Episode 14: Copy Hacking for Conversions w/Joanna Wiebe

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In Episode 14, Joanna Weibe (founder of CopyHackers) sets us all straight on what copy hacking (writing conversion copy for the web) is all about, and how it can help your startup.  We cover Joannas foundational years as a copywriter, then move on to what she’s learned about copy writing on the web. 

Copy Hacking Talking Points

  • Why everything you learned about writing in high school & college is wrong
  • What makes web copy/conversion copy unique
  • Why the best person to do your copy hacking is you
  • Why getting & keeping consistent web traffic is hard
  • Why news stories about huge traffic spikes are garbage

and a bunch of other topics that are near to my heart as an aspiring bootstrapper.

@copyhackers - Joanna Weibe on Twitter
CopyHackers - where startups learn to convert like mofos
Intuit
Lance Jones - Joannas husband, co-founder of Copyhackers
Hacker News
Page99Test
Unbounce
Swipe file - A swipe file is a collection of tested and proven advertising and sales letters. Keeping a swipe file (templates) is a common practice used by advertising copywriters and creative directors as a ready reference of ideas for projects.
Drip campaign - Drip marketing is a communication strategy that sends, or “drips,” a pre-written set of messages to customers or prospects over time.
Squeeze page - A squeeze page is a landing page created to solicit opt-in email addresses from prospective subscribers.
Portent - headline-generator
SmallSpec - Christopher’s startup; painless functional specifications

Plus Joanna did a Tuesday Tear-Down of my SmallSpec page.

To start the episode, I ranted like a crazy person about my soul-crushing winter, and revealed the extreme action I recently took regarding my product SmallSpec.  I now regret taking such extreme action, but don’t see any way I could have avoided it.

As a 10-year copywriter and 5-year CRO pro responsible for selling 30,000 eBooks and helping 100s of startups with blog posts that have reached an audience of 100,000+, Joanna is in a unique position to help startups with their copy hacking.

We trace her journey from having a day job writing web copy all the way to her present work with startups. The interview covers the whys and hows of why copy hacking is not as accessible a skill as it may appear.  Joanna tells us how to make it more accessible, and what to do to maintain your momentum.

The ethos of “do the work, then do the work again” applies heavily to copy hacking and web marketing in general. Joanna makes it clear that diligence is rewarded over the long-term when writing web copy.  We also talk about some of the common mistakes that beginning copy hackers make when it comes to their new app, site or landing page.

To finish it all off, Joanna shares her three concrete action items for aspiring copy hackers to get started with writing conversion copy.

Comments & feedback are welcome via Twitter or e-mail.