefits, so you’ll need to question their importance. Will they differentiate you from your competitors. Generic benefits can be useful if none of your competitors are using them, or if you feel you need to educate your market a bit before launching into company-specific benefits.

                              STEP 4 – WRITE YOUR CONTENT

                              So now you know what you’d like to say, it’s time to decide how to say it. This is about three things: 

                              i) Subject – What is the subject of your site; features or benefits?

                              ii) Structure – How do you structure your site such that your customers will read your most compelling benefits?

                              iii) Words – What words should you use to best engage your audience (and the search engines)?

                              The remainder of this article is dedicated to Subject and Structure. For further discussion of Words, see http://www.divinewrite.com/webwriting.htm and http://www.divinewrite.com/seocopy.htm).

                              Subject

                              What is the subject of your site; features or benefits? The answer to this question lies in audience identification. If your audience knows a bit about the type of product or service you’re selling, lead with features (e.g. processor speed, turnaround time, uptime, expertise, educational qualifications, wide product range, etc.). But make sure you talk about their benefits, and make sure the features offering the most important benefits are the most prominent. 

                              Here’s a simplified example… 

                              “Cool Widgets offers:

                              -- Standard Operating Environment – Significantly reducing the complexity of your IT infrastructure

                              -- System upgrades which are less expensive to license – Providing excellent TCO reductions”

                              In cases where you’re selling to an audience who knows very little about your product or service, lead with benefits (e.g. if you’re selling something technical to a non-technical audience).

                              Here’s the same simplified example, reversed for a novice audience…

                              “Cool Widgets offers:

                              -- Reduced complexity of IT infrastructure – We can implement a Standard Operating Environment for your organisation

                              -- Reduced TCO – We can upgrade your IT to systems which are less expensive to license”

                              Structure

                              How do you structure your site such that your customers will be sure to read your most compelling benefits? The answer is, keep it short ‘n sweet. And make it scannable. This doesn’t mean you have to cut features or benefits. You just have to structure your site to accommodate your message. 

                              While every site is different, as a rule of thumb it’s a good idea to introduce your main features and benefits on your home page. Summarise them – preferably using bullet points, but at the very least, clearly highlight them so that your audience can scan-read (e.g. bold, underline, colour, link). 

                              Then link from each summarised feature or benefit to a detailed description. Try to keep each page to approximately 200-400 words. You may need several pages to detail all your features and benefits. (Click http://www.divinewrite.com/downloads/pagestructure.doc to download a page structure template – 29KB.)

                              TIP: In cases where you need to introduce features and benefits which are generic to your field (rather than specific to your offering), your home page is generally the best place to do it. From there, you can lead to a second page summarising the specific features and benefits of your offering.

                              Conclusion

                              Web copy is about far more than just clever words. It’s essential that you identify the benefits you offer your customer, and that you can convince your customer you actually deliver those benefits. 

                              I hope that the guidance and tools provided in this article will help you on your way to engaging web copy which converts to sales.

                              Happy writing!

                              Title: 
                              Writing Helpful Help – A Minimalism Checklist

                              Word Count:
                              560

                              Summary:
                              User documentation is all too often written by programmers for programmers. It tends to focus on the product’s features, rather than the user’s tasks. Generally, programmers aren’t in the ideal position to be writing user documentation. They’re too close to the bits and bytes, and they’re too far from the user. To them, what the product can do tends to be far more important than what the user can do with the product.


                              Keywords:
                              writing checklist, writing for the web


                              Article Body:
                              User documentation is all too often written by programmers for programmers. It tends to focus on the product’s features, rather than the user’s tasks. Generally, programmers aren’t in the ideal position to be writing user documentation. They’re too close to the bits and bytes, and they’re too far from the user. To them, what the product can do tends to be far more important than what the user can do with the product. 

                              It’s a subtle – but vital – distinction. Research shows that the key to effective user documentation is writing task oriented help. Even better, write your help according to the minimalist theory. In the documentation world, “minimalism” is a fancy word for a commonsense practice. In basic terms, it means write to your reader and keep it simple. 

                              The theory itself has a lot of twists and turns. If you want to read a great – but slightly wordy – book on the subject, check out the book “Minimalism Beyond the Nurnberg Funnel”, 1998, edited by John Carroll. 

                              In the meantime, if you can tick every item in the following checklist, you’ll be well on your way to usable online help that both your readers and your managers will thank you for.

