Happy 94th Birthday, Dear Mentor and Friend DeForest Kelley!

Find today’s tribute to De at Almost Famous.

http://almostfamousbydesfault.blogspot.com/2014/01/happy-birthday-deforest-kelley.html

DE and Kris with New Car (1)DE and Kris by Sue

 

Good news! Diane Haddick contacted the North Shore Animal League and re-established the Carolyn and DeForest Kelley Memorial Fund! The link is below.

 

http://www.animalleague.org/support/how-you-can-help/deforest-carolyn-kelley-memorial-fund .html

 

As you know, Carolyn and De visited the Fund personally and supported it for many years. You’ve probably seen pictures of them with kittens and puppies from the League. (I aim to send the League the photos I have of them there, so they can post them again.)

 

Please donate on De’s and Carolyn’s birthdays (January 20, October 5th) and on their anniversary date (Sept 7th) and on the date of De’s passing (June 11th) — and any other time you remember De or Carolyn and want to “thank” them for the joy they brought to your life!

Thank you!

Business Blogging: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Business Blogging

Blogs are considered social media. I’ve already written a post on Social Media, so you know the rules:

Keep it social, fun and helpful. You’re building relationships and reinforcing helpful insights and concepts. You’re not selling  products, services or causes.

Again, read Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen to get the complete lowdown on social media protocol.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t inform and educate your subscribers; you just shouldn’t be hammering them with sales pitches about your own business every few times they log on. (They won’t log on for long if you do. It’ll be sayonara, baby!)

The information you give should help them make good decisions–even if those decisions include going elsewhere for the same products or services you offer. The information you share should be universal, not merely a sales funnel that leads back to you and only you.

And remember this when you blog: you don’t have to stay on topic every time. Building relationships is a broad-based endeavor. Let people know of your other passions. If you’re into sports, outdoor activities, reading, sports, fashion, or anything else that others  enjoy, let your followers know about it.

People establish fond bonds for lots of different reasons, so go ahead and create deeper bonds by getting real with your followers. What do you love to do when you aren’t at work?  (I love to write when I’m not at work; can you tell? Here I am on the weekend, still writing! But  I also love movies (in fits and starts, not all the time), live theater, goats, cats, dogs and most other critters, and I love bicycle riding, walking, networking, and having fun with my friends.)

Lots of people recommend that you don’t discuss politics or religion during social interactions (including online). This is generally wise counsel, but it can also be a double-edged sworn.

Politics and religion are important aspects of many peoples’ lives (including my own). Going out of your way to hide your passion for these topics can be a real drain on your spirit if you’re as passionate about them as others are about sports teams, their children, animals, or other activities and pursuits.

So instead of avoiding the topics that are so much on your mind, simply remain sensitive to the reality that your opinion is just an opinion, not gospel, no more or less true than the opinions of folks within your spheres of influence who may disagree with you.

Differences of opinion are fine as long as you remember to respect  others’ passionate beliefs in their own perspectives.

Just about the only thing I’m intolerant of is intolerance.  Just about the only thing I’m prejudiced against is prejudice.

It isn’t always easy to keep your knickers out of a knot when you engage online, but it’s a good discipline to acquire.

It’s okay to create well-represented discussions but creating  enmity or denigrating others isn’t okay.

If you want to LIKE a religious or political post, go ahead and LIKE it. But before you hit SHARE on a controversial or cranky/insulting post or meme, ask yourself: “Is it true? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and fond bonds? Will it benefit everyone who sees it?” If you can answer “yes” to all of these questions, SHARE away!

But if it comes from a page that denigrates a defined group of people by assuming they’re “all the same” (e.g.  Democrats, Republicans, women, men, children, atheists, Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc.) or if it’s going to come across as crass or cranky in any other way and you know it has the potential to create enmity (no matter how wicked funny or accurate you think it is), don’t share it.  Shooting yourself in the foot isn’t what you want happening on social media–or anywhere else, for that matter. (I have violated this recommendation far too many times myself. I’m doing better, but it isn’t always easy especially in the contentious environment we’re forced into just about every time we access the “crass media” airwaves.)

