How to write copy with Amazon review mining

Presented live on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 – register for our next tutorials

Struggling to figure out how to write a web page or even an email? Try Amazon review mining. What is that and how does it work? We’ll show you exactly how in this video tutorial.

Joanna is writing in Airstory, the beautiful drag-and-drop document platform. 

 

Tutorial

Joanna Wiebe: No? Yeah! Sweet.

Okay, then I will start broadcast now. One moment please.

Hello everybody. Hello. Joanna here from Copy Hackers. It is awesome to see you here today. Behind me we have a rearranged office happening, in case you can see that. I’m not sure how much you can see in this view.

We’ve also got Lance here. Lance is going to be answering any questions you have as we go throughout this fifth, Tuesday … Oh, I said it wrong. It’s Tutorial Tuesday, not Tuesday Tutorial. I get it wrong every time, but yeah. Okay, so we are today, we’re going to talk through something that I’ve been talking about over the past few years, but definitely more recently because there’s some cool new ways to do what I’m talking about and that is Amazon review mining.

If you have questions as we go through today’s session, chat them over. Lance will take questions. Hey [Fur 00:01:19]. Hi! Just saw that chat come in. Hey.

Okay, Lance will be answering any questions that can be answered as we go. The cats will likely make an appearance and attack something, so yes Jim, don’t worry. That’ll happen.

Yeah, so we’ll take your questions, and if you have anything that you’re like, “I don’t get how this works,” like this is a good chance to ask me those questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.

But, Amazon review mining is a great, reliable, strangely, reliable way to find the messages that are likely to communicate, what you’re trying to communicate to your prospects in your copy. Can also work in other places, but we use it primarily for copywriting.

Now I talk about Amazon review mining because Amazon is filled with reviews, and a lot of reviews are reliable, and some of them are not, and you just have to like roll with it. We’re not always going to find a land filled with gems, right? You might have to go digging a bit to find some great ones.

But, nonetheless, when you do, and I’m gonna show you how today, when you do go digging and mining through those Amazon reviews, you can find really incredible messages. We’ve only got about 20 minutes for the tutorial, so I won’t get into it, but suffice it to say two of our top performing messages have come from either Amazon reviews or mining the language that your customers are sharing in other ways.Amazon, again, great place to go, but you can also use other review services or sites.

Sometimes comments work really well on blog posts if you’re trying to find problems and agitate those problems.Lots

of places to go. The idea is that you don’t go straight into your head or you don’t look over at your boss or your marketing lead and say like, “What should we say?” No, you think that’s gonna make the job go fast, but it won’t. It will slow things down dramatically and you’ll end up with “why did we say that?” It didn’t convert at all. Nobody knew what we were talking about.

Amazon review mining … I’m going to share my screen. I’m just gonna make sure, I don’t have chat open, so I just want to make sure that I’m not, streets paved with gold, I’m not missing anything here. I’m not. There are no outstanding questions I can see, though someone.

Speaker 2: Yes, covering service based businesses perhaps, not just products.

Joanna Wiebe: Oh, yeah, it works. I mean that much better even maybe for service based businesses.

What you’re going to see in Amazon review mining, and that was for a question sorry. I’ll repeat it, because everyone’s like “what’s she talking about?” Deanna asks, “Hi, can you cover on how to mine for service based businesses?” We talk a lot about product businesses, software in particular, because that’s where Copy Hackers focuses. That’s where we were born, in the software world. We love it, we love other business too and we’ve had a service business and we’ve worked with service based businesses, and of course the first case study that I often talk about in Amazon review mining discussions, is when we worked with rehab center in Florida. Fully service based business, but we found a really sharp headline for them using Amazon review mining. This definitely works for that too.

The idea with reviews is that, you’re going to look up … I rely on books frankly, as a really good starting point. I look at books that are basically hired for the job that a service would be hired for or a product would be hired for. If the job you’re trying to hire someone for is project management, which we’re going to look at today, as an example.

If you are a project management business, where you provided contract project managers, or somehow you were a consultancy that was all about project management, let’s say. You’d still look at Amazon reviews for books about project management. You could still go in there and find important stuff which I’m going to get into. I’m going to unpack what important means. You could still go in to Amazon reviews and find what people think that job is supposed to be about and what it’s supposed to do.

The biggest thing in Amazon review mining is getting past the idea that we’re talking about books and products that are separate from yours. You’re not going to find a service reviewed on Amazon of course. You’re going to find the thing that replaced the service, or that was a shortcut to the service for people. The language you’ll see is just as useful for a service or a product as it is for the book.

Let me show you, this demos pretty well. I just want to make sure there was a hand raised and other questions.

Arianna also asks, “what about the fake reviews on Amazon? Do they matter?” Yeah, you can tell. As you go through a lot reviews, and this is a really rapid exercise. You want to just fly though these. You don’t want to be slowed down, you want to go through and review reviews to find messages that make you stop. You’re going quickly through them “blah blah blah blah blah” Then something … you stop and you go back. The more of these reviews that you go through, the more you’re like “Ugh, obviously fake.” And, if you’re wrong about that sometimes, that’s okay. Sometimes you’ll think a real review is fake, and sometimes you’ll think a fake review looks really real.

