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A Simple Sales Copy Swipe File

Tue, Sep 16, 2008


One of the questions that I’m asked most often is, “How do you write effective sales copy?”.  The truth is, as I’ve claimed from the beginning, auctions are all about presentation.  Presentation of your site, presentation of your sales pitch, and these both tie into the perceived potential of the site that you are selling.  So how do you write effective sales copy?  PRACTICE!

If you are a newsletter subscriber, you’re going to get an example of sales copy that you can use for your own auctions by merely changing the names and statistics.  I’ll send this out within 24 hours.  For those of you not subscribed to my newsletter, here is a brief description of what your sales copy needs.

Successful Sales Copy Formula

Attention Grabbing Headlines

Whether it be a blog post, or a sales page, the ability to write attention-grabbing headlines is what will set you apart from the next guy.  Headlines don’t even necessarily have to describe your product, just get their attention.

“This blog sucks the life out of me, but it pays me generously for my soul!”

What’d that describe?  Absolutely nothing, but it got the readers attention, and it will keep them reading.

“Awesome PR 4 blog that can kick the crap out of Chuck Norris”

Just rememember, headlines are your friend.  You have to grab their attention, and get them to read further.  Without a great headline, your listing is just one of thousands.


How is this site/product/blog going to change their life?

“We all have dreams of working from home in our pajamas.  With this blog you’ll be well on your way.  It already has an established audience, and it gets you one step closer to working from home.  Why start a new blog, when you already have a solid foundation in this one?  Don’t wait any longer, start waking up at noon!”

Remember, when selling a site, you aren’t selling the site.  You are selling a dream.  You have to find the emotional triggers that will allow you the maximum profit for your blog.  Working at home, that’s a dream shared by many - use it!


What are some of the features and benefits of the blog that you are selling?  This is the area where you’ll list the statistics, and focus on the good qualities of the blog.  Not all blogs are perfect, so focus on the good.  I’m not saying to be dishonest, but you don’t want to advertise that you can’t monetize worth a crap, or that only one in three thousand visitors subscribes to the RSS feed.  Look at it this way, if you were a car salesman selling a luxury SUV, you’d focus on comfort, luxury, and quality.  You wouldn’t focus on the fact that it gets 12 mpg.  Remember this in your auction listings.  Don’t be deceptive, but don’t volunteer information unless asked.  The goal is to sell your site in as few words as possible.

Call To Action

You’ve got the writing out of the way, now it’s time to get them to take action.  Every piece of sales copy needs a call to action at least twice within the body of the text.  I like to do a quick one in between the clincher and the features/benefits, and then a more in depth call to action towards the end.  This is where you get them to pull the trigger and make the purchase.  It’s also the hardest part of selling anything!

“Are you ready to roll out of bed at noon, work for a couple of hours, and then enjoy the rest of your day?  If you answered yes, it stands to benefit you greatly to purchase this blog.  It’s well on it’s way to making you a full-time living, and it’s only in it’s infancy.  It’s time to pull the trigger, make the purchase, and put the foundation in place for your future.  In order to accomplish a goal like this, you have to get started… are you ready to get started?  Place a bid now, and avoid losing out on yet another opportunity.”

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13 Comments For This Post

  1. Keith Says:

    I’d love to see a swipe file on effective language that can be used in speaking to a site owner, from the initial communication to later negotiations. I think I have room to develop here. Any ideas Bryan?


    Bryan Clark reply on September 16th, 2008:

    Be more specific. Are you talking about buying a site? Or people that want to buy your sites?


  2. Justin Says:

    This is very useful. Thanks Bryan. I like your creative ideas on getting more subscribers. An idea I’m not above stealing.


  3. Keith Says:

    Thanks for the response Bryan.

    What I had in mind was some copy/language that you would recommend to use when trying to BUY a website. I’m currently running (and developing) a set of advanced search queries that will allow me to identify potential leads (for me, this are high-traffic sites that are not currently monetised). Where I’m failing is bridging the contact with the site owner and clinching the deal. It’s obviously a lot more difficult than a site-buying marketplace, but I’m approaching site owners who don’t even know they have a site that is worth something, or might have absolutely no intentions of selling. However, in my view there is great potential to leverage these misgivings to get really good value. I was wondering if you could help provide some tips on how to convince them to sell.



    R.J. reply on September 16th, 2008:

    I had a guy who i contacted who had a pr 4 blog…. tons and tons of articles…. and dude said he’d sell it w/o the articles… i told him that’s what i wanted…. he said he’d consider it but will get back to me in a few months.


    Bryan Clark reply on September 17th, 2008:

    Sounds like a no to me. Move on, find another one!


    Bryan Clark reply on September 17th, 2008:

    Wow, that’s way more than a blog post. It’s really all about feeling them out with the first email, and getting aggressive with the second one.


