Enchanting Marketing http://www.enchantingmarketing.com Content marketing to boost business Sat, 19 Apr 2014 14:22:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 3 Tricks to Entice Busy People to Read Your Content … Word-by-Word http://www.enchantingmarketing.com/get-busy-people-to-read-your-blog-post-word-by-word/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=get-busy-people-to-read-your-blog-post-word-by-word http://www.enchantingmarketing.com/get-busy-people-to-read-your-blog-post-word-by-word/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 10:21:28 +0000 http://www.enchantingmarketing.com/?p=7456

The odds are against us.

As bloggers we don’t seem to have much chance.

People rarely read web pages word-by-word.

You know that, don’t you?

On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely. ~ Jakob Nielsen (source)

79 percent of our test users always scanned any new page they came across; only 16 percent read word-by-word. ~ Jakob Nielsen (source)

*Yikes*

You’re working so hard to come up with interesting ideas. You write entertaining blog posts. You tighten your text. Your content is valuable.
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Henrietta is reading a riveting bookThe odds are against us.

As bloggers we don’t seem to have much chance.

People rarely read web pages word-by-word.

You know that, don’t you?

On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely. ~ Jakob Nielsen (source)

79 percent of our test users always scanned any new page they came across; only 16 percent read word-by-word. ~ Jakob Nielsen (source)

*Yikes*

You’re working so hard to come up with interesting ideas. You write entertaining blog posts. You tighten your text. Your content is valuable.

But how can you defy those odds? And get people to savor your blog posts – sentence-by-sentence, and word-by-word?

You may feel it’s an impossible task, but today I’m sharing 3 simple tricks to turn hurried scanners into attentive readers.

1. Be competitive and compelling

Your blog post is not simply competing with other blogs. Your blog is competing with life. With phone calls. With grocery lists. With a birthday party, the laundry, or the latest news.

Imagine your readers hurrying to catch a train … and you’re on the platform reading your post. Your headline is written on a banner behind you.

Is your headline so good that people will stop? Is your blog post so valuable that they don’t mind missing their train?

Compelling headlines give readers a specific promise. They tell them exactly what they’ll learn. For instance: How to Use the Persuasive Power of Mini-Stories in Your Sales Copy or How to Turn Bland Text into Sparkling Online Content.

Readers don’t want to waste their time with another blah-blah post.

Know exactly what your readers want to learn. Promise a specific lesson in your headline and deliver it in your blog post. That’s your first step to keep hasty people hanging on to each of your words.

2. Use the immense power of white space

Worrying about picking the right word?

Concerned about grammar?

Umming and ahhing about a semi-colon or a period?

It’s easy to worry about words and punctuation, and forget about your secret weapon: white space.

White space helps your readers glide through your post with a smile on their face. It makes reading feel effortless and enjoyable. But a lack of white space makes readers feel like they’re wading knee-deep through mud. It’s hard work. Without a chance to rest their tired eyes.

So how do you use the immense power of white space to keep people reading on?

  • Use one-sentence paragraphs at the beginning of your post because you make your readers feel your post will be a quick and easy read.

  • Liberally use bullet points to increase white space – consider adding white lines in between your bullet points like I’ve done here.

  • Use a maximum of 6 lines for each paragraph; and use one-sentence paragraphs to make certain statements stand out.

Before hitting publish, scroll through your blog post and review the amount of white space. Do you have enough white space to make reading pleasurable?

3. Entice wandering minds with seductive subheads

Your reader’s eyes are glazing over.

He’s thinking about his Easter weekend. A romantic meal. A good bottle of wine. What’s the weather forecast? Will he be able to get on his bike? And when’s his next vacation?

In his book Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, Daniel Goleman states:

A reader’s mind typically wanders anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of the time while perusing text.

*Ouch*

The odds ARE against bloggers.

How can we tempt wandering minds back with seductive subheads? It’s quite simple. You either need to arouse curiosity or promise a benefit to reading the next section (or do both).

