SEO Tips and Insights Blog

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

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money, coin, investment

The Secret To My Success

August 29, 2006

Now that I’m back from my honeymoon, my inbox and forum have been floodingly busy! In fact, one thread on my Copywriters Board garnered so much interest that it created close to 10 pages worth of posts.

It’s a member’s take on “Michel Fortin’s Success Secret.”

Dale King, the author in question, postulated that in every post and article I write, there’s a “secret” to my success. Although he hinted that the secret can be found in the book “Think and Grow Rich,” the reason why the thread became so popular was because Dale never revealed it until the very end.…

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newsletter, hands, smartphone

The Truth About Mega-Headlines

July 7, 2006

There’s an interesting debate going on in my copywriting forum, about copy cosmetics and specifically the formatting of headlines and subheadlines.

My post here is not to discuss those issues directly. I’ll reserve that for another article.

However, I do want to add my thoughts on one issue that seems to keep coming back in the forum — the issue of using long-winded, excessively wordy headlines that are prevalent on websites nowadays.

One extremely talented member, JayKay, is a graphic designer with a flair for direct response. His thoughtful — and often thought-provoking (and sometimes controversial) — posts are a wonder to read.…

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cape, canaveral, florida

The Myth About Product Launch Copy

July 3, 2006

Many people have said that copy is not important for major product launches. They said that, if the launch is done strategically, and there are ample affiliates promoting your product, people will simply buy even if there were just a simple “buy now” button on the website.

Some people have said this about my copy for John Reese’s famous million-dollar day launch of his course Traffic Secrets. Others have said this about other major product launches. But I can tell you, nothing can be further from the truth.

Arguably, everything that goes into a launch is what makes it successful. Recruiting big-name affiliates, having JVs, writing powerful affiliate copy, using targeted lists, applying scarcity (such as a countdown to a launch), adding social proof, creating buzz, etc.…

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drums, live, dancing

Music Records And Broken Ones

May 30, 2006

A few things to note today:

1. I love WordPress so much, that I decided to convert my band’s website into a blog. (I’m not done yet. More websites to follow!) You see, it’s not really to use as a blog but as a content delivery system.

Why? Because the results (such as search engine rankings, the stampede of instant traffic using blog software, and particularly WordPress’s many plugins) are absolutely astonishing.

Go ahead and check it out (There’s a free video demo there, too. You’ll see yours truly bangin’ on them drums in the background.)

2. Did you catch Clayton Makepeace’s Total Package issue this morning?…

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hanging chair, garden, idyllic

The Benefits Of A Good Chair

May 25, 2006

This is another article was written by one of my junior copywriters, Joe Valente. It’s makes an important point, so I reprinted it here. Take it away, Joe!

Spring is in the air again. I can tell by the way my grass is turning yellow with dandelions, and my hayfever is acting up.

Coincidence? You decide …

As the air warms in my backyard and the birds begin to once squabble at my wife’s bird feeder over the remnants of last year’s seeds, I’m at once overcome with the excitement of a brand new year — because spring always feels more like the beginning of a new year than New Years day, doesn’t it — and at the same time struck by an odd sense of deja-vu.…

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wooden, spinning top, top

From Puffery To Praise: How to Turn Hype Into Sales

May 19, 2006

A spin doctor is a person, mostly politicians and public relations firms, who attempt to do damage control by downplaying something truly negative. They try to put a positive “spin” on something unfavorable.

Are copywriters spin doctors? Maybe.

But there’s a difference between putting a positive spin on a negative idea, versus putting a product, a feature, or an idea in a positive light that can be perceived as negative.

Left to her own devices, a reader can come to many conclusions. Both right and wrong. Both true and false. Both real and nonexistent. Copy, in this case, has the power to steer the reader in the right direction — and therefore avoid going in the wrong one.…

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picking apple, apple picking, woman

Studying Roots? Or Picking Fruits?

April 25, 2006

I’ve been noticing a trend lately that’s starting to aggravate me a little. And I hope you can bear with me throughout this rant, as I do expose a few inside tips for you in the process.

This trend is one that speaks not only to the state of business (and online marketing), but also to the character of some of the people running them.

Warning! This article is not sugarcoated. It’s a lament of sorts, and uses language that is a little stronger than the norm. The lesson might even disappoint a few people. So if you’re looking for some kind of feelgood Pollyanna or rose-colored criticism, back away now.

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hand, draw, pen

Halbert and Carlton Calls – Resources

April 2, 2006

Here’s a list of websites, tools, and resources, most of which are mentioned throughout this site or in the teleseminar audio recordings and transcripts. And while you’re here, don’t forget to let others know about this site and these recordings with the legendary Gary Halbert and John Carlton.


  • Gary Halbert and Michel Fortin – Call #1
  • John Carlton and Michel Fortin
  • Gary Halbert and Michel Fortin – Call #2
  • Resources mentioned on the calls


  • Gary Halbert’s Newsletter
  • John Carlton
  • John Carlton’s Blog
  • Michel Fortin
  • Michel Fortin’s Blog



  • Carlton’s Golf Salesletters
  • Coaching Program
  • Copywriting Services
  • Copywriting Videos
  • Gary Bencivenga
  • E.
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bottles, plastic bottle, bottle

Short Copy Outperforms? Heresy!

March 31, 2006

An interesting discussion is going on in one of my favorite online forums, The Warriors Forum, about short copy winning over long copy. And the author of the thread cited a study he conducted, where he proved that shorter copy won over long copy.

Some people are screaming “heresy!” Others agreed.

Personally, I believe the study conducted is indeed valid because it makes sense. In this particular case, short copy was warranted for this particular market with this particular offer.

But is this true in all cases? When you look at his study closer, you realize that it lacks information about the variables involved, which makes the study, and its findings, a bit misleading.…

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headphones, headset, audio

John Carlton and Michel Fortin

March 22, 2006

This is a call with John Carlton. It’s about two hours long and the recording is split into 30-minute segments. (In the early 2000s, broadband wasn’t fully adopted yet, so the split was to help with downloads.)

You can listen to each part, download the MP3s, or read the transcripts below. Here are links to other calls, including Gary Halbert and a list of resources mentioned on the calls:

Call Recordings

Part #1

Part #2

Part #3

Part #4


Part #1

Michel: We have everybody here now we’re going to start.…

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