                              Helpful Help Checklist

                              1. Base the help on real tasks (or realistic examples)

                              2. Structure the help based on task sequence – Chapter headings should be goals and topics should be tasks

                              3. Respect the reader's activity – this is generally more about what you don’t do than what you do. Don’t waste the reader’s time by diving off into tangents

                              4. Exploit prior knowledge and experience – Draw the reader’s attention to previous tasks, experiences, successes, and failures

                              5. Prevent mistakes - "Ensure you do x before doing y"

                              6. Detect and identify mistakes - "If this fails, you may have entered the path incorrectly"

                              7. Fix mistakes - "Re-enter the path"

                              8. Provide error info at end of tasks where necessary (rule of thumb, one error info note per three tasks is a good average)

                              9. Don't break up instructions with notes, cautions, warnings, and exceptional cases - Put these things at the end of the instruction, wherever possible

                              10. Be brief, don't spell everything out, especially things that can be taken for granted

                              11. Omit conceptual and note information where possible, or link to it. Perhaps provide expansion information at the end of the topic, plus maybe a note that there are other ways to perform the task/goal, but this is the easiest

                              12. Sections should look short and read short

                              13. Provide closure for sections (e.g., back to original screen/goal)

                              14. Provide an immediate opportunity to act and encourage exploration and innovation (use active invitations to act, such as, "See for yourself..." or "Try this..." rather than passive invitations such as, "You can...")

                              15. Get users started quickly

                              16. Allow for reading in any order - make each section modular, especially goals, but perhaps tasks (definitely if they can be performed in different order)

                              17. Highlight things that are not typical

                              18. Use active voice rather than passive voice

                              19. Try to account for the user's environment in your writing

                              20. Before writing anything, ask yourself “Will this help my reader?”

                              By building these practices into your documentation process, you’ll find that your online help becomes easier to write, shorter, and far more usable for your reader. What’s more, your boss will love you!

                              Title: 
                              Writing Sales Copy That Sells

                              Word Count:
                              866

                              Summary:
                              When writing a sales copy, all internet marketers know that a long copy will sell more than a short copy. This does not mean that the more words the better; the quantity and the quality of detail is what will improve its performance. 

                              Having the correct sales structure will keep the reader interested from start to finish. These are the steps to follow to create a successful sales letter: 

                              1. USE A POWERFUL HEADLINE. Express the main benefit of your product in a short se...


                              Keywords:
                              sales copy, ad copy, headline, sales


                              Article Body:
                              When writing a sales copy, all internet marketers know that a long copy will sell more than a short copy. This does not mean that the more words the better; the quantity and the quality of detail is what will improve its performance. 

                              Having the correct sales structure will keep the reader interested from start to finish. These are the steps to follow to create a successful sales letter: 

                              1. USE A POWERFUL HEADLINE. Express the main benefit of your product in a short sentence. Grab your readers attention and make them want to continue reading. 

                              2. CREATE EXCITEMENT WITH A SUB-HEADLINE. In no more than two or three short sentences, expand on the benefits of your product and generate excitement in your reader. If you are offering a limited promotion, specify the limitations of your offer here. 

                              3. OUTLINE THE BENEFITS OF YOUR PRODUCT. Give the reader three good reasons to buy your product. These reasons have nothing to do with the product's features; think about what your customer wants. For example, if you are selling holiday villas, say something like: 

                              "If you want to take advantage of the comfort of a luxury apartment, enjoy the Mediterranean sun and save money on your summer vacations, then this might be the most important letter you'll ever read" 

                              4. EXPLAIN YOUR UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION. This is the specific benefit that differentiates your product from all the others. At this point, you must mention your USP in one or two sentences. You will explain the details later in the sales letter. 

                              5. PROVE YOUR CREDIBILITY. The most important thing to sell on the internet is credibility. Your readers have to trust you before they will buy anything from you. Give them three reasons why they should believe you. Try to prove that what you say is true. 

                              6. EXPLAIN THE FEATURES AND BENEFITS OF YOUR PRODUCT. Explain how your product will improve your reader's life or how it will solve a problem. The more detail you can provide, the more convincing your copy will be. 

                              7. PROVIDE MORE DETAIL ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT. Here is where you can tell the reader everything about your product. Use as much space as you need. Write until you get bored. 

