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Book Review

Writing Kick-ass Website Sales Copy – Review

After reading the excelent Web Site Recipes, I bought another Wordtracker book, Writing Kick-ass Website Sales Copy. My sales copy is a bit weak, so I thought it could help. It was somewhat helpful, but if it had recipe on the name too, I´d have to say it was a bit bland.

The book is divided in several sections:

1)How to power up your sales messages – various techniques to improve headlines. It has several classics, such as

  • adding a sense of urgency or scarcity (some the MLM people really love, albeit their is quite often fake)
  • give something free – bonuses, trials, etc
  • save – discounts
  • new – using NEW to get attention
  • reducing the risk – testimonials, case studies. 30-days no questions asked returns, and trust logos
  • 2)How to make a home page sell

    3)How to maximize conversion rates

    For me, this was the most useful section of the book. There are many tips on the best way to structure your sales page, your headlines, and the rest. One concept I thought was interesting was that the headline sells the lead, and the lead sells the rest of the copy.

    4)Landing Pages

    This is a short section. The main concept presented here is that a landing page should be just as the regular sales page, but with less distractions and extranous links to the site than a regular landing page. It also suggest (as I've read everywhere) that it's important to reflect the Ad message on the headline.

    If all this seems familiar to you, you might want to skip this book. Otherwise, it was ok, just not particularly iluminating to me.

    Categories
    Articles

    Advanced Website Optimization – Making your Site Faster

    Interesting article on the ASP site about site optimization.

    Several tips on the best way to do so, as well as reminders about why – not only does a faster loading site means your potential customers are less likely to leave, Google recently added some ranking based on site speed, so you might get better ranking!

    Categories
    Software

    Resynthesize on GIMP

    Having mentioned the content-aware fill for Adobe CS5, I just had to mention the equivalent feature on the free GIMP.

    There is a pretty cool video that is similar to the CS5 one:

    You can see instructions on how to use it on Windows, as well as another demo here (blog post gone, link removed).

    Categories
    Site Reviews

    Text-to-speech on e-mail newsletters

    I'm looking into changing my e-mail newsletter from PHPList – which is pretty good for a free tool, but obviously lack features compared to pricy ESPs (e-mail service providers), and deliverability is of course smaller, as the ESPs spend a lot of time tuning theirs.

    I'm checking out several ESPs, such as Mailchimp and GetResponse. One pretty cool feature added by GetResponse recently is E-Mail to Speech. It allows your clients to hear your e-mail instead of just reading it.

    The quality of the speech is pretty good. I still prefer to read (which is much faster), but I can see busy customers – or customers on the move – opting to use it.

    I'm pretty sure they'll post statistics eventually (unless they are awful ), and I'm very interested to see what the exact effect of this will be.

    Categories
    Articles

    Question Selection Survey Results

    Recently I read an interesting article from GetResponse about Survey Responses.

    From the results looks like it's best to have radio boxes based questions, followed by check boxes. Of course, you do limit useful extra information that the user could be bringing on with open questions – after all, they can only choose answers you picked.

    Nevertheless, it looks like keeping to mostly limited questions (radio and check boxes), at most 10 questions, with a few optional open questions in the end is the best way to get survey completions.

    Categories
    Software

    Adobe Photoshop CS5 Fill and Patchmatch

    I've recently received several videos about the new features of Adobe Photoshop CS5. My favorites were these:

    I particularly loved the reconstruction of the ruins!

    Categories
    Book Review

    The Web Content Recipe Book – review

    I've recently read The Web Content Recipe book, by Rachelle Money, Ken McGaffin and Mark Nunney. I expected a good book, from the excerpts available on PDF, but found it was even better than that.

    The book proposes to improve your ability to create good web content. Web content is important for several reasons, depending on your site, but in any case, fresh web content with well-tuned SEO content is a great way to bring in new readers and potential clients from search engines.

    The first section deals with several principles, such as how to apply marketing to your content, how to write and structure an article, how to optimize them for SEO, and others.

    The second session has ideas for what kind of content you could add – FAQs, tips and tricks, case studies, reviews and much more. In most cases, they have long, useful discussions on how to best write that kind of article.

    The SEO concepts are throughout all the book, which isn't surprising since it's from Wordtracker.

    The book was enjoyable as well as instructive, and certainly covers the topics well. I found many useful suggestions on how to improve my writing – including book reviews – and it was after reading it that I decided to add a blog to my site, something I've been postponing for a while. I usually take notes while reading, and in this case they added up to several pages, because there was so much to take from the text.

    I can really recommend this one to anyone who have a site, and wants extra clients and search engine referrals (i.e.: everyone with a site).

    Categories
    Uncategorized

    Welcome!

    Welcome to my new blog.

    I plan to post articles about features in our products – new, upcoming, or old and overlooked. And also reviews of interesting books, sites and software.