Your blog should educate, inform and enlighten. It should elevate your followers in some way–their spirits, their knowledge in various areas (skills or topics), and their sense of can-do, wonder, and hope.

It also never hurts to tickle their funny bones or touch their hearts. Tell stories. Find knee-slapping written, animated or live action humor and share it.

So when it comes to business blogging, share what you love and things will be better all the way around.

Look for something that makes your subscribers glad they spent some of their rare, spare time with you and they’ll be back.

What Customers Should Know About Copywriters and Web Designers

Sad story: I’ve had to turn down projects that I would have been sensational doing because the buyer paid a web designer to create the site before I was consulted.

The two parties (client and web designer) had decided on a vision and then wanted me to write copy to fit into their preordained content spots, saying they wanted 30 words here, 215 words there, and eight or fewer words elsewhere.

Copywriters don’t work that way. (Or, to be more accurate, I don’t work that way.  If you find professionals who do, ask to see examples and find out how well their copy converts before you commit to working with them.)

Copywriters express compelling mind images to create desire for a product, service or cause. We don’t write into word boxes.

We’re aware of search engine algorithms and know how many words need to be in  a given piece to make sure the site is found and rated at Google, Bing, and elsewhere. But beyond this, our laser-like focus is on writing great copy.

Our job is to make sure we’re moving readers/visitors toward a well-defined, favored outcome. And doing this successfully requires varying amounts of copy, depending on whether there is “sticker shock” (the price tag) to overcome or other factors that require more copy rather than less.

And here’s the deal. I don’t even know how a website designer can be expected to create a website without  a knowledge of the kind of content the site will contain. Photographers  and painters need a different kind of website than do most other businesses, because their products are showcased mostly in images; the copy required for them is usually minimal. The images should sell themselves; very few words should be needed. But this kind of minimalism won’t work for other businesses or entrepreneurs. Most will require more copy.

It’s a  foolish idea to expect a web designer to be psychic.

Oh, plenty of web designers do their best on the first go-’round simply because they aren’t given enough content to wrap their sites around. But then they often have to charge additional fees when the content is delivered because the elements on the site they created have to be tweaked and shuffled around to make the site work for the copy that is charged with keeping the visitor actively engaged.

Lisa Twining Taylor says, “What I like to get from clients is the complete content I’ll be placing on the site. That’s number one. And it’s imperative that it’s quality content. Reputations are on the line, both for my client and for me. People who visit your site view it as a single, integrated package. They don’t know who wrote the copy; they often assume it’s me.”

After saying this, Lisa added parenthetically, “Besides, designing a site to blank pages or blank categories is impossible.  I simply won’t do it. I need to be able to see and understand the vision before I can create a site that will do what it needs to do for my client to be successful.”

It’s the copy on your website that is the “glue” that makes people stay and play (and LIKE and SHARE) what you’re offering. The frame your copy is in matters (a lot–it needs to be easy to navigate, well-designed and visually compelling) but it’s the content that will seal your fate. Don’t leave it to an amateur.

“If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage.”

 

 

A New Page is Up–Seek and Ye Shall Find!

Lisa has been hard at work all afternoon updating websites, including this one. When she showed me what she did on mine, I was amazed.

I’m not telling you which page it is. It’s a new page. It has links to another well-known site. If you click on them, you’ll be transported directly to a place where you can buy something.

Enough said. I’ve given you one too many hints already!

I was out of the office nearly all day. First thing this morning I attended a networking meeting in Puyallup; then I had a meeting with a networking partner to explain about “laser-targeting” a specific audience rather than “broadcasting” to a general audience.  (You read the same insights yesterday or the day before. Remember the fellow with the “receive important messages later” app?)

