Bly.com Newsletter Archives An archived collection of Bob Bly’s Direct Marketing Newsletter

9/16/2004

5 STEPS TO BECOMING A BETTER WRITER

Filed under: Newsletter Archive — site admin @ 5:01 pm

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Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving response
to business-to-business, high-tech, industrial,
Internet, and direct marketing.
September, 2004

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You are getting this e-mail because you subscribed
to it on www.bly.com or because you are one
of Bob’s clients, prospects, seminar attendees,
or book buyers. If you would prefer not
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and hit Unsubscribe. Please note that we
are affiliates for some of the products
recommended in this newsletter.

And feel free to forward this issue to any peers,
friends and associates you think would benefit
from its contents. They will thank you. So will I.

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HUGO CAVE’S 5 STEPS TO BECOMING A BETTER WRITER

The late Hugo Cave, prolific best-selling author
of more than a thousand published stories and
many best-selling books, once gave the
following advice for becoming a better writer:

1. If you are going to be a writer you must glue
your butt into a chair and write,
not just talk about it.

2. Read and not just what’s on today’s
best-seller list. Read the old masters;
they are remembered for a reason.

3. Learn to type. You can write in longhand,
but it takes too long, and as you become
a better writer your thoughts will out-race
your fingers. If at all possible, use a computer.
The keys are quiet enough not to intrude upon your
thinking. Also, editing on a computer is
so much easier. You don’t have to retype a whole
page to correct a couple of mistakes.

4. Go places and do things. Reading is good,
but a writer who has been to the Congo will
write more interestingly about it than one who has
merely read some books about it. When you’re
a writer, everything you do becomes part
of you, to be drawn upon when needed.

5. Keep a notebook. If you don’t, you’ll
forget things that may later be important.
Part of keeping a notebook is the way it
disciplines you to stay alert at all times
for story ideas, bits of description, etc.
Your mind will be an open container
always ready for something good to come
along and fall into it.

Source: “Cave of a Thousand Tales”
(Arkham House) by Milt Thomas

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WHERE SHOULD THE FIRST HYPERLINK
APPEAR IN YOUR ONLINE COPY?

Many online marketing authorities say that
you should put your first link – the thing
the reader clicks on to order – near the beginning
of your microsite, landing page, or e-mail.

Conventional wisdom says the first response
link in an e-mail marketing message should
be “above the fold” – so it is visible on
the first screen.

Online marketer and copywriter Harlan Kilstein,
however, says he gets better results
by delaying introduction of the link until
about halfway down in the text.

His reasoning: If you put the link in early,
and people click to your order page
before they are “sold,” you will lose them.

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PR PLACEMENTS GUARANTEED OR YOUR MONEY BACK!

People always ask me, “Where should we
send our press releases?” Here’s
a resource that can help….

Blitz Media Wire offers a “guaranteed”
PR story placement service: they promise
to deliver “targeted, measurable response public
relations on a guaranteed placement
pay-for-results basis” … or your money back.

Their press release distribution service
targets your news to over 45,775 media outlets.
The firm guarantees results from a minimum
of a hundred up to 1,250 story placements
for as little as $15.95 each. For more
information, e-mail blitz4pr@att.net;
call (631) 924-8555 or log on
lgroup.addr.com/PRSuccess.htm

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SELLING YOUR SERVICES ONLINE

Have you tried to market your services
online and been disappointed with the results?
Or is your current online marketing
reasonably effective, but you’d like
to get even better results?

If so, I urge you to check out “The Ultimate
Guide to Selling Your Services Online,” a new
multimedia learning program from my good
friend, marketing whiz and superstar
entrepreneur Bob Serling.

Two years ago, Bob Serling generated only 15%
of his consulting income through online marketing.
Today, 60% of all the new business
Bob generates comes from his online
marketing — which, he says, is “almost
effortless and costs next to nothing.”

In this program, Serling reveals his secrets
for selling services online — and interviews
four other marketers to get theirs: Joe Vitale,
Robert Middleton, Don Crowther, and yours truly.

For more information or to order “The Ultimate
Guide to Selling Your Services Online,”
click below now:

http://consulting-success.com/cgi-bin/lnkinlte.cgi?l=bly

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UPCOMING SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

On September 21, 2004, I will be speaking on
“What’s Working in E-Mail Marketing Today”
in Washington DC for the local Newsletter &
Electronic Publishers Association (NEPA)
chapter. For more information,
e-mail Kim Hockaday at khocka@erols.com.

I will be presenting one time only for the
Learning Annex in New York City “The World’s
Best-Kept Copywriting Secrets” on September
28, 2004, 6:30pm to 9:30pm. For more information
call the Learning Annex at 212-290-2430.

The American Writer’s and Artist’s Institute
October Boot Camp will take place this year
in Del Ray Beach, Florida, October 5 – 9.
I will be giving several talks on copywriting
and one on selling yourself as a freelance copywriter.

This is a great event and always worth attending,
whether you are a copywriter, entrepreneur,
or direct marketing executive. For more
information, click below:

http://www.awaionline.com/bootcamp/bb49/

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MORE BAD NEWS FOR BOOKS

According to a new study from investment
banking firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson,
the number of hours Americans spend reading
books continues to fall, from 109 hours
in 2003 to a projected 106 hours in 2006.

Meanwhile, the number of hours spent using
the Internet continues to increase, from
176 hours in 2003 to a projected 213 hours in 2006.

Source: Publishers Weekly, 8/2/04, p. 5

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QUOTATION OF THE MONTH

“I woke up this morning
with a though in my head:
Everybody wants heaven –
but nobody wants dead.”
–Caribbean saying

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RECENT PROJECTS (JUST A SAMPLING)

Sales letters for PestPac Online, IT Group,
and Leeb Capital Management … print ads
for CAT Media and Agora Health Books …
direct mail packages for Agora Publishing,
SurfControl, Austin Chalk … consulting
for Isogon … renewals for The Hulbert Financial
Digest and Weiss Research … direct mail
package for 21st Century Investor …
e-mail for Standard & Poor’s, Forbes, and
Thornhill Advisors …

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60-SECOND COMMERCIAL FROM FERN DICKEY, OFFICE MANAGER:

Bob is available on a limited basis for
copywriting of direct mail packages, sales letters,
brochures, white papers, ads, e-mail marketing
campaigns, PR materials, and Web pages.
We recommend you call for a FREE copy of our
updated Copywriting Information Kit. Just
let us know your industry and the type of copy you’re
interested in seeing (ads, mailings, etc.),
and if Bob is available to take your assignment,
we’ll tailor a package of recent samples
to fit your requirements. Call Fern Dickey
at 201-797-8105 or e-mail fern1128@optonline.net.

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Bob Bly
Copywriter/Consultant
22 E. Quackenbush Ave.
Dumont, NJ 07628
rwbly@bly.com
www.bly.com
phone 201-385-1220
fax 201-385-1138

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