The Point

Archive for the ‘Best practices for copywriting’ Category

Jul

The World’s Greatest Social Media Marketer [INFOGRAPHIC]

great social media marketer

I wrote this article for MarketingProfs a while back…

The world’s greatest social media marketer has objectives and strategies. They’re documented—on a spreadsheet—or on some social platform where her peers can collaborate.

She understands the whole analytics and metrics thing that matters to the bean counters. Another spreadsheet? You’d better believe it.

Social media blog feeds feed her a daily dose of updates because she knows some genius somewhere updated a social media network with a new feature while she was sleeping.

She can even tell you how many pixels tall and wide your profile pics need to be. Yep, she keeps all this on a spreadsheet—in the cloud, of course.

You too can master such things. But they won’t make you the world’s greatest social media marketer. In fact, you may remain amazingly mediocre.

The world’s greatest social media marketer possesses more meaningful skills.

(more…)

Jun

Copy Editing Tips: Delete + 12 More Ways to Improve Your Writing

copy editing tips

Look at this monster.

It’s a blank page. It’s not a rattlesnake. It’s not an axe murderer. It can’t hurt you. How could it creep you out so badly?

The answer can only be one thing: you don’t know what to do. You feel helpless. That’s a shitty feeling.

I’m going to help you. I’m going to tell you what to do.

Write.

That’s right. Write something. Anything. It might be awful. It could be truly amateurish. It doesn’t matter. Write. Right now.

Let me talk you through this, a fictitious, but very real enactment. I’ve done it many times before and it usually goes something like this…

I ask the obvious question, “What’s the problem?”

I get the obvious answer, “I don’t know where to start.”

Next question: “What are you trying to say?”

Next answer: “Well, we’re hosting an event, so I want to tell the prospects who have indicated some interest in our solution the value of attending. They’ll learn a lot and it won’t cost a dime.

My turn: “Well there you go. That’s great. Write that down.”

Response: “Write what down?”

“Write what you just told me. It sounded pretty good.”

“Seriously?”

“Seriously.”

You’re out of order.

You came in search of the prescription for this writing disorder of yours and the big secret I offer you is “write?” It sounds kind of lame.

Maybe you take me for a poser now. Not so fast my friend.

Am I telling you the secret to becoming a writer is simply “start writing?” No, I’m not. However, I’m telling you what your biggest problem is.

(more…)

Apr

If You Think You Can’t Write, You’re Wrong

CAN'T WRITE

“I can’t write.”

You’ve said it a zillion times, but you’re not going to say it again because it’s a giant, steamy, and stinky pile of crap.

I know what your problem is.

You learned how to write. Then you learned you were doing it wrong.

Blame it on your teachers. Or the man. Or the system. Or the business world. Let’s agree to point the finger at some anonymous entity so you’ll need not feel guilty about it or suffer any consequences.

The truth is you got off to a great start. In your early grade school years, you were merely expected to use legible penmanship and transfer your thoughts—any thoughts—to the paper.

You wrote with abandon. It was fun. It was freeing. But not for long. (more…)

Apr

A Great Copywriter Has at Least 21 Personalities

Great Copywriter

Let me introduce myself. I’m, um, I’m, uh … Hmm. I had this a minute ago.

But suddenly I’m a different person. I’m wearing a different hat. I have different strengths and skills. It’s like I switched gears. The chains fall into a different combination of sprockets and I’m cruising along with an entirely different personality.

It happens all the time because, um, because, uh … Oh! I remember now. My name is Barry. I’m a copywriter. This much I know.

An article titled, “50 Attributes of a Great Copywriter” gave me the idea for this one. It was an interesting read (and enormously popular), but it struck me as a bit bloated.

But it’s not my list, so I decided I’d have a different list — not attributes, per se, but rather, personality traits, or types, or …

21 Interchangeable Characters

I’ve been doing this for 25 years. But what’s this? If you think my job as a writer focuses only on crafting sentences in an effort to persuade readers, you’re about to learn how wrong you are.

Doing the job well tasks you with playing a huge variety of roles.  (more…)

Mar

Sharpen Your Storytelling Skills to Earn the Audience’s Attention

 

storytelling skills

Inbound marketing focuses on the power of pull. You  do everything possible to anticipate the needs and wants of your buyers. You then invest heavily in different messages and media to get clicks, appear on whichever rectangular piece of glass flickers before the prospect, and command their undivided attention for a spell. And you usually fail.

We are all hopelessly distracted. It’s not a disorder — it’s the new world order.

Can I have your attention, please?

Whichever methods we put in play with our marketing, we’re powerless unless we’re able to get a prospect to pay attention. It doesn’t come easy. As long as we’re online, on earth, and in a media-centric society, there will always be a shiny object scattering, shattering, and battering our focus.

Okay, when you practice inbound marketing for a while, you start getting good. You figure out how to write a headline cursors and fingers are magnetically attracted to. But a click is nothing more than a click until you, the messenger, truly click with your customer.

You either get remembered or forgotten.

I’ve been tossing that little homegrown axiom out there for years. The gauntlet I’m laying down here: Your goal is to be remembered.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

As you know, it’s damn hard to be remembered for what you wrote or said. And who needs another impossibly lofty goal? The goal, then, is to say or do something memorable by sparking an emotional response.

(more…)

Feb

Free Virtual Conference: Content and Customer Engagement from BrightTalk

Open your calendar please. Mark the dates for next week, Feb. 11, 12, 13.

Of course, I don’t expect you’ll commit all three days to nothing but webinars. However, if you want to take in fun and free lessons from some of the best, have a look at the Content and Customer Engagement Summit schedule and make plans to join the webinars you expect will help you with your online marketing.

