General Q&A Time

Some of my favorite posts in the past have been Q&A sessions. And it’s been a long, long time since we’ve done that.

Let’s do it.

Leave a comment with your question(s). 2 at the most please. They can be on any topic, but my specialty is copywriting and if I don’t know the answer to your question, I’ll tell you that.

Suggested topics might include writing headlines, writing bullets, creating a great offer, testing your copy with split tests or multivariate testing, etc…

The best question, picked subjectively by me, will get a free gift.

I’ll answer the questions on Monday and post them.

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And The Winner Is…

Zazzu. The random number generator chose the number 6, which happened to be Zazzu.

Congrats! Will you leave a comment to this post with your mailing address and I’ll get it shipped out to you next week? (I won’t approve the comment so no one will see it but me.)

Posted in Housekeeping |
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Please Leave A Comment If You Have A Blog…

I’m wondering how many of my readers have a blog. If you’re reading this and you do have a blog, will you leave a comment?

If you don’t have a blog, consider starting one. Blogs are a great way to start a business or generate traffic.

A great way to establish yourself as an authority is to have dozens and dozens of blog posts published to the web for visitors to read.

Plus Google loves content, so they love blogs. The more content you have the more search engine traffic you’ll get.

Whenever I start a new hobby, I start a blog with it. That way I can track my progress with the hobby, and I have a ton of content if I ever get to the point where I want to monetize that hobby.

Right now, in addition to this blog, I have a music blog and a wine blog. I keep both of them secret and don’t talk about them too much.

And I haven’t posted to either one in quite a while. But that’s OK, the content is there waiting for me when I come back. One day all that content I’ve compiled will be very useful. And if not, I’ll still have a personal record of the hobby if I ever want to go back and look.

I think I have some DVD’s that show how to set up a blog. Maybe I’ll give one away next week. In the meantime, it’s not hard. Buy a domain name, get a web host that uses cPanel, point the domain at the webhost and use cPanel’s auto-install to install WordPress. Done!

Posted in Business Tips, Housekeeping, Tips For Doers |
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Free Gift When You Leave A Comment…

So recently I noticed that I purchased the same book twice. WHOOPS!

The book was Dan Kennedy’s “The Ultimate Marketing Plan” and it’s an older edition. I’d like to send it to someone who wants it.

If you’d like to be considered for the free gift, leave a comment to this post. I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winner.

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Dear Barack Obama, From I Don’t Give A Damn…

Dear Barack,

I got up earlier than usual yesterday to meet at a friends house to watch your inauguration. The party looked great. Your family was beautiful. I’m convinced it was Roberts’ fault for messing up the oath, but that’s quickly forgotten.

It was a pretty big day for you, and an even bigger day for the country. It’s great to see an African-American elected President when so many people thought it impossible.

Everyone seems to be pretty excited for your Presidency. It’s nice to see people so happy and optimistic… but I really feel left out.

I try not to let it show too much. I don’t want to be a downer at someone else’s party…

But seriously… what’s going to change? Aren’t you promising to take away more freedoms? Despite what you said in the inauguration, aren’t you trying to move us further and further away from our founding documents?

I love the United States of America. But it hurts to watch the country go down this path. It really feels like watching a loved one celebrate a drug addiction that’s killing them.

Many of your supporters tell me Bush was the worst President ever and you’ll bring change. But I’m having a hard time spotting the difference…

The Iraq war is coming to a close without you. And you plan to intensify the war in Afghanistan. That’s the direction Bush was moving in as well.

Are you going to bring troops home from any of the other 130+ countries where they’re currently stationed? Are you going to continue the big government foreign policy dreamed up by the Democrats and now embraced by the Republicans? It looks like it. That’s not change.

You don’t like Bush’s tax cuts. But what’s a 4% tax cut when you’re talking about confiscating 40% of a person’s income? Sure, it may be billions of dollars but I don’t think it’s enough to declare “change.”

And why do you want to take a cut out of someone’s paycheck anyway? I know pimps do that. So does the mob. I guess the IRS thinks it’s OK to join them.

(Question, do you think the income tax is hurting the economy? It seems like when you want to stimulate the economy, you give us money back. I don’t understand why you don’t just stop taking the money in the first place.)

Speaking of the economy, President Bush has proven he’s willing to do “anything necessary” to save the economy. That has resulted in great interventions in the market. You plan to do the same thing. What’s the difference?

You’re still trying to do something that’s not possible: fix a problem of overspending and over-borrowing with more overspending and over-borrowing. Most reasonable people, with their own budgets, usually try to spend less and save more. Shouldn’t that be obvious?

It’s like we’re watching an Alchemist try to turn mercury in to gold. It’s never happened before and it never will.

Didn’t you learn anything from the mistakes of Hoover and FDR? I guess it’s no surprise you wouldn’t. FDR presided over the worst economy we’ve ever seen for more than 10 years… and somehow history has decided that was a good thing.


Back to your inauguration. I wanted to give you the heads up on two factual errors you made in the second paragraph of your speech.

You said 44 Americans have now taken the Presidential oath. I know it’s not that big of deal compared to the issues we’re facing, but actually only 43 Americans have taken the oath. Grover Cleveland is counted twice, as he was our 22nd and 24th President.

I hesitate to even bring it up… but I thought you might be able to learn something from Grover Cleveland. He used his veto power A LOT. Specifically vetoing unconstitutional bills that reached his desk. Since you just took an oath to uphold the constitution, I’d appreciate if you followed his lead.

But that brings me to the second factual error in the second paragraph of your speech. You said that we have remained true to our founding documents.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The Declaration said we all have an inalienable right to life and liberty. That meant people should be free to live their lives as they see fit, as long as they don’t step on the rights of others.

But that’s not the type of government we have. And it’s not the kind of government you support.

