How to Write Effective Web Sales Copy

Web Sales CopyWriting Web Sales Copy That Sells

I believe that learning to write effective web sales copy (copywriting on the Internet to sell products, services, courses, and more) was the best investment of time and money I could ever have done for my business during my first year online. Now that I have more than fifty different products for sale on the Internet, my web sales copy is like a sales team always at the ready to assist me in making sales 24/7/365. And the interesting part of this is that it didn’t have to take me a full year to learn how to do it. Now you can get started in as little as ten days.

I was given a review copy of a new training on copywriting by Dennis Becker, and I’d like to share my thoughts on this with you within this post. I also decided to do some additional research before publishing it here.

I was reading a post by Derek Gehl over at the Entrepreneur site called Make Your Sales Copy Sell: 7 Tricks to Writing Copy that Brings in Business where he says that:

Writing good sales copy doesn’t have to be hard–you just use a formula. Plug in all the elements, and you’ll create a whole that’s bigger than the sum of its parts.”

I agree, up to a point. When you are new to copywriting it’s easy to get confused by the glib comments of more experienced copywriters and marketers. Writing effective web sales copy takes practice, and that is exactly what you get from a new training just released by Dennis Becker. It’s called CopyBox and is a ten day copywriting challenge and short course on how to get started with copywriting to sell your products and services online. And it’s quite inexpensive as well. Dennis says:

Learning how to write good sales copy is one of the most valuable and profitable skills you can pick up in your business career. Because once you know how to craft irresistible, sizzling sales letters, then you’ll have the power to sell anything to anyone!

That’s why I’ve put together this 50+ page hands-on course, where you’ll get a step-by-step guide for crafting high-response sales letters. This includes:

*Ten daily modules where you learn exactly how to write sizzling copy!
*Ten daily assignments to go with each module. If you follow along, you only need to invest a few minutes a day to write a new piece of your copy – and in just 10 days you’ll be ready to roll with a high-response sales letter!

I love this type of “short course” where you can go through the materials quickly and easily over a ten day period. And I promise that if you do that you will most likely look forward to writing copy instead of dreading it like I once did. And Dennis provides dozens of examples and tips throughout this entire course to make it easier than ever for you to create your own sales letter.

One other part of Derek’s post that you will find helpful is this one on the topic of features and benefits:

Talk about benefits, not just features.
Your potential customers want to know how your product or service will make their lives easier, so focus on benefits, not features. Here’s an example:

      • Feature: The Grade A Gardening Shovel is ergonomically designed to remove weeds more efficiently than traditional shovels.
      • Benefit: Get your weeding done in half the time and reduce wrist soreness!

A benefit answers the question “What’s in it for me?” and gets visitors to imagine using your product to take care of the problem they’re trying to solve.”

So if you are ready to jump in to the world of copywriting for the Internet, grab Dennis Becker’s Copy Box and start your ten day challenge and course of study. You’ll be glad you did, as this is a necessary part of online marketing that you can’t afford to be without. And you might even decide you like it enough to write web sales copy for others. Yes, that’s something that is in high demand among those of us working exclusively online, and learning how to do this part of the business effectively could be your next career.

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Podcast: Blogging for Your Business

Doing What It Takes Blogging for Your Business for Online Entrepreneurs

This most recent podcast is a discussion of the importance and relevance of blogging for your business as an online entrepreneur. Here are some of the points I explain in great detail:

The question is…are you blogging for your business on a regular basis?

  1. Your blog is your “home on the Internet”.
  2. A hosted WordPress site is your best option.
  3. Post twice a week during your first year and once a week thereafter.
  4. Use keyword phrases in your permalinks.
  5. Always ask yourself if what you are doing is moving you closer to or further away from your dreams and goals and then adjust your behavior, thoughts, and actions accordingly.

Think about each of these points, listen to the podcast, and then comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts on these ideas and concepts in regards to how blogging for your business will enable you to be a more successful entrepreneur.

