Grab People’s Attention Even If You’re a Blogging Nobody

Grab people's attention even if you are an unknown bloggerGetting people’s attention in the noisy online world is tough.

In fact, according to Wikipedia: On 20 February 2014, there were around 172 million Tumblr and 75.8 million WordPress blogs in existence worldwide.

And that is not including other platforms like Blogger and non-Wordpress sites.

So competition is fierce, and you need to do something a little different to get noticed.

Most of you probably know who Seth Godin is, right?

What would it take to get his attention do you think? What would it take to get him to comment on your blog?

Well, today’s guest on my podcast managed to do just that…and much more.

Enter Will Hoekenga – Attention Grabbing Copywriter

will hoekengaWill has tried blogging many times before. But it just never worked out.

Like many before him, he gave up on it. He has far more important things to do like earn a living.

But with his latest blog, CopyGrad, he decided to try some different tactics and see if he could get some influential people’s attention.

What did he manage to achieve:

Will has used a variety of techniques and ideas to achieve these amazing feats.

Basically he has:

  • written detailed and compelling posts
  • written posts about influential people or companies
  • gotten hold of these people (directly or indirectly) to alert them to his new content

In this podcast, Will explains:

  • exactly what he did
  • how and why it works
  • what not to do when contacting influencers
  • the kinds of content that works
  • how to be on the look out for new ideas
  • how to hook in your readers for life

Take a listen to what Will has to say, I am sure you will learn more than you can imagine…

(or read the transcript if that is your thing).


Read the Transcript

If you prefer to read the transcript, you can

  Or read it below…

Show Podcast Transcript


Ashley: Welcome to the show, Will. I appreciate your time. Thanks for joining me today.

Will: Yeah, thank you for having me, Ashley, happy to be here.

Ashley: And you’re calling me from Nebraska, right?

Will: It’s Nashville.

Ashley: Nashville, part of Tennessee, okay.

Will: Yeah, Nashville, Tennessee.

Ashley: Excuse me. My American geography is not as good as it should be, but, let’s just quickly dive into your background. Give us a quick run down.Will: Sure, yeah, so for I guess the last 5 years or so I did a lot of freelancing, consulting work, copywriting, email marketing, content marketing, blogging, stuff that locally and just, with people from a variety of locations around the country. And so back in January of this year, 2014, I started a new blog of my own called CopyGrad which was designed to be all about just teaching copywriting stuff and, online marketing, that sort of thing. And so, recently I’ve had a little bit, I guess, it’s more than a little bit of a career change, but I wrote a post about a company that I was a customer of and a big fan of called LeadPages. And LeadPages, it’s a landing page creation and lead generation software basically. And I actually … I used it a lot at the very beginning of getting started building my CopyGrad email list and as it continue to grow using LeadPages a lot.

So, anyway, I wrote this post kind of just about their launch strategies that they used, because they had this really cool way of launching new features. And so after I did that I kind of, I tweeted it out a little to the company’s co-founder Clay Collins and, the company Twitter account and stuff. And anyway, not thinking anything of it really, just be I’m like, “Hey, I wrote this about you guys. I hope you don’t mind,” and that sort of thing. And anyway, so I got a message back from Clay actually who … I then met … He’s the co-founder of the company and he was like, “Hey, we’re actually interested in hiring a copywriter. Would you want to hop on the phone sometime?” And so I was kind of, “Woo,” that’s kind of cool. Yeah, so I take that. And I wasn’t looking for a job or anything, but, it was an opportunity to talk to the founder of a company that I really like. So, I was like, “You know, sure, I’d be glad to.”

So, we got on the phone and kind of started this relationship and I ended up flying to Minneapolis where they’re located and one thing lead to another and I fell in love with the company so much, and the team they have there are just an amazing team of people that, yeah, I ended up accepting a job doing copywriting and content development for LeadPages and just started that last week. So, yeah, that’s what I’m doing. Still, doing a lot of writing about copywriting, content marketing, and that sort of thing, conversion optimization. So, I’m going to be doing a lot of content for their blog, and their community and helping write copy and all sorts of stuff. So, exciting, exciting changes.

