Archives for August 2009

Aug
31

Using sub headlines (properly) in your copy

You need to seriously look at the layout of your marketing materials.  Look at your web pages, your brochures, your emails, your handouts, your sales letters – and all of your advertisements.

Are you using subheads?

You should be.

It is easier on the eyes to have a scanning ability built in.  And subheads make it easy on the reader to find the areas that are of interest quickly.

Chances are… they will not read your sales piece from start to finish.  They will skim and scan – looking for
things that catch your eye.

And the subheads job is to guide them (by scanning) to the order page without having read the entire thing.

Good subheads can tell the story and get them to order.

Good subheads are powerful headlines in themselves.

For ex…

3 Things You Must Do Today To Improve Your Business

REVEALED! The secrets behind their success… and their fall
to lose it all.
Either of those could be an article headline, or even for a sales letter. But they can also be used to intrigue the reader as they read through your copy.

The ideal way to create subheads is to not do it.

First… list out all your features and benefits.

Next… use proven templates for headlines (like the headline formulas you can find here), and match your benefits into headlines.  Make them strong.  Write LOTS of them — up to 100, even 200 headlines for a promotion.

Some will shine through and present themselves as the PERFECT HEADLINE.

Others will still be strong, but are better suited to use throughout the copy as subheadlines.

When you are crafting subheads – put them in bold and centered. Even a font size bigger and a different font can help guide the eyes down the right path.

Another great tip is to create subheadlines so they almost tell a story in and by themselves.

For the copy scanners out there (the ones who refuse to read copy, and will only scan for things that catch their eye), this is everything they are looking for.  They can read your headline, scan your subheads, and know pretty well what the copy is about, what the offer is, and roughly how much it will cost them.

It sounds like a lot for the subheadlines to cover, but once you get some practice, it becomes much easier and fluent.

This IS the path that leads to a sale and another happy customer!

Aug
17

Writers block is a bitch… a nasty one

When your income depends on you writing, being blocked to the point of zero output is deadly to your income.

Combine that with the fact that writers block is really all in the mind, and it gets even more frustrating.

After 7 years of successful growth in my business, I feel stuck… and stuck good at that!

A combination of burnout, summer time, and frustration with one area of my business and it has resulted in this.

Plus, the economy is in the toilet and people are buying less. I don’t sell magic pills that claim to make you millions overnight, but those who are selling the magical solutions are making a killing right now.

Personally, I couldn’t sleep at night selling that crap… but it appears many others don’t have the same values that I do.

So how do I (did I) get out of this?

I wrote.

I wrote when I had inspiration.

When I had a stupid idea.

When I had a brilliant idea.

I wrote when I didn’t feel like it.

And when I did.

I had to shake it through massive action.

I tried on a computer.

I tried pen to paper.

At night.

And in the morning.

Finally it started to come back and flow like it should. But it wasn’t easy.

My point to you is…

when your life and income depend on it

find a way to do what you know needs to be done.

It really is that simple to fix. Don’t get me wrong: it may not be easy at all, but you just have to find a way through it. And MASSIVE ACTION is the best and only way I know of to keep moving forward.

So get busy… the path is there… find it and follow it… doing what you need to do along the way.

And if you get blocked on what to write… write about being blocked. Write about being po’d about being clocked. Write about anything and eventually it will come back to you.