Next, I deposited a check for some writing I did for another power partner. (He’s going to have me join him at a table early next week during a well-attended business and social mixer.)

When I got back to my desk, I got a call from an elderly friend who wanted me to give her dog a bath, so I did that. (I do this every week for her because the dog has a skin condition and the vet has given her a prescription shampoo to try to take care of it.)

When I finally landed (permanently) at my desk, it was close to 2:30. (ACK!!! Horrors!) So I wrote copy for another client (about 750 words) and sent it off to him for review at about 4:30. (It’s a $200 job.)

Next I sent copy I wrote several days ago to another client (a $450 project) and am waiting to hear back from her. (She didn’t fund the project until today.) She’s in Japan.

I’m waiting to hear back from two others about whether they want me to be their copywriter. One will pay $1300 if he does; the other will pay about $500.

The $1300 client definitely wants me; he has looked over the quality of the other candidates’ portfolios and settled on me; he just has to convince the finance fellow in his firm to agree to it, since it was originally listed as a $500 project and he really only wanted to pay $300.

If you saw the parameters of the project just mentioned, you would laugh the way I did when I saw what they wanted to pay to get it done. Many clients have no idea what a qualified, professional writer should be paid. Luckily, he was willing to listen. He totally “got it” after I explained the process and the effort and time involved to do a great job for him.

What I’m discovering is that a lot of new and potential clients believe great copy just pours out of writers without time or effort. (If only!  Then I could charge less!)  Too many have been led to believe (by freelance writing ghettos) that great copy can be bought for next to nothing.

It just ain’t so. But it’s a hard thing to learn. Usually people new to hiring a writer figure it can’t hurt to try paying peanuts (entry-level secretary wages or less) to see what they get.

Then they get what they paid for and are appalled, so they go looking for someone to “fix” it. (Sometimes the copy is fixable; sometimes it’s irredeemable.) IF/when it’s fixable, they don’t want to pay much more to have it fixed because they already paid what they considered a “fair price” to have it written in the first place! So they ask for a price break, rationalizing “It’s already written. It’s just not up to snuff. I know it can be a lot better–and I know you can do it.” (Music to my ears. Alas, music doesn’t pay my mortgage. “Dammit, Jim, I’m  a writer, not a musician!”)

And I think, “Wow… I’m truly sorry you had a false start, but how can you expect to pay me less than what you paid the original writer for the mess they delivered? It was your decision to hire a fresh-faced wannabe without looking at their portfolio, writing history, test results, or client feedback. Nobody twisted your arm.”

You know better. You’ve been following me for a while now (some of you for quite a while if you followed me on Almost Famous). I’ve helped you discover what good copy is, what it should do for your bottom line, what it’s worth (ROI), and even ways to start writing it yourself.

And although you may not be a wiz yet, you’re a lot farther along, knowledge-wise, than most people who have never hired a writer to do their bidding before.

My aim is to make you a savvy buyer and a better writer (if you’re writing your own stuff). Whether you choose me or someone else to serve you, you’re getting the knowledge you need to choose more wisely.

And that’s a good thing.

 

Today’s Tip…

When you write …

Get in the sandbox and play . Turn your heart loose on your topic; don’t edit during the first draft. Let your passion for your topic reveal itself in the same way that children delight in building sand castles. Be free. Create–don’t wait!

Then, if you have the luxury of time, set aside what you’ve written  and take a walk or do something else for a while. When you come back, bring your more objective “Editor” persona with you.

As you look over the copy later on, ask yourself …

“How many of these words can come out without hurting anything?” (Make sure every word in every sentence is necessary. If it is, your final draft will be concise and compelling.)

Is the copy in active, present tense?

Is the copy personable, as though you’re speaking to one other person (as opposed to nameless, faceless hordes)?

Can you get rid of adjectives (very, most, etc. ) to make your copy more powerful?  (Example: “This is a very important ruling which, if passed,  will take away our right to fair elections and representative government” is more powerful edited like this: “If passed, this crucial ruling will make fair elections impossible and your vote worthless.”)

