Do you feel like a fraud?

When people ask “What do you do,” do you find yourself making excuses?
“Well, I’m a writer…but I haven’t written anything that you’ve read.”
“I own a small business. ::quickly changing the topic:: What do you do?”
“I have a newsletter that I send out to a small list” (when your subscriber base is in the thousands.)
Chances are, you envy those folks who can “pull off” a fantastic, 30-second elevator pitch. You’ve tried to create your own so you can clearly explain what [...]

Are you suffering behind the scenes?

Have you ever said, “If I have to write one more post about (something you’ve been writing about a lot) I’m going to go completely insane?”
Yeah, me too.
Once upon a time, it felt like I wrote copy for every cosmetic dentist in North America. At the drop of a hat, I could talk about veneers, teeth whitening and “laser gum surgery.”  Yeah, I was great fun at cocktail parties.
I was also bored too. So very, very bored.
I’ve seen this happen [...]

Screw resolutions. Take action instead!

Lately, I’ve been seeing quite a few posts discussing how SEO content marketing should be on the top of every businesses’ resolution list.  For instance, there’s this post. And this one. And this one.
These are all great posts. But here’s the thing…
…I’ve read these “write more quality content” resolutions before. For about 14 years now.
And you know what? Very, very few companies follow through. They want to. They mean to. But then, content marketing gets pushed to the back burner. [...]

Balancing SEO and copywriting best practices: a true story

I was working with one of my social SEO clients on their blog. My SEO company, Brick Marketing, was responsible for writing two blog posts each week, which we would then promote through the client’s various social networks as they went live.
We were specifically instructed to make sure the blog posts were “SEO friendly” and would do well in the search engines. However, before we even scheduled the blog posts I would send the new posts over to my client [...]

10 hottest SEO copywriting posts of 2011

Wow, it’s the end of 2011 already…
…And that means that it’s time for the “Most popular posts of the year” roundup (cue applause!)
2011 was a big year for Google updates – and a big year for SEO copywriting. Most of the top-10 post topics aren’t overly surprising (Panda, anyone?) Other top ten posts surprised me – and showed that many folks are still mastering the “writing for search engines and social” balance.
Without further ado, here are the top [...]

Is your SEO copy crap? 8 ways to tell

Last week, a prospect asked what I thought of his site copy.
I took one look and resisted the urge to say, “Um, how much did you pay for this?” The writing was…bad.  Picture a 500-word, below-the-fold paragraph with no hyperlinks, no call-to-action…and what’s worse…
All of the copy was italicized. All of it.
Imagine reading that on a mobile device.
The prospect knew that something seemed “off.”  But he thought, “I hired someone who specializes in SEO copy. Well, maybe the copy should [...]

Why you should love the long tail

Are you looking for more Google love?
Want to drive highly qualified traffic?
Do you want to reach readers at all phases of the purchase cycle?
You got it. All you have to do is learn how to leverage the long tail.
Google just announced another algorithm tweak, and this time, it’s targeting long-tail documents. According to the Google Inside Search blog:
“More comprehensive indexing: This change makes more long-tail documents available in our index, so they are more likely to rank for relevant queries.”
What [...]

How percolation time can make you a better writer

I’ve been reading a few posts about how meditation can help the writing process.  One person insists that meditation will make you a better writer. Another person uses it for business brainstorms.
I would agree with these statements. Shutting down your external thoughts – even for a short time – can lead to transformative results.
The challenge is, the word “meditation” means different things to different people. For some people, meditation is like “coming home” and an important part of their day. [...]

Does your Website copy suck the life out of your conversions?

What’s scarier than zombies, witches and vampires combined?
Bad sales copy that sucks the life out of your conversions.
You may say, “Well, our sales copy is performing OK – I check our analytics.” And that’s good. But I want to teach you how to transform your “good” sale copy into “great” – and turn your sales up to a Spinal Tap 11.
And all it’s going to take is a little bit of time.
It’s easy to develop a blind spot around our [...]

Sell more stuff using the principle of scarcity

Are you looking for a way to prompt your prospects to “buy now?”
Maybe you should make your product or service less available.
In today’s “I can get anything I want anytime I want it world,” an approach like that seems counter-intuitive. Yet, the psychological principle of scarcity is alive and well online – and many top retailers are making lots of money from it every single day.
What’s the principle of scarcity? According to Robert Cialindi, author of Influence: Science and Practice, [...]