How to Gain Audience Trust by … Actually Being Trustworthy

Audience trust is a huge factor in business success. If people think you’ll do what you say you will, they’re far more likely to buy from you. Call us crazy, but around here, we like to build that trust by actually being trustworthy. This week, we have recommendations on how you can improve audience trust (and the strong conversion that follows) by being transparent and reliable. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman showed us three copywriting fumbles that will weaken your business results. She uses examples from hapless Rick, who’s trying to pitch meditation services at the local natural foods grocery. Learn better persuasion skills, Rick! On Tuesday, Loryn Cole shared how to present data truthfully and meaningfully, without introducing the errors that can unintentionally mislead. Data has tremendous persuasive power, so you want to make absolutely sure you’re using it ethically. And on Wednesday, I talked about how to use that […]

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17 Perceptive Ways to Persuade with Modern Copywriting

Fads and platforms come and go, but one fact endures: Copywriting is the mechanism that allows businesses to make money online. Which means that if online sales matter to your business, copywriting is a really smart place to invest your time and attention. This week, we offered 17 different ways you can boost the effectiveness of your copy for better business results. On Monday, Brian Clark covered the five distinct types of prospects we attract with content marketing, and how to speak to each of them in order to further a business relationship. This advice is more nuanced than the usual “never sell on your blog” or “always sell on your blog” … and it works a lot better than either extreme. On Tuesday, Stefanie Flaxman dived deep into eight different business-building calls to action you can use in your copy and content. If you’ve struggled with giving your content […]

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8 Calls to Action that Initiate New Relationships with Customers and Collaborators

I know. I know. I know. “Viral” is an actual term people use to describe wildly popular content that has spread across a variety of distribution channels, landing in our Twitter feeds, Apple News updates, text messages, and emails from Uncle Sue. But I still don’t like the word. When “going viral” is a goal for a piece of content, it puts me a little on edge. Viral content may feed your ego, but it doesn’t necessarily feed your business. Business success without “going viral” I understand it’s frustrating if no one knows about your products or services. That’s why you want a lot of people to see your work. But sustainable success stems from your dedication to produce one great line at a time and consistently publish your content. One article or podcast episode or video is not going to change everything. Plus: Many smart content moves have nothing […]

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The 5 Types of Online Prospects, and How to Sell to Each of Them

If you’re producing content to promote your services, physical products, or digital offerings, obviously you want a return on investment for the time and effort you put in. On the other hand, you’ve probably noticed that if you spend all of your time relentlessly selling, you’ll alienate a good portion of your prospective audience. The tricky problem for content marketers is that various readers are at different awareness levels, depending on how long they’ve been reading and how much exposure you’ve provided to your offer. And the way you approach your offer will change, depending on which stage your prospect happens to be in. Eugene Schwartz tackled this issue in his classic book Breakthrough Advertising back in 1966. Schwartz broke down prospect awareness into five distinct phases: The Most Aware: Your prospect knows your product, and only needs to know “the deal.” Product-Aware: Your prospect knows what you sell, but […]

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Balancing Your Business Mind and Creative Brain with Chris Do

How do we continue to make a path for ourselves, learning, solving problems and making money on the internet? What are the ways in which we, as entrepreneurs, can add value, communicate it and help clients reach their full potential? These questions and their answers continue evolve as the world orbits the sun and we need to grow with them, learning and teaching as we go. It is no good developing single sides of your skills or business, you need to balance your business mind and your creative brain!   In this episode we are talking about communicating value, learning new and better ways to close deals and testing the waters before sharing your great contribution to the ocean of businesses out there. Today on the show we are joined by Chris Do from Blind and the The Futur! Chris gives us a run down of his career path, the […]

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Tactics and Strategies that Help You Look (and Think) Like a Pro

This week, we’ve got a bunch of tips, tactics, and strategies to help you get more out of the work you do behind that keyboard. While the promise of the internet seems limitless, the reality is that you still have to make meaningful connections and help potential customers understand your worth — just like every brick-and-mortar business does. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman outlined the process of going from idea to useful product or service and on to a viable business. She shows how to use content to experiment and test ideas, as well as to connect with the audience that will go on to become your most loyal customers. If you’re a freelancer or solopreneur, you know that expectation doesn’t always match reality. Expectation might be 9–5 and business casual, but freelancers know that some days it’s 5:00 p.m. before you have time to put on pants. Fortunately, whether or […]

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5 Easy Ways to Transform Your Website into a Standout Salesperson

Most freelancers I know hate selling. And I can include myself in that bunch. Whether it’s a fear of rejection, utter disdain for self-promotion, or a lack of confidence in our skills and abilities, just the thought of selling (especially on-the-spot and in-person) sparks massive procrastination. Of course, that doesn’t mean we can’t sell. It just means we need a little help. High-quality content on a well-crafted website can help sell your services with confidence. So, let’s take a look at how you can turn your site into a better salesperson for your business. Treat your website like the 24/7 employee that it is The best thing about your website is that it can work for you around the clock. It doesn’t take breaks, it won’t call in sick, and it’s focused on getting you the results you want. But — as with a real-life employee — your website can’t […]

