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Matthew Brennan Marketing Writer Blog

11 B2C Copywriting Tips To Resonate With Your Audience

Your B2C copywriting probably falls a little flat. It’s not an easy thing to do to take your business and your passion, and convey it in a way that resonates with your audience. But that’s exactly what you have to do to resonate with your audience. Take your passions and your livelihood and be able to relay it in a way that entices your audience. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Business blogs have a high propensity to be boring. They are frequently poorly written and thinly veiled attempts at advertising that fall flat on their face. The truth is that both b2b and b2c copywriting could be a little livelier. Here’s 11 B2C Copywriting Tips to Help You Succeed Locate Your Reader’s Problem – Your reader found your website and your blog because they have some kind of problem they are exploring. They are asking questions about your industry, and looking for the efficiency to make their lives easier. If you can position yourself and your business as the solution to that problem, your b2c copywriting will be working in your advantage and positioning your company for success. Tell a Good Story – People remember stories. If you can make them laugh or cry, they are far more likely to think fondly of your business and buy from you when they are ready. Do you have a good origin story? A designer I work with talks about the early days of his passion, beginning in childhood. People love hearing about the curiosity of children, and his story is compelling. Ask yourself how your b2c...

13 Copywriting Resources to Grow Your Business

There is a multitude of copywriting resources available for those businesses looking to produce their own content. You can choose a medium that fits your lifestyle and the way that you learn. Some of those listed below deal with the technical aspects of copywriting, and some deal more with mindset or Internet marketing on a whole. Whether you are in B2B or B2C, there are resources here that can help your business grow. Copywriting Resources to Grow Your Business Books The Copywriter’s Handbook (Robert Bly) – If you have questions about the nuts and bolts of copywriting, The Copywriter’s Handbook is a great place to turn. There are insightful chapters on writing for the web, communications and direct mail to name a few. This book has relevant information that ages well, and can help you keep your business top of mind amongst your audience. This is one of the best copywriting resources out there for learning the trade. Advertising Headlines That Will Make You Rich (David Garfinkel) – Fractions of a second. That’s how long someone is going to take, deciding whether they want to read your web page or blog. It’s the headline that does the hard work, attracting readers to your blog. Don’t just rush through it. Create something that provokes curiosity or makes a promise. Create something enticing. Advertising Headlines that Make You Rich helps with the how, and it will help you sell more. Trust Agents (Chris Brogan and Julien Smith – While this book isn’t necessarily a copywriting book, it will help you to understand the mindset of your online customer. Trust Agents offers a...

Writing a Sales Page that Converts

Writing a sales page can be a great way to boost your business. You don’t have to be an excellent writer, but there is a standard framework for realizing the best results. Below are some suggestions for making the most of your page. You Probably Need Long Copy Many businesses don’t want to produce long form copy on their sales page, because it’s a lot of work, and they don’t think it’ll be read. They don’t think it’s necessary for the sale. But here’s the thing… Your potential customer has questions. They’re not sure about your business, or how to shop in your industry. They don’t really want to be sold to, and therefore their guard is up. It takes long form copy to put them at ease. Your reader may have come in with some extremely valid reservations. There may be some reasons they’re unsure your product will work for them. It’s up to you to show them if and how it will. The purpose of your sales page is to convince your reader to take action. Use Your Persuasive Powers Writing a sales page doesn’t need to be complicated, even if the copy is long. Do you remember those persuasive essays from high school? The essence of a sales page is pretty much the same thing. Your reader has a problem, and you are using your persuasive powers to present yourself as the best viable solution. The tone may be a little different. With a sales page, it is important that you write conversationally, in a way that your potential customer will identify with. Another thing. People...

5 Ideas to Improve Your Website Content

Here’s why you need to improve your website content today.  Did you know that 71 percent of B2B researchers begin with a simple online search? The number of consumers who begin the purchasing process with an online search is staggeringly high as well, at 81 percent. What does this mean for you, the business? Quality, engaging content is more important than ever. 5 Ideas to Improve Your Website Content Tell a good story – As much as people think they make purchasing decisions using a rational framework, this isn’t always the case. While data and numbers are important, a compelling story can be exactly what it takes to trigger someone hitting the buy button. I’m aware of these emotional impulses and sometimes like to pride myself on my logical mind. Then I set foot in my office, look at my bookshelf and see all the books I’ve owned for years that I’ve not yet read. Alas, I’m not immune to this one. Solve your readers’ problems – Your reader is coming to you with a problem, and it’s up to you to quickly show them you are the one to solve it. So go ahead and give information away. It may seem counter-intuitive at times, but it will position you as the expert. If you can show them how to solve their problem, they’ll come to you when they need your services. Features vs. benefits – A product feature isn’t going to do a whole lot for the reader. The amount of RAM on your computer is a product feature. The number of windows you can have open, while editing video...

