Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Why A Knockout Headline Is So Important

I’ve just realised why very few boxers make good copywriters, and most online copywriters make pathetic pugilists. We’re complete oxymorons (no pun intended)

During a world title fight the other night, one of the corner men told his boxer to, “Kill the body and the head will fall”.

As copywriters, we are always being told to keep our keyword phrases and content up, so it's easy to become completely focussed on the body copy and forget that it won't make an impact on the reader if we don't land a knockout headline up front.

In other words, before stepping in the ring with that business website, sales letter, blog post, or article, a copywriter needs to remember, “Kill the headline, or the body will fall”.

There's a helpful headline article on copyblogger that will have you ready to rumble.


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Monday, August 14, 2006

Cut n Paste Your Way To Internet Marketing Riches

Cut n Paste Your Way To Internet Marketing Riches

An interesting discovery along the road to finding authentic internet marketing schemes. Searching for an independent review I came across a site advertising “Get Rich Quick Schemes Revealed”.

The sales letter started out like this...
"Whether it’s real estate investing, selling by classified ads, stock market investing, internet affiliate marketing, or something else, we’ve all seen the fantastic claims people make about making tons of money, AND how they can show you how to do the same thing. I can tell you right now that 99% of these people are total frauds. You have even fallen prey to one of these scams artists, selling you their latest “get rich quick program. Me too. I’ve bought so many of these programs that I can’t even recall how many. I don’t know why but I tend to find the “good” in people, and I was “sold” by these marketing schemes time and time again, even after being scammed by another. Finally, after so many disappointments, I got FED UP. I decided to get to the bottom of this fascination we all have with get rich quick programs, and find out there really were any LEGITIMATE programs for making money. I literally contacted the administrator of every get rich quick website I could find. Posing as an investor, I managed to convince the owners that I was seriously interested in purchasing their entire website and business."

Wow, I thought. This guys sincere, honest, and he's even done the hard work, spent all the money, and outed the scam artists. Even better, he'd found programs that really worked, designed by good, wholesome, internet marketing folk...

"I was able to locate a couple of individuals that actually ran legitimate programs. The owners were everyday people like you and me that found a way to make extra money working from home on their computers. Their membership areas were impressive, with a good amount of quality information on how to make $100-$200 per day on your computer doing very little work. I even chatted with a few of their customers in several online forums, and they verified that they were making extra money through the sites. It was like I found a few diamonds in the rough. But don’t take my word for it, you can visit the three sites I found below. See what you think."

Out of curiosity, I decided to take a look at three other “Get Rich Quick Schemes Revealed” sites to see what they had to say. Suddenly I had an uneasy feeling of de ja vu, or as we call it in the copywriting trade, cut n paste.

Exact same sales letter, written by completely different people promoting completely different "legitimate" programs at the bottom.

Cheeky buggars!

Not to judge the people who built these sites. After all, the hard sales approach, promising everyone $50,000 in their first month of business is losing it's shine. And writing an effective sales letter isn't an easy thing for most people. So if this works, good luck to them. Who knows, the programs they mention may well have been legitimate.

But before you take up any offer online, it's worth keeping in mind that the highest qualification of most internet marketers and copywriters, is a Masters degree in cut n paste.

Warning: The sales letter excerpts shown in this article were cut n pasted by a professional copywriter. Do not try this at home.

Disclaimer: No words were hurt during the writing of this post.


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Friday, August 11, 2006

Website Audiences – The Copywriters Speed Date

Website Audiences – The Copywriters Speed Date

A thought struck me the other day. Copywriting and going on a first date have the same prime objective – seduce, or at least attract, your target audience. If so, does that mean Internet copywriting is like a speed date?

Think about it. Playing musical chairs with a room full of love vultures is hardly the perfect environment to deliver your best line, or paragraph. Presumably the online reader is sitting in a more relaxed setting, but monitor resolution, colours, and glare, can distract all but the most intrigued from your sweet-talking copy.

