Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Essential Copywriter's Bookshelf: Hypnotic Writing by Joe Vitale

This is the first in what will be a continuing series covering books that should be on every copywriter's bookshelf within arm's reach. This time around I'd like to tell you about Hypnotic Writing: How to Seduce and Persuade Customers with Only Your Words by Joe Vitale.

I've just started reading this one, but I can't put it down. Joe Vitale really knows how to create hypnotic writing! In this book, he shows you step by step, including lots of real world examples, how to create sales copy that your customers won't be able to stop reading. I'm going to copy some of the sales letter examples he uses for my swipe file. This book is a must for anyone interested in copywriting.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

How to Quickly and Easily Create Your First E-Book

Whether you’ve been promoting your business on the Internet for any length of time, or you haven’t even started, you’ve probably thought about creating your own e-book. After all, e-books are a great way to promote yourself, encourage people to sign-up for your newsletter, or sell on your Website for some passive income.

The trouble is where do you start?

Start with a problem your target market wants solved. This seems so obvious, but you’d be surprised how many would-be entrepreneurs skip this step, opting instead to sell something they themselves like and think everyone else should want.

Rule number one is: Sell what your prospects want, not what you think they want.

Next, outline it. There’s nothing worse than coming up with a great idea for an e-book, and then, when you sit down to write it, find out that you don’t have enough material.

How long should it be? When I write e-books for Bob Bly, his suggested word count is between 10-15 thousand words. Below that, he says, is too short. Above that is too long.

I know that sounds like a lot, but believe me, it really isn’t. And if you’ve got all the material you need, and have the project well planned out beforehand, those 10K words can go pretty fast.

And there’s no rule carved in stone that says it can’t be shorter. If your finished product is only around 10 pages, just call it a report.

By now you’re probably thinking, “I’m not much of a writer. Can I still create an e-book?”

And the answer is, “Yes. Absolutely!” Here are two great ways to create your own e-book without writing a single word.

1) Interview an expert.

You don’t have to be an expert on the subject you want to write about. Find an expert on your subject and interview them. Talk to them by phone and record it, then have someone transcribe it for you. Poof! Instant e-book!

The recording also makes a great companion to and bonus for the e-book.

2) Hire a ghostwriter.

A ghostwriter is simply someone who writes it for you, under your byline. You put your name on it, you keep all future profits.

When you should hire a ghostwriter:

When you don’t have the time to write it yourself. Running a business is a very time-consuming task. You’ve got to market your business, service clients, do paperwork, and any number of related things. If you’ve been holding off on your e-book because you haven’t had time to write it, it may be time to think about hiring someone to write it for you.

When it is more cost effective to hire someone else. Maybe you could take the time to write it, but your time is worth more than you could reasonably make back from the sale of your e-book. This is often one of the reasons many business owners outsource needs like copywriting and Web design.

3) Do you write articles? Bundle a set of related articles and create an e-book.

And there you have it, a guide to quickly and easily creating your own e-book, including 3 ways to do it without writing a single word. Now go do it! And have fun.