Is SEO Dead?

That is a very good question. Is SEO dead. Well, let’s consider it. There is one true fact that is prevalent today. Keyword stuffed articles are no longer important, since Google changed their SERP (search engine results page). That’s right. Instead of bringing up just any web page that is filled with keywords that relate to the keyword a user typed in, Google is now bringing up only those web pages with content that is of high-quality and has some value to it.

Ever since Pandora was released, Google has changed the search engine landscape. It is because of these changes that now website owners, marketers, and other business people are frantically looking for ways to change the content on their site. For quite a while buyers would go out and hire writers, at a dime a piece in some instances, to get the writer to produce content for them. The desperate writer would perform the service, getting very little in exchange.

The main purpose for such content is to fill their website with content, so their site would be popular with search engines. It is for this reason that content mills have been making tons of money. They hired a vast number of writers at low cost and sold those articles for a huge profit. It’s sad, really. You speak to a writer about this and the excuse is “I had to do it for the money.” I say that is bull. There is no reason whatsoever why any writer should accept low paying jobs, for any reason. It just doesn’t make economic sense. But that is for another story.

Getting back to what I was saying-the fact is, website owners were either hiring writers at low rates, or buying articles at really low rates from content mills, just so they can have a richly-flooded landscape of articles, they hoped Google would index to their favor. This would help get their site ranked high in search engine results.

I got news for ya! Those days of keywords and quantity, badly written articles, for the sake of positioning is over. The mass-produced content is no longer a large vanity plate that you can look into and say to yourself “You are good-looking.” Now, you can only say “What happened?” The fact is, Google changed the landscape to a tremendous degree. They instituted a search result algorithm that changed the rules. These algorithms were created by Google, to stop marketers, who took advantage of Google and other search engines, and who tried to beat others to the top of search results, just so they could sell phoney products.

To you marketers out there that wanted so badly to get to the top, so you could sell your lousy products that are worth about two cents, you get what you deserve. Maybe if you would stop acting like a trader, who got caught with insider trading, and act more like a responsible and ethical person, you wouldn’t be facing this kind of situation.

The fact is, now, instead of going after writers to fill pages of keyword-stuffed content, you now need to have meaningful, quality content. This will also mean paying writers a lot more to get it. I can just see you crying now. Too bad. I don’t feel bad for you. I feel bad for writers who have to help get you out of that mess. Maybe if you acted responsibly in the first place, you wouldn’t be in this position. 

Despite these changes, there will still exist content mills and so-called SEO experts (frankly, I use that term loosely). Why? Because website owners and marketers will still go after them for content. The only difference is they will try to find a writer or editor to go over the articles and make them more suitable for Google.

So, is SEO dead? Considering Google’s new approach to SERP, I would say yes. At least it is dead as regarding importance. To all you people that went after SEO certifications, I hate to say it, but what you have received has as much worth as a three dollar bill. You wasted your time. Instead, go to Google, learn what the new standards are, and apply them. Only then will you be any good to your clients and customers, especially you build websites or produce content for them.

Using Article Marketing-Part Two

In part one, I covered what article marketing was and what the requirements to do it. In this blog, you will learn what it takes to get an article published in an article directory.

Getting Published

In order to get published in an article directory, your article has to go through a review process. The articles submission site editor is responsible for reviewing your article. He/she will then accept or reject your article. If you read the guidelines ahead of time and follow them, you stand a great chance of your article being accepted and published.

As you know, the key to publishing to an article directory is to get your article noticed. There are steps you need to take, that if followed, will give you a better chance of your article getting noticed and picked up.

These steps include the following:

  • Category and keywords: The category you choose will determine who picks it up. If your article is about gardening, naturally, you would place your article in a gardening category. As for keywords, you need to use certain words you believe someone will use to find your article. What is your article about? This will help you decide what keywords are necessary. For example, if your article is about gardening, you may use keywords like “garden,” “gardening,” “flowers,” “roses,” and many others.
  • Title: The title needs to be impressive and related to the article. The title has to grab the reader’s attention quickly.
  • Description: The description is next. The description is often about 200 characters for EzineArticles.com 500 characters for other article directories. Make sure your description entices the reader to go on and read your article.
  • Topic: The topic you choose for your article must be interesting. It has to be up-to-date. It needs to be a hot topic. Remember, your article has to interest readers, so make sure you choose a topic that people want to learn about.  Some ideas can be how-to, a trend of some kind, or you can surprise the reader.
  • Good writing: If your article is not written well, it won’t gain the attention of webmasters. An editor may not care, but webmasters will. If you want to stand out, make sure your article is of highest quality.

