I recently came across blogger and copywriter Ryan Healy, and really enjoyed his blog. I took the liberty of sending him an email with a few questions, and what follows are Ryan's responses...
Hear Ryan's top 3 tips for growing your online business, and why copywriting is an important skill for all bloggers to learn!
Hi Ryan! You have an impressive history of working online as a copywriter for the last 8 years. What was it that inspired your transition to working online?
When I went freelance back in 2005, I had already been doing a lot of online marketing for the company I worked for. Plus, online advertising was exploding. So it seemed to make the most sense to focus on helping online businesses to improve their marketing.
Of course, I've been fortunate to have been involved with a few off-line projects as well. But to this day most of my work is online.
In addition to being a highly referred Direct Response Copywriter, you're also known as a Business Growth Expert. Do you focus mainly on the growth of online business?
Yes. I help online businesses get more sales from their current advertising efforts. If they're making 1 sale for every 200 visitors, I want to help them make 2 or 3 sales from the same volume of traffic.
Most times I'm hired to write a direct response sales letter. Sometimes I'm hired to do a copy critique or write emails or run some split-tests. Every situation is unique.
I've also helped a few off-line businesses in the sense that they generate leads online and close them off-line. Or vice versa: They generate the lead off-line (through direct mail or space ads), then bring them online.
With every year that passes it becomes harder to define businesses strictly in terms of "online" or "off-line." Many businesses choose a hybrid approach. And why not? There's money to be made in both places, and it's silly to cut off one or the other "just because."
What 3 tips would you share with ClickNewz readers to help them grow or improve their online business?
Only three?? Just kidding.
Here are three tips that come to mind...
Improve Your Online Business Tip #1:
Master the Execution of Fundamentals
The fundamentals of building and growing an online business never change. The basic formula is:
Targeted Traffic + Conversion + Remarkable Product = Sustainable Online Business
What have you done today to get more targeted traffic to your site? What have you done today to improve your conversion rate? What have you done today to make your product better?
You don't necessarily have to tackle all three areas in a single day. But I believe you should be doing one of these things every single working day.
It's work -- but it works.
Improve Your Online Business Tip #2:
Automate What Can Be Automated
If you were a door-to-door salesman, you'd have to knock on dozens of doors every single day to have even a fighting chance at earning a living. This is not something you could automate. You'd have to do it yourself.
One of the advantages of running an online business is that many sales functions and even fulfillment functions can be automated.
For instance: You can load up an autoresponder sequence with quality content and a few sales messages mixed in. The emails will be sent out automatically on the schedule you determine.
Surely I'm not telling you anything new. Most people who've been online for more than a couple months understand the importance of an autoresponder sequence. And yet very few people actually build out their follow-up sequence like they know they should.
This gets back to Tip #1. You need to become an expert at execution.
Here are a few things that can be automated: follow-up emails, opt-in processes, delivery of electronic products, delivery of physical products, etc.
If you begin to automate your business, you get to do the work once and then enjoy the fruits of that labor for a long time. (There is almost always a degree of ongoing maintenance involved, but it's minimal compared to the initial work.)
Somebody will point out: "But Ryan, you're a copywriter! You're just trading hours for dollars!"
Point taken. And it's something I continue to work on: Shifting my income away from activities that pay only once and toward activities that generate income for the long-term.
Improve Your Online Business Tip #3:
Avoid Unnecessary Distractions
There are a million and one things demanding your attention when you're online.
There are emails, Facebook updates, news alerts, RSS feeds, tweets, etc. If you're not careful, an entire day can flash by -- without you getting a single thing done to advance or improve your online business.
So whereas the first two tips I shared were "offensive," this one is "defensive." It's imperative that you stay focused and cut out unnecessary distractions.
Do you have email alerts turned on? Turn them off. Does Tweetdeck run in the background alerting you to every new tweet? Turn it off.
Half the battle is usually just managing and controlling the tyranny of the urgent-yet-unimportant things that crop up every day.
Do you feel copywriting is important to bloggers, since they don't create products & sales letters?
Absolutely! After all, every blog post title has to "sell" people on taking the time to read what follows.
(I've actually studied the most popular posts on my blog and on other people's blogs and have made some interesting discoveries, particularly about blog post titles.)
One commonality among all top bloggers is their ability to write well and be entertaining. Too many blogs have no life in them, no passion. They just bore me (and everybody else) to tears.
Plus, there's much to be said for learning how to engage people. By studying copywriting, you can learn a lot about how to capture people's attention and engage them -- both important skills for bloggers.
You offer a Free 39-Point Copywriting Checklist on your blog. Who is this checklist best suited for, and can you tell us what to expect from the download?
The check list is specifically designed for people who are selling things online. But affiliate marketers and bloggers can pick up a few good ideas as well.
When you get the check list, you'll see that each item is phrased as a question. And there is a check box next to it. After you read the question, you can then check it off if it is complete.
For instance, the first question is, "Does your headline enter the conversation that's already happening in your prospect's mind?" There's a check box to the left of the question so you can check it off.
There are 38 more questions like this. And while there isn't a precise order, the check list is organized so that things you should think about first are at the top, and things you should think about later are at the bottom.
Ryan M. Healy
Open call-in hours 2-4 p.m. MST,