The Copywriter’s Guide to Procrastination

March 29, 2012 by Dean Rieck · 5 Comments
Filed under: Miscellaneous 

copywriting procrastinationSleep in. You work hard. You’re tired. You deserve a few more minutes of shuteye.

Break your alarm clock. You know you’re sleeping in. You don’t need that thing to keep beeping at you.

Fix a healthy breakfast. You’ve promised yourself you’ll stop munching on half a box of donuts and chugging a gallon of coffee every morning. Oatmeal, grapefruit, orange juice. That’s what you need.

Look for the donuts. You don’t have any oatmeal, grapefruit, or orange juice.

Make a grocery list. Include oatmeal, grapefruit, and orange juice. Oh, and a new alarm clock.

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Your 10 favorite ProCopyTips posts for 2010

December 27, 2010 by Dean Rieck · Comments Off
Filed under: Miscellaneous 

top ten ProCopyTips postsWhen you publish a blog, you never know what subjects are going to be popular.

On my other blog, I tossed off a post about Facebook Fan Pages a while back, and to my surprise it drew huge traffic and rocketed to page one of Google for the search phrase “facebook fan page.”

So I got curious about what items people liked best on this blog.

You can’t always tell by comments or tweets, so I used Google Analytics and discovered that the following were the 10 most popular posts for 2010.

They weren’t all written this year, but they represent the posts with the most readers since January 1, 2010.

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Okay. Okay. I’m writing a freelancing book.

July 8, 2010 by Dean Rieck · 11 Comments
Filed under: Miscellaneous 

For what seems like eons, people have been asking me to write a book on freelancing. From Bob Bly to colleagues to fellow freelancers, I’ve been hounded for years.

And now, I’m finally giving in.

I AM writing a book on freelancing. And it’s going to be big. How to start, build, and run a freelance practice. Soup to nuts.

Here’s the story.

Years ago, even before the Internet was a big deal (we’re talking mid 1990s here), writers would contact me about how to start and build a freelance business. I tried to answer their questions as well as I could, but it became time-consuming to write and send emails every week.

I noticed that a lot of the questions followed a pattern, so I pulled together all those emails, filled in a few details, and created a little 30-page ebook. I just sent it to anyone who contacted me and didn’t charge anything.

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Would you like to write for Pro Copy Tips?

April 22, 2010 by Dean Rieck · 4 Comments
Filed under: Miscellaneous 

When I started Pro Copy Tips, I wanted it to be a place where anyone who writes copy could learn how to do it better — whether they’re full-time or part-time, employee or freelancer, entrepreneur or business executive.

It’s also a place where you can learn about starting and running a freelance business from someone who actually makes a living at it.

But as much as I like sharing all these tips with you, I’m just one guy. There are others who do what I do, and they all have a unique set of skills and know-how.

So if you’re an experienced copywriter, I want to share your wisdom here on Pro Copy Tips. Whaddya say?

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No testimonials? 17 other trust-building copy techniques

March 29, 2010 by Dean Rieck · 2 Comments
Filed under: Miscellaneous 

testimonial techniquesIt’s copywriting 101.

Every sales pitch can benefit from one or more testimonials. They provide third-party endorsements, build trust, and, if you have a lot of them, engage the “bandwagon” effect — the more people doing it, the more acceptable it is.

But what happens when you have no testimonials to work with? You just have to write your copy without them. Right?

Wrong. And here’s why.

There’s nothing magic about testimonials. Yes, you read that right. Testimonials are powerful, but they are just one way to accomplish an end. What end? To build trust in a company or product.

As long as you can build trust, that’s all that matters. So if there are other techniques for building trust, you can get by without standard testimonials.

And as it happens, there are plenty of other ways to build trust. Here are a few.

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Best Pro Copy Tips blog posts of 2009

December 16, 2009 by Dean Rieck · Comments Off
Filed under: Miscellaneous 

Well, it’s that time of year when blog authors are doing their round ups of best blog posts, so I guess I’ll join in.

Of course, Pro Copy Tips is not even 4 months old, so this list is a bit on the short side.

How did I decide which posts are the best? Partly by the response they got, partly by personal preference.

My goal is to not waste your time with a lot of fluffery but to provide advice and resources you can really use to improve your copywriting. In the last few months, I think these posts did a good job of that.

AIDA and 14 secret copywriting formulas
117 tested advertising headlines that made money
30 copywriting blogs that are actually worth reading
Cut research time in half with this copywriting checklist
9 copywriting “number tricks” to manipulate readers
7 ways to drive a copywriter stark raving mad
Double your reading speed with this odd little trick
30 sales letter openers to kick start your sales pitch
187 marketing terms every copywriter should know

What do you want to know about copywriting? What problems do you have? What do you wish you could do better?

I don’t promise to have all the answers, but I’ve been around the block a few times. I’m willing to share all my experience with you.

Ask me.

7 ways to drive a copywriter stark raving mad

November 9, 2009 by Dean Rieck · 12 Comments
Filed under: Miscellaneous 

Drive your copywriter madThere are all sorts of things to love about being a copywriter. It’s profitable. It can be low-stress. You have control over your schedule. You will enjoy variety in clients and projects.

But after many years of making a living writing copy, I have experienced a few things that I don’t love. Some are annoying, a few are exasperating, and one or two things have come close to making me snap.

Want to drive a copywriter mad? Here’s how to do it:

Call up a copywriter and, in a sincere voice, ask, “I have a really important project and I need a good copywriter. Can you recommend anyone?” Make sure there’s not even a hint of irony in your voice. If the copywriter reminds you that you’re talking to someone who writes copy, act confused as if that’s irrelevant. “What I’m looking for is, you know, a copywriter.”

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Welcome to Pro Copy Tips!

September 2, 2009 by Dean Rieck · 2 Comments
Filed under: Miscellaneous 

How do you write a company brochure? What makes for a good testimonial? Which part of a direct mail package should you write first? Where do you find helpful resources online for synonyms and quotations? How do you write faster without delivering lazy copy? Which grammar rules do you have to follow and which should you ignore? What do you need to know about design?

Pro Copy Tips is about just these sort of practical questions. My intention is to get right down to the nitty-gritty of writing professional copy. My goal is to make the blog posts clear, direct, instructive, and immediately useful in your day-to-day work.

If you want to know about who I am, just read the About page. Or you can read about my copywriting business or visit my company blog.

That’s it. No more fanfare. Let’s get to work.