Copywriters: Prime your readers with a few carefully chosen words, before you start selling.

prime your readers with wordsLet me introduce you to the Florida Effect.

Conducting a study with students at New York University, psychologist John Bargh told the student the first part of the test would take place in one office, and then the students would be asked to walk down a corridor to another office for the second part.

Half of the group was asked to arrange brief sentences including at least one of the words: Florida, forgetful, bald, gray, or wrinkle. The other half were presented with a completely random list of words.

He didn’t include the words old or age in that first list. He simply used words associated with being old.

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If your sales copy doesn’t flow smoothly, rewrite it. Or fail.

copy flows like waterA couple of weeks ago a young copywriter sent me a sales page he had written. He wanted to know if I thought it was any good.

I must have been having a very slow day, because I don’t usually have time to answer all the emails I receive, let alone look at attachments.

And I kind of dread reading “newbie copy”, because I know I’ll find lots of things that aren’t working quite right, and also know I won’t have time to write back with a full and comprehensive critique.

Anyway, on this particular day I did read the entire sales page.

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Online writers and copywriters: Social media IS the web.

social media conversationMost online writers and copywriters learned their craft at a time when the web was all about static websites.

To put a date on that, let’s say the period of “come and spend time on my great website” was between 1995 and 2008. More or less.

I’m pretty sure the majority of freelancers learned how to write for the web during this period.

Is this a problem? Could be.

Before then, in the eighties and very early nineties, the Internet was around, but the web wasn’t. In other words, people were connecting through the infrastructure of the Internet, but there were no browsers. No web as we know it.

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8 Bonuses and $100 off my Copywriting 2.0 program – Deal Expires Today.

online copywriting courseIt has been about four years now since I first wrote the Copywriting 2.0 program. I wrote it based on my work as a web writer and trainer for companies and organizations like Yahoo!, Intuit, The New York Times, The Getty Trust and many others.

So while I wrote the program for online copywriters at any stage of their careers, even beginners, the content of the program is based on my writing and training work for some of the most respected companies in the world.

In other words, this is a professional-grade program. There is nothing thin or skinny about it.

And since we first published the program, we have been updating and adding to it on an ongoing basis, including the addition of embedded videos.

Also, year by year, I have been creating more and more webinars, teleconferences and written materials to support the program.

As a result, when you buy the program now, you not only get the full, updated program, but also receive all of the following 8 bonuses.

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4 Ways in which the best e-newsletters are a little like blogs.

[Note: I first wrote and published this article about 5 years ago. But it still strikes me as relevant and useful.]

blogs and e-newslettersThe best e-newsletters share many of the same qualities as a good blog. It may seem strange to be comparing an e-newsletter with a blog.

But when you think about it, it’s not so strange at all.

Just think back to the days before blogs existed.

It wasn’t so long ago.

Back then, where did you turn to find interesting, engaging, timely, and topical news and information?

The answer for many of us is that we signed up for some great newsletters. We didn’t go to Web sites for the latest information and opinions, because in those days most sites tended to be too static.

If we wanted to know what was new, important, and interesting, we turned to newsletters.

Here are four ways that good newsletters share the same qualities as blogs.

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Why every web page needs rewriting over and over again [VIDEO]

old web pages new web pagesLook back twenty years and you’ll find that marketing materials had a slightly longer shelf life.

A company could have a brochure written and reasonable expect that brochure to be as relevant in a six months as it was the day it was printed.

Companies came to the web with similar expectations.

Oops.

The thing about the web, particularly today, is that companies are no longer the sole authors of their messages. In fact, their very brands are being formed and changed not by their marketing departments, but by their customers, fans and detractors.

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