Once the article is done, go back and do extensive editing. This editing should include the spell checker. Also, check for grammar and syntax. Some people print out their article and read it aloud. This helps them catch mistakes. Cut any unnecessary words. When in the writing stage, the words come out of your subconscious. Now your conscious can go in and edit the document, removing anything not necessary or related to the content.

Before you submit the article to the search engines, create a signature to go at the end of the article. The signature should include your name, email, and website. This way when people read your article, they can also notice your signature, and end up clicking the link. Make sure to include why your an expert on the topic of the article. As for link to your site, give a taste as to what your website is about. This will give readers an incentive to click the link.

By following these points carefully, you will find just how success you can be with article marketing.

Using Article Marketing-Part One

If you have a website, your first inclination is to get people to it, especially if you are selling something. In order for people to know your site exists is by promoting it. This is also referred to as Internet marketing. Internet marketing can be done in various ways from making and distributing videos, doing podcasts, and writing articles. In this post, I will present article marketing, and why it is important to use as a marketing tool.

What is Article Marketing

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of article marketing, let me go over the basics of what article marketing is.  Article marketing is the process of using articles to promote your website. What you do is write articles about something related to your business, product, or website. Then you take those articles and publish them somewhere on the Internet, preferably, article databases. You could also have your articles published by other site owners, with a link back to your website.

The Danger of Article Marketing

Just as their is an importance to article marketing, there are also dangers to be aware of. In the past couple of years or so, there have been massive spamming of article directories by way of article submission software. It is because of this problem, Google came up with a way to stop it. They developed a system that can detect spam. At one time it was good to submit your article to hundreds of article directories, now, it is can hurt you. The best way to avoid the danger is to only submit your articles to top article directories.

The Science Behind Article Directories

The biggest reason to publish your articles with the top article directories is the exposure your articles get. When a website owner searches the article directories for an article and finds yours, if it relates to his website theme, he’ll use the article, with your signature file included.

In order to publish your article in an article directory, you have to meet certain requirements or guidelines. Here are the guidelines that fit most directories:

  • You own the copyright
  • No affiliate links
  • No links to your site, except to what is in the signature file
  • Length of article is usually 400 to 750 words

If your article is well-written and informative, there is a good chance your article will be read and used on many websites. Think how many backlinks you can earn, just by publishing articles in an article directory. A lot of backlinks means great ranking by Google. This means first page in search results for a particular keyword or two.

So how can you get your article published? Go on to part two and learn how to write and format an article so it will be accepted by article directories.

Don’t Make These Content Marketing Mistakes

As an Internet marketer, your goal is to attract traffic to your website. Many marketers aren’t familiar with ways to do this that are the most effective. Those that fail to do the proper steps end up not getting much needed traffic. What does that mean? No sales, or very little sales. Marketing involves various strategies that when done right will get their business, website, product, or name out there for many to see. One such marketing strategy is content marketing. This involves writing content (articles, blogs, whitepapers, e-books) that include the marketers email and website. This way, when the reader clicks on the link within the content, they are lead to the marketer’s website.

Unfortunately, many marketers fail to use content marketing in the proper way. They make mistakes can hurt their chances to get much needed traffic. In this blog post, I will present the eight most often mistakes marketers make and how to avoid them.

1. Do your homework

Before you start any project or campaign, know what you are going to do? Too many marketers just type away, or hire someone to write articles, and then publish them. This isn’t sound strategy. You need to know who you are going to market to. Who is your audience? What do they need to know to succeed? You also need to know if your marketing is about sales or lead generation?

2. Always focus on the buyer

Never focus on yourself. The buyer’s needs are what is important here. You want to focus your attention on education. You are trying to teach others how to do something. When you teach others, you are communicating with them. For this reason, your content should have your reader in mind.

