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  

VERNON GOD LITTLE AND THE 17 YEAR SALES CYCLE

I recently read the 2003, Booker Prize Winning novel, Vernon God Little.

To cut a long story short, this book is basically about a teenager falsely accused of murder… and the lengths he goes to clear his name (and while that might sound serious this book is actually incredibly funny.) What’s interesting is that I first heard about this novel more than 17 years ago. Since then I’ve always meant to read it and this year I finally got around to doing that.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, there’s an important lesson here for marketers.

(More specifically email marketers.)

You see, over the years I’ve subscribed to 100s of marketing newsletters. I’ve learnt a lot from reading their messages. In addition to this, I’ve also bought dozens of books, courses, and products from these people. Something I’ve noticed over the years is that most people will eventually stop emailing you. It could be a month, 6 months, a year, or even two years later, but at some point you’ll stop receiving emails.

What you have to realize is that this is one of the most stupidest things you could do.

In fact, according to experts, around 85% of people only convert after about 90 days.

If you’re only sending out a weeks-worth or month of emails, you’ll never sell to these people.

You also have to understand that subscribers circumstances change.

The broke loser might be financially successful a year or two later…

…and ready to buy your product.

But you’ll never sell to this person if you take them off your list after 6 weeks.

The bottom line is this:

Some products have an extremely long sales cycle and it could be years before someone buys the product. This is why it’s critical that you continue emailing – give up too soon and could miss out a significant amount of buyers.

Bye for now,

Alastair Walton

WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM THIS REPUBLICAN GUERILLA MARKETING CAMPAIGN

The other day I spotted a brilliant piece of viral marketing…

In fact, this idea is so downright clever, I wish that I had thought of it.

You see, there’s a guy out there selling Joe Biden stickers.

To give you an idea of what they look like, these stickers feature Joe Biden pointing with his index finger, and the words “I did that” written beneath. The idea is that you place the sticker on a gas pump with Biden’s finger directed at the gas price (i.e. the idea being that Biden is responsible for high gas prices.) These stickers retail at $6.99, come in packs of 100, and going by Amazon reviews, are selling by the hundreds. I have no idea who’s behind this, but they’re obviously making money (actually according to the Boston Herald these stickers are part of a Republican guerrilla campaign to undermine the Democratic administration.)

What’s brilliant about this idea is that it takes advantage of deeply held emotions.

For example, let’s say you’re a foaming at the mouth Trump supporter.

(Or maybe you’re a diehard Republican or someone who really, really hates Joe Biden.)

There’s a reasonably good chance that you’d buy these stickers and gleefully cover as many gas pumps as possible. In fact, you’d probably put them wherever you could (The New York Post recently reported that they were spotted on a cop car in NYC.) Not only that, when you finish the stickers, you’ll more than likely go out and buy more.

Ka-Ching!

The lesson here is that you have to find out what your audience loves…

…more importantly, you need to understand what they HATE.

For example, let’s say you’re selling diet products.

In this market diet gurus are a dime a dozen.

Dr. Atkins is probably the first person who comes to mind.

In this case, all you have to do is mention the person in your copy…

…write negative things about them…

…and point out why your product is the superior option.

(Just be careful of going overboard.)

Basically people LOVE it when you tear down their enemies.

This is why market research is so critical.

You need to learn what your market hates…

…and mention that you feel EXACTLY the same way.

Doing this helps you connect with your audience.

What’s more, it also creates an almost unbreakable bond.

See you later…

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR LIST TO PAY YOU THOUSANDS

What’s the secret to selling big-ticket products?

I’m talking about programs that go for $499, $1997, $2997, or even more.

More specifically, how do you build a list which responds to these kinds of offers?

Believe it or not it’s easier than you think.

You see, the other day I listened to a fascinating podcast. The guest on this recording calls himself a “mega affiliate” and recently promoted a $2000 marketing seminar. Not only did he sell dozens of copies, but he also beat out every other affiliate. According to him, here are the things he does to sell these kinds of offers:

1. Train your list to buy expensive stuff

You have to avoid promoting cheap offers. This is a mistake which a lot of people make. They sell products that go for less than fifty dollars and then wonder why they can’t sell anything more expensive. The key here is that you want to build a list that’s willing and able to spend money. The way you do this is by selling expensive stuff.

2. Build a rock solid relationship with your list

This is probably the most important thing.  Your audience needs to know, like, and trust you. After all, no one spends big money with a stranger. Developing this relationship takes time and energy and isn’t easily done. One way to do it is by not promoting garbage (this is another reason not to promote cheap offers.) Another way is by injecting a bit of personality and entertainment into your emails.

3. Offer bonuses

Here’s the thing that separates mega affiliates from the guys who struggle to make a buck. You see, there’s a good chance that your readers are on multiple email lists, all offering the same thing. So how do you distinguish yourself from the crowd? You do it by offering something more. Providing valuable and worthwhile bonuses may help to tip people over the edge (the trick here is to give them something they actually want.)

4. Mail often

Too many affiliates hate mailing their list. They send out an email every other day and hope to make sales. This guy recommends doing the exact opposite. You need to blast your list as often as possible. In fact, towards the end of the sale he was sending out six emails a day. This gives you a far greater chance of being seen, opened, clicked, and ultimately bought from. It also helps to scrub your list i.e. people who have no intention of buying anything will quickly unsubscribe.

Until next time…

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

WHY SELLING CHEAP DIGITAL PRODUCTS IS HURTING YOUR BUSINESS

A lot of people think that selling cheap digital products is the easy way to make money online

But there’s a huge problem with this business model.

You see, I once knew a guy who was literally ADDICTED to downloading. His lounge was like an Aladdin’s cave for digital hoarders. I’m serious. Along with about 10 or 11 hard drive’s there were stacks and stacks of CD-ROMs. This guy would go onto torrent site’s and grab anything he could get. Movies, TV shows, books, install files, magazines, digital products you name it. And even though he received numerous letters from his ISP nothing ever happened to him. The funniest thing was that he was completely unable to use any of this stuff. For example, it would have taken him about 20 years to watch all of the TV shows and movies he collected.

(Let alone read the books and magazines or use the software!)

In fact, most of it was dumped on this ever growing collection of hard drives.

And this brings me to the point:

What you have to understand is that there are hundreds of guys like this.

In a quest to make money online these guys will grab whatever they can find.

A few of them may even pay money for this stuff.

But here’s the problem:

They immediately forget about it and do nothing.

The digital product sits on their computer growing digital cobwebs.

There’s a good reason why this happens.

Very few people care about digital content. Your product may seem highly appealing, but there’s very little chance that anyone will engage with it. These types of products are seen as low value (which is why they are so cheap in the first place) and this is a massive problem if you’re in the business of selling information.

After all, if no one engages with your product then no one benefits from it.

If customers don’t benefit they get buyer’s remorse.

The customer feels as if they’ve wasted their money.

And the next thing you know they want a refund.

In this way THIER laziness becomes YOUR problem.

Even worse, these customers aren’t going to buy more products.

So what’s the solution to these problems?

First of all, raise your prices.

Doing this will weed out lazy people.

More importantly, you need to start selling physical products.

People don’t forget about physical products.

This is because your product is REAL.

It’s not some abstract collection of 1s and 0s on a computer.

What’s more, every time they see your product the buyer knows they actually got something.

They’re reminded that it’s their responsibility to consume the product.

They are the one at fault…not YOU.

And eventually they may even read the book or go through your course…

…have a great experience and buy more stuff.

The takeaway is this:

You need to start selling physical products.

This is the key to increasing engagement as well as growing your brand and business.

Make sense?

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