by Simon Mullin
The World’s Best Copywriters: Write Like the Pros
by Simon Mullin
The art of developing truly great copy has been in force since the day written language was formed. Ancient Sumerian tablets inspired the rise of civilization itself. Even Hebrew scripts from 3000 years ago still intrigue, move and compel over a billion faithful to carry on the will of an age-old monotheistic entity.
I’m not saying to write like “Yaweh,” that dude is a bit too old-fashioned for our purposes. But it’s important in your copywriting career to emulate those who came before you. The only way to get better at this trade is to read, write and study – just like anything else.
To put you on the right path, here’s my list of my favorite copywriters of our time, along with a good amount of reading material. Make sure you spend a little time learning from these guys. You’ll be glad you did.
1. Brian Clark, founder of Copyblogger and CEO of Copyblogger Media.
In my opinion, Brian Clark is by far the best copywriter today. Not only does this man have a copywriting career that makes the rest of us look like amateur ass-scratchers, Brian uses his wit and intelligence to teach the rest of us how to write, read and optimize our copy. Read Brian’s Copywriting 101: How to Craft Compelling Copy for a crash course in creative communication.
2. Gary Bencivenga, Bencivenga Bullets
Gary’s writing is so explosive that the shrapnel of alphabetic excellence will pierce you like hipster’s gauged lobe. As a subscriber to his world-renowned and awfully named “Bencivenga Bullets” eblast, Gary’s monthly “Bullets” are my governing principals to marketing success. His advice is practical yet innovative with answers so obvious that I now understand how easily they’re overlooked. Gary knows that business is war and he’s got the ammunition.
3. Robert W. Bly, author of The Copywriter’s Handbook
Though Bob wrote this before the advent of the Internet, even before the invention of the PC, his book title says it all. This guy literally invented the handbook, the essential reading all copywriters must absorb before they set out on their careers. Bob spells out the tried-and-true principles and policies of writing effective copy, all in an easy to read, formulaic approach. Buy Bob’s book here.
For the price of a decent Pad Thai takeout, you can transport your mind to Mars to discover the secrets of the red planet. Was there life on Mars? Are we alone? Is there going to be free beer? Andrew Kessler, NASA hotshot and nerd extraordinaire, will tell his incredible story of how he and 130 astronomical eggheads got the Phoenix rover from Cape Canaveral, FL to the cold Martian desert 140 million miles away.
Learn about temperamental space robots, updates on the otherworldly Curiosity Mission and why Brooklyn should put down their kale chips and start caring about kick-ass space exploration!
Come with me to Nerd Nite NYC and join fellow astro-geeks for a night of Martian mayhem!
Friday September 7, 2012 at 8pm
Galapagos Art Space
16 Main Street, DUMBO Brooklyn
A/C train to High Street or F train to York Street
by Simon Mullin
How to Make a Bucket of Badass Bloody Mary’s for Pennies in Brooklyn
From a young age, I always knew my grandpa (known in our Ashkenazi household as “Papa”) to be a drinker. No I’m not talking about a couple glasses of wine at dinner and calling it a night; this silver-haired Don Juan of whiskey knows how to kick back and drink his college-aged grandkids over and under the table like he was an animal house coed.
And Papa taught me one of the most powerful life lessons I still hold to this day: how to concoct a killer Bloody Mary. I’d like to introduce you to my grandpa’s “Bloody Moses” and share how to make a bucket of this delectable drink for what you can find under your couch pillows.
Papa‘s Bloody Moses
Don’t pretend like you don’t have vodka in the house. Check the freezer. Under the bed. Maybe in the shower? If you really can’t find any, head on over to Richie’s Wine & Liquors on Grand & Bushwick for a $6 bottle of the finest Giorgi’s vodka.
- Invite 4 of your brokest friends
- Fill a pitcher with ice
- Pour 5 ounces of Giorgi’s liquid confidence into the pitcher
- Liberally (the only way in Brooklyn) douse 20 shots of Worcester sauce ($2 at Key Foods on Grand)
- Add 10 splashes of Trader Joe’s Jalapeno Pepper Hot Sauce ($1.99 bottle)
- 5 spoon-fulls of chopped horse raddish ($2.50 at Associated on Grand Street)
- Pour your Associated Brand tomato juice ($2 a gallon) and stir
- My favorite broke-ass part: GARNISH!
Look in your fridge. You can garnish Papa’s Bloody Moses with carrots and the like, or you could grow a pair and throw in some Brooklyn Brine pickles, TJ’s olives and a fat stack of Chicago-style hard salami.
