Creative Ideas Are Central To Your Web Business


We all have, from time to time, a bunch of ideas running through our minds. Not all of which are creative however. But when you are able to extract the creative ideas, put them on paper and apply them to a Web business, you have more of a chance at success than NOT taking action.

According to the old adage, “having a great idea and not acting on it is essentially the same as NOT having the idea” in the first place; and allowing someone else to take action on YOUR idea is just as bad.

Have you ever been struck by the “Hey! I invented that!” conniption fit? You know the one I’m talking about. It happens when you’re aimlessly watching TV and a commercial pops up marketing THE item you always told your friends, family, and anyone who will listen, would be the next big idea and make you truck loads of money. Now it’s right there on TV staring you in the face and making boatloads of money for someone else.

Or maybe you’re the type that gets convulsive with the “Psssh! I could make that!” twitch. Well whether you have the “I thought of it first” knee-jerks or the “any five year old could do that” spasms, it all boils down to the same coulda-woulda-shoulda disease. The appalling disease of inaction and envy.

If you’re tired of hearing success stories of Joe Blow selling everything from safety pins to speed boats on eBay (“I could do that!”) or a neighbor making big bucks with his online business from an idea you casually chatted about (“Didn’t I tell you what a great money-making idea that is?”), you can take matters into your own hands and plunge into the world of Web marketing with your own online business.

Now, just so you understand, let me say this up front: There are going to be a few bumps in the road and you may dvelop some misconceptions that you definitely have to deal with…But understanding what you will need to get started as a Web entrepreneur will go a long way in smoothing out the rough spots for you. So here are two of the major things (tools?) you’re going to need:

1) A Website: Making One is Not That Easy.

First and foremost don’t lie to yourself and don’t let anybody else sell you a “bag of goods” and lead you to believe that it’s peaches and cream, either. Do your own preliminary work by learning as much as you can about website creation. You don’t need to learn any fancy new programs from the ground up.

If you’re a real beginner, there are free html editors that you can download from the web; and if you’ve ever typed a document/essay/paper/letter in your life, you basically understand a textual layout and the things you can do to/with it. Your first website is not going to be very… attractive. It may be a very rough prototype. BUT, you’ll have at your disposal, some excellent tools available to you free of charge. Ever heard of Google? Sure you have!

The thing about the Web is people like to talk, and they like to give out information for FREE. So you can take a step-by-step approach to learning just enough html to understand the underlying site structure, and when you have the chance use that helpful little trick of “View>Page Source” (on simple pages, of course… simple but probably better looking than yours as it exists). You can google any html code abbreviations you don’t understand. And before you know it, your self-made website will be up. Like I said, it won’t look pretty, but it’ll be all yours.

Long story short, you’ll learn the fine art of balancing a little too much with just enough. (Helpful hint: just because you now know how to highlight every other word, doesn’t mean you should.) And while you’re patting yourself on the back over a job well done (at least until you can make enough money to hire pros to make your site professionally wonderful), you’re liable to run into misconception number two.

2) If You Build it, They Will Come.

Don’t be shocked if the only people who know of your existence in the early going are family, who you brag to, and your Web hosting company, who you can be sure will always remember you on “invoice day.” You can see where I’m going with this next, right? Ok, I’m not going to re-hash everything you already know about bringing people to your site, nor am I going to preach to you about “conversion rates.”

Let’s just say the bottom line for actually getting your website viewed, is to be creative. There have been hundreds (and will probably be millions) of e-books, eguides and reports which show you the sexiest ways to get traffic to your site, down to the simplest method like…get this…writing an article. THERE IS lot of good information out there; and again, it’s free.

Ultimately marketers want to sell you something, but you would be surprised at the amount of free information on the Web that is actually worth something and is more than a baited hook. Poke around, do some research, check out a few forums, download a few e-books (free or paid), and above all get creative!

