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Copy Page Critique Request - eBook, Content Creation Niche

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by vip-ip, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. #1
    Hi everyone,

    I'd like to get some honest critiques from fellow DPers about my sales copy.
    SEMrush
    www.articlebrokering.com

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

    Best Regards,
    vip-ip.
     
    vip-ip, Mar 18, 2010 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Y.L. Prinzel

    Y.L. Prinzel Peon

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    #2
    "Remember the housing boom of the early 2000s? People had money, lenders had investments, banks made it easy to borrow money, and housing developments were popping up all across the country. What made the housing boom so huge was the fact that THE SYSTEM WORKED. Now it’s your time to grab this brokering model – the same model that thousands of successful real estate agents have been using for hundreds of years – and apply it to article writing! "

    Ummm.... you might want to rethink that... lenders were approving liar's loans, consumers were borrowing more than they could afford, and it really wasn't so much of a boom as it was a bubble. If your system works like the "housing boom"... well... good luck with that.
     
    Y.L. Prinzel, Mar 18, 2010 IP
  3. snarke

    snarke Peon

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    #3
    Uh, a few questions:

    1) "Does 1.5K a year sound lucrative to you?" Isn't 1.5K just $1500? How is an annual income of $1500 lucrative?

    2) How old are you? You mention being a business major at University of Maryland but then later say that you've been in business for yourself since 2003. If you are the average age of an undergrad (18-22) that means you've been in business since you were 11-15?? (And no, I'm not the only one who will do the math)

    3) According to your letter, your clients pay you between two and five cents per word. According to your spreadsheet you give half that payment to your writer. Are you really asking a bunch of writers to help you sell something that encourages buyers to hire people like us for rates from $0.01-$0.025 per word? Really? Really?
     
    snarke, Mar 18, 2010 IP
  4. dorothydot

    dorothydot Peon

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    #4
    Hi vip-ip,
    Good for you for getting up your site. I'm intrigued by your background, ruled paper like a notebook page. That I haven't seen before.

    I like all the color you have in your headline. Usually that just confuses viewers, but you do it better than most. I do think you might somehow consider condensing it so that the whole headline appears on the screen at once, without having to scroll down.

    Personally I'm a fan of shorter-is-better for copy.
    LEARN MY BRAND NEW METHOD OF MAKING OVER $876.59 IN JUST
    30 DAYS – MONTH AFTER MONTH, YEAR AFTER YEAR, VIRTUALLY ON DEMAND!
    (excuse my removing some returns - it's just for space conservation.)

    How about something more like,
    Discover How You Can Make Over $800 a Month, Year after Year, Using My
    Simple New Secret Method

    Just a thought.
    Dot
     
    dorothydot, Mar 18, 2010 IP
  5. vip-ip

    vip-ip Active Member

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    #5
    Thank you for your feedback Dot and everyone else, I appreciate your replies!

    @Y.L.: thank you, I will need to rework that.
    @snarke: 1) that was a type, it should be $1.5k a month. The "lucrative" part is the fact that you can do that working a few hours a day as opposed to 40-hour work weeks. 2) You're right, I've been doing business online since I was a teenager. I moved to the US (from Russia) when I was in middle school. I got immersed in English, which is how I learned the language so quickly. I got a grasp of HTML, started doing some basic graphic design, and moved on to online marketing. I'm now 19. Should I mention any of these points in my copy?

    I'm looking for more feedback please!

    Best Regards,
    vip-ip.
     
    vip-ip, Mar 19, 2010 IP
  6. vip-ip

    vip-ip Active Member

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    #6
    *typo.

    And oh yeah, @snarke:
    3) Actually my clients pay me exactly $0.025 per word, as you can see on my portfolio. But you COULD (realistically) charge up to $5 per 100 words if you use my method. I appreciate you checking my math for me, but if you look again, I made $1113.78 in sales, which cost me $237.19, with no investments (besides my time of course). That's a humongous margin, and I don't even feel like getting a calculator out for that. The point is, it's huge.

    I would say doing all of this took me about 40 hrs, which by my count amounts to just under $22 an hour for part time work from home. That's why I usually pay my writers $0.50-$1.00 per 100 words, depending on what exactly I need and what my client's expectations are. It's a pretty basic spreadsheet, and very self-explanatory. Personally I use this method when I'm so swamped with work that I just can't handle other projects - why would I turn away a client when I can still turn a profit? That's not to say that you can't do this full-time, like I suggest in the sales copy.

