These are some of the best holiday gifts you can give a blogger. And the best thing about them is they’re absolutely free!
Clayton Makepeace put me onto this idea, and it struck a chord, even though he doesn’t even have a blog. He has an e-zine. Actually, this is also the best gift you can give to someone who publishes his own e-zine or writes for any kind of opt-in email list.
If you’ve never heard of Clayton Makepeace, he’s a world-class, old-school copywriter. His story is like that of many self-made people. At the end of his rope, broke, surviving on Ramen noodles (or however it goes), he learned how to write killer copy, and he got rich. Of course, somewhere in there were many, many hours of work. That’s the part of the story the get-rich-quick schemers never tell you, the many, many hours of work. But Clayton always levels with you regarding that part of the story, and I appreciate it.
I and other bloggers like me spend untold hours researching, planning, writing, and refining our blog posts. But what makes it all worth it is hearing how much this effort accomplishes in the lives of others.
Maybe I’ve inspired you with my story of leaving my job and striking out on my own.
Maybe you’ve picked up useful tips on how to run your business, or how to develop software better, or how to make your job more fulfilling.
Maybe you’re sick of the clueless, and like it that someone else agrees with you.
Maybe you enjoy the fiction and non-fiction that I’ve posted.
Maybe I’ve challenged and excited you, with my bizarre, alternative point of view.
Or maybe I even helped you save hours of wasted effort. (Like one person who wrote me to thank me for my patch for w3mir.)
Because you’re a kind, caring person, returning the favor would surely gratify you. I know it would me. That’s why I’m going to return the favor to Clayton Makepeace in this blog post, and I hope to do the same several more times for other online writers in the coming weeks. At the same time, I think you’ll see, I’ll be delivering more useful content to you.
Here’s my gift to Clayton Makepeace
As I said, Clayton Makepeace is a world-class sales copywriter, an expert in his field. I couldn’t afford to hire him to write a sales letter for me. I couldn’t even afford to hire him to sign an autograph for me. But I do subscribe to his free marketing e-zine, The Total Package. Clayton has put together a killer team of top-notch entrepreneurial marketers to write for this e-zine. Every single article reveals real copywriting and marketing secrets, some of which I’ve encountered nowhere else. Just looking at my email archives, I see recent articles that have included:
5 quick questions that will instantly tell you if you have what it takes to be a direct-response entrepreneur (and Harvard Business School has nothing to do with it).
The sales number you should be tracking, and how it can easily add 50% to your bottom line.
8 ad elements you can tweak to get a big bump in conversion, and how to pull it off.
The common trap that can hurt your customer service, and 4 fast and effective ways to show your customers you care and keep them coming back and buying more.
3 simple questions to consider when adding new products or changing existing products, in order to get the most from your existing customer base.
The 2 things you need to have in place in order to make a good deal, and when you should pass on a deal, even if it means potentially losing millions
How a Viennese psychiatrist survived three horrific years in a Nazi concentration camp and turned his experience around for the good of many.
6 kick-butt techniques that gave one entrepreneur an advantage over every single one of his competitors in a very competitive market.
The key to making sure package design doesn’t kill your copy.
These are just a few points from a random selection of recent e-zine articles. The problem with The Total Package is that there’s a new article almost every day, not wimpy articles that gloss over the subject and provide no new useful information, but deep articles that have practical advice I can put to use immediately. That means there’s just way too much valuable advice, and it makes me feel stupid.
As I said, The Total Package is a free e-zine, and you can subscribe for free at www.freetotalpackage.com.
Do you see what I just did?
Because this is the blog of an entrepreneurial writer, I figured there’s a good chance you might be interested in knowing about an e-zine published by a top-notch copywriter and marketer. So I posted a link. More than just a link, actually, because I also talked about some of the e-zine content that I found interesting and useful.
So here are the two gifts you can give me, based on Clayton’s christmas wish-list…
Gift #1: Send an e-mail to every family member, friend, and business contact you believe would enjoy reading The Conscience of Abe’s Turn. Just say why you think they’d enjoy reading my online serial. Then give them a link to conscience.jtimothyking.com/about.
Gift #2: Talk up The Conscience of Abe’s Turn online. If you use Twitter, tweet about it. If you frequent an appropriate online forum, mention it there. If you use MySpace or Facebook, recommend it on your page or the discussion boards. If you have a blog, post about it.
Or if you associate with other writers…
Do one of the above with my writing blog, Be the Story, and point them to BeTheStory.com/about. Send an email to every writer you know. Respond on your blog to something I wrote there. Or discuss it in an online writer’s forum.
Why are these such valuable gifts?
Because one word from you will do more for me (or any other blogger you recommend) than a thousand words from me. Really. It doesn’t matter how well I write. It doesn’t matter how passionate I am, or how hard I work. No one will care unless my fans talk about what I write.
That’s why it’s such a big deal for a book author to get on Oprah.
I’m not asking you to get me on Oprah. But I am saying that Oprah’s audience is loyal to her, and they trust her. So when she invites a book author onto her show, she bestows on them the benefit of that trust. And that’s also why she has that trust in the first place, because her audience expects her to invite book authors onto her show. See? She helps her audience and her guests at the same time.
And so do you, when you pass along a recommendation for a blog or website you really like that can really help the person you’re talking to. That’s why writers like us need fans like you. Frankly, your recommendation is more valuable to us than all the ad space in the Superbowl. And that’s why this is the most valuable gift you can give a blogger.