I also discuss how blogging for your business will help you to find your voice, how you can “blog your book”, and the four types of content for your blog – original writing, guest posts, curated content, and PLR (private label rights) content.

Are you ready to be surprised? Recently, I have introduced a new feature during these podcast training calls. I will always have the latest course or program, either one of my own or one offered by someone I highly recommend, at my Surprise! link. Check it out today and see what I am recommending this week. If it’s not my own program, product, course, or live event then it’s always from someone I know, trust, and highly recommend as a great value to you as an online entrepreneur.

My most recent book is now available. It’s entitled Doing What It Takes: The Online Entrepreneur’s Playbook and I’d love to hear your Doing What It Takesthoughts on it by way of a review on Amazon.

Are you already a part my list community and receiving my daily email updates and training? If not, please give me your first name and primary email address in the form on the right-hand side of this site. If you are brand new to my podcasts, you will be interested to know that this specific training call, as well as all of the calls in my podcast series is intended to teach you and other new online entrepreneurs how to take your business to the next level quickly and effectively, and as a way for me to share my exact methods, techniques, Case Studies, secrets, and advice on creating a profitable and lucrative online business using the ‘multiple income streams’ approach. People on six continents have now discovered that starting an Internet business is the very fastest way to achieve both time and financial freedom, as well as to great success in all areas of your life, and you need help to get there quickly. That’s why I started this online marketing tips podcast for my community.

You will see that each podcast session is first recorded live as a teleseminar, and then repurposed into a podcast to extend my reach to the world. Please join my list (opt in on the right) to be included on these calls, and be sure to introduce yourself and share your site for optimal exposure for years to come! Also, check out my Podcast Show Notes site to see how you can subscribe at no cost to both of my podcasts, and please leave me a review on one or both of them if you are so inclined.

If you would like to get started earning income online right away then I recommend affiliate marketing as the stream of income that will allow you to “earn while you learn” You may now pick up my popular training on winning affiliate contests and other online marketing tips for only seven dollars at Affiliate Contest Secrets. This training regularly sells for $27. Use the discount code CONTEST to bring the price down to $7. This training has been completely updated for 2016 with the latest information, strategies, and Case Studies for you to use in your own business.

Please be sure to leave your comments below so that I may get to know you better and to serve you as you continue your journey as an online entrepreneur. Getting started with an online business will change your life forever and my reward is your massive success!

Subscribe To My Online Marketing Tips Podcast Today!

 

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Save Time and Increase Productivity with Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard ShortcutsKeyboard Shortcuts to Save Time

I’m all about productivity and time management in my life and my business. Recently I was searching for some information on this topic and came upon an article on the Reader’s Digest site about making web browsing easier using keyboard shortcuts. Before I share some of their tips, let’s discuss what shortcuts are and how they work.

In computer language, a keyboard shortcut is a series of one or several keys that invoke a software or operating system operation (in other words, cause an event) when triggered by the user. The meaning of term “keyboard shortcut” can vary depending on which type of computer you are using (PC or MAC) and which operating system for that type of computer.

The Reader’s Digest shared a number of keyboard shortcuts that make everything you do much easier. Here’s one I wish I had known about long ago:

Type too small on a given web page? CTRL + Plus zooms you in, while CTRL + Minus zooms you out.

Actually, I needed this one recently and it was the amazing Kelly McCausey who helped me out. The text on my other main site, Huge Profits Tiny List somehow shrunk overnight. Knowing about this Control Plus or Minus saved the day.

You’ll also save time with this one:

Don’t be a slave to the scroll wheel: the next time you reach the bottom of the screen while reading a long article, hit the space bar to jump one screen-length down. Hit the space bar by accident? Just press shift + space to scroll back up to where you were.

I’ll admit that I played with this one on several sites before adding it here. This truly makes a difference when you are writing and researching simultaneously.

