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

6 TIPS FOR WRITING PERSUASIVE COPY (FROM DALE CARNEGIE)

Dale Carnegie is one of the world’s most popular personal development writers.

How to Win Friends and Influence People (first published in 1937) has now sold more than 30 million copies, making it one of the best-selling books of all time. Even more popular is than this was his guide to public speaking titled How to Develop Self-Confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking.

This book contains dozens of fascinating insights for copywriters.

For example, I found the section on opening your speech especially useful.

According to Carnegie there are 6 ways to do this:

1. Start with a story

This works best if you’re sharing something from your personal life. Your story should also have some kind of action in it. This helps to engage the audience and grabs their attention. You could say something like, “Three nights ago, a dog was run over in the street outside my house.”

2. Trigger their curiosity

There are dozens of ways to do this. The easiest is to simply make a statement which leaves your audience wanting more. For example, “I was walking down main street this morning when I saw a man dressed in a bunny suit.” This type of statement makes the audience wonder. Who was he? Why was he dressed that way? Where was he going?

3. Use pictures

Instead of opening up the copy with words, why not use a picture? Before and after pictures are one of the best ways to do this. You could also use a picture that seems weird, unsettling, or confuses the viewer.

4. Talk about their personal interests

What does your audience care about? What affects them deeply? Here are two examples of this: “Do you know how long statistics say you are expected to live?”, “What I am about to discuss will affect your business, the price of food, and your quality of life.”

6. State a shocking fact

Surprising facts will always get your audience’s attention. “Did you know that leprosy still exists in 15 countries in the world today.”

More tomorrow,

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

IS PRIVATE SOCIAL MEDIA THE HOTTEST TEND IN INTERNET MARKETING?

What fuelled the astonishing rise of Face Book?

Why did this site become so enormous so quickly?

There are dozens of reasons…the biggest being the sheer addictiveness of the platform.

Another good reason (at least at the start) was exclusivity.

Unless you went to a certain college you simply couldn’t open up an account.

And that’s what I want to talk about today.

You see, I’ve noticed an interesting new trend in internet marketing.

This trend can basically be described as “private social media.”

It’s basically the idea that you set up a social media type website and then charge for the pleasure of using it. The most common way of doing this is to allow people to join for free and then charge them for things like making posts, adding an avatar, sending private messages and so on.

This stuff has actually been around forever.

(The best example is the Something Awful forums.)

It’s only due to the fact that social media is now so restrictive that it’s becoming more popular.

Not only that, private social media offers a number of advantages to marketers.

For starters, as I said, there’s the exclusivity factor.

People LOVE being part of a secret club.

Another huge advantage is that you own the platform and therefore control everything.

You don’t have to worry about being banned or interfered with.

There’s also the fact that social media is highly addictive.

And this is why these platforms are such a great way to turn followers into buyers.

If someone joins they may end up purchasing something later on.

They don’t even have to use the paid version of the platform.

(Although people that pay are obviously better prospects.)

BTW, this is why these platforms are usually dirt cheap.

Most people charge between $1-5 i.e. the same price as your average streaming service.

This way even if members don’t buy your products you can create a nice little revenue stream.

Now this is a great idea but it’s not something everyone can pull off.

For starters you need to be somewhat well known.

If you’re a YouTuber, social media star, gamer, famous copywriter, or have some kind of following…well…this might just work.

You’ll also have to spend time developing your user base.

Especially in the beginning.

This means actually posting on the platform and interacting with users.

(You can taper this off later on.)

Anyway, food for thought.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

WANT TO BE A FREELANCE WRITER? DO THIS FIRST

I’ve had a lot of success in this business.

On the other hand, there were times when things went pear shaped

One thing I’ve learnt about freelance writing is that it definitely goes in cycles.

One minute you’re swamped with work…the next it’s crickets.

On top of this, clients come and go.

And in my experience this usually happens at the worst moment possible.

What you also have to realize is this:

Freelancing is, by its nature, a highly unstable business model.

It’s really a thing of feast or famine.

So if you’re just starting out (or you have hopes of doing this one day) then here’s a massive piece of advice: start building up your emergency fund.  You’ve probably heard it said that you should have at least 3-6 months of living expenses saved. This is good advice, but a year is even better. In fact, you should actually go beyond this, and save up as much money as possible.

What’s more, learn to spend within your means.

Don’t blow every cent that you make

Better yet, create products which you can sell as a sideline to your freelancing career.

