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Volume 1 - Issue 44 2-9-07

 

For those who would like to read this in HTML format, this issue of Boomer eZine is posted on the Boomer eZine website at http://www.boomer-zine.com/V1I44_020907.htm and on the Boomer eZine Blog at http://boomer-ezine.blogspot.com.  

Please pass Boomer eZine on to a friend.  They will thank you for it.

Table of Contents for this issue.....

1.    Authors Comments

2.    Q & A, Suggestions and Comments

3.    Make Your Words Sell – The Copywriting Bible

4.    Living Above the Fold

5.    Using Excel as a Mini-Database (Video)

Author's Comments

 

I had a life changing experience this week.  I should qualify that to say that it changed my Internet life.

 

I told you in the last issue that I was reading “Make Your Words Sell” (MYWS) by Ken Evoy and Joe Robson.  Well, I finished it and sat there and asked myself “Why didn’t I read MYWS two years ago”?

 

You will see a change in Boomer eZine because of it.  We will employ the copywriting techniques we learned from MYWS in all that we write.

 

Obviously, we are not going to rewrite all the past issues of Boomer eZine, but I plan to rewrite most of the Retirement Jobs Online site using MYWS as my “bible”.

 

We are also considering changing the email newsletter so it gives summary information on each article and then links to the full article on the website.  The copywriting techniques are best employed in HTML on the webpage and not in a text email document.

 

We will conduct a survey of your reaction to the new format and also determine the number of readers who prefer the text email newsletter.

 

I did a test on the last four newsletters and the average load time for the Boomer eZine at dial up speed of 28.8KB is 33 seconds.  As long as we leave pictures and graphics out of the body of the page, the load time is not too long.

 

Boomer eZine is Published Late this Week

 

The Boomer eZine is late the week.  Sorry!  We had guests in for a hunting weekend and that absorbed my time.  Also, I was not originally satisfied with the video that is posted with this issue and I edited it several times.

 

Q & A, Suggestions and Comments

 

Ana Young has to be our best reader!  We love her.

 

She asks the best questions, and I can post our email conversations and help write the eZine.  

Hi John,  

Very good issue this week! I'm getting mighty crowded

with all your issues I have to store in various files, depending on their topics. I'll just have to go through them again and delete at least some! ;-)  

My Answer

Even though I am flattered that you are keeping information from the eZine, I would suggest that you not worry about keeping the various issues or articles.  Rather, just set up an Excel sheet with the topic and volume/issue.  

Another option is the search function on the Boomer eZine website.  It works very well and you can go back and find old articles by keyword.  I use it quite often since I can't remember when I wrote on a specific topic.  

End of Reply  

Ana asked me to expand on the idea of the Excel spreadsheet and I do so in an article below.  I have also produced a video for a quick lesson on Excel and how to use it for a mini-database.

 

Another Email from Last Week

 

I received a follow up email from Mike telling me that I had his website URL wrong.  

Hi John,  

It was cool seeing my questions to you and your answers on your latest newsletter. I also appreciate you putting a good word in about my website along with the address. One thing though about the newsletter on your site; my web address has a typo, it's written as http://www,everything2dvd.com so it can’t link to my site.  

There went my 15 minutes of fame.  

My Reply ( 5:00AM 2/3/07 )

 

Mike, 

I first publish the eZine on the blog at http://boomer-ezine.blogspot.com/.  I check the links in it before I publish the website or the email newsletter.  I caught the comma in the URL and fixed it.  I then went back to my source Word document and corrected it (so I thought).  I specifically checked your URL in the email newsletter so I knew it was correct. 

I am up early this morning to take my dogs out and train them.  I read your email and I have already changed the webpage with your URL on it.  People read the eZine over a period of time so your corrected URL will still be seen by the majority of our readers.  I apologize for the error, but I expect that you now have 14 minutes of fame coming.  

Mike, with this extra exposure, I expect that you got 20 minutes of fame because of the wrong URL.  

Thanks for being a subscriber.  

If you have anything for this section or you have a suggestion for a topic for an article, please go to http://www.boomer-ezine.com/Suggestion_Form1.htm and give us your input.  With your input, we can improve the Boomer Video eZine.  

