Is Copy Dead?

It is, according to Tim Riley, the head of copy for the U.K. advertising giant AV BBDO.  In The Drum, Riley talks about judging a copywriting contest:

“Once upon a time, it would have taken us the best part of a day to read through all the long copy ads. This time there were so few that it only took us an hour. We shook our heads sadly and pondered the death of the copywriter’s art. I think we all thought we’d be finished by lunchtime.”

That’s the smh stuff, but here’s the good news from Riley:

“So, ‘copy’ may be dead. But as far as I can see, if you’re a copywriter, things couldn’t be better. There are more opportunities than ever before.”

If you are a small business owner, you need copy.  If you are an internet marketer, you need copy.  If you are a fledgling entrepreneur of any sort, you need copy.  Advertising copy is how you leverage everything else that you do to market your business.

You’ve heard the detractors: people’s attention today is shorter than that of a goldfish.  People scan and skim, they no longer read.  People want short, easily consumed content.  Yada, yada, yada.

Advertising copy is what sells products.   Those who believe that the power of copy is diminished to the point of total ineffectiveness are pointing to the newer ways of influencing buyers like

  • Social media
  • Blogs
  • Articles
  • Email Marketing
  • Content marketing
  • YouTube

If you’ve been around this blog, you’ve seen content about every one of those mediums.  Whether it’s a long copy advertisement or a tweet, it all comes down to the same thing: great content.  Let’s think about fully utilizing what’s available to us today.

If you apply the rule of seven to your marketing,  you’ll see how this works best.  The rule of seven says that it takes a minimum of seven contacts in an 18-month period to turn a prospect into a buyer.  This is why email marketing is so effective.  With email marketing, you can create those seven touches in a week or less (just make sure that every touch is a positive experience for your email subscribers – too many emails in too short a time can also mean lots of unsubscribes).

Incorporating all the channels in the bullet points above, makes getting to the seven touches much easier than it used to be.  Delivering your touches in a variety of platforms helps to imprint your brand on the minds of potential buyers.

Social media can drive brand awareness and traffic to your blog.  Articles on your blog and elsewhere can also build your brand awareness.  Content marketing through your blog and elsewhere is one of the most effective ways build your brand awareness.  YouTube is a powerful platform for distributing content.  Now, where does the selling come in?

It comes in at the sales page that you write for your products and services.  The old adage is still true, “the more you tell, the more you sell.”   The shift today is the more you tell is told across more platforms.

According to Bill Bonner of Agora Publishing, in this age that is dominated by images, copy is getting longer.  If that sounds counterintuitive, it is.  But, consider this.  Today, sales copy is part of social media, email, and every other platform that you use to get potential buyers to your sales page.

If you can see that all communication for your business is part of your marketing strategy, you will understand that copy is not dead, it has spread onto a wide variety of platforms that work together to help you achieve your business objectives.

So, how can you use the various platforms available to you to present valuable content to potential buyers?  It’s not copy that is dead; it is that dead copy will kill a business.  Write great content for all the channels that you use, and you’ll find how alive good copy is and how it builds your bottom line.  If you need help with your copy, go here.

I invite your comments and questions and your likes and shares.

How to Build a Blog That Builds Your Business

Are you currently blogging for your business? A question and answer on the Warrior Forum may cause your to reconsider if you’re not.

A post on Warrior Forum, “Must you have a blog?” has generated nearly 4,000 replies.   The question is framed in terms of affiliate marketing – is a blog essential?

Dave O said, “I don’t think a blog is necessary but it certainly can be helpful in building an audience or fan base.

“I started with trying to build a blog about something I’m personally passionate about. After a few postings I realized that I had turned something I loved into work. I’ve killed off my blog and am now looking at other avenues.”

icoachu replied, “I tend to lean toward the MUST camp.

Why?  Blogging can be an important part of your personal branding.  It is one of the most powerful means to get your message out there and build a base for your business.


I believe that a blog is essential.  You can do affiliate marketing without one, but how are you going to establish yourself as someone who your prospects can know, like and trust?

You can try to establish your authority through emails, and if they read them you might make some good headway.  But with a blog you can offer valuable content that demonstrates that you know your stuff.  Sure, they can skip that too, but with blog post after blog post, you can  create a body of work that’s hard to ignore.