And if you are a multi-tab browser like I am, this keyboard shortcut will be a lifesaver:

CTRL + shift + t instantly reopens the last tab you closed (the more you press it, the older the tabs you’ll dredge up).  If you usually have more than one tab open while you browse, this trick can be a life-saver. Try it now, and never forget it. If you want to open a new tab altogether, just hit CTRL + t.

No more pulling your hair out to find the sites you wanted to read. If you’re a multi-tab browser like I am this will definitely save your time and make you more productive during your workday on the computer.

By now you can see that many keyboard shortcuts are available for both PCs and MAC. Be sure to read through all of the article I referenced above to see what else will save you time and increase your productivity.

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Tips for Authors and Self-Publishing on Amazon

Tips for AuthorsTips for Amazon Authors

When I published my first book on Amazon in 2010 I knew that what I was experiencing was a revolution in the world of publishing. Just a few years earlier Amazon had rolled out its Create Space POD (print on demand) program, allowing people like you and I the opportunity to publish books and get them into the hands of readers without having to go through the traditional publishing process or the expense of a “vanity press” company.

Over the years this system has changed and evolved, and several years ago that was instrumental in leading me to create me own small publishing house, Hunter’s Moon Publishing. I’ve published a dozen of my own books through this company, as well as almost fifty books for entrepreneurs and small business owners who wanted to publish their book on their own terms.

But in order to play in this world of self-publishing, you must understand how it all works. I was reading a post by Brooke Warner over at Huffington Post on the topic of the top ten things all authors should know about Amazon and this one jumped out at me:

“You need to claim your book via Author Central. Many authors know this and somehow forget to do it. When you publish a new book, you must claim it. Claim books you’ve contributed to as well, if you can. Claiming books on Amazon is like collecting chips; you’re building your little empire and making your bio page more robust. Amazon Central is an extension of your author platform and should be tended to as such. Update your photo, bio, and other information as regularly as you would your website.”

I will highly recommend that you read all of Brooke’s post and bookmark it for further review. She makes some excellent points there and shares very detailed information on Amazon and self-publishing in general.

I visit Author Central regularly to update my books on Amazon. I just published my fourteenth book this week and immediately claimed it so that it would appear on my author page. I also updated my bio while I was there and added the details of my upcoming live event. Knowing the ins and outs of how everything works gives you a distinct advantage over those who do not take the time to do so.

Becoming a multiple bestselling author has changed my life in so many ways. None of this would have been possible without Amazon jumping into the publishing world. What other questions do you have for me on the topic of self-publishing on Amazon and becoming a published author?

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Role Models for Entrepreneurs

Role Models for EntrepreneursRole Models for Entrepreneurs

I do not remember having role models while I was growing up, Sure, I thought a lot of my teachers and some of the other adults I spent time with, but it wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I began to think of anyone as a role model for what I wanted to achieve.

Even then, they weren’t people I could relate to directly. The first person I truly admired was Oprah Winfrey. I was working part-time as a production assistant for a film company and one of the producers was from Chicago. She had a poster of Oprah in her office and talked about her incessantly. I was intrigued and began to watch her talk show on one of the smaller stations that was carrying it in the Los Angeles area. Even then, Oprah was someone you had to admire for how she talked and carried herself. But it wasn’t as though I felt that I could emulate what she was achieving in her life. Instead, I merely enjoyed watching and listening to her over the years as she became a personality who impacted people around the world.

Recently Adrienne Dupree wrote a post about legendary women’s basketball coach Pat Summit, who passed away at the age of sixty-four after being diagnosed a few years earlier with Alzheimer’s. In her blog post she includes Pat’s “Definite Dozen” rules to live by:

“Pat Summitt had set of rules to live by called the Definite Dozen.