                              8. INCLUDE CUSTOMER TESTIMONIALS. In order to continue establishing credibility, mention testimonials of customers that have already bought from you and enjoyed your product. Have them mention what they liked most about the product instead of making general comments like "I really loved your product..." or something similar. Mention at least five testimonials. 

                              9. ELIMINATE THE COMPETITION. You eliminate your competition by giving your reader the information they need to see that your product is superior. Mention the elements where your product is excellent and much better than your competition. 

                              10. BUILD VALUE. To build value in your offer you have to let your readers know that your offer is so good, that they cannot refuse to take it. One way of doing this is to compare the value of your offer with the normal value of your product. 

                              11. PROVIDE A SUMMARY OF EVERYTHING YOUR CUSTOMER WILL RECEIVE. Make sure your reader understands everything he is going to get from you. 

                              12. MENTION THE PRICE OF YOUR PRODUCT. Mention the regular price and the sale price of your product. The regular price must be crossed out and the offer must follow. 

                              13. LIST YOUR BONUS PRODUCTS. The objective is to prompt immediate action by offering something extra. With this strategy, you are also adding value to your product. You can also try to create a sense of urgency by telling that the bonuses will only be available for a short time. 

                              14. OFFER A STRONG GUARANTEE. The strongest guarantee you can offer is a "money back" guarantee. The willingness to offer your product at no risk will generate a lot of trust and confidence among your readers. You have to honour your guarantee for any returns you may get, but you can be sure that the sales you will generate with this strategy will be by far outnumber the number of returns. 

                              15. RE-EMPHASIZE YOUR GUARANTEE. Remove all elements of risk by closing your sales copy with something like: 

                              "You don't have to decide now if this product is for you. Just get it and try it out. If it doesn't do everything I say and more, if you don't save money, or if your business doesn't improve, or if your life isn't better, or if you don't absolutely love it, just let me know and I'll give you every cent of your money back! So you have nothing to lose and everything to gain." 

                              16. TELL THEM HOW TO ORDER YOUR PRODUCT. Provide detailed instructions about how to place the order. 

                              17. SIGN THE LETTER. Use your full name and title. 

                              18. CLOSE WITH A "P.S." Use this part to emphasize the most relevant points of your letter. 

                              Remember that this will be a long sales copy that will take your readers some time to read. With this in mind, you must work on the format and design of the copy so that it is as friendly as possible. Highlight the most important statements, so that the letter can also be read in one or two minutes.

                              Title: 
                              Writing SEO Copy – 8 Steps to Success

                              Word Count:
                              1172

                              Summary:
                              We all know that the lion’s share of web traffic comes through the search engines. We also know that keywords and links to your site are the two things that affect your ranking in the search engines. Your keywords tell the search engines what you do, and the inbound links tell them how important you are. This combination is what determines your relevance. And relevance is what the search engines are after.


                              Keywords:
                              SEO copywriting, writing copy for the web


                              Article Body:
                              We all know that the lion’s share of web traffic comes through the search engines. We also know that keywords and links to your site are the two things that affect your ranking in the search engines. Your keywords tell the search engines what you do, and the inbound links tell them how important you are. This combination is what determines your relevance. And relevance is what the search engines are after.

                              There’s a lot of information around about how to incorporate keyword phrases into your HTML meta tags. But that’s only half the battle. You need to think of these tags as street-signs. That’s how the search engines view them. They look at your tags and then at your copy. If the keywords you use in your tags aren’t used in your copy, your site won’t be indexed for those keywords.

                              But the search engines don’t stop there. They also consider how often the keyword phrase is used on the page.

                              To put it simply, if you don’t pepper your site with your primary keywords, you won’t appear in the search results when a potential customer searches for those keywords.

                              But how do you write keyword-rich copy without compromising readability?

                              Readability is all-important to visitors. And after all, it’s the visitors that buy your product or service, not search engines.

                              By following these 8 simple guidelines, you’ll be able to overhaul the copy on your website ensuring it’s agreeable to both search engines and visitors.

                              1) Categorise your pages
                              Before writing, think about the structure of your site. If you haven’t built your site yet, try to create your pages around key offerings or benefits. For example, divide your Second Hand Computers site into separate pages for Macs, and PCs, and then segment again into Notebooks, Desktops, etc. This way, you’ll be able to incorporate very specific keyword phrases into your copy, thereby capturing a very targeted market. If you’re working on an existing site, print out each page and label it with its key point, offering, or benefit.