3. Don’t pitch your product every moment

One mistake that can hurt your marketing is by being a salesperson in your content. It doesn’t matter what type of material you use, the content needs to be moderate in terms of its approach. Every piece of content you have can be used at some point in the sales cycle. Till those documents are required, give the people interesting and informative content that benefits them in some way.

4. Use a call to action

It is important to use a call to action when creating your content. Every single piece of content you create is supposed to do one thing: provide a call to action. The content should make the reader do something, whether it is to buy a product or provide their email address.

5. Content marketing is a two-way street

Someone once said that creating content is not enough. To make your audience so something, you need to engage the audience. You can do this by responding to questions. You can also reply to blog posts. You need to develop a two-way communication base. This is what will bring in the customer, as they crave interaction.

6. Don’t create content with substance

When creating any kind of content, you need to make sure it is of high-quality and is beneficial to the reader.

7. Don’t look as content marketing as unnecessary

Content marketing should be as much a part of your marketing strategy as learning to drive a stick shift is to a manual transmission. You must make it a part of your marketing plan. Content is important for many reasons. It educates, informs, and instructs. It is a wonderful way to spread the word about one’s business to readers.

8. Write content in many formats

Don’t think content has to be strictly written. It can be in the form of video, audio, or worded. You can create videos to highlight certain aspects of your business or product. You can create a podcast to talk about certain aspects of functions of your business. You can even create slideshow presentations. Don’t be afraid to use the content in more than one way.

The bottom line is to use content marketing effectively. Don’t make the mistakes mentioned in this post. If you truly want to benefit from content marketing, avoid the mistakes as outlined here, and focus on the needs of your readers (customers).

Hitting the Emotional Hot Buttons

Why do people buy? They buy because of what the product can do for them. They buy because of the feelings they get when they see or buy the product. They buy because it helps shape their identity (how they see themselves), and their image (how others see them).

Yes, people buy for the above reasons. In this blog, I will cover these areas, otherwise known as emotional hot buttons, more fully.

There are certain emotional hot buttons that when triggered will force people to take some kind of action. As a copywriter, you need to know them, as they will help improve your ability to write more effective copy.

Often, people don’t show their desire outwardly. They rather keep their desire to themselves. However, by knowing the emotional hot buttons, you can appeal to their desire, even if it isn’t known. Why do people respond when such hot buttons are triggered? It stems from fear. For example, people have a desire for control. If they don’t have control over their lives, they develop a fear of losing control and being in want.

When you use the emotional hot buttons, do so with the intent to help them. You don’t want to be cruel. Your goal is to show that they need to take action if they want to solve their problem.

The emotional hot buttons are provided below:

1. Control

If you were to talk to a friend, you may be surprised to learn his life may be out of control. There are those that have lost their job, loved one, home, etc. It is human nature to have control. It is for this reason, you, as a copywriter, need to show them that your product, or your client’s product will help them regain control of some part of their life.

2. Better than Another

People have egos. They want to buy products to elevate their status. They want to appear better than other people. Basically, they want their self-esteem fed. As copywriters, you may want to focus your copy so as to appeal to these types. You can use such words as elite, unique, exclusive, distinctive, and state of the art. By using such words, you are hitting the hot button of these people and will find they will purchase what you have quickly.

3. Discovery

People are curious by nature. They love to investigate. When they are bored, they want to buy new things to stimulate them. When they discover something of interest, they will pursue it, as they will feel it satisfies a longing. The product feels unique and special to them. What words would best work as discovery tools for such curious people? You can use such words as at last, improved, original, innovative, secret, revealed, find, introducing, finally, learn, and new. In a situation like this, people would love to learn of any discovery you have that may be new, or refurbished; as long as it solves a problem.

4. Family

One big hot button to hit would involve family. Since the economy has changed in recent years, time and other pressures have changed the way family thinks about buying. If you focus your copy on family and not on each individual of the family, you stand a better chance of selling to that market. The basic premise is to sell a product that will help the family better themselves. For example, can your product help a father be better toward his kids? Can your product help the wife take better care of the home?

5. Belong

Everyone has the desire to belong. They are social. They have a need to belong to someone, who shares the same interests, desires, and needs. This type of people will buy from those they know or trust. This also goes for products. They will usually buy products that others recommend. For this type of buyer, you need to learn what they want and use a certain language to gear them to purchase your product. If you can match what you have to their needs, interests, or values, they will buy from you.