Don’t just slap words down and figure they’ll do their jobs. Massage them. Dance with them.

Words can be  a whale of a lot of fun. They can wink at you and tease you. Let them! Engage with them during the editing process to chisel the essence of your message into a resounding, “Yes!”

You’ll know you’re done with your word dance when you’re smiling and feel you could anonymously place your copy in a frame and put it on the wall for passersby to see, knowing they’ll feel something special when they discover it.

(Remember, you’re taking people’s time. Make whatever you write worth your readers’ time while offering uplifting, informative, helpful copy and they’ll consider the time they spend with you golden.)

 

Been Slimed Publicly but You’re Innocent? Don’t Get into a Pissing Match with a Skunk

Reputation Management

I know. It’s hard not to retaliate or do your level best to slime someone back when they get on YELP and elsewhere anonymously (cowards that they are) to destroy your reputation. Just know that unless they give their names, they’re probably competitors just trying to knock you down a peg. (Most review site visitors understand this, too, so the attack probably isn’t laying much of a glove on you. It just may feel that way.)

If you’ve read Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen you know there’s a whole section on reputation management–how to do it right and how to avoid doing it wrong. (I highly recommend that you read this excellent primer on social media if you haven’t already. It’ll save you a lot of headaches.)

If the criticism is true…

If even a kernel of the review/criticism is true (or even if it isn’t but you realize there has been a misunderstanding on the part of the reviewer), publicly (in the same thread) ask him or her to reach out to you off-line immediately (if you know who it is that reviewed you) so you can repair the fracture. If you do this right, former critics often become your greatest allies. They may well get back online and say something like, “Boy, was I wrong when I wrote my earlier review of this (product/service/business. ) As soon as they found out I was upset, they met with me and straightened it out for me. They really care about getting it right.”

Take comfort in the fact that “Nobody’s perfect” (Jack Lemmon, Some Like it Hot). If you mess up  but then you own up publicly and privately while doing your best to make it right, you’ll be forgiven and the matter will be forgotten.

If the criticism is untrue…

If the review/criticism is untrue, take it offline, too, if you can determine who the reviewer is. If the reviewer is anonymous and there is no way to connect with him or her except online, respond online (in the same thread ONLY!) with utmost professionalism and levelheadedness. Document what actually happened without resorting to character assessments (or character assassination, tempting though it may be!).

Hint: If you can adopt or approach the mindset of the Dalai Lama while responding publicly online, so much the better. Realize this: you simply cannot win a pissing match with a skunk–but you can end up so smelly (if you’re not deeply diplomatic when you respond) that the whole community will find out about it. (NOT a good thing!)

Criticism can sting whether it’s true or untrue. If it’s true, see what you can do to correct the situation; then learn from it and move on.

 

 

Testimonials: Worth their Weight in Ink!

(You know how expensive ink is, don’t you?)

Would it surprise you to hear that business owners sometimes hire writers to write bogus testimonials for them? And that some writers will actually do it for them?  (Not this writer, so don’t even ask. Nor will I write academic articles for students who are supposed to be writing their own. C’mon, cheating is cheating. I don’t cheat, and I’ll never help anyone else cheat. Heck, I won’t even write copy for business owners or entrepreneurs that I think aren’t in business for the right reasons! I’m on the buyer’s side as much as I am on the seller’s. I decided when I got into this business to be a gatekeeper of sorts. If I wouldn’t feel great putting my own name behind a product, service or business owner, I won’t write the copy. It’s as simple as that.) (And yes, I pass up business to retain this ethic, but I sleep well at night!)

Having a professional writer (or a hack) write your testimonials  from scratch is illegal. Not to mention sleazy. If the FTC can’t call you and ask for the names and contact information of the people who wrote your testimonials, you can be in Big Trouble, as can whoever it was who agreed to write them for you. So this is just a heads up.