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Need a Breakthrough? Find the Right Balance of Creative and Strategic Thinking

For the marketing writer or business owner in 2019, deciding between strategic and creative is a luxury we can no longer afford. Giving rein to our creative individuality will set us apart and help us stand out in the vast sea of content. But we also want to be purposeful and strategic about how we’re spending our time. This week, we offered three posts that will nourish your creative side — while giving your strategic brain room to develop creative ideas into powerful strategies. Stefanie Flaxman started us off by talking about how damaging rigidity can be to creative work (like writing, marketing, or running a business). She turns “my way or the highway” to: “My way, or we could take the scenic route. Let’s open ourselves up to the best option.” Check out her post to help you find more creative flexibility — while staying true to your vision […]

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6 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Launched a Kickstarter Campaign

Crowdfunding is fascinating. Like many people, I have backed projects on Kickstarter. But I was curious about what it would be like to launch my own campaign for a product I created. So I did. It’s called the THINKERS Notebook and it’s currently running on Kickstarter. And while there are numerous articles about how to run a successful campaign, none of them truly prepare you for the reality of the experience. So I want to share a few things I wish I had known, or at least done sooner, before I clicked the Launch button. 1. Create a smart budget You must always remember this axiom: It takes money to raise money. You’ll have a lot of expenses (both incidental and direct) whenever you sell anything online. This is especially true when it comes to Kickstarter. These expenses can include: Costs related to developing prototypes of your product Creating a […]

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3 Steps to Finally Charge What You’re Actually Worth

You’re at a cocktail party. Someone approaches you and says: “Hey, I hear you’re a _____ and you’ve do _____ for a living. I have this problem I need help with. It’s right up your alley. Here’s my question:___________________?” What do you do? Whip out your Freshbooks Mobile App and crush out an invoice for the soon to be rendered services? Of course you don’t. This is what happens: A spark lights in your gut. “Someone just showed interest in my passion project!” Your posture shifts. Spine tingles. Pupils contract. This is your element. This is your moment. THIS IS WHAT YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR! You confidently launch into conversation… …and vomit free advice all over your new friend. Contrary to the setup, this post is not going to discuss the how and why of giving free advice. Nor will it be about the Freshbooks app’s ability to seamlessly invoice […]

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Boost Your Professional Skills with Cilantro, Selling, and Social Media

This week, we had a flavorful collection of tools, tips, and techniques that will enhance your skills as a professional writer and marketer. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman made the point that writing templates are a little bit like cilantro — some folks love them, and others run shrieking from the room crying out, “Gaaaaahhhhhh!” You don’t need to run shrieking. But you will benefit from learning how to use writing templates to save time and give your work structure, without getting into cookie-cutter territory. On Tuesday, Nick Usborne wrote about some of the tough (and valuable) lessons a copywriter can learn from selling something of their own. When you understand the complexity and stress of having skin in the game, you become a lot more passionate about the details that make for great copy. And on Wednesday, Jerod Morris swung by to talk about the four key functions we perform […]

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How to Become a Better Copywriter by Selling Your Own Product

The first time I created and tried to sell a product of my own was way back in 1996. My plan was to sell subscriptions to an offline newsletter about small business marketing. Total disaster. I sold zero subscriptions. While the venture was a complete washout, it did give me renewed respect for my clients. It was the first time I had walked in their shoes. Not their shoes exactly, but close enough for me to feel some of their challenges, stresses, disappointments, and pain. To put that another way: before I tried selling something of my own, most of what I thought I knew about copywriting and marketing was from book learning. I had learned the craft of copywriting from books and various mentors, but I had no experience of what it felt like to have skin in the game. Nor did I really understand how everything fits together […]

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Best of Copyblogger: 2018 Edition

Once you know what you’d like more of in your life, you have to make decisions that will allow more of that greatness to show up. And that exciting process is also going to present new challenges, which is why Sonia recently asked: “What are the ‘nice-to-have’ problems you’d like to have in 2019?” For me, creative challenges are high-quality problems because they enable me to grow as a writer. Evolving isn’t always easy, but the end result is a sense of pride no one can take away from you. Guiding you toward more satisfying work The annual Best of Copyblogger edition is a curated collection of our top educational resources for smarter digital marketing and sales from the past year. The aim of this collection is to arm you with the most helpful techniques and tactics that you can put to use in 2019. Maybe they’ll help reveal the […]

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A Resource for Managing Holiday Stress While You Strengthen Your Marketing

It’s the start of the traditional winter holidays this week, and you know what that means. Stress, time crunches … and maybe a little bit of peace and family time, too. We’ll try to help with some tools to get the stress to manageable levels — and maybe also help you do some great things for yourself and your business. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman shared a crucial insight if you’re ever in a position of having something to sell. (And we’re all in that position at times.) We often get nervous about putting people off because we’re marketing and selling … but Stefanie explains that it isn’t the marketing or selling that’s creating the disconnect. If selling is tricky for you, don’t miss this one. On Tuesday, guest writer Lacy Boggs made a case for why you might want to think carefully about your next “How-To” post. Now, don’t get […]