  1. Respect Yourself and Others
  2. Take Full Responsibility
  3. Develop and Demonstrate Loyalty
  4. Learn to Be a Great Communicator
  5. Discipline Yourself So No One Else Has To
  6. Make Hard Work Your Passion
  7. Don’t Just Work Hard, Work Smart
  8. Put the Team Before Yourself
  9. Make Winning an Attitude
  10. Be a Competitor
  11. Change Is a Must
  12. Handle Success Like You Handle Failure

These rules are rules that do not just pertain to basketball. They pertain to life. What if we all lived by these rules and conducted our businesses with these rules in mind? What a better place the world would be. When I think about the trailblazer that Pat Summitt was and the hard work and dedication that she had, I know that I can do better.”

These days I have several role models in my life, and they are primarily people I know personally who continue to guide and influence my life and my business ventures. Do you have role models in your life? What is your thinking on this topic of role models for entrepreneurs?

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Content Creation Marketing for Small Business

Content Creation for Small Business MarketingContent Creation Marketing for Small Business

I was reading a post by Ron Tester, small business marketing expert at Do This Not That Marketing, and in it he shares eight trends of content consumption that are noteworthy. I would like to elaborate on his fifth trend, the need for content to be multimedia in nature:

“Content Needs to Be Multimedia — Video, infographics, images, audio, eBooks, articles, blog posts and more should all be used together to create a storm of new content that works together to promote the products and/or services that you want to promote. Content can still be repurposed into new forms, but you need to put a unique spin on it. This is such an important trend, even I am creating videos. Believe me, I wouldn’t be doing it if people weren’t wanting it.”

Read this over a couple of times to make sure you understand the power of Ron’s words here.

I couldn’t agree more and would like to include one of my “lifestyle videos” from my YouTube channel to show how I use video to get my message out to the world.

I also repurpose my posts into articles, audio trainings, podcasts, and short reports on a regular basis. I learned while working as a classroom teacher that people have different learning styles, and I have kept that in the back of my mind over this past decade that I’ve been an online marketer and entrepreneur. Think about how you can use audio, video, and other types of written content to share and promote your products and services.

Content creation marketing for small business is a worthy endeavor and must be implemented regularly for best results. Learn more about the small business marketing course taught by Ron Tester and myself and join us in the member’s area.

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How to Eliminate Procrastination

Eliminate ProcrastinationCan We Ever Truly Eliminate Procrastination?

Long ago I was a procrastinator. I would say I was going to do something and it would never happen. People began to point out to me that when I said “I’ll try” that meant I would not do it. Remember when Yoda said “Do. Or do not. There is no try” in The Empire Strikes Back? That was the message I finally got loud and clear. I started doing what I said I would do. I challenged myself to complete tasks ahead of schedule. I bit off more than I could chew on a regular basis and accomplished more than ever. My life changed in ways I could not have imagined and life became sweeter than it had ever been previously. I could not believe the difference and neither could the people closest to me.

Procrastination is resistance to change and to life’s possibilities that we may not be ready to face and work towards.

Recently I was reading Tanya Brockett’s post, reviewing a book both of us are featured in. The post is titled No More Procrastination and in it she says:

“Procrastination can impact us all in various ways. Usually, if you look at it square on, it exists because you have delayed a decision to do something about it. So there procrastination remains, breathing heavy in your face. Sometimes its impact is suffocating. Sometimes procrastination wears on your nerves or causes stress and anxiety. Sometimes it causes fear, which left unreleased can manifest in your body as illness. And why? Because we have delayed a decision to act on whatever opportunity or challenge has presented itself.”

So how do you go about eliminating procrastination from your life? One day and one action at a time. Understand that “not feeling like it” into a reason to not do something. Push through to start the tasks and activities you are resisting, and notice how they seem more doable once you get started. And once you have completed something or accomplished a goal, hold on to that feeling and know that it can be one that you experience on a very regular basis once you commit to doing what you say you will do each and every day.

