How the Easy Button is killing your freelance copywriting business.

fast easy successImagine launching and building your freelance copywriting business back in the 1980s.

Perhaps you would have spent a few years working in an ad agency, and then made the decision to go freelance.

If you didn’t take the agency route, then you would seek out the small number of books that had been written about copywriting and freelancing.

Either way, you would continue to learn – about both your craft and freelancing – at a fairly slow pace. You would learn from a very small handful of authors. You would learn from your clients. You would learn by reading the occasional article in a trade magazine. And you would learn by studying the successful work of your peers.

As for taking in-depth courses to speed things along, no such luck. As far as I recall, there were no courses or programs devoted to copywriting or freelancing back then. Just books and an occasional magazine article.

Read the full post…How the Easy Button is killing your freelance copywriting business.

Copywriters: Understand people’s obsession with Cause, Effect and Simple Answers.

seek simple answers signAs copywriters, part of our job is to understand our audience.

What makes them agree or disagree with what you write? What makes them form opinions about our products or services? What makes them buy?

We need to understand this, because the decisions people make, and the opinions they hold, are hardly ever based on careful, rational thinking.

We all like to think we form opinions and make decisions in a purely rational way, but we don’t.

As an example of how we avoid thinking too carefully, let’s take a look at…

Cause, Effect and Simple Answers.

Humans have a deep-seated desire for everything to make sense. If something happens, we immediately want to know why. What was the cause?

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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.

Read the full post…Copywriters: Prime your readers with a few carefully chosen words, before you start selling.

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.

Read the full post…If your sales copy doesn’t flow smoothly, rewrite it. Or fail.

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.

Read the full post…8 Bonuses and $100 off my Copywriting 2.0 program – Deal Expires Today.