  4. Ryan McLean Says:

    I have tried to flip a few sites and failed miserably…possibly it was my sales copies…
    Now I am equipped to spice up my sales copies and start selling some websites


    Bryan Clark reply on September 17th, 2008:

    It’s all about presentation. You can do it!


  5. Luis Gross Says:

    Nice post Bryan.

    I agree. The copy you put up on the site makes a lot of difference.

    In my month of Sitepoint browsing, I’ve seen some people put up little to no info and get smashed in the comment section for it.

    What were they thinking?

    Yes, a good sales copy is key to get that deal done.


    Bryan Clark reply on September 17th, 2008:

    I’ve given up on trying to figure out what people were thinking!


  6. Phil Says:

    I’m about to sell my first blog flip everything is done but the sales pitch. This article should really help me to get a sale, so thanks. Wish me luck!


    Justin reply on September 17th, 2008:

    Good Luck Phil!!


    Bryan Clark reply on September 17th, 2008:

    Good luck Phil!


  7. Normal Joe Says:

    Good stuff B, thanks for the nuggest, now wheres that course!


  8. Missy Says:

    Hey, Bryan: I agree presentation is VIP, but i also want to add that NICHE and TOPIC are also VIP.

    There are some sites that wont sell, not because of poor presentation but because the niche or topic is not in demand, is not monetizable, or is highly saturated.

    Case in point:
    image hosts

    I’ve been trying to sell this baby for some time now, and it wont move. As you can see my presentation is top notch, but the niche is creating an issue.

    Lesson to all blossoming site flippers. (like me)


    P.S. I’m gonna try and make it to this week’s show. See you then.


    paul reply on September 18th, 2008:


    The site is a year old and it’s getting next to no traffic and making no revenue. People may think that because you haven’t got traffic/revenue up in ONE YEAR, they won’t be able to either.

    There’s also nothing that sets it apart from the other image hosts. Saturated niche or not, there’s no USP. Couple that with no traffic/revenue and you can see the lack of appeal.

    There’s good sales copy, and then there’s … err … stretching the truth. It looks like you’re getting roughly 25 UVs/day. Describing that as “good organic traffic from Google” may diminish your credibility.

    I see the problem more in what the site is (not) doing than the presentation itself. I think people probably expect more from an aged site.

    I think a killer presentation is important, but you first need to be selling something good.

    Sorry, rambled on a bit there, maybe that was more appropriate for the forum!


  9. Missy Says:

    Just because i have not been able to get traffic and revenue to the site, DOESN’T mean someone else cant. The reason i’m selling it is because i don’t know how to market an image host.

    But i know others who are making money with one, and know how to market it.

    My response to Bryan was in reference to presentation. Sometimes it takes more than that, to sell a site. I sold a blog with little traffic and zero revenue, so don’t bring revenue and traffic into the equation.

    Because if you’re a site flipper (i don’t know you, so i have no idea if you are one) you well know traffic and revenue are NOT NEEDED to sell a site.

    The USP for my image host is that it has user generated content, is indexed well in Google, has backlinks, has pagerank, has content, has a custom banner, has keyword traffic.

    In the right hands and smart marketing, this image host can make someone money.

    But because (image hosts) are somewhat of a saturated niche, it is not selling.

    My credibility is not at issue here, because i have not lied in any way, shape, or form in my sales copy. The fact that i didnt (or dont) know how to market the site, is at issue. Not my credibility.


    paul reply on September 18th, 2008:

    I don’t think the problem is with your presentation (though I would change some things), I think it’s the site itself. There are some things that no amount of ’spin’ will sell. But, to avoid hijacking this post further, I’ll save my critique for another day.

    At the end of the day, it’s what potential buyers think - not me - so good luck with that sale


  10. Missy Says:

    “I don’t think the problem is with your presentation (though I would change some things), I think it’s the site itself”.

    Then we are pretty much in agreement, as that is exactly what i said in my first comment above. Some niches and sites wont sell, regardless of presentation.

    My final comment on this. Thanxs for your feedback. Appreciate it.



  11. Bryan Clark Says:

    ***My 2cents***

    “Good” Google traffic is subjective. 25 uniques a day is pretty good for an unmarketed image host. However, the problem is exactly what Missy stated… image hosts, directories, and proxies are a dime a dozen. Also, image hosts might be the hardest site in the bunch to actually monetize.


    paul reply on September 18th, 2008:

    I agree, image hosts are a dog to monetise. As a lesson to all blossoming site flippers, may I ask for your thoughts on the sales copy?


  12. Al Young Says:

    I’m a subscriber but did not receive the sample sales copy. Did I miss it?


    Bryan Clark reply on September 18th, 2008:

    Nope, just sent it. I had it set to send on the wrong day. Whoops!


  13. John Says:

    ‘“Are you ready to roll out of bed at noon, work for a couple of hours, and then enjoy the rest of your day? If you answered yes, it stands to benefit you greatly to purchase this blog.’

    Yeah. If you’re stupid, lazy and gullible then buy now.


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