Below follow a few subheads that arouse curiosity. These subhead examples are from a post about beating writer’s block:

  • Curse like a sailor
  • Embrace messiness
  • Goof around on Facebook
  • Take a cigarette break
  • Read health magazines

These suggestions seem a little weird, don’t they? Do they arouse your curiosity?

Instead of writing wacky subheads, you can also promise a benefit and turn your subheads into mini-headlines. These are from a post about email marketing:

  • How to create emails that are eagerly anticipated
  • How to get your emails opened
  • How to write engaging emails

To review your subheads, write them down on a sheet of paper. Do they arouse curiosity or promise a reward for reading on?

The truth about captivating busy readers

Time and time again blog readers are disappointed. By re-hashed blog posts. By blah-blah content. By hypey headlines and posts that don’t deliver.

You and I have to stand out by delivering valuable content. By turning up week-in week-out. By rewarding our readers with useful tips. A touch of humor. And an enjoyable read.

Above all, we need to build relationships.

Create a bond with your readers so strong that they don’t want to miss any of your words. They’re waiting for your email to tell them your next post is ready. They crave “hearing” your voice.

In a hectic world, we make time to listen to our friends. We trust them.

Be a good friend to your readers.

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A 61-Point Website Checklist to Avoid Pesky Content Failures http://www.enchantingmarketing.com/web-content-checklist/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=web-content-checklist http://www.enchantingmarketing.com/web-content-checklist/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 11:16:31 +0000 http://www.enchantingmarketing.com/?p=7418

Your head is spinning.

How many web pages do you need?

What do you write on each page?

How do you get people to buy from you or to get in touch?

Each question brings up more questions. Each web page gives you a headache.

Are you feeling tired yet? Do you want to give up your website project? Or delay it until next year?

Creating a new website or updating an existing one can feel like a nightmare. But your web project doesn’t have to be so difficult – as long as you have a simple checklist.

Use the
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Henrietta's checklistYour head is spinning.

How many web pages do you need?

What do you write on each page?

How do you get people to buy from you or to get in touch?

Each question brings up more questions. Each web page gives you a headache.

Are you feeling tired yet? Do you want to give up your website project? Or delay it until next year?

Creating a new website or updating an existing one can feel like a nightmare. But your web project doesn’t have to be so difficult – as long as you have a simple checklist.

Use the list below to avoid content failures and to create a website that’s both engaging and persuasive.

Download your FREE PDF of this checklist

A 61-Point Website Checklist to Avoid Pesky Content Failures

This checklist includes:

  • How to plan your content
  • Specific tips for your home page, about page, contact page, service or product pages, and your blog
  • How to edit your content to make it engaging
  • Web conventions you must not break
  • Crimes against readability you must not commit
  • SEO tips for your content

Let’s start with your overall content plan.

Ready?

Your content strategy focuses on your ideal reader

When we start a web project, most of us think about who we are, what’s special about us, and how we should communicate our unique selling points.

But our readers aren’t interested in us, our business, and our products.

They just want to know what’s in it for them.

So before you start planning or reviewing your website:

  1. Consider who you’re writing for – this is your ideal reader or buyer persona.
  2. Define what content helps your ideal reader understand your type of products or services – perhaps you need to educate your reader and explain what a marketing coach, web designer, or IT specialist can do for them.
  3. Collect the reader questions you should answer and consider how you can help your ideal reader make choices – your ideal reader might not know whether he needs a web designer or a web developer; or whether he should get a Windows or Linux server.
  4. Think about how you can help your ideal reader. Does he want to grow his business to make more money? Or would he prefer to find a way to work less and still make enough money? To start a conversation with your ideal reader and to sell to him, you need to understand what drives him, what motivates him, and what he’s dreaming off.
  5. List the objections you need to overcome. Why would your ideal reader hesitate to hire an interior designer or business coach? How can you nudge him and overcome his hesitations?

Your home page is your billboard

Web visitors are in a hurry.

They don’t read word by word. On an average web page visitors read only 28% of words.

As their cursor already hovers over the back button, how can you quickly tell web visitors what they’ll find on your site?