    No I'm asking for a copy page critique, but no, this is not what the ebook is about. If it was about what's in the sales copy, I obviously wouldn't be selling it.

    I hope these answers help clear up some pointers to a better critique. I look forward to some more DP member responses, please :)

    Best Regards,
    vip-ip.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
    vip-ip, Mar 19, 2010 IP
  7. omarabid

    omarabid Well-Known Member

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    #7
    So if banks know that consumers can't re-pay, why give the loans?
    It was not a bubble, the Banking-Economic system is broke and that will happen again in the next few years, just track the dow jones and nasdaq index. And each time it'll be even worse.
     
    omarabid, Apr 24, 2010 IP
  8. Y.L. Prinzel

    Y.L. Prinzel Peon

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    #8
    Yes, it was a bubble--any growth that is unnatural and unsustainable (not to mention unsupported by tangible data) is considered a bubble by most economists. Incidentally, bubbles are generally evidence of a broken system--in a perfectly functioning system there'd be no opportunity for a bubble. As far as loaning money to people who couldn't afford to pay there are many reasons including:

    Credit default swaps/mortgage backed securities
    Rising property values so banks got money from payments and home values rose before default which allowed them additional opportunity for profit (of course, this backfired)
    Some people will find a way eventually through selling, scrimping and taking on more work to pay

    Naturally, these things backfired--but then, that's what happens where there is a bubble.
     
    Y.L. Prinzel, Apr 24, 2010 IP
  9. dyadvisor

    dyadvisor Peon

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    #9
    GETTING BACK TO THE POST, after the2 ad coffee break, Do you really want honest opinion?

    It will not sell the way it is, even with all the buyers out there. If fact your post method, questions motives of some members. This looks more like an attempt to sell forum members than critique. Sly, but caught. You asked for it., so I can take it.
    1.It will not sell the way it is, even with all the buyers out there
    2. There are already almost 1,000 ebooks on article marketing, some with equal or lesser quality free.
    3. Even though "7" is a magical number. $97.00, does not mean $97.00 value. In every day email I get at least 5 offers of $97.00 value, now free for just signing up. So you are hitching your wagon to the wrong horses.
    4. When my lasted Ebook is released it will be sold at $17.00 To me if is morally fair, and 10 times as many people spend $17.00
    5. Your descriptions contradict. You say no PLR twice, and then mention fast "flipping". Sounds life lamb covering on a wolf. Hard to determine it your are promoting high quality, high quantity, both, or quantity with quality.
    6. The promotion uses bragging. When people brag, it is a sign of an inferiority complex.
    7. If your are exploiting members, I will give your free publicity in my booking exposing crooked marketers. How does that offer sound?
    8. Too many testimonials. After being burned, I consider one moderate testimony is sufficient. Each additional one makes me more leery. I know one marketing group of six, that have the testimonies of the other five in each product offered.
    9. Poor usage of two many different type styles, cause lack on focus. All material on the right site is proven to get more attention.
    10. With me, you would be axed for this next part. Blurry covered account earning statements. That is as valuable as counterfeit money. TOTAL EFFECTIVENESS = 3.0 OUT OF TEN, WITH CORRECTIONS = 6.0 OUT OF TEN, TEN OUT OF TENS are Pet Rocks & Chia Pets.

    A QUALITY PRODUCT SHOULD SELL ITSELF. YOU ARE TRYING SO MANY WAYS TO GET THE PERSON TO BUY. GETTING THE BUYER TO WANT TO BUY, IS NOT DONE BY REPEATED FORCE, But by winning trust, and promises made must be upheld.

    If you cannot handle critiquing, please do not ask for it. It then becomes a waste of a members time to respond. By the way I get paid from $120 to $250 to ghost write an article for a client. Guarantee = First page Google rankings for 5 different key word phrase combos, or pay nothing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2010
    dyadvisor, Apr 25, 2010 IP
    vip-ip likes this.
  10. vip-ip

    vip-ip Active Member

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    #10
    Thank you for your honest opinion.

