The Sixth Annual Web Copywriting Intensive Live Blog

Happy business group demonstrating partnership

Portrait of business colleagues holding each other and laughingDates: February 28th to March 2nd
Time: All Day
Presenters: Nick Usborne, Clayton Makepeace, Ben Settle, and more.
Topics: Everything to do with web writing

The Web Copywriting Intensive is the premier event for online copywriters. It happens annually and attracts some of the biggest names in web writing. The event is exclusive — fewer than one hundred attendees are allowed in. And it is intense.

The web writers who join us this year in Austin are going to be immersed in online copywriting, learning from the best of the best — Nick Usborne, Clayton Makepeace, Ben Settle, Pam Foster, Joshua Boswell.

But here’s a secret. Even if you can’t be in Austin with us, I’m going to do my very best to make you feel like you’re there, on the ground, enjoying the event … and most importantly taking away some incredibly useful tips and insights.

Here’s how it works …

Starting Sunday evening on February 28th, I’ll start posting real-time updates about what’s happening in Austin. I’ll share the most powerful things I learn from each speaker, as I learn them.

Even better, if you have questions about anything related to web writing, you can post them in the comments, and I’ll ask them of the experts during their sessions (or in the hallways … or at dinner … wherever I can pin them down.)

One more thing … at the end of the Web Copywriting Intensive I’m going to enter everyone who commented during the event into a drawing for a free copy of the Web Intensive Home Study Program.

Stay tuned because we’re going to have so much fun!

February 28th, 2016

6:21 pm

It’s beginning!! Nick Usborne is kicking off the Web Copywriting Intensive with a keynote speech. I’m so excited to be here … and so excited that you’re joining me.

A couple of ground rules. First, if you’re a Wealthy Web Writer Platinum member, make sure you’re logged in. Some of my updates will only be available to members.

Second, make sure you participate in the comments. At the end of the Intensive, I’ll select one lucky commenter to receive a copy of the The Web Copywriting Intensive Home Study program, completely free.

All right, let’s get started!

6:31 pm

Nick starts by reminding us all that businesses live and die by words. You, as a web writer, are essential to the success of your clients.

6:34 pm

Now is a time of great abundance for web writers. Some of the opportunities for writers like you include:

  • Specialize in writing home pages
  • Write blog posts
  • Writer evergreen content pages

6:47 pm

Really, I’m just scratching the surface of all the opportunities that Nick is touching on and that we’re going to learn more about over the next few days.

Nick underscores that there are so many professional paths that you can take and do really, really well for yourself. You can absolutely customize the writer’s life to fit your needs and lifestyle.

7:03 pm

One of the cool things about the Web is when one opportunity goes by the wayside, a new opportunity (or opportunities) develop … and quickly.

7:13 pm

Nick has given us a lot to think about in the last hour. I can’t wait to start digging deeper. Speaking of which … I’ll meet you back here tomorrow morning at 8:30 am when Clayton Makepeace will begin breaking down the process of writing a million dollar online sales campaign.

See you then!

7:17 pm

Wait! One final parting thought from Nick. Always ask yourself, whatever you are writing, before you publish it, before you send it to a client, always ask yourself, “How can I make this stronger?” And then do that. That’s how you will beat the competition. It’s how you will get better and better. It’s how you will succeed!

February 29th, 2016

8:15 am

Good morning, Wealthy Web Writers. We’re kicking off the first full day of the Web Copywriting Intensive. In just 15 minutes, Clayton Makepeace will take the stage. His topic today — how to write an online sales page capable of selling millions. It’s going to be fun!

20160301_142329-1.jpg8:36 am

Clayton is excited about what’s happening in the room here. That he has a chance to help impart a skill that can change lives. Not just your life as a writer … but also the clients you work for and their customers, too.

8:41 am

First for a little heresy … don’t start out by thinking about your customer. Instead start by looking at the product and asking yourself, “What does the customer have to believe to make the purchase a foregone conclusion?”

8:55 am

Clayton wants you to be more than a copywriter. If you understand the marketing process, and you help your client design campaigns and funnels rather than just write copy, you can command much higher fees … even when your copy isn’t working.

9:11 am

Don’t write sales letters. Write special reports or informative briefings. Make reading your sales page a valuable experience.

