Great Blog Post Ideas in 5 Quick and Easy Steps


viral posts

Just to let you know, this is Part 4 in a series on how a copywriter approaches writing a blog post.  Many of the exact same elements that are in blog posting and writing ad copy are the same.

Of course, there are differences between the two because they both serve different purposes.  

But having studied and written copy for years, I can tell that you can write a much more powerful post if you understand the elements of copy.

In case you’ve missed the previous 3 posts on this subject, you can always use the menu to the right to navigate back to the last 3 posts. Continue reading

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Viral Blog Posts in 6 Easy Steps

viral blog posts

This is part three of a series of posts on how to write a blog post that’ll get you maximum trajectory.

In this particular post, I’m going to show you how write the bulk of your post so that you can hammer it out with as little difficulty as possible.

If you’ve done the prep work , you’ll be able to write your post with relative ease. 

I hope this session will help you write your posts with as little hassle as possible.

Enjoy! Continue reading

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Make Blog Posts More Interesting and Attractive in Seconds!

When you’re trying to make your blog posts as interesting as possible, you need to do everything you can to grab your readers by the eyeballs and drag them into your post.  This video will show you exactly how to do that within seconds using two programs: Vengage and PaintShop Pro. Continue reading

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Immediately Increase Your Website Conversion Rate by 64% or More!

Converting Traffic

 

Many online businesses have professionally designed websites that don’t convert well.

This is primarily due to copy on the page that isn’t customer oriented, while ignoring the importance of optimization for conversion.

Not only are these sites not optimized, tracking the conversion rates to see what conversion events were used to generate interest from prospective clients is usually ignored as well. Continue reading

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3 Easy Steps to Persuasive Brochure Writing that Sells

shaking hands

If you’re only using Internet based advertising to promote your bricks and mortar business, you should reconsider your marketing strategy.

First of all, using only one channel to market your business is always folly.  If that particular medium fails for some reason, or is no longer available, you’ll have placed all your eggs into one basket and lost them. Continue reading

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17 Copywriting Resources That’ll Make Headline Writing A Cinch

headline target

In the realm of advertising copy, probably the most important element of the copy itself is the headline.  This one aspect of writing compelling copy is so important to the success of a piece that copywriters typically spend the majority of their time writing, rewriting, and obsessing over it.

In the realm of advertising copy, probably the most important element of the copy itself is the headline.  This one aspect of writing compelling copy is so important to the success of a piece that copywriters typically spend the majority of their time writing, rewriting, and obsessing over it. Continue reading

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“How RV Manufacturers Can Explode Their Sales 35% or More Using Email!”

sales_explosion

 

The market for your vehicles is up, but your sales aren’t nearly where you’d expect them to be.  You’ve got a better product than many of the other companies, but somehow those manufacturers are connecting with prospects better and making more sales.

You’ve read in industry trade magazines and sites that most of the sales are starting online.  Now, social media, email, and websites are the new game for generating revenue and bringing in new prospects…and you desperately want in.

Your mind swarms with ideas and information you’ve been fed from the Internet, but you don’t know where to start.  As a marketing and sales pro, you’re expected to “bring home the bacon”, but lately you’ve been delivering cans of Spam, and your boss isn’t too happy.

Just diving in without a strategy isn’t a good option either. You could waste a lot of time and money experimenting.  But you need to do SOMETHING, like have an organized plan to generate a list of good prospects; however you’re not sure where to start…

Don’t fret too much, because I have a few off-beat ideas that’ll get your email marketing campaign up and running in no time!

Before we get to that, let’s kill a few marketing sacred cows and talk about what not to do, like…

Don’t Build Lists on the Internet

99% of the Internet marketers out there will tell you that collecting email lists from traffic on a website is the way to go.  And perhaps it is for many industries like software, or selling courses online.

But when you’re selling high ticket items like RV’s, you’re dealing with a different animal entirely.

For one thing, buying a piece of software, or a $30 eBook on how to raise emus is usually an impulse buy.

When people are buying vehicles, especially Rec Vehicles, they’re considering a wide range of benefits, features, and options.  The price tag is much bigger and the selling exploding email salesprocess is much longer.

So, expecting people to just go to your site and hand you their email is probably not going to happen.

Another common online soliciting tactic is to have an opt-in autoresponder box on your site so that people will send you their email.

Usually, an offer is made to get a free “thingy” of some sort (free eBook, free coupon, free anything cheap) in order to entice people to hand you their email address.