This book, No More Procrastination, was compiled by Leslie Cardinal and contains chapters by seventeen Eliminate Procrastinationentrepreneurs and small business owners. I was honored to be included here and hope that you will get as much from reading about this important topic as I did from writing it. I recommend that you read the book one chapter at a time, making notes and thinking about what each author is sharing before moving on to the next one. In this way you will be able to incorporate the ideas, strategies, and techniques each of us is describing into your knowledge base and be better able to combat and eliminate procrastination before it gets a stranglehold on your daily life.

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When is the Best Time to Publish Blog Posts?

Best Time to Publish Blog PostsWhen is the Best Time to Publish Blog Posts?

When I was a brand new blogger over a decade ago, my primary concern was with what to write. Then I became concerned about what to recommend. It was only after I had been blogging for about a year that I asked the question “when is the best time to publish blog posts?”

It turns out that everyone seems to have an opinion on this topic, so I chose to listen to the people who had been blogging for the longest period of time and enjoying the best results. One of these people is Darren Rouse from ProBlogger, and his post on when you should publish your blog posts makes some excellent points.

Darren says that years back, when people subscribed to blogs through RSS feeds and used something called feed readers to go through them (raise your hand if you remember this) then it was more important to publish your post at a time when the majority of your readership was online.

He goes on to say:

“Today, I’m not sure that the timing of your blogpost being published has as much impact as the timing of your social media post and your emails. They’re probably the big effectors today, but I guess there are a few things that you might want to consider when it comes to the timing of your blog post.”

So now it’s social media that comes into play. I know that most of my readers and subscribers are on the East coast of the United States and that the majority of them are still working at jobs. So I make every effort to hold back on publishing my posts until six or seven in the morning eastern time, and then immediately promote the post using social media sites and channels.

But what about niche topics that appeal to people on a different schedule? Darren writes:

“I know a sporting blogger who finds that Monday mornings is the worst time to publish. He actually finds that Saturday mornings is a great time because it’s just before all the games that he’s writing about are about to be played. He also publishes on Sunday night, at the end of the football round. He publishes about the games that have just been played.”

And remember that people tend to have more time available on the weekends, so a well placed post on Saturday morning can do very well for you. Also, be sure to write something I refer to as a “flagship” post every month or so. This post would be more lengthy – typically five hundred words or more – and would link back to other posts on your site. This serves to position you as an expert in your field and to make sure each of your posts is indexed by the search engines and connected throughout your blog to other posts you have written. This way none of your content falls through the virtual cracks over time.

And to reiterate, I agree with Darren about the importance of promoting your post over publishing it at a specific time. He writes:

“Let me cycle back to something I said earlier and that is that the timing of your blog post being published is probably less of a factor than the timing of the promotion of that blogpost. This is where you probably do need to do some more analysis to really get things right. What’s more important than the publishing of the blogpost is the timing of your social media and the time of your emails.”

Write meaningful blog posts, share as much as you possibly can, and know that the best time to publish blog posts is completely up to you as you do your research and become more experienced as a content creator and publisher.

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How to Overcome Writer’s Block

Overcome Writer's BlockHow to Overcome Writer’s Block

For years I have said there is no such thing as writer’s block, but today I’m going on the record as admitting that this is an issue for many people. Just because I have been fortunate enough to sit down and write over a million words since 2006 does not mean this is a simple task for anyone else.

Also, I write non-fiction almost exclusively, so the overwhelming majority of what I will share with you here will relate to this genre and style of writing on topics related to business and personal development.

So, if you find yourself blocked when you wish to write, what steps can you take to overcome your writer’s block? In a recently updated post by Henneke Duistermaat, entitled Writer’s Block: 27 Ways to Crush it Forever she shares some great tips:

“Talk to an Imaginary Friend

Whether you’ve 10 readers or 10,000, thinking about them makes writing a post daunting.
So, forget about your readers. Instead, create an imaginary friend.
Your friend is a real fan. He (or she) loves everything you write. He supports everything you do.
Give your imaginary friend a name. Create a little drawing or find a picture of a lookalike. Pin this picture on the wall above your desk.
Instead of writing a blog post, start a conversation with your friend. Or write him a letter. Discuss his dreams and challenges. Help him with whatever he is struggling with.
Be a good friend.”