Who’s the weekend hero now? You just got you and 4 friends drunk AND fed for under $3/head. Drink up! You deserve it.
Boost your SEO with these useful copywriting tips
by Simon Mullin
SEO copywriting is more than just a few keywords here, a link there, and a cool new twist on an old idea. Copywriting is about creating fresh, relevant content that thrills your readers, compels your clients to buy, and captures the attention of pesky search engine bots.
The fact is: Search engine algorithms are getting more sophisticated, and it’s crucial that copywriters evolve with the times.
Here’s a list of a few key tips to creating great SEO copy:
Headlines must be electrifying!
Headlines are a promise — a promise that you need to deliver on in your copy. The article, post, or email send you just spent hours writing is irrelevant if you don’t have people reading on past the header.
A headline can turn your average skimmer into an enthusiastic customer. Once you get them to read your headline or open an email, it’s time to move in with the kill. Give them a captivating read, and clear and concise call to action.
Did you know that 80% of online readers skim headlines and only 20% actually move on to read through the article? It’s true. Also, using statistics in your copy is a great way to keep your content reader-friendly.
The Keyword Rule
Utilizing keywords in your copy is important, but it’s crucial that you don’t flood your article with keywords. Having a majority of keywords placed sporadically yet practically within the first 400 words of your copy will help your site stand out. Turns out search engines are skimmers too, made in their creators’ image.
Don’t ever plagiarize. It’s not only destructive to your reputation, it will offend the search engine bots, ruin your SERP ranking, and they’ll send you to the depths of the relevance charts (SEO hell).
As best stated in Brian Clark’s white paper, you need impress your readers. Impress them to the point where they want to link back to your work. And when they do, make sure to reciprocate by linking back to them as well. Sharing, link building and, most importantly, linking to relevant sources that will backup your claims, is a way of telling Google that your content is worth being highlighted.
For more in-depth information on SEO Copywriting hints and tips, I recommend:
Car problems used to be easy to diagnose. Anyone with basic handyman skills was able to spot mechanical problems with a simple peak under the hood. With a tool box and a little elbow grease, most issues could be fixed easily on the side of the road. Those days are long gone.
Cars now have more electrical parts than the first Mercury Satellite – and they’re only getting more complicated. There used to be no way for the average buyer to differentiate between a lemon and a hot rod in the used car lot without X-Ray vision. Until now.
Carbonga SRI is the world’s first mobile “lemon detector,” a smart phone app that provides you with up-to-the-minute recall information before you decide to buy. With a one-time purchase that’s less than the price of a cup of coffee, you can put all of the vehicles’ safety recall information in the palm of your hand – literally. When dealers want to sell you a lemon, we’ve got your “lemon-aid!”
When purchasing a used car it’s easy to be serenaded by the pretty new paint and shiny-rimmed tires, but a lemon with sleek polish is still sour inside. Without CARbonga SRI looking under the hood, you’re making an invisible and often dangerous purchase.
Now with CARbonga SRI’s up-to-date Technical Service Bulletins, it’s simple to set up automatic alerts to your phone that warns you whenever a recall is published for your newly purchased used car. You can finally get critical recall information even though you’re not the original owner.
Don’t get stuck with a lemon’s costly fixes; find out the truth about your used car before it’s too late.
Carbonga: We’ve got your Lemon-Aid!
It’s the end of the fourth quarter and you’re down by two. Three seconds on the clock. Your teammate inbounds you the ball. Two seconds. You’re not scared. Because you’re a winner. You’ve been training for this moment – this one fleeting moment. All eyes on you. One second. You go for the three. Hearts stop. Swish. You’re a hero.
Own this story. Start your training today at the House of Sports NY.
At House of Sports NY, we say that you don’t know how good you can be until you give it your all. For staff, we recruit major figureheads in baseball, basketball and lacrosse – the best of the best – to work with you to bring your athletic skills to where you want them to be.
Call it the Division 1 experience. Here in your own ‘hood.
From fundamental basics to instrumental skills, our trainers will take your game to the next level. Everyone is welcome – no matter what skill level.
Both in-season and off the court, our facilities are open year round with all-purpose training to help step-up your talents and rise above the competition.
At House of Sports we encourage everyone with athletic ambition to give themselves the chance to become the athlete they’ve always dreamed of being. From beginner level leagues to the most advanced technical training, House of Sports will take your game to where you need it.
House of Sports: It’s Your Game. Bring it.