6. Time

In this case, we should focus more on the shortage of time. Every person has a certain amount of time to use each day. Because of this lack of time, they want to be instantly gratified. They want the quick fix now. If you provide a product they can get fast, you can win over this type of consumer.

7. Be the Best

People will spend a lot of money if they can set themselves up to be the best. They do this to satisfy their emotions, desires, and passions. It could be they desire to live in luxury, or to live a certain lifestyle. If you can provide a product that will boost their ability to be the best, they will pounce on your order form.

8. Self-Achievement

Self-achievement is a goal that most people want to reach. If you watch sports games, the goal or object is to win the game. Well, many people have this same spirit. They want to win. They want to feel good about themselves. They will do anything to feel good, even improve themselves in some way to get there. Create copy that helps consumers feel good and they will buy from you.

9. Sex

Do you know that sex is the biggest seller on the market. If you create a product that helps people do better in bed, they will jump at the chance to buy it. Besides sex, people want to feel loved. So if you can provide a product that helps people attract the opposite sex, or same sex (whatever the sexual preference is), you can guarantee a well sold product.

10. Be Smart

Most people love to learn new things. Why do you think there are so many schools, colleges, and universities. Even now, many educational facilities are going online. If you have a product to help consumers learn something new, they will jump the chance to get it. Write copy to emphasize their desire to learn more, and you will have it made.

These are the most common emotional hot buttons. If you focus your copy on one of these areas (depending on your audience, or your client’s audience), you will be able to sell your product, or help your client sell his.

 

 

 

How to Create an Effective Sales Letter

Your job as a copywriter is to create copy that will sell your product, or your client’s product. If you are new to copywriting, the idea of creating a sales letter may be intimidating. If you are experienced in creating a sales letter, it may be a piece of cake. Even if you are experienced, you can always learn how to better your copywriting skills so you can produce more effective copy.

The actual sales letter can be broken down by including the following: 

  • Attention and Interest
  • Credibility and Trust
  • Desire and Need
  • Proof of Claims
  • Elimination of Objections
  • Sense of Urgency
  • Provide Benefits
  • Motivate To Take Action

Each of the following can be found in well-developed sales. Some sales copy will use all the above, whereas, other copy may not use but two or three. It depends on the prospect you are targeting. If you are writing for your client, you need to know who his target market is. You need to know if the client’s prospects have already been qualified (clicked an AdWords ad or banner ad). Is the prospect new? Does the prospect know what your client is selling? If you are writing copy for yourself, you need to ask these similar questions. If the prospect is cold (new), then you will need all the above that is listed to win those prospects over.

If the prospect is new, he/she won’t know the product or the seller. If you are writing copy for a client, and the client is new to selling online, he needs not only to get the attention and interest of the buyer, he has to establish credibility and trust, or the buyer won’t buy from him. This is where you will need to make sure these elements are added to the sales copy. A copywriter once said that one way to provide credibility is to provide content that demonstrates the seller’s expertise, authority, and credibility. When content is not written like a sales pitch, it stands a better chance of being read.

When you educate your prospects, instead of selling to them, they will be more prone to listen. I don’t know about you, but when I go into a store, I don’t like a salesperson to come up to me and start selling me something. That turns me off. If the person came up to me and relayed a story about his product, then I would be interested and would stop to listen. This is why when I write copy, I do it in a story format. It makes it more interesting. I still cover all the elements in the list above, but in an entertaining and informative way. This means when I write copy, whether it is for myself or my client, I include proof of any claims presented in the copy. I also eliminate objections.  The bottom line is that when I write copy, I create it like a story. In some cases, I create it like I am talking to a particular individual.

I relate to the person the problem they may be having, by way of a story. I then provide evidence that their problem is not an isolated case, that many others have the problem. Then I tell them that if they take a certain course, it will lead them in one direction, but if they take another course, they would benefit greatly. I give them proof of my claims by relating certain stats. If the copy is for a client, I write the proof the client has.

Not all copywriters are comfortable telling stories. As such, there are ways to provide good copy that will help sell products. 