Ashley: Congrats, it’s actually one of the reasons I got you on here today was to talk about this whole … this strategy and it’s actually worked really well.

Will: Yeah, yeah, it’s, yeah, definitely crazy, unexpected. But, yeah, I definitely learned some things from the experience.

Ashley: It’s interesting how you can touch … We were just discussing this before we started recording, but how you can touch people who’re actually quite high or influential or whatever you want to call that, and you can actually get a hold of them, by just almost being reasonable, or being nice, or … You don’t even have to send them a box chocolates, but, you know.

Will: Right, yeah, and I mentioned to you when we’re talking about this, but, in doing freelancing for some different bloggers and stuff, prior to all this, who had fairly sizeable email lists and online followings. One thing I kind of notice in seeing people reach out to them was 95 … 95% might even being generous. It might be more like 97 or 99%.

Ashley: A lot.

Will: That’s stuff that a lot of people who have followings get. Pitch to them or even just when someone says, “Hey, I wrote this about you.” And they send it to you so often. It’s so not good and I feel bad saying that. But it’s just what I kind of notice is that if you’re taking your time in producing stuff that is truly high quality, high value content, and you take a little bit of time and energy to make it presentable, make it look nice and demonstrate that there’s thought, and you know, real craftsmanship behind what you’re doing and you kind of put it out there, whether it’s through Twitter or shooting someone an email, someone who’s an influencer or … If you’ve taken the time and invested in your material, it’s going to stand out so much from what they’re used to receiving from people. And so that was one kind of surprising thing that I discovered that really helped me in growing CopyGrad early on, and eventually getting opportunities like this job with LeadPages for example.

Ashley: Yeah, the first thing … I guess the first opportunity you got there was the blog post, right? That was where I came across your writing actually. Was that the first thing that they asked for, or was it already done by then?

Will: No … No, I hadn’t even started on that. But the first time I talked to Clay he was interested in us working together in some capacity. So, just the first kind of thing he suggested was “Well why don’t you try writing a blog post for us.” Which I was definitely more than willing to do, because I think at the time my blog had maybe 500 unique visitors or something. So it was getting a good response, it just, it didn’t have a ton of traffic, I didn’t have a huge following or anything, and you know, the LeadPages blog, I think their list is over 75,000. So, that was a huge opportunity that came out of that.

Ashley: Yeah, it’s a quite a good strategy if you can manage that and that was what I was hoping to chat with you about. These results that you’ve had and these ideas that you’ve used. I’ve seen similar things done before, but you seem to have basically grabbed the bull by the horns and gone for it. I’m starting this blog and I’m going to leverage people directly or indirectly by writing stuff which I want to write anyway.

Will: Right.

Ashley: And try to maybe get somebody a lot bigger than me to notice me. So, what was your thinking behind that? For example let’s take the Seth Godin one which is quite amazing.

Will: Sure … Yeah, that was my first kind of holy crap type moment. But … and one thing I want to say also is that this blog, CopyGrad, it was actually … it’s the third blog that I’ve started. And the first two did not do well at all. And I just completely fizzled out on them after 6 months of trying on each and not getting any real response. So, but so what I noticed with this strategy was the very post that I wrote for CopyGrad was a post about … it was “5 copywriting tactics you can steal from Seth Godin”. And, so, it was just kind of an idea that came naturally the way ideas you like come. I’m on Seth Godin’s email list and he sent out an email. I want to say last November, it was a little before Christmas sometime and he was just, he had links to 5 different products that were unrelated to him. They were just products that he really liked a lot. And he wrote a little chunk of copy about each one, and the copy was so good, that I ended up buying one of the products. It was a pair of headphones actually. But I wanted to buy all of them. And I was sitting there. I was like, “Man,” you know, I’ve read this…

Ashley: How does he do it?

Will: Yeah, I’ve read some of Seth Godin’s books. But I was like, “He’s also this good at writing copy, this is unfair man,” So, anyway, I started writing this post I was sort of already mentally kind of picking apart the copy he had written and why I thought it was a good, and what techniques were at play and that sort of thing. So, anyway, I wrote this, it was a longish post. I think somewhere between 1500 and 2000 words.

