When you’re lost in the forest, and a digital marketing expert offers to help…

If you have a business, or you advise or write for business, the web can be an amazing, but thoroughly confusing place.

Whether you want to learn more about email marketing, sales funnels, social media or chatbot marketing, there are a thousand experts ready and waiting to help you.

The trouble is, which experts should you follow? Which one teaches or offers the approach that will work best for your audience?

And, of course, you have to figure out which are the true experts, and which are the weekend gurus who likely know less than you do.

Here is my take on this, in three steps.

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Focus on long-term goals, and choose some scary ones.

At this time of year, I always spend a few days reflecting on the year that just passed, and thinking about the year to come.

This year, before thinking too much about what’s to come in 2021, I looked back further than just last year.

In fact, I looked back at the last 10 years.

In particular, I wanted to take a look at the new ventures and projects I had embarked on, and see which of them worked out the best.

Two main takeaways…

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Write to people as individuals, not as part of a group.

I’m writing this post for YOU.

We’ve probably never met. But I try to picture you in my mind as I sit at my computer, pecking away at the keyboard.

I might even imagine you here in my home, sitting across from me at the kitchen table.

I’m writing to you as if you’re the only person in the world on my mind right now.

This means I’ll always talk about you in the singular.

One-on-one. You and me.

I think you notice and appreciate it… the fact that I’m writing this just for you.

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Traditional advertising starts with, “Just shut up and listen”.

man shouting at woman through megaphone

Shut up and listen to that radio ad.

Shut up and watch that TV commercial.

Shut up and read that magazine ad or direct mail promotion.

This is the nature of traditional advertising. It’s one-way. You’re broadcasting a sales message to an audience that can’t talk back, or write back.

No wonder advertising is such a hit or miss affair.

No wonder response rates are so low.

Think about it… Nobody likes being told to shut up and listen.

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Short copy rocks.

Choose between long form copywriting and short-form copywriting

When I sing the praises of short-form copy, I often get pushback.

Particularly from some of my fellow copywriters.

I’m told that short copy isn’t up to the job.

For the tough jobs… the heavy lifting… only long copy works.

I’m not so sure.

I think short copy can also get the job done.

In fact, I think some of the most powerful copy is really, really, short.

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5 Simple ways to improve every page of content you create.

Write on laptop creating web content

We’re all guilty of rushing when writing web content.

Well, I am. And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone!

A 500-word blog post? Maybe I can get that done before my meeting at 11:00. Or I’ll squeeze it in before finishing up at the end of the day.

It’s weird, because we rarely think the same about writing a more “important” page, like a sales page.

But… your content pages ARE important.

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