Similarly, neither audience has the time nor inclination to sit and listen to long winded tales of heroism, gallantry, and product features. They’d much prefer to scan through your sub-headings, clicking on your hyperlinks, and jump between your pages, before slipping between your sheets.

Then you have to remember that most of your audience knew what they were looking for before they arrived. Now they want some damn good reasons why they should pick you amongst all these potential suitors. If you can't impress them in the first thirty seconds, someone who can is just a click or a table away. Even if you do sound like a pretty good catch, chances are they are going check out all the options before taking your number.

So what’s the moral of the story? Whether you are copywriting for a business website or trying to impress the cutie across the table, make a big first impression and leave them panting “I bet we’d be good together”.

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Internet Marketing - Is The Truth Really Out There?

A sudden bout of internet marketing sales letteritis has convinced me to add another theme to the internet marketing side of the blog. Snake oil salesmen

I spend a lot of time helping customers market their business online. It might be web copywriting, site look and feel of the site, improving their search engine ranking, writing articles, eBooks, or email newsletters, etc. The stuff to get a physical business idea up and running effectively.

But there is another side to internet marketing. Miracle get rich products, affiliate programs, mini sites and the like. Complete cyber businesses. I've been spending some time looking over these internet marketing business ideas and methods. Obviously a lot of other people do too. The sales letters all sound very enticing. You want to believe they work because it all sounds like easy money. Usually it's not. Trouble is, how do you know what works and what doesn't work?

Be fun to find out. Thoughts are welcome


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Did you hear the one about the copywriter who tried to start a blog?

Ok, so I've followed rule 1 of blogging for success, “Pick a topic that you’re passionate about, and write in an informal tone.”

We'll I'm passionate about lots of things, but most are not appropriate for family viewing. The not so serious web copywriting and internet marketing tips idea sounded safe enough.

Before I started my business Get There Writing Services, I was a copywriter and marketing manager for some of Australia’s most successful e-commerce companies and wrote two of Australia’s most popular email newsletters, and…

Hang on, rule 2 of blogging for success says, “Don’t hard sell your product or service, that’s what your business website is for. If you do, visitors may become rather irate, burn your blog to the ground, have their dog mark out it’s territory on the smouldering remains, before disappearing forever”.

And here I am starting my blog sounding like an infommercial.

But wait, that’s not all. The first 100, 99, 98 people to view my blog will be subject to whatever inane thoughts are running around in my head absolutely FREE!

Anyway, rule 3. This is my rule. It's about having fun. I do way too much serious work everyday so I'll leave the serious copywriting blog to someone else.

Cheers
Simon

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And This Guy Calls Himself An Internet Copywriter?

Hi,

I'm Simon Hillier. I run a copywriting and internet marketing business
Get There Writing Services, based in Sydney, Australia.

It's more than ten years since I first started writing and marketing on the web but this is first blog I've ever owned.

Until recently I was under the impression that blogs were just a place for people to spew out the kind of mindless thoughts that even close friends go all glazed eyes listening too. Sort of like the babble you're reading right now.

Apparently, I'm wrong. THEY say, "Blogs are a must for any online business".


I've alway wondered who THEY are. Do THEY own a blog? I'd imagane so. THEY seem to have an opinion on everything.

Anyway, I thought a blog could be a great avenue to help people trying to get their heads around web writing and marketing. We'll see.

Cheers
Simon copywriting and internet marketing strategies.


There's so much information and jargon, so many theories and experts, it's enough to make the most avid internet junkie's head spin, let alone people who don't know where to start or have other important things to do to get their business up and running.

The best way I can share my knowledge, is to try and cut through the sales speak, and make it fun and informative. Sound like a plan?

Hopefully I'll get the hang of blogging a lot faster than it took me to surf my first wave. In the meantime, apologies for the lack of structure, and welcome to Simon Writes.

Cheers
Simon


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