Ashley: Okay.

Will: And that was the first post I wrote for CopyGrad. And it was a new blog. So I had relatively no subscribers or anything. And that morning when I published it so I’ve Tweeted out a link just to my general audience which is not very big. And I was … I was aware of the fact that Seth Godin actually gets emails that are sent to Seth at And I was like, “What the hell, I’ll just send this out to him.” And I wasn’t expecting anything to happen. But I was like, “Why not?” So I spent maybe 2 or 3 minutes writing a super short, I think it was 3 paragraph long email, just saying like, “Hey, Seth. So, those products you wrote about were awesome. I got that pair of headphones. I wrote this post about your copywriting techniques. You know, thanks for all you’re doing, been a big inspiration.”

I sent it out that morning didn’t really think anything else about it. I’d forgotten about it by the afternoon and so I had that blog post sort of pulled up on a tab in my browser. And I was working on something else and I noticed at the corner of my tab, a little, one new comment thing popped up on … I use Disqus commenting system on my blog. So, it’s that kind of blue box that pops up saying there’s a new comment. And I was like, “Cool.” So, I clicked it and it’s literally a comment from Seth Godin, apparently he has a Disqus account I didn’t even know.

Ashley: You don’t see him around, yeah.

Will: Right, yeah, and he was basically, he made a comment about you know the copy that he wrote was easy because he was writing about stuff he really loved. And then he said “thank you for this post. I read all of it. I loved it.”

And I was just … First of all I wanted to make sure this was actually Seth Godin. I pulled up, I clicked on the Disqus account, started analyzing all the comments that … I think he had 200 something comments on various blogs. And I started picking them apart, trying to figure out if this is the real guy. And it became fairly clear after a little bit that it was him. And so at that point I was just kind of like, “Wow,” well, you know … Because it was cool to receive the comment just from a validation stand point. Someone who’s a marketing hero validating the stuff that I’ve done. You know, it was very good just from a personal stand point. But then I had this comment from Seth Godin saying that he loved my writing. I was like, “Man,” I’m totally using this as a testimonial, when I hit up people for guest post, I’ve got to let them know about this just as social proof or whatever, that I have some semblance of knowledge on a subject, and …

So anyway I was … Several weeks after that had gone by. I’ve done some more posts and they’ve gotten descent reactions, but nothing that had happened. And so I was like, “I need to try, what did I do with that post that made something like that happen.” And, so I started breaking it down and I was like, “Okay, so I wrote about someone who I really liked and who a lot of people really liked, people who liked Seth Godin.”
It’s not just, “Oh, I like Seth Godin.” They’re, “Oh, my God. I love Seth Godin.” Like they’re nuts, and so I was trying to find stuff like that, that people really loved to write about and that I love to write about and just see what they’re doing with their copywriting and their marketing. And sort of break it down in a fun interesting way. And so that kind of became the formula for every post that has done something good for me since then. And so I think the next one after that I wrote about a grocery store chain called Trader Joes that we have … I don’t know if it’s outside of the US or not.

Ashley: I don’t think so. And I’ve seen them in the States but not outside.

Will: Yeah, so it’s a cool a little grocery store and they have a really unique way of writing about their products in a fun kind of corky way and … Trader Joes fans are the same as Seth Godin fans. They freaking love Trader Joes, they would lie down on the streets for Trader Joes. And so I just … I wrote a post about how Trader Joes writes copy their customers love. And that kind of got bounced around on Twitter a little bit not by Trader Joes because they don’t really do a whole lot online, I discovered. But it ended up a guy who works for Wistia, the video hosting company in Boston that I’m also; I love their content they put out.

Ashley: Yeah, their videos are really cool.

Will: Yeah, yeah, their videos are great. So, a guy, Jeff Vincent, he is apparently a big Trader Joes fan and saw the post, and he was like, “Oh, man. I’ve been waiting for someone to write this post.” And I said, “Thanks.” And then he tweeted back and said something like, “You know, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how we can improve our copy sometime.” And so that lead to a Skype call with Jeff and getting to learn more about what Wistia is doing which is awesome because I said, I’m a huge fan of them. And then after that I think the LeadPages post came next. I wrote the post about “How LeadPages builds insane amounts of anticipation into all their product launches.”