  1. Confirm that people are in the right place. Avoid a clever headline As usability expert Steve Krug suggests: Don’t make me think.
  2. Don’t waste precious pixels with a headline like Welcome at Enchanting Marketing.
  3. Have a clear call-to-action. What are people supposed to do on your home page?
  4. Don’t push your services but focus on what your web visitors want to do. For instance: When the Swedish Cancer Society shifted focus away from organizational goals (more donations) towards web visitor goals (understanding cancer symptoms and treatment), donations increased massively (source).
  5. Minimize distractions so web visitors can quickly find what they’re looking for.
  6. Avoid self-indulgent blurb that nobody is interested in. Who wants to read company news on your home page?
  7. Include an interesting image. Make a product photo clickable so people can find further information on the featured product.

Your about page engages your reader

What’s the purpose of your about page? That’s obvious, isn’t it?

It’s about your company. Your history. Your products. Maybe some stuff about you personally. That’s it. Isn’t it?

Not quite.

That shouldn’t be the main focus. Potential customers don’t want to listen to your stories all the time. What they want to know is: What’s in it for me?

The question your about page should answer is this: Which problems do you solve for your customers?

Writing about your products bores your readers. Writing about their problems grabs their attention:

  1. Remember to address your reader with the word you.
  2. Include some interesting tidbits about yourself, but avoid self-indulgent content.
  3. Ensure that your about page reflects the right tone of voice. If you’d be talking to a client on the phone, would you sound the same?
  4. Include a photo of yourself or your team. People connect with people and we like seeing faces.
  5. Don’t forget a call-to-action. An about page is often one of the most visited pages. What would you like web visitors to do next? Include a sign up form to your newsletter or links to your service pages. Don’t expect web visitors to figure out what to do next. Be bossy and tell them what to do.

Your contact page encourages readers to connect

How often do you come across a boring contact page with just a drab web form?

Perhaps the contact page is the most neglected page on the web. Often it chases visitors away rather than encouraging them to email you or pick up the phone.

Follow these tips to encourage contact:

  1. Show you’re interested in hearing from someone with a friendly introduction.
  2. Suggest how long it’ll take for you to answer inquiries.
  3. Don’t make a web form your only method of contact because it’s impersonal and robotic. Add a phone number or at least an email address (use [at] instead of @ to avoid spam).
  4. Include social media profiles and encourage people to connect – but don’t include profiles that you haven’t updated for the last year because it looks like you’re out of touch.
  5. If you have a physical address, include your full address, a picture of your building, a geo site map (so people can find you in Google Earth and on Google Maps), driving directions, and details about parking.
  6. If you have a showroom, include details of what people will find in your showroom as an incentive to come and see you.

Create persuasive service and product pages

It’s a big mistake.

Even experienced web writers make it sometimes. They simply describe what you do, rather than persuade readers to contact you or buy from you.

  1. Think about your ideal reader and how your product or service helps him.
  2. Create separate pages for each service you offer because this will help you generate more search engine traffic.
  3. Use the same language your clients use. If they’re looking for a marketing coach, don’t talk about a business optimization service.
  4. Focus on benefits rather than features. Features are facts about your product or service. Benefits explain what your product does for your clients. How do you help clients achieve their objectives? How do you take away hassle and problems?
  5. Don’t forget a clear call-to-action – get people to buy your product, to contact you, or suggest where they can find more detailed information.

Your blog educates and inspires

People are tired of sales pitches.

They’re looking for information that’s helpful, entertaining, or inspirational.

You don’t need to blog daily or even weekly. Create website section where you share helpful advice because it attracts visitors to your site, and it builds trust and authority.

  1. Follow the rules for conversational writing – ask questions and use the word you
  2. Stop worrying about word count. Communicate your message in the number of words required.
  3. Publish content only when you have something to say. Publish content you’re proud of.
  4. Don’t worry about giving information away for free. As Chris Garrett recently said: I have yet to find someone who has given away too much.
  5. Create a newsletter sign up form that stands out and encourage people to sign up by telling them what they can learn and how you can make them feel better.

