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Crafting Words that Get Results.

Your Profit-Boosting web copywriting specialist for the fitness, lifestyle and travel industries.

Jan

31

What is conversational writing?


Conversational writing

So, what is this Conversational Writing all about?  It’s a unique copywriting style designed to do one thing:

Increase your sales. 

These days, consumers are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages daily.  Your message needs to break through the noise and grab their attention.  It needs to engage your reader, so they stay on your site longer (or continue to the end of the direct mail piece.)  And it needs to keep their attention until your offer and the close (you do have something to sell, after all.  Right?) 

The best way to do this is with Conversational Writing.

Conversational copywriting

Conversational Writing, or more specifically, Conversational Copywriting, connects with people.  It’s the best voice to use when getting your message out, because it speaks to your reader as a regular person. 

Conversational Copy stays away from big, fancy words.  This isn’t The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, or The New England Journal of Medicine (all very well written, though.)  

The purpose of Conversational Copy is not to impress people.  Aside from pretentious people and intellectual academics, no one speaks in paragraph-long sentences sprinkled liberally with $5 words.  Average folks speak in sentences that are about 7-12 words.

First trust, then a sale

Conversational Copy puts the reader at ease, because she’s not intimidated or bogged down in prose.  It shows that the writer is a regular person, too, someone your reader can easily relate to.  When there’s trust, a sale is much more likely to follow. 

This conversational voice is key in writing strong, compelling copy.  It understands what keeps your reader up at night, and what she thinks about when she first wakes up.  It addresses her concerns in an honest and sincere way.  Understands her worries, needs, hopes and fears.

The “Coffeeshop Test”

Conversational Copy passes what some marketers call the “barstool test”.  Here at Conversational Writing, LLC, I call it the “Coffee Shop Test” (yes, it’s a term I coined.)  It sounds the way two friends would talk over coffee at the corner coffee shop if one was trying to convince the other of her position on something.  

Natural conversation with good flow.  Thoughts and ideas connected to each other in a logical way.  An easy-flowing, conversational tempo. 

Conversational Copy (or “Coffee Shop Copy”) is a respectful, intelligent, convincing style of winning people to your way of thinking. 

23 years of direct sales experience

Since 1986 I’ve been in direct sales, dealing one-on-one, face-to-face with consumers.  It’s taught me a lot.  I’ve learned that people buy when they feel they know you and  trust you.  When there’s a reasonably good offer.  And when they feel they aren’t being “sold”. 

That’s not as easy as it sounds. 

Most copywriters are more concerned with writing “killer copy” and bombarding the reader with one benefit after another. 

Other copywriters promise “hypnotic” writing that will “mesmerize your readers”.  If you want someone like that, there’s plenty who fit the bill. 

My approach is more subtle, more genuine, and more often than not, gets better results. 

Bottom line: results

Conversational Copy always convinces the reader to take action.  It just does it in a very skillful, conversational style (versus a heavy-handed, “telemarketer-ish” way.)  

Most likely, your prospects are already somewhat interested in your product or service.  They don’t need to be sold from square one, but they do want to be convinced. 

You’ll have a lot easier time convincing them if your copy is upbeat and easy to read.  And that can only happen if they’re comfortable with the tone of your letter.  And if they like and trust the person who’s writing to them. 

When I write Conversational Copy for you, your prospects will like you.  They’ll trust you.  And most importantly, they’ll buy from you.


Jan

30

Copywriting for religion and politics? Really.


I also write web and print direct-response copy for two areas that mom always said to avoid in polite company and at the dinner table…

Religion and politics

Yes, I admit it.  I’m taking the risk of turning off half the population here (or 51%, depending on where you live), but let me explain. 

If you’re a Christian or conservative organization, and need to connect with your readers and get them to respond, I’m your guy. 

There aren’t many copywriters who do this at all, and fewer still who do it well.

Conversational and conservative

Planning a fundraising campaign?  Maybe jump-starting a political run, and need to get support fast?  Or perhaps you just need to get the vote out on a particular issue or candidate? 

I also help for-profit Christian and conservative businesses increase sales. 

I write clear, concise, conversational, conservative copy–that sells.  I have a passion for conservative causes, and it runs through my blood.  This isn’t something you can fake, and you shouldn’t trust your copy to just anyone.