And yeah, that ended up, Clay saw that and it lead to a whole a new kind of path in my career which has been really cool, and it’s just kind of strange to believe. But that a tweet can actually lead to that.

Ashley: Yeah, sure, it’s … As I was saying the leverage sometimes is quite crazy. The people that I’ve gotten to know even from posts recently through Pinterest Experts and so on. If you have a little bit of credibility it certainly helps. I mean, if you’re approaching them from zero it doesn’t help. But you don’t need to as you’re demonstrating. I mean, you have a virtually brand new blog or at least a few months old. You don’t have a huge Twitter following of 50,000 people or whatever and still these people are open to paying attention to a well-presented, whether it’s email or tweet and with good content behind it. I mean, that’s basically what you’re doing.

Will: That’s the goal, yeah.

Ashley: I mean, it’s quite an amazing thing and I was just reading here, this break down you did of the Seth Godin email which I think is quite interesting about how, you have the subject and the way you … I mean, you only wrote him a short mail but you obviously thought about what you put in there, because he’s not going to … First you got to catch him with the subject line, right, because he might not even open it.

Will: Yeah, definitely.

Ashley: And then once you’ve got him reading, you’ve got to catch him pretty early on to keep reading it, right? I mean, then he may follow through and click the link. How did you break that down?

Will: Well, when I was writing that email I didn’t even really have like, “I hope Seth promotes my post,” in mind that much. And not that it’s wrong to have that in mind cause I’ve definitely have ever since that happened, but I wanted to … You mentioned the subject line and I spent probably the most time writing that, thinking about the subject line. And so like I said I had bought a pair of these headphones that Seth really liked, and so I was thinking to connect on a personal level. I won’t make the subject or even the beginning of the email about, you know the post I’ve written. I’ll just make it about the headphones and be like, “Man, these headphones are awesome. Thank you for recommending them.”

And so I think making the subject about something that the person you’re reaching out to cares about and might have some bit of an emotional connection to, even if it is something as seemingly superficial as a pair of headphones. Just finding some type of common ground or whatever that you can relate to, I think that helps. And opening the email not with an ask right away, but just some way of making a connection and then doing a soft kind of ask for promotion, or you don’t even have to ask for a promotion. I think in that email I just made him aware of it. I was like, “I read this post. Thank you.” And yeah, it leads to that. And I don’t know with something like a person like Seth. Obviously I think that there is probably a fair amount of luck played into what happened with him. But I do think there are certain things you can do like I was saying just now to better your chances of the person opening the email, noticing the email, taking the time to read the email and then going to your post. Cause when you think about it you’re … it’s a lot of barriers you have to come just to get them to the point of reading the post that you’ve written.

Ashley: Yeah, as I said first … first thing is getting them to open it, right? So, if you think about and then I’m sure you did this, you think about what is appearing in his inbox, even if he doesn’t already have an assistant sort of trimming it down for him already and getting rid of the spam or whatever. But, yeah, what’s coming in his inbox, and … I just picked one I opened earlier a conversation here that I just had the other day and I get tons of these as well. And that they’re just so crazy. These are obviously spam.

“Greeting of the day, I am, Sonia. I was surfing through your website and realize that despite having a good design it was not ranking on any search engines and the keywords about your domain.”

Interesting premise they have, but that’s actually not true because it is ranking.

Will: Right.

Ashley: They obviously haven’t done their research. But I got something more interesting this morning which I actually might follow up on. But the person in my opinion made a mistake because they cut and paste a part of the email in, which in itself is okay. You know, we can’t all write fresh emails for everybody. But the fonts are different and the font size is also different.

Will: Yeah, it’s the little things like that, you know.

Ashley: It looks bad.

Will: That can …

Ashley: Making it bad.

Will: Yeah, there’s not a whole lot you have to do just sort of make it at least look like a normal email somewhat that’s sent.

