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Category “COPYWRITING”

Write Better

To be honest with you, I’m not even sure that title is grammatically correct.

And if I had used the Hemingway writing app to create it…….I wouldn’t be so insecure about the power of my prose.

I’ve been checking out a whole slew of productivity tools over the last few weeks for a product creation challenge for authors, artists, content marketers and other creatives, and a few really stand out as both useful…and fun to use.

The Hemingway App (free to use it online – 6 bucks and change to download the desktop version) is really super simple, and uber cool.

Check it out here…..or read a little extra blurb about it below.

Some other really cool tools that you need to know about if you are creating content on a daily basis?

Draftin.com is awesome and totally free.

And Ulysses (the writing app, not the Greek mythology version of myself after one shot of tequila too many) is aesthetically awesome and addictive to use to boot.  (a bit of a different animal, and only for Mac afficionados,  but well worth checking out if you write often like many of us do)

You can read some more of what Hemingway does below, or check it out here.

 

What’s the Hemingway Editor All About?

Hemingway makes your writing bold and clear. It’s like a spellchecker, but for style. It makes sure that your reader will focus
on your message, not your prose.

Too often, our words are like our thoughts — innumerable and
disorganized. Almost any bit of writing could use some cutting. Less is
more, etc.

So, the Hemingway Editor will highlight (in yellow and red) where
your writing is too dense. Try removing needless words or splitting the
sentence into two. Your readers will thank you.

Readability Grade Levels

Hemingway builds on the innovations of researchers of a field
called “Readability.” These researchers study how understandable a piece
of writing is. Part of that work involves trying to decide which U.S.
grade level is required to understand your text.

http://www.hemingwayapp.com/beta/help.html

12 Types of Content You Can INSTANTLY Use to Infuse Luscious LIFE Into Tired Topics

This list started at 9 in 2010 when when I first posted this on my blog……and I added 2 content types for the 10 Day Content Community Challenge back in September, and as I add these to the new Facebook page today in March of 2012, we’re going to retire them at 12…:-)

The good news?

You can literally take ANY topic, any niche, any market and any industry and apply interesting angles that WILL make your content unique, your community notice and more importantly……your extended niche notice as well.  Some of these are very effective for obvious reasons at attracting BIG names to pay attention to what you are saying…..and it could be complimentary OR confrontational, contrarian……or charitable, and still pack a powerful punch.

The secret?  Pick a few of these ideas and apply them to YOUR area of expertise, or a product you have PASSION for, and see what sort of ideas come up.  Some of my best and most imaginative content creation ideas come purely out of playing with some of these angles and approaches in my head for a few days, or even a few weeks on end….and eventually coming up with a new spin on an old idea, and saying something in a new way that I hadn’t thought of before.  So explore and experiment and do what’s most comfortable for you.  If controversial or confrontational content isn’t comfortable for you – go with complimentary or charitable instead…:-)

1. Confrontation
2. Compilation
3. Complimentary
4. Collaboration
5. Comedy
6. Contrarian
7. Charity
8. Controversial
9. Creative
10. Confession
11. Current Event
12. CHALLENGE

CONFRONTATION –  3 Online “Gurus’ Who Are ROBBING You Blind (And laughing all the way to the bank to boot!)

COMPILATION – 17 Health Blogs That You MUST Be Reading if Your Kids Have Food Allergies

(*you’d just make a list here and share with your readers…..this is very easy and often a GREAT viral content strategy as well*)

CONTRARIAN – Think Your Home Values Have Hit Rock Bottom?  4 Reasons Why I Believe The Market is Going to TANK in 2013

CONFESSION – “I was once broke, homeless and didn’t change my socks for a year.  And those were the good years.  Here is What I did To get it all back”

Complimentary – “The life coach who saved my life in 2009.  (and she has no idea who I am……until TODAY)

All of this make sense?

You can really experiment with EACH of the above 12 content types with every keyword group, niche or topic, and have a never ending stream of evergreen content to create until your brain literally insists on a Caribbean vacation.

