Monthly Archives: May 2008

Everyone wants a “killer headline” but what is it?

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of copywriting websites offering “killer headlines”. But what makes a “killer headline” and will it work for your business?

“Killer Headlines”! The what and the why…

“Killer headlines” are headlines that are supposed to grab the attention of your customers in such a way that they give them a virtual lobotomy, stifling all rational thought and objections and making them reach for their credit cards and the “buy Now!” button. Do they work? Obviously on some people they do but maybe – just maybe – that product or service would have sold anyway if it offered great value and had quality copywriting of the non-sleaze variety.

Why do they work? They usually work on curiosity. They lead you in and then the body copy does the rest. (That’s the way all good copy is supposed to work.) The problem I see with them is that the pages they appear on – often call “squeeze pages” -usually look sleazy and if you pay attention you can feel yourself being manipulated. That maybe OK if you have a product that you want to sell once but if you want any sort of relationship with your customers then my feeling is that they are counter-productive.

Guard your reputation

If your business has a solid reputation and the products and services you sell offer genuine value, my feeling is that using “killer headlines” and “squeeze pages” devalues your business. It lumps you in the “make undreamt of wealth from the internet” category of business.

It’s the old story of the turtle and hare

Killer headlines and squeeze pages may get you fast, even spectacular results, but for how long? They are becoming so common that the public is waking up to the manipulation and even non-web-savvy people recognise what’s coming. Relationships, referrals and repeat business are what success is about. That’s built on trust not manipulation. Remember the turtle wins the race!

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How to manage your blog content

In my preceding post – “Blogs – why you need one” – I said I’d address how to make sure you have adequate content for your blog. So here are my tips.

Tips for managing your blog content

You need to make sure that you add posts frequently or regularly (at least once per week). Here are some ideas:

  • Before you even start a blog, write down at least 30 topics you can write about – preferably perennial subjects that won’t date.
  • Once every month replace the number of topics you have used plus two more.
  • If topical material presents itself grab it and run with it.
  • Write decent length articles and then split them into two or three blog posts.
  • Check out other blogs in your area of interest and participate in any debates they have started – giving due credit of course.

Blogs – why you need one

Many businesses I know are resisting having a blog on their site. And I can understand why. It’s a lot of work. But just focusing on the negative aspects of blogging can blind you to the undeniable benefits.

OK! So what are the benfits of blogging?

I like to keep my blog posts short but useful, so instead of waxing lyrical about the benefits in a short essay, I’ll give you a list.

  • they get syndicated bringing much needed exposure
  • they can increase site traffic
  • they allow you to promote your business economically
  • they allow your customers to interact with you
  • they help people get to know you
  • they add a freshness and vibrancy to your website
  • if you don’t have one and your competitors do then you’ll be left behind
But isn’t is too hard?

Certainly it takes time to write blog posts but they don’t have to be the size of War and Peace! It’s really all a question of planning and I’ll tackle this in my next post. For now all I’m advising is, don’t dismiss blogs out of hand. Think seriously about adding one to your site.

Using SEO to qualify your prospects

SEO is not a “one-size-fit fits all” service – or it shouldn’t be. Apart from all the tinkering with content and creating reputable in-bound links you really need to look at who your customers are and find out what they are looking for.

Use your keywords to refine your prospects and increase your rank

For example if you are printer who specialises in variable data printing then use the phrase “variable data printing” in your keyword metatags as well as in your copy. There are thousands of hits each day for printing but less than a hundred for “variable data printing”*. If you have the right saturation of this phrase then chances are when people search for you, you’ll be closer to the top than those who use it once and/or use the generic “printing” keyword. What’s more you know that more of your website visitors are qualified prospects.

*according to seobook.com’s keyword tool.

Web 2.0 – what is it? And what does it mean for you and your business?

Web 2.0 and Social Networking are the current web buzzwords. Do you know what they mean? And do you know what they mean for your business?

Interactive web technologies

Web 2.0 technologies provide a more interactive web experience than was possible in static websites. Web 2.0 technologies allow visitors to your site to interact in a number of different ways. They can comment on your products and services; give testimonials; ask questions and spread the word to other possible customers by bookmarking with sites like ma.gnolia and digg. They promote the formation of online communities with common interests – hence the term social networking.

Web 2.0 has seen the birth of blogs – the good, the bad and the downright awful!

Blogs have their plusses and minuses. On the plus side, they let you add fresh copy to your site easily and allow you to talk to your customers. When you have comments enabled then they allow your customers to engage in a conversation with you. What’s more, they get syndicated, which can bring much needed traffic to your site. On the minus side, they take a lot of work and can quickly become stale if you don’t post to them regularly. They also need copy and lots of it. Blogs that work take creativity, enthusiasm and commitment. If you would like to add a blog to your site but don’t have the time to write it yourself The Copywriter Online can help. Contact us for a quote.

Protecting Australian jobs

I was saddened when I heard on the news that good old Westpac, despite making billions in record profits, was looking at moving jobs offshore. And I was wondering what, if anything, could be done to stop jobs being hived off to India and all points cheaper on the map? Then I had an idea. So here it is Mr Swan if you’re listening…

Put a payroll tax on offshore job positions

I don’t know if this would work but it seems to me that to stop losing Australian jobs without whittling away the pay and conditons of Australian workers, we need to make overseas positions more expensive. If we taxed companies per head of offshore employee then this would be a less attractive option. What’s more it would swell the Treasurer’s coffers so he can fix our health system!

Anybody got any thoughts?