Wealthy Web Writer

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday, September 5, 2010

How to Host a Giveaway or Contest for Your Blog Readers

As a blogger, you always want to find ways to get people to stay interested in your blog. People lead busy lives! That means that there truly needs to be something in it for them when they visit. 

A great way to maintain their interest is to host a giveaway or a contest for your blog readers.

The main reason for that is because people love to get things for free! If you can secure an item to give away, you'll find that readers flock to your blog! They will share the link with their friends and family members who are also interested in the topic. There's something about the words "free" and "win" that just draws people in!

The product you give away doesn't even need to be expensive. In some cases, you can even get sponsorships from companies who will give you the product for free in order to generate more interest in their products from your readers. You will have to disclose the relationship when you accept an offer to do this, but it is an awesome way to get more readers for your blog in the long-term (that means more money for you!).

The first thing you need to do is think about what you're going to give away. Perhaps you know of a very popular product that would be a great fit. You can contact the owner or manufacturer of the product and see if there is some kind of deal you can work out. If you can afford it or if the product is not too expensive, you may forgo this process and just purchase the product yourself. Another thought is giving away digital products -- product owners usually won't mind allowing a copy for a giveaway since there is no additional cost for them!

Your next step will be generating some buzz for your giveaway. Give hints that you're going to give away a product in a blog post very soon. Start to pique their interest more and more. Whet people's appetites so they go crazy once the giveaway is launched.

Finally, you will want to write the contest post. State all the details; including what is being given away, when, and how people can win it. Perhaps they need to make a comment answering a certain question, and you'll give the prize to the winner. Perhaps it is going to be more subjective and you're going to choose the answer you think was the best -- or perhaps you'll use a random number system to choose the winner from all of the comments.

Be sure to leave a little window of time to let people pass the contest link to friends and family members so they can enter. Don't let it go too long, however, or people will forget what you're doing! Finally, you'll want to announce the winner and possibly even give out some consolation prizes. Make everyone feel great about having entered!

You will find that people start to link to your blog and come back to visit over and over because they love your giveaways, and what you blog about. It's an awesome thing to do because it can help you expand your regular readership and make more money over the long run.

Want more cool tips like this? Visit The Blog Expert today!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How Do You Define "Whole Wealth"?

Recently, I had a conversation with the CMO of Whole Wealth, Jeneth Blackert, on the subject of what the concept of "Whole Wealth" means.

To me Whole Wealth means having an abundance of health, wealth and happiness in my life.  

As business owners, we can often get wrapped up in the day-to-day functions of running our business and don't have time to evaluate what is happening in the here and now, so I thought I would focus on this topic and explore it more as I move forward through the rest of this calendar year.

Many of us (myself included) are guilty of always living in the future: "I'll finally be happy IF/WHEN______ happens."

But when I take a moment to be present, to stop and look around in the here and now, I see so much abundance in my life.

I see three beautiful, healthy children that are the joy of my life.

I see a wonderful husband who makes me laugh and has been my friend and partner these past 15 years.

I see amazing clients that value my work and treat me as a trusted adviser in their marketing endeavors.

I see amazing friends who open their homes and their hearts and share several hours of food, wine and conversation around their dinner tables.

The list goes on and on...

I am blessed with good health, a roof over my head, food on the table every day, technology that can send a signal from a little device in my hand to a satellite in outer space and back in under a minute when I ask it to tell me where the nearest Thai restaurant is and a country that allows me my basic God-given rights. There is abundance everywhere I look.

That's not to say there isn't room for improvement. I always have more to learn and more to do -- I could participate more in my church, volunteer more often and spend more time with my family.

But when I really take a moment to look at all the things in my life I have to be grateful for, there is SO much abundance.

And, really, that's what Whole Wealth means to me.

How do you define Whole Wealth?

For more information on the $50 million dollar Big Give project for business owners and entrepreneurs that Whole Wealth is involved in, visit: www.wholewealth.com/biggive

Monday, August 9, 2010

Does Facebook Marketing Really Work?

In today's economy, we are all looking for new ways to market our businesses that are cost-effective. I am often asked if Facebook is worth the time and the effort.

Let's look at the stats: Facebook has become a daily routine for more than 500 million active users. That's 500 million people actively using Facebook in the last 30 days. Astonishing.