Remember…..if you are bold and audacious and are willing to step up and out of the shallow sea of sameness where most of us swim and SPEAK OUT about what MOVES you, motivates you and makes you feel alive…….. you can literally use social media to get explosive attention using these content types, especially when using confrontation, complimentary content and controversy.
After all – we’re all human.  And if it works for TMZ, it will work for credit, cooking and kung fu, too..:-)

An interesting end note:  My recent post “Believe in Something BIG”  was a quasi confessional style post that I really thought would resonate with my community.

For whatever reason……(maybe a few extra curse words) I had MORE unsubscribes on this post than I had on the prior 5 emails I sent combined.

I even had some long time readers unsubscribe, which sort of surprised me, too.

BUT, it’s important to keep in mind that sometimes you can alienate your audience when you take a big chance with content they aren’t open to absorbing.

(and I guess that’s all part of the fun of learning on the job..:-)

IF you need some good example ideas for your niche,  I’m happy to help.  (stop by our new FACEBOOK PAGE and say hi..:-)

Is Content Really King? (And the surprising SOURCE of the saying as well)

Is content really king?

And who really said that first, anyway? 

With so many people parroting the publishers homage to creating killer content…..and in light of all of the major search engines changes over the past few weeks related to QUALITY content, I was noodling around a bit this morning looking for some ideas for an article I was planning on writing……and came across the surprising essay below, by none other than Bill Gates, back in 1996……where he seemed to have published the very first “Content is King” essay online.  (It certainly has it’s roots in offline media…..but you won’t here it nearly as often OFFLINE, as we do online, especially for web publishers like you and I)

If you haven’t read Gate’s thoughts on content publishing, and how it would evolve and grow over time, it’s definitely an interesting read – partially for his amazing abilities of prophecy, and partially, because…..well, how DATED some of his “possibilies” seem today, in light of how much (and quickly) things have grown since this was published.

Still a good read – and offers an interesting perspective on what content is – can be – and how a creative person might extend that out a bit to publish and profit in an unconventional way.

Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.The television revolution that began half a century ago spawned a number of industries, including the manufacturing of TV sets, but the long-term winners were those who used the medium to deliver information and entertainment.When it comes to an interactive network such as the Internet, the definition of “content” becomes very wide.

For example, computer software is a form of content-an extremely important one, and the one that for Microsoft will remain by far the most important.But the broad opportunities for most companies involve supplying information or entertainment. No company is too small to participate.One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create. In a sense, the Internet is the multimedia equivalent of the photocopier.

It allows material to be duplicated at low cost, no matter the size of the audience.The Internet also allows information to be distributed worldwide at basically zero marginal cost to the publisher. Opportunities are remarkable, and many companies are laying plans to create content for the Internet.

Content is King by Bill Gates

My Favorite Bum Marketer

tv.gifI love Jennifer Jolan’s articles.  I actually read like 142 of them over the last day and a half…and not only are they fun, instructive and completely full of shit, she’s very entertaining and a smart writer to boot. 

I’m actually not entirely SURE they are full of shit either, but coming from a HUGE Jewish family where everyone is a Doctor but me, I’m pretty sure that spinning in circles is NOT the proper andedote for FAST fat loss as appears to be the primary message behind her articles, and landing page. Read More »

Pay Per Click Marketing Mistakes: Their Signs Are Good and Their Beds are Soft……..

ppc3.pngBut their pay per click strategy sucks.

Now, first of all, lest anyone think I’m searching for "signs she’s good in bed" because I can’t figure it out myself….shame on you. 

I was brought up to believe a woman who cooks well, and cheers for the Phillies is just about all any man can hope for in this life, and any acrobatic skills she may ( or may not) have in other areas are irrelevant.  

Plus I’m a heavy drinker, so I can never really remember what happened anyway, so it’s sort of 6 in one hand, half a dozen in the other regardless. Read More »

How To Make More Money With Your Pay Per Click Ads (Without Your Wasting Time, Energy or Income)

isponage.pngI’m not a big PPC advertiser – ( I actually do very little anymore as I prefer FREE traffic whenever possible..:-) but have experimented over the years with a bunch of the keyword spying tools that are on the market, mostly without a ton of success.