BrightTalk has invited me to present two of them…

Rock Your Content

Rock Your Content

The summit kicks off with this rockin’ keynote. I’ve invited three of the world’s best content marketers to join me for this informal roundtable type webinar. The plan is to examine the state of content marketing today and bounce around ideas for rising above the noise like legendary rock stars. Don’t be surprised if suddenly, we fixate on The Rolling Stones or The Clash.

On the webinar, I’ll be joined by:

These three friends of mine rock. They rock their brands, help clients score hits, play rock instruments, and know what it takes to score hits.

Here’s an overview of the session scheduled for Feb. 11, 2014 at 8:00 a.m. PST.

Content marketing strategist Barry Feldman assembles a group of content rock stars to discuss what it takes to score big hits amidst the deafening noise of new media today. The foursome will examine why most content is ignored or easily forgotten while a minute percentage breaks through and strikes a chord with its audience. Feldman and his guests will discuss how some of the legends of rock and roll stamped their indelible signatures on their brands and how marketers can do the same.

 

Copywriting Tips for the Three Most Important Pages on Your Webiste

copywriting tips websiteYou might have caught my posts about optimizing your home, landing and about pages on the Feldman Creative blog or HubSpot, however, this information has never before been presented live. This webinar is going to be one of the most packed with actionable tips you’ve ever attended.

In under an hour, the session will featue 30+ writing tips. Here’s an overview of the session scheduled for Feb. 13, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. PST.

As vital as website traffic is for growing your business, it’s meaningless if the site doesn’t convert visitors to leads and customers. In this session, veteran copywriter Barry Feldman covers essential copywriting tips marketers can apply immediately to increase conversion. Learn how to make the important improvements to your website’s home page, about page and landing pages that translate to dollars.

Both of these—and all the webinars at the events—are free.

Jan

Get Sweaty, Get Steamy and Get the Creative Juices Jamming [Infographic]

I was in the gym pedaling on the LifeCycle. My heart rate was in the 140 area—full tilt for a geezer. The sweat was starting to come. Though I wasn’t plugged into the audio, or even watching really, I was zoning out and into the many TV screens, a welcome respite from the Mac screens that usually devour my mind and time.

And WTF? Ideas paraded through my brain… my next enewsletter began taking shape in my head… several blog post ideas… a pretty rocking headline for an eBook… a funny concept for this direct response campaign I’m on.

For what must have been the millionth time in my depressingly long, er, I mean, impressively long career as a copywriter and creative director, it dawned on me again that escaping the office is the best way to uncork the cranium.

You don’t have to sweat ideas out.

Brain lubricants come in many forms. Some obvious, some not. Some will work for you, some won’t. I thought this through and created the infographic below. Check it out. Print it out. Tweet it out.

But now back to our sweat fest. Get a load of this… (more…)

Jan

7 Ways to Create Better Content in a Fraction of the Time

creating great content in less time

This is a guest post by Mike Sobol of ContentBlvd.

Deep content is immensely valuable for your readers, your credibility and your SEO. When you delve into a subject and create a post that others use as reference material, that’s a content marketing home run. Barry does it here on his own blog with astounding consistency. Chances are, however, you aren’t such a prolific content producer. So let’s look at how you can create more fantastic content in much less time.

First, a Disclaimer

Fast content doesn’t mean bad content. If it isn’t useful, don’t create it. No one wins when you publish new content for it’s own sake — not your site, your brand or your readers. So don’t publish something quickly because you think you need to.

The only reason ever to publish a piece is because you believe your audience will benefit.

I happen to be a long-winded person who enjoys digging into the details. Paradoxically, perhaps, that limits my own production. And maybe that limits you, too. You know it’s your job to provide value, so when you aren’t confident in your message, and don’t feel like you have the time and attention to give a topic it’s due, you opt to produce nothing at all.

Well, that’s baloney, and it leads me to my first point. (more…)

Dec

How Does One Guy Produce So Much Content?

so much content

I get this question a lot. In my blogging bible it says, “Thou shall answer your customers’ questions in your blog posts.” I’m going to give it a try with the hope that some of the way I do things might help you produce more content, if that’s one of your goals.

But let’s be clear about the “more” thing. More content only furthers your cause if it’s great content. Don’t take this for granted. Great is great. More is simply more.

The consultants who spew ideas about hitting certain marks and producing in volume are mostly full of it. They’re the same people droning on in their blogs with the same old tips and points of view as their peers.

I created this rule and play by it…

Don’t count characters. Make your characters count

Preamble complete. Here’s how I manage to produce a steady stream of blog posts, guest posts, offers, slide decks, infographics, images, interviews, podcasts, webinars, videos, eBooks, and well, you know, content. (more…)

Dec

HEADLINES: A 9-Letter Cheat Sheet for Writing a Winner Every Time

headline

The most important line you’ll write for your blog post or any type of content is the headline.

Advertising pioneer David Ogilvy once reported only 1 in 5 will make it past your headline into your copy. Though I don’t have a modern day update on the percentage, I suspect, given the immense volume of content available to the active web surfer of today, the percentage of readers that click through to your story is far lower.

In a recent article from SEO technology company Conductor, they report:

A day in the Internet shows that 2 million blog posts, 294 billion emails, 864 thousand hours of video are created daily. Each day also brings 400 million tweets.

That’s a lot of competition for your attention. The obvious result is tons of great content is ignored. Your challenge is to quickly engage readers and inspire clicks with headlines that suggest your articles are useful.

In an effort to help you understand a variety of headline approaches that perform well for bloggers, I’ve created a cheat sheet that spells out nine tips based on the word H-E-A-D-L-I-N-E-S.

Following each tip, I offer two examples. The first example comes from ideas for a would-be blog about pets (simply because my cat and dog are loving on each other as I write this). The second example draws from my area of expertise, online marketing. (more…)