Date: February 17th – 20th
Topic: All Things Web Writing
Presenters: Nick Usborne, Jay White, Brian Clark, Joshua Boswell, and many more.
The fastest way to get up to speed when it comes to web copywriting is at AWAI’s Web Copywriting Intensive.
And for three days in Austin, you’re going to literally have a career-transforming experience.
Because this year, we’re gathering some of the most knowledgeable … most respected … and most accomplished web experts in the industry are going to be under one roof.
And all of them have only one goal in mind:
To Turn YOU into a Top-Notch Web Copywriter in Just Three Days!
The Web Copy Intensive is the only place where all of these experts are available to you all at once. Even after the workshops and panels are over, you can go out to dinner with the experts or catch them over breakfast. Plus, you’ll be able to connect with your fellow attendees and set up “mastermind groups” that will last long after the Intensive is over.
This event sells out every year. If you miss your chance to attend, you can still catch the highlight with this year’s Live Blog. On-the-ground, real-time updates come to you as they happen. Don’t miss a minute! The Live Blog begins on February 17th.
February 17th, 2013
We’re kicking off Web Intensive with Nick Usborne. He’s already made two great points. Most web writers when they launch themselves as freelancers are far more skilled than they give themselves credit for and what you do as a web writer is absolutely critical to the success of the businesses you’ll work for.
Nick recommends a classic way to sharpen your skills – write out by hand copy from good copywriters. But he takes it one further – also read the copy out loud. When you do this you’ll get a feel for the rhythm, the cadence, the transitions… all the things that go into writing successful, great copy.
Important Note: If you’re a Platinum member, make sure you’re logged in. There will be some updates published here exclusively for you. If you’re not a Platinum member yet, consider joining us.
To succeed to your fullest potential, plan to nurture your skills, to treat your freelancing venture as a business, to work in an industry that has meaning for you, and to attend to your personal growth.
A final parting thought from Nick. Fall in the love with the process and craft of writing. That passion will make all the difference.
Join me again tomorrow for more updates from Web Intensive!
February 18th, 2013
It’s the first full day of Web Intensive. We’ve enjoyed a networking breakfast together and now we’re listening to Joshua Boswell, whose sorting out the difference between copywriters who treat themselves as commodities and those who treat themselves as business owners. Stay tuned.
With new technologies, you can find any service for dirt cheap. To succeed in the changing industry, you have to recognize what you bring to your clients that is unique and irreplaceable… and then you have to value that. When you do that, your clients will value you, too.
Web Writers Enjoying Breakfast
Nick Usborne has taken the stage. He’s providing a background on how the web came to be and why it changed everything. At the heart of what makes the Internet so powerful is the hyperlink. Just think for a minute what the web would be like without links… it would just be documents online and you’d have to know the address to each one you wanted. You probably don’t think about it very often, but the hyperlink changed everything. It changed the way we do business, the way we research, the way we communicate, the way we write. It’s pretty cool that something so small can have such a big impact.
There are significant differences between writing copy for the web and writing it for print. One of the things you have to keep in mind when writing online is that you have only three seconds to grab and hold your audience’s attention and the best way to do that is not necessarily through sales language.
But there are also things that are the same. For example, it’s imperative that you understand your audience no matter what medium you’re writing for.
Nick makes the point that online, words are still what make the difference. If you take a website and strip out all the design, you might still make sales. If you take the same site and strip out all the words, it won’t do anything. Design is important, but words set companies apart.
The language of the web is one-on-one, from one user to another. Corporate speak doesn’t work. Ad agency cleverness doesn’t work. Be real when you write for the web.
The fundamentals of web writing:
- Be clear about your purpose and audience
- Tell people what you want them to do
- Tell people what YOU do
- Use few words at the beginning… more as your reader moves deeper into the site
Always strive to make the websites you work on customer-centric – visitor-centric – rather than company-centric. The web is a customer’s medium, so you need to tell them about what you can do for them rather than why your website or company is so great.