Focusing on Your Reader

(Note: This is a sample chapter from my recent book, Write Right-Sell Now. The Kindle version is now available! To celebrate, for a short time, the book is available for .99 cents.) As a business owner and an industry expert, you have a great amount of knowledge, which becomes a key asset as you focus on becoming a resource for your customers and clients. How you go about communicating your expertise will go a long way in determining your success. It’s easy to forget that your customers may not have the extensive background in your field that you do. It’s also easy to assume your readers know more than they do, which can lead to a knowledge gap. What does this look like as it’s practiced? Maybe you throw in phrases your reader won’t understand. You may communicate ideas that make more sense in an industry journal than a communication to your customers. All of this can lead to a disengaged reader. Keeping your readers’ engaged requires a simple adjustment to your mindset as you establish your marketing materials. Who are you trying to sell to? I know it’s tempting to answer, “Anyone who will buy.” But a general answer like that doesn’t help you in your endeavors. When you understand that you are trying to reach career-minded, college-graduate men between the ages of 30 and 45 with an average income of six figures, you can target your messages to the social media platforms the people in this demographic are most likely to use, the blogs they are likely to read, and the consumer goods they are most likely to...

28 Rules for Writing Copy for Websites

Writing copy for websites requires establishing a bond with your reader. It requires connecting on a deep, emotional level that leaves the reader enthusiastic to take action. There is an art form and psychology to doing this successfully. You have to be able step out of your shoes and consider your audience. Below are some methods for making the necessary connection for a successful website. The Rules for Writing Copy for Websites Write a stellar headline – When your page comes up in a search result or on social media, your potential customer will spend fractions of a second determining whether they want to continue. The Internet is a crowded place. You have to make people curious, or let them in a benefit. Make them want to read on. Your headline is the first thing they see. Be a problem solver – When someone clicks on your page, it’s because they think you’re the solution to what’s been bugging them. Make sure you understand your customers’ pain point, and how you can present yourself as the solution. Keep it punchy – It’s pretty hard to bore people into becoming a customer. Keep your sentences punchy. Use short sentences and active verbs to enhance the quality of your marketing message. Keep it conversational – The days of being able to clobber a reader with your advertising message are over. Your reader can respond by closing the browser window or moving on to a competitive page. Instead of aggressive and spammy, go for conversational. Picture yourself out for coffee with your prospect. Write like you’re talking to them. Be Yourself – While...

The Importance of Visual Content For Your Website

The visual content on your website plays an important role in keeping your customers engaged, and moving them through the buying process. Your readers are making decisions on whether or not they will read or take action on your post within a matter of seconds. If the topic doesn’t immediately appeal, they are likely to move on. This makes crafting a concise message important. It means keeping your website content on topic. But there is another way that you can get your story across. The use of powerful visual content can take your website to the next level. Sometimes, a visual element can be used to explain a concept better than words. Ideas to Improve Your Visual Content Compelling photos – We’ve all seen the stock photo of the suits sitting around a business table at a very important meeting. It’s trite and overdone. Stop using the same boring photos from the same places. There are some great stock photo sites out there now. Try sites like Unsplash or Pixabay. But whatever you do, try to avoid the stock photo clichés. They bore people, and they don’t do anything to help you stand out over the competition. Photos to support your products – If you are in the business of selling products, make sure your photos represent your products in the best possible light. This is true from real estate professionals to Amazon store websites. Your photos are creating first impressions of what you sell. Out of focus will turn people away. Even good enough might not work here. They need to be sharp, professional-looking photos to sell your product. Infographics...

