IS IT WORTH PUBLISHING YOUR OWN CONTENT?

Should copywriters publish their own content?

For example, should put time into writing a newsletter or blog. More specifically, is this worth doing if you’re busy with client work…what’s more, with the thousands of other blogs and newsletters out there, is this really something that you need to spend time on?

The answer to these questions is YES.

It’s more than worth it…

…just not for the reasons that most people think.

You see, there are three good reasons why you should publish your own content.

1. Creates visibility in your target market

Creating and publishing content gives you visibility in your target market. This is assuming that you consistently publish and promote it. This also assumes that your content is interesting. Now, this doesn’t mean it has to be mind-blowing. Just as long as you provide readers with value you’ll be ok. Also note that it doesn’t have to be long, 200-500 words is fine.

2.Gives clients a chance to get to know you

Publishing your own content allows prospective clients to connect with you. It helps you build a connection with them and they also get to know, like, and trust you. Not only that, if you write something that resonates with them, it greatly increases the chances of them hiring you.

3. Gets your ideas out on paper

Most people have dozens of great ideas bouncing around their heads. Unfortunately, these ideas are mostly useless until you explore them in a deeper way. One of the best ways to do this is by getting them down on paper.

Bottom line:

There are many good reasons why you need to create your own content.

These reasons are valid no matter how many blogs or newsletter you’re competing against.

Alastair Walton

THIS GUY WROTE FOR 17 YEARS BEFORE EARNING A PENNY (HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM HIM)

Steven Pressfield is an American author of historical fiction.

Like most writers, success did not come easy. In fact, it was 17 years before he earned a penny from writing and another 27 before his first novel got published (The Legend of Bagger Vance, which was later turned into a movie starring Will Smith and Matt Damon.)

But his real break-through came when he wrote a book called “The War of Art.”

Maybe you’ve heard of it?

To give you a brief summary, this book is basically a guide to pressing through the barriers which hold you back from doing creative work. It’s sold well over a million copies and even after all these years, is still incredibly popular.

But there’s a good reason for this.

First of all, the title – which is basically a play on the “Art of War” – is brilliant.

Second, this book is primarily aimed at people in the creative field – writers, artists etc.

(More specifically, it’s aimed at people who want to write or make art.)

And this is really why the book is so popular.

You see, these kinds of products are a dime a dozen. There are literally hundreds on goal setting, motivation, success, and spirituality. Unfortunately, 99% of these books sink without a trace. But the reason why the War of Art succeeds – and continues to succeed – is because if differentiates itself.

Instead of being aimed at the general public, this book targets people in the creative field.

And this is why it continues to sell…year after year after year.

Moral of the story?

Whether you’re writing a book, creating a course, or designing a new product, it’s critical that you do something different. Whether it’s targeting a subset of the market (like The War of Art does) your packaging, or what the product does, you have to find a way to make yourself different and stand out.

Do this and you’ll drastically increase your chances of success.

Alastair Walton  

6 WAYS TO REVEAL YOUR PRICE (AND DO IT WITHOUT PUTTING CUSTOMERS OFF)

My buddy collects knives.

So one morning we go to a knife show. Eventually something catches his eye. We walk over to look at the piece and within a minute or two, a salesman arrives and tries to sell us on buying it. Everything’s going well until Mr. Salesman mentions the price. I can’t remember the exact cost, but it was extremely expensive…and…the instant this happened, my friend lost interest completely.

This story illustrates an important point.

Basically, the way you present your price is critical.

Doing this incorrectly could result in something known as “sticker shock.”

(i.e. your price shocks people and they are immediately put off buying.)

Now, while price is not always the determining factor, it does play a major role.

The point is that presenting your price the wrong way could destroy the sale.

To help you out here are some of my favorite strategies for avoiding this:

1. Compare apples to oranges

The easiest way to bring up your price is simply by comparing your product to something else. Let’s say you’re selling a get-better-at-golf DVD. What you could do is compare the product to the cost of hiring a PGA pro (in this case you’d also want to mention things like the cost of travelling to lessons etc.)

