The Career-Expanding Discovery Many Profitable Writers Have Made

The struggle when I started my freelance writing service business looked like this:

I was fascinated with crafting words that accurately conveyed a message.
I hadn’t extensively studied journalism or entertainment writing because those weren’t career paths I wanted to pursue.
I knew that offering basic content writing services for businesses — filling up pages with words — would not pay high rates.

And I completely understood why filling up pages with words was not valued. Nothing is worse than paying for a service that doesn’t produce results.
When writers charge low fees for content writing that doesn’t persuade prospects to take action, two dangerous things happen:

It’s difficult to support yourself through your writing services.
Your clients don’t make new sales.

If a client thinks that the money they paid you was a waste because they didn’t make it back in sales, they’ll view you as interchangeable with any other writer — and there’s probably someone else who charges even less than you for a comparable lack of results.
This situation perpetuates the cycle of writers thinking that making a living off of their craft is unrealistic and businesses devaluing writers because they aren’t familiar with the power of the right words.
When clients see what the right words can do, though, everything changes.
Smart businesses value copywriting
To end the disappointing cycle, you need to offer the proper balance of content marketing and copywriting.
As Jerod wrote yesterday:
“Copy’s for closers.”
Once I learned about copywriting, my writing business benefitted in two main ways:

I was able to

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Your Content Marketing Won’t Work Without This

“What is copy?”
My wife asked me this a few days ago.
I had been going on and on at dinner, hands gesturing, spittle flying, talking about something work-related. She waited patiently until I was finished to ask.
Her question jarred me. It had been a while since I’d thought about what “copy” is. And in that moment, my immediate reaction was to remember how I used to hate the word.
It always felt … pretentious … to me.
I used to hear phrases like “ad copy” and “website copy” and cringe. I’d think:
“Just say ad text or website text. Who calls it ‘copy?’ That doesn’t even make sense.”
Then I started working for Copyblogger. I also binge-watched Mad Men right around that time.
Needless to say, I quickly got what “copy” meant. And it’s made all the difference.
It’s also easy to take for granted.
Because it’s easy to get so focused on the latest content marketing technique that we overlook the most important element of any single piece of content marketing that actually works: the writing.
The copy.
So let’s refresh …
What is copy?
Copy is a type of writing intended to drive a specific action.
Email copy includes words sent in an email that have a specific goal in mind (getting you to click on a link, for example).
Website copy includes words published on a website that have a specific goal in mind (getting you to fill out a contact form, for example).
Ad copy includes the words I

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Memorial Day: A Time to Reflect and Remember

The last Monday in May is Memorial Day in the United States — a day to remember the men and women who have died in military service.
It’s our tradition at Copyblogger to take today off, to honor those sacrifices and to take time for family, community, and gratitude.
We’ll have a full calendar of content for you this week … we look forward to reconnecting tomorrow!
Image courtesy Hugh MacLeod.
The post Memorial Day: A Time to Reflect and Remember appeared first on Copyblogger.

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A Big Week at Copyblogger

Ever been frustrated with putting a site together and wished someone could just do the whole thing for you? With custom graphics, copy, marketing automation, and even content strategy — all using Copyblogger principles?
Very soon, we’re going to be able to make that happen.
Our big news this week is that we’ve entered into a relationship with a new partner that will allow us to offer you an extensive range of done-for-you services in the very near future.
There’s plenty to talk about, including a significant price increase coming for new Rainmaker customers (but not for you if you’re already a customer or start your free trial shortly), so get all the details over on Brian Clark’s Thursday announcement.
On Monday, the editorial team revealed some of their “pet peeves” around content and writing. It’s always fun to gripe a little, but I also thought it would be interesting to explore what those peeves said about our values, as individuals and as a company.
On Tuesday, Beth Hayden let us know how she came to love writing sales pages — with three critical points we need to look at in our own efforts.
And on Wednesday, Brian let us know about an elegantly simple way to create excitement and dramatic tension in your content. This is one of those techniques that creates a massive impact with a modest effort, so do go check it out.
Over on the podcast, I talked with Tara Gentile about her new community for digital

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Last Chance to Get the Rainmaker Platform at the Current Pricing