9:23 am

“Rational and emotional benefits. Every product that you ever promote will have two sets of benefits.” -Clayton Makepeace

9:36 am

The first step in the sales process that Clayton is teaching is to engage your readers in a non-promotional event. You’re sharing information that they need and want. And you’re promoting the event with your very best copywriting. But you let them know up front, that during the event, you will not try to sell them anything. You’re pre-selling the product without ever mentioning that there is a product.

9:49 am

Don’t make it easy for people to walk away. If they leave the shopping cart without making a purchase, follow up and offer a down-sell — an alternate product that doesn’t cost as much.

10:01 am

Don’t ignore the pages that support your sales page. Like the order page in the cart. That’s where you will lose most people. Give the copy on that page its due.

10:05 am

After the initial sales campaign, follow up. Ask your non-buying audience why they didn’t buy. Engage them. Then use what you learn to do a live Q&A event to overcome objections. Also include in that event those questions that answer what your audience needs to believe in order to buy from you.

10:13 am

Clayton has covered a lot of ground this morning, in way more detail than I can capture here. But you don’t have to miss a single tip, trick, or key point. You can get them all (and all the tips and tricks in the other sessions, too). All you need to do is reserve your copy of the Home Study Program. You can do that right here.

11:36 am

A bit of break and now we’re back with Clayton Makepeace sharing his formula for writing winning video sales letters.

11:43 am

The most essential difference between video copy and copy on a page is that your viewer can’t skim a video the way a reader can skim and skip around on a page. You need to be aware of the linear nature when you write your copy. One point needs to flow logically into the next.

11:51 am

Pay close attention to all the associated copy that supports your video. The copy that leads people to the video. The button copy that triggers the order. The copy on the order page. The copy that asks them to stay if they decide to exit the page. All of that copy will impact your overall response rate. (And your overall project fee.)

11:59 am

It’s time to break for lunch. I’ll be back here at 1:30 pm to share Brian Edmondson’s secrets for driving traffic to list-building landing pages. This is fundamental, business-building stuff. I hope you’ll join me!

1:39 pm

I’m back and Brian Edmondson has taken the stage. Stay tuned for some powerful tips about building a list … either for you or for your clients.

1:44 pm

When building an online presence, most of your clients will be focused on traffic and conversions. But those things are only part of the picture … if you’re not building a list as part of the plan, then you are not maximizing revenues.

1:57 pm

Why do you need a list?

  • It gives you a way to follow up with visitors.
  • It gives you a way to build relationships.
  • Relationships present sales opportunities.
  • Good follow up to your list will lead to multiple sales.

2:11 pm

Basic list building is the process of offering something of value in exchange for contact information. You can do this on your website, through paid ads, through social media, and through other channels.

2:34 pm

Facebook ads are a huge opportunity for web writers right now. Many companies are looking for writers who understand how to use Facebook ads to drive traffic and build lists.

2:45 pm

For a Facebook ad, you have a visual element, a short headline, a benefit-rich but brief description, and a call to action. Facebook ads are easy to target to a very narrow audience, which means the opportunity for writing and testing multiple ads is big.

3:00 pm

Brian’s presentation has been so visual. He’s shown tons of samples to demonstrate all the steps of driving traffic, capturing leads, and building a list. For the full affect, you’ll need the Home Study Program.

3:51 pm

Ben Settle is on now. Clayton Makepeace says we should steal his stuff … so I’ll be taking furious notes. And sharing them with you, of course.

4:00 pm

When you have your own email list, you basically have your own talk radio show.

You write an email (and when you get good at it, you can do it in about 10 minutes), and then you ask for a sale. After that you go on about your day, doing whatever it is you want to do.

Not a bad lifestyle.

4:13 pm
Ben is sharing 10 approaches to subject lines that work over and over and over again. Here are his top three.

  1. Shock Subject Lines: These get your reader’s attention by making them uncomfortable.
  2. Curiosity Subject Lines: These grab your reader by teasing to something they just have to know more about.
  3. Straight Benefits Subject Lines: These make a big, straightforward promise, but in an interesting way.

4:27 pm

In email, write like you talk or like your client talks.

Ben shares an excellent tip for learning your client’s voice. Do an interview. Ask them to tell you a story about something. And then another. And another. Record the call. Then listen to it. Transcribe it. You’ll have a great sampling of their voice to study and all sorts of phrasing and snippets that you can lift and put directly in your copy.

