25 Lessons I Learned from 25 Years of Freelancing

Next month, August 3rd, I'll be celebrating 25 years as a self-employed copywriter (slash consultant, slash trainer, slash other vocations I've tried!) So, I thought it would be interesting to list all I've learned about being a successful freelancer and share that...

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Writing a Call-to-Action That Gets Prospects “Jumping”

When I was 21, I jumped out of a plane. It was the main event of a weekend program I took at a local parachute club, which culminated in me voluntarily falling thousands of feet to the ground. Our instructor's job, as he saw it, was not only to train us, but also to...

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The Tao of Writing Subject Lines

A former training client, Ann, reached out to me last month. She had been struggling with writing subject lines for her email campaigns and wanted my advice. But first she warned me... "Steve, I know all the tips, tricks and formulas, so don't give me more of those!...

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A Technique for Brainstorming Content Topic Ideas, Fast

I consult and write for a client (let's call him "Jim") who produces direct mail newsletters for professionals. You know, the kind you might be receiving regularly from your dentist or investment advisor. Jim is admirably proactive. He insists on getting the...

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For Freelancers: A Day in the Life of a B2B Copywriter

Last week, my friends at AWAI (www.awaionline.com) asked me to record a "Day in the Life" video of a freelance B2B copywriter. Me! I'm sure there are some differences in how I spend my day compared to other copywriters. (Anyone else do a Starbucks run at 10am?) But...

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How to Begin Your Sales Copy With a Story

 When I'm running copywriting workshops, two of the most popular questions I get is: "How do I begin my sales copy? How do I kick it off in a way that's compelling and holds the prospect's attention?" "I've heard storytelling can boost my response and conversion...

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How to Plan an Email Follow-up Campaign

Okay. You're sitting down to write a series of follow-up emails to those who've attended a webinar or downloaded a white paper. You know those emails are key to driving more conversions, so they've got to be good. What are you going to say in each of those messages?...

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Why it pays to say “Thanks” in an email marketing piece

I recently came across a survey, by BoomerangApp.com, which showed that closing an email with some sort of “Thanks” will boost response rates. In fact, “Thanks in advance” did a little better than “Thanks” or simply “Thank you”. (By the way, “Best” scored the lowest.)...

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4 Surprising Traits Clients Want in a White Paper Writer

I had an opportunity recently to interview some clients about their experience with white paper writers. (As well as those who write special reports, ebooks, and other types of “long form” content.) The results were interesting — to say the least. Much of what these...

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How to Double the Effectiveness of Testimonials

Do you have glowing client testimonials on your website and in other marketing materials? If so, great! But are prospects actually reading those testimonials? Or just looking at them? I just published an article on my other blog (at the Copywriting Training Center) on...

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