If you don’t already have legitimate testimonials from the people you serve, something is wrong unless you’re an absolute start-up with no history behind you. Chances are, you’re probably just not remembering to ask for them, or to write them down or save them when you get them.

So here’s the deal. Before you do anything else, grab a file folder or a large manila envelope. Write on it in large colorful letters TESTIMONIALS.

Now put it where it’s pretty much always within your field of vision when you’re in your office. Next, make this your mantra: “Listen for compliments. Listen for kudos. Listen for how your customers feel about you.” 

When you know they feel great about you, ask them for a testimonial, one they’ll sign off on and allow you to use in your marketing materials. (If they don’t feel great about you, something is probably happening that you’ll want to correct so they start feeling great about you–that is, presuming you want to stay in business.)

Whenever someone you’ve served sends you a complimentary note or writes you a letter of thanks, ask their permission to publicly publish what they said in your marketing materials. (They’ll probably be delighted! If not–accept their hesitation and move on. You already didn’t have their permission, so you haven’t lost anything by asking and you may well have gained permission by asking, so always ask!) Get their written permission if they agree to let you use their communication publicly. Give them a form stating that their testimonial is being given without any expectation of payment in return. (Paying for a testimonial is a no-no, too.)

Do let them know that you may have a wordsmith tweak their testimonial to make it more concise and compelling–possibly into a TV or radio sound bite or two–and get their permission for that to happen as long as the edited, copy-enhanced version doesn’t change the original meaning of their written statements.

And be sure to ask them how they want to be referenced in the marketing materials and online–by their first and last name and town/city; by theirs initials; with their company name (if they own a company) or not. Remember, you also should keep on file their full names, addresses, phone numbers and other contact information in case the Federal Trade Commission ever comes calling.

File every testimonial, thank you note and letter in your testimonials file, but NOT before you’ve found an appropriate place to post it  in your marketing materials, whether that’s on a separate Testimonials page on your website or on pages where it will do you the most good. (Example: if the testimonial is for the repair of a Dodge Ram and you’re an auto repair shop, be sure it goes on the Dodge page if you have different pages for different models. Here’s someone who does it right: http://www.autorepairseattle.com/)

Legitimate, skillfully-edited testimonials truly are worth their weight in ink. You can hire the best copywriter on the planet but until there are some smokin’ testimonials on your site and in your marketing materials, what you  say about yourself or what your copywriter writes about you will always be taken with a grain of salt.

Testimonials are crucial. Collect them as if they were hundred dollar bills lying on the sidewalk. They’re free and they’re available if you’ve exceeded expectations–so go after them.

 

 

 

Content Questionnaire Available Here

Whether you’re a business owner or a copywriter, I have a document that has helped a lot of people “get their arms around the octopus” when it comes to defining your target audience and your USPs (Unique Selling Proposition, what makes YOU the most reasonable/compelling provider in your niche). I usually have new clients fill it out.

Some balk. Others thank me to the moon and back because it helps them clarify (in their own minds) what their 10-second intro and 30-second commercial/elevator speech should be. It also helps them get into the heads and hearts of their target audiences to see things from their perspective so they know how to identify their pain points and offer the solutions they have to solve them.

The questionnaire takes anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours to complete. Some people are so in touch with their target audiences and their USPs that filling it out is a breeze. Others have to ponder, do a little research, and ask people in their offices some questions before they can finish it.

Because of this CQ I am able (often) to identify additional target audiences (or discern better initial target audiences for a lot of start-ups) so the money comes in faster and more reliably.

Example: One gentleman wanted me to write a 60-second explainer video that was energetic, up, and positive about an app he had developed. He said the app would appeal to “everybody” (a four-letter word in the copywriting business) and that he wanted the explainer video to do just that!