Besides using storytelling, you can also use straight talk. When using straight talk, you are talking to them like they are your friend. You are being frank and compassionate when communicating with them. Basically, you are being straight up with them. It’s like one friend talking to another friend. You can also use hypothetical scenarios when writing your copy. When writing such scenarios, you can describe what can happen if the buyer continues in his/her course of action. Then, you can  describe what will happen if they go in a different direction; the direction that you are trying to convince them to go.  You can also use fact and figures as the basis for your sales copy.

Facts and figures provide certain stats about whatever the client or you are selling. These facts and figures can provide certain stats about an industry or problem and what the product can resolve. For example, if the product is about weight loss, one fact may be something like this: “About 95% of females in the United States are overweight.” Then go on to state why that is so. After describing the reason, explain how the product can help these females lose weight.

The best way to write the first part of your copy is to do the following:

1. Describe their problems: You can start out by describing what their problem is. By doing this, you can acknowledge you know the problem. When buyers realize you know their problem, it helps to build trust. It will give them hope you know their problem.

2. Remind them of their problems: By continuing to remind them they have a problem, they won’t forget the reason for reading your sales copy. They will be reminded that you have the solution. It will force them to read onward.

3. Question them: When you ask them questions, it will help them to think about the answer and will also guide them, or motivate them to seek out a way to get their problem resolved. When you ask them questions, they will realize you have a possible solution and you want them to realize this. Asking questions also builds anticipation. The reader will expect some kind of answer, so they will keep reading, expecting the answer.

4. Give them content: This content must relate to the product you are selling. This content can be in any form: story, anecdote, facts, figures, etc., as long as it leads the buyer along and he continues to read.

5. Provide an introduction: This is where you introduce who you are. If you are writing sales copy for a client, you will provide an introduction about the client. By doing this, it will help the buyer realize the client, or you, are an expert and will listen to what you have to say.

6. Provide proof: If you don’t provide proof, your visitor, or buyer, will not believe what you say and will leave. The person will think you are just a crap pot or a scammer, trying to get his money.

After you provide proof, your next obligation is to provide all the benefits you can about the product you, or your client is selling. Once you have provided as many benefits as possible, then motivate them to take action.

So what you need to do is introduce the product. Provide as many details as possible about the product to wet the appetite of the buyer. A good way to do this is by using bullet points. Bullet points make it easy to read the benefits as they are not clumped together. They can draw the attention of the reader.  They are normally short and to the point.

After you provide benefits, wrap up your copy by sum up what the offer is. Let the buyer know what he or she will get for his or money. This is very important, as the buyer wants to know what he or she is buying has enough value to compensate for the money he/she is willing to spend. Once you do this give the buyer the price. When you mention price, also mention an alternative way the buyer could use that money, but not get good results. For example, you could say the price is $19. Then you can say the $19 is about the same as a night at the movies for a couple, yet the product will give them more for the money.

After providing your price, make sure to mention a guarantee. The only way a customer will buy is when he/she knows if something went wrong, he/she can get his/her money back. Guarantees are very important. This is one great way to provide proof and to build credibility. Once you provide the guarantee, close the sales letter. The best way to do this, is by including your signature, and a P.S. In the close, ask for the order and provide a method of ordering. Make sure to tell them their order will be secure and safe. You know some people are hesitant about ordering online. You can easily add a signature to your copy. Just write out your signature on paper and scan it. Then place it on the page as an image. As for the P.S., do you know that is often the first thing people read. Make it count. Just use it to recap your sales copy.

This is sales letter writing 101. There is more to it than that, but for now, this is the basics. Hopefully, this is a start to your career as a copywriter. If you are an experienced copywriter, it will remind you of what the basics are.

What Is Behind a Great Headline

The headline is what drives people to want to read your copy.  It is the hook that pulls the reader in. It grabs the attention of your visitors and forces them to read further. The headline should also express relevance to the copy itself. If your visitor clicked on an ad from a website, AdWords, or banner ad, they expect the headline to introduce what they clicked on. If it doesn’t, they will go elsewhere. Headlines also help to overcome objections.

When writing good headlines, keep in mind that you are getting your visitor to read your copy. The best way to do this is to avoid using words or phrases that may cause the visitor to react negatively to it. Basically, if the claims you make in the headline are too big or outrageous, it  makes the headline not believable enough. The best way around this problem is by avoiding such phrases as “get rich quick,” “lose weight fast,” and “make money instantly.” These are phrases that have been used by scammers for many years.

