Wanna know the secret to success? Two words: add value.
In fact, don’t just add value … add more value than anyone else.
And if you can, do it for free.
That’s not my advice. That’s according to Tony Robbins best-selling new juggernaut MONEY: Master the Game:
Money is nothing more than a reflection of your creativity, your capacity to focus, and your ability to add value and receive back.
If you can find a way to create value — that is, add value for a massive number of people — you will have an opportunity to have a massive amount of economic abundance in your life.
Of course, this isn’t a post about finances. Not really.
But it is about success.
More to the point, this is a post about successful writing and breaking through networking.
And Robbin’s cornerstone advice — add value — is the principle behind what I’m calling the second of four (self-revealing) case studies on growth and success: write [bleeping] amazing content.
Because if you wanna get noticed, build your authority, increase your traffic, and land more clients, that’s what it comes down to.
How to Add Value to Big Sites
In the world of online copywriting, this is especially true for the ever more flooded realm of guest posting.
I wrote last week about how having a genuine relationship opened the door for my first guest opportunity on Copyblogger.
Today, with the focus on content itself, my second guest spot on Copyblogger is an even better example.
The Ultimate Copy Checklist: 51 Questions to Optimize Every Element of Your Online Copy [Free Poster] went live in late October … and it blew up.
I’d been using a less polished version of this checklist in my freelance work for sometime. The original PDF contained 93 questions and (in keeping with the takeaway that’s coming in a few paragraphs) I’d be happy to send it to you if you sign up for my email list.
Formulating 93 questions ain’t easy. In fact, it was downright grueling. Checklists of that quantity are a beast.
But in the end, I’d built a genuinely helpful tool that not only my clients loved but other writers loved as well.
It was valuable.
So why add value on someone else’s site … for free?
Because my goal was to be genuinely helpful. And to do that I had to get it out to as many people as possible. Of course, my other goals were to get noticed, build authority, and demonstrate social proof to anyone who might be interested in hiring me.
And because of that — precisely because it was just about the most valuable thing I’d created — I decided to give it away.
First off, traffic. People followed. Second, my email list grew by leaps and bounds. Third, comments on my own blog increased. Fourth, people shared it all over the place. In fact, it’s still on Copyblogger’s most popular list and it’s been shared nearly 20k times.
On top of all that — and this is the real beauty — I landed four new clients from that one post alone.
How to Add Value On Your Own Site
Here’s another example of a more personal nature.
To follow this principle on my own blog … I dug deep. Like 39-years-in-the-past, way-before-the-internet deep.
One of the most well-reviewed marketing books of all time is Eugene Schwartz’s Breakthrough Advertising. The crazy thing is … it’s also one of the least read.
Last summer I picked it up and sixty pages in I came across three lines that stopped me in my tracks:
Five to ten words will make up about 90% of the value of your ad.
If you are right, they may start a new industry.
If you are wrong, nothing you write after them will save your ad.
That’s a bold claim: it all comes down to just 5 to 10 words. But over his career, Schwartz’s ads were responsible for …
- 1.98 million copies of a $25 book.
- 2 million orders for a fishing lure.
- Nearly $50 million for a textbook on natural health.
- $150,000 for a volume on car repair … in just three days.
- And, most legendary of all, a single television campaign that resulted in purchases from 1 out of every 14 TV owners in America.
So … bold claim? Yes. But can he back it up? Absolutely.
Now, exactly how you get to those all-important 5 to 10 words is the key. Schwartz called it your audience’s “mass desire”: the one, dominate, driving emotional force behind why your market buys.
I devoured Schwartz and, after taking copious notes for myself, turned it into the first series that got me noticed on my own site.
You can read all four posts here:
- The 3 Unbreakable Laws of Breakthrough Copywriting
- Mass Desire: The First Unbreakable Law of “Breakthrough” Copywriting
- 5 Ways to Systematically Craft Breakthrough Headlines from Inside Your Market’s Mind
- 3 Audience-Enticing Headline Hacks: Power, Novelty & Pull
The series itself was well over 7,000 words and included tons of actionable advice along with both classic and modern examples of the principles in action. All that requires a lot of heavy lifting. Again, grueling stuff. I even used one of my coaching sessions with Demian Farnsworth to outline it and craft the introduction.
The takeaway: add value … and (if you can) do it for free. In other words, write [bleeping] amazing content.
How Other Amazing People Add Value
Joanna Wiebe follows this principle every time she posts. Her Long Copy + Short Copy = “Hybrid Pages” (With Instructo-Graphic) is ample evidence of this:
Similarly, this is Neil Patel’s second strategy for driving traffic to new ventures: Write extremely long and thorough content:
It takes a lot more time to produce thorough content, but it has been working well. Just look at the search traffic numbers … .
As you can see, every time I release a long blog post, my search traffic goes up.
Copyblogger’s 11 Essential Ingredients Every Cornerstone Content Page Needs [Infographic] by Demian Farnworth is another amazing example of amazingness in (free) action:
Likewise, so is Todd Jones’ What You Need to Know About Cornerstone Content over at Kristi Hines site.
How to Add Value Right Now
To get your [bleeping] amazing content juices going, here are five questions to ask yourself right now or the next time you sit down in front of a blank screen:
- What’s the single best, most helpful tool I’ve created?
- How can I help other people in my industry overcome specific problems?
- What’s going on in popular culture that I could draw lessons from for my market? (I used this last question for my first Entrepreneur article.)
- What resource (book, tape series, webinar, tool) is my audience underutilizing? What don’t they know that they should?
- Where is the emotional pain in my industry and how can I create a thoroughly human and vulnerable piece of content around it? In other words, how can I leverage my failure for their benefit?
Oh, and be sure to check the next case study in being amazing and adding value: Be a decent freakin’ person!