Interview with Copywriter / Internet Marketing Guru Gavriel Shaw

Dan Lew, my client from 2006 who I met whilst traveling in Thailand, interviewed me about marketing and copywritering which you can see below or on Dan’s site at Interview with Copywriter / Internet Marketing Guru – Gavriel Shaw.

Dan begins the interview write-up saying:

Gavriel Shaw is a good friend of mine who has been involved in the internet and making money online through professional copywriting since the very early stages from when the internet was born.

I hope that by putting this interview together, my readers can be inspired and believe that they too can do it if they put the dedication and passion into it.

1. I know that you have been making money on the internet since the late 90′s what can you tell us has changed over years, and has this helped you get better?

The fundamentals are the same. First: Understand the fears, frustrations and desires of a particular target market. Second: Create a high value product and an offer that strikes a strong chord with that market. Third: Get traffic to your offer.

What’s different is short-lived tools and emergent innovations that come from new programming. First there was simple html. Then css and php. Now ajax, widgets, and hooks.

SEO for example is essentially the same. Build a clean easy loading website with lots of high-value content that people like to spend time reading and link to. But how people read (e.g. smartphones) and how people link (e.g. WordPress plugins) is ever changing.

2. You are a great Copywriter, probably the best I have personally met, what kind of work is involved and what kind of advice do you have for anyone who would like to get into copywriting?

Be intensely curious and passionate. Explore the human experience. Learn how to truly listen to your target audience. Understand your prospects. Read lots of good quality sales letters. Write often. Ask for feedback from other copywriters. Measure your success based on how well your sales letters and opt-in pages convert. Measure everything. Test.

3. I really like your matrix marketing and internet marketing strategies. What would you consider to be most effective when doing business on the internet, Affiliate Marketing, Internet Marketing, Copywriting or SEO?

Well, as above, first understand your target audience, get or create a product that is high-value, then focus on building traffic and the conversion rate of your traffic into leads and customers.

I really can’t say that any one component is more important than another. If you have lots of traffic but can’t convert, you don’t make sales. If you have a high-converting sales offer but have no traffic, you don’t make sales. The trick is balancing your time and energy on both sides of that equation. It takes a lot of dedication.

4. Would you say that to target a niche area would be a good idea to start off with like something that is a small but steady market?

Concentrate on your passions, your curiosities. Start by making a personal blog (use WordPress). Find affiliate programs related to your products and promote those products on your blog. Make some sales.

If there are no affiliate products in your niche, then capture traffic that comes to your site on rss or email subscription, then contact companies that sell products in your field of interest and do a deal with them (e.g. they can create a sales page on their site that only you send traffic to, thus any sales they make from that page are attributed to you, and you get a commission). That might seem complicated to you, but it might be quite straightforward to them. And they might welcome the added source of traffic to their business.

5. When I met you in Thailand in 2006, you had some great ideas, and making money while traveling was easy for you. I remember you used creative strategies like “Inviting your readers to an Island with you” how effective was that for you are you still using these kind of strategies today?

Gimmicks can be fun. They can work. But only if the underlying value is in place first. Any marketer must cut out all of the gimmicks and begin with the basic high-value offer. Only then can you embellish your work with more creative ideas.

Headlines need to be high-impact. In copywriting we call it ‘the big idea’. Something that helps to capture attention, perhaps that’s a very simple idea, or perhaps a little wild, strange, or unique.

For example, we could build a headline for your own success story, something like:

What Insider SEO Secrets Can This Traveling Aussie Teach You About SEO From Experience Running A Successful 12-Person SEO Company.

That’s just a quick brainstorm. It might be too long, but certainly shows an interesting story, something special and unique, and promises high-value information.

So first, make sure you’ve got the goods. A strong offer. Good product. Then you can embellish it with creative strategies that grab attention and make you stand out from the crowd.

Thanks for the interview Dan. Onwards and upwards.