Just finished reading Joe Sugarman. Have I learned anything?

by msafi 17 replies
"7,553 Absolute Unique Visitors" per month and a really valuable product. These are the two great things I have. Yet, I can't make any money. I started this project more than a year ago.

It got to a point where it was making $1,000 a month. Then I redesigned the website to make it more "professional" and "corporate-like". And just as I was expecting sales to double, they shrunk by more than half! I'm still perplexed.

So now, I decided that I will soon remove the stupid logo and change the slogan from: Your Guide to Jobs in Dubai to Tips From a Habitual Jobhunter.

I want to bring back the personal feeling to the website. It used to look like a personal blog.

I'd also like to really start selling, so I picked up Joe Sugarman's book "Advertising Secrets" and it was a thrilling learning experience. I had a few nights when I couldn't sleep from sheer excitement.

As I was learning, I started drafting the new copy for my product. It took me more than a week to write, but I'm not sure it will do any better than its predecessor (the currently live version. No longer accessible).

I think I should request paid critique and enhancements from a professional copywriter, but before that, I want to know if I do have something that can be improved on. If I'm still too far behind, I should go back, crack more copywriting books and continue to improve. And then come back.

So, could someone tell me whether I have something or nothing with the new copy?

When I started writing this, I tried to keep a few things fresh in my mind. For instance, I constantly receive emails from experienced business owners, professionals who hold law and MBA degrees from Ivy league schools, and sales managers. As a result of my website, which includes free advice, they all think of me as an expert. These are highly educated people. They are the ones that I want to sell to. So, you'll see in the copy that I talk about politics and economics a little.

I tried to make the buying environment that of desire for fairness and having the power to control your career path. Then, I mention how it can be difficult to achieve that, but I hint at having the solution (the product), and I give the solution a codename (concept) to generate curiosity. To explain the codename, I tell them about an experience of mine and how it lead to the development of the product.

Then, I show satisfaction conviction and ask them to subscribe.

Here is the new copy Unlike the current live copy, which is tucked away in its own page. Once, I have new, winning copy, I'll put it up on the homepage. (The current homepage is another thing that makes the website look impersonal)

So, what glaring flaws do you see in this copy? Should I find a copywriter to help me polish this? Or should I go back and work on it some more? Maybe I have to scrap the whole thing. Start with an entirely new approach? I really don't know...Please help.

Thanks,
#copywriting #finished #joe #learn #page #reading #sugarman #wrote
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  • What was the old copy producing in sales per unique visitor?
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    • Profile picture of the author msafi
      Originally Posted by Kevin-VirtualProfitCenter View Post

      What was the old copy producing in sales per unique visitor?
      I think around 1%. My traffic is extremely targeted. With the old, personal blog design, I had a bounce rate below 30%. With the current salesy "coporate-like" crap I have 38% bounce rate, which is still relatively low. So, 1% is a complete failure. I should also know it's a failure because the types of educated people, who I mentioned above, opt for sending me emails and chat rather than be compelled to buy.
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      • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
        Your copy is fairly snappy and engaging. I like that part about it...
        but I lost interest because you were using abreviations I am
        unfamiliar with - I naturally assume this is written for people
        who already live in the middle east or something.
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        • Profile picture of the author msafi
          Originally Posted by Loren Woirhaye View Post

          Your copy is fairly snappy and engaging. I like that part about it...
          but I lost interest because you were using abreviations I am
          unfamiliar with - I naturally assume this is written for people
          who already live in the middle east or something.
          Thanks for the compliment, Loren.

          The acronyms I used are UAE, Dhs, CV and DJA.

          UAE: United Arab Emirates - Yes, this is certainly known by anyone who lands on my website.

          Dhs: Dirhams - The currency of the UAE. High likelihood that it'll be familiar to my visitors. I don't know if I should put that amount in dollars, since it is more universal. Maybe I will.

          CV: Curriculum vitæ - I use this one frequently throughout the copy. It just means résumé. It is widely used every where outside of North America. To me, résumé is more familiar, but I think my visitors all know CV better.

          DJA: Dubai Jobhunt Acceleration - I said in the original post that I gave the product a codename (concept). Midway through the copy, I present this acronym as the solution and entice the reader to continue reading to find out what it is. Its meaning is intentionally obscured.

          Thank you for the pointer.
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  • Profile picture of the author CopyMonster
    I didn't go through it with a fine tooth comb but I think the update is worlds apart, and much better copy. Shows there's a person behind the curtain - like you're talking to me. The corporate speak copy is lost in the pile with all the other corporate speak sites... we're the best, we offer quality service... yada, yada.

    A small point, I noticed next to your picture, you put the title "habitual job hunter". This to me seems ambiguous and maybe taken to mean you're always looking for a job for yourself. If you follow along that line of thinking, it can seem out of line with what you're promising to deliver - lacks congruence. I'd dump it for some other tag eg. "Chief Job Hunter" or "Dream Job Officer/Executive" or whatever.
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    Scary good...
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    • Profile picture of the author msafi
      Originally Posted by bf68 View Post

      A small point, I noticed next to your picture, you put the title "habitual job hunter". This to me seems ambiguous and maybe taken to mean you're always looking for a job for yourself. If you follow along that line of thinking, it can seem out of line with what you're promising to deliver - lacks congruence. I'd dump it for some other tag eg. "Chief Job Hunter" or "Dream Job Officer/Executive" or whatever.
      I'm glad you think the new copy is a big improvement compared to the old one.

      By using "habitual jobhunter" I wanted to tell the reader: This is why I know this stuff about jobhunting and you don't. You are career oriented. You don't jump ship as much as I do. That's why you haven't had as much experience in jobhunting as I had.