Do you realize that you force me to pay in to the worst retirement plan imaginable, social security? You know, that system where I pay you 12% of my income for as long as I work… and you decide if I ever get any of it back? If I die without dependents, you get to keep my retirement money?

Surely few people with liberty would ever choose to be part of such a system. Maybe that’s why you don’t give people a choice to opt-out of this system.

There are nearly as many violations of liberty as there are laws that come from the Capital. I can’t possibly list them all.

Of course, that’s just one founding document and the government is not actually bound to it. The Federal government is supposed to be bound to the constitution, however.

What’s up with that?

Maybe it’s my mistake and I didn’t realize that the 10th amendment of the constitution had been removed.

Hmm… I just checked, it is still there. It reads…

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

That means the federal government only has the power to do what the constitution says it can do.

But you want national healthcare? That’s not delegated to the federal government in the constitution.

In fact, most of your ideas seem unconstitutional if the 10th amendment is, indeed, still a part of the constitution.

It seems that the federal government has completely ignored our founding documents.

They call Ron Paul “Dr. No” because he votes down so many bills in congress. But he’s simply living up to his oath of office, upholding the constitution.

Why does he get a special nickname for carrying out his oath of office?

So in the end, Barack, I’m not too excited about your presidency because you’re not bringing change… you’re not planning on obeying your oath of office… and you’re not going to respect our founding documents or even our inalienable rights to life and liberty.

But really, Barack, I don’t give a damn. The only other candidate who got close to your office was McCain and he seemed to hold very similar positions to you.

My only hope is that one day the nation will wake up from this drug-like addiction to big government.

Big government is the enemy of freedom and the cause of our problems. It’s why our schools can’t teach. It’s why our health care is too expensive. And it’s why our economy is falling apart.

If we can wake up from this addiction to big government, and maybe support Ron Paul for President or someone like him, then I’ll join the party and celebrate.

Until then, I’m just a disappointed observer.

Stephen Dean

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How To Double Your Productive Hours

I just watched this video by Perry Belcher. I was surprised to find we have a similar technique (and reasoning) for keeping organized and focused.

Watch the video if you’d like…

I don’t use post-it notes. But I do jot down thoughts as they come to me for the purpose of clearing them from my head. And I prioritize them similar to Perry’s method.

The difference for me is that I write everything down in a “distractions.txt” file. When I’m working, if a great thought or idea comes to me, I click a shortcut on my taskbar to open the file and type it in. Then I close the file and continue working.

It makes it easier to leave the thought alone until later so I can stay focused.

Posted in Business Tips, Tips For Doers |
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Top 10 Email Subject Lines by Ken Mcarthur

I found this link this morning. Ken Mcarthur lists his best email subject lines (based on open rates) from 2008. It’s good to see people posting real data!

He also writes quite a bit about how to evaluate statistics. All in all, a great post. Go check it out!

Posted in Business Resources, Copywriting Resources, Internet Advertising Resources |
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John Carlton Ticking People Off…

More Marketing Tips videos at
Posted in Business Tips, Copywriting Tips, Internet Advertising Tips |
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Forget The Recession!


I’m assuming you just read the title of this post. I wrote it, but I didn’t mean it.

I’ve heard comments like “forget the recession” or “ignore the recession” lately. And I think I understand where they’re coming from, but I don’t relate. I feel like I’m coming from a completely different position.

Am I just being a contrarian again? I guess, but I didn’t mean to.

People who suggest ignoring the recession seem to be giving advice to people who are climbing in to a hole and letting the bad economic climate beat them.

I don’t relate to either character. I’m not ignoring the recession, and I’m not ready to take a beating from it either.

The recession doesn’t scare me at all. I think I’ll make more money this year than last year. I have big plans…

…but I’m paying attention to the problems with the economy. I think it’s important.

I’m not going to give investment advice, but if you didn’t pay attention to the economy how would you know how to invest? to protect your assets? to protect your wealth? to prepare?

These are all important things to do in the face of a huge economic downturn.

But if you read those statements again… they’re NOT an excuse for getting beat up by the recession.

A recession should cleanse the market of bad businesses, bad investments, bad bets and bad debts (if the government would let it happen).

But I happen to believe I run a GOOD business that’s going to thrive while others barely survive, or maybe even die. It’s nothing to be worried about. In fact, it’s encouraging me to get MOVING and finally set my plans in to place.

With that in mind, I think the best advice is not to use a bad economy as an EXCUSE to fail… an EXCUSE to get beat up.

But you should pay attention to the economic climate. It’ll help you prepare… it’ll help you invest wisely… and if you’re really on top of it’ll help you vote wisely too.

Ron Paul, 2012.

“Today, this country is in the middle of a recession for a lot of people. Michigan knows about it. Poor people know about it. The middle class knows about it. Wall Street doesn’t know about it. Washington, D.C., doesn’t know about it.” ~ Ron Paul, October 2007

Posted in Me, Tips For Doers |
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Prediction On Copywriters During The Financial Mess

I just noticed an interview I did for Edgar Boutaric in April of 2008. There were some signs of the financial crisis playing out at the time, although nothing like we saw in October/November.

The last question Edgar asked me was what I thought the effect the bad economy would have on Internet Marketing and copywriting. Reading my response today, I couldn’t agree more…

“I’ve been paying attention to the economic woes lately and I’m of the (very humble) opinion that it’s going to get a lot worse. But there are so many elements to consider that I’m not sure what will be affected and in what way.

“You might see beginning copywriters drop out. You might see the average copywriter lower their prices. And you might see the top copywriters raise them.

From what I’ve seen, that seems to be the case. You can check out the full interview here:

“Why Hire A Talented Copywriter?”

Posted in Business Heads Up, Copywriting Heads Up, Internet Advertising Heads Up |
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