1. Introduction

Content Marketing vs. Copywriting

Copy = persuade a reader to take a certain action.
Content = create trust, familiarity, and warm fuzzy feelings in your audience.

Content marketing is blogs, white papers, and viral video.
Copywriting is sales pages, infomercials, and direct mail.

A strategy uses both.

Content marketing
The creation of valuable content that has a marketing purpose. For example, my company creates an awesome special report, and we exchange it for your email address and your permission to educate you further about our stuff.
- Generosity is sexy. When your free content is so valuable that it makes you a little uncomfortable, you know you’ve got the mix right.
- If your content looks like an ad, it will be overlooked or thrown away. Make your "advertising" too valuable to throw away by wrapping it in wonderfully beneficial, readable content.
- Content marketing makes for great SEO, but don’t make the mistake of writing for the search engines. Always write for people first, then go back and make your content search-engine friendly so new readers can find you.
- And of course, always remember the first rule of Copyblogger: Do not publish content that sucks.

Copywriting
Aimed to get reader to take a specific action. Sometimes that’s making a purchase, but it can also be confirming an email opt-in, calling for more information, or going into a store to check out the merchandise.
- Your headlines must grab attention and communicate benefit to readers
- Your content must build rapport or trust. Attention doesn’t translate into subscribers or customers.
- You must leverage social proof to show readers.
- Your content must benefits readers. Just like a product has to have a benefit to the buyer, your content has to be inherently rewarding to readers, or they won’t come back.

The thoughtful use of copywriting techniques on your blog will get readers to subscribe to your content, opt in for more from your email newsletter, and share your great stuff with other readers. That’s how you build a large, loyal audience.

2. Content Marketing

Audience

Relationships, not content are king
Village = tribe = email list
Relationships are the first cornerstone of internet marketing.

Think:
- Generosity
- Relatability
- Be likeable
- Frequency (slow and steady)
- Authority Rules

Content has to work for two readers / audiences:
1. The person who buys your stuff
2. The person who gets lots of other people to read your content

Everyone else ignore.

Write for Sex and the City Characters

Each major character on Sex and the City typifies one of the four temperaments:
- Carrie serves as the Humanistic hub that brings all the others together, and she discusses and writes about her feelings and relationships
- Samantha, the here-and-now, "I’ll try anything," confident hedonist, represents the Spontaneous temperament
- Miranda’s hard-edged, skeptical, career-minded "voice-of-reason" perspective corresponds to the Competitive temperament
- Charlotte’s more traditional, conservative concern for "The Rules" marks her as a Methodical

Create personas corresponding to 4 personality types for your audience.

3. Copywriting

Copywriting Formula

1. What I’ve got for you (What’s your product? What does it do? Who is it for?)
2. What it’s going to do for you (What’s better about life with your product?)
- Benefits first
- Features (unpick #1 in more detail)
3. Who am I? (photo at the top of the page)
4. What you need to do next (call-to-action)

Headlines

Make sure you use sub-headings.

This is also a great technique if you’re a bit stumped for a post topic. Mentally translating a tabloid headline to your own topic can spur all kinds of creative ideas.

Attention grabbing headlines:
Cosmo Headline – "The 22 Best Relationship Tips Ever"
Cosmo Headline – "Guys Spill: White Lies They Tell Women All the Time"
Cosmo Headline – "Get Ahead Faster: 12 Brilliant (and Slightly Badass) Ways to Do It"
Cosmo Headline – "Your Sexual Health: Crucial New Facts Your Gyno Forgot to Mention"
Cosmo Headline – "A Shocking Thing 68% of Chicks Do in Bed"

Question headlines:
Never use a question that the prospective reader can answer with a no. If you ask that type of question, you’ve just failed… because you gave people a reason not to read your content.

The proper way to use a question headline is to ask a question that your readers can’t answer.

4. Benefit Readers

You hook prospects with the heart, but you close the deal with the head.

Emotional benefits (core human drives - acquire, bond, learn, defend, feel):
Greed and fear
Phantom fear (and its cousins, social isolation and embarrassment) are used by a lot of marketers because they’re effective.
Our impulse to connect and belong is just as strong as "fight or flight". Connection more powerful overtime (for referrals and recurring).

Logical benefits:
Most people are terrified of feeling foolish. They’re anxious about the possibility of spending money and later feeling like a chump. Logical benefits help soothe that fear. They provide reassuringly objective reasons to buy, which helps nervous prospects settle down and feel comfortable enough to type in that Paypal password.

Financial value - you can compare apples to oranges in persuasive writing.
Figure out a way to assign a dollar amount to the benefit you provide–an amount that’s far greater than your product’s asking price. For example, if you sell a book on time management, quantify that to "my audio program helped this Fortune 500 executive save more than $34,000 a year by eliminating waste and improving productivity."

Measurable results
What does your product do? What problems does it solve?
Remember, even though we’re focusing on logic, you’ve still got to translate features into benefits. Warehouses become 196% more efficient when they use your software. Dieters who use your program lose an average of 13 pounds. Golfers who complete your course take an average of 2.4 strokes off their games.

When you’re describing logical benefits, translate anything you can into numbers. (And don’t round them off. Highly specific figures are more convincing.)

Risk reversal:
Offer a strong guarantee and a great service promise.

Benefits tied to product features normally make up the meat of your copy. After you’ve led with an emotional hook that gets the reader involved, start stacking up those logical benefits.

Use testimonials.

Reward Readers:
Just like a product has to have a benefit to the buyer, your content has to be inherently rewarding to readers.

Treat your readers like dogs: everything they do something right give them a reward. You can include offers, but give them reasons to keep on reading.

5. Presenting Offers

1. Make an offer.
2. Provide information to help people accept your offer.
3. Provide an easy means of responding to your offer.