      Does that make sense or do you still think I should change it?
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        [DELETED]
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        • Profile picture of the author IdeasNotWords
          Here in Canada, one's CV and Resume are also two separate things. Not to nitpick or anything, just an addendum.

          As far as the copy goes, the newer version is way better than the old. I would still watch out for how "I" oriented the letter is. Seems that everything below the "how i was called for a..." headline is a biography of "you"... Frankly, if I'm looking for a job, I don't care about what you did--I want to know right away how you can help me.

          Tell me in 2 or 3 sentences about why you're qualified to teach me, but if you're trying to persuade me, ditch the bio and tell me how you'll get me results. Tell me how your service will change my life. Tell me that: "I'll show you unique tips and tricks that will land you an immediate position", not that "I spent some time researching and I discovered lots of job hunting tips and tricks". The former sounds really intriguing to me, the buyer. The latter, I don't care about.

          This is all imo, of course.
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          • Profile picture of the author msafi
            Thank you for the suggestions.

            I changed CV to résumé. I changed UAE to United Arab Emirates. I put the amounts in US$.
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          • Profile picture of the author msafi
            Originally Posted by IdeasNotWords View Post

            Here in Canada, one's CV and Resume are also two separate things. Not to nitpick or anything, just an addendum.

            As far as the copy goes, the newer version is way better than the old. I would still watch out for how "I" oriented the letter is. Seems that everything below the "how i was called for a..." headline is a biography of "you"... Frankly, if I'm looking for a job, I don't care about what you did--I want to know right away how you can help me.
            The purpose of the copy below the "how I was called for a..." headline is to identify with the reader. From my experience in running this website, many readers fall for the exact problem I described. So, I'm hoping that they will identify with me when they read the difficult experience I went through and how I overcome it.

            Originally Posted by IdeasNotWords View Post

            Tell me in 2 or 3 sentences about why you're qualified to teach me, but if you're trying to persuade me, ditch the bio and tell me how you'll get me results. Tell me how your service will change my life. Tell me that: "I'll show you unique tips and tricks that will land you an immediate position", not that "I spent some time researching and I discovered lots of job hunting tips and tricks". The former sounds really intriguing to me, the buyer. The latter, I don't care about.

            This is all imo, of course.
            The immediate section below the "how I was called for a"

            Originally Posted by The New Copy


            You Should Try This Yourself


            Now, I will show you exactly how you also can tap into a wealth of information on hiring managers and recruiters in Dubai online. I will give you a step-by-step plan as well as secret tips to building a hot Dubai network. You’ll be connected to very active and responsive contacts. You’ll be able to secure interviews – and even job offers – very quickly. Yes, you can do that and all it takes is…A hot and responsive network.
            Isn't it the same thing?
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            • Profile picture of the author IdeasNotWords
              Originally Posted by msafi View Post

              The purpose of the copy below the "how I was called for a..." headline is to identify with the reader. From my experience in running this website, many readers fall for the exact problem I described. So, I'm hoping that they will identify with me when they read the difficult experience I went through and how I overcome it.
              I don't disagree with you here. I just think that placing your fairly lengthy+dense bio section at the relative beginning of the letter may alienate some readers.



              The immediate section below the "how I was called for a"



              Isn't it the same thing?
              It is. I kind of wish, as a potential buyer, that I'd read that section before the one above it. If you catch my drift.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aronya
    There's nothing wrong with using abbreviations if you use the full term first one time, as in "Here in the UAE (United Arab Emirates), jobs are plentiful..." From that point on, you can use the abbreviation. The only time I'd opt for the full term after that is if the copy was pretty long & you're referring to UAE often. In that case, I'd suggest you spell it out at least one more time.

    One thing that would concern me if I was looking for a job and landed on your site is your pictures. You guys look like you're 14 years old. Then I look at your experience and start wondering if you're legit (you seem to have LOTS of experience for your age). I'd suggest you split test a version of your page that uses either no pictures at all, or older-looking ones.
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  • Profile picture of the author msafi
    I've published the copy to the homepage. Also, I followed the advice here and now I'm doing split test among 4 slightly different landing pages. Here are the links:

    Landing page 1 - Pics included. Long bio.
    Landing page 2 - Pics included. Concise bio.
    Landing page 3 - No pics. Concise bio.
    Landing page 4 - No pics. Long bio.

    I used Google Website Optimizer to do the split testing.

    Let's see how it goes.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aronya
    Good luck!
    Let us know what works.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    You've definitely got the right idea... especially in the opening. It could certainly use a lot of tightening in various spots... but if you paid someone for a full critique they should be able to point out a LOT of spots for improvement.

    It's certainly one of the better jobs I've seen though from someone who isn't a "copywriter", per se.

    -Dan
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    Always looking for badass direct-response copywriters. PM me if we don't know each other and you're looking for work.

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  • Profile picture of the author msafi
    Whenever I make a major modification to the website or the copy in it, I immediately get several sales. Then, the sales slowdown...And they slow down some more...It's a really peculiar pattern...Any one have a theory as to why this happens?

    Within the first two days of launching this copy, Google Website Optimizer was reporting a 2.8% conversion rate. Needless to say, I was almost ecstatic. I thought I've hit the sweet spot despite the fact that I had experienced the funky sales pattern in the past. I was optimistic this time around. But it turns out, it's no different. It started well, and slowed down to a crawl...just like before. The current conversion rate is %0.8...

    I've spent way too much effort on this website and it's nowhere near where I'd like it to be, so I'm putting any further improvements on hold. I'll be trying my luck with review sites...

    I just wanted to update you all and thank you for your suggestions and help (and also see if anyone has an explanation for the sales pattern described above).

    Thanks,

    P.s. I told Kevin above that I had an original conversion rate of 1%. I was mistaken. It was probably 0.5% or below.
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