I started using Spyfu WAY back before it became popular – and when it was in it’s beta, sort of underground phase I thought it would turn out to be a revolutionary tool for stealing PPC intelligence, and push button, elegant and effortless PPC optimization. ( along being a boon for organic competitive intelligence to boot)

I remember doing client work a year plus ago – where having this data was like being a kid in a candy store – you literally felt like having a push button, birds eye view of the competitive landscape was a little bit like playing god – as you could quickly, easily and effortlessly glean buckets of info about ANY of your clients comptitiors campaigns in an afternoon – and modify/optimize and philosophize that info into a real advantage. Read More »

My Favorite Weight Loss Ad Ever (or said differently – Why God Hates Internet Marketers)

This has to be the greatest weight loss ad ever – I would definetly sign up for the affiliate program as I’m sure it’s easy money – but I decided on the off chance there is a god, I would like to go to heaven if at all possible – and I’m pretty sure that everyone promoting this program is eventually going to a very warm place.  ( where getting a pitchfork in the ass is a much bigger worry than your weight)

But, this is still my favorite line of copy I’ve come across this decade.

caution.png

Caution:  If you begin to experience weight loss in excess of one pound per 24 hours, please temporarily discontinue.

That’s sort of similar to a get rich from home ad saying:

Warning – if you start to make OVER 46,000 per day, please take a few days off as not to alert the bank, your neighbors or the federal authorities.

Or even better……

Notice: 

If strange women begin to slobber all over you for no good reason in public places, please do cease and desist from wearing your new cologne for 36 hours until the powerful primally activated hormones we just unleashed in your 4th Chakra have an opportunity to return to their normal state.  Thank you.  

More Article Marketing Boo Boo’s

man-beer.gifI was working with a reader on the phone  this morning on otimizing some of his business’s article marketing campaigns in the fat loss/popular diets niche, and considering this is actually a topic that I’ve created many campaigns around, I have a pretty good grasp of the landscape – ie – both on the landing page, and resource box sides of the respective street.

As any copywriter will tell you – 45% of the battle is the headline – and 45% ( in an article the resource box) is the offer – and the 10% in between are just details.  So as we were sort of scanning for great headlines combined with outstanding offers ( a compelling resource box that commands the click) we came across, at the very same time, an article on the diet directory page whose headline just sang a song of sweet success.  Unique – curious, interesting and compelling, and two complete strangers ( me and he) both noticed it independent of the other. Read More »

A Gold Mine of Direct Response Marketing Magic One Simple Mouse Click Away

I accidentally came across this site earlier today ( or maybe it was last night) and it is literally a treasure trove of timeless marketing magic you’d be hard pressed to find readily available if you bought the next 500 E books, DVD sets, seminars and other nefarious nonsense that we all are inundated with daily. 

Some of the ads that are laid out here in all of their elegant beauty are TRULY classic pieces worthy of close inspection, studious study and creative emulation.  (read: knock them off for your OWN campaigns!) Read More »

3 Simple Shortcuts To Writing Articles That Sell

great face.jpg

I‘ve covered a whole LOT of article marketing concepts on this blog (and in other spots) and STILL believe it the absolute easiest way for ANYONE – regardless of their skill level, to make money online in rapid fire turn around time. It’s interesting because I got an email from someone the other day – who said a whole bunch of off the wall kind of stuff – (and in only quasi understandable english) and that ended by stating he wanted ME...to coach HIM – (for FREE) and IF he was finally able to make some money (he hadn’t made a dime in 7 years according to his email) then, and ONLY then, he would agree to pay me.