If you’ve been involved in any sort of marketing for more than 5 minutes, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

And that’s my point.

Every business online has an offer like this, and every business wants to give you something for free.  Let’s face it: It’s been OVER-DONE.

One major problem with this, is actually creating a “thingy” that’s worthy of a prospect’s attention.

If you want it done right, you’ll want your free “thingy” to be stellar.  You’ll want it to be in the “Thingy” of the Month Club,― the freebie that gets shared all over the net virally as an industry standard.

Unfortunately, creating something like that requires a lot of time and money.  It’s also risky, because if it doesn’t hit the mark, it could be a big waste of time, and actually turn prospects off.

Another problem with collecting email addresses online is the auto-responder/email service itself.

(Near the end of this article, I’m going to show you two free or dirt-cheap ways to connect with people through your website.)

Usually, these are paid services that you have to have set up on your site.  If you don’t know how to do this you’ll have to get a web designer to do it for you.

After you’ve got it up on your site, you’ll need to have a way to immediately maintain and set up a thank-you message delivered for people for signing up.

This must be done with some thought if you’re going to establish a highly-polished, professional appearance that starts the sales process.

Which leads me to the next topic…

 

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Don’t Sell In Your Email Campaign

I know that telling a sales or marketing manager to not sell is just like telling a fish not to swim, but you need to reel it in. (No pun intended.)

People are sick to death of traditional selling because they’ve been lied to, pestered, and in some cases, actually harassed by sales people.

The last thing they want to do is read an email where you‘re telling them you’re going to call them…especially if they feel like they don’t really know you.

Not only that, but they don’t want to read an email that tells them what your needs are, as in this example I received in my inbox this month:

“WE HAVE OVER 4 MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF “USED” INVENTORY!!! Hello, my name is Joe Blow and I am the Used Car Director here at Toyota On Podunk Lane. We are overstocked with used Cars,Trucks,Suvs,and Minivans. I need to reduce my inventory this weekend and I will pass the savings along to you! Almost everything is ON SALE!!”

What I felt like writing back to Joe was:

“Gee, I’m sorry to hear that you’re overstocked.  Perhaps you shouldn’t order so many freakin’ trucks the next time.  If I didn’t know better, I’d say the reason you’ve got to get rid of them cheap is because they aren’t so good in the first place…Just sayin’!”

(Actually, my wife and I love Toyota vehicles; we’ve always had one in the family at one time or the other.)

But the point is you’ll need to focus on the needs of your prospects and customers, and definitely not the needs of you or your company.

You’re going to need to use more sophisticated methods, how to use email to gain trust, build loyalty, and eventually win sales from your list.

You Have No Idea What You’re Doing…Do You?

Another problem with any email campaign is knowing what to say and how to say it.  If you aren’t savvy with online writing or how the game is played, you’ll definitely be at a disadvantage.

Email copy and campaigns are specialized fields.  They can be highly effective when written, designed, and used by professionals that understand what they’re up against.

Many times, companies will hire copywriters to write their email campaigns for them because they can do it quicker and cheaper than trying to do it themselves.

By the way, let’s make one thing clear about copywriter’s fees; the word “cheaper” is a relative term.

If you’re paying a director of sales $200,000+ a year, do you really want to waste his time writing email messages that should be written by a specialist, rather than have him running your sales and marketing force?

Do you want to hire an English major to write marketing messages for your company at the tune of $40,000 a year only to find out he has no idea what he’s doing?

So, a decent freelance copywriter that understands what it takes to advance your brand and resonate with prospects is well worth a solid commission.

Getting the Clouds to Part and the Sun to Come Out…

If you’ve had the stomach to read this far, you’re now well aware of the challenges an email campaign, as it applies to the RV industry, can be.

Hopefully, I haven’t put you off of using email in your marketing mix.

Please notice I said, “Marketing mix”.

It should be an important, integral part of your marketing strategy that works seamlessly with your other marketing tools.

Your email efforts should be a pipeline of valuable information that leads to a host of other information sources like social medial, newsletters sent by snail mail, trade shows, magazine articles, and other valuable information sources.

The main idea behind all of this is to establish long term trust by increasing exposure of your company through a variety of marketing platforms.

Email can be the hallway to your other marketing efforts provided you have a plan and method of executing it. (Tweet this!)

Four Strategies for Generating Results with Email

Rather than write an extensive article that’s loaded with fluff, I’m going to hand you four effective Email marketing steps that’ll get you started right away.

Yes, these steps will take time and effort, but the results will be significant.