Ashley: Well, maybe they don’t even know how, but it’s … I’m not sure if maybe in their email client they didn’t see that it was a different font or whatever. But, I don’t know, if you’re doing this on a daily basis you think you would get good at it. And maybe that’s the whole point, that’s the reason why you stood out and they don’t. Firstly you had a personal hook which I think is a great. And I found that also from meeting people even on the podcast and whatever and they reach out. I just love to talk to people and get to know them anyway, because I’m actually glad to meet them and you do find common ground usually very quickly and it’s good to chit chat and then afterwards usually you continue to stay in touch, and that’s really nice. But if you don’t find any common ground you’re like, “Right, thanks for joining me. Let’s record the podcast. Okay, I’m only here for the podcast. I don’t care about anything else.” That’s crazy.

Will: Right.

Ashley: And when people do that they write to me and say … They even write tweets to me say, “Can you just re-tweet this for me.” I’m thinking, “Who are you? Do I know you?”

Will: Right, yeah. Yeah, I think you have to search for that personal connection and you know offering the person something that has value for them as well. So writing that post about LeadPages for example. I didn’t write the post to make them look really good. But I wrote the post kind of about an awesome marketing technique they were using. And it did bring some attention to the company and stuff and it was just … It was a good value piece that you know that could be useful for them to share as well.

Ashley: Sure.

Will: And so as opposed to just asking for a share or whatever, I think creating something that you can see has a use for the person that you want to promote it. You know, if that value and that use is clear then you’re not even, you don’t really even have to explicitly come out and ask so much as you do. Just send it their way. You know, say thank you. Yeah, and I think people are kind of caught up and they’re trying to get a hundred different people to promote their posts so they don’t have the time to sort of invest, make that effort to invest personally in their asks, and they just end up as you said copying and pasting and just straight up asking for the promotion which … You know, that will work for if you do ask a hundred people I would be shocked if at least somewhere between 1 to 5 of them didn’t say, “Yes,” but yeah…

Ashley: But that’s a “burn and run” strategy, right?

Will: Exactly. It doesn’t build a relationship. And often if they’re sharing it. You know, all shares aren’t really created equally. I mean just re-tweeting something is not as good as if they’re like, “Wow, thank you so much for writing this awesome post.” You know if they get excited about it and they really want people to see it, they’re going to make more of an effort to get it in front of their audience.

Ashley: Yeah, I think that’s exactly true. And I mean, I’ve never actually done that until recently I’ve realized that maybe I should have. But, this whole asking people and share my stuff, I always thought I should earn it and maybe I’ve done it wrong, but then in the background and I’ve gotten to know a few people and I even had a guy I know really well the other day. I won’t name names, but he wrote to me and said, “You know what?” He said, “Send me 5 of your best posts and I’m going to throw them in my tweet stock and they tweet them out for you every week.”

Will: That’s awesome, yeah.

Ashley: And because we know each other really well now. I’ve written stuff for this guy and we have a really good relationship. And it’s about … It’s all about the relationship.

Will: Right.

Ashley: And his has come to me, I think I’ve almost covered this exactly little gem in every podcast I’ve had. Every topic I’ve talked about, it’s all come down to where is the relationship? Are you developing a relationship with whoever it is?

Will: Right.

Ashley: It doesn’t have to be a big person or whoever. But if you’re not forming a relationship then you’re not really achieving anything. It’s amazing.

And this other one that you wrote recently, this post about Ramit Sethi, did that go anywhere? I was just noticing that the other day as well.

Will: Sure, yeah, so that post that was following the exact same strategy I’ve been talking about. Yeah, I’ve been a big fan of particularly the way that Ramit Sethi writes emails. I’ve been on his email list for a year and he just, he writes awesome emails and sometimes they’ll be 2000 words long, which is…

Ashley: Really,

Will: Yeah, yeah, it’s kind of crazy, not many people will do that. And, but I always read to the end and, yeah, he has an amazing online business and so I’ve always really liked the way he writes emails. So, I wrote a post about a recent product launch he did, I think he wrote 20 something emails. I pasted them all into word and added up the word count and it was … I think it was close to 20,000 words worth of emails he wrote for his product launch. And so anyway, yeah, I wrote that post, I sent Ramit an email and when I promoted it on Twitter I used his Twitter handle. And I did not hear anything directly from him, but it was another one of those situations kind of like the Trader Joes thing, where there are lots of Ramit Sethi fans out there. And so when they saw the post they really connected, take time with it, and I get several emails about it. I actually, I got … I forgot about this, this is kind of a recent thing. I got my first speaking request ever.

