Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The 5 Things Your Reader Wants to Know

I wanted to share this great post that copywriter Michel Fortin put on his blog yesterday on The 5 things your reader wants to know. Answering these questions will establish your credbility in your copy like nothing else. Enjoy.

10 Advertising Words to Avoid in 2009

Copywriter Susan Gunelius of KeySplash Creative Inc. wrote this informative and timely post for on the 10 advertising words to avoid in 2009. Among my favorites are:

Free This old standby will trigger email spam filters if used in subject lines. Gunelius recommends using the terms 'complimentary' or 'gratis' to sneak past the user's email filter. I recommend that you avoid using the word 'free' in the subject line at all and only use it in the body copy with a slightly altered spelling, such as 'fr*ee' or 'freee'.

Guarantee This was a surprising one for me, but I see her point. People don't trust guarantees like they used to. Gunelius recommends crafting a "more effective message that your readers are more likely to believe and act on."

Really A useless filler word, this reminds me of when we had to write papers of so many words in school on some mundane topic. So if we were clever we'd write "I really really really like chocolate." Gunelius also condemns 'Very' and 'That' as useless filler.

Opportunity "You're not helping anyone when you offer "opportunities" in your copy," writes Gunelius. I agree. Buying a timeshare is an "opportunity."

Synergy It's high time this one was kicked to the curb. Says Gunelius: "Leave jargon and 10-dollar words out of your advertising messages. There's no room in copywriting for buzz words and words that consumers need a dictionary to understand. Consumers don't care about your "unique value proposition." They care that when they pay for your product or service, it will deliver the results they expect." Amen.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

YouTube Gems

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love YouTube. And I've been scouring the site for marketing and copywriting videos to share with you. Here's the latest batch I've found:

Bob Bly on creating an effective elevator pitch:

Bob Cox on setting your goals for 2009:

I hope you enjoy these videos and get a lot out of them. For more of my faves, check out my YouTube page.

Monday, December 15, 2008

New Video: Recession Proof Copywriting Tips

Here's a new video I just created on recession proof copywriting strategies. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

They Mean Business

I just discovered my new favorite show!

It's called We Mean Business, and it airs on A&E Saturday's at 10am. This 30-minute show features Bill Rancic, winner of the first season of The Apprentice, and a tech guru and interior designer as they revamp a struggling business each week for 30 minutes.

I caught it this morning by accident as the trio helped out a struggling chiropractor. It's good stuff from a marketing standpoint, and a refreshing change from all the home improvement and real estate shows that are usually broadcast during the morning hours.

James says check it out!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What I'm Reading Now

Your Internet Cash Machine: The Insiders’ Guide to Making Big Money, Fast! by Joe Vitale and Jillian Coleman Wheeler

I firmly believe that everyone, whether you work for yourself or someone else, should have their own side Internet marketing business.

If you’re eager to get started in this exciting field, I strongly suggest you check out Vitale and Coleman Wheeler’s book.

Your Internet Cash Machine walks you through all of the basics for starting your own online business, from deciding on what kind of products to sell, to how to deal with trademarks and spam issues. The book covers affiliate sites, Ebay, and creating your own videos.

As someone who’s been studying Internet marketing for the last several years, I found a lot of it too basic for my needs, though I really learned a lot from Nerissa Oden’s article on creating video, and there are a ton of links to other resources that I didn’t know about. But if you’re a beginner, this is the perfect book for you.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Joe Vitale is vital. Vitale and Coleman Wheeler have put together a dynamite resource for beginners. Go out and get this book to add to your marketing library right away. You’ll be glad you did.