                              2) Find out what keywords your customers are searching for
                              Go to www.wordtracker.com and subscribe for a day (this will only cost you about AUD$10). Type in the key points, offerings, and benefits you identified for each page, and spend some time analysing what words customers use when they’re searching for these things. These are the words you’ll want to use to describe your product or service. (Make sure you read WordTracker’s explanation of their results.)

                              3) Use phrases, not single words
                              Although this advice isn’t specific to the web copy, it’s so important that it’s worth repeating here. Why? Well firstly, there’s too much competition for single keywords. If you’re in computer sales, don’t choose “computers” as your primary keyword. Go to Google and search for “computers” and you’ll see why… Secondly, research shows that customers are becoming more search-savvy – they’re searching for more and more specific strings. They’re learning that by being more specific, they find what they’re looking for much faster. Ask yourself what’s unique about your business? Perhaps you sell cheap second hand computers? Then why not use “cheap second hand computers” as your primary keyword phrase. This way, you’ll not only stand a chance in the rankings, you’ll also display in much more targeted searches. In other words, a higher percentage of your site’s visitors will be people after cheap second hand computers. (WordTracker’s results will help you choose the most appropriate phrases.)

                              4) Pick the important keyword phrases
                              Don’t include every keyword phrase on every page. Focus on one or two keyword phrases on each page. For your Macs page, focus on “cheap second hand macs”. For the PCs page, focus on “cheap second hand pcs”, etc.

                              5) Be specific
                              Don’t just say “our computers”. Wherever you would normally say “our computers”, ask yourself if you can get away with saying “our cheap second hand Macs” or “our cheap second hand PCs”. If this doesn’t affect your readability too badly, it’s worth doing. It’s a fine balance though. Remember, your site reflects the quality of your service. If your site is hard to read, people will infer a lot about your service… 

                              6) Use keyword phrases in links
                              Although you shouldn’t focus on every keyword phrase on every page, it’s a good idea to link your pages together with text links. This way, when the search engines look at your site, they’ll see that the pages are related. Once again, the more text links the better, especially if the link text is a keyword phrase. So on your “Cheap Second Hand Macs” page, include a text link at the bottom to “Cheap Second Hand PCs”. If you can manage it without affecting readability, also include one within the copy of the page. For example, “As well as providing cheap second hand Macs, we sell high quality cheap second hand PCs”. TIP: If you don’t want your links to be underlined and blue, include the following in your CSS file:

                              -->

                              Then format the HTML of each link as follows:

                              As well as providing cheap second hand Macs, we sell high quality cheap second hand pcs.

                              7) Use keyword phrases in headings
                              Just as customers rely on headings to scan your site, so to do search engines. This means headings play a big part in how the search engines will categorise your site. Try to include your primary keyword phrases in your headings. In fact, think about inserting extra headings just for this purpose. Generally this will also help the readability of the site because it will help customers scan read.

                              8) Test keyword phrase density
                              Once you’ve made a first pass at the copy, run it through a density checker to get some metrics. Visit http://www.gorank.com/analyze.php and type in the domain and keyword phrase you want to analyse. It’ll give you a percentage for all the important parts of your page, including copy, title, meta keywords, meta description, etc. The higher the density the better. Generally speaking, a density measurement of at least 3-5% is what you’re looking for. Any less, and you’ll probably need to take another pass.

                              Follow these guidelines, and you’ll be well on your way to effective SEO copy. 

                              Just remember, don’t overdo it. It’s not easy to find the balance between copy written for search engines and copy written for customers. In many cases, this balance will be too difficult to achieve without professional help. Don’t worry, though. If you’ve already performed your keyword analysis, a professional website copywriter should be able to work your primary keyword phrases into your copy at no extra charge.

                              Title: 
                              Writing The Perfect Sales Letter

                              Word Count:
                              1266

                              Summary:
                              Before you actually write the e-book we are going to write the sales letter first. Now I suggest you write it in Microsoft Word and save it. Then we can transfer it to the main “Sales site Page” when we are designing our basic site in step 5 

                              The main reason we are writing our sales copy before we ever write a word in our e-Book is because it hasn’t actually being created yet, which means there is absolutely no limit what you can write in your sales letter. The sales lette...