If your headlines and subheads don’t tell your visitor that she’s in the right place, she’ll never read the body text.
Treat all your web writing as important. Even things like policies, disclaimers, and FAQs should be written in an authentic and engaging voice. Put some color in your copy!
And on that note, we’re going to break for lunch. But join me again at 1:00 pm to get more web-writing tips from Nick Usborne.
We’re back from the lunch break. In the next hour and a half, Nick plans to share 22 optimization techniques you can use to help the web copy you write perform better.
Three tips from Nick on making any web page more effective.
- Use short, explanatory text to expand on your headline. Make each piece of information easy to read, useful, and easily-digestible.
- Help your visitors find things. Pick out the four or five pages on the site where 80 percent of visitors usually go and make links to those pages stand out.
- Tell people what they should do next. People take action when they are certain how to act. If they’re uncertain, they’ll leave.
If you want to see the rest of Nick’s 22 tips for increasing response, you don’t have to miss out just because you’re not here. Order the Web Intensive Home Study Program and discover each and every tip Nick shares. Plus you’ll get access to every session from both the beginner and advanced tracks. And you’ll get it all for one heck of a deal. Check out the details.
Nick just wrapped up. In a few minutes Jay White will join us to talk about how to write a stellar autoresponder message. It’ll be fun, so stay tuned!
Jay White is beginning by sharing what an autoresponder is.
- An automatic email or series of emails sent to a prospect or customer.
- Sent using autoresponder software.
- Messages can be sent in any order, sequence, and timeframe. These conditions are preset and then subscribers begin receiving the messages automatically after signing up.
- The messages can be segmented by list, demographic, or buying history. And they can be personalized.
One of the keys to writing an effective autoresponder is tapping into “water cooler” conversations. Think about what you would talk about normally with people and then look for a connection with the want, need, desire, or problem that the product or service you’re writing about gives answer to. Lead with the “water cooler” talk and then weave your connection to bring your reader into the soft sell.
The most effective autoresponders open with a story. The story isn’t meant to sell. It’s meant to connect. To that end, you also want to write in casual language. Don’t be afraid to use fragments, slang, and other improper grammar. It makes your writing easier to read.
The basic components of an autoresponder are an engaging, story-based lead; a “kinda like” statement that connects your story to a problem your audience is dealing with; a vivid and uncomfortable look at the problem; and then a concrete, benefit-oriented description of the product and how it solves the problem.
Leave your subject line for last. Read through your completed autoresponder closely and look for a phrase or idea that really jumps out. Then rework that for your subject line. DON’T get too sales-y. You’ll lose people.
That’s a wrap for today. Tomorrow, we’ve got Brain Clark from Copyblogger talking about creating awesome online content, Jean Baliko giving the inside scoop on using marketing metrics, and Nick Usborne digging into social media. Join me!
And, don’t forget, if you want to have access to every tip, every insight, every strategy to help you succeed as a freelance web writer, reserve your copy of the Web Intensive Home Study Program. You’ll save $800 off the list price and get a $1485 credit towards next year’s live Web Intensive event. Click here to find what you need to know…
February 19th, 2013
Joshua Boswell is getting us started for the day. He makes the interesting point that true creativity often happens within constraints. Think of it like a sonnet. You can write about whatever you want, but for it to be a sonnet, the cadence and syllables and rhymes have to follow a certain pattern. The larger point and the one relevant to you as a web writer is that when you are trying to decide on a niche try setting some constraints on the types of industries or companies you will choose to work with and see what happens.
Brian Clark is on… and he’s wearing a suit. If you get the Home Study program, you’ll know why that’s funny.
Brian Clark is the founder of Copyblogger and one of the top content marketing specialists in the industry. Content marketing is really just Internet marketing… the content builds the know-like-trust factor that helps build the prospect relationships that eventually lead to sales.