Right away I knew we were in trouble…

The app was a way for parents and grandparents to pre-record (in letter form, on video, and other ways) messages that their young children were too young to presently understand: why dad and mom got divorced; why a beloved grandma that the child adored went away (died), etc. The app would allow the sender to pick a date in the future when the message would be delivered even though they might no longer be alive to deliver it.

Great app, right? But this fellow wanted an up, positive, universal message that would appeal to everyone who ever thinks about leaving important things unsaid that they would want their loved ones to know later on when they were mature enough to understand. And I agree that the product has universal appeal. BUT you don’t use a shotgun where a laser is required! You weaken your message when you try to reach EVERYBODY who will possibly ever consider using your product.

I told the gentleman that his first explainer video should target the people who know every day, when they walk out the door, that they might not come home that night: police officers,  military officers, firemen and other first responders (linemen and more)… the list goes on.

I explained to the gentleman that the video in this case shouldn’t have an up, positive, lively, let’s dance-type feel to it. The video had to hit this niche, concerned target audience where they live–in their hearts and minds, not in their dance shoes. I suggested this one as his first explainer video because this was the target audience most likely to quickly whip out their credit cards and spend the $15 per year (a pittance) to gain access to this wonderful way of leaving legacy messages to their loved ones.

My goal, as your copywriter, is always to get money pouring into your coffers as fast as I can. Then you’ll be able to afford to target additional but less-motivated audiences. But the first audience you want to target is the one most likely to feel an urgent need for your product, service or cause. It is the motivated, “I’m sold, let’s go!” buyers who will fund the rest of your marketing campaigns while filling your coffers.

Make sense?

Alas, this fellow and I parted company when we couldn’t come to an agreement on what his first video should look like. He just couldn’t visualize how a compassionate, caring, thoughtful, more restrained explainer video would skyrocket his start-up business and kick start his fortune.

He simply wasn’t thinking it through.  In essence, he wanted to target the other people, the ones who were far less motivated to buy his product. Upbeat, happy people rarely think  “What if I get hit by a Mack Truck today? Have I left anything unsaid that I haven’t already said because the time isn’t right?”

I love guiding business owners in the right direction, but sometimes they just can’t be blasted from their calcified opinions. When that happens, we agree to disagree and I move on. Because when you hire me, I’m on your team. I’m the expert in my field. I want you to win, because when you win, I win. This isn’t my first rodeo. I know what moves people.  I get into each target audience’s head so they know that you know their pain points and how to solve them.

But back to the main gist of this post. Here’s what I think.

I think you should go to my Contact page right now, copy and paste the Content Questionnaire from the link you’ll find there, and fill it out. When you do, I believe you’ll discover things about your target audience and about your own USPs that will give you a lot more to think about every time you interact with them.

Doing this has worked for a lot of people. I hope it works for you, too.

5 Rules of Effective Website Copy

5 Rules of Effective Website Copy

Today I’m sharing copy writing pointers, tips and tricks with those of you who feel you can’t afford a professional copywriter right now but don’t want to be shooting yourself in the foot as you’re writing your own marketing materials and other copy.

Rule #1

Don’t use ten dollar words where  two-dollar words will do.

Your marketing materials shouldn’t resemble academic treatises. Remember: your target audience isn’t 100% college professors (unless it is).

You’re writing to decades-old natives and to newly-arrived immigrants; to people who have completed six years of schooling and to college graduates.

Never talk down to your target audience, but don’t use words that are so unfamiliar that people fall through the cracks or are forced to carry a dictionary to discover what the heck it is  you want to share with them. Examples: Get rid of “purchase”; instead, use “buy” or “get” or “Enjoy”. Get rid of “However”; use “But”.

Which leads me to rule number two.

Rule #2

Remember what your English teacher taught you about the rules of grammar and sentence structure, but ignore them as often as you can so you stay connected.

You learned “Never start or end a sentence with a preposition” (and,  but; with, of). Great! Sound advice–much of the time. (When you’re in school. When you’re going to be tested as to how well you learned the lessons you were taught.)

