Tag Archives for " content to cash "

May 15, 2017

Periodicals are the New Copywriting Manual


The Enquirer is the quintessential must read for any copywriter.

Many of the great copywriters, including a personal favorite of mine, Joe Sugarman focused on rag mags like The Enquirer to help them write in the language of the everyman.

Nowadays, we have apps to judge our writing…to let us know if we are creating ads understandable to the average 5th-9th grade reader…

But those apps cannot demonstrate the key ingredient to any great copy…something The Enquirer, Cosmo, and the New York Times (among many other great publications) have truly mastered…

And something I see copywriters struggle with often.

The Headline + The Perfect Lead Paragraph Combination

Now, I’m not talking about what lead for what audience a la Breakthrough Advertising.

I’m talking the one-two punch so fierce the reader MUST READ FURTHER…

Almost 100% of my own writing, other’s copy I critique, and the vast majority of sales copy and content I see could do this far better…

Of all the time I work on my edits…the headline-lead paragraph combo takes the most time.

Notice, I’m not talking the entire lead…I’m talking the first one or two paragraphs of the lead.

Read all the copywriting texts and blogs you wish…gather all the great ads and the best swipes. But DO NOT MISS studying The Enquirer, Cosmo, and The New York Times as great sources of Headline/Lead combos.

Study the combination of the two…how one leads to the other…and how that lead paragraph gives you a synopsis of precisely what you’ll learn in the story…and teases you to keep reading.

Here are a few examples:

From the Enquirer (Dec 26, 2016 – as this is handy right now):

Spaceman John Glenn’s Surprising Dying Regret
John Glenn was a heroic fighter pilot, a two-time astronaut and a U.S. Senator, but the American icon was haunted by a deep regret – he didn’t become President of the United States

A good example of telling the whole plot in the first paragraph…while still leaving the reader sort of scratching their head…how did this longing play out in his life? Why didn’t he run? Can we, as humans, ever truly be satisfied with our accomplishments?

Frozen Tots Sue Their Modern Family Mom
Sitcom sexpot Sophia Vergara is tangled in a bizarre legal wrangle – she’s being sued by her own frozen embryos.

I mean, who would not want to read more about frozen embryos bringing their mom to court???

From yesterday’s New York Times:

Where Anti-Tax Fervor Means ‘All Services Will Cease’
ROSEBURG, OR – Some voters in rural Oregon are seeing what happens when taxpayers force government into retreat. Libraries are blacking out. Jails might be next.

As a reader, two things hit me…it is possible to not pay taxes, and prisoners may be let loose all over the land. MUST READ MORE…

You get the drift.

These periodicals survive, even in the age of the internet, because they drag people in with their headlines and their opening paragraphs (and of course the images). As marketers and copywriters, we can look to these articles as articles that work to get readership, rather than looking at various sales letters as samples without necessarily know how well they converted.

Obviously you will still need to learn psychology and technique for writing persuasive sales copy…if that is your thing. And all the psychology and persuasive writing…even the very best offer can’t hit home without the reader becoming sucked in first.

Lindsay of the Leads


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April 21, 2017

Blogs: The Red-Headed Stepchild of Copywriting

content copywriting

Covered head to paw in long, thick, black and tan fur, the love of my life is one hairy beast.

Tipping the scales at over 80 lbs, he’s a big boy…and handsome as heck, especially when he smells like vanilla and shines like the sun.

Still, when I checked out the website for a new pet cut salon, I balked at the price. $90! Plus a tip! His hair cut, a shave no less, costs more than my own!

And then…right on their home page, a link to an article entitled “Why your dog’s groomer charges more than your hairdresser” with reasons like

  • Your hairdresser does not wash and clean your butt
  • Your haircut doesn’t include a mani/pedi
  • Your likelihood of pooping or peeing on your hairdresser is very slim

You get the idea…

As a copywriter (whether professionally or for your own business) understand that blog posts should never be “just content.” Otherwise, you’re wasting your readers’ time and your own.

Blogs are often treated as the red-headed-stepchild of copywriting, often for good reason.  Blogs generally do not create a “direct response” so their impact on sales is often near impossible to quantify.  Far too many “writers” charge far too few pennies to flood the interwebs with mediocre and meaningless blog posts, so the art of content becomes devalued.

Don’t waste your prospects’ or customers’ very limited attention on fluff.

CHUCK your content unless it is infotaining (ie. not boring), relationship building (builds know, like and trust) and does at least one of the following:

  1. Provides actionable tidbits of information moving them from where they are now toward where they need to be to benefit from the services you offer.
  2. Provides social proof of your methods, your success stories and your programs
  3. Overcomes objections (like the example above)
  4. Motivates people along the path you want to take them down
  5. Shares other works that support your own

Done properly, blogging (just like daily email) can be an intensely persuasive method for  attracting potential customers, spreading your influence and differentiating yourself against the drivel.

A good blog (just like a good daily email) can create long term readership, referrals (shares) and rapport.  Rapport builds trust…and trust builds sales…and sales bring the sacks o’cash.

Mind bloggingly yours,

Lindsay “Never Waste A Website Visit” Sacks


Want to see the rest of the dog blog? It’s here.