2. Sell the size

People associate size with value. Mention how much your product weights, the volume, or amount of space it takes up. If you’re selling information products, then talk about how many tips, techniques, and so on are in the product (i.e. “this course contains 99+ tips for improving your golf swing.”)

3. Talk about the cost of development

Go into detail discussing the amount of people it took to create the product. Mention their qualifications and experience, the amount of money you spent, the quality of the components, how difficult it was to build this product, and the rigorous testing it went through.

4. Make the parts worth more than the whole

This is a classic technique used when selling information products. You simply mention everything they get when buying the product. This includes things like bonuses, and other additional components.

5. Use installments

This strategy is often used in television commercials. Rather than presenting the price you say something like: “Just three small monthly installments of $11.95 charged to your credit card.”

6. The cup of coffee technique

This technique works well if you’re selling a subscription based product. What you do is break your price down into a daily cost and then compare that to something else. You could, for example, be selling a product which costs $99 per month. In this case you’d say “costs only $3.20 per day. Less than a cup of coffee!”

Anyway, using these techniques makes your price a little easier to swallow…

….which should, in the long run, help to increase conversions.

Stay tuned for more,

Alastair Walton

MONROE’S MOTIVATED SEQUENCE: HAVE YOU TRIED THIS ONE OF A KIND PERSUASION FORMULA?

Looking for a simple way to create persuasive sales copy?

Alan H. Monroe was an American psychologist and lecturer at Purdue University.

He’s most famous for creating a persuasive framework he called Monroe’s Motivated Sequence.

This sequence consists of the following steps.

  • Attention
  • Need
  • Satisfaction
  • Visualization
  • Action

Let’s go over these:

1. Get the reader’s attention

The most basic way of doing this is by bringing up a problem the audience wants to solve. You may also want to open up with a dramatic story. This story could involve someone overcoming the problem you just mentioned. Rhetorical questions also work well, so do shocking statistics (statistics also demonstrate you’re an authority on the subject.)

2. Highlight their need for the solution

Talk about the potential consequences of ignoring the issue. For example, a weight problem may lead to heart disease or diabetes. Be specific and try to put a sense of urgency into your writing. They need to act now before the problem becomes irreversible. You want them in a highly emotional state. Also backup everything you say with evidence.

3. Provide the solution

Here you present the solution and explain how it works. Mention how this satisfies their desires or fulfills a specific need. In this part it’s also important to prove your solution works. You can do this by providing testimonials and case studies. Also anticipate any objections the audience may have. Finally summarize the information you’ve presented.

4. Visualize the future

Paint a compelling picture of a future without their problem. What will life be like? How will things improve? You can also use the compare and contrast method. For example, what will happen if they don’t take action?

5. Ask for action

Mention the specific steps they need to take. This could include calling a number, visiting your website, or clicking the add to cart button. Taking action could also mean starting a new habit, or living life in a different way. Whatever you do, keep things simple. It’s also important that you create a sense of urgency and need. Motivate them into taking immediate action.

This sequence works for any type of copy you’re writing.

This includes sales letters, emails, landing pages, and books.

You can even use it to write effective speeches.

Alastair Walton

HOW TO BUILD YOUR LIST WITH A STRATEGY USED BY THE WORLD’S BIGGEST RETAILERS

A “loss leader” is essentially an item sold at or below cost.

These products are primarily used to attract new customers.

Their purpose is simply to get you through the door in the hope that you’ll buy more products.

(This is also why they’re known as “door busters.”)

This strategy is widely used in the retail industry and has worked for decades.

It’s also a strategy which online entrepreneurs can use with equal success. More importantly, it’s a fantastic way to build your list. Remember, the bigger your list, the more money you’ll make. Not only that, people who have already purchased something are more likely to purchase something else. Another benefit of this idea is that it’s cheaper than advertising on Google, Facebook, or Twitter.