Ashley: What? Awesome.

Will: Which … Yeah, I mean, I haven’t been chasing that at all. I hadn’t even really thought about doing speaking. But, yeah, it’s for a conference called the Social Recruiting Seminar I believe, and it’s in Alberta in Canada. And the guy who’s organizing it saw that post about Ramit and he’s a fan of his and emailed me. It was like, “Hey, I’d love, next May, for you to come up here and do a workshop of copywriting for recruiters.” It’s a conference for recruiters basically and so it will be about applying copywriting techniques to writing descriptions. And yeah, so that’s…

Ashley: It’s a desperately needed. I was just going to say that’s really, really needed.

Will: I know, yeah, and it’s crazy cause I just went through this whole process of recruitment with LeadPages so it was kind of odd timing. But, yeah, they (Leadpages) wrote a kick ass job description. So, yeah, it’s a subject that I have some things to say about. So, yeah, it was really exciting and that’s another sort of takeaway is that it doesn’t always have to result in the person or company or whatever it is that you’re about. It doesn’t have to result in them promoting you. A lot of times it’s in their fans, their fellowing. Finding it and connecting with you that way. So, yeah, that was another really cool result that’s happened.

Ashley: Yeah, I mean, I’m just looking at your post here. It’s actually, I mean, how many words is it? And it has a lot of pictures in here as well obviously, but it’s a really, really, really long.

Will: Yeah, that’s another, a good point, yeah, it’s the longest post I’ve written and I think it’s over 3,000 words which, yeah, I don’t … Being super long isn’t a requirement, but, I think a post that’s at least in the thousand range is usually going to give you a better shot that a quick little 500 word post. Not that a 500 word post is always something that’s quick and easier to write. You know, it’s actually really tough to pull off great posts that are at that length.

Ashley: Yes, I have that problem.

Will: Yeah, but I think what I would say is that all those posts that have done well for me; I wouldn’t use length to describe them. I would just say that they were very in-depth.

Ashley: Yes, exactly.

Will: So, yeah, they’re very thorough and both an analysis of the copywriting and marketing and describing how you, the reader the can implement those techniques and apply them to your business. So, that’s another 2 things I think to keep in mind, is having great analysis, but then also having a great practical application for the reader. They should be able to read your post and not only learn something but then be, “Oh, cool. Now I’m going to go try that right now with my stuff.” So, actionable items, things like that. Cause if someone can read your stuff and then they actually do something because of it, that creates kind of a bond with your content that, isn’t always easy to earn, but it’s definitely stronger than just a connection made if they just read the post and didn’t do anything, when they do that action, that’s a really big connection that can be made.

Ashley: That’s actually a great idea. And you’re talking here about teaching an actionable tip and there’s one from you just now.

Will: Sure, yeah.

Ashley: Which is just actionable connection and I read something in Darren Rowse’s book, one of his blogger books. And he was talking about building community and it’s actually quite difficult to do outside of his niche, but he was building his digital photography school or whatever it’s called.

Will: Right, right.

Ashley: And one of the things he used to do was get people to do homework or a project every week and then joining this community of assessing and looking at each other’s photos based on a particular tip of the week. And it’s along the same lines, but in marketing you’re basically giving people something to do easily in a broken down way and then that is, you are the teacher and they will remember you for that.

Will: Right, yeah. And it’s not like everyone is … Even if you give someone … If you had the best, greatest tip that a hundred percent of the time worked for people, which nothing like that ever exists even if people say it does. But if you had that and it was real and everyone knew it was real there would still be a good percentage of people reading it who would not turn around and act on it. So people, even when you print out great actionable stuff, people aren’t always going to act on it. But the percentage of people who do are going to be worth so much to your community and your audience. They’re going to be so engage. They’re going to be the ones promoting every post you write and commenting all that time. And down the road if you’re planning on releasing products or anything like that or if you’re trying to get coaching clients, those are the people that going to be your biggest supporters in those areas.