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What People Actually Want to Avoid (It’s Not Marketing and Selling)

Have you ever stopped paying attention to content when a publisher stepped up their marketing game? I know I have. I’ll turn off a YouTube video faster than I can eat a vegan cinnamon roll once I learn it’s sponsored by a product I will never buy. And if there are consistent videos for products I don’t want to hear about, I might even stop watching the channel. Liking the free content on a platform is no guarantee that you’re going to like what the publisher sells. That’s okay; no one is to blame here. The content creator didn’t make a mistake and the audience member has every right to lose interest. But there is an eye-opening lesson for anyone afraid of marketing or selling more aggressively. “Fewer people. Tighter relationships.” “We don’t write much about creating content to generate massive anonymous traffic. We write about creating content to support […]

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Do the Right Thing for Your Business … and Your Audience

This week was all about doing the right thing — being cool, kind, ethical, and respectful. Not in spite of your business goals, but to support them. Because it turns out, most people would actually rather do business with someone who isn’t a complete tool. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman talked about content authenticity — what it means, and how it jibes with holding your audience’s attention by producing a high-quality performance experience. Can we be authentic and still deliver a great performance with our content? We think the answer is absolutely yes. On Tuesday, I thought it would be useful to remind everyone that we have a great, free session coming up with Tim Paige on how to make more sales with webinars (or other sales situations) … without turning into a weird saleshole. We’ll be meeting on Tuesday, June 26 at 12:00 Noon Eastern U.S. Time, and you can […]

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Join Us for a Free, In-Depth Workshop on Selling

At Copyblogger, we love to teach! We really have a great time teaching copywriting, content strategy, search engine optimization, social media strategy … The one thing we don’t teach? Selling. Because it’s not what we’re fantastic at. Fortunately, we found someone who is fantastic at it, without being … a creepy weirdo. (There, I said it.) His name is Tim Paige. He’s genuine, funny, nice, and seriously good at selling. Tim’s going to be leading a free workshop for us to help sharpen up our selling skills. (And let me be clear: I’ll be the first one in there, with my notebook open and ready to take a million notes.) If you’d like to improve your selling skills for your product, service, course, or other offering, Tim will help you get there. Without making it weird. Join us on Tuesday, June 26, at 12:00 Noon Eastern U.S. Time You can […]

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Want Better Results? Ask Better Questions. Here’s How

First things first: Our workshop on effective selling with Tim Paige is back on the schedule! We had to adjust the calendar, but we’ve got Tim set to teach us his low-pressure but effective techniques for sales. We’ll host the workshop (it’s free) on Tuesday, June 26 at 12:00 Noon Eastern U.S. Time. I’ve had a sneak peek at Tim’s presentation, and I think it’s going to be very, very useful. And you don’t need to somehow get a “sales personality” to make it work. You can get signed up here. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman talked about the pitfalls (and possibilities) of question headlines. Done the right way, these can be fantastic ways to get traffic and shares. Done the wrong way and … they’ll only disappointment you. Stefanie shows us how to keep them sharp. On Tuesday, Loryn Thompson explored a favorite topic of mine — the unfortunate delusion […]

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Do the Right Thing for Your Business … and Your Audience

This week was all about doing the right thing — being cool, kind, ethical, and respectful. Not in spite of your business goals, but to support them. Because it turns out, most people would actually rather do business with someone who isn’t a complete tool. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman talked about content authenticity — what it means, and how it jibes with holding your audience’s attention by producing a high-quality performance experience. Can we be authentic and still deliver a great performance with our content? We think the answer is absolutely yes. On Tuesday, I thought it would be useful to remind everyone that we have a great, free session coming up with Tim Paige on how to make more sales with webinars (or other sales situations) … without turning into a weird saleshole. We’ll be meeting on Tuesday, June 26 at 12:00 Noon Eastern U.S. Time, and you can […]

Read more

Join Us for a Free, In-Depth Workshop on Selling

At Copyblogger, we love to teach! We really have a great time teaching copywriting, content strategy, search engine optimization, social media strategy … The one thing we don’t teach? Selling. Because it’s not what we’re fantastic at. Fortunately, we found someone who is fantastic at it, without being … a creepy weirdo. (There, I said it.) His name is Tim Paige. He’s genuine, funny, nice, and seriously good at selling. Tim’s going to be leading a free workshop for us to help sharpen up our selling skills. (And let me be clear: I’ll be the first one in there, with my notebook open and ready to take a million notes.) If you’d like to improve your selling skills for your product, service, course, or other offering, Tim will help you get there. Without making it weird. Join us on Tuesday, June 26, at 12:00 Noon Eastern U.S. Time You can […]

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