Blog

Here's an archive of blog posts I've shared since 1999, including articles, interviews, books, and news. Topics include marketing, digital marketing, copywriting, communications, and business.

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google on your smartphone, search, internet

Google Blocks My Blog And Warns Visitors?

December 10, 2007

Thanks for being patient with me. I haven't posted in a while because of something that happened last week.

You see, my blog was hacked (not by a person but with malicious code that creeped into my blog), and as a result I was blocked by Google. I'm sure you've heard about it, as people talked about the news.

How did it get blocked?

Whenever my site(s) came up in Google, there was a “this site may harm your computer” warning. And when people clicked on my link, it lead them to a Google error page preventing people from accessing my site.…

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The 5 Elements of Defense-Piercing Multimedia -

The 5 Elements of Defense-Piercing Multimedia

October 29, 2007

Even though we decided to postpone the multimedia copywriting seminar in southern California due to the fires there, my friend, copywriter David Garfinkel, asked me about it:

“(One of my coaching students) asked if you will share detailed test results like what to say vs. what not to say, what to wear in video, and other nitty-gritty like that, at your seminar when you reschedule it. Those would be excellent points to cover for a serious direct marketer. Anything you'd like me to tell him?”

Valid question. So here's the answer I gave him, along with a few tips…

Yes, those are precisely the things I was going to share at the seminar.…

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dumbbell, sport, weights

Is Copywriting a Masculine Skill?

October 2, 2007

An interesting thread appeared on my copywriters forum. A member asked who, be it men or women, are better at writing copy for certain products than others.

Albeit a little close-minded in my estimation, the question seemed like a legitimate one and without any ill-intent. So I welcomed it. But while the thread started out gracefully and on-topic, it quickly took a few turns.

The discussion turned out to be nonethetless quite enlightening.

For example, one tangent went into the role of women in copywriting, as copy has been long touted as “the boys club.” This is where one proud board member offered some great nuggets that I wanted to share with you.…

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igromania, game addiction, handcuffs

The Seven Deadly Sins of Website Copy

October 1, 2007

Throughout my research, I'm always surprised when I stumble onto websites that are professionally designed and seem to offer great products and services, but lack or fail in certain important elements.

Elements that, with just a few short changes, can help multiply the results almost instantaneously.

Generally, I have found that there are seven common mistakes. I call them the “Seven Deadly Sins.” Is your website committing any one of these?

1) They Fail to Connect

Traffic has been long touted to be the key to online success, but that's not true. If your site is not pulling sales, inquiries or results, then why would it need more traffic?…

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gold, wealth, finance

The Gold is In The Picks And Shovels

September 7, 2007

My recent article about Facebook not being a viable marketing tool has created quite a stir.

Many people agreed with me. But some people didn't, and I respect that. However, while a few were scathing and harsh in their remarks, others posted some excellent rebuttals on their own blogs.

This topic seems to be as controversial as the long-versus-short-copy debate in copywriting circles. Deja-vu? Well, it's no wonder because, just like the copy length debate, both sides are right.

It all depends on how you use them and with whom.

That's why I agree with most of Facebook's proponents. That might sound like a contradiction, but I believe it's because many misunderstood my post.…

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facebook, social media, media

Is Facebook a Viable Marketing Tool?

September 4, 2007

Facebook is growing by leaps and bounds. If you don't know what Facebook is, it's a social networking site much like MySpace, but with a lot more control, flexibility, and verstility. (Check out my profile.)

But after testing it for a while, I've concluded that it's not a viable marketing tool. At least, not for me. There are two reasons why using Web 2.0 social-driven sites to make money (or to drive targeted traffic) is not viable.

First, and more importantly, it's labor-intensive. It's a full-time affair.

I don't pretend to be a social marketing expert by any stretch. And I'm sure that, if you are a social site junkie, you can find some pretty creative ways for using them to generate massive amounts of traffic.…

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box, moving, carton

No Sopranos Ending Here…

July 11, 2007

As you might have seen on some blogs, people have “guest” bloggers replacing them while, say, they're on vacation or a trip.

You've probably seen this on my friend Brian Clark's blog or others, of late. And I really like this, since it keeps the blog going without interruptions.

Well, I'm not going on vacation. But I will be incognito for a while as my wife and I move into a new home starting next week, until the end of the month (and give or take another couple of weeks in August to settle in).

So in the meantime, several other copywriters, marketers, and experts will be posting here until I return.…

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money, grow, interest

Monetize WordPress With These Plugins

May 29, 2007

First off, this post is in no way comprehensive. There are many different ways to monetize your blog.

Of course, there's selling ad space on your blog, such as through the use of pay-per-click networks like Google AdSense — which is the most popular.

But offering willing advertisers to directly sponsor your blog by buying a post, an ad, or a link is one area that's becoming increasingly popular.

Sites like ReviewMe.com, PayPerPost.com, and Text-Link-Ads.com are effective in allowing bloggers to get paid for selling content or links on their blogs. Basically, these networks bring both bloggers and advertisers together.

Granted, this has been the subject of a lot of controversy lately, particularly about disclosure.…

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man, boy, male

How to Write a Persuasive News Release

May 25, 2007

The most profitable and often overlooked free publicity generator is the news release (also called “press release”, although news release is a better term).

News releases are not only great marketing tools but also far more credible and believable than advertising since they appear to come from an objective third party.

While publicity is the most powerful promotional tool there is, it is the one that is the least effectively used.

All too often, business owners view news releases as a form of advertising. The copy is self-serving, promotional in tone, and one-sided, and offer no real value to a news-reading audience.…

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nuts, almonds, seeds

Going Nuts Over The Lack Of Focus

May 16, 2007

One of my coaching students, Dave Martin, asked me to quickly critique a sales page he will be working on. The site is for “Gourmet Sweet Nuts” by Lady Betsy, which, according to David, are “Gawd-awful good!”

The problem is, this page sells the product directly but was originally intended as an introduction letter to candy stores and dealers. (That explains why it isn't selling as well as it can.)

Just like trying to mix SEO with good sales copy, it's a hard thing to do when your page has more than one goal. It requires skill. But in this particular case, it's best to focus only on one core message.…

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