What Expert Copywriters Know About Marketing Your Business That You Don’t

Expert copywriters know how to help you grow your business… I may not know you, but I’ll go ahead and assume the best – you’re probably really good at what you do. You make a top of the line (Fill in the Blank), and you’ve helped countless people in the process. There’s likely more you can do to connect with your audience. A quality product or service doesn’t equate to automatic success. An expertise and efficiency in creating your product or service doesn’t necessarily equate to a larger audience, or increased sales. Expert copywriters spend their day connecting with the audience. It’s their job to help businesses connect with their audience in a more meaningful way. It’s their job to help a client connect with their audience in a meaningful way. The secrets that expert copywriters employ to help their clients are freely accessible to any business. All it takes is some basic psychology, empathy, and persuasion skills to convert readers into customers. You want to know more? How Expert Copywriters Market Your Business Accentuate the Benefits – You don’t sell a product or service. You sell an experience. A car company sells the feeling of going down the Interstate at 80 miles per hour with the top down. A landscaper sells a healthy lawn. A plumber sells a system of running water that the homeowner doesn’t have to think about. You get the idea. This is far different than selling a product feature. No one outside of a few select loyalists cares how much RAM the computer has. They care how many browser windows can be open, what...

50 Easy Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

When you’re stuck, how do you beat writer’s block? When you’re writing your own business content, there’s no question, it’s easy to get stuck. You can bang your head against the wall, slam the laptop closed and get angry. Or you can work your way through your rut. I began as a journalist, and there’s no question that some days the words simply flowed better than others. But when you’re on deadline pressure, you need to find ways to quickly stay on track and deliver a quality product. Following, are 50 ways to beat writer’s block. Not all of these tips will work, all of the time. But if you find yourself stuck, scroll through and find what works for you. I guarantee there’s something here that will have your creative juices flowing again. 50 Methods to Beat Writer’s Block While You’re Writing Start in the middle – It’s not uncommon to find yourself stuck on the headline or the lead. The good news is that there is nothing that says you have to start from the beginning. Try writing out some of the middle paragraphs, and clarity may come. I am not writing these bullet points in sequential order. Shut off your internal critic – Your internal editor and your creativity can work against each other. The simple solution to this problem is to write first and edit later. Put down the words first. Lay the foundation. You can always go back later and cut, paste, delete or rewrite. Do more research – You may be stuck because you don’t have the whole picture for what you are...

21 Simple Ways to Improve Your Blog Post in Minutes

Take the time to improve your blog post before you hit publish. The web is a crowded place. You can’t open up your browser without tripping over the same kinds of content written by multiple businesses and websites. It’s easy to find yourself stuck in a factory churn of boring, stale posts without offering anything new or insightful. So how do you differentiate yourself in this kind of environment? How do you get people to not only choose your blog post, but also read it, and follow whatever call to action you include? You need to take the time to step out of that factory churn – that’s how. That means taking a few minutes to improve your blog post. The Internet is filled with stale, boring lists. What the Internet is missing is quality, informative content that is unique to your experience. So don’t just be an industry typist looking to churn out the same stuff that everyone else has. Add a little extra to the world. This is how.   Use These Tips to Improve Your Blog Post in Minutes Add Something Personal – For years I’ve been a Cubs fan. A hopeless, bitter, cursed fan of the game, even though the prospects of a reward seemed delusional. I made it known to those around me that I knew the Cubs sucked, and how futile the whole exercise felt. But… Then things changed. 2016 became the year of the impossible in so many more ways than one. Where the Cubs had a century-long streak of folding like a lawn chair in crucial moments, it didn’t happen this...

How to Get Traffic to Your Blog Without Boring Your Audience to Death

There are plenty of blog posts out there (some on this site) designed to tell you all the technical aspects of how to get traffic to your blog. You need to optimize your site for the search engines with the right keywords, and just the right amount of content. You have to blog frequently, and promote your work so that your audience knows it’s there. You have to follow all the rules of B2B or B2C copywriting. And so on… Maybe there’s another aspect to this, if you’re being totally honest with yourself. We’ve passed the days long ago that you can just post any old piece of writing and get have it rake in the traffic. Even if your piece is technically optimized for the search engines, it has to register with your audience to get any traction at all. Look, I’ll be honest, myself. Any time I’m lacking any of the below topics, my traffic will dip as well. So, here’s some additional, non-technical geek-speak strategies for how to get traffic to your blog: Actually have something to say. Make it a super-helpful answer to a common audience question. Make it a powerful emotional story that is sure to keep people’s eyes moving from one word to the next. Whatever you do, don’t bore them to death. Boring, dry or stale are the kiss of death. So put a little personality on it. Leave your readers feeling like they learned something, or were at least entertained. They’ll come back, and they’ll keep you in mind. Don’t simply regurgitate what the other guys are doing. Don’t do it. Look,...