Now, that’s a great offer and all, and I have to admit – it WAS tempting to try to squeeze a few more hours out of the day to offer a complete stranger some complimentary coaching and cross my fingers that he was able to sort of end the 7 year drought, but after tossing it around for a few sleepless night, I kind of decided I was going to have to pass..:-)

I actually sent this guy a pretty edgy, mean spirited reply (which I NEVER do) – in which I basically said – if you haven’t made money in 7 years – you are PROBABLY in the wrong field and it might be a good time to start thinking about a career as a bullfighter – or bellydancer or something less intellectually taxing. And of course, a few minutes after hitting send, my guilty conscience kicked in and I felt really guilty and promised myself I’d stop checking my email after 6 tequila shots. Read More »

Affiliate Marketing Mistakes: Don’t be a Steve

Sometimes a picture is worth more than a thousand words. This isn’t one of those times. Although they’ll help to illustrate the point. 

 I have gotten SWAMPED over the last few days with emails about writing articles to sell affiliate products, and I have done my best to respond to as many people as possible with solid examples of what to, and NOT to do. 

And as I have struggled to keep up with the questions….along came Steve to save the day.  In one smooth swift stroke ( no pun intended) Steve has Read More »

How to Test Your Landing Page Conversions for FREE

confusion.jpg

I want to thank everyone who has sent nice emails over the last couple days, especially those who have said the Craigslist stuff has helped them make real money…which I love to hear.  I’ve also gotten some great questions about the article marketing examples I’ve posted, including I dare say, a phone call or two with a pretty active SEO who was phenomenally nice and gracious…but, who said he never uses them for his own ( fairly significant) client campaigns, which I frankly don’t understand.   Testing is the lifeblood of all internet marketing momentum, and short of dropping some serious coin on PPC, I know of NO other way of generating a boatload of backsides to your offer reasonably quickly, and testing the responsiveness with hard core, real time results. Read More »

How To Write Articles that Convert Like Crazy

One of the very best ways to promote a new site, service or offer is writing articles.

Article Marketing is tedious, time consuming and mind numbingly monotonous, but it is also is just about the EASIEST way to print money straight from your keyboard. 

article marketing tipsI’ve often said that if Tony “Scarface” Montana were to have discovered article marketing in that Cuban detention center, rather than columbian gold, we would probably have watched Al Pacino work his way up the internet marketing totem pole rather than suffer the ignominious fate of a disgraced cocaine trafficker.

Article Marketing is smart, profitable, and you’ll never have to worry about dying in a hail of machine gun fire after you submit them.

But, if you’ve tried using articles in your marketing machine, you may have found less luck with their results than those people like me sing about regularly.

Let’s take a look at some potential reasons why, and how I’d fix them in your shoes. Read More »

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Love Them Anyway: A Radical Approach To Managing Crazy Clients

punks in love.jpg(photo credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/lordkhan/) 

I had a really transformational, life changing epiphany a few short days ago, and I’m not so proud to admit it happened while watching a "TED" conference re-run on You Tube featuring their most motivational, inspiring and illumiating speakers over the last few years. 

And I was only paying half attention to what was happening on the screen – my ADHD in heavenly high gear ( I’m Probably One Amazing A short and a Double D’s heavy on the acronym if anyone ever was) and blissfully paying attention to everything, and nothing at all at the very same time.  Read More »

Hemingway, Hyperbole and the Economy of Eloquence

hemingway.jpg

In the past 5 days, I have spent no less than 20 hours answering emails, chatting on the phone with prospective clients and simply doing my best to provide a meager measure of motivation to lots of upstart enterpreneurs trying to bust a big buck move in the online marketing space.  And beneath the bravado that most people wear like a cape of confidence ( an unfortunate byproduct of the "Get Rich by Tuesday" promise of the goofy guru set) is a persistent insecurity that keeps rearing it’s ugly, insidious head in each conversation.

" But…I can’t write"…..

" I’m not a copywriter".

" I LIKE TO USE BIG LETTERS WHEN I TYPE"

" I’m a good verbal communicator..But I just can’t put the words down on paper ( or screen) well enough to sell my stuff"

The underlying uncomforatable reality is this:  Most people simply can’t write well enough to move, motivate and massage their target audience to take the intended action on their offer. Read More »

How to Write an Absolutely Killer Press Release in No Time Flat

vietnam.jpgHow to Write an Absolutely Killer Press Release in No Time Flat:  Che Feemster Spills the Beans!