It can be a great tool if done right. And it doesn't need to take a lot of time or effort. In fact, you can start right now by just doing a few powerful things:

1. Start by posting one or two things a day on your page. These should be ONLY useful tidbits from your area of expertise. Avoid trying to sell your fans anything and don't direct them to your website (yet). Make one post every other day that invites comments from your fans by asking a question. And make only one or two posts a week that attempt to people to your website for a sale or to promote specific items.

Ex: Did you know that asking a question in the subject line of your email prompts people to open it? What have you found useful? Tell us by commenting here...

Ex: Tip of the day: Most click-thru responses will come from the hyperlink at the top, bottom, and middle of your e-mail message – in that order. A lot of marketers forget the middle hyperlink. Don’t. Your response rates will suffer.

Ex: Happy Monday! In celebration of "Left-Hander's Day" on August 13th, all email marketing packages are 15% off all week long to anyone who's left-handed! Contact us today to discuss your project: 800-662-6808

Do things like that for about a week until you've got people commenting and you've started conversations with your fans. The whole point of social media is the "social" part of it, so encouraging conversations is KEY.

2. After a week of the above, send an invite to all of your personal friends on facebook to join your fanpage. Do this even if you've already done it in the past. People get busy and need to be reminded.

3. Concurrently, begin sending a little message to your fans once a week thanking them for being loyal fans and offering a coupon code with a link to your website.

4. Get a newsletter sign up form on your FB page immediately. (I'm happy to walk you through this if you're not sure how to do it.) Then send out a message to all of your fans with a link to your newsletter sign up page and start sending out weekly enewsletters that are short and sweet and offer several great tips plus offer some sort of discount code or sale on an item that you highlight in your newsletter.

Advice: re-purpose your blog into your enewsletters. You don't need to reinvent the wheel with each marketing piece you create. Just take what you're posting on your blog and turn that into the topic for your enewsletters. That way you're managing your marketing efforts efficiently!

Make sure in your enewsletters you encourage people to join your FB fan page for more discounts and coupon codes. This way, you are constantly funneling people to your fan page where you will have a chance to interact with them on a daily basis in a way that's more personal.

5. Run a contest once every few months. This is a FUN way to engage fans. Have them tell their best or worst story about something and encourage them to get their friends to comment. Tell the contestants the person with the most comments will win "X" prizes. Make it worth their while.

The reason you want to encourage people to get their friends to comment is because this will drive FRESH eyes to your fan page. Their friends will "Like" your page and before you know it, you will have 1000's of fans and your mailing list size will continue to grow!

It's a beautiful thing! And I hope these tips will help you increase your interaction with your customers as well as turn more prospects into paying customers.

To Your Success!

Rachel Karl

P.S. Join the conversation with me on Facebook and receive weekly discount codes and more great tips to grow your business: http://www.facebook.com/writergal

Friday, August 6, 2010

Why I Didn't Go to Bootcamp for Copywriters

Dear Reader,

I have a confession to make ...

Have you heard of the American Writer's and Artist's Bootcamp for Copywriters?

It's a 3-day event held each year in Del Ray Beach, Florida. And it's touted as, "The Unofficial 'Rite of Passage' For Aspiring Copywriters".

Basically, they've assembled several of the “living legends” in copywriting who will be giving you their hard-won copywriting secrets and insights.

Then they have what they call their Job Fair, which is the largest gathering of companies that are eagerly looking to hire copywriters (sometimes on the spot).

It sold out in record time.  Of course it wasn’t really a surprise.  There were so many heavy hitters there. 

Big names like Dan Kennedy, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Clayton Makepeace, and tons more.

Then there were all the top companies searching for new copywriters. Companies like Agora, Al Sears, MD, Healthier YOU, Nightingale-Conant, The Motley Fool, The Oxford Club, and more.

And attendees like Michelle Burgess, got to reap the benefits.  She told fellow members, “the months since Bootcamp have been such a whirlwind for me. As a newbie, I’ve been overwhelmed (in a good way) with the amount of work I’ve been getting. I’m sure once my experience grows, it won’t seem like that much, but right now it’s been constant. I really look forward to the day when I become a faster writer. When you consider that just a few months ago I was worried about not getting work at all, and now I just want to write faster … seems like a pretty good ‘problem’ to have!”

Yeah. It sure does.

Okay… now for my confession…

I didn’t go.

Yep. While all those heavy hitters and big-name companies were reaping the rewards that Bootcamp has to offer, I stayed home – thinking it would save me money.