    2. There are millions of computer companies, also - yet everyone knows of Microsoft. You've got to start somewhere.
    3, 4. I've lowered the price about 2 weeks ago.
    5. No, it doesn't. PLR and Flipping are not identical, and your argument claims they are. Perhaps I should clarify my sales copy on quality and quantity.
    6. I see where you could take it as bragging, but that's what you could call the results that I've had.
    7. Define 'exploiting members'
    8. I don't have any testimonials on there.
    9. Good tip, thank you.
    10. My account earnings are real. I've blurred out names and transaction IDs to preserve the integrity of my suppliers and buyers. The majority of people who know anything about e-commerce can understand this.

    I will most likely be revising my sales copy in the near future, so I appreciate all the feedback I've gotten from you guys, thanks!
     
    vip-ip, May 8, 2010 IP
  11. dyadvisor

    dyadvisor Peon

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    #11
    Excellent: I appreciate that you read my post as constructive criticism, that is on the book.
    None is intended on you as a person with creatively, and an urge to learn and earn.
    Your character shows you are not stagnated, but on the way up to whatever level you are comfortable of achieving

    1. Get rid of showing blurred account earnings (it is way overused) Remember that to stand out, sometime it is best to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. Producing the "pet Rock" and "Chia Pet" are examples where creative people took the opposite approach.
    2. If available, get a notebook, and scan a TV for info-commercials. The shorter the better. Many of those items have sold over 1,000,000 times. Now the product producer is selling the list of names and address of the buyer. The factual rate? Often $110/thousand. This means they are making more off the rebound results, than the product.
    3. Ask yourself this. Why should I buy this book? Of 12 reasons, pick 4. They should all be based upon the 12 main emotions.
    4. Keep in mind, that you are a writer. However a writer must also be a seller. There are two reasons most sales fail, because they are overlooked. Those are the buyer having confidence and liking you. I cannot remember if you have an "about the author page with your picture."
    5. To gain credibility, must only show meaning full material. A picture of you as a baby in a bath top, or "awarded best cheerleader" will hurt more than help.
    6. If you want help you have 2 ways here for me to be notified. In 5 days you will have honest true credentials that buyers want to know. FREE, no money to me, just a way of helping a fellow member.

    I am impressed that you are not on the defensive. I think everyone has posted with the intention of helping out, however you alone must learn to do the separation.
     
    dyadvisor, May 8, 2010 IP
  12. vip-ip

    vip-ip Active Member

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    #12
    dyadvisor, I've revamped my sales copy. What do you think?
    Everyone else, I used your feedback as well - any additional comments will be appreciated!
    http://articlebrokering.com/ check it out.
     
    vip-ip, May 14, 2010 IP
  13. MarkAndrews IMCopywriting

    MarkAndrews IMCopywriting Peon

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    #13
    Your preheader starts off with...

    From The Desk Of:

    Never a good idea to start this off in such a manner, even if you had included this line below, it's dead beat, a non-goer using this flogged to death line.

    The main headline is as weak as dishwater, using the word, I'm... not good.

    Also blue for the headline, well...good luck with that one.

    Your deck, intro, buyers environment introduction is placing far too much emphasis on yourself and not focusing on the benefits you can provide to anyone reading this.

    The first paragraph, you need to separate out the text a lot more.

    Make the first sentence short, punchy and straight to the point. Help the reader, your visitors to slide down into your sales copy.

    Use the words 'you' and 'your' a lot more often, drawing particular attention to your would be buyers main frustrations and feelings of emotional pain. In other words identify strongly with your target audience, before setting yourself up as the ideal answer / solution to their prayers.

    Use a combination of shorter sentences and longer sentences.

    Pay attention to how your words used within the sales copy in question are playing on the subconscious emotions, of your target audience.

    Your first sub headline...

    Make it the same text size as your main headline.

    Before you ruthlessly edit this piece (which it badly needs) go buy yourself a highly recommended book on copywriting and apply the principles contained within, to your sales letter.

    At the moment, right from the very beginning, there are many fatal flaws in this piece.

    Good luck!

    Best,


    Mark Andrews...
     
    vip-ip likes this.
  14. vip-ip

    vip-ip Active Member

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    #14
    Hi Mark, thanks for your advice. With this rewrite (the sales copy I had before, when I first started this thread, was different), I tried starting out with a story that people could relate to. Everyone went to high school before, everyone knows slackers, and my target audience are content creators, which is why I punched the word "writing" in italics. The approach that I chose here was to arouse curiosity with the headline, then to captivate the reader with the story (many article writers are either in college or are college grads, so they can also relate to me), then to sell. I'm reading Joe Sugarman's book on copywriting, which was a great start for me - I've adapted his style more so than in my previous copy. I have much more reading to do, which is why other people's feedback is important to me. I'll implement your revision advice and update you all on this thread once I do so.