Ashley: That’s a great idea. I mean, that’s something I hadn’t thought about. I mean, I always try and provide and really useful information. But having this idea of developing a deeper connection I’ve always really missed that one point that you just said. That’s fantastic. I’m going to steal it and use it now.

Will: Awesome, yeah. You know I would love to see that. That’s great.

Ashley: So, let’s just backtrack and cover what we’ve gone over here and so we can bundle it all into 3 or 4 tips that people could use. I mean basically what we’re talking about here is writing great stuff which is then actionable and detailed and getting somebody’s attention whether it’s someone specific or a fan, I mean, that’s basically what you’ve done, and … so how would you go about thinking about such a topic. I saw in one of your posts you were talking about being passionate and writing about things that mean something to you and that you notice on a daily basis. How do you normally go about doing that just to give some people an idea?

Will: Yeah, well, I mean I’ve never been a great note taker kind of person. In school growing up who had one notebook that was just overflowing with crap and so disorganized and didn’t take notes in class and stuff like that. I just didn’t have this note taking mind. So, one thing I’ve kind of made an effort to do especially since I’ve started writing more often, it’s just whenever I see something I like, whatever idea I get. I just make a little, have a note on my iPhone and, I’ve just got blog ideas, and just write everything down there. And I know it’s a fairly common tip. But what I would recommend people really look out for is that stuff that for some reason you can’t help but find yourself liking. Even if it seems there’s not that much of a connection. I mean, I wrote a post about a grocery store, it doesn’t always immediately in your mind seems like something that would fit well in copywriting a marketing blog. But when you notice things that you like, make a note of it and go back and just sort of … You know, if you’re writing about something, like marketing for example, ask yourself what’s making you like it. What is it about them that crated that connection with you? And just sort of look for things like that and then look for ways to apply however they’ve accomplish creating that connection to your audience.

Ashley: Yeah, yeah, that’s what I think I read on your post. That’s really, that’s what it’s all about, right? I mean, you’ve got to bring it back. Whatever you see, you have to bring it back and I wouldn’t say twist, but apply it to your area and see how it would applies to your area and why it’s appealed and how you can leverage that to learn something like you said about: how LeadPages builds anticipation. You noticed that, it really caught your attention and you wrote about it. And you wrote about it as a copywriter because that’s what you do. I could write about it more in terms of how they do the process or how they do their websites or whatever. But you just apply it back to yourself. So then you write the post, you try and get as much information as you can, make it useful and break it down. And then you, somehow whether it’s, you also said, you look for people’s connection details as well, right?

Will: Yeah, so…

Ashley: To emails and tweets and stuff like that.

Will: Right, yeah, so basically you know it’s always good to know the best way to get in touch with somebody. So, it could be hard to find email addresses or it can even get into border line, like creepy stalker territory. If you’re doing … There have been times in my life, I feel like I’m trying too hard to get this email address. It might be weird. But, anyway, yeah, I mean, just take a look at their activity, and, I mean, almost anyone that you write about is going to be on Twitter, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s the best way to get in touch with them. But the two that I found work best are email and Twitter and, a lot of times when you email somebody and they may not get back to you. A lot of times they still read it and that can sort of lead to things down the line. For example, I sent that post about Ramit Sethi, to his email address, and I didn’t hear anything back from them. But I did notice that someone from his company subscribed to my … or joined my email list. So it was someone who had like at name or whatever. So, I mean, someone saw it and, who knows, if anything could come at that down the road, but yeah…

Ashley: I think that’s very true. I’ve heard stories like that before where someone says, “Hey, I’m sorry”. I think it was John Paul Agiuar. was saying, “Look, I do notice you. I may not reply. But I do notice you.” People do notice who’s commenting on their blog and who’s sending them specific tweets. Generally they do notice.

Will: Definitely.

Ashley: And so it has an impact. And one tip I was just going to give them when I was actually stalking some people as well for email addresses. You sign up to their newsletter. That’s where you generally get the email address that they respond to. Because I send some people I connected with last year, Christmas cards actually. That was a really good trick.

Will: I’m amazed.

