Do I believe in the power of positive affirmations?

(What follows is the outline I wrote in advance of recording the video. They’re my talking points. Not a regular post or article. Just an outline.)

Until now my video posts have been focused on the short-form courses I’ve created over the last 12 months. These are the topics that have been generating the most questions, so that’s where I have been focusing my attention.

But… it’s time for a little variety.

I’ve dusted off a question about an ebook I wrote several years ago – Affirmations for Freelancers.

I answered the question by email, back when I received it, but thought I’d share what I said.

Here’s the original question, from Richard:

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Every good business story needs a leaping zebra.

(What follows is the outline I wrote in advance of recording the video. They’re my talking points. Not a regular post or article. Just an outline.)

Great question from Stephan, who took my course on Selling With Stories.

“For business communications, is it enough just to describe something that has happened? Is that a story? If told well, does a description of something that happened at work qualify as a story? I guess I’m not quite clear on what a business story actually is!”

Thank you Stephan. That’s a terrific question.

Let me try to answer you with some examples.

Here’s a description of an event…

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Does it make sense to make improvements to older web pages?

(What follows is the outline I wrote in advance of recording the video. They’re my talking points. Not a regular post or article. Just an outline.)

I got an email from Sally, who has taken my course on Web Content Optimization.

She asks:

“I’m working with a client who wants me to create a lot of new content pages. Which is great. But as I look through their site I see a lot of existing pages that could be improved. Should I mention this? Is there a benefit to improving existing pages?”

I love this question. Mainly because nobody has ever asked it before!

And the answer is yes, there is huge value to improving old content.

The older that content is, the more important it is to update it and improve it.

Here are a 3 things to watch for and to do…

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If you can hold a conversation, you can sell.

(What follows is the outline I wrote in advance of recording the video. They’re my talking points. Not a regular post or article. Just an outline.)

I got an email from Daniel, who has taken my course on Conversational Copywriting.

He asks:

“Nick, I took your course on conversational copywriting, but still don’t feel comfortable “selling”. I’d love to make a living as a copywriter, but fear I’m one of those people who will never feel comfortable in the role of a salesman.”

Well… if you feel that way after completing the course, I can’t help thinking I have failed you there.

Because the thing about conversational copywriting is that it enables you to sell without taking on the mantle of being a salesman or sales person.

And Daniel, I have a challenge for you.

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When marketing stories are false and manipulative.

(What follows is the outline I wrote in advance of recording the video. They’re my talking points. Not a regular post or article. Just an outline.)

Martin emailed me and said.

“Nick, I have been reading your work for years and have a lot of respect for what you do. But stories? Almost every marketing story I read feels totally fake and manipulative. What gives?”

Fair enough. (I’m guessing he hasn’t taken my course on Selling with Stories.)

In part, I agree. Although I think Martin overstates things when he talks about EVERY marketing story being fake or manipulative. But I do get his point.

The two kinds of false stories that irritate me the most are…

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What’s the optimal number of words to have on a web page?

(What follows is the outline I wrote in advance of recording the video. They’re my talking points. Not a regular post or article. Just an outline.)

This is a question from Holly who has taken my course on Web Content Optimization.

She asks, “I’m confused about all the different messages I get on the length of articles and posts. Are longer articles better? Is there an optimum length? Is there a point where content is too long?”

Good question. Complicated question.

A page, article or post can be optimized for a number of reasons…

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