Edit your content to make it engaging

Editing doesn’t mean you simply correct grammar and spelling mistakes.

Check the flow of your content. Ensure you’ve not missed anything important.

Follow these tips to make your content engaging and persuasive:

  1. Consider the people sneaking in through the back door – not everyone lands on your home page. Can they navigate their way around when they land on a blog post or a product page?
  2. Ensure your spelling and capitalization is consistent. For instance: Subheads Can Use Title Case Like This. Or subheads can use sentence case like this. Both methods are fine as long as you’re consistent.
  3. Use non-sugary testimonials to overcome customer objections. Don’t limit your testimonials to a dedicated page – include them on your home or about page, and on your product pages.
  4. Include a call-to-action on each page. What do you expect your readers to do next?
  5. Challenge yourself to reduce your word count by half. Simplify your text, kill redundant sentences, and slaughter excess words until you get your message across in as few words as possible.
  6. Remove exclamation marks, because they’re the sign of a lazy copywriter or a sleazy sales man.
  7. Avoid the passive voice because it sounds awfully corporate. A mistake has been made is passive and dull; I’ve made a mistake is active and engaging.
  8. Reduce your sentence length to a maximum of 14 words on average because it makes your content easier to read.
  9. Use plain English. Avoid superlatives and banned words like market leading and world class, because they make you sound sleazy.

Don’t break any web conventions

You know I’m a rebel.

I like to do things my way.

But web conventions are different. Even for me.

Your web visitors are in a hurry, so make things obvious for them:

  1. Position your logo at the top or top left, because that’s where people look to find out who you are.
  2. Include a navigation bar at the top or the left-hand side – on each page.
  3. Make clickable buttons look like buttons, because people know they can click buttons.
  4. Avoid creative wording – keep it simple.

Don’t commit crimes against readability

You’ve created wonderful content.

Why would you make it difficult to read?

  1. Don’t make your lines longer than 75 characters. Longer lines are difficult to read as you need to move your head like you’re watching a tennis match. A shorter line length becomes stressful as your eyes have to move back to the beginning too often.
  2. Increase your font size. Don’t make your readers strain their eyes with a tiny font.
  3. Have plenty of white space because blocks of texts are tiring to read and turn readers away.
  4. Your text is left-aligned because our eyes automatically return to the starting point when we’ve finished reading a line – just like in books.
  5. Use dark fonts on a light background for maximum contrast.
  6. Make headlines stand out in a larger font in a different color.
  7. Use bullet points to make your content easy to scan.

Seduce search engines to promote your content

Firstly you write for your ideal reader.

But then you can polish your content to boost your search engine rankings:

  1. Include a title tag with a maximum of 55 characters. Your title tag becomes the blue link in search results, so it’s important that it tells readers what your page is about.
  2. Use active words in your meta description to encourage readers to click through. The meta description is the text shown in the search results below your URL and a maximum of 155 characters is recommended.
  3. Use H1 tags for headlines and H2 tags for subheadings. The H1 and H2 tags indicate to Google that these words are more important than the remainder of your text.
  4. Be specific and answer customer questions, because it increases your chances of gaining relevant web traffic.

And a few last tips …

  1. Get Google Analytics set up so you can measure your results and find what content is most popular.
  2. In your site footer, replace the standard links to your theme with a copyright statement.
  3. Include a privacy statement to explain what data you’re collecting.
  4. Upload your own favicon – the little image you see in the tabs of your web browser:

favicon example

How to create a website that wins business

Always start with your ideal reader.

View your website through his eyes.

Overcome his objections and nudge him in the right direction. Allow him to achieve his aims. Help him fulfill his dreams.

Be yourself. Be enchanting. And business will come.

Download your FREE PDF of this checklist

A 61-Point Website Checklist to Avoid Pesky Content Failures

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97+ Marketing Opportunities You’re Neglecting (and Why You Shouldn’t Care) http://www.enchantingmarketing.com/marketing-opportunities/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=marketing-opportunities http://www.enchantingmarketing.com/marketing-opportunities/#comments Tue, 01 Apr 2014 10:47:11 +0000 http://www.enchantingmarketing.com/?p=7374

Arrrgh.

