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…

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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?

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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.

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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.

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If you can’t find a story to tell… borrow, steal or create one.

 

Stories in books

A while back I wrote a post about how selling is giving way to storytelling.

The thing is, “selling at people” just isn’t a good fit online. Nobody wants to be interrupted and sold at when they’re looking at their tablet or smartphone. That’s why tens of millions of people use adblockers.

Soo… if the traditional, hard-nosed sales approach is no longer welcome, what can marketers do?

First off, they can get serious about content marketing.

The delivery of great content, across all devices, will do about 80% of the heavy lifting when it comes to getting prospects ready to make a purchase.

Just because people don’t want to be exposed to hard-hitting sales pitches doesn’t mean they’re not interested in reading or viewing great content related to your products or services. They are.

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Master the headline, and you master the page.

 

Course on how to write better headlines for content marketers

Any sales copywriter will tell you the headline is the most important element on the page.

If you don’t get the headline right, it doesn’t matter how good the rest of the page is, because nobody will read it.

Copywriters know this. And online content writers need to understand it too.

David Ogilvy, one of the greatest copywriters of the last century, used to say that once you have written the headline you have spent about 80 cents of every dollar your client will spend on that ad.

Put another way… 80% of your visitors read the headline, but only 20% will read the body of the page.

He made his observation about writing ads.

But you can say the same – and do the same math – when you look at the creation of content online.

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