This reminds me of a strategy I used as a child when making up stories in my back yard. My imaginary friend was named Tippy, and he was an elf. If only I had written down some of what we discussed over the years!

These days I do use this when writing email messages to the people on my list. I imagine that one of them is right beside me and asking for help in starting and growing an online business. Then I share my very best methods and techniques and recommend a product or a service that has been helpful to me.

Another tip shared by Henneke is this one:

“Be a Misfit

Being a blogger isn’t about conforming to the norms.
Don’t feel the pressure to be like your hero bloggers. You have to stand out on the web. You have to be YOU.
Accept you’re a misfit. Just like me. Just like Jon. Just like all other bloggers.
Be yourself. Enjoy yourself. Because your enthusiasm is contagious.”

This one really resonated with me because I had to find my voice when I came online and it was only when I decided to stop caring about what anyone else thought of me or of my writing that I truly took off as an entrepreneur. Like I stated in another post on technology and the economy:

People who value their uniqueness often find themselves in a position of great power and responsibility, while those striving to conform to society’s standards must be content with the status quo. Become a specialist in a world of mediocre generalists and the world will be your oyster.

The final tip I will share on the topic of how to overcome writer’s block is:

“Reread Your First Ever Blog Post

If you’ve been blogging for six months or more, you’ve written a lot. And you’ve learnt a lot.
Go back to your first few blog posts.
Find one you can rewrite. Add new insights, new arguments, and new examples.
Voila. You got a new post.”

I was not a writer when I first came online. Instead, I was someone who had always wanted to write but talked about it way more than ever taking pen to paper or fingers to a keyboard. Then I began blogging and found that I could write posts and publish my thoughts and ideas easily. Most of these early writings were incomplete and vague. Knowing that I can always go back to them anytime I feel the urge to update my posts with new insights and examples is a great feeling. If you are brave and have some time on your hands I invite to read my early posts and see why they are the perfect material to be rewritten.

What are your thoughts on how to overcome writer’s block?

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Get Organized: Your Success Depends on It!

eliminate clutterMy very first mentor was Raymond Aaron, a man for whom I have the highest respect and am still in touch with to this day. The year was 2005 and he instructed all of his mentees to “clean up our messes!” Whether these were piles of papers all over the floor or desk or relationships gone awry, Raymond advocated spending time on a weekly basis to eliminate the messes that conflicted with your ability to achieve your personal and business goals.

Recently I was reading a post by Cynthia Charleen entitled Clutter or Organizing – Which is Your Challenge? and it brought back memories of the work I had done with Raymond all those years ago. Here is an excerpt from that post:

“Is your problem clutter or organizing? Clutter is having too much. Whether it is physical items or the untouchables such as too much to do, they are both clutter. Organizing refers to having these items where they fit best. Stuff needs a place to call home and needs to be there to be organized.

Do you have more things than you need to live a normal life with reasonable comfort? I work with clients on a regular basis whose main issue comes from having too much stuff. Consider clearing out the excess and sharing with people who don’t have enough.”

Clutter is no longer a problem for me. I live in two cities and travel extensively as well, so I’ve become accustomed to tossing anything I won’t use again and do not need. If something does still have value I donate it t one of the charities I work with. Organization can still be a challenge as I change the way I file and continue moving towards a totally “paper free” business.

Cynthia states that “you will discover productivity and focus increase when you work and live in an organized space that is free from excess and clutter.” I agree completely with this statement and will take it one step further…

Eliminate clutter in your home and office environment, get organized to the point that others call you a “neat freak” and enjoy renewed creativity and higher level thoughts that will catapult you to success. This is all related to your “inner game” and how you approach every situation in your life. Yes, that’s how important this topic is and I’d love to hear about your own experiences in the comments below.

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