At 9pm, you’re updating your to-do list. Your last job for the day.

You’ve ticked off the action points you’ve completed; and you moved the uncompleted to-do’s to tomorrow.

Sigh.

Your list becomes longer and longer. You already know that some to-do’s will shift from tomorrow to next week, and then to next month.

Is there a way to stop feeling guilty about the stuff you’re not doing? And to quit feeling frustrated about the opportunities you’re missing?

I’ll get to that in a moment, but let’s first tell you a short story …

Once upon a time a
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Henrietta flies off with her to-do listArrrgh.

At 9pm, you’re updating your to-do list. Your last job for the day.

You’ve ticked off the action points you’ve completed; and you moved the uncompleted to-do’s to tomorrow.

Sigh.

Your list becomes longer and longer. You already know that some to-do’s will shift from tomorrow to next week, and then to next month.

Is there a way to stop feeling guilty about the stuff you’re not doing? And to quit feeling frustrated about the opportunities you’re missing?

I’ll get to that in a moment, but let’s first tell you a short story …

Once upon a time a young web designer set up his own business

He cold-called local companies. He networked in LinkedIn groups. He asked his university buddies for referrals.

Business was good. He loved it.

But he always felt he wasn’t doing enough.

So he started tweeting more regularly. He attended local networking events. And he learned how to manage Google Adwords.

He made enough money to care for his wife and his new-born son. He calculated he could pay off his mortgage in less than 10 years.

Then he heard from a friend how he gained business on YouTube. His neighbor explained how Pinterest had transformed her business. And his marketing coach suggested he should start a SlideShare account.

Sound vaguely familiar?

One of the hardest challenges we face in this overcrowded, hyperactive, and distracted world, is to shake off this feeling we’re never doing enough.

Do you wonder which opportunities you’re missing, by not having an Instagram account or not being active on Google Plus?

We live in a more society

Do more. Try more. Win more.

We get tempted by new opportunities all the time. Our online success is measured by numbers. Web visitors. Followers. Blog comments. Social media shares.

But instead of wondering what else we should do, shouldn’t we consider how we can do less and still meet our goals?

Which marketing activities can we drop? How can we do fewer short-term activities and spend more time generating future business? How can we contract out tasks so we can spend more time doing the work we’re good at? How can we find better-paying clients rather than juggle more clients?

In his book 80/20 Sales and Marketing, Perry Marshall explains how 80% of your income comes from 20% of your clients. The 80/20 rule also applies to the price people are prepared to pay:

[If] 10 people will pay $1 for a cup of coffee, two of the 10 will pay $4 for a better cup of coffee. (…) At any given price point, 20 per cent of the people will spend four times the money.

If you’re selling an app, how can you offer a premium version for your top customers? If you’re selling a service, how can you specialize to create higher-value?

The 80/20 rule also applies to the hours in your day

Marshall suggests you generate 80% of your value in 20% of your time. That’s why he advocates outsourcing.

Marshall’s approach is pure economics, which shouldn’t – in my opinion – be the sole driver of managing a business. Some work can’t be outsourced because you can’t subcontract out your voice. Talents, passion, interest, and personality all have a role to play.

But it’s true that we’ll do better when we focus on a small number of activities, and when we achieve excellence in the few things we’re already good at.

Rather than build a LinkedIn, SlideShare, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter following, why not focus on one social media channel first?

Today I’d like to celebrate the things we’re not doing. By choosing a smaller number of tasks and doing them well, we don’t neglect opportunities. We maximize our opportunities.

Which activities could you drop? Or stop feeling guilty about?