11 Copywriting Ideas to Implement Right Now

These Copywriting Ideas Can Serve as the Fuel for Your Business. From time to time I have client work that requires writing on some fairly technical topics. As I scroll through a list of related websites, some make me want to poke my eyes out or bang my head against the wall. Why? Because they read like they are in another language. They aren’t addressing their potential audience. In short, they probably didn’t do anything for the business they represent. If you’re reading this post, you’re better than that. You probably have some idea that the right copywriting ideas can propel your business forward in the right direction – with incoming emails and ringing phones. Are you ready to see what your website copy and marketing materials can do for your business? Below are 11 Copywriting Ideas For Your Business: It’s about them – I know. The nerve of me to say that, right? You have 100 important talking points you want to include in your website copy. The truth is that your audience probably cares about very little of it. There’s a lot of competition out there, and your audience is really only concerned about how to solve their problem. You’ll have to connect, and give them a reason to choose you. So tell them the most common problems you solve, and what your level of experience is. Help them relax and feel comfortable. Make sure you use inviting language. With that in mind… Get conversational – There’s a significant difference between professional and formal. No matter what you’re doing online, there’s probably some level of competition. What’s the...

How to Find New Clients

The best way to find new clients is to keep trying new methods and find what works for you. Are you still looking for ways to grow your business within the New Year? Any service-based business runs the risk of being a little feast or famine. But the good news is there are more tools out there than ever for you to find new clients. Many are effective whether you are a b2b or b2c business. The goal is to find the right combination that works for you. If you diversify your strategies for finding work, when one stream dries up, it’s possible to lean harder on the others. Overdependence can create problems down the road. Below are some of the methods to find new clients that I’ve tried at some point or another. Maybe you can find a way to take, and adopt for your own situation. Get to Know Your Power Partners Last year I found myself in a situation where I needed to re-grow my freelance business as quickly as possible. I didn’t have the luxury of waiting for leads to roll back in my direction. I needed to go out and find them, and fast. I needed to be reaching out to my power partners, the people who have a steady stream of potential clients. For me, that partner is marketing agencies. So I went on a research mission. I opened up an Excel document and I started collecting the contact information for advertising and marketing agencies in Chicago. I chose Chicago because it seemed natural to start in my local area. But really, this...

Don’t Be Afraid to Publish

The words aren’t perfect. The message doesn’t reflect exactly what I wanted it to say. I need to spend more time on it before I publish. Is that you? If variations of the above phrases are constantly swirling around your head, you may need to stop listening to them. Here’s why… Perfectionism is a form of procrastination…so don’t be afraid to publish! You have to be the judge of your own situation. Your gut – your intuition are the best tool that you have for a path forward. But if you’re constantly tweaking and never publishing, it may be time to put your words out there for all to see. Here are a few questions you can answer, in order to know if you should publish… Is the writing clear? There needs to be a clear point to your writing, and everything on that page or post should support that point. Otherwise, delete. Are you confident in your spelling and grammar? It doesn’t have to read like a grammarian wrote it, but it should be as close to error free as possible. Is it aimed at your audience? Your readers need to care about what you have to say. If it’s genuinely aimed at making your readers’ lives better, it’s coming from the right place. Have you spent time on your headline? Your headline is the single biggest factor in whether someone will click on your link. Make sure that you make them a promise, and deliver. You have to quickly convey how your post will improve their lives. Did you keep it casual? The temptation is to make it...