If you’re interested in using this strategy, then here are the steps you need to follow:

1. Find affiliates and joint venture partners

Look for people with big lists who sell similar products to yours. Get in contact with these people and let them know what you have on offer (just note that it’s best to establish a relationship before you launch into the business side of things.)

2. Create your product

At this point you should already have a product to sell. Price this product at $39 (I’ll explain why in minute.) If you don’t have a product then it’s time to create one. The most important thing is that your book is highly valuable and appeals to the market. Creating a quality product also increases the chance that affiliates will choose to promote it.

3. Offer affiliates 100% commission

Approach affiliates and suggest they sell your $39 book to their subscribers for only $19. This way they can give their subscribers a $20 discount. Doing this greatly increases the appeal of your product. Also tell these affiliates that you’re not going to offer the usual 50% commission. Instead you’ll give them 100% commission. This also greatly increases your chances of recruiting affiliates.

4. Provide email swipes

Most affiliates are lazy and don’t want to write their own emails. This why it’s a good idea to provide them with email swipes. Writing these also increases your chances of making sales. After all, as the product creator you’re the person most familiar with your product…and can therefore write the best copy.

At this point you’re set.

If everything goes according to plan, affiliates will send out your emails, make sales…

…and you’ll add hundreds of names to your list.

(With almost no effort.)

What’s more, you can then market additional products to these subscribers…

…and actually start making some real money.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton  

HOW TO CREATE A PEN NAME FOR MAXIMUM SALES AND IMPACT

If you’re struggling to come up with a pen name (and looking for inspiration) …then here’s a tip from one of the world’s most successful crime fiction authors. I’m talking about “Lee Child” – real name James Dover Grant –  the author behind the international mega smash hit Jack Reacher series. In case you don’t know, this series has sold more than 60 million copies. Not only that, a movie version – starring Tom Cruise – was filmed back in 2012, plus there’s also a TV series out on Amazon Prime Video.

I recently read an interview where the author described how he came up with this pen name…and it’s actually quit brilliant. You see, he choose the name “Child” because it would place his book alphabetically on the shelves between Raymond Chandler and Agatha Christie.

Anyone can use this technique.

(The catch being that your book has to appear in bookstores and libraries.)

Simply find the biggest or two of the biggest authors in your genre.

Then create a pen name similar to them.

For example, if you’re writing in the fantasy genre (where J.R.R. Tolkien is by far the most famous author) your name could be something like…

…James Tollman or maybe even Rebecca  Teleman.

(Ok, these are extremely bad examples but you get the point.)

Anyway, until next time…

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

STRUGGLING WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES? TRY THIS

One of the biggest hot topics today is mental health.

It seems as if more and more people are dealing with problems like depression, anxiety etc.

This is also something which many people in business have to handle.

If you’re struggling with these issues then you need to do something about it.

After all, unless you’re able to keep yourself on an even keel you simply won’t get anywhere.

So what’s the best way to do this?

In my experience it’s blogging.

There are several reasons for this.

The biggest being that most stress comes from not having clients or work to do.

(And therefore not having money coming in.)

When that happens you’re usually left sitting around staring into space…

…and this is what leads to problems like anxiety and depression.

But this is why a blog like this can come in so useful.

Whenever I’m stuck with nothing to do I’ll use the time to reel off a dozen or so blog posts.

It always makes me feel better.

Blogging is almost like a form of meditation actually.

Not only that, it’s great writing practice and also helps you find clients.

(In fact, dozens of people have hired me because they liked my blog.)

Plus it massively reduces the stress of not having work…

…and also helps to clear your mind and put your thoughts into order.

More tomorrow:

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

HOW TO MAKE IT AS A FREELANCE WRITER

It’s safe to say that thousands of people dream of writing for a living.

So what does it take to do this?

The first thing I can tell you is that it’s NOT about the writing.

You see, the biggest assumption people have is that being a “good” writer is important.

Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.

Writing is only a small piece of the puzzle.