While other copywriters were putting their careers into fast-forward-to-success mode…I made the decision to struggle for about three more months.

And while I was actually wasting my valuable time trying to chase clients … copywriters who attended Bootcamp were being chased by clients.

See, I was scared. Sure I heard all the success stories about how Bootcamp paid for itself before the weekend was over. And how copywriters made connections that, now, nearly a year later are still paying off.

But I didn’t think I could afford to take that risk. Boy was I wrong.

You may have heard that recently my copywriting career really took off (after a bit of hit and miss and some struggling). But the thing is, it never would have happened without, in large part, the help of AWAI’s programs. From Joshua Boswell to Jay White and Rebecca Matter, I’ve had a LOT of help. And my REAL success took months to accomplish because I didn’t have them all in one room at one time. I know this sounds "salsey" but it's the honest truth.

AWAI is one of the most respected companies out there helping aspiring copywriters -- they really do want to see people succeed.

And the rub is that at Bootcamp, I could’ve accomplished all of the above (and more) in just three short days.

So, even though things are going pretty well for me this year, I’ve decided I’m taking my freelance business to the next level. And quite frankly I’ve still got a lot to learn. (In my opinion, only an arrogant person would tout that they know everything there is to know about copywriting.) So, if I’m really going to take things up a notch, I’m going to need some help.

Now, that’s saying a lot coming from me. My husband will be the first person to tell you I don’t ask for help – even when I really need it. But I’m asking for help now…

This time, I’m not going to waste several months trying to figure it all out…

I’m going to Bootcamp. And I'd love to meet you there...


My advice to you …

Come join me. No matter where you are in your copywriting career, take command of your future by attending AWAI’s FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair.

Even if you’re just starting out, and your goal is to nab that very first client, Bootcamp is the fastest way to do exactly that. Or maybe you have a few clients already but now you need to know all the little tricks to maximize your time so you can work less and make more. And maybe you want to know how to turn a little $500 copywriting project into a project worth well over $10,000.

Listen, I’m no copywriting guru. But if I can teach you anything from my experience, it would be to take the shortest route you possibly can to having and running a lucrative copywriting business.

Don’t make the same mistake I did – three days versus three months seems like a no-brainer to me.

Plus, there are sure to be new clients just waiting to hear from someone like you with your exact skills and background – someone who would be perfect for their next big copywriting project.

That’s what happened to fellow copywriter, Eric Gelb, who attended his first Bootcamp in 2008. At the Job Fair he won not one, but TWO paid assignments, despite not having any previous copywriting experience. Within six weeks, two checks totaling $4,350 landed in his mailbox.

Click here to join me, and we can grab front row seats at the best event of the year for copywriters. Reserve your spot today … while you can still save $200!

To your copywriting success!

~Rachel Karl
Freelance Web & Email Copywriting Specialist

P.S. By the way, remember how I told you last year they sold out super early?

Well, I just talked to Barb in AWAI's Member Services, and she said they're already on target to do it again. Ever since Monday the registrations just keep coming in. So, it's not just about saving $200 — it's about getting in at all!

Register now so you don't miss out (like I did last year):


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Vanilla Marketing (yawn)

Definition of Vanilla from UrbanDictionary.com:

Unexciting, normal, conventional, boring.

by Rachel Karl

With a plethora (that means "a lot") of choices in the marketplace, and even more marketing messages to "Buy now while supplies last!", customers rarely feel obligated to support you.

Most products become boring. Most marketing messages are unexciting. Thus most customers have zero enticement to buy your product over someone else's.

You can tell yourself it's the opposite all the way to bankruptcy. You can spout how wonderful your company is if you want. But the harsh reality is that's just not true. Not in the eyes of the millions of consumers out there.

And telling people how great you are will just alienate them further from you.

Nobody cares about how you have the best widgets or how your widgets are built with the highest quality or how you've been around since 1927.

What people want to know is how can your widget solve their problems.

There are several things businesses should keep in mind before any marketing piece is ever crafted.

Here's a crash course on how to spice up your marketing.

Don't Sell Yourself Broke

With a tired (albeit gradually awakening) economy, the challenge of getting buyers to respond to your marketing is more difficult than ever before. And speaking of bankruptcy, the solution is not to lower your prices below those of all your competitors to try to draw people in.

To the contrary. Often, higher priced products and services are perceived as having more value, whereas the cheapest price is looked upon with suspicion and fear. Aka, "There must be something wrong with it if the price is so cheap."

