Very nice article. I’ve been writing and traveling the world, full-time now, for three years. I can’t think of an easier way to make money than writing. No costly inventory, no expensive website, and little investment needed. When I started all I had was a gmail address, and a small portfolio. I would cold contact 10-15 websites a day offering my services. Three years later I’m farming out the small jobs, and still have repeat business from when I first started. It’s a great way to live.
Books. Like movies, people often think of books as selling themselves, but savvy marketers don’t sell books just to sell books, they sell books as marketing tools. Michael Port’s sales manual Book Yourself Solid is a great read for entrepreneurs, salespeople, and marketers, and while I’m sure Port enjoys selling his book, the book is a tool for driving customers to his coaching and speaking services. Although with self-publishing it’s easier than ever to publish a book, there is still the perception that it’s difficult and that only reputable professionals can publish a business book. Publish your own, and even if people don’t read it you can still use it as a form of content marketing every time you’re introduced as “Author of…”
There are a number of PPC ad writing tips and best practices that I’m going to go ahead and assume you’re already following, such as actually using keywords in your ads (you laugh, but so many advertisers don’t), and following Google’s policy guidelines (tHiS iSnT aLlOwEd). With that out of the way, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to the nitty gritty of writing awesome ad copy.
At my own company we’ve used content marketing to grow more than 1,000% over the past year. Potential clients find our content, find value in it, and by the time they contact us they’re already convinced they want to work with us. We don’t have to engage in any high pressure sales tactics, it’s merely a matter of working out details, signing an agreement, and getting started. The trust that usually needs to be built up during an extensive sales cycle has already been created before we know the potential client exists.
Step 2: Understand their buyer’s journey. A buying journey maps a buyer’s decision-making process during a purchase and will help you determine what content you need. Different kinds of content appeal to different buyers in different stages of their journey. By mapping your buying stages, you’ll better understand the process buyers go through when considering your product or service. As a result, you’ll be able to develop a content strategy that speaks directly to buyers, no matter what stage they’re in.
This technique is particularly prevalent in the legal sector, as many people who file lawsuits do so in the staunch belief that they’re owed something. In many cases, attorneys and law firms leverage the inherently adversarial nature of legal proceedings to create highly provocative ads that can be very persuasive—and appealing to a sense of entitlement is an excellent way to provoke an emotional reaction in your prospects. Speaking of which…
Theory #1: The mere act of publishing content on a regular basis does a lot of the "distribution" work for you -- if you consider search engines a distribution channel. (Which I do, considering how often people use them to find content.) If you create content on a regular basis that's informed by keyword research and optimized for search, Google takes care of the rest of your content distribution plan.
If you’ve ever slogged your way through reading a piece of marketing and only finished reading because you had to, then you’ve experienced bad content marketing. When I speak to companies about content marketing I tell them that content is good if they genuinely want to read it. Content is great if they’re willing to pay to read it. If you want to see great examples of content, just look at what you’ve paid to read, watch, or listen to lately. If you watched The Lego Movie this year, you saw one of the greatest examples of content marketing to date. Oh, you thought they made that movie in order to sell movie tickets? Think again. That was a 100 minute toy commercial, and rather than using a DVR to skip it you paid good money to watch it. Is it any coincidence that Lego recently leapfrogged Mattel, the creators of Barbie, to become the largest toy company in the world? You may not have the budget to make a feature film to promote your company, but you can still give potential customers valuable information.
Hi Neville, I’ve been poking around on your website for the last hour or so… great stuff, and I’ve been doing this (writing copy) for nigh on 25 years. I’d like to republish one of your articles in my weekly copywriting e-letter, the Copywriter’s Roundtable (link above, along with my email). I’ll look around for your contact info, but in case I don’t find it… how can we get in touch?
If you’ve heard Ben speak on our radio show or you’ve read his Copyblogger posts, you know he isn’t wishy-washy. He likes to sell, and he likes to make money. He uses email marketing to do those things, and he has a lot of strong, sharp advice for email marketers. If you’re still nervous about selling, reading Ben Settle might freak you out. Which may be a good and useful thing for you.