4:46 pm

When it comes to email marketing, the only thing you can do wrong, is not send anything at all.

March 1st, 2016

8:38 am

Good morning and welcome to the third day of Web Intensive! Pam Foster is joining us to talk about handling multi-page websites as a writer.

8:58 am

Pam has five things that successful websites need to be. And they each start with “C”.

  • Clear
  • Customer-Focused
  • Competitive
  • Consistent
  • Conversion optimized

9:21 am

Make sure that every page in the website you’re working on has a clear call to action. Examples of possible calls to action are:

  • Watch our demo
  • Get a free report
  • Read this next article
  • Start your free trial
  • Order now!

Help your visitor effortlessly know what to do next.

9:36 am

When you’re first contacted by a prospect, get on the phone with them and look at the site together. Let them take the lead. Ask them what’s not working and what is working. Ask lots of questions … especially find out what their biggest struggle is.

9:59 am

A great About page is essential. Focus on why the company does what it does to benefit the customer. In other words, even the About page should be customer-focused. And it should be personal. Engaging. Let the customer get to know the people in the company and the purpose of the company.

11:36 am

So I know I’ve been quiet with the updates. Pam and Nick have been going through visual examples and analyzing what works and what doesn’t and what could be working better. It’s great information, but difficult to capture here. Of course, you can see it all in the Home Study Program.

1:30 pm

And we’re back! Nick Usborne is taking on content marketing, which is a huge topic.

Nick is running through some of the different kinds of content that you’ll find online. There’s blog posts … podcasts … video messages … images … infographics … social media. The list goes on and on and on. And so do the opportunities for web writers.

1:46 pm

Your goal with content should be to create pages that are useful to your reader. Each page should be carefully optimized. Spend time writing the title — this is different from your headline. Spend time writing your description. These are the things that will help readers choose your page as the one they click through to on search engines and in social media.

2:12 pm

With content you’ll see the best success if you write your content geared to connect with people looking for “the fat middle” or “the long tail.” The long tail is optimized for keywords that few people are looking for but almost no companies are writing for. You can also write for the middle ground. These are variations on top-level keywords that fewer pages are optimized for, but many people are looking for.

3:39 pm

While here, I’ve shot a couple of bonus video interviews for Wealthy Web Writer members. They’ll be posted to the site in the next week. But I just want to let you know why I’ve had to disappear a couple of times … I’ve had to take breaks to create other neat and valuable things for you!

3:58 pm

Attracting links is an important part of a content marketing strategy. But you have to earn them. You can’t buy them. Or even ask for them directly. You need to create such great content that great websites and other great writers link to you because they want to, because it is their idea.

4:13 pm

When you’re generating leads — requesting contact information in return for a list sign-up bonus — make the sign-up as easy as possible. And request the least amount of information possible.

4:23 pm

You can create a lot of different posts just starting with the phrases, “What …”, “How to …”, and “Why …”.

So, for example, “What you need to know about making a great cup of coffee,” “Why your teenager won’t go to sleep before 1 o’clock in the morning,” or “How to grow award-winning roses.”

4:39 pm

One strategy for generating content ideas is to look at what “days” are on the calendar. For example, today is National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day. If you’re adding content to a recipe site, you would definitely want to run your favorite peanut butter recipes today.

Today is also National Horse Protection Day. If you work for a client who has anything to do with horses, riding, farming, ranching, or animals in general, today would be a great day to run horse-related content.

5:20 pm

One final update from Nick about content marketing … social media is an integral part of content marketing. Whatever content you create, you want to consider how it will live and be shared on social media.

Nick and Pam both shared a ton of great material today — enough to build a profitable, lucrative business on. Make sure you hear it all when you order your Home Study Program.

March 2nd, 2016

8:19 am

Good morning! It’s the final day of Web Intensive, and today is all about building your business. And who better to lead this kind of discussion than Joshua Boswell?

8:41 am

Joshua is talking about his early days as a copywriter. He struggled. He had potential clients turn him away. His first big client fired him shortly after hiring him. He thought maybe he wasn’t cut out to be a copywriter. But he tried again. He landed a client. It went well. And then things began to snowball. He lined up $80,000 in contracts in a short amount of time.