As icoachu suggests, your blog should be used to build your brand.  Your blog can be one of the most important ways that you establish with your prospects that you know what you’re talking about.  Your blog becomes your home base where people can see that you know what you’re talking about.

Marian says, “I can’t imagine my marketing without my own site/blog. There is so much more that you can do when you have it.. like promoting more of your and affiliate products, interacting with visitors, branding…”

How to Get Started Blogging

  1. Decide what you will blog about.  Start with your passions and interests and determine what can be a profitable niche for you.
  2. Get your own domain.  Blogging on a blogging website is for amateurs.  If you want a business blog, start by getting a domain.  The best domain name is
  3. Find a hosting company.  I recommend TMD Hosting.  I have found them to offer great support and a reasonable price.
  4. Choose a blogging platform.  I recommend  It is easy to use and has many plugins that will make your blog even better.
  5. Use a simple theme for your blog design.  Google says that users love simple and familiar designs.
  6. Start writing great content!

7 Must-Have Plugins 

Okay, so you’re up and running with a WordPress website for your blog.  Now, what plugins are best for your website?

  1. I recommend Askimet for controlling spam comments.  They’re a pain, but they are an unfortunate part of allowing comments.  Do allow comments, but do use a spam filter like Askimet.
  2. Social Media Sharing buttons are a must.  I use AddToAny Share Buttons.
  3. Broken links are aggravating for readers, so I use Broken Link Checker to ensure that I don’t have broken links on my website.  I recommend that you do likewise.
  4. Google XML Sitemaps will help your SEO ranking.  I recommend it.
  5. Security is a must and I recommend Wordfence.  It stops people from doing all kinds of malicious activity to your website.
  6. Speed is a must.  I use Above the Fold Optimization.
  7. Yoast SEO is a great tool that will improve your search engine optimization.

That’s all there is to it to start.  I can’t imagine my marketing without my own website blog either.  So, do you have a blog?   Are you putting valuable content on it regularly (regularly is important too!)?  Are you using your blog to brand yourself and your business?

As always, I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.



12 Tips For Getting More Social Media Followers

Social Media Marketing can be an essential component for any online marketing strategy, but how can you make it most effective?  One goal for your SMM should be growing your base of followers.  Here are twelve tips for doing just that.

  1. Choose the channel or channels that will be best for your content.  Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, or other media channels, there will be some that work best for you.  Find those channels and use them well.
  2. Follow others in your own niche, particularly influencers.  Comment on their content, but also take notice of what they’re talking about.  How are they communicating?  Take time to learn from the influencers in your niche.
  3. Reshare good content from others.  Find a good balance between your content and the content of others.  This will do two things – you’ll get noticed by the person who created the content that you’re sharing and could incline them to share your content at some point, and it helps your followers by exposing them to content that can help them.
  4. Have a strategy concerning how you will differentiate your content from others.  How will you stand out?  While it’s good to learn from influencers in your niche, it’s not good to be a “me-too” personality.  Develop your own online persona that enables you to stand out from the crowd.
  5. Share frequently.  Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Quora, or some other social media platform, stay in the game.  The general rule is that the more you share, the more followers you will gain.  As a metric, CoSchedule recommends posting 15 times a day to Twitter, four posts a day to LinkedIn, and one post a day to Facebook.
  6. Did you know that there are two types of social media posters – some are “mesharers” and others are informers.  Be the second kind.   Most people don’t want to know every detail of your life.  A Rutgers University study revealed that informers have twice as many followers as mesharers.
  7. According to Chartbeat, the best time to share is between 1 pm and 3 am.  Obviously, with different time zones, if your audience is international, it’s 1 pm somewhere when you post, whatever time it is where you sit.  Find the time window that’s best for when the bulk of your followers and those you want to follow you are most available.
  8. Provide great content.  It matters what you write, and the quality of your writing will demonstrably affect how many followers you can add to your audience.  Keep your posts a reasonable length, don’t hard sell, use images, and inform and educate through your posts.
  9. Offer timely responses to those who comment on your content.  The rule for Twitter is to respond within one hour.  If it’s a complaint, respond even faster.
  10. Produce great content on your blog.  Great graphics including infographics are a great way to get social media shares.  Definitely have social media sharing buttons on your blog to make it easy for your readers to share your content.  A click to tweet plugin is a good way to encourage sharing.
  11. Create videos.  Videos do well on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.  By the way, images do well on Twitter.
  12. Business Insider and Facebook both report that milestone posts do well.  Weddings, graduations, birthdays, and awards are some of the milestones that CoSchedule suggest.  Just don’t become a mesharer too often.