The best offers are nutritious — in other words, beneficial to the customer.
You’ll get the most recurring business (and satisfaction) out of selling good stuff, not junk food. When your customers are truly better off for buying what you offer, they’re a million times more likely to spread the word about how great you are.

Make it taste good.
It’s much easier to sell something people want than it is to sell something they need. We’re grudgingly pushed toward certain behaviors by our needs, but we’re pulled wildly by our wants.

When you’re selling it, bring up the delicious taste first (emotional benefits), and close the deal by making them feel good about all the logical health benefits.

Offer what they want, when they want it

Strawberries taste good in summer. Hot chocolate tastes good in winter.

Make sure your offer lines up with what your prospect is looking for today, not tomorrow or yesterday. You’ll make selling much, much easier.

Make sure it’s fresh - available for limited times only

Rework the offers as you need

Copywriting Formula

1. You craft an offer that people will actually want to buy.
2. You build trust.
3. You answer questions and counter objections.
4. You describe appealing benefits to spark interest and fan it into desire.
5. You make it easy for the prospect to see herself as a customer.
6. You increase desire with appealing bonuses.
7. You deliver a clear, compelling call to action.
8. You build in urgency elements to get the prospect to act today.
9. You state your call to action again.

Call-to-Action

Be specific, detailed and precise what you want the reader to do.

Help people make the move, by using the magic word because.
Give people a logical reason why they should buy now, and more people will.

Steps to Creating Social Proof on a Blog

1. encourage comments
2. share stories that show how you’ve benefited others
3. get testimonials (or raving readers page)
4. add media / press

Blog

Content Mix

10-15% entertainment and/or "personality" content that forms an emotional connection with your reader (if you’re shy about revealing personal details, this will probably lean more toward the "entertainment" side)
50-60% valuable tips and quickly usable information
10-15% weighty reference and higher-value content your readers will want to bookmark and return to (as time goes on, you may find you create less of this, preferring to send readers back to your classic content)
5-15% content that builds relationships with other bloggers, including news and links to other content
5% "selling" content that leads to an affiliate promotion or to a sales sequence for your own product

Persona

Your persona needs to consistently reflect two core messages:
1. You know what you’re talking about.
2. You care about your audience as human beings.

The "nurturing parent" archetype is one that always steers the audience toward the right thing. The nurturing parent knows right from wrong. The nurturing parent puts the audience’s needs above her own, always. The nurturing parent sets healthy boundaries and knows when to be gentle and when to be firm.

The first key to a persuasive persona is authority.
The second key to a persuasive persona is warmth and nurturing.

Types of Offers

1. Raise Response
Free Trial
Money-Back Guarantee
Free Gift
Limited-Time
Yes/No
Negative Option
Credit Card Installment Payments

2. Lower Risk
Double-Your-Money-Back Guarantee
Long-Term Guarantee—This is another way to dramatize your offer and guarantee. Instead of a 30- or 60-day guarantee, you offer a one-year, multi-year, or lifetime guarantee.
Limited-Time Introduction—This lets prospects try something with little cost or risk before making a greater commitment. "Try it for 12 weeks for only $24.00."
Yes/Maybe—This is another way of making a low-commitment or no-obligation offer. The "yes" response is for a purchase. The "maybe" response is for a free trial, product information, introductory offer, etc.

3. Reducing Price
Dollars Off
Refunds and Rebates
Sales—A seasonal sale is a trusty standby to raise volume.
Introductory Price
Relationship Discount—New customers pay $30, while regular customers pay just $25. The goal here is to reward current customers, not to get new customers.
Group Discount—To target certain markets, you can offer a special discount exclusive to a type of profession, industry, club, etc.
Quantity Discount
Early-Bird Discount
Price Matching
Trade-in

4.Increasing Urgency
Last Chance—This is usually a reminder that you’ve previously made an offer and time is running out. If you say "last chance," mean it.
Limited Edition
Enrollment Period—You establish a "window of opportunity" when people may enroll, for learning courses or business services, for example.
Pre-Publication Offer
Price Increase Announcement

5. Improving Terms
Bill Me Later
Installments
Positive Option—This is the reverse of a negative option. Instead of shipping or billing automatically after a trial period, you offer a trial period and require action by the customer for a purchase. Response will be lower than for a negative option, but overall customer quality is often better.
Reservation Option—You offer to reserve or set aside an item that soon will be announced to the general public and which may sell out. You may also give a special price or a premium as a reward for responding by a certain date. It’s similar to the pre-publication offer but with more urgency.

6. Offering Services

Free Shipping
Gift Shipment Service
Rush Shipping Service

7. Offering Bribes

Free Keeper Gift—This encourages people to make the decision to try your product or service. You offer a gift and they can keep it even if they change their minds later on.
Free Gift with Payment

8. Increasing Profit

Deluxe Version—You offer a second version of the same item with enhanced features for a little more money.
Good-Better-Best
Load Ups—In a continuity series, you send all the items in a series after the first few are paid for, allowing your customer to continue paying month-to-month.
Membership Fee
Ship Till Forbid

9. Generating Inquiries

Free Information—This is the ideal offer for identifying interested prospects, making two-step sales, creating a list, and initiating a first contact for a long-term relationship or sales cycle.
Free Samples
Free Gift for Inquiry—You offer a gift as a reward for requesting information about your product or service. As you might expect, this can boost the number of prospects who inquire but lower their quality.
Sales Call—Your prospect asks for a someone to contact them and set up an appointment for further information. This produces high-quality leads, but much lower overall response. Generally those who want to talk are ready to buy.
Free Survey of Your Needs
Free Demonstration
Free Estimate
Free Subscription
Member-Get-a-Member