Tag Archives: marketing

5 Best David Ogilvy Copywriting Tips to Improve Your Marketing

 Best David Ogilvy Copywriting Tips to Improve Your Marketing

As you may know, I do a lot of writing, only some of which is copywriting. However, I find that insights I’ve developed from copywriting inform all my other writing. On the whiteboard next to my desk, I’ve always got some copywriting tips. Usually they’re quotes from David Ogilvy.

His quotes always inspire me. Let’s have a look at five gems.

“The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.”

You can’t be creative if you’re not having fun:

“Creative people have apparently mastered the art of turning off this part of their brains to let their ideas flow more smoothly, unleashing their imagination,” she writes.

Before I write advertising copy, or a sales page, I spend ten minutes reading P.G. Wodehouse. Lord Emsworth and the Empress of Blandings (the earl’s prize-winning fat pig) always make me smile.

You know what makes you laugh, so do it, read it, or watch it, before you settle down to write advertising copy.

“What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.”

Know what you want your advertising to do; the form doesn’t matter.

Although I love words, sometimes an image needs to take the stage. Look at Apple’s advertisement for the iMac. Click on the first image, and scroll. Amazing, right?

Click off the primary image, and scroll down the page. See how how the images of iMacs frame the words? Apple knows its market: Mac users. They look at the iMac on the screen, then the Mac on their desk, and consider upgrading.

“What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it.”

Content again. Know your audience, what you want your audience to do, and decide what you want to say. Then find the most effective way of saying it. Getting back to Apple’s iMac ad, the ad’s brilliant, because you don’t need to do more than glance at the words.

The words aren’t a sales pitch; that isn’t needed. Good copywriting is good writing: have something to say, and say it.

“Good copy can’t be written with tongue in cheek, written just for a living. You’ve got to believe in the product.”

Emotion comes through in your words. Your audience senses how you feel, and if you don’t value the product, and don’t believe what you’re saying, that comes across.

“There is no need for advertisements to look like advertisements. If you make them look like editorial pages, you will attract about 50 per cent more readers.”

Content marketing’s hot because we’re exposed to so much advertising all day, every day, that we just tune it out. Our challenge is to write editorial content which sells. Is it easy? No. Is it effective? Yes, if it’s done well.

Here’s what I love about quotes from David Ogilvy: no matter how many times you read the quotes, and even if you know them by heart, they get you thinking. And writing better copy.

Love advertising? Create a copywriting business

7 Days to Copywriting Success: From Newbie to Pro

Did you know that F. Scott Fitzgerald and Salman Rushdie started out as copywriters? Copywriting skill helps all your writing.

Discover the easiest, most fun, and most effective copywriting course ever. Start getting clients (and getting paid FAST.) Forget theory.

Discover what works for professional copywriters – and start writing copy yourself from today.

 

 

 

 

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Writing Journal 42: Show Your Expertise In an Ebook

Writing Journal 42: Show Your Expertise In an Ebook

My writing journal for Tuesday, September 23, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

The end is in sight for the novella. I wrote 1,200 words, setting up the major scene which I mentioned yesterday.

So, I’m ready to write the scene. However, since I’m way ahead of the schedule on this book I decided to spend some extra time on the nonfiction book proposal which I’m creating for a client’s memoir. I made good headway on the overview, so Julia’s sending that off to the client for her input.

It must be spring, because Honey’s outside. She didn’t want to come in this morning; she’s enjoying the warmer weather. I’ve got to call her in and make her breakfast.

I read email while I’m eating my toast. We’re almost all caught up with email, because I did a heavy push on it last night. Several students sent me their stories; I’ve got just two left on which I need to provide feedback.

Next, work with my new coaching client.

Showing your expertise in an ebook

I’m working with a new coaching and ghostwriting client who’s starting her own business. She’s got wonderful expertise in her profession, so I suggested that she capitalize on that.