Make Your Words Sell – The Copywriting Bible

Well, I thought I was pretty good at sitting down at the keyboard and pounding out content that would entertain and sell.  Then I read “Make Your Words Sell” (“MYWS”) by Ken Evoy and Joe Robson.  I now realize that I have been a “babe in the woods” publisher on the Internet.

All writers must start their writing project knowing what they want their reader to do at the end of the project.  

The first thing before you put a pen to paper, establish your most wanted response (MWR) that you want from your reader.  Then create and write to get that MWR.  Keep focused and write only to accomplish that goal.  

The MWR may be a click of the mouse on the Buy button.  It may be the click on the Subscribe Now button for your ezine.  Bottom line – the MWR is the action that you want your reader to take.  

Sell Benefits versus Features  

Like so many writers, I tend to focus on features in my writing.  Not on the most important thing that an Internet reader wants.  

And what, pray tell, is that?  

Benefits, that’s what!  Readers are looking to solve a problem.  They are looking for benefits that will solve a problem.  

Write to Sell Benefits!  

SWAT Method  

There is a great trick taught in this book that is so obvious, so simple, that solves the feature versus benefit issue.  When you want to list a feature ask yourself “So what?” about the feature.  Answer that question and if the answer leaves room for another “So What?”, answer that question.  Keep doing this until you cannot ask the “So What?” question again.  (“So What?” = SWAT).  

When you reach the point where you can not SWAT it again, you will have the true benefit that you need to use in your copy.  

Sidebar:  I hope you think that this is as brilliantly simple and effective as I do.  

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)  

Another major point that the book stresses is to establish your unique selling proposition (USP).  Your site must be unique. You must establish this very quickly with your reader.  If you do not, your reader will click right on past you since you are just another site floating along on the sea of the Internet.  

Establishing your USP is sometimes a difficult task.  The book helps you drill down to the basics and establish your USP.  You cannot sell your site well without knowing your USP.  

Write for a Scanner  

No, not for a computer input scanner.  For a reader who scans your copy instead of reading it.  

The book has two chapters, Copywriting 101 and 102.  These cover the basics of writing on the Net.  This is an absolute must for anyone who writes for Net publication.  Writing for the Net is very different than writing for printed text – and why is that?  

The answer is your reader is not reading, but is scanning your wonderful copy that you have slaved to create.  (That frustrates me when I worked so hard to create this brilliant work).  Be that as it may, that is a fact of the Net.  Write to appeal to the scanning reader.  

Sidebar: You will notice a difference in the style of this newsletter.  I am applying some of what I learned in MYWS.  (Why pay $29.95 if I do not use the information that I learned from the book?)  

Headings  

You can write for the scanner with well placed headings that tell the outline of the content.  In fact, the author says that the headlines should tell the basic story if the reader does no read anything in between.  

Use BOLD in sentences  

Bold in sentences attracts the eye to the key words and thoughts in a paragraph.  The scanner will usually pick these up.  

White Space and Paragraph Length 

Vary paragraph length and leave plenty of white space.  A full page of black text stops a reader cold from scanning any further.  A little variability of paragraph length looks interesting.  

Cut to the Chase  

This is the best book I have read about writing copy for informing or selling on the Internet.  And it only costs $29.95.  It is easy to order, and it will pay for itself many times over in future sales that you will realize by using the techniques that it teaches.  

You know that Linda and I are very careful about the recommendations that we make, but there is no hesitation whatsoever on this one.  

To get your copy and immediately (after you have read the book) start to use these techniques, click on the following link.  

Buy MYWS now and improve your writing for the Net many times over  

Your purchase is backed by Ken Evoy’s iron clad guarantee.  If it is not what you expected and does not improve your copywriting skills, request your money back from SBI and you will get it.  

When you land on the MYWS sales page, you will see the usual sales information.  (Remember that the sales page was created by the same people who wrote the book).  Study the copywriting techniques as you scan down the page.  See what you can learn as you move toward the link to buy the book.  

A major reason for people failing on the Net is procrastination.  Don ’t be a victim of this terrible disease.  Order MYWS now and immediately change the effectiveness of your writing on the Net.  