                              Keywords:



                              Article Body:
                              Before you actually write the e-book we are going to write the sales letter first. Now I suggest you write it in Microsoft Word and save it. Then we can transfer it to the main “Sales site Page” when we are designing our basic site in step 5 

                              The main reason we are writing our sales copy before we ever write a word in our e-Book is because it hasn’t actually being created yet, which means there is absolutely no limit what you can write in your sales letter. The sales letter doesn’t fit the e-Book; it’s the other way around. 

                              Now you can describe exactly what your e-Book will show to the potential customer. There are no restrictions on what you can write in the sales letter. When the sales letter is completed you can then incorporate all the ideas you have come up with into your e-Book 

                              Your sales copy must do the following three things 

                              • Get the attention of the prospects 
                              • Communicate the benefits of the product 
                              • Persuade the prospects into the desired action 

                              Remember the most important part of your page design is your actual sales copy. A fancy website and graphics help but the key is in the words used 

                              Sales letter Structure 

                              • Header/Title 
                              • Promises 
                              • Testimonial 
                              • Info product 
                              • Benefit 
                              • Bonuses 
                              • Guarantee 
                              • Summary 

                              This is the structure that you should use for your sales copy. If you check out the best sales letter they will all follow this formula? 

                              Header 

                              The main function of the header/title is to grab the reader’s attention. The header should be displayed in a large, bold font. This demands your potential customer’s attention and intrigues them to read further on. Include your logo or e-Book cover (discussed later on) close to the header. If you header is not well designed you run the risk of losing the potential customer straight away. Spend time creating your header. 

                              A Promise 

                              This section promises the potential customer a huge benefit which is almost too good to be true. It’s ok if it’s a bit too unbelievable the testimonials will take care of that. Here is an example of such a headline 

                              Discover how my 5 step affiliate programme can increase your income by 10,000 a month 

                              Testimonials 

                              In this section you include testimonials that old/new customers have sent you about your product or service. You probably don’t have any customers yet so email some potential ones your e-book for free in exchange for a testimonial. When you do start selling you can always ask a new customer for one. 

                              Now the testimonials page has assured the potential customer that you can fulfil the promises you made in your header also you have gained a bit of trust from your potential customers so anything else you say that follows the testimonials page will be taken as true. This is the reason why the testimonial is placed at the top to gain trust right away where if it was placed at the bottom after presenting some good sales copy it may be already too late. 

                              Info and product 

                              In this section you will give info on what your product or service is about. You should show your customers a list of problems in this area. Agree with the customers, on how frustrating these problems can be and how you, yourself dealt with these problems. The key is to show the person that you have a deep understanding in this area and you are an expert on the subject. That is very important. 

                              Next you must introduce your product as the solution to the problem. Then you must have a proper e-Book cover design. This is crucial. Many people have never purchased an e-book so you must give them some idea what exactly they will be purchasing 

                              Benefit 
                              This section is basically telling your potential customer of the benefits they will receive from purchasing your product. Show your potential customers the enjoyment they will get from using the product. Give them as much information on your product as you can. Use bullet points to emphasize the benefits. Put in another testimonial just to remind the person that it’s all true. Keeping their trust is highly important. 

                              Bonuses 

                              This is a powerful tactic used to increase sales. Including free bonuses with the purchase of your e-Book will increase the perceived value of the e-Book. Also a deadline on bonuses is also a good way to speed up consumer purchases. Bonuses also reduce the risk of money back returns 

                              Guarantee 

                              Offering a guarantee to your potential customers takes the risk off their shoulders. A good guarantee is the final bit in the jigsaw that will make the person finally purchase the product. The agreement is such that if the customer is not happy with their purchases then can get a full refund. You must remember that lots of your potential customers will be “first timers” therefore a guarantee puts their minds at ease. Guarantees can be 30 day, 60 day, or lifetime; however such guarantees must be backed up with an exceptional product. 

                              Summary 

                              This is one of the most important steps in the sales letter; this is where you close the sale. In this section you must include your most appealing benefit and finally ask for the order, because if you don’t they wont. Finally make it easier for them to order like an “order now” button shown below. 