Here’s my list …

  1. I don’t have a Facebook profile
  2. I don’t do PPC
  3. I’ve not done any LinkedIn advertising
  4. My website is not optimized for local search
  5. I don’t go to local networking events
  6. I don’t advertise in the local newspaper
  7. I don’t have slick-looking images on my website
  8. I’m not on YouTube, which is the second biggest search engine
  9. I’ve only uploaded my e-course program to my SlideShare account and nothing else
  10. I’m not on Instagram
  11. I’ve never made a selfie
  12. I’ve not made an infographic yet
  13. I’ve not marketed my books on iBooks
  14. I still don’t have a print version of my books
  15. I’ve not done any webinars
  16. I’m not marketing my e-course through affiliates
  17. I never email people to ask them to promote my blog posts
  18. I never share my own blog posts in LinkedIn groups
  19. I’ve not published an article on LinkedIn yet

I could go on forever, but I don’t want to bore you with the full list of 97 don’t-do’s.

What’s on your list?

The simple truth about marketing opportunities

You always miss marketing opportunities. It’s a fact.

Stop feeling guilty about the things you’re not doing.

Remove a few to-do’s from your list. Focus on the stuff that energizes you.

Let’s do less. And do it better.

This post 97+ Marketing Opportunities You’re Neglecting (and Why You Shouldn’t Care) appeared first on Enchanting Marketing.

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A Lazy Girl’s Guide to Landing Page Copy That Woos Web Visitors http://www.enchantingmarketing.com/how-to-write-landing-page-copy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-write-landing-page-copy http://www.enchantingmarketing.com/how-to-write-landing-page-copy/#comments Tue, 25 Mar 2014 11:59:23 +0000 http://www.enchantingmarketing.com/?p=7203

Tut-tut.

Conversion rate optimization. A/B testing. Heatmaps. Writing copy that converts.

Do we really need to?

As a business owner, you have a lot of other things to do.

Yep, of course you’d like more email subscribers. More sales. More business.

But keeping up with the advice is overwhelming. Let alone trying to implement it.

So can we keep it simple?

Let’s have a look …

What’s a landing page?

A landing page entices web visitors to take a specific action – to subscribe to a newsletter, to download a report, or to buy a product.

Would you like to
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Henrietta lounging at the beachTut-tut.

Conversion rate optimization. A/B testing. Heatmaps. Writing copy that converts.

Do we really need to?

As a business owner, you have a lot of other things to do.

Yep, of course you’d like more email subscribers. More sales. More business.

But keeping up with the advice is overwhelming. Let alone trying to implement it.

So can we keep it simple?

Let’s have a look …

What’s a landing page?

A landing page entices web visitors to take a specific action – to subscribe to a newsletter, to download a report, or to buy a product.

Would you like to see an example?

Check out my landing page to sign up guest post readers to my email list, or the new sales page for my Enchanting Business Blogging e-course.

The lazy girl’s most important landing page tip

You know people get easily distracted, don’t you?

And you know that when you present choices, people procrastinate because they can’t make up their minds?

That’s why you need to remove all distractions.

Your landing page should have no navigation menu and no side-bar with tempting links to other places.

When you give people the option to browse your site, they start wandering around. They start hesitating whether to buy your orange or purple-dotted scarf. They forget to sign up to receive your juicy bonus.

To tempt people to take your preferred action, you need to hold their gaze. You need to remove distractions and tell them exactly what to do.

Start at the end

Henrietta tells her dog Arthur to sitStarting at the end means you define the required action first.

Subtleties and politeness are great. But not for calls-to-action. Be bossy. Start with a verb. For instance:

  • Order now
  • Sign up for a free trial
  • Download your ebook

You might think a lazy girl is after instant gratification and that’s why she starts at the end.

But starting at the end keeps you on track when writing your copy. You discount all ideas that don’t contribute to taking that action. You write your copy faster. And you avoid vague actions like submit or next.

Persuade people to take action

Even when you give an ebook away, you still need to “sell” it.

An abundance of free information is available online. Inboxes are overflowing. Why would people give up their email address and spend their precious time reading your ebook?