As a web writer, you have to have a Google+ account. And you have to link your content to that account. This will build your Google author rank, which is going to be an increasingly big deal when it comes to how your articles rank and how you attract organic traffic.
Brian anticipates that in 2013, web writers are going to become incredibly important and incredibly valuable to businesses – more so than they already are. Brian’s goal is for everyone here to walk away with a full understanding of their importance… and to be prepared to take on not just a writer’s role, but also a consultant’s role.
When it comes to picking topics for the content that you want to develop, start with the audience and what they actually need and want to read about.
Good content + a strong social presence + a strong search presence = success…
Success being more traffic, more prospects, and ultimately more sales.
Don’t take just any project that comes along. Make sure you work for high quality clients, writing for products that you really believe in.
Brian’s points about authorship and content development get to the heart of how Internet marketing is done now. He provides an excellent blueprint on how to develop your freelance web-writing business (or any online business, for that matter). I can’t cover all the points here–there’s just not room (and I can’t type fast enough). Get the Home Study. Seriously. You need this information.
We’re back from the lunch break and it’s time for the social media segment of our program. Nick Usborne is going to share how social media is changing the landscape for web writers and how it spells big opportunity for you.
Nick Usborne: “Most companies have a social media presence… but most of them suck at social media. That creates endless opportunities for you.”
One of the primary goals of social media is to engage readers. One of the best ways to do that is to be responsive to your readers’ questions and to be a real person. Let people see the real you.
If you’re interested in B2B web writing, B2B companies use social media more than any other content marketing strategy. The lead goal for B2B social media is lead generation. The fun thing about B2B social media is that you can take very dry topics and find really creative, very entertaining ways to connect with prospects.
The rise of social media is forcing writers to optimize content to be shareable. It starts with the headline, and often a mysterious headline beats a useful headline.
Social media provides an excellent opportunity to set up retainer contracts, so that you get paid month after month to maintain your clients’ social media presence.
Get all the details of Nick’s social media presentation, plus see the presentations that I wasn’t able to cover (I can’t be in two places at once), including Jay White’s session on the latest marketing techniques for email copywriters, Brian Edmondson’s session on how to build a list, and Jean Baliko’s session on marketing metrics when you reserve your copy of the Web Intensive Home Study Program.
February 20th, 2013
Don’t forget to log in to your Wealthy Web Writer Platinum account. There are updates here that are hidden if you’re not logged in.
From Joshua Boswell: Being vulnerable is a very, very important key to becoming successful. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable helps you open up to new opportunities.
Mark Everett Johnson and Lee Bellinger are kicking off their session… video sales letters. This innovation is changing everything. I can’t wait to hear what they say.
In normal direct mail or email marketing, if you can boost the response by 25 percent, you’re a hero. Video sales letters can double response over the same copy presented in print.
In a typical marketing situation, you don’t necessarily want to make a profit when landing a new customer. For acquisition, you want to land as many new customers as possible, so you should break even or even lose a little money. Where you (or your client) will make your real money is on repeat sales.
Mark and Lee are doing a full breakdown of one of their most successful video sales letters… showing us how the script and the slides come together. It’s a fascinating process with a lot of visuals. I hope you’ll order the Home Study Program so you can see the full session.
Wow! I can’t believe we’re entering our last session. First things first, Pam Foster is going to get us up and moving around 🙂
All right… we had a little “Moves Like Jagger” moment and now it’s time to get down to work.
Pam’s first point is that so many companies – even big companies – that are making obvious mistakes in their online marketing. When you come in and help them fix those and improve their results in the process, you become a hero.
When you’re first getting to know a client or beginning a new project, it’s important to find out everything you can about the target offering, what makes the company and the product unique, and what possible keywords people might use to find the product online.
When sending copy to a client, consider sending it both as a Word document and as a pdf. The pdf will ensure that your formatting stays true, which gives your client greater clarity as far as how things will look. Sometimes Word can lose formatting if your client is working in a different version than you are.