  1. Grab email addresses from anywhere you can get them. If you are at a trade show, or a promotional event and someone approaches your station, get their email.

 

Have a physical product on hand that you can give them for signing up.  If they have kids, offer a free cookie for their address.

 

If you have people that wander into your business, do whatever you can to get their email address.  Don’t merely rely on Websites or traffic to get email addresses, ask for them every chance you get.

There’s a load of ways to build your email register, and here’s a list of 29 ways you can collect email addresses.

  1. Your email pieces must have a great subject line. In the same way a great headline is massively important to a direct mail piece, so is a great subject line to an email message.

You need to have a dynamic headline that has a main benefit while generating curiosity to your prospects.

If you fail to grab their attention right away, or your email looks like spam, they’ll trash you in seconds. This is the reason why you should almost always use the prospect’s name in the subject line if you can.

Here’s a few examples of what I mean:

“Happy Birthday, Joe!  Free Surprise Inside!”  

(Now, who wouldn’t open that, even if it wasn’t your birthday?)

“What are our customers saying?”

(This is perfect for an RV manufacturer, especially if the email body is loaded with testimonials from happy clients.)

“The Star-Class Explorer – New Video!”

(If your company has a new promotional video out, you can use this.)

  1. Create a plan for your email campaign. Good copywriters will write out a detailed plan of action for their email campaigns, and so should you.  Usually, they will write out information like the email number, title, primary and secondary reasons for the email, and the title.

This way, you can easily see the pattern and when different sequences should occur.  You don’t need any special software to do this, either Excel or Word will do, but it does take thought, time and effort to plan and execute an email campaign like this.

  1. Do everything you can in your email campaign to avoid looking like spam. Like:
  • Using caps on all your letters in the subject line
  • Using funny looking characters that look like this:
  • Make sure you use unsubscribe links.
  • Never, ever write a misleading headline. People will get mad as fire ants if you misrepresent yourself and they won’t forget it.
  • Eventually, get a good email management system and use their professional looking templates.

Some Shortcuts that are Legit

Since running an email campaign might seem a little daunting to you, here are a few ideas that may help you get started quickly while reducing your workload.

  • Hire an expert to get the job done right. A good copywriter can make a major difference in your campaign and bring in prospects and sales for years to come.  So, if you don’t have anyone on staff that can do the job properly, try to find a freelancer that can do the job right.
  • Make your email connect with other forms of marketing. If your email has drop-dead information in it, see if you can get your subscribers to share it on social media sites.  You could also have the subscribers sent to a place where they can subscribe to other means of connecting with you like a YouTube channel, or a newsletter that’s sent monthly via regular carrier.
  • If you want to get on the fast track on building your email list quickly, get all of your company’s employees on board as fast as possible. Have them encourage their friends and families to share and forward your email.  Go through your entire company’s listing of past customers and business connections and see if you can get them on your list as well.
  • Direct mail is still very effective and you can send out a monthly newsletter that lets your past customers and friends know you still care. You can encourage people to connect with your business online through the newsletter.
  • Yes, you can still get email from Internet traffic. However, you need to redesign your site and optimize it for getting prospects to take action and sign up.  I recently wrote a white paper on this subject for real estate developers, but its applications can be applied to just about any business. You can get it here:  How to Immediately Increase Your Conversion Rates

Take Action … Pronto!

If you’ve read this post and it resonates with you…Great.  However, if you don’t take any action to get the ball moving, a fat lotta good it’ll do you.   You should now have enough ammunition to start a full-fledged email campaign.

Step back and think for a moment.

Imagine not just having a large list of prospects, but an email system that brings in customers to your door automatically and keeps clients in the loop so that they’ll recommend you. Your sales are way up and your marketing team has more work than they can handle.

Using email in your marketing efforts, it is entirely possible to build a loyal network of clients and prospects that’ll help you fill your sales funnel and increase your revenue.

It happens to companies across the globe every day, and it can happen to your company too.

Print this post up and share it with your sales department.  Find out what you can use, and start today! 

Tips on Sites and Software

I am not affiliated with any of these companies, nor do I make any commission from them.  I merely use them in my business, so this is a completely honest evaluation.

