How to Get Some Action

It was an unbearably hot night. In a run-down apartment in the seediest neighborhood of Hollywood, the gift shop manager flicked on the discount computer his dad had just bought him.

He started typing.

A small email list of friends grew to a thousand, then ten thousand, then one hundred thousand. A few months later he cobbled together a simple website.

A few years later, he was an international icon.

Regardless of your opinions of Matt Drudge, he became a contemporary hero of trust, authority and social proof — to his readers. He used atomic headlines and the art of the link. He got some action. By mastering the basic principles of direct response copywriting, you can too.

In this episode Brian Clark and I discuss:

  • The rock-solid path to building a successful online business
  • Why brand advertising will crush your business
  • Who can change the course of your marketing and how to reach them
  • The two most important responses you should be obsessing over
  • How to stop chasing customers, and get them running to you
  • What to do if all you have is sweat and time

Hit the flash player below to listen now…


Click here to download the mp3 | 36.5 MB | 30:20


Click here to subscribe via iTunes

Want to discover the smartest ways to mix social media, content marketing, and SEO? We’ve got you covered with Internet Marketing for Smart People. It’s a FREE 20-part course and email newsletter that delivers the techniques and strategies you need to know as an online marketer.

Links from the Show:

About the Author: Robert Bruce is Copyblogger Media’s Chief Copywriter and Resident Recluse.


  1. says

    Last week, Brian promised to talk about copywriting this week.

    I look forward to what he has to say. It doesn’t matter to me whether he actually writes copy or not. It doesn’t matter if he’s involved in his company’s marketing or not. The fact he started and runs a success company, means I want to hear him speak. He has much wisdom to share. In a similar matter, wouldn’t you like to hear the FaceBook founder, Mark Z., talk on marketing? It doesn’t matter if he never touched the subject. He knows how it works.

    It doesn’t matter if other sources (i.e Makepeace & company on direct response) have said it before – or even better. If I walk away with a diamond or two – or another twist on an old theme – it’s worth it.

    Perhaps I’ll comment further after I finish the radio podcast.


    • says

      @ Randy, did you eventually finish the podcast? He definitely knows what he’s talking about.

      I particularly like the part about focusing on the blog content (audio or written) instead of advertising.

      The title of a post is really important but is often overlooked.

      Thanks for this broadcast Brian; so much learned; so much to absorb.

      • says

        Yes, I did finish the podcast. The part at the beginning, talking about brand (i.e. image) advertising vs direct response, is right on target (as well as his other points). Like Brian mentioned, brand/image advertising is for companies with deep pockets – like Coke, Google, Microsoft, etc.

        For the small to midsized companies (even the big companies, if they are smart), it’s best to use direct response and viral marketing (i.e. social media). Direct response has one added benefit, which I don’t remember Brian touching upon. It’s easier to measure ROI. It’s a bit trickier with viral marketing. And I don’t have a clue how they can do it with brand/image advertising.


        • says

          He mentioned ROI although he did not treat it in detail; as a matter of fact he said it was not particularly about the ROI…

          Brian gave a lot of hope to the small to midsized companies. Stop fighting the deeper pockets on their turf, instead focus on what will bring you the best results – direct response and social media.

  2. says

    I didn’t even know anything about direct response copywriting until I listened to this broadcast. I like how you guys went into details about the differences and the examples given. Really great stuff.

  3. says

    Being the old time radio buff that I am, as I began reading this post, I half expected to hear the cheesy music and watch the glow of a freshly lit cigarette in the dark and see Sam Spade slowly amble out of the shadows into the misty half-light of the only street lamp on the block. You get the picture? — “She was quite a dame…the kind that would lick an iron to see if it was hot…..I hadn’t slept in days if you didn’t count the nights.” You know the stuff.

    But very seriously, another incredible post and I just want to say that I am very appreciative of your wisdom, insights and desire to share it all with the rest of us. Thanks guys.

  4. says

    Alright copywriting wizards. Here’s the deal, I talk about Social Media for Real Estate. So, I put an ebook together where I interviewed 8 top real estate bloggers on their techniques, successes and failures. I gave it away for free to people who opted into the newsletter and it worked great.

    Here’s my problem… I can’t think of a catchy name like “Internet Marketing for Smart People”. I want my own and I don’t want it to sound like everyone else. So… Any ideas?

  5. says

    Hey Brian,

    Thank you for the post. I look forward getting everything I can out of it.

    I agree, the single most important skill anyone can develop is copywriting

    While on that subject, I am always open to suggestions of great copywriting books.

    I already have a big library, but always looking for more suggestions.

    Thank you for your contribution,

    Jeff Faldalend

  6. says

    Ear opening interview.

    I love hearing from successful business leaders who are down to earth and factual with their information.

    The interview has a lot of little “golden nuggets” sprinkled throughout it, so I have downloaded it to listen to it again and again and pick out all the gold.

    Thank you


  7. says

    Good point with the “Tweet this for us” “Comment on this blog”, I’ll use that one. It’s great that people are automatically doing this at your site. I guess it because you have train them that way :)

    Btw these “podcasts” are great, but could you make a transcript of it and just always put it under the download link for audio? Because sometimes there is just no time for listening to 30 minute audio and I don’t want to miss it. Thanks

    Vaclav Gregor

  8. Michael Newman says

    I am a student of copyblogger.I pick up gems here on a regular basis.

    I am experiencing the magic of copy writing.

    I wrote a simple ad for my writing service…and I was almost swept

    away by a tsunami of clients.I had to stop promoting it for a while.

    Copy writing is magic.

    I want to thank everyone at copyblogger.

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