With conversational copywriting you communicate like a real person, not a corporation or marketer.

This question is from Daniel P., who has been reading about my course, Conversational Copywriting.

Instead of simply replying to the email Dan sent me, I decided to share both his question and my answer with this short video.

(What follows is the outline I wrote for myself in advance of recording the video. This is just an outline. Not a regular post or article.)

First, Dan’s question:

“You talk about being conversational with our copywriting. I get that when we’re actually in conversation with someone… like in the comment stream under a blog post, or when going back and forth on social media. But how can we be conversational when writing a page of content or even a sales page?”

Good question.

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The rise of ad blockers is a warning about the future of selling online.

Ad blockers and bricked up windows

According to a recent report from PageFair, the use of ad blockers grew by 30% in 2016 alone.

By the end of 2016, there were over 615 million devices with ad blockers installed worldwide. 62% of those devices were mobile.

A couple of years ago it was only the nerds who were blocking ads. Now it’s gone mainstream. And it’s not just younger people who are doing this. The spread across age groups is surprisingly even.

This spells big trouble for both advertisers and the media sites that carry their ads.

The advertisers sense, quite rightly, that their ads are being viewed by fewer and fewer people.

And the websites that carry advertising as a core part of their revenue stream are facing an uncertain future.

So what’s happening here? Why the sudden surge in the use of ad blockers?

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My 19-year romance with conversational copywriting explained.

sunset message in bottle

I’m going to be writing quite a bit about conversational copywriting over the next few weeks.

So I thought it might be a good idea to first define what I mean, and give the term a little history and context.

I first began writing and talking about conversational copywriting way back in the late 1990s. In 1998 to be exact. Hence the 19-year romance.

I made the simple point that as the web is a two-way communications medium, shouldn’t we adjust our marketing and promotional language accordingly?

Traditional media, like TV, are one way. The advertiser gets to speak at you, but you can’t talk back to the advertiser through your TV.

The language of advertising developed accordingly. Advertising spoke at you, through TV, radio, magazine ads, bill boards and so on.

Then along came the web… a two-way communications medium. Huge change.

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To really understand social media, you first need to know its 30-year history.

speakers corner conversationsHere’s a timely quote for you:

“…a place for conversation or publication, like a giant coffee-shop with a thousand rooms; it is also a worldwide digital version of the Speaker’s Corner in London’s Hyde Park, an unedited collection of letters to the editor, a floating flea market, a huge vanity publisher, and a collection of every odd special-interest group in the world.”

That’s not a bad description of social media.

But it wasn’t written about social media.

It was written by Howard Rheingold in his book, The Virtual Community. His book was first published in 1993, before the web even existed.

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