In the copy writing realm, remember a new rule: Every time your reader reaches the end of a sentence and sees the period, he or she has permission to leave. But you don’t want them to leave. And if they do leave, you have lost whatever traction you had up to that point. So don’t write the way your teacher said you should!

Did you notice what I did there?  You had permission to leave after every period in the paragraph above. But you didn’t. Why? Because your mind cannot leave when the first word in the next sentence is and or but or if or so. So why would you ever routinely give your readers/visitors permission to leave before they get to your action line, the line that reads, “Download your free report now,” or “Let’s talk,” or “Find out more at…”

You want your copy to perform like a tractor beam on Star Trek. So… “Make it so!”

Send your Grammar Nazi packing…

“Got milk?”

“Me and … Bobby McGee/Mrs. Jones/My Shadow”

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

“Kick your shoes off. Set a spell.”

These familiar ditties  are connectors. They’re familiar. They create a feeling of comfort. They reassure you that the speaker is friendly so you relax.

Rule #3

Your website isn’t about you. (It isn’t.) It isn’t about you!

Your website is about what you can do for the visitors who drop in.

How many websites have you seen where the powers-that-be (usually the business owner) has directed his or her writer to make the copy all about the business: how long they’ve been in business, their rigorous training, awards they’ve won, blah, blah, blah. That stuff can go on the About Us page. The rest of the site should be visitor-centric, not business-centric.

Remember this prophetic phrase when writing your own website copy: People don’t care how much you know (or do) until they know how much you care. Visitors to your site want to know how well you “get” them, which of their pain points you can send packing.

Whenever you appear to visitors to be going to extremes to try to qualify yourself or sell, sell, sell, you look desperate. Consider how you’d feel if you walked into a department store and immediately had a salesperson on you like a leech, saying “We’re great! We’re dependable! We’ve been in business for years! Take a look at this!” without even bothering to find out why you walked in the door.

Rule #4 The home page of your website should feel like coming home. Be sure it’s relational. If this sounds like a repeat of rules 1-4, yeah, it kinda is. My goal here is to get you to get off any high horse you think you may need to be riding in order to impress someone. Just be yourself. Don’t write to impress–write to express!

When you write copy, write to a single imaginary person in your target audience as if you’re sitting across the table from him or her exchanging pearls of hard-won wisdom over coffee . Don’t orate–relate. If I can convince you to do just this much right , you’ll be light years ahead of the game and your competition will begin to envy you.

Rule #5

Keep your copy active, present tense and energizing as much as you can. Do whatever you can using your words to raise the vibrational level of your visitors. If this tip sounds  New Age-y to you , go ahead and look up vibrational fields to learn how they influence (for good and for ill)  the people within your spheres of influence. There’s plenty of science behind it.

You know people who “light up the room” when they walk in. If your words aren’t lighting up the pages they’re on, you’re leaving money on the table.

Raise your visitors’ energy levels and light up their lives and they’ll be back–usually with friends in tow.

 

 

 

Swiped from My Other Blog… Why Writers Write

Robert Louis Stevenson was a magnificent writer. He wrote many treasures, including “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” and “Treasure Island”.

Most people don’t know that Stevenson barely survived childhood. He grew up sickly in 19th century Edinburgh. He couldn’t go outside to play with his peers.

Fortunately, his parents had means so young Robert was attended by a nurse. One day, as dusk settled upon Edinburgh, he sat in a chair staring out the window. He wasn’t reading or doing anything, just staring as the lamplighters came by to ignite the street lights.

Finally, his nurse asked him: “Robert, what are you doing?”

“I’m just watching that fellow punch holes in the darkness.”

Why do good writers write? 

To punch holes in the darkness.

P.S. Thank you,  Congressman Denny Heck, for bringing this story to my attention. It’s illuminating (pun intended)!

Weaving Words Into Wealth by Turning Browsers into Buyers