The email service I’m currently using is called Mail Chimp and it’s one of the cheaper email management systems online that you can use.  It’s free ― up to 1,000 email addresses, so you can test drive it and won’t have to pay anything until your email list builds up.  It’s not hard to set up, and if you use WordPress like I do, it has a plugin that sets it up real easy.  It works well and I love it.
The other tool that I use that’s outstanding is My.Setmore.  My.Setmore is an online appointment setting tool that will make it super easy for prospects to set up appointments and calls with you.  It is rather simple to put on your site (I had my appointment buttons and account set up in about 15 min.) and if you want to check it out, just click the appointment button on my site and take a look at it. (Don’t worry, you won’t have to set an appointment…unless you want to!)

One last tool I’d like to mention is Neil Patiel’s HelloBar.  Hello Bar is a super easy way to collect email by using a friendly popup whenever you enter a site.  Hello Bar not only collects email addresses, but it also lets you know how many people have been on your site and looked at your offer.  This is a great tool to integrate into your landing page and help you to collect email subscribers.

Mark “Elmo” Ellis is a jazz trombonist turned copywriter that loves helping entrepreneurs and businesses succeed. Check out his blog where he unveils killer marketing and copywriting tactics that you can use right away. You can also read more about his journey to becoming a copywriter here: MarkEllisCopy.    

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WARNING:  Ignoring These Elements in Your Real Estate Development or Investment Firm’s Advertising Copy Can Trash Your Profits!

You are doomed.  Let’s face it, if you continue market your business as if the copy on your website, brochures, and sales letters doesn’t mean squat, then you’ll continue to have low response until your client base has dried up.

The problem with most businesses that have to sell their investment vehicles and services, is they don’t fully comprehend the sheer magnitude and power behind a well written sales piece.

Think about a really well written sales letter, for example.  The sales letter gets delivered into the hands of your prospect directly, and instead of hearing your message on the radio, your prospect is actually holding it and reading it.  Even if you only have that prospects attention for 4 seconds, that’s probably a lot more time of undivided attention that a potential client will ever give an online ad, TV commercial or some other form of advertising.

One or Two Little Things Can Make All the Difference in the World

dollar on sales letter

Years ago, I sent out two groups of sales letters.  One batch had just my marketing message on it, with a picture of the item I was selling on it.

The other sales message was exactly the same except for two things.  The second sales message had a dollar bill attached to it, and the headline read: “Can You Guess Why I’m Sending You This $1 Bill?”

The second ad drew a much higher rate of response than the first one of course.

As the years went by and I studied more and more about the art of copywriting, I learned that not only do big changes in copy make a difference, but also little things as well.

I got this one from the famous marketer, Dan Kennedy: A company ran two ads trying to sell a musical item using very similar wording.

The first one said, “Put Music into your life!”

The second one said, “Puts Music into your life!”

The response on the second ad was much greater than the first.  The reason?  The first ad indicated that YOU were putting music into your life, while the second one indicated that the music was being put into your life by SOMEONE OR SOMETHING ELSE.

One indicated effort on the part of the prospect while the other did not. So, having said all that, it’s a fairly easy assumption that it’s the little things in your copy can have drastic effects on your response rates and bottom line.

Ignore These at Your Own Risk !!!!

Narcissistic Copy —The biggest error I see on most real estate investment and development firm’s website copy, is what I like to call “Narcissistic Copy”.  This is landing page copy, either written or paid for, (wasted money in my opinion) that focuses on the host business and ignores the wants and needs of the consumer. It usually tells the prospective client how great the company is, how many awards the company has won, and the pedigree of the sales team.  In other words: a lot of bragging. When a client lands on your site, they don’t care about the volume of your business or how great you are.  What they want to know is, “What’s on it for me?”  So, your copy should almost always address what benefits you can provide for them, and the more benefits that you can list for them the more your message will resonate with your prospects.

Uniqueness —In a raft of penguins, a bright pink one will definitely stand out.  You need to explore and crow about your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). What is it about your firm that makes yours stand out from the pack?  Is there some aspect of your company that is unique or does it specialize in some aspect of your market that you can focus on?

Proof of Greatness —Probably one of the most overlooked parts of advertising copy when it comes to real estate firms, is the use of Testimonials.  Nothing speaks louder than a testimonial from a happy client, especially when they are willing to put their names on it. If you have clients that have been doing business with you for years, they will more than likely be happy to give your firm their endorsement.

Use Recognized Symbols —The use of well-known symbols from organizations that you are affiliated with can be a major boost.  If you’ve been featured on a TV show or given them an interview, it really helps to have their logo on your landing page or brochures with the words, “As seen on NBC’s Today Show!” Other seals and emblems on your site, such as the Better Business Bureau’s icon, can lend credibility as well.

common logos

Logos, seals, and certification icons can add credibility to your business’s copy.

