Friday, November 9, 2007

Another Great Free Resource

I love passing along great resources that have helped my business, especially if they're free!

This is one I've looked to from time to time for great informative audio content I load on my mp3 player and listen to in the car. I've gotten hours of great business-building advice from this one site alone.

Anyway, here's the skinny:

"Over 117 Hours of FREE Audio Interviews
With Sales, Marketing and Business Success Experts."

Michael Senoff's is the world's leading
FREE digital audio business library that uses the power of personal
interviews and storytelling to capture and relay the advice of
world-class business experts. Get free audio interviews of the
experience and guidance of business leaders on the subjects of
direct marketing, business buying, writing, effective
advertising, referral marketing, negotiating, product development,
marketing consulting, and the art of how to get free advertising.
Take the tour at now at -

Have fun, and let me know what you think

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Special Halloween Treat

Now why didn't I think of this?

In honor of Hallowe'en, here's something marketing guru Daniel Levis put together for Clayton Makepeace, a marketing "seance" with late great copywriting legend John Caples.

James Palmer

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Secrets to Headlines That Sell

I just found this great YouTube video featuring Web copywriter Trevor Cook on writing headlines. Check it out.

I'll be featuring more videos in the future. You can view them here.

In the meantime, I also found this giant headline swipe file. A good swipe file is a winning copywriter's secret weapon. You owe it to yourself to take a look at this amazing resource.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

To Be the Best, You Must Study the Best

One of the best ways to beef up your copywriting skills in a hurry is simply to study the promotions of some of the greatest copywriters in the world, both living and dead.

And the best source I've found for old ads by long ago copywriters is Lawrence Bernstein's InfoMarketingBlog. Each post features a classic, long lost ad and some details about the famous copywriter who created it. Go there, print them out, read and study them, and most important of all, copy them out by hand or type them into your word processor. You'll be surprised at how quickly you catch on.

You can sign up for updates to the blog by registering at

Monday, September 3, 2007

6 Great Newsletter Ideas--When You're Out of Ideas!

"6 Great Newsletter Article Ideas--When You're Out of Ideas!"

by James Palmer

For marketers, publishing your own electronic newsletter can be challenging. Between project deadlines and other things, you've already got a lot on your plate. Then you also have a newsletter to get out every week, month, or quarter. Then it happens . . .

You've run completely out of ideas.

What do you do?

Well, first of all, don't panic. Panicking will just make it worse. Secondly, follow these five guidelines and you'll find yourself coming up with more fresh ideas than you can fit into a dozen newsletters.

1. Think Timely
Is there something going on the world that you can tie back in to your business? Keep an eye on the local and national news, especially business trends. Is there something there you can use as a springboard for an article about your business?

2. Relate Your Subject to Something Else

Even a subject that has nothing to do with the focus of your newsletter can be fodder for an article. In a recent issue of DM News, copywriter Bob Bly wrote a copywriting article entitled: "Harry Potter and the Irresistible Offer", in which he talks about an interview that J.K. Rowling did recently where she mentioned having written the final chapter of the last Harry Potter book over 15 years ago. That way, she would know how the series ends and be able to tie everything that came before into that final chapter.

Bob deftly tied this into direct mail copywriting, stating how you can follow Rowling's advice by creating the offer first and then writing the other direct mail elements. Genius! Not only is it a great idea, but Bob was able to connect to something from popular culture (and what's more popular right now than Harry Potter?)into an informative, helpful article about direct mail. Now you try!

3. Answer Reader Questions

If you get a lot of questions from your readers, this can make for great articles.

4. "Invite" a "Guest" Author

I did this a couple months back in my own newsletter, when I posted an article by Ezine Queen Alexandria K. Brown. Many ezine writers put permission to reprint at the end of their articles. All you have to do is include their fully intact bio and contact information at the end. It's free, viral marketing for them, and a free article for you. So if you're stumped one month, just look back at the other newsletters you've received. Is there an article that you particularly enjoyed or identified with? Something that would be a good fit for your readers? Grab it and send it out. Just make sure you've gotten permission, or done whatever is required by the author for you to use their work legally.

5. "Classic" Reprints

If your newsletter has been around a while, try reprinting a "classic" article from your archives. New subscribers probably haven't seen it, and your longtime readers would likely enjoy a refresher course. Just don't make a habit of it.

6. Interview an Expert

In your business, you've doubtless made contact with other business people in fields complementary to yours. Why not interview them for your next newsletter article? People love talking about themselves and their businesses, especially if it means free advertising for them! Include their bio and website link at the end. You never know, it could lead to some joint venture opportunities!