TL;DR version: The Rainmaker Platform is shifting from a pure technology play to software with services included before the end of June, at much higher pricing. That means if you want Rainmaker at its current pricing, you should start your free trial now.
When we rebranded from Copyblogger Media to Rainmaker Digital in September of 2015, it was a firm statement that put the Rainmaker Platform at the forefront. But it was also a foreshadowing of where we saw things going.
We knew we were headed from software-as-a-service (SaaS), to software and service to create complete solutions. People need sophisticated marketing technology, yes — but they also need done-for-them services such as design, content, and lead generation strategy.
The technology is only getting more sophisticated, and we plan to remain at the forefront of that with Rainmaker. But sophisticated technology calls for equally sophisticated strategy and execution — and not everyone has that kind of expertise in-house.
Our original goal was to create marketing technology for entrepreneurs and small businesses that are doing content marketing themselves or via freelancers. In the meantime, we’ve been turning away businesses happily willing to pay for a more complete solution.
Our go-forward strategy is to follow what the market is telling us. We’re going to offer you the services that we’ve been teaching and doing for ourselves over the last decade.
A complete Rainmaker solution provider
We’ve been doing service work for our Rainmaker Platform customers for over a year, but it’s been very cautious.

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The ‘Pulp Fiction’ Technique for Engaging and Persuasive Content

You’ve seen Pulp Fiction, right? It’s the classic 1994 black comedy crime film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.
The film is highly stylized, presented out of chronological order, and filled with eclectic dialogue that reveals each character’s perspectives on various subjects. And yes, it’s profane and violent.
Pulp Fiction was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture. Tarantino and his co-writer Roger Avary won for Best Original Screenplay, which is truly the foundation of an exceptional film.
Despite the groundbreaking inventiveness, Pulp Fiction also expertly uses a common writing technique that grabs attention right from the beginning, and magnetically holds that attention through a form of psychological tension generated by our short-term memories.
This simple strategy is something you can use in your marketing content, your sales copy, and your live presentations. You’ll not only increase engagement, but also add enhanced credibility to the persuasive point you’re trying to make.
Opening the loop
Back during the aftermath of the tragic effects of Hurricane Katrina, I came across an interesting article about some less-than-inspiring aspects of the devastating storm. It began with this:
“An Illinois woman mourns her two young daughters, swept to their deaths in Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters. It’s a tragic and terrifying story. It’s also a lie.”
Now, any article that details accounts of fraud in the aftermath of Katrina would contain compelling information. But that opening had me riveted, and it got me reading what ended up being a detailed and lengthy piece that I might have

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36 Facebook Ad Hacks (for when you’re fresh outta ideas but desperate for brag-worthy CTRs)

I was struggling hard with Facebook ads when I ran across this Facebook ad copywriting guide by Joanna.
Since then, I’ve made it my goal to master Facebook ads.
The whats. The whys.
And especially the many, many hows of crafting compelling Facebook ads.
And in the last 6 months, I’ve taken my cost-per-click for blog promotions down from $1.20 to $0.65, on average.
I’ve also increased my monthly Facebook leads by over 200%.
I didn’t do anything you wouldn’t do. I just did what you don’t WANT to do: I spent dozens and dozens of hours

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3 Tips on High-Conversion Copy from a Sales Page Specialist

I know what some of you are thinking.
You’re asking:
“Do I really need a sales page anymore? Can’t I sell using social media/webinars/live events/blog posts/podcast episodes?”
I don’t know the details of your exact situation, but I will say this:
If you need to spell out the benefits of your product or service in order to make more sales (which you do), a sales page will drive more positive results for your business.
Unfortunately, writing sales pages has gotten a bit of a bad rap. Some people get wildly anxious when they sit down to write one. Or worse, they fill their sales pages with rambling copy that doesn’t persuade anyone to buy.
These days, I’ve developed a specialty as a sales page copywriter — so I wanted to give you three quick tips for improving your own sales pages.
But first, I want to tell you how I fell in love with writing them.
Why I love writing sales pages — and how you can learn to love them, too
About a year ago, I took Derek Halpern’s Sales Page That Converts course, which was a game-changer for me. I studied the course closely, and used that advice to craft sales pages for my next six clients.
As it turns out, I’ve got a knack for it. One page I wrote for a client resulted in a $70,000 launch. That one felt good, I gotta admit.
I’ve learned to love writing sales pages by doing it … a lot. I understand

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