Guarantees — If your company has any types of guarantees or other assurances that can be leveraged in your copy, it will make your offer so much sweeter.   If your firm doesn’t offer any types of guarantees, you may want to have a brain storming session to try to figure out a way to create one.

If you are missing any of these important, persuasive elements in your copy, you may want to consult or hire a solid copywriter to craft them for you.  Sure, on the front end you’ll have to spend some good money, but the copy you use can convert for years to come.

If you’re looking for a solid copywriter that will take you by the hand and give your company’s copy the care and attention that it deserves, then contact me at the info below.

To Your Success!

Mark “Elmo” Ellis

email: elmo033057@gmail.com

phone: (859) 797-9560

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Warning: If you are a Real Estate Investment or Development Company – You’ll Lose Loads of Prospects If You Don’t Do This!

If you have skipped this important step in creating your sales material, be it your brochures, website landing page, or direct mail pieces, then the chances of converting your prospects into cash buyers or clients has been greatly compromised.

Knowing your target market and how to relate to them in your sales material is extremely important. The more you know about your prospects and what keeps them awake at night, will help you nail your copy and offer so that you will have an opportunity to gain them as clients.

You certainly wouldn’t talk to a prospective client in the real estate development business as you would talk to a software engineer; there’s a completely different voice, terminology, and desires that will have to be addressed.

A Hard-Core Marketing Lesson That I Learned from a Pack of Guru Wannabes

Snarky CopywriterI sometimes frequent an online forum where Internet marketers and wannabes hang out and sell their wares.  I decided to hang out in the section where many of these entrepreneurs were selling their various products and analyze the copy they were using to sell their products with.

I would then send a pitch to these entrepreneurs and tell them where they were going wrong with their copy and how they could sell their stuff better.  It didn’t take very long before I got annihilated by several of these sellers.

As it turns out, many of the sellers that I contacted were doing quite well with their products and their copy, and they told me in no uncertain terms how stupid I was.  (Man, do these young Internet marketers get snarky!)  As it turns out, I had failed to study the people I was trying to prospect to and how their products are sold.  The same copy that I was using for motivational speakers is not the same copy I could use on this bunch, which resulted in an epic fail on my part.

Writing to Everyone is a Waste

One of the lessons I just had to learn was writing copy the same way for everyone is just not going to work, just like marketing to everyone is marketing to no one.confused marketer

Usually, when I’m writing for a client, I have rather extensive research form that I make the
clients fill out before I write a single word.  Actually, I have several of these sheets for them to fill out, and I usually ask them to send me every scrap of advertising copy they can to include past and current brochures, radio or TV scripts, and any other types of copy they may have.  If they have any demographic studies on their target market, I’ll ask for that too.

On these forms, this is what I’m basically looking for:

  • Who are your clients and customers? If you’re a real estate investment firm, the clients that you are probably dealing with are successful 30 to 50 year olds that are interested in passive investments and are college educated. You need to gather as much information about your primary marketing target as you can.  This is an extremely important step that you cannot skip!
  • Are these prospects able to buy what you have to offer? Marketing to prospects that have no money or cannot see the value of your services is of no use to you. So determining who and where your best prospects are is another important consideration.
  • If you already have clients, what do they look like? The famous marketer, Dan Kennedy, once had to write copy for a business that sold dump truck tarps to construction companies.  Kennedy actually went to the buyer’s offices and hung out with them so he could get a good idea of the language, work environment, and day to day dealings these buyers of tarps had.  He even wanted to know how they ate their lunch, and he interviewed quite a few of them.  This type of research is vital to getting your marketing message across.
  • What do your current clients and happy patrons like about your product and services? You can easily send out surveys to past clients to find out what they liked about your business.  If you offer them a reason, like a free gift to fill out your survey, chances are they will be more than happy to give you this data.

Just like a good copywriter, if you do your research on the front end, you will fare much better in your marketing message and will be able to craft compelling copy at the onset.  Knowing everything you possibly can about your prospects will save you thousands of dollars as well as prequalification in your target market.

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Jump On This FREE Offer Now!

If you would like to know how you can easily transform your online landing page into an automatic lead generating machine, please contact me at the email address below, or give me a call.  I’ll be happy to send you my FREE copy of “How to Immediately Increase Your Website Conversion Rate by 64% or more!” This is a concise report full of ideas to help you easily and quickly turn prospects into paying clients.

To Your Success!

Mark “Elmo” Ellis

Elmo033057@gmail.com

(859) 797-9560

 

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