(Photo Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/photoluna25/)

If you’ve been reading my work for any length of time, I’m hoping that at the very least, the one consistent imprint that I’ve left on your marketing mindset is to attack new markets aggressively, be creative, confrontational, controversial and simply compel, cajole, coerce and canoodle as many people as possible into reading your message.

Read More »

How To Write Better Online Copy:

Copywriting-orange.gif I wrote this article earlier today for one of the online article directories…and while I dont usually do this ( post these sorts of articles on my blog) I re-read this a few times and decided I liked it enough and might be useful to enough of you that it was worth sharing here.  I do get a lot of questions about copywriting courses, recommendations, etc – and I really recommend nothing other than striving for continous self improvement.   While I’ve never been much of a joiner (probably to my own detriment) and am trying to play well with others these days – I will tell you this.  Most of the copywriting courses, ebooks and other stuff that is being sold around the willowly web is absolute shit.  There are a couple things that I have seen hyped in the last week or so as the next big "must have" course, or video, etc – and the truth is you will be FAR better off ignoring it all and simply staying focused on your own learning process then being distracted by the hype.  If you really want to swim in the slimy sea of the VERY best direct response copywriters in the world – and want to save yourself $97 – $497 – $997 – or whatever the pompous price points many of these pointless putzes are charging for their stuff – go out and buy a NATIONAL ENQUIRER and read the whole thing top to bottom, cover to cover – week in and week out.  The folks who write – and sponsors who shell out the big bucks for this copy is a much angrier animal than the relative ce la vie world of low cost internet marketing mania.  For an 8 buck domain and a few days of time – I can fail plenty without too much worry online.  But if you are shitting out 50 large for a full page ad – well, lets just say your margin of error just shrunk a wee bit in case you put up a major league whiff. 

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Confessions of A Confused Copywriter: Who is Terry T?

confusion.jpg

(photo credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/desiitaly/2201907500/)

Here is a really good example, of a REALLY bad resource box.  What makes this particularly scary, is – well, this guy is giving advice to how small entrepreneurs can stop thinking SMALL business’s and start playing with the big boys.  Now – I’m not sure about you, but the VERY first lesson they teach you in the hard knocks world of direct response copywriting is….."what’s in it for me".  Or – said differently, features tell, benefits sell.  This particular wayward soul took about 620 pixels and 36 seconds out of my precious day to give me his life story.  Read More »

Magnetic Marketing Magic: The Poetry of a Powerful Pull

magic.jpg

(photo credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/fuenteshe)

I have a man crush on Dan Kennedy.  He is not a handsome man, but his marketing mind is drop dead georgeous.  If you havent’ checked out his stuff, and unfortunately for many online entrepreneurs he is a name of no repute or recognition, his best work was ( in my opinion anyway) mostly done offline and maybe due to decreasing interest on his part, a bit behind him as well.    The direct mail principles that he teaches are not his by orgin, but he has certainly perfected them as his own, and you wont’ find a great online copywriter or marketer alive today that won’t list him in some way as a direct, if not major influence. Read More »

The 8 C’s of Link Bait Law: More Lessons in Link Love

Ok – it’s about time we covered some more fun ways to generate free traffic – ideas that can tap into your creativity and if done effectively – transform you almost overnight from just a local yokel blogging in nowheres ville USA into an overnight media magnet – a thought leader in your field – a benevolent benefactor of worthwhile causes and ideas – or just a pretty  freaky fellow if that is the note you are trying to hit.  ( no pun intended )

As Usual – a lot of the so called gurus and SEO guys and self important ninny’s of different types and stripes are spending inordinate amounts of time trying to explain to you what link bait is and how to do it the right way.

All you need to know about link bait – from an understanding and execution standpoint standpoint is this:  There ain’t no such thing as bad publicity.  Ever. Read More »