In fact, your writing ability accounts for maybe 10-20% of your success. It’s vastly more important to learn how to market yourself, deal with clients, manage your time, and meet deadlines. Out of all this, being able to deal with clients is probably the most important.

You HAVE to learn how to weed out and avoid bad clients…

…and also how to cultivate, motivate, and manage your good clients.

The point is this:

If you want to do this for a living then stop worrying about being a “good” writer.

It’s easy to get by as long as you’ve competent.

Instead, focus on learning the abovementioned skills.

Do this and you’re almost guaranteed success.

Until next time…

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

THE BEST WAY TO WRITE A NURTURE EMAIL SEQUENCE

What’s the best way to write a nurture email sequence?

In case you don’t know this is a series of emails designed to warm up prospects.

The idea is that you use this sequence to build a relationship, get people interested in your product…and…at some point ask for the sale. But how do you do this? Most copywriters have their own opinion on writing these sequences…

…but IMHO the easiest way is simply not to bother.

You see, if you want to “nurture” leads all you have to do is email them at regular intervals.

This is because the best buyers don’t need “warming up.”

Serious people are usually ready to buy from the get go.

(Not only that, if you take too long to ask for the sale you may end up losing it.)

Sending out a sequence of 3,5,10 or however many emails isn’t going do anything.

People who want your product will buy it immediately…

On the other hand you have people who are less keen.

These people will never buy or will buy at a later stage.

Converting them is far more difficult…

…but that doesn’t mean you need some special sequence of emails.

All you have to do is continue emailing them.

Doing this will build a relationship all by itself.

The bottom line is this:

Don’t worry about creating a fancy nurture email sequence.

It’s completely pointless.

People who are ready to buy will buy.

People who are less ready will buy later on.

People who were never going to buy…well…will never buy.

The most important thing is that you simply continue to email.

Whether you’re sending daily or weekly emails the idea is that you carry on going.

Over time you’ll naturally build a relationship…

…without really even trying.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

WHAT I LEARNT FROM AUSTRALIA’S MOST NOTORIOUS STAND OVER MAN

Did you know that true crime is one of the biggest niches on the internet today?

Over the last few years this genre has exploded in popularity. Today there are countless YouTube channels, podcasts, documentaries, and books devoted to discussing the grisly exploits of serial killers, murderers, and other villains. And while I’m not the biggest fan of this stuff I’ve actually read a couple of these books over the years. Along with this, I’ve also worked my way through dozens of books about gangsters, conmen, other assorted criminals.

One of the best books I’ve ever read is called From the Inside by a guy called Chopper Read.

In case you don’t know this guy was a legendary Australian “stand over man.”

(That basically means he robbed and extorted money from criminals.)

Over the course of his career he became known for his extreme terror tactics.

These included things like kneecapping, torture, and the liberal use of firearms.

While this stuff might sound stomach turning there’s actually a lot you can learn from this guy.

For starters, he’s really a testament to the awesome power of storytelling.

From the Inside is essentially a collection of stories and anecdotes about his days as a criminal.

Most of these are utterly fascinating and totally compelling.

And it’s due to their power that he was able to reinvent himself from a low-level criminal and ex-con into a quasi-celebrity and best-selling author who appeared on talk shows, did speaking tours, and made more money  than he ever did from crime. In addition to this he published more than ten books and had a movie made about his life.

What’s truly amazing about this guy is that he did all this simply by telling stories.

Something else you can learn from him is the power of reputation.

You see, much of his power lay in his notoriety.  

This guy had an incredible reputation for violence…

…meaning that when he came to collect you sure as hell were going to pay.

As a copywriter it’s equally important that you develop a reputation.

You need to become known as someone who can get things done.

As the guy who can get results and write copy that pulls in the big bucks.

You have to become famous or even infamous.

This is key to becoming successful in this business.

Think about it:

Who would you rather hire.

Some nobody or an A-list copywriter with a reputation for great results.

The answer (by now) should be obvious.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton