sales copy

Screw Your Hack, I’m Trying To Work Here!!

Yesterday I wasted 4 hours trying to optimize my online business. It was supposed to be a simple upgrade. I wanted to customize my desktop, background and create a custom start menu on my Firefox browser.

What happened next was a disaster. First my Firefox froze, so I CTRL-ALT-DEL it. Then it refused to open, so I reinstalled it, losing all of my bookmarks. Finally, my in-house tech guru gets me back online and I happily install the plugins of my dream and get on with my day.

You would think that would be the end of it, but sadly, it is not.

The next day, after working seamlessly for a full 4 hours, my Firefox refuses to open again. I refresh it again, only to lose all of the customization I did the day before.

Now I am staring at my screen, wondering if I should bother with customizing my Firefox again. If that was supposed to be a productivity hack, it sure backfired.

How Does Anyone Get Anything Done?

The Internet can be frustrating. With all of our advancements, it seems like we’ve only made it more confusing. One example of this is blogging which started in the 1990s as a series of journal-like entries shared over the Internet. A blog was somewhere you could go to read people’s opinions, learn new things or connect with others. It wasn’t a sales tool.

My, how things have changed. ..Now every business needs a blog if it wants to survive online – but what do they write about, and best of all how do they find the time? Enter the copy blogger – a professional blogger that specializes in writing sales-oriented business blogs.

No longer is it about sharing opinions and connecting with others. Blogging has become about word counts, keywords, engagement, call-to –actions and readability. As a result, countless blogs, all saying the same thing (absolutely nothing) pop up repeatedly all over the Internet.

It’s no wonder many people have given up reading them.

Is There Even a Solution?

I gave up trying to hack my Firefox into optimized productivity. Yeah, I’m missing my colorful tabs, and screen grabber – but I know it’s for the best. My system is running smoothly, and I can function without an add-on.

Businesses can do the same thing when it comes to their business blogs. It doesn’t have to be rocket science. It doesn’t have to be bells and whistles. It doesn’t have to look like everyone else.

In order for a business to use the Internet to their advantage, they don’t need another copy blogging hack; they need some straight up common sense.

It’s simple actually. Share what you know and love. Do so on a regular basis. Make sure you use good grammar and spelling. Show some pictures if they are relevant, and most of all… have some personality.

You didn’t build a successful business based on shortcuts. Don’t use a content marketing strategy that does.

The Blue Pill or the Red Pill …

So what are you going to do? Follow the masses of websites running behind the Google train or jump into the great unknown of the Internet without guarantee of reward?

You know, it doesn’t have to be one or the other.

There was an internet before search engine optimization, and there will continue to be one if search engines suddenly stopped existing. Will people still find you if that happens?

The copy blogging formula says I should end this blog post with a call to action, but I’m not going to. I will, however, say that I offer services for businesses who seek to be different, and who aren’t afraid to say: screw your hacks. I do this because I remember when the Internet was worth a damn, when I wasn’t constantly afraid of ‘hackers’, Big Data harvesters, and fake friends trying to sell you something.

To survive online nowadays, you need to keep it real while still understanding the ultimate game.

Your future customers are out there, you just have to work a little harder to find them.

You Can Sell Anything Online

Have you ever wanted to be a drug dealer? Who does? Surprisingly enough, people who otherwise would need special license (or couldn’t do it legally-even if they tried) are finding new ways to make money on the sale of drugs- legal, illegal, and alternative – through the Internet. Now, this post isn’t an endorsement or advertisement for any of these programs, it is actually a commentary on an internet practice that online writers frequently are exposed to.

Think you know where I am going with my post? Before you think I’m talking about the sites that sell marijuana seeds, herbal supplements or even Viagra pills, think again. I am talking about affiliate marketing- that special third party way of making money off of industries normal people would be hesitant to directly involve themselves with. It’s so easy, right? Simply post a link, or show a banner, and you can make a commission every time you passively refer a customer to these companies.

Imagine what that would be like if the real world worked that way? Oh wait, it does. Except the internet makes it a lot easier, and expands access into markets people aren’t willing to talk about face to face.

And it’s not limited to drugs. You can sell adult entertainment, adult novelties, gambling (depending on what country you’re in) and probably even more questionable things that I haven’t thought of.

What does this have to do with writing?

Someone has to write all of those billboards- I mean websites– so that Google thinks they are worth the space they are taking up. Someone has to create the landing pages that convince passer-bys to make that much needed final step- the email address, the credit card- that gives the website owner the money they were seeking to make.

Is that person me?

I won’t lie; I’ve done my share of copywriting for affiliate websites, but I generally try to stick with projects that I do not morally object with. For example, you will never see me writing anything for a site that is linked to anything promoting Duke University. A girl has got to draw the line somewhere.

I’m a Writer, So I’m Not Very Good with Words!

In another life, I worked in technical support, a job that is highly dependent on getting people to explain their problems. One day, I was assisting an older lady who was having a difficult time explaining what was going on with her device. After rambling on about everything but the problem, she said in an exasperated sigh:

I’m sorry I’m so verbose. I’m a writer, so I’m not very good with my words when it comes to talking.

Unfortunately that is the problem with many of us writers. We are so in love with the sight of our own words, that we struggle when having to do so face to face. I say this from personal experience. Although I’ve got years of  face-to-face and phone sales experience, I am much more comfortable (and logical) behind my pen.

The truth of the matter is writers frequently struggle with the right words. Just because someone writes doesn’t mean they are excellent communicators!  Additionally, if it is not something that the writer is personally comfortable with, the message may become convoluted- just like with the lady I was trying to assist. A skilled copywriter will not only know how to use words (writer), they will also know what words to say (the copy part).

Companies that hire professional writers must be aware that there is a difference between someone who writes and someone who writes sales copy. Writing is a creative skill. It is the ability to create or take an idea and artistically express it with the written word. It does not require any specific knowledge per se, but having a toolkit of good grammar and vocabulary does help. Writing is an art that can be mastered. The world needs writers to express those things that cannot be said, but we also need to recognize what they are and what they are not.

Every writer is not a salesperson, just like every salesperson is not a writer.

So why do so many companies, hire writers to handle their sales writing? Wouldn’t you think it would make more sense to use someone that understands how to close a deal if you want them to close your deal? Hiring a writer with some type of knowledge of your message seems to be just logical.

But apparently it is not. Our data-analytic driven society believes that keywords can take the place of quality written compelling copy.  They have shown that people, just like web crawlers, scan for the important information and don’t bother to read the in-between.  To give you an example of how that looks I will rewrite this post in that format.

Writing is a skill that depends on creativity, passion and knowledge. For the best sales-copy hire a knowledgeable sales copywriter.

That isn’t writing, it’s professional Mad-Libs.

Which by the way was my favorite past-time as a kid.