Those are my 12 best tips; what would you add?  I invite your comments and questions and your likes and shares.

12 Tips For Personal Branding

Today’s Throwback Thursday post returns from February 2015, when it was published as “4 Tips For Personal Branding.”  The original post has been expanded, including 8 more tips and a great infographic.

Have you ever thought of yourself as a personal brand?  When people hear your name, what do they think?  Whatever it is that your name evokes in others is your personal brand.

Michael Jordan, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger, Kate Spade, and Vera Wang are all people who have turned their names into recognizable brands.  Donald Trump is another one.  You may hate his naming buildings after himself, but he has definitely built his personal brand.

As Clark suggests, another word for branding is reputation.  What do you want your reputation to be in the marketplace?  Building your personal brand is one way that you build your credibility.  When people see what you can do, they will learn to trust you more and more and your influence will grow.  Here are my 12 best tips for maximizing your personal branding.

12 Tips for Personal Branding

  1. Have you thought about your brand attributes?  If you haven’t, this is where to start.  What is your niche?  What is it that differentiates you from everyone else in your niche?  What do you want people to think about when they think about your business?  How do you want people to perceive you?
  2. Find out what your public persona is right now by googling yourself.  Does your Google search lead with what you want to be known for?  If not, create content that will shape your personal branding and put that content on your website and anywhere else you can on the internet.
  3. If you don’t have one yet, get a personal website.  As you can see, I have a personal website and through it I communicate about the many different aspects of internet marketing.  Your website will immediately expand your online presence.  Your   website will be a reflection of you, so make sure it has a professional appearance.  Put your face on the front page so people know who they’re dealing with.  This too is part of your branding.
  4. Include an About Me page on your personal website so people can get to know you better.  Part of the work of your website is for people to know, like, and trust you.  The more relevant information that you can provide as you tell your unique story, the better chance you have to get people to know, like, and trust you and to elevate your personal branding.
  5. If you haven’t done so, do a SWOT analysis.  This is a survey of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.  For more on this, you can go here.  Once you’ve identified your strengths, consider how you can build on them.  Develop your strengths to strengthen your brand.  This includes how you communicate your strengths.
  6. Build a following as you build your brand.  Use social media to present yourself and use the opportunities that you are given to define yourself.  By focusing on your strengths, putting your personality into your communication, and communicating the real you, you will develop a following of others who learn to like and trust you.
  7. Learn from others.  How have others in your niche branded themselves?  Learn from them, but don’t copy them.  Your objective is to carve out your own place in your niche.
  8. Whatever your brand is, consistently deliver value in your own unique way.  Don’t be a “me too” brand.  Copycats generally don’t win, so be yourself, and put your best self out there.
  9.  Offer value in everything you post.  Whether it’s a blog post you’ve authored like this one, or something you grab from elsewhere, it all contributes to your personal branding.  On your website, you control content and your content will create perceptions about you in the minds of others.  So, make sure that everything you put on your personal website enhances your brand.
  10.  The more venues that your name is seen, the faster your personal branding will expand. Tie social media to your branding efforts by using Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and other social media platforms to build your brand.  Your pages and your comments on other pages can all contribute to your branding.  
  11. Use thoughtful tweets, comments, and announcements to build a fan base for your brand.  You can also build your brand through podcasts and videos.  Any way that you can increase your online presence in a positive manner will grow your brand and your ability to monetize your brand.
  12. Make your email list your best tool in brand management.  This could have been #1, but you’ve probably heard about this one before.  A targeted. responsive email list can become the top asset for your business.   Email your subscribers regularly, otherwise you will be quickly forgotten.  Nurture your email list through providing valuable content.

Here’s a great infographic on personal branding from sestyle:


What would you add to my 12 tips or the infographic?  I invite your comments and questions and your likes and shares.