    Best Regards,
    vip-ip.
     
    vip-ip, May 16, 2010 IP
  15. MarkAndrews IMCopywriting

    MarkAndrews IMCopywriting Peon

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    #15
    It's an excellent copywriting book choice - very good indeed.

    I've got notifications set up by email, when you re-edit this piece let me know and I'll take another look at it for you.

    Best,


    Mark Andrews...
     
  16. vip-ip

    vip-ip Active Member

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    #16
    I changed it up - mainly the first 5 paragraphs. Take a look.

    vip-ip.
     
    vip-ip, May 16, 2010 IP
  17. MarkAndrews IMCopywriting

    MarkAndrews IMCopywriting Peon

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    #17
    Hmmmmm.

    Obviously you didn't pay too much attention to coming up with a great headline.

    This one now is a little contradictory...introducing the business of 'site flipping' into the equation which has nothing to do with your own service offered here.

    Now, what happens if someone hasn't got the foggiest idea what 'site flipping' is?

    This could very easily add to further confusion in the eye of the beholder.

    My advice to you is to think carefully about your headlines.

    Do not go for the first thing that pops into your mind - sit down first with a pen and notepad and brainstorm some benefit orientated headlines which will really capture the imagination and the attention of your site visitors.

    What I want you to do now, (in your own interest) is to write out 50 headlines - no less.

    The first 10 or so you'll find reletively easy to drum up after which you might start struggling a little bit - which is the entire purpose of the exercise.

    Each headline should be no longer than 16 words maximum.

    So really think about what you are trying to convey to your ideal targeted audience.

    Then pick out 5 headlines which are, in your opinion, real corkers.

    Send them to me via pm afterwards if you want to.

    Now, any headlines which you are not using, you can use these later on (if you so wish) for your main bullet point benefits, for your speed readers and page skimmers.

    Your first paragraph should be very short, no more than 6-8 words.

    The purpose of this first 'paragraph', this first sentence is purely to get the visitor, the reader to read the second sentence down.

    In short, creating a slippery sales funnel, directing your target audience to taking your desired course of action at the end of the sales letter or sales copy piece.

    So, your first sentence (paragraph)...

    Are you a content writer?...

    Now, I would adjust / re-edit again your next few sentences - ask a few more questions which your visitors can only say 'yes' to in their mind. This is all about setting up the buyers / buying environment.

    Whatever you do, definitely delete the sentence, i.e. do not use...

    The difference between you and I is that I know how to make more than you, and I actually get to work less. Let me explain.

    Insulting your visitors is no way to garner business on off offline. Taking the line, the assumption that you know how to make more money than your visitors is a huge turn off. It comes across in a wholly negative light stirring up the wrong emotion.

    Remember, you want to stir up positive feelings towards you and your product, your business, not negative emotional feelings or barriers to doing business with you.

    Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 you are using too many mentions still of, I and I'm.

    Get the emphasis away from yourself. The visitor is asking themselves one question only...

    "Whats in this for me?"

    Remember this ^ point - keep it fresh in your mind.

    All of these introductory paragraphs need further ruthless editing / rewriting.

    Your first sub heading is still in blue and is a different text size to your main headline. Go with uniformity and keep the color of this sub headline and the size too, identical to your main headline.

    Also, adjust the wording of this sub headline, the one used / chosen at present is terrible.

    In the 5th paragraph you use the word, 'axiom'. Delete it and replace it with something easier to understand.

    When writing copy, you want to keep all of your words as simple and easy to understand as possible.


    Every time you write an unusual or not commonly understood word, basically you are setting up a filter which will drive your visitors away from your offer.

    When they click away in an instant, you've lost this potential business for good.

    If you spend good money and valuable time driving highly targeted traffic to your offer (or your sales page), what is the point in repelling your website visitors by creating word or emotional filters, which will have them clicking out in the blink of an eye?

    Every single word counts.

    Every single word and sentence conveys an emotion.

    If you write willy nilly without putting yourself into the direct shoes of your target audience, if you jar their emotions or run them ragged with conflicting emotional feelings...you'll lose out on a great deal of potential business.

