Tag Archives: copywriting

Why Content Should Always Come Before Design

content before designWhen thinking about your new website, it can be easy to get distracted by all of the fancy functionality and pretty layout you’ll soon be the proud owner of. But if you’re not careful, you can put the (shopping) cart before the horse. You see, content should always come before design.

To be clear, I’m not saying that every last word of your content must be ready before the design phase can start. That would drag the design and development of your site to a snail’s pace. Rather, the primary portions of your content should be mostly finished (home page, important internal pages). Little tweaks here and there are still perfectly acceptable, but the over-arching message should be solid. Continue reading

Cure “Know-It-All” Syndrome… and Be a Better Writer

know-it-allThe malady I call “Know-It-All” Syndrome affects us all…and sometimes taints my own writing. Otherwise called “The Curse of Knowledge,” this condition occurs when someone just cannot ignore knowledge they already have and other people may not know or have forgotten. I’ve noticed that when a writer suffers from this difficulty, it makes it harder to explain things or tell a story in a manner that’s understandable to a novice.

As an example, my adult daughter is a computer maven. She knows how to set up things and fix things average people cannot figure out. Whenever she’s in town (she lives 1,000 miles away), we save all our software for her to install and have a list of questions about computer matters. However, when I ask her to explain things on the phone, “Know-It-All” Syndrome sets in. She has too much knowledge. So, it’ s difficult for her to explain stuff to us mortals. She becomes frustrated, impatient, and sometimes, even angry at our computer stupidity.

So much writing is bad because it’s cursed. That’s why it’s so hard to figure out a government form or the instructions for setting up a home wi-fi network. Continue reading

Why Email Is Still Going Strong

It’s been just 25 years since email via the Internet first hit the scene in the early 1990’s. Contrary to popular opinion, email is more popular than ever, with marketers relying heavily on email. According to MediaPost, “The well-known Mark Twain quip—‘The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated’—can now be used to describe what’s happening with email.”

Many people think that social media is replacing email or that email is outdated and no longer useful. They are wrong, very wrong indeed!

But there are some keys to success. Just check out the new eMarketer report entitled “Email Marketing Benchmarks 2016: Relevancy, Frequency, Deliverability and Mobility.” The report notes that for email to be successful, marketers must analyze how mobile use, increases in message volume and frequency, and data-driven relevancy impact performance. A 2016 co-sponsored DMA (Direct Marketing Association) and Demand Metric survey confirmed a median ROI of 122 percent—more than four times higher than other marketing formats examined, including social media, direct mail, and paid search.

Bet you’re a whole lot more interested now…and want to know why email is still going so strong. Continue reading

How to Be Creative When It Doesn’t Come Naturally

cvbgI admit that being creative comes to me naturally, as it has my entire life. That’s why being creative is what I do for a living every day as a writer, although some days it’s harder than others to be creative.

As a kid, I always had a crayon or pencil in my hand doodling some imaginary animal or writing a poem or story. As a teenager, my peers turned to me for an off-the-cuff song parody for a high school revue.

But many people tell me that being creative doesn’t come to them naturally. They moan, “I am not a creative person,” or “I don’t know where to start.”

Don’t fret! Many psychologists argue that creativity isn’t something people are born with. Good news though—it’s actually a skill that can be learned. And, practicing being creative can make you more and more creative. So, what can you do to exercise your creativity muscles and jumpstart your creativity? Here are 9 creative suggestions: Continue reading

Creating Headlines, Opt-in Copy and Email Subject Lines That Capture Readers

smiling young woman writing on virtual screenWe’ve posted many blogs on writing content that gets leads and sells. After all, that’s what our business is about. It’s what our readers are interested in.

Frankly, if you can’t get and keep your prospects’ interest, you are going to be out of business fast. This topic is really nothing groundbreaking. Or is it worth another discussion?

This topic deserves mention…but from a new perspective. When you dig deeper you find that if you want to capture your readers’ interest and keep them coming back, you’ve got to deliver headlines, opt-in copy, and email subject lines that grab their full attention. And since most people have the attention span of gnats (while they are also considering your competitors), you’ve only got nanoseconds. Continue reading

How to Create High Performing Content

Businessman Writing the Word ContentJudgments about your website and content are formed in seconds or even nanoseconds. According to Google, you have three seconds or less to make a positive impression or your site visitor (especially a first-time visitor) will leave. One study says it’s as little as .5 seconds. Not very long, huh?

With that kind of fleeting time and the hit-or-miss nature of attracting and converting site visitors, you really have to create content that’s a grand slam hit that boosts traffic or your site will never make it in the Big Leagues. You must carefully select every word and constantly review how your content is performing and change what isn’t working.

To make that easier for you, here are the 11 insider secrets to creating high performing content. Continue reading

Brainstorming Hacks: 9 Ways to Come Up With Creative Ideas

Yes, I am a creative person (in fact, a writer). But frankly, there are times when I just don’t feel very creative. Coming up with fresh, new ideas and exciting approaches time after time, day after day, isn’t easy. In fact, there are days I would rather have root canal work than come up with another supposedly “creative” idea. It’s often that frustrating and painful for me.

I wish I could press a button and “Voila!”…creative ideas would stream forth. But, that won’t happen any time soon. So what do I do? Brainstorm and think more creatively…and make it part of my daily life.

Some brainstorming and creative thinking can be enormously helpful….even revitalizing. Other times, it can be downright draining and a big waste of time. I agree with various experts that label creativity as a talent or gift that requires practice and development.

Whatever your position on creativity, I want to share my 9 ways to getting the creative juices flowing in positive, useful ways. Continue reading