His point is not everybody is going to like your stuff. It’s okay. Just keep at it. Eventually, you’ll connect with the people who do like your stuff and then things will start to go your way. And once they do, then tend to keep going your way.

8:51 am

It’s important to remember when you market yourself, you’re not marketing yourself to companies … you’re marketing yourself to people. People are the ones who will hire you. People are the ones who will write checks to you. And people want to be respected. They want to be entertained. They want to build their status. So your marketing materials should be geared to real, human people… not companies.

9:07 am

When you work with a client, whether or not they hire you again will have to do with more than just your writing. It will have to do with how much they like you, how easy you are to work with, and how reliable you are. Focus more on the clients you have chemistry with. Those relationships will last longer and be more profitable. Plus, they’ll be more fun.

9:59 am

A writing exercise from Joshua Boswell. Think about a poignant, moving experience in your life. It could be happy or sad. Something that was moving, that struck a nerve, that was intense. For seven minutes write out the story of that memory with as much detail as you can. This doesn’t have to be good. In fact, Joshua gives you full permission to make it terrible. Just write from your gut.

The point of this exercise is to get in touch with your authentic voice. That’s one of the most powerful tools you have as a writer.

10:22 am

As a writer, you are your own best unique selling proposition.

11:03 am

We’ve been doing a lot of hands-on writing exercises this morning to refine our own marketing messages. These exercises are all available on the Home Study Program. In just a few hours, I’ll be selecting one lucky winner from the commenters to receive a free copy of the program. But also keep in mind that today is the last day to enjoy big savings. So if you don’t win a copy here, make sure you get your order in today.

11:05 am

When you’re choosing potential clients to focus your marketing energy on, go after the clients who already know what they’re doing. The ones that have good websites, that have good sales materials, that use email and social media. The ones who already understand and value what you do will be easier to work with and will pay you more, too.

11:20 am

Confusion breeds inactivity. You need to make your marketing message as clear as you possibly can so that the people who want to hire you know exactly why and how to do it.

11:38 am

When you set your fees, it’s better to charge by the project rather than the hour. That way you’re charging for the value you deliver. Not for the time you spend. It keeps you and your client on the same page, which is important for smooth project flow.

11:53 am

A final parting thought from Joshua. Your clients are not interested in making you rich — that’s your job. And you do it by finding ways to help your clients succeed. Not just one time … but over and over again.

That’s a wrap for the Live Blog. It’s been great fun and I thank you so much for joining me! I’ll post the winner of the Home Study Package in a couple of hours, so check back!

2:31 pm

And the lucky winner of her very own copy of the Web Copywriting Intensive Home Study program is (drumroll, please)…

Barbara Brown!!!

I want to thank everyone for following along and for all the great comments. You all made it so much more fun!

Heather Robson

Heather Robson

Managing editor of Wealthy Web Writer, Heather has over ten years of content marketing and development experience.

44 Comments

    • Hi Christine,

      As long as you’re logged into Wealthy Web Writer, you’ll be able to see everything that I post. Some of the posts will be available to everyone and some will be visible only to logged-in Platinum members. Let me know about questions!

  • Thank you Heather, this is very helpful and I really appreciate you and what you write. I won’t be able to attend in person but will be here online. Have a great day!

    • Hi Heather,
      Thank you for doing this for us!
      Just wondering what’s the thinking behind websites using sliders on their home page. Is it a good idea or should it not be used?
      Keep up with the great work!

  • I am so thankful for a way to glean the important information from the Web Intensive, since I was unable to attend. What a great opportunity!

  • This is going to be super helpful. Do you know about what time of day you’ll be posting? I’ll set an alarm on my calendar! Thank you, Heather!

    • Hi Erika,

      Thank you for following. I’ve started posting this evening (the 28th) and I’ll be posting all day tomorrow and Tuesday, plus more Wednesday morning!

  • Hi Heather

    So looking forward to reading your Live Blog.

    I wish I could be there. Would love to be able to meet you and Candice.

    I’ll have to start planning…

    Hope you all have a great time

    Hayley

  • E-newsletters and adding a blog post to my website are two things that are definitely on my list for my business. I didn’t think about writing evergreen content but thats a good idea. That type of content will always be useful. Good ideas!