Living Above the Fold

 

Above the fold is the term used for the top part of a web page that is visible when the page first loads.  Conversely, the part of the page that you have to scroll down to see is “below the fold”.

 

Your really “grabbing” content must be above the fold to really be effective.  Otherwise, it is invisible unless you have some really strong content that entices your reader to scroll down below the fold.

 

Where the fold falls on your page is dependent on the screen resolution of the monitor that your viewer is using.  A resolution of 800X600 will make the fold higher up on the page than a resolution of 1024X768 since more information will fit on the monitor with the higher resolution.

 

If you remember in V1 I42, we wrote an article “Interesting Statistics” in which we gave stats on the screen resolutions for our viewers.  Only 22.45% used 800X600.  The rest used a higher resolution.  The largest group was 1024X768 at 49.94%.

 

With approximately half of your viewers using 1024X768, use that as the target resolution for your pages.  The fold will move down the page for the other viewers with higher resolutions.

 

Put the real meat of your content in the first paragraph and even the reader with the 800X600 resolution will see that above the fold.

 

We can personally attest to the power of position above the fold.

 

Our top two keywords for the Retirement Jobs Online site are “retirement jobs” with 82 searches per day and “jobs for retirees” with 32 searches per day (Wordtracker data).

 

Yet, in January 2007, we received exactly the same number of visitors on our site from each of these keywords.

 

Statistics say that the visitors to our site should be in the same ratio as the Wordtracker search data.

 

Why was that?

 

Our position for the “retirement jobs” keyword is seventh on the Google search engine results page.  This puts it below the fold.

 

Our position for the “jobs for retirees” keyword is fourth.  This puts us just above the fold of the Google results page.

 

When people are loading and reading a web page, they are scanning and moving quickly.  They scan what the page holds and move on to the next page.  Unless they are really taking time to study and examine below the fold, they will not see you.

 

Remember

 

Live above the fold -----  Die below the fold.  

Using Excel as a Mini-Database (Video)  

Judging from the large market share that Micosoft has of the Internet, a large majority of Internet users have Excel on their computers.  

I personally find Excel to be a great, versatile tool.  I use it for any number of uses.  

Many people consider Excel as a program for number crunching and formulas.  It is much more than that.  

I have an Excel workbook (contains more than one worksheet) that I use to record interesting information or websites that I want to find later.  Nothing is more frustrating than to discover a great site with super content and not be able to find your way back to it.  

I created an icon for the sheet and put it in my “Quick Launch” area of the tool bar on the bottom of the page to the right of the Start Button.  If I am browsing and find a “gem”, I can quickly open the workbook and record the gem and its URL.  This workbook stays open a lot of the time that I am on the Net.  

To use Excel as a database, make each row be the entry in the database and each column will be the field in the record contained in the rows.  

You enter the information for an item in each row.  You can then sort all the information, use the Find function to look up an entry by search term, delete a row, insert a row, etc.  

I have created a video to show you how I use Excel to organize my topics and website locations. (Video length 24:32).  

To effectively use the video, download the example Excel workbook from Boomer eZine.  To download it, right click on the link below and select “Save Target as”.  Save the spreadsheet on your hard drive where you keep your important files.  

http://www.boomer-ezine.com/Downloads/Info_Reference_Example.xls  

We will use this workbook for our practice lessons in the video and you can use it for your mini-database.  

Now, about the format of the video.  I will cover a short topic and then halt the video so you can practice the same steps on the workbook.  

If you want to go back and review something in the lesson, you can use the slider at the bottom of the video.  

When you are satisfied that you understand the content and you are ready to proceed, click on the arrow in the video to continue.  

I find this Excel workbook handy to organize my data.  You may have other ideas and methods.  If so, please share them with us so we can all improve our business methods on the Internet.  

Please use this form http://www.boomer-ezine.com/Suggestion_Form1.htm for any suggestions  -- Thanks.  

Click here to view the video about using Excel as a mini-database  

That wraps up our issue for this week.  Until next week, stay tuned.  

John and Linda Howe

www.boomer-ezine.com

www.boomer-guru.com

www.boomer-entrepreneur.com

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