I know it may not seem likely, but as any writer will tell you, coming up with ideas is easy, it's the writing that's hard! Ideas are all around us, but sometimes you just have to do a little digging to dredge them up. For example, my lack of ideas gave me the idea for this article! So just look around and take what you need from the world around you. Your next newsletter will go out on time, and will be a killer success!

James Palmer is a freelance copywriter, business journalist, and ghostwriter who creates marketing materials that help large companies, coaches, and entrepreneurs communicate their business in a way that is easily understood by their target audience. He also offers a newsletter creation service for those who understand the power of having their own newsletter but don’t have the time to implement it. For more information, or to sign up for his free monthly newsletter The Write Stuff, please visit his website.

20 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Creating Your Next Newsletter

20 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Creating Your Newsletter

by James Palmer

What will my newsletter be used for?
Will my newsletter by delivered in text or HTML format?
Which autoresponder service will I use to deliver my newsletter?
How often do I want to send out my newsletter?
How many words will it be?
What features will I include in my newsletter?
What will my newsletter do for my business?
What will I call my newsletter?
Will I be the only author or will there be guest authors?
Will I offer my products and services in the newsletter?
Will I offer third-party products and services in the newsletter?
Will people pay me to place their ads in my newsletter?
Will my newsletter contain graphics or pictures?
Who is my newsletter’s target audience?
What major benefit does my newsletter give my target audience?
What personal information will I include about myself in the newsletter?
Will I give my target audience permission to reprint and distribute my newsletter articles?
Will I turn my newsletter articles into other information products like videos, audio books, teleseminars, workshops, ebooks, etc.?
Will I write each and every article, or use a ghostwriter?
How many newsletter subscribers do I want?

Monday, April 23, 2007

New Article--"Produce--Reuse--Recycle"

Since Earth Day has just come and gone, I thought it would be a good time to share with those online marketers and infopreneurs out there how to really profit from the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle mantra. I call it Produce-Reuse-Recycle, and it goes a little something like this:


Produce your own information products. They can be ebooks, articles, autoresponder email courses, or teleseminars. Creating your own product puts you in control, and allows you to share your passion about the subject with your audience. It also puts you in the role of the Expert, a trusted advisor who knows the subject your audience is paying good money to learn about inside and out.


Once you've created it, continue to put your stuff out there and keep promoting it. Every time someone new comes along, invite them to join your email list by giving them one of these products you've created.


This is sort of the same as the Reuse element above, but different. When we're talking about recycling in this case, we are turning something meant for one use into something else meant for another. Here's how it works:

You can turn a group of related articles into an ebook.

You can record an ebook or article as a recorded teleseminar you can give away or sell.

You can turn that autoresponder course into an ebook or teleseminar series.

See how this works?

By Producing, Reusing, and Recycling, you are saving time and energy on your product creation. That way, you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time you need to roll out another product. Just make sure your list is large enough that any particular group isn't seeing the same information all the time, and don't give it to your list as an article, then turn around and try to sell it to them in an ebook, unless maybe it's only one small part they've seen before in a sea of new

There you have it, a way to profit from your information products, without having to go back to the well every single time you need another money-making product.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Time Management

Due to recent tragedies both personal and public, I have been thinking a lot lately about getting things done. About making the time on this Earth you have count for something. About doing whatever it takes to do what you want to do most in this world.

Time management is a big issue, whether you're a regular working stiff or a stay-at-home freelancer. I'd like to open this up to your ideas on time management, and how you get things done in your life.

So please, give me your thoughs, tips, rules to live by in the comments section. I think everyone will benefit from each other's hard-won wisdom.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Are These Guys Crazy?

Ordinarily, sticking a rake handle into a blender is a definite warranty-voider, but two businessmen have turned it into their bread and butter.

Featured in the latest issue of Direct Magazine, Blendtec's George Wright and Tom Dickson created a series of videos where they throw everything from marbles to cell phones to pickled pigs feet, and yes, even rake handles into their blenders, with profitable results. The videos have appeared on YouTube, and thousands of people have submitted their suggestions for what to throw in next.

Web 2.0 stunts like this are growing increasingly popular. While I am a bit leery of the trend--what is the point of taking time to download and view what is essentially a commercial?--I admire the company's creativity. Also, as is quoted in the article, the blender actually does what they are showing it doing, and aren't relying on the usual television FX trickery that make us believe a car and ride along the ledge of a building or some other outlandish though visually interesting claim. They are building brand identity, while also causing the viewer to think, "Man, if their blenders can grind up a rake handle into powder, just think what it will do to the ingredients of my next smoothie."

So long as young children don't see the videos and try to perform similar stunts on a competitor's blender, without safety equipment. Advertising is fun, until someone loses an eye.