Tell people exactly why they should give up their time or money:

  1. Step into the shoes of your reader
  2. Write down how your product or ebook will help him
  3. Consider what’s stopping him from taking action and how you can overcome these obstacles

As business owners, we tend to focus on what we offer (a free 20-page report!) rather than how a reader will benefit from reading that report (21 tips to save money when shopping online). This is the biggest mistake you can make when writing landing pages copy.

The legendary copywriter John Caples said in his book Tested Advertising Methods:

The most frequent reason for unsuccessful advertising is advertisers who are so full of their own accomplishments (the world’s best seed!) that they forget to tell us why we should buy (the world’s best lawn!).

Your readers aren’t interested in your report, your product, or your free trial. They want to know what’s in it for them.

So how do you get your readers to take action? How do you avoid this most common mistake?

Follow these 3 simple steps to planning landing page copy:

  • Create a list of benefits. If you struggle with defining benefits, list features first, and then ask yourself So what? Why does my reader care?
  • Create a list of objections to taking the required action. What might stop people to download your report, sign up for your free trial, or buy your product?
  • List the benefits and objections in order of importance; mention the most important information first.

Don’t make life too difficult. If you’re “selling” a free report, you don’t list as much information as when you sell an expensive product or e-course. My email subscription page is far shorter than my e-course landing page.

A lazy girl knows better than anyone else that the more you write, the sooner you bore your web visitors to death. And bored people click away (or fall asleep!) rather than download your report or buy your course.

This is usability expert Steve Krug’s advice on editing (from his book Don’t Make Me Think):

“Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what’s left.”

Measure your success and improve results

A lazy girl is less lazy when she knows her efforts are paying off.

When you make an effort to create a landing page, you want to know your time is well spent. In Google Analytics, set up a goal to measure how many conversions you get:

  • Go to Admin at the top of your Google Analytics dashboard
  • Under the section View, select Goals
  • Click the red New goal button
  • Select Custom, click Next step, and give your goal a name, e.g. download report, and select your type of goal – in most cases this is a destination
  • Click Next step and enter the URL that people will reach once they’ve completed the conversion – usually you have a Thank you page that people will reach after they’ve signed-up for your newsletter or free trial, or after they’ve purchased your product.
  • Click Create goal.

Conversion experts will tell you to create a separate landing page for each source of traffic. But that’s a lot of work. The lazy girl’s method is to have just one page and learn which traffic converts worst. She simply creates a new landing page for the worst-converting traffic.

I noticed, for instance, that my traffic from KISSmetrics converted much better than traffic from Copyblogger. That’s given me an incentive to set up a new landing page targeted at Copyblogger readers. This doubled conversions from Copyblogger already.

When you start, keep things simple. Write as few words as possible. Create one landing page. And then build on the work you’ve done.

Treat web visitors like people

Sales gurus may tell you to use exclamation marks and yellow highlighters on your landing page.

Conversion experts may tell you to have bigger buttons and to make them green, and to use huuuuge pop-up forms to obscure your content.

But don’t forget your web visitors are people. They’re not numbers.

Be human and interact with people almost like you would in real life.

Be firm, but don’t hide your own unique voice. Be yourself.

This post A Lazy Girl’s Guide to Landing Page Copy That Woos Web Visitors appeared first on Enchanting Marketing.

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How to Make Boooring Blog Posts Engaging, Interesting, and Fun http://www.enchantingmarketing.com/make-boring-blog-posts-interesting/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=make-boring-blog-posts-interesting http://www.enchantingmarketing.com/make-boring-blog-posts-interesting/#comments Tue, 18 Mar 2014 11:39:20 +0000 http://www.enchantingmarketing.com/?p=7006

Imagine writing a tutorial-style blog post.

You explain a series of important steps.

You edit until your voice sounds dynamic. You tighten your text.

But you’re still worried. Because your post isn’t exactly sparkling. It’s just a simple how-to.

How can you make a description of 5 or 12 different steps engaging and fun? How can you stop people from yawning when they get to step 3?

Turning solid information into engaging content may feel like a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be so hard.

You need to know a few simple tricks to keep your readers engaged
Read more...

