cherished solutions, llc

10 Keys to Copy That Sells

by Alexandria Brown

Whether you’re selling a product or service, the 10 tips below are your keys to writing great copy that communicates and persuades … to get results! These guidelines can apply to Web copy, e-mail, sales letters, brochures, direct mail, and more. As long as your goal is to elicit a reaction from your reader, you’ve come to the right place.

1. Be reader-centered, not writer-centered.

Many ads, brochures, and Web sites talk endlessly on and on about how great their products and companies are. Hello? Customer, anyone? Think of your reader thinking, “What’s in it for me?” If you can, talk with some of your current customers and ask them 1) why they chose you, and 2) what they get out of your product or service. TIP: To instantly make your copy more reader-focused, insert the word “you” often.

2. Focus on the benefits — not just the features.

The fact that your product or service offers a lot of neat features is great, but what do they DO for your customer? Do they save her time or money? Give her peace of mind? Raise her image to a certain status? Here’s an example: If you go buy a pair of Gucci sunglasses, you’re not just looking for good UV protection. You’re buying the sleek, stylish Gucci look. So that’s what Gucci sells. You don’t see their ads talk about how well made their sunglasses are. Think about what your customers are REALLY looking for.

Now, what does an insurance broker sell? Policies?

Nope — peace of mind. (See? You’ve got it.)

3. Draw them in with a killer headline.

The first thing your reader sees can mean the difference between success and failure. Today’s ads are chock full of clever headlines that play on words. They’re cute, but most of them aren’t effective. There are many ways to get attention in a headline, but it’s safest to appeal to your reader’s interests and concerns. And again, remember to make it reader centered — no one gives a hoot about your company.

Bad: “SuccessCorp Creates Amazing New Financial Program”
Better: “Turn Your Finances Around in 30 Days!”

4. Use engaging subheads.

Like mini-headlines, subheads help readers quickly understand your main points by making the copy “skimmable.” Because subheads catch readers” eyes, you should use them to your benefit! Read through your copy for your main promotional points, then summarize the ideas as subheads. To make your subheads engaging, it’s important to include action or selling elements.

Bad: “Our Department’s Successes.”
Better: “Meet Five Clients Who Saved $10K With Us.”

5. Be conversational.

Write to your customers like you’d talk to them. Don’t be afraid of using conversational phrases such as “So what’s next?” or “Here’s how do we do this.” Avoid formality and use short, easy words. Why? Even if you think it can’t possibly be misunderstood, a few people will still be confused. Plus, being conversational helps prospects feel like they can trust you more.

6. Nix the jargon.

Avoid industry jargon and buzzwords — stick to the facts and the benefits. An easy way to weed out jargon is to think of dear old Mom reading your copy. Would she get it? If not, clarify and simplify. (This rule, of course, varies, depending on who your target audience is. For a business audience, you should upscale your words to what they’re used to. In some industries, buzzwords are crucial. Just make sure your points don’t get muddled in them!)

7. Keep it brief and digestible.

No one has time to weed through lengthy prose these days. The faster you convey your product or service’s benefits to the reader, the more likely you’ll keep her reading. Fire your “biggest gun” first by beginning with your biggest benefit — if you put it toward the end of your copy, you risk losing the reader before she gets to it. Aim for sentence lengths of less than 20 words. When possible, break up copy with subheads (see no. 4), bullets, numbers, or em dashes (like the one following this phrase) — these make your points easy to digest.

8. Use testimonials when possible.

Let your prospects know they won’t be the first to try you. Give results-oriented testimonials from customers who have benefited immensely from your product or service. Oh, and never give people’s initials only — it reminds me of those ads in the back of magazines with headlines like “Lose 5 Tons in 3 Days!” Give people’s full names with their titles and companies (or towns and states of residence) — and be sure to get their permission first.

9. Ask for the order!

Tell your reader what you want her to do — don’t leave her hanging. Do you want her to call you or e-mail you for more information? Order her copy now? Call to schedule a free consultation? Complete a brief survey? Think about what you’d most like her to do, and then ask her. It’s amazing how many marketing materials I come across every day that don’t make it clear what the reader should do. If you wrote interesting copy, your reader may forget you’re trying to sell something. Tell her what to do, and she’ll be more likely to do it.

10. Have your copy proofread!

Good. Now have it proofread again. Don’t risk printing any typos, misspellings, or grammatical mistakes that will represent your company as amateurs. Hire a professional editor or proofreader to clean up your work. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impession! Oops — impression.

© 2001-2008 Alexandria Brown International Inc.

Online entrepreneur Alexandria K. Brown publishes the award-winning ‘Highlights on Marketing & Success’ weekly ezine with 28,000+ subscribers. If you’re ready to jump-start your marketing, make more money, and have more fun in your small business, get your FREE tips now at

FTP client software

Are you confused about the best FTP program to get your website to your hosting server?

Check out this great comparision chart at

Two I really like are: FileZilla & SmartFTP


There are several ways to place music, midi’s, mp3 and wav files on a webpage. First you need to know the name of the music file you wish to use. If you don’t yet have any music files, you can find free music and sounds to download including christian music, 80’s music, pop, rock and many others on our music sounds page.

Because embeding doesn’t require javascript, all music codes also work on MySpace and blogs.

Music on choice.