    Editing sales copy takes time even for a professional copywriter.

    If you are considered a copywriting 'newbie', you have to pay even more close and keen / rapt attention to the editing process. Keep your vision clear, your overall business goal, your main objective at the forefront of your mind at all times. Remember - every word can make a whole world of difference to your sales figures and bottom line profits.

    This is as far as I'm going for now otherwise I'll be here all night lol - there's still a lot of work for you to do, if you want to bring this up to scratch.

    Also, one final point, on the uniformity theme, do not indent your first line of each new paragraph.

    Again, I hope this helps you out a little.

    Feel free to contact me via my site, if you want a complete professional rewrite from scratch.

    Best,


    Mark Andrews...
     
  18. MarkAndrews IMCopywriting

    MarkAndrews IMCopywriting Peon

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    #18
    Do you want to make more money online from your content creation?...


    "Delivering Excellent Content
    Takes a Hell of a Lot of Time.

    Discover How to Save Time and
    Whack a Lot More Cash
    into Your Bank Account!"



    Are you a content writer?...

    So, the preheader here is straightaway appealing to your target audience desire, to make more money.

    It is identifying with them directly, talking straight into the mindset of content creators.

    The main headline here too is once again, identifying with your target audience.

    It shows that you understand the greatest frustration for a lot of content creators - time availability affects profits.

    You've now highlighted the problem and now you're telling them their perfect solution. You can not only help them to save valuable time but following your method, your recipe...what you are about to share with them, will not cost them a single cent.

    For if they invest in this, your blueprint, your formula for success, this will put a lot more money their way - which ties in with the preheader too above.

    Now, your first sentence is very short...inspiring the reader to read the next sentence down.

    Are you a content writer?... (Notice the use of the ellipse...) This is inviting them to push on downwards into your sales copy. Use them regularly and keep the reader, your visitors always wanting more.

    This first sentence is again identifying with your target audience and is speaking directly to them.

    So now follow this vein of thought to it's natural conclusion, as you rewrite the rest of your sales copy.

    Notice too the use of the word 'Your' in the main headline...

    "...and Whack a Lot More Cash into Your Bank Account!"

    Now you're starting to talk their language. You are at the moment their best friend.

    Keep piling on those benefits one after the other.

    Under your 'Ha Ha' sub headline...

    You see, I’ve devised a formula for success that I’ve been working on since 2006. It’s easy. It’s fun. And it’s risk free. Let me tell you about just some of the highlights...

    This would be the ideal opportunity to include your first benefit driven, bullet points.

    Remember, you can use any leftover headlines from your previously written out 50 headlines, to paraphrase into your main bullet points.

    I hope this extra info helps you out.

    Good luck!

    Best,


    Mark Andrews...
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  19. dark_white

    dark_white Peon

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    #19
    First post... gulp.

    I'm new to IM – transitioning/expanding from my background in writing and researching in traditional publishing and academia – and this thread has been like a mini-course. The OP is young and committed, and has a very impressive Twitter presence! But it has been Mark Andrews' contributions that have proved so fascinating. Although my speciality is content as opposed to copywriting, I've observed and taken plenty of notes from Mark's heftily generous and valuable critiquing and suggestions.

    I've been trawling around the various IM forums for a couple of months in an effort to learn the basics, and there are people with a fraction of Mark's talent trying to sell their so-called expertise to anyone who asks for help (I don't think I've ever seen Newbies to any genre preyed upon with such transparent zeal). But this is the kind of advice you'd expect to pay a coach for. And, no, I'm not an affiliate. :)

    Anyway... Mark: I'm impressed. vip_ip: good luck with your endeavors. And "Hello", everyone.
     
    dark_white, May 18, 2010 IP
  20. vip-ip

    vip-ip Active Member

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    #20
    I've made an interesting observation.

    According to Google Analytics, between May 14 (when I completely rewrote the copy) and May 18 (today), the average user time spent on my page was 3 minutes and 54 seconds. 60% were new users.
    Between May 9 and May 13 (also a span of 4 days, right before the rewrite was posted), my average time spent on site was ... 20 seconds. Only 48% were new users.
    Between the 4th and the 8th, the results were even worse. April 30 - May 3 were about the same as 9-13.

    That's astounding.
     
    vip-ip, May 18, 2010 IP