This post How to Make Boooring Blog Posts Engaging, Interesting, and Fun appeared first on Enchanting Marketing.

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Henrietta painting a sunImagine writing a tutorial-style blog post.

You explain a series of important steps.

You edit until your voice sounds dynamic. You tighten your text.

But you’re still worried. Because your post isn’t exactly sparkling. It’s just a simple how-to.

How can you make a description of 5 or 12 different steps engaging and fun? How can you stop people from yawning when they get to step 3?

Turning solid information into engaging content may feel like a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be so hard.

You need to know a few simple tricks to keep your readers engaged and interested.

Let’s have a look …

Start with the Why

The first trick to making boring tutorials sizzle is to tell your reader why he’ll benefit from reading your post.

In your opening paragraph, you sketch a pain-free or sunny destination. Tell your reader that by following your advice he can learn a skill he desperately wants to master. Or tell him how he’ll become happier, richer, or more relaxed by reading your post.

In my post about guest blogging, for instance, I promised to teach you a technique for driving traffic to your blog; and in this tutorial about sales copy, I tell you that your web pages can become as seductive as Apple’s website.

A dry subject becomes easier to digest, when you know why it’s good for you.

Share fascinating examples

Learning how things work in theory is rather dull.

Seeing how something works in practice is far more interesting.

Last week, I shared snippets about my guest blogging experience. In my post about seductive web copy, I entice you with mouthwatering examples of Apple’s copy.

The secret to making your examples fascinating is to keep them ultra-short. Only share the details that are critical to illustrating your tutorial.

Keep your pace high and move to the next step.

Highlight problems

When you paint a rose-tinted picture of your how-to, you might still lull your readers slowly to sleep.

You can wake them up by including a few problems.

Problems are like speedbumps – they slow your reader down. They start paying attention again, because everyone is keen to avoid glitches, hassle, and mistakes.

Explain what you’ve done wrong or which step you found scary. When you describe the problems you’ve encountered and how you’ve overcome them, your tutorial immediately becomes more useful and engaging.

Which are the most common mistakes you’d like to warn your readers for? And help them avoid?

Use unique metaphors

Metaphors are your secret seduction technique.

A fresh metaphor can make a dull topic engaging.

Help readers visualize an abstract concept by relating it something concrete, something they know. In my post about guest blogging, for instance, I referred back to the idea of launching a cycling magazine several times.

To use metaphors in your how-to blog post, think about a topic you’re passionate about, such as sports, cooking, or parenting. Pick one theme and look for connections.

Be careful. Switching themes in one post confuses your readers. So pick one theme, e.g. cooking, and make brief comparisons with it throughout your post.

Liven up your text with images

You probably know I was dead-nervous about publishing my hand-drawn images here.

But since starting to publish these silly drawings, the number of blog comments is up. It might be a co-incidence, but perhaps it isn’t.

As a writer, I feel my words should be sufficient to explain my thoughts and ideas. But simple pictures can make a stronger connection. I recently discovered this:

Darwin first explored the idea of natural selection by drawing a tree. Jack Kerouac wrote his first novel by drawing his concept out as a mandala. J.R.R. Tolkien couldn’t write without first drawing maps and portraits of his characters. Even J.K. Rowling just said that the first thing she did when she started to write her latest novel was to draw a map of the town in which it took place. ~ Dan Roam

And Kevin Cheng suggests in his book See What I Mean:

So long as you can draw a stick figure, you’re well on your way to being able to create simple stories that explain your ideas better than any well-crafted words could.

Are we, as writers, too focused on the power of words?

The truth about boring how-to posts

There are no dull products, only dull writers. ~ David Ogilvy

No topic is dull.

No tutorial should be drab.

Learning new things is exciting. Acquiring new skills is invigorating.

Think about your reader and inspire him with your post. Share your knowledge. Entertain him with your humor.

Make him smile and ignite his enthusiasm.

This post How to Make Boooring Blog Posts Engaging, Interesting, and Fun appeared first on Enchanting Marketing.

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