The first html music code gives your visitor the choice if they want to hear the music or not.

<a href=”yourmidname.mid”>Click here to play music </a>

Make sure you upload the music file to your server. Your visitor will need something to play the music on such as Real Player or Windows Media Player for the music to play.

Website Music plays automatically on page load. This is cross browser compatible.

Place this code in the <head> of your html document so music starts automatically when the page loads. Your visitor has no choice to hear it or not and there is no option to turn it off. Using the “embed” command makes your music compatible with Netscape.

To embed music on your website with a shut off button.

You can embed music into your page so it starts automatically when someone views your page and have a small image where your visitor can turn it off.

Place the html music code where you want the button to appear on your page.

Embed music with console.

Instead of the button, you can have a small console with on and off switches on your page such as this one below.

Music Parameters.

To make the music play automatically the parameter is Autostart=”TRUE”
You can put “FALSE” instead of “TRUE” so the person visiting your page will have to click on the play button for it to start.

Hash tags on Twitter

Hash tags look something like this: #marketing (that’s the hash tag for marketing).

When you put a hash tag on a tweet it becomes much easier to find for people searching on a particular topic.  Alex Mandossian uses #tss when he and his clients (and prospects) discuss his Teleseminar Secrets program on Twitter.

#tcot hash tag is the most popular

Here is a video from social media expert Mari Smith where she explains in detail how to use hash tags and how to track popular tags.



Flowplayer is an Open Source (GPL 3) video player for the Web. Use it to embed video streams into your web pages.

Built for site owners, developers, hobbyists, businesses and serious programmers.

Flash technology insures that 98% of all Internet users can see your videos. Highly skinnable. No other software makes it easier.

Beating The Recession with eCommerce

This complementary, in-depth video series will not only teach you the foundations to selling online as well as how to do it in a down economy.

Watch the 6 part series at World Widebrands

Valerie Sjodin

Valerie Sjodin is a VERY talented distant cousin of a good friend of our family. Check out her unique and vibrant web site.

The Artist’s Guide to Flickr

The Artist’s Guide to Flickr

Posted using ShareThis

HTML to Kindle HTML Converter

HTML to Kindle HTML Converter

  • Reformat footnotes into a Kindle-friendly format.
  • Remove excess tags that the Kindle cannot understand.
  • Turn characters written in the Symbol font (Greek, etc) into images so that they may be seen on the Kindle. (An image of the characters that can be displayed as text on the kindle can be found here
  • Return a Zip file that contains the your modified html file and any accompanying images created by our system.
  • Click here to get started.

Kindle on Amazon

Then publish you book on Amazon with their Digital Text Platform.

Amazon’s quick start guide to publishing on Kindle can be found here.

Other sites on Kindle Formatting:

Update your Facebook status with Twitter

Save yourself from the hassle of entering status updates in two places. Use this application on Facebook to multiply your efforts on Twitter.

1 – Login into Facebook

2 – Then go to:

3 – Select “add application”

4 – Enter your Twitter login information

5 – Test to see if it’s working.


Do you need to get a site up in a hurry? Satisfy the hunger and do more

with your website – photo albums, movies, journals, image rollovers,

contact forms and a selection of more than 80 fully customizable free

themes. Create a simple online gallery or go all the way with a full

featured website. Try ShutterBug and experience the control and freedom

everyone is talking about

WordPress Plugins

odiogo: for an audible blog

“Pull your visitors by their ears and turn them into readers” — WordPress Web 2.0 Spot-Er

remotely hosted scrpits

Redirect to a New Page

If you need to redirect your visitors to a new page, this HTML redirect code may be just what you’re looking for.

When designing a web site, many times you must change the location of a web page. However, if the page is popular, your visitors may have already linked to it. In addition, the Search Engines have most-likely already indexed the page.

For this reason, it is best to replace your page with a new page that will redirect your visitors to the new page. This provides a great way to provide your visitors with the information they were looking for and prevent you from losing your traffic.

However, when using this HTML redirect code, please ensure that you don’t use it to trick the Search Engines, as this could get your web site banned. It is always best to work hard and learn quality ways in which to drive traffic to your web site.

Place the following HTML redirect code between the and tags of your HTML code.

<meta HTTP-EQUIV=”REFRESH” content=”0; url=”>

The above HTML redirect code will redirect your visitors to another web page instantly. The content=”0; may be changed to the number of seconds you want the browser to wait before redirecting.


Use the most powerful opt-in list generating system that delivers highly responsive targeted subscribers in less than 48 hours, for free!

This was sent to me my a friend who does Internet marketing. The service is being reconstructed, but you can still get on the list to be the first to know when it relaunches.

Outline a social media mission

Alyson Stanfield’s article, Outline a social media mission is a great place to start thinking about integrating different social media sites to promote yourself as an artist.

Will the real social media expert please stand up?

Just found this article on Social Media. It kinda puts our cultures recent obsession with social media in perspective.

Enjoy the article here:

Social Media is Rife with Experts but Starved of Authorities.

.htaccess forwarding

After buying a SSL certificate for my site I wanted to forward all of my traffic to my new secure space. I did this by editing the .htaccess file in my sites directory.

Warning! You must make a back up of your original .htaccess file just in case . . .

I added this at the front of all the existing code:


RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI}


Code Source

Other .htaccess documentation