Persuading hearts and minds

I understand the hearts and minds of Christians and conservatives.  I’ll connect with them on a deep, emotional level and move them to action

I’m a proud Christian conservative, and consider it a true privilege to write persuasive copy for organizations and individuals whose beliefs align with mine. 

Please call me toll-free at 1-888-207-4916 or local in the Madison area 608-848-2679 to discuss your needs. 


Jan

29

Copywriting that launched an empire


How the power of good copy launched an empire

In his Business Common Sense newsletter last July, direct marketer Denny Hatch suggested that “exclusivity” is an often overused term. But in a copywriting sense, it conveys the benefits of privilege and privacy (something many people crave in this age of social media proliferation and transparent personal information.) 

One of the best copy examples of exclusivity is the classic International Living letter, which starts out, “You look out your window, past your gardener…” 

The greatest copywriter in the world today

Bill Bonner wrote that copy in 1979, before International Living even existed (if the mailing wasn’t successful, he wouldn’t have published it.) The letter got great results, Agora Publishing was up and running, and today is worth several hundred million dollars. 

Two of Bonner’s websites still masterfully use the idea of exclusivity: www.oxfordclub.com and www.bonnerfamilyoffice.com. They’re worth studying, and if possible, emulating in some way.

Need help? Direct response copywriting of this sort is exactly my specialty. (And I had the privilege of  meeting the master himself last November.)


Jan

28

Local search engine results pumped up


Help local customers find you online

Since most customers rely more on search engines than telephone books to find what they’re looking for these days, it’s important for them to be able to find you. It’s estimated that 40% of the 10 billion unique searches in the U.S. each month are for local services, businesses and products. 

Whether you do this yourself, or hire a web copywriting specialist to improve your search engine results, when you establish your local online listings you’ll soon see an influx of local customers online and in the flesh.

SEO copywriting

Dev Basu, an expert in local SEO (Search Engine Optimization), gave some simple tips in Web Marketing Today recently. (http://www.wilsonweb.com/local/basu-claim-local-listings.htm

First, there are three main business centers where you’ll want to register a business listing: Google Local Business Center, Bing and Yahoo. Sign up as a user at each one, and complete a profile.

Second, it’s important to maintain a consistent format at all three for the name, address and phone. Complete the profile as comprehensively as possible, filling in all fields, including a keyword-rich business description. Use a local phone number rather than a toll-free number for additional local search engine ranking power. Upload or link to as many business images and videos as possible. 

Finally, when you’re ready to verify your information, you’ll be contacted either by phone with a secret PIN to identify you, or with a postcard mailed to the business location. 

Follow these steps, and you’ll have the basics covered for local business listing. With a little research (and a future article here), you can go further and really optimize those listings.


Jan

27

A double espresso jolt of creativity


Business ideas for creative minds

Do more great work by boosting creativity 

Where do you get your great ideas from? Michael Bungay Stanier, founder of the Box of Crayons consulting firm and author of the book Do More Great Work, offers three creativity pointers:

  1. Stop being so efficient. You exhaust your brain by doing everyday boring stuff. Turn off your phone. Ignore email.
  2. Ask yourself some big questions. What’s the boldest thing I could do? What one thing would have the biggest impact?
  3. Sleep on it. You’ve probably heard this idea, but it really does work. Before you go to bed, review the problem you’re trying to solve. If an idea comes to you when you’re in the half-state between wakefulness and deep sleep, write it down.

And this idea (not from Stanier) – a lot of creative business owners I know keep a small notebook with them wherever they go (including within reach on their nightstand.) You never know when a creative bolt will hit you, even at 3 AM.


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About Steve Roller

Steve Roller started Web Content Copywriting to help you maximize your web content and get more customers.

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"Steve Roller came through for me with solid research, sound insights and valuable input for a major copywriting project of mine, involving direct-response advertising encompassing every medium: print, direct-mail, internet, and broadcast."

- Dan S. Kennedy, Consultant/Copywriter, Author, NO BS series - www.NoBSBooks.com

"Steve Roller is a ‘go-to’ copywriter. When you need copy that connects with your prospect … that persuades him to take action … Steve’s the copywriter to turn to."

- Katie Yeakle, Executive Director, AWAI, www.awaionline.com