                              At this stage you should start to write your sales letter in Microsoft word we will concentrate on the html design and implementing the sales letter in it in section six but for now just concern yourself with writing your sales letter. To help you here are some of the web’s top e-book publishers sales sites. You can check out my own sales page at http://www.ebookprofitmaker.com 

                              Sales Letter generator 

                              Ok ill now offer you an alternative to writing the sales page yourself. Only use this if you are willing to spend some money. You may want to check out this piece of software that actually writes the sales letter for you. All you do is answer the questions it asks and you will receive your sales letter. You can find this software at sales generator here 

                              Credit card Transactions 

                              Finally you will need to find a credit card processor later on so your e-Books can be ordered. The one I seriously recommend is Clickbank. Ill go into them in more detail in section 6 but for now I want you to know that all these company’s, including Clickbank, have a set of rules that you must abide by to use their software. Don’t panic ill go through these rules now. Basically it involves putting a certain amount of details in your sales letter and product delivery page so you can be accepted by your credit transaction company. So here they are: 

                              You must provide on your sales page: 

                              • Detailed description of your product 
                              • Buy now link 
                              • Explain how the product will be delivered 
                              • Mention how long the delivery will take 

                              * remember theses are rules not suggestions 

                              So that is everything you need to know on how to write your sales letter, hers a quick summary 
                              We need to: 

                              • Write the sales letter before the e-Book 
                              • Sales letter structure must have , header, promise, Testimonial, info and product, benefit, bonuses, guarantee and summary 
                              • You can have your sales letter made by Sales letter generator 
                              • Certain set of rules should be included in the sales letter for the purpose of the credit card transaction company

                              Title: 
                              Your FAQ Page - A Sales Tool?  You Bet!

                              Word Count:
                              522

                              Summary:
                              FAQ pages are generally well-trafficked areas of your site.  With just a few adjustments, your FAQ page could become one of your leading sources for sales conversions.


                              Keywords:
                              copywriting, copy writing, web copywriting


                              Article Body:
                              by Karon Thackston © 2006

                              The FAQ page… a standard addition to almost any site.  It usually lists questions customers ask on a regular basis, and the answers to those questions.  But what befuddles me is that hardly any sites I’ve visited use this page as a sales tool.

                              Did you think of that?  If not, you’re losing out on the use of some valuable real estate!  FAQ pages are generally well-trafficked areas of your site.  With just a few adjustments, your FAQ page could become one of your leading sources for sales conversions.

                              Let me give you a before and after version of one site I visited.  I’ve changed some of the information so as not to promote (or embarrass) the site owner.

                              BEFORE

                              What is the source of the minerals used in your supplements?

                              We use all-natural minerals from sources such as limestone and dolomite.  Nothing artificial.

                              [back to top]

                              What is the source of Vitamin C?

                              Ascorbic acid, which was originally gained by isolation from fruits and plants, is produced today by an industrial process. The basis for the industrial ascorbic acid synthesis is D-Glucose (grape sugar or corn sugar), one of the most common organic compounds in nature.

                              [back to top]

                              Informative?  Yes.  Does it answer the question?  Yes.  Does it contribute to making the sale?  Not really.

                              Now, let’s change these two answers just a bit, add a link or two, and see how much more powerful they can become.

                              AFTER

                              What is the source of the minerals used in your supplements?

                              We use all-natural minerals from sources such as limestone and dolomite.  These 100% natural minerals are then carefully processed under low heat to remove impurities and preserve quality.  Many minerals are processed under high heat, which literally kills the beneficial elements of the mineral.  Because of our devotion to producing quality vitamins and minerals, we take additional precautions that other manufacturers skip.  To ensure you receive the most potent supplements possible, choose XYZ Vitamins.  

                              [shop for minerals]
                              [back to top]

                              What is the source of Vitamin C?

                              Ascorbic acid, which was originally gained by isolation from fruits and plants, is produced today by an industrial process. The basis for the industrial ascorbic acid synthesis is D-Glucose (grape sugar or corn sugar), one of the most common organic compounds in nature.

                              XYZ Vitamins uses only organically-grown grapes and corn, and we extract our own D-Glucose to ensure the process remains 100% natural.  No other manufacturer in the world has developed its own facility specifically to produce the highest quality of Vitamin C.  We go the extra mile to ensure the vitamins and minerals you buy from XYZ Vitamins are the most beneficial for you and your family.

                              [shop for vitamins]
                              [back to top]

                              See the difference?  The “before” versions JUST answer the questions.  The “after” versions boost consumer confidence, promote unique qualities of the products, and offer easy-to-follow links to buy the products in question.

                              By using some imagination and salesmanship, you can turn your FAQ page into a highly productive tool that not only gives visitors the information they need, but also encourages more sales!


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