Michele asks me for a clearer definition of clickbait when writing headlines.

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

My recent videos have all been related to my course, Conversational Copywriting.

This one comes from a question asked by Michele Reder, who took an earlier course of mine, How to Write Better Headlines.

That said… as you’ll see… her question and my answer do bring us back to the topic of conversational copywriting.

So…

In one of the exercises in my headline course I ask students to rewrite a headline for a page of web content.

Here’s what I give them.

Read the full post…

Traditional versus conversational copywriting. One guy thinks traditional wins.

(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.)

A while back I was sent a bit of a challenge by a reader who didn’t agree with much of what I have been writing about the thrust of my course, Conversational Copywriting.

Fair enough.

Here’s what he wrote… slightly edited for brevity…

Read the full post…

Start new conversations by inviting your visitors to ask questions.

(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.)

This isn’t one of my Q&A videos.

Nobody asked me this question.

So I’ll ask it myself.

“What do I think is the most powerful way to get conversational with a website’s audience?”

In my course, Conversational Copywriting, I talk about a few different ways to get your clients started.

But if I had to choose one, and only one way… it would be this…

Read the full post…

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?

Read the full post…

For a me-too business, stories can be the great differentiator.

Undifferentiated suits

I have this dream.

My new client has a product or service with an amazing point of difference.

There is something unique about it. It has something none of its competitors possess. It’s amazing. It’s incredible.

Oh joy!

And then I wake up.

It’s incredibly rare that we have the opportunity to work on promoting a product or service that is significantly different from its competitors.

Mostly we have to work with very minor points of difference. Sometimes there is no point of difference at all.

Read the full post…

3 Ways to attract quality inbound links to your website or blog.

backlinks and inbound links for websites

When it comes to attracting more traffic to your blog or website, everyone is all over search engine optimization, content marketing and social media.

These are the hot tickets.

Optimize for the search engines!

Spend more on content marketing!

Go viral through social media channels!

There’s nothing wrong with focusing on these three areas. They are all important.

But that doesn’t mean you should forget one other area of activity that is just as valuable to online marketers.

Link building.

Link building means attracting inbound links to your site from other relevant and high-value sites.

Read the full post…