    • Hi Sabrina. I agree. I’m going to add e-newsletters and get better about blog posts. Never thought about evergreen content. This just goes to show that the possibilities are endless.

      • Hi patay37. I just looked at a video to help me with putting a blog post on my website. I use wordpress. Looks like it’s very easy. WordPress makes a lot of things easy for us . Now all I have to do is write some material to post!
        And you ‘re right. The possibilities are endless. We are the ones that put limitations on things.

  • Sounds awesome, Heather! Wish I was there! But thank-you so much for doing what you’re doing…. for those of us who could not attend! Looking forward to reading your posts etc! Cheers! P.S. I’m setting a goal to attend next year! 😊

  • Heather: Wish I could have joined you there. Maybe next time. Nick Usborne and Clayton Makepeace. What a way to start! No matter what comes out of their mouths, it’s always good info! All my best.

  • Heather, thanks for your enthusiasm & the updates. Trying to keep up with this in addition to COS Headlines & Accelerated Companions … if only I didn’t need to sleep …

    I’ve just come across the term “evergreen” pertaining to a spec assignment and then here. I’ve “assumed” it means continuing content or ongoing assignments, etc. Am I on track here?

    • Evergreen content is content with lasting value. It’s not based on trends but on things that are always true. Thank you for following along!

  • Heather, thank you so much for your wonderful notes during the sessions.
    I feel like I’m there.

    I’m taking valuable gems you’ve shared, and applying them to 2 writing projects I have: an email blast and a direct response sales letter.

    Also:
    Clayton shared his insights about understanding the marketing process, designing campaigns and funnels. The light bulb went off for me. Now I get why I am so driven to work hard to master copywriting.

    Why? I create marketing campaigns and funnels. I know inside out the how what and why the sales they should generate. I didn’t understand, though, this was not obvious to others on the team. Unfortunately, the person writing the copy didn’t grasp the whole picture. The copy missed the mark. Clients have me write more and more copy content. I love doing this. The campaigns make the right connections and work for customers and clients… and everyone! It’s rewarding!

    Thank you!
    Cindy Reed

    • Thank you, Cindy. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the Live Blog. I love your excitement and passion about campaigns and funnels. It really shines through.

      • Thanks, Heather. Understanding the marketing process breathes an extra dimension of life into copywriting. The best part…is not just writing any way, but learning to ‘write the AWAI.’ It is fantastic learning with your programs and the masters you bring to us. Thank you.

  • Hi Heather. Thank you for sharing the snippets of information and making us feel like we are there. I’ll have to plan for next year now. This information will prove to be invaluable to us all as we move along in our careers.
    Pat Bumpass

    • Pat, I’m so glad the Live Blog has made you feel like you’re here. That’s the goal 🙂 But next year having you in here in person would be awesome!

  • Heather, thanks for trying to keep us in the loop! Valuable information. Wish I could be there, but this is the next best thing. I hope to go next year. Thanks!

  • You can feel the energy in you posts, it is true “passion” comes through even in a few sentences! Thank you for being our eyes! Great coverage!

  • Wow! Thank you, Heather, for taking the time to video bonus interviews.

    I’m looking forward to them.

    I appreciate you keeping us connected with the sessions. I can check your updates between my copywriting project deadlines.

  • Thanks, Heather! This has been so valuable! I think your post capturing the tip of not spending too much time teaching in your emails was a surprise. Not something I’ve heard much about, but would like to hear more. Thanks for keeping us informed!

  • Heather,
    Appreciate the insights and commentary. I did attend last year’s Intensive, but couldn’t make it this year. This was a great way to remind me of stuff I’ve already been taught, and re-encourage me to keep trying. I think I’ve heard each one of the speakers at various events, so your blogs put me ‘in front of’ them again.

    Thank you!
    Lisa

  • It would have been great to attend this event. To meet other future (and current) web writers. To do the writing activities live. And to bulk up on the motivation that I’m sure was passed around. It’s just so far away from me — physically and financially. And then of course there’s the stress factor involved in getting out there and trying something new. Maybe I can grow my bank account and my confidence to make the journey next year. I’m glad you all had a good time. Thanks for sharing the experience with us in your blog.

  • Thank you , Heather for sharing with us. It has given me more ideas to use and lots of encouragement! I will try very hard to make the ” live” version next year. Thanks again!

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