Don’t Take This Advice About Online Marketing!

Don’t Take This Advice About Online Marketing!

Reader Comments (14)

  1. I agree wholeheartedly with every part of that O’ Blogger of Copy.

    Tony Robbins makes a killing by rehashing old principles, using new marketing.

    The key is to use tested, tried and true principles, while fitting them into your strategy and using today’s tools.

    Oh, but you’ve already said that, what …. er, about 101 times ?

    I heard ya, I heard ya.

  2. Brian, Great post. Yes, it will be fun to come back to it in a few years. (There were some interesting perspectives on dot-com 1.0 mania that were written in about 1999 or so that are fascinating now). Cheers, David

  3. Brian, I completely agree.

    New technology can range from iron metalurgy to social media. But technological advancement is always only a way to repackage the same old ideas.

    They may not turn a quick buck, but good ideas, true ideas, beautiful ideas will gain momentum and win out in the end.

  4. Absolutely on point! When I opened my experimental online gift & bookstore in 1999 in the red hot flush of 1999, I did it with about $500 and a deep knowledge of my niche market and basic biz101 principles.

    I remember reading about an ecommerce site called “” that had generated about $500,000 in VC. I looked at the site and thought, “Pretty site, but who is this store targeted to and why buy here?” I didn’t have a clue.

    6 months later, they were belly-up. 7 years later, my little corner of the cyber universe continues to chug nicely along.

    Know your market, what makes them tick, respect the inflow/outflow of running your biz, and you have a pretty good chance of doing okay, or better.

  5. I agree. After the Internet bust of 2000-2001 when I was laid off, I started my own 1-man corporation; I just wanted to see if I could do it.
    I concentrated so hard on coding the site, getting the e-commerce right, and layout design issues, that I forgot the off-line essentials of networking, promotion, etc, etc. The business lasted several years and I learned a great deal, but I got caught up in exactly what you talked about and am now neck-deep in the 9-to-5.


  6. The basic craft of copywriting will never truly change.

    But I disagree that nothing’s changed.

    The technology surrounding “Web 2.0” has opened doors that were formerly closed to marketers.

    Suddenly, today’s copywriter has a chance to sit down and chat with his audience – assuming he’s done his job well enough to attract their attention in the first place.

    Is the holy grail of marketing finally sailing into view – the ability to truly engage customers instead of simply marketing at them?

    Perhaps. In the past, the cost of “engaging” a reader over time was often too high. Now those cost barriers are fading, and the copy can flow to a connection-hungry audience as quickly as it’s written.

    What this means to the modern copywriter is that it’s time to get real. Because it’s one thing to persuade a reader over the course of a single conversation.

    But newer media channels mean your conversation with readers can last weeks, months – even years (assuming you’re doing it right).

    In that time, killer headlines and great bullet lists will be just as important as they used to be – provided your readers believe you’re authentic.

    If they sense bullshit, you’re toast.

    Are we witness to the rise of the copywriter as serial commercial novelist? Possibly. Probably even.

    So yeah, Buzzwords are buzzwords. And the basic craft of copywriting hasn’t really changed.

    But it has. Or at least the goals seem to be.

  7. >>But I disagree that nothing’s changed.

    What you’re talking about is application. People haven’t truly changed deep down, even if they are less inclined to swallow hype.

    As for blogging, most of what I teach here I learned from publishing ezines. Same relationship methodology, but with the added benefit of the blogosphere conversation, plus social media bookmarking and voting sites.

    Again, the environment has changed, but the fundamentals of relationship marketing have not.

    But you’re absolutely right about the way copywriting is applied being different. People who try to take a typical direct response style will crash and burn in the blogosphere.

    For example, as brilliant a copywriter as Clayton Makepeace is, he doesn’t seem to get blogging at all. He did finally put all his newsletters online so we could link to them, so I think he’s coming around.

    Meanwhile, Bob Bly is writing a book about blogging, but his own blog is not very engaging. He went so far in the opposite direction from direct response and tried to turn it into a discussion forum instead of really sharing his knowledge.

    I think Michel Fortin gets it from a content standpoint.

    So… I’m not saying application is not hard… cuz it is, even for pros. Everything really comes down to execution, and just as with everything, you’ve got to understand your audience and the environment they dwell in.

    I guess what I’m really saying is… application is hard enough, without some bozo telling you the fundamentals have changed too! 🙂

  8. “This time, they’ll try to convince you that technology has altered human nature.”


    (I’m a time-traveler)

    Now Facebook and twitter are supposedly changing our interactions on a fundamental level. Something about being more open…

    Where’s my flying car?

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