The Conversational Edge

This is where we explore conversational writing as
a powerful way to communicate and sell online.

How to find a conversational voice for your business, with Ann Handley.

Conversational voice for business

In this post I get to interview best-selling author and Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, Ann Handley.

I’ve known Ann for over 20 years, ever since she first invited me to write for ClickZ, a website she co-founded with Andy Bourland back in 1997.

Through working with her and reading her books, I know we agree on most things when it comes to writing for the web.

That’s all very nice, but could also be a problem. Mutual appreciation interviews can get really boring, really fast.

So… I thought a little harder and came up with a slightly non-obvious line of questioning.

I don’t know what Ann’s answers will be. But I’m really looking forward to finding out.

Let’s get started.

Read moreHow to find a conversational voice for your business, with Ann Handley.

3 Tech trends that are driving demand for conversational copywriting.

The rise of conversational copywriting, with two robots talking

When they read my writing on conversational copywriting, some marketers think I’m talking about a soft, nice-to-have skill.

They see the conversational approach is being attractive, but optional.

I think they’re totally wrong.

From what I’m seeing, conversational copywriting is fast becoming an essential marketing skill. Not an option, but a necessity.

And the need for conversational copywriting isn’t being driven by me or any other individual. It’s being driven by some massive technology trends that show no signs of slowing down any time soon.

Let’s take a look at these trends one by one.

Read more3 Tech trends that are driving demand for conversational copywriting.

The links between drama, improv and conversational copywriting, with Nancy Gettridge.

Improv, drama and conversations

In this post I get to interview Nancy Gettridge, founder and principal of Phenomenal Image.

Nancy took my course on conversational copywriting. While going through the course every student is invited to submit some homework assignments. And Nancy’s writing caught my attention for a couple of reasons. First, it’s really good. Secondly, there’s something very visual about it.

It was the visual, picture-painting aspect of her writing that prompted me to reach out and ask here about her process.

And what started as a simple email exchange quickly grew into a full-blown interview.

Read moreThe links between drama, improv and conversational copywriting, with Nancy Gettridge.

If you want to engage your readers, start by writing an open-ended headline.

Conversational headlines about peanut butter
I’m trying to think of a reason why you might want to write a headline that doesn’t attempt to engage your readers in some meaningful way.

I guess if you’re just making a product launch announcement, you might simply want to get the message out and be done.

You could write something like:

NEW! Nick’s Peanut Butter available in stores today!

But most of the time we’re trying to do more with our headlines.

We want to hold the reader’s interest and attention beyond just the headline itself. We want people to keep reading.

How do you keep them reading?

Read moreIf you want to engage your readers, start by writing an open-ended headline.

A deep dive into conversational copywriting, with Giovanni Ciampaglia.

Two swimmers underwater

In this post I get to interview Giovanni Ciampaglia, Global Marketing Director for Arena Water Instinct.

Giovanni and I first worked together several years ago when he asked me to write some web pages for the fitness equipment company he was working for.

Recently he reached out to me and said, “I’m looking into ways to improve our marketing efforts through better (conversational) copywriting…”

He wanted to hire a freelancer who was trained in conversational copywriting, and I was happy to introduce him to several of our course alumni.

And then I got to thinking… of all the industries that might latch onto the power and promise of conversational copywriting… swimwear??

Hence this interview.

Let’s get started…

Read moreA deep dive into conversational copywriting, with Giovanni Ciampaglia.

Why I’m trying to create my own conversational chatbot.

Conversational chatbot

Yes, I really am working on the creation of my own chatbot.

And it’s a fascinating process.

Chatbots are driven by AI, or Machine Learning.

But this doesn’t mean a chatbot thinks like a human. It doesn’t. It doesn’t make up stuff on the fly either.

As the creator of the chatbot you have to anticipate and set up a whole bunch of possible interactions and “if/then” decision trees.

For example, imagine you’re trying to buy some hiking boots on a wilderness sports website.

Read moreWhy I’m trying to create my own conversational chatbot.