Instead of using phrases that can trigger a bid response, use a headline that can trigger a good response. Many copywriters call this a “conditional” headline. You start out the headline with an easy requirement, then finish it with a strong promise. If you are a programmer, you may be familiar with the IF… THEN statement. If this happens, then something this happens. If you are not a programmer, however, you are a copywriter, you may have seen this format in headlines.

An example is like this: “If you’ve got 5 minutes to spare, then I’ll show you how to lose weight quickly, using only natural means.”

By using the IF…THEN format in your headline, it makes it more believable.

Now, you may be wondering what is behind creating a great headline, besides what was talked about above. There are three methods you can use that will help you learn to write great headlines. These methods are practice, read, and swipe file. I’ll look at each one below:

1. Practice

The old adage is that practice makes perfect. The more you practice writing headlines, the better you will get at it. Before you know it, you will be churning out great headlines every time you try.

2. Read

Let me stretch this a bit and say it involves reading anything that contains a headline. The more headlines you read, you lean how to recognize the good ones and their structure. This will help you develop great headlines you can use for your copy or your client’s copy.

3. Swipe File

What does a swipe file have to do with great headlines? If you keep a swipe file, you can always go back to those headlines when you need inspiration to write one. You can use the idea and structure of such headlines, while constructing your own.

If you take to heart what is said in this blog post, you will be on your way to creating copy that will sell.

How to Build Trust and Credibility in Your Sales Copy

If you’re a copywriter, your goal is to write copy for your product or for your client’s product that will bring in the sales. This is obvious. But, what many copywriters fail to do is include two elements in their copy that will guarantee a sale for each person reading the copy. The two elements I am speaking about in this blog are trust and credibility. Without these elements, you are wasting your time creating your copy.

Trust is one aspect to copy that must be in place. If a customer doesn’t trust you, they won’t buy. This is especially true if you are new to the Internet. You haven’t build any brand for yourself yet.

How do you build trust? You may not know this but there is a way to build trust by what you say and the way you say it.  The most you say about yourself and your product, and providing evidence of your claims, the more people will trust you. You can also state how reliable you are. That can lend a hand toward trust. There’s also word-of-mouth. This usually helps in building trust. 

What if you are writing copy for a client? You don’t know if your client is reliable or not. The only thing you can do in this situation is present your client’s product in the best light possible. For this situation, you can better the chances of a sale for your client’s product, by including credibility. You can’t force a person that is unreliable to be reliable. But you can influence your client’s credibility.

If the information you have about your client’s product is true, then you need to share that information. If your claims are believable and valid. You need to provide them. The way to build credibility is not provide words that are hype. Instead, they should be genuine.

 

 

Working the Twelve Steps

No, I’m not talking about as twelve-step program. What I’m talking about is a 12-step structure to writing copy. If you are new to copywriting and have read a sales copy or two, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of words used, and the format the words are in. If you read a very successful sales letter, you may not notice it, but there is a structure behind it.

When looking at the sales letter, you will notice a lot of words. The meaning of the words, the actual words used, and what the words say is referred to as content. How we say what we want, the order we say it, and when we say it is referred to as structure. 

Behind every successful sales copy, this structure and content are used together in a workable twelve step process. This process allows the sales letter to go from interest to the actual sale. Understanding how a sales letter is written and why is a big step toward writing a successful one. By following a good structure, it will provide you with what you need in order to put the pieces of the puzzle together in the right way.  In other words, you’ll be able to write the right words that make sense and that will lead customers to buy your product.

Before I get into the actual twelve step structure, you should be aware of a process that is the foundation of the twelve steps. Without this process, the twelve steps won’t be practical. What is this process?  It is called A.I.D.A. It means Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. I will explain what each word means.

1. Attention: The biggest step in copywriting is getting the attention of the customer. The headline and first paragraph does this (at least they are supposed to).

2. Interest: Without holding their interest, you have lost a sale. It is for this reason your copy has to be written so it captivates those that read it.

