Every blog post you write needs to finish with a gift. Ribbons too.

Web content as a gift

Over the last few days I have had the opportunity to read through dozens of homework assignments from one of my courses.

This particular assignment was to write a blog post about foods that are good for brain health.

As always, it was a real education going through everyone’s work. The overall quality of writing was excellent. And it was amazing to see all the different approaches people took.

Different writers showed different strengths.

Some wrote amazing headlines. Some were particularly strong with the introduction, clearly setting up what was to come in the body of the post. Others were strongest when it came to the main part of the post, where they were talking about the health benefits of various foods and food groups.

But…

Read the full post…Every blog post you write needs to finish with a gift. Ribbons too.

How Dangerous Dave and Big Brian drive conversations for this artist.

Big Brian pain brushes

I write and talk a lot about the power and benefits of conversational copywriting.

Today I want to share an example of how the power of conversation extends way beyond just the words we write as copywriters.

Let me introduce you to Dangerous Dave, Big Brian, Flat Phil and Miss Rigger.

As you may have already noticed from the photo above, these are the names of four different paint brushes.

These four brushes arrived in the mail because my wife is an accomplished watercolor artist, but still likes to take classes. And one of the instructors she likes to follow is Andrew Geeson, from Wales. Andrew, as well as being an artist and instructor, clearly has smart marketing skills coded into his DNA.

Read the full post…How Dangerous Dave and Big Brian drive conversations for this artist.

It’s not always easy finding the sweet spot for your freelance business.

Truth in freelancing

I get into conversations with a lot of freelancers, many of them just starting out.

And one thing I notice again and again is that freshly-minted freelancers often struggle to articulate exactly what their specialty should be.

  • B2C or B2B?
  • Which industry niche, if any? Financial, health, industrial, travel, other?
  • What kind of writing specialty, if any… sales copy, email, content marketing, social media writing?

It’s important to have answers to these questions. Without answers, you’ll often feel you have no real foundation. It becomes hard to articulate your position and your value to prospective clients.

In other words, if you aren’t completely clear about where you stand, and what you stand for as a freelancer, you going to have a lot more trouble marketing yourself and finding good work.

Read the full post…It’s not always easy finding the sweet spot for your freelance business.

3 Things you have to get right when selling with stories.

Selling with a good story

Recently I’ve been seeing a surge in the number of companies jumping on the “story” bandwagon.

A few days ago I was traveling back from the UK. At the airport I saw three references to story. One on a poster, one in a duty-free flier that was thrust into my hand just after I got through security, and the one you see in the photo above, on the pages of an in-flight magazine.

All mention story, but not one of them actually told a story.

It’s as if the writers believed that just using the word “story” would make some kind of difference.

It doesn’t.

If you want to tap into the true power of storytelling in your marketing, you have to actually tell and share a real story.

And to give your story power, it has to get three things right…

Read the full post…3 Things you have to get right when selling with stories.

What is your thinking process when writing headlines?

This question is from Charlotte, who took my course on How to Write Better Headlines.

She asks, “What is your thinking process as you brainstorm, formulate, play with, and analyze your headline creations?”

After writing headlines for 35 years, it’s quite the challenge to deconstruct the process I go through.

But here’s a broad outline of what I do…

A practical note… I work with a pen and pad of paper first. Don’t ask me why, but I do. Just for the headline.

OK… the process and sequence…

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Am I too late for Conversational Copywriting?

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

This question is from Bernard, who took my course on Conversational Copywriting.

He asks, “I’m guessing conversational copywriting is really popular with copywriters now. Am I too late to take this approach? Is the market already saturated?”

Well… I wish Bernard had a legitimate worry here. But I don’t think he does.

I don’t imagine the market will become saturated with talented conversational copywriters any time soon.

For now, most copywriters still follow the traditional, hard-sell approach.

How come?

Read the full post…Am I too late for Conversational Copywriting?