Firstly, we’re setting up a website for her, essentially so that she can collect email addresses of prospects. At the same time, we’re developing a couple of ebooks. One she’ll use as an inducement to sign up for her mailing list. The other, we’ll publish on Kindle Direct Publishing; this will help her to show her expertise. If it happens to make a little money, that will be fine too. :-)

A year ago, I would have suggested that she build out her website into an authority site to get traffic. However, the online world has changed. Yes, you still need all the SEO you can manage. But it’s hard to get search engine traffic for a brand new website, no matter how large and authoritative it might be, so we’re going to skip that for at least a year.

My client needs the ebooks, and social media, AND partnerships to get traction.

I love working with people who are good at what they do; helping them to provide value for others. Our first step will be to work out exactly what she’s offering, and how she’ll brand her new business.

It’s time for my walk. I won’t be able to walk tomorrow, because I have a couple of meetings, so I need to go today.

I’m back from my walk, and spend some time updating my schedule for this week and next. Then I have lunch while browsing social media.

After lunch, I get on with the company history book, using the cluster diagrams I created yesterday. I manage to do 2,000 words on this. Excellent.

The new blog launch

In our meeting yesterday, we discussed the company’s branding, and their new blog. I’ve got to do a proposal and scope. This means a lot of research.

Research tip: only do as much as you need to do.  Start by deciding exactly what you need to know, and create some research questions to answer.

After spending a couple of hours on it, I need a short break. I decide walk to the park with Honey so that I can get some fresh air, and think.

It’s late afternoon; time to I catch up on email and phone calls. I’ll try to work on a couple of short stories tonight; I need to keep up with them so I can get them published in October.

I complete my daily review, count my words, and I’m done for another day.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 32: Promoting with Ebooks

Writing Journal 32: Promoting with Ebooks

My writing journal for Saturday, September 13, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Happy days. I made a huge push, and got the final words done on both the nonfiction book with 2,500 words, and the novella, with 1,300 words. Basically, it was just a dash to the finish line. Lots of holes in both books, but that’s OK. At least I have a first draft. No matter how many books you write, each and every one is different, and the challenges are different.

Until you get your first draft done, there’s always a niggling doubt that something will go horrendously wrong, and the book will drive itself off a cliff.

I’m pleased I got that out of the way. It’s Saturday, so it’s a short writing day.

At the moment, my current projects include: blogging, the company history ghostwriting project, and the freebie ebook I’m writing for a client.

Ebooks to promote your business: create your marketing plan first

Here’s a tip for marketing with ebooks.

Although freebie ebooks aren’t the marketing goldmine they used to be, they’re still highly useful. If you’re using them, create your marketing plan first. Start by setting goals: what do you hope to achieve? Who’s your target market? How will you promote your freebie? How will you schedule promotions? Creating a plan first saves time. It also ensure that you’ll get the results you want.

Honey’s ready for her breakfast, so I make my own at the same time. I eat my toast while skimming through email. I’ve got to respond to important messages now, because I have a couple of student coaching calls tonight.

Time for my walk. This week, I’ve had a couple of days when I didn’t walk, and I feel guilty about that. When Honey was younger, she forced me to walk. She’d sit staring up at me reproachfully when “walk” time arrived. If I spent longer than ten minutes finishing up some work, she’d get progressively more reproachful.

I spend a couple of timer sessions on each project. I’m tempted to spend more time blogging (blogging’s always my favorite project), but I resist, so I can do a little more on the company history. Then I create a couple of cluster diagrams for the ebook, and spend ten minutes on research.

Enough. Time for lunch, and my Saturday errands.

Back again: coaching calls

I got back way too late, but it was fun. Now it’s time to prepare for the coaching calls.

My daily review is done, as is my weekly review. My word counts are good. Now for the calls, and then the writing day is done.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Your Book Proposal: Make It Sell

Your Book Proposal: Make It Sell

Authors tend to panic when writing a book proposal, but it’s a straightforward process. Here’s how to look at it: you’re making a publisher a proposition for a partnership.

Your book proposal is a plan for this partnership, and has two basic elements: an appealing description of your book with some sample chapters, and a plan for marketing your book. The “marketing” aspect is more important than your description of the book, because book ideas are everywhere.