Ultimately, it will be your creative edge, or your USP (Unique Sales Proposition) that will make the difference between the success or failure of your Web business (entrepreneurship), but you definitely need a website (blog-site) AND Web hosting.

Three Solid Ways to Start a Sales Letter


This post is an authorized reprint of a COPYWRITER’S ROUNDTABLE article published and sent to me on July 3, 2012. Copywriter’s Roundtable is owned and managed by John Forde. The article’s author is colleague of John Forde and fellow copywriter, Jason Strachen who has done a masterful in job delivering such a powerful piece.

On this eve of our nation’s independence, what could be a better celebration than a discourse on honing your own entrepreneurial skills, strategies and business acumen? It is my opinion that the Sales Letter is singly THE most important tool a Web Marketing Entrepreneur can have in his/her toolkit; And a superbly composed sales letter puts you heads and shoulders above your competition. So here we go!

Introduction

Copywriters and article writers are often pre-occupied with the best ways to start an article or sales letter, so it’s not uncommon for questions lke, ‘what’s the perfect opening line?’ to recur frequently. While the answer is not “Call me Ishmael”, and the opening thought is hardly, “Was your Dad a baker? ‘Cause you’ve got a nice set of buns”, the true answer to such a question is, there isn’t one. At least not one that’s perfect for every situation.


There are some, however, that work a lot more reliably than others. And we’re fortunate to have copywriter Jason Strachan show us three of the best ways to start a sales letter. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this free lesson in sales letter writing, titled…

THREE SUREFIRE WAYS TO START ANY SALES LETTER

by Jason Strachan

So…

Why is the start of the direct mail letter so important? Here is the answer in a nutshell: Because when reading begins your target customer will be glaring point-blank into the loaded barrel of your promotion. You are NEVER going to get such a great chance to get her interest again.

So what are you waiting for? When you start your letter or email, or video, go ahead and fire the most powerful, single most seductive message you possibly can! Because the cold truth is, as corny as it may sound, if you don’t get her (or him) at hello’ you wont get her at all.

Now In this article I’ve selected my 3 most tried and tested letter openings that I’ve used with a lot of success in my career. You could call them my ‘old faithfuls.’ Because if my life was on the line, and I was in a position where I had to write a letter that worked, or I’d be executed by firing squad, I would use one of these three openings, everytime. So here’s the first one…

1. IF YOU’RE LIKE ME

i.e. If you’re like me, you spend way too much time in front of your computer…

Now there are two distinct reasons why I like this opening. First: because it is an approach that works for practically ANY market place. And second: because it establishes immediate rapport.

The whole tone of “If you’re like me” immediately conjures up the feeling of a trusted friend wrapping her arm around your shoulder to give you a bit of counsel. And it causes your prospect to just drop her guard a little, while she starts to read what you have to say.

Now even though a LOT of marketers have discovered how powerful this opening is and have started using it a lot. It’s STILL very effective in the marketplace today. Just as long as its expressed with sincerity. So in other words, don’t attempt to write an “If you’re like me” opening if you’re actually nothing like your customer.

*TIP: Remember what David Ogilvy famously said: ‘The customer is NOT a moron – she’s your wife’

2. ASK A PROVOCATIVE QUESTION

Okay – here’s where we step into some dangerous territory…

You see, a lot of people who attempt to write sales copy understand how to write a question. It’s the qualifier ‘provocative’, that they do not seem to get a handle on. However if you get it right, it works like a charm!

First let me show you how most marketing agencies mess it up.

The way they get it wrong is by opening the letter with a question that has no relevance to your prospect, so they dismiss it straight away. For example: If I open a letter with, ‘Do you know the name of the ancient Greek God of sunshine?’

Your response will likely be: A) Are you nuts?’ B) ‘Who cares?” or worse C) Something’s wrong with you, and If I did know the ancient Greek God of sunshine there’d be something wrong with ME.”

A provocative question is a question that really triggers some type of dominant emotion inside your target customers. Here are some examples…

Continue reading Three Solid Ways to Start a Sales Letter