Ashley: Proper mail actually makes more of an impact than anything else, cause nobody gets any anymore.

Will: Yeah, that would be cool thing to try.

Ashley: You’re just getting bills in the mail, right? That’s it. So, I didn’t know, right? Because you’re supposed to put your proper address on the bottom of your email as part of the anti-spam. So, I use that trick. And it had some impact.. I had written to people I really wanted to thank cause they’ve been supportive and whatever. It was something that I used to do with all my friends and they all stopped replying. So, I stopped sending my friends Christmas cards from Switzerland and now I send them to influencers instead.

Will: That’s awesome.

Ashley: Nobody does it anymore. People would send electronic Christmas cards or just emails or whatever. But, I like making them out of photos that I’ve taken or whatever. But, yeah, anyways, so yeah, that’s a really cool strategy.
Basically you’ve ended up with not only a comment from Seth Godin and tweets from the LeadPages team, you’ve actually got a job with LeadPages. And then in 6 weeks you’re off. So fantastic and congratulations.

Will: Thank you. Yeah, I’m really excited about it.

Ashley: So, there you go, that’s it… is there anything else you want to quickly want to add? I think that rounds up everything we’ve discussed.

Will: Yeah, I think that’s really good. Just, yeah, I would say the only biggest other sort of lesson I’ve learned from blogging is to make it a habit and, to not let one crappy post or one post that doesn’t get any response sort of dig at you and cause you to stop writing. And … I will say real quickly just one time when this technique totally, seemed it backfired on me was the second post I wrote. It was about how to write a great about page. And I talked about several different about pages and I won’t say which one, but I sent … So anyone who I mentioned in the post, I sent the post to them, I was like, “Hey, I mentioned your about page. You know, I hope you don’t mind.” And then anyway, I didn’t hear anything. And then I got a 3 word email back from one of them, and it just said, “Your post sucked.” And yeah, and so I was, yeah, it was just kind of crushing at the moment. But, I mean, nothing horrible happened and then kind of bizarrely, like a day later, the same person. I kind of responded and I was just, “Hey, sorry you felt that way. Thanks anyway.” You know, so I would say don’t take it personally. Cause after I sent that back the person wrote back and they were, “Oh, I forgot to put a smiley face on that email. So, it might have … I was trying to be joking with it.” I was, “Okay, cool.”

Ashley: Maybe, yeah.

Will: Yeah, but, so anyway, yeah … Just don’t … Stuff like that happens, that happened to me and then my next 2 posts, I talked to someone from Wistia and, I got hooked up with LeadPages. So, don’t let the one bad thing kind of slow you down.

Ashley: Yeah and keep working on the relationships. That’s the key.

Will: Definitely.

Ashley: Alright, cool. Well, thanks for your time today, Will. You’ve really given us some motivation here. I know it’s, I mean, you’ve had obviously difficult time with your blogs in the past and now it’s finally, it’s finally paid off and that’s awesome.

Will: Yeah, thank you again for having me. I really appreciate it, great talking to you actually.

Ashley: Yeah, no worries and we’ll probably catch up again in the future. I’ll see how things are going in LeadPages.

Will: Awesome, yeah, definitely I’d love to talk about that.

Ashley: Alright, cool. Alright, thanks and have a great day.

Will: Alright, yeah, bye.

Send Will A Thank You Tweet

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Posts and Resources from the Podcast

5 Copywriting Tactics You Can Steal from Seth Godin

How to Get Awesome Results from a Low Traffic Blog

The 17,000-Word Beast Ramit Sethi Created to Launch His New Course

How LeadPages Bakes Insane Anticipation Into Every Launch

My Pinterest Expert Post that got shared like mad

Connect with Will



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Final Words

Although it is not easy to become famous online, if you get the right people’s attention it can really help.

So why not try writing something that your role models would love to read.

Maybe even a post about how they have inspired you? Then let them know it exists.

The results might surprise you.

About the Author Ashley Faulkes

Ashley is obsessed with SEO and WordPress. He is also the founder of Mad Lemmings. When he is not busy helping clients get higher on Google he can be found doing crazy sports in the Swiss Alps (or eating too much chocolate - a habit he is trying to break).

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