So, what's the solution? And how do you get customers to turn to you instead of the competition?

Be Unique

The real solution is to offer something of value, which you probably do, and target exactly who will benefit from that value.

In order to be very clear about the value you're offering, you have to find a way to set yourself apart from all the other widget sellers out there and narrow the playing field.

Let's take dentists as an example...

Joe Dentist is trying to sell his teeth whitening services. He needs to find a niche within the teeth whitening consumers. Dr. Joe does a real-time search using Search.Twitter.com and discovers that brides-to-be are very interested in having beautiful, white teeth on their wedding day. Hmm.

Funnel The Traffic To You

Dr. Joe then crafts a targeted promotional offer and sends out a bunch of postcards to brides-to-be, or runs Facebook ads to any and all brides-to-be within a 30-mile radius of his office.

By tightly targeting his marketing, Joe may worry that he will miss all the other people who want whiter teeth. However, if he thought that, he'd be missing the boat on what makes marketing work.

  • Figure out a specific group to target (a group within a group).
  • Create a unique benefit to that group that addresses a specific need.
  • Drive people to you and funnel them up the channel by always reminding them about the problem you can solve with your product or service.
Find ways to do this, and you will see your marketing results soar.

Need more help? Just ask me in the comment box below...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Build Your Sales Argument In a Simple, Straight Line

Once you have captured a reader's attention with your headline, don't assume that you will keep that attention after the first line, second line or third line.

Most readers won't read your entire web page. Most will bail well before the end.

How come? Because something you write will make them feel that you are not taking them directly towards finding what they want.

Here are 3 ways to ensure that you keep moving forward in a straight line …

Follow these three guidelines and you will significantly increase the number of people who read all the copy on your page and, of course, you will increase the number of people who take action at the end of that page.

#1. Be clear about your page's objective.

Before you start writing, determine the objective of the page. What is its purpose?

And if you're thinking, "Well, there are a few things I want to achieve with this page", be very careful. Because by writing to a few different objectives, you are giving your readers a few different reasons to bail on you.

You'll achieve far higher conversion rates by sticking to a single topic or message per page.

In fact, that's why landing pages were invented. Marketers understood that their general web pages were not converting very well. So they started creating stand-alone pages, or landing pages, which were created with a single objective in mind.

The need for landing pages tells us we are not very good at creating and writing regular site pages that are focused on a single, clear objective.

#2. Let your readers see the final outcome, from the beginning.

In other words, let your readers see where they are going.

For instance, if you want to sell me a vacation in Greenland, let me see the road ahead.

A typical way of doing this would be to write a headline that says something like, "5 reasons why Greenland has become the #1 travel destination for adventure lovers."

When you write a headline like that, the reader knows where you're taking them, and they know you are trying to sell them a vacation. They even know there are exactly five steps between the beginning and end.

But if the headline were to say, "Greenland grabs hearts of outdoor adventurers," then I don't really know where you're taking me. Is this a general description of the country? Is this about travel, or about conservation? Are you trying to inform me? Or sell a vacation package?

When you make the purpose and objective of the page clear from the beginning, the reader doesn't have to be distracted by these questions.

#3. Write in a straight line, without detours.

When writing editorial there are some excellent reasons for taking the scenic route.

You can add character and depth to a story with a paragraph that begins with the words, "Which reminds me … " Or, "By the way …"

These scenic diversions make editorial content all the more interesting.

But when you are writing to sell, you would do better to take the direct route.

When people come to the web to make a purchase, they are task oriented, impatient and anxious to find what they want and get the task completed quickly.

This means readers want their sales information given to them straight. No meandering. No side trips. Get to the meat of the message quickly, and tell them why your product and service will deliver exactly what they want and are looking for.

Conclusion …

The reason behind the need to build your sales argument in a straight line can be found in that last section.

Compared to print or other offline media, users of the web are impatient and generally have a specific goal in mind before they even arrive at your page. If they want to buy something, then they want to find what they want quickly.

No side shows. No diversions.

Keep your sales pages direct, straight and uncomplicated.

And if you haven’t done so already, I strongly recommend that you learn about my course, Copywriting 2.0: Your Complete Guide to Writing Web Copy that Converts.

This article is by Nick Usborne and appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) The Golden Thread, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on the best wealth careers, lifestyle careers and work-at-home careers available. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/.