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The Writer’s Website Often Goes Without Updates

The Writer’s Website Often Goes Without Updates

As a writer for hire, my personal website sometimes suffers … I seem to remember an expression about a shoemaker’s kids going without shoes. Let me Google that … Yes, here it is:


I’m considering making a graphic with the quote:

A writer’s website often goes without regular updates.”

Yes? No? … Maybe you’d have to see it …

But, either way, in the interest of keeping my website up-to-date – while also moving client projects forward – I’d like to share a few articles I’ve written recently:

1. How to Make a Purple Cow: 12 Tips for an Unforgettable Business Website

Unforgettable-1-300x240I love the whole concept of the “Purple Cow” – coined by Seth Godin. Basically, cows are boring (according to Godin) and unremarkable. But, if you found a purple cow, that’s something you’d never stop talking about.

With that in mind, here are 12 ways to make your website unforgettable … even if you don’t have an interesting product, a dramatic story, an exciting image, or The Most Interesting Man in the World

Read the whole article here.

2. 8 Ways to Work Less and Earn More

work-less-and-earn-more-300x190This article, which I wrote for Bidsketch, got a lot of mentions around the Web.

Here’s the backstory: At the beginning of 2013, I wanted to double my hourly rate – for the primary purpose of having more leisure time.

Throughout the year I tested different techniques and strategies so I could work less and earn more. At the end of the year, I more than doubled my hourly rate and I worked less than part time (or 20 hours per week).

If you too want to work fewer hours – or increase your hourly rate – read this article for 8 ways to maximize your working hours.

3. Content that Converts: How to Turn Viewers into Buyers

content-that-converts-1This article was a lot of fun to write – and judging by the response, people found it useful.

If you spend any time at all writing and sharing content to market your business, this article will help you decide if you’re missing critical elements when it comes to your content marketing strategy. And – if so – how to combine entertaining content with content that converts (i.e. makes you more money).

Read the whole article here.

Also, be sure to check out the “Snellen Test” for copy (explained in the comments by fellow writer, Steve Maurer).

I guess that’s all for today …

As always, if you have any questions, please post them in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you!

Convert More Customers from “Potential” to “Paying”

Convert More Customers from “Potential” to “Paying”

convert more customers with the know, like, trust factorWhen dealing with a potential customer, you must build a relationship with them so they’ll feel comfortable enough to give their money in exchange for your services.

This can be quite a process. But, luckily, there are several things you can do to put their worries at ease and secure their business.

It all starts with a common marketing principle that you may have heard about: the “Know-Like-Trust Factor.”

Remembering and using the “know-like-trust factor” will help you convert more customers.

Here’s how you can apply this principle to your business:

1. Know

Converting more customers starts by letting your potential customer get to know you. This is best accomplished with your business website. Ideally, your website will give anyone wanting to get to know you – like potential customers – a direct path to all the information they need.

Just by looking at your site, they need to know that you can solve their problem either because you have the right training or experience. They need to know what you can do for them. And they need to know that you’re a real person who won’t take their money and run.

Here’s how you can do that:

  • As you share things about yourself, make sure the customer always understands what’s in it for them. Share things that add to your credibility. For example, if your niche is food writing, then your experience as a chef is a great thing to talk about. If you don’t have that much experience, you could talk about your passion for cooking, how you never want to leave the kitchen, or how you travel the world to try new flavors. Explain how your passion or experience is of value to them.
  • Add a little personality into your marketing messages. You want to be seen as a professional, but that doesn’t mean you have to be stuffy or uptight. If you’re a funny person, add some humor. This will help your customers realize that you’re a real person.
  • Include a contact form or contact information on your website so potential customers can reach out to you. Then respond to messages and emails in a timely manner.
  • If you have a blog, use it to help potential customers by writing about the biggest issues or questions in your niche and how you’d deal with them. You’ll be their hero, and they’ll consider you an expert. This will lead to them hiring you and referring you to others.

2. Like

Once a potential customer has a good understanding of who you are, you’ll want to do things to make them like you. This is a lot like building a real relationship – it takes time.

The average website visitor won’t be ready to buy the first time they find your website. That’s okay. Instead of getting upset, you can do things to bring them back to your site and build a relationship over time so when they are ready to buy, you’re the one they come to.

The best way to follow up with them later is via email. Basically, you offer them something they really want, a “bait piece,” so they’ll give you their email address to get it. This is usually some form of information – like a free report, email series, video training, or critique.

Later, you send them emails that share more of your personality and make your name familiar to them. The more often you follow up with them, the more they’ll know, like, and trust you. And, you’ll convert more customers.

For more help creating your own bait piece so you can gather email addresses of potential clients, check out these articles:

3. Trust

When people are looking for writers (and other freelancers) online, it’s easy for doubt to creep in. That can create hesitation and kill your ability to get hired.

To overcome this doubt and create trust so you can convert more customers, you need to first reduce their risk. When someone is ready to hire you, you don’t want anything to scare him or her away.

Here are two ways to get your website visitors to trust (and hire) you:

  1. Offer an ironclad guarantee. A guarantee for services is different from the guarantee you’ll see for products, but the purpose is the same: to dissolve the fear that what you’re offering might not be as good as you claim. If you’re a freelancer, you may not want to guarantee specific results from your services (like copy or web design), but you can guarantee things like on-time delivery or that you’ll do revisions until they’re satisfied. Just make sure your terms are clear – you don’t want them to think a revision means they can change the entire scope of the project after the work is done.
  2. Give proof that others know, like, and trust you. Potential customers will feel more at ease if they see other people trusted you and it went well for them. Become more active in social media and get more followers. Add links to these profiles on your website. Also, interact with people online – in a professional capacity – as often as possible. This will increase your search engine results and make you much more trustworthy. (The more you can find on a person online, the more real they seem.)

Also, every time you do a project or help someone out, ask for a testimonial. Then add them to your website as proof that other people know, like, and trust you.

Testimonials should include the name of the person who wrote it, job position, and everything that makes them important to listen to – the more the better. It’s best if you can get a video testimonial from happy customers, but if you can’t, a picture of the person is still good. If you can’t get a picture either, use the testimonial anyway. A testimonial without a picture is better than no testimonial.

Of course, there are many other ways to build credibility, help potential customers know, like, and trust you, and convert more customers.

What have you tried? Have you found a great way to quickly build a solid relationship with a potential customer? Comment below to let us know.