What Great Copywriting Looks Like

Great copywriting does a lot. It can help you get more out of your website. It helps you convert more leads, make more sales, and develop a wider audience for your business. Design pulls people into your website, but it’s your message that will cause them to click. The right words make all the difference when it comes to getting people to “buy now” versus close the browser window. What does it look like? 3 Tips for Great Copywriting and More Sales: Make it conversational Part of increasing the conversions on your website is getting your audience to like you. If you’re always wearing your professional sales hat, it comes off as stuffy. So, to increase likeability, make the copy sound more like you. How would you talk with a client if you were at a coffee house sharing a cup of coffee? Make it authentic. Mention a few of your interests here and there. Personally, I’m excited to see who’s going to make it to the Super Bowl. The conference championship games are always some of the best football all season. Past that, use contractions. I know it might drive your English teacher a little batty, but it’ll make things easier for your audience to read. Whenever possible, mash those words up. Also, if you have to use an acronym, spell it out on the first reference. If you don’t need to, avoid it. Avoid all that stuffy industry jargon where you can, as well. The goal isn’t to sound smart. The goal is to get your audience to authentically like you, and then sell stuff. Spend Some...

What Can a Marketing Copywriter Do For Your Business?

A marketing copywriter can help your business immensely – especially in a digital world.   Most businesses face an intense level of competition, especially online. Unless you’ve stumbled onto something truly special, chances are you have competition. A marketing copywriter can have a positive impact on your business in a number of ways, and help you differentiate yourself from your competitors. The online marketplace allows people from all over the country and world to buy from you, but it also creates a more crowded market. 5 Ways a Marketing Copywriter Can Help Your Business Focus on Audience Experience As the owner of a business, or even as an employee, sometimes you are too close to the situation. Sometimes it is tough to step back and take an impartial view of what you are trying to do. Let’s take the process of writing a press release for example. A marketing copywriter can help you determine when the flowery, glowing language surrounding your news item may be too much. At a certain point, the press and your audience simply won’t care. A marketing copywriter can help you craft something from an impartial perspective, and when you are aiming to create something for your audience – that is exactly what you will need. Tell Stories Your content needs life. As I mentioned earlier in the post, a potential customer’s Google search may have called yours up in a pile of hundreds – or thousands – of competitive websites. You need a way to stand out. Maybe there are some powerful numbers that support your argument for why people should go with you. But...

How to Start a Successful Blog

It takes creativity and motivation to start a successful blog… The Internet is a crowded place. New blogs are launched on a daily basis, and there are hundreds of millions of blogs on the Internet. This means two things: People still read them. You have to do something original to stand out. There are a number of factors you’ll have to consider if you’re looking to start a successful blog in 2017. Blogging and online marketing are not really things you can do and achieve immediate results. It’ll take some persistence and planning… Make this the Year that You Start a Successful Blog…  Take a Deep Dive Into Your Industry – You’re going to want to take a look around and see what kind of posts your competition is publishing. Find out what the industry leaders publish as well. Make sure you know what the hot-button conversation topics are, and get a sense for what your future audience might want to read. Many businesses fall into a bit of a trap here. Following competitive blogs doesn’t mean you have to print your version of everything they print. In fact, you don’t want to be a blog copycat. But… “Every idea is a juxtaposition. That’s it. A juxtaposition of different concepts.” – Steven Grant So, if you see a concept or an idea that resonates with you, or that you want to share with your audience, do it. Take an idea and own it. But don’t just recycle. At best it’s boring. At worst it’s plagiarism. Find A LOT of ideas – If you’re looking to start a successful blog,...

Kickstart Your Blog in the New Year

As the year winds down it is important to remember that sometimes the best intentions get derailed. Sometimes nothing really goes the way you intended after the morning coffee. That’s ok though – it may not be as hard as you think to kickstart your blog. Your blog can be closely tied with the vitality of your online marketing efforts. Your website is “home base” for your business and the blog offers hundreds or thousands of windows into your site for your customers to find you – depending on how many posts you have. So if you’ve been sidetracked by client work, new projects, or life in general – try a few of the below strategies. Kickstart Your Blog in the New Year   Carve out the time Businesses that blog receive 67 percent more leads than those that do not. The growth your business will see from increasing your blogging efforts is worth a few hours a week or month. But you’re busy, and that’s how you got sidetracked to begin with. You can set the alarm clock earlier. You can call put your blogging time on the calendar as a meeting with yourself. You can shut the office door, put on headphones and close out of your social media and email tabs. Whatever it takes for you to find the necessary blocks of time, it can help you to reprioritize your marketing efforts and kickstart your blog in 2017. Know your goals  What are your blogging goals? Are you looking to become a top-notch industry thought leader? That might take blogging nearly every day. Are you looking...

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