3. Desire: Creating interest is one part of the sales process, but if you don’t hold their interest and give them a reason to go on, you lost the battle. This is why you must create a desire within them to continue reading your copy.

4. Action: To get the sale, your customer must take action. You must provide the right words that will tell them or convince them they must buy your product right now, or they will suffer for not doing so.

So you now know the formula that the structure is built from. Memorize this principle, because without it, the twelve step process is not feasible.

Now that I got your attention and covered the foundation of the twelve steps. Here are the actual twelve steps:

Step 1 – Get Their Attention
This goes with the AIDA formula. Grab their attention with a great headline.

Step 2 – Shake Their World
Once you’ve got their attention, tell them something that will shake their world. Tell them something that they didn’t know before, or that will alter the way they think.

Step 3 – Tell Your Story
Let them know what you’ve been through. Tell them how you handled what they are going through now and succeeded at it. Let them know what you did in the beginning for you to face a similar problem. Remember, your story has to relate to them, or they won’t care to read your story.

Step 4 – Give Them Hope
No matter how you achieved your goals, your reader wants to know one thing: “How does this help ME? I want the same results you got, too!” Let the reader know if you can do it, he can to. This will give him hope that when he buys your product, he’ll get the same results as you.

Step 5 – No Rejections
As your potential customer reads your copy, he may have reasons to reject your offer, claiming there are better products out there. You have to put in your copy ways to eliminate his rejections. You can do this by stating how your product has outperformed other products like yours. You can also mention a unique function that your product has, that no other product contains.

Step 6 – Introduce Your Product
If you know your product well, you can introduce it. You can do this by telling a story about your product and yourself, or you can describe how your product will provide the right solution to their problems. What you are basically telling the reader, is that your product has what it takes to get the job done with minimal hassles.

Step 7 – Use Bullet Points to Grow Their Desire For Your Product
After you have introduced your product, ramp up your copy, and their desire for your product, by offering the product’s features and benefits. Let them know exactly what they will get when they buy your product.

Step 8 – Give Them Proof
Depending on what you claim about your product, your potential customer wants proof of your claims. Make sure you have such proof.

Step 9 – Handle Skepticism
You will often find people will be skeptical of your offer, despite what you may say. They may claim they don’t have the money, or they don’t have the time to go through an order process. They may even go to the point of suggesting it is a scam.  You must reveal in your copy the words that will counter all skepticism. You must provide undeniable proof that your product will do what you claim it will. You also must provide proof that the order process will be so easy that a child can do it.

Step 10 – Make Them Want Your Product
When writing your product, you want to put in place the right dialogue that will encourage them to think of your product as belonging to them. They need to visualize the product and see it working for them. This will encourage them to want it and then order your product.

Step 11 – Give Them Your Best Price
Now comes the time you provide the price. Before doing so, give them a demonstration of how your product’s price compares to the products. For example, one time I stated in my copy that the cost of my product was the same as a night out to the movies with the wife and two kids. This includes the popcorn, soda, and other edibles. The difference is that my product will solve your problem, instead of just entertaining you, as the movie did. It worked.

Step 12 – Close The Sale
It is time to close the sale. Provide an order button. Then ask for the order. Thank them for ordering and include your signature. Then add a couple of P.S. statements.

If you follow this 12-step process in writing sales letters, you’ll find how quickly your sales will jump through the roof.      

Getting Into Your Customer’s Mind

In order to be a better copywriter and write copy that is persuasive, you need to master the ability to get into your customer’s mind. Many copywriters write copy that plead and beg people to buy their products. This doesn’t work. In order to be persuasive, you need to know how the process works.

To be persuasive, you need to be aware of what your customer wants, understand the reason why, be competent that you have what the customer needs, and then write copy that shows you know about your customer.

If you want to be persuasive, you have to get out of your head and get into the head of your customer.  You have to understand how your customer thinks, and what he/she wants. You have to understand things from your customer’s point of view. One way to do this is by hanging out where your customer is, and learn what he/she thinks and wants. Newsgroups and discussion groups is a way to do this. You can learn a lot about your customer by hanging out, reading the customer’s comments, and understanding what the customer wants and needs. Once you know this, take it from there. Create a product that will help that customer. Then create persuasive copy that will influence that customer to buy your product.

If you take the above steps, you will do well with your copy.