In this article, we’re discussing nonfiction book proposals. If you’re writing fiction, you need to write your novel first. You can then shop it around to literary agents with a query letter, offering a synopsis and chapters.  Alternatively, self publish. If your novel hits the Amazon bestseller lists, you’ll get offers from agents.

Tip: DO NOT write your nonfiction book before you create your book proposal and get a contract

Sadly, you can’t get out of writing a proposal for your book if you hope to get a publishing contract. No one will read your book. Literary agents and publishers read query letters. If they’re interested in your enquiry, they’ll ask you for a proposal.

You need to do your research, then write your proposal. Once the proposal is done, you can send query letters to agents and publishers. You’ll know to whom to send your query, because you researched possible homes for your book before you wrote the proposal.

Which brings us to the most important element in book proposal creation: research.

Research: it’s essential, and exciting

You’ve got an idea for a nonfiction book. You think the book will sell.

Here’s how to proceed:

  • Write a short description of your book, and give it a working title;
  • Research similar books to yours online, and offline;
  • Research the audience for your book;
  • Consider how you’ll market the book.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re a dog groomer. You run a grooming salon and boarding kennels. You get an idea for a book “dog grooming the easy way.” Describe the book, and then research, as above.

Here’s why you do all this research up-front, before you start writing. It’s because agents and publishers ask WHY when you send a query letter to them: WHY this book, and WHY now?

Publishers look for bestsellers, because a bestseller keeps them out of the red. They don’t have a crystal ball, so they don’t know where the next bestseller will come from.

At first blush, the dog grooming book looks like an evergreen title, rather than a bestseller. Some publishers like these kinds of titles, because they have the potential to sell for years. These are bread and butter titles, but many fewer of them are being published these days. The exception? Branded series, like the “For Dummies” series of books.

(I’ve just browsed the For Dummies book website. They publish dog-grooming books, so the topic itself is viable. However, to be appealing to a publisher, it needs more.)

If I were writing a book proposal for the dog grooming book, I’d encourage the author to come up with a element which would make the book timely.

 Your book’s competition: know what’s selling

Your publisher will want to know what competition your book faces. There is always competition, so don’t be worried about this, because competition is a good thing — when there’s competition, you know that your subject area is selling. 

Make notes on which books are your own book’s primary competitors. Look at their rankings on Amazon. If you wish, you can check to see how many copies they’re selling each day. The kdp sales rank calculator gives you a rough guide.

In the image below, I checked the Amazon Best Sellers Rank of EL James’ Fifty Shades of Grey, which is currently ranked at 1,630 Paid in the Kindle store. The calculator estimates that it’s selling at 55 to 100 copies a day.

amazon rank calculator

Make a note of all competing titles, with their current sales rank on Amazon.

The competition: how is your book different?

In your book proposal, list the competing titles, and write a sentence or two for each book about the kind of readers the book is targeting.

Aim for five to 10 titles. Now think about how your book could appeal to readers. You’re looking for an angle, a slant, to take with your book, which will target a similar audience to current top-selling titles, but will offer something they don’t.

This is the most challenging part of writing your book proposal, so don’t be surprised if it takes time.

While you’re waiting for inspiration, write the book proposal. Here’s a template you can use from the Ted Weinstein literary agency. The template includes everything you need to cover in your proposal.

You’ll notice that the audience, competing titles, and your marketing plans are prominent. This material is what counts, and it will make the difference in whether or not your book attracts a publisher.

Agents and publishers look at many book proposals each week. Make yours shine: show that you know that publishing is a business, and you take writing and marketing your book seriously. Your book proposal will then stand out in the crowd.

I wish you all success with your book. :-)

Here’s a slide deck covering the concepts in this article


How to Write a Book Proposal That Sells – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

 

If you need help with your book proposal

I create book proposals for clients. Contact me if you need help with yours. If you wish, I can also help you to get literary representation for your new book.

 

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.