The bottom line is this:

You need a bankroll that will help you ride out the bad times.

Do this and you’ll survive long enough to make writing into a viable career.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

P.S. Another big advantage of a bank roll is that it helps you deal with deadbeat clients. If you have money saved up then it’s very easy to dump a crummy client. On the other hand, if you’re desperate for money then you’ll have to take whatever you can get…

WHY ARE ONE WORD YOUTUBE TITLES BECOMING MORE AND MORE POPULAR?

Here’s something you may have noticed:

It seems like more and more YouTubers are using one word titles on their videos.

For example, Emma Chamberlain is one of the platforms biggest stars.

If you look at her channel some of the latest videos are titled: cool, film, rotten, haunted, and haircut. But isn’t this the exact wrong thing to do? Shouldn’t she be using something more descriptive…some type of title that grabs you by the eyeballs and refuses to let go?

Turns out no.

You see, there are a few good reasons why she does this.

First of all, these titles look completely different to everything else and actually help her stand out.

Second, she simply doesn’t need to.

What you have to realize is that she’s one of the most famous YouTube stars right now.

This means her name carries more weight than any convoluted clickbait title ever could.

Not only that, her audience is rabid and basically guaranteed to watch anything she puts out…

…no matter what title she uses.

And this brings me neatly to the point.

A lot of email marketers get obsessed with subject lines.

Yes, subject lines are important BUT they’re not nearly as important as WHO sends the message.

(Think about it.)

This is why it’s so important to build your name.

You need to become the type of person your audience loves to hear from.

The type of person who they eagerly click on no matter what you’re sending.

Most importantly you need to become FAMOUS.

Do this and half the battle is won.

Do this and your subject lines won’t matter nearly as much.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

A SIMPLE HACK FOR WRITING PERSUASIVE EMAILS

Here’s a simple hack for creating persuasive emails.

You see, if you’re writing an email…you may be stuck wondering what to actually write about.

What theme, subject, or idea do you base your email around?

Now, most people will simply default to writing about their product.

Alternatively, they might write about the problem their product solves…

…or some type of pain point the market is experiencing.

The problem is that this can get boring after a while.

Especially if you’ve said everything there is to say about your product or market.

But there is another topic you can use when everything else is exhausted.

What is this?

Quite simply, MOTIVATION.

Basically, if you have nothing left to write, write something motivating.

The reason why this works is simple:

Everyone needs motivation from time to time.

The fact is that achieving certain goals can be immensely difficult.

This is true, whether you’re starting a business or trying to lose weight.

But by providing motivation you can make people feel good.

Not only that, you can inspire them to change their life or reach new heights.

Naturally, this will mean taking some kind of action.

Which of course is where your product comes in…

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

P.S. This secret can be used when creating any type of copy. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing emails, sales letters, or articles. Simply weaving motivation into the mix makes the whole thing more persuasive.

BUSINESS LESSONS FROM WALTER WHITE

I recently re-watched Breaking Bad.

In case you don’t know, this show charts the rise and fall of meth baron Walter White.

It’s said to be one of the best shows ever created and I’m inclined to agree.

Believe it or not it can also teach you a great deal about the copywriting business.

For example:

1. Be the absolute best at what you do

The secret behind Walters success is simple: throughout the show he works to be the best and refuses to sell an “inferior product.”

2. Raise prices and ask for more money

Walter always wants more and it’s never enough. He pushes his buyers to make bigger orders and always asks for more money.

3. Work for yourself

Walter refuses to be under the thumb of anyone else. This is critical if you’re going to make big bucks as a copywriter. Don’t waste your time working for other people. Starting your own business is the way to go if you’re going to reach the top.

4. Defend your territory

One of the best scenes in this show is where Walter confronts a pair of rival meth cooks. The point is that success relies on ruthlessly defending yourself against the competition.

5. Avoid hubris

The reason why Walter eventually gets caught is mostly due to his ego. After getting to the top he develops massive hubris and this leads to his downfall. You need do avoid this. Always assume you’re the underdog and have more to learn. Search for weaknesses in yourself and finds ways to improve.

(BTW, if you haven’t watched this show do yourself a favor…it really is excellent).

Bye for now.  

Alastair Walton

P.S. One more point: realize that you’re never too old. At the start of the show Walter is a burnt out 50 year old with a cancer diagnosis. Despite this he manages to go toe to toe with the big dogs. If he can do it so can you…