This isn’t about having a perfect science, it’s about having a little more science than you’d otherwise might have. Don’t look at your self, don’t look at the blank page. Instead, go to reviews and try finding your message there.

Here’s how. Let me share my screen. Cool, Arianna says, “thanks that’s awesome.”

I will share desktop one. Share to screen.

Okay, Cool.

You’re seeing right now Amazon showing right on the screen. This is where, when I talk about Amazon review mining a lot of people just jump right in to the reviews. I just want to back up. I want to back up a little bit because we have to know before we dive in to the reviews … we’ll do a better job review mining and finding messages that will actually turn into copy for us. If we back up and we think about what we’re trying to fill in. What are we even looking for? We can’t just look for a bunch of interesting stuff. I mean, we kind of can but it’s not going to be as valuable as really knowing, what’s our goal? Not just to find messages, but what kinds of messages. How will they fit onto the page?

I talk a lot about frameworks and formulas, because, I have wasted my time on not using frameworks and formulas and then I’ve used them and gone “All this time I was making that up, and I could have just been borrowing what other people have already used.”

So, my favorite, without question. My favorite framework is problem agitation solution, or problem, agitate, solve. However you’ve learned it, problem, agitation, solution all the way. I don’t care if it sounds like “oh Joanna only has that one trick up her sleeve.” That’s okay because it’s a really solid trick to have. Problem, agitation, solution.

When we’re looking through Amazon review, we’re really looking to fit things in to, Problem, agitation, solution.

Problems will be easy to find. What is the problem that your product or service solves? And, we find those problems discussed in the reviews.

We find agitation as specifics. People will say exactly how something felt like a pain or problem they experienced, and they’ll show you what that means. But, what we’re really looking for the specific stories, the examples that we could then put on the page to help people see themselves on the page. Which is, the whole point right? If they can see the page as a mirror of themselves when they join it, if they can buy in to the idea that this is me on this page, I am getting this, like, yes, yes yes as they go down the page. Then, by the time they get to solution, you’ve got the momentum of yes going.

We’re trying to help them see themselves and nod along with us, like I totally hear that, and that’s where agitation is so beautiful. You can go on as long as is really palatable. In most cases, you’ll know when you’ve gone too far. Usually I find pushing agitation really does a great job.

We want to find a lot of examples and reviews of how people have felt a pain, what drove them to go looking for a solution. What’s the challenge around all of that? We’re going to look for that.

Now the important part for this exercise … because problem agitation, that’s going to be really easy to find, is the solution part of the brain work. We want to break down solution, the beauty and the pain of the PAS framework is that solution is so big, or it can be so small. But, solution is not defined. We get problem and we get an agitation of the problem, so we can kind of imagine that kind of closing up. But, then solution is this enormous space we have to fill in. We’re like, “well how much do I state under solution? What do I say at all?”

These are four points that I like to follow when I’m review mining, and again other types of mining that we do.

Under solution, and you can do this too, you can just type this exact framework out, problem, agitation, solution, and then underneath do how people describe the solution. The specific value people get from that solution. How it will make life instantly better for them, and how it makes life better in the long term. That like the, five second, five inch, or five mile benefit thing, those last two points.

Know that, knowing what we’re aiming for, we’re going to be looking for problem. We’re going to be looking for specific examples of those problems in real life. Then we’re look at how people describe the solution, and again, we’re not going to be looking at a solution, like a review for a product likely, at least that is ours. I’m looking at Amazon book reviews to try to find how people describe the solution for things that are not that book.

You’ll see exactly how this can absolutely work. Specific values, specifics, and that’s, we agitated the problem, and now we want to agitate the solution. And agitate sounds negative of course, but agitating that solution is really just making them feel it. That specific value that they get from in. How it makes their life instantly better, so benefits in the short term and then of course the long term benefits as well.

We have to know what product it is that we’re looking at. In this case … I’ve just switched back to outline here. We’ve got our prospect is going to be a problem, we’re a team leader, and the product we’re selling them is base camp project management solution, or software.

We have nothing, here we have stuff because I’ve already gone ahead and done this, because we’ve got 20 minutes. I do want to go over and show you how to do this, and then I’ll show you how to get those reviews in to the page and how quickly It can all go.

Over to Amazon.com, we go in here and I’ve already looked up project books of course, project management books. What you want to do is, you want to identify the what. What is the thing that you’re really selling? If it’s a service, if it’s legal advice, or if it’s midwifery, lets say. I don’t know what it might be, but then you look that up. That’s the what, that’s the thing that you’re trying to sell. So, midwives, you could look that up. You could look up law for dummies or the law or something and see what Amazon presents you.

Accounting services, same kind of thing. How to be an accountant, how to do accounting. Accounting 101, that kind of stuff. They’re books that people use to solve the problem that otherwise humans would solve or software would solve, or some other solution would solve. That’s why I go to books, and because there are so many of them, and people leave reviews for them, there’s a long history of leaving reviews for books.

What you want to do is find a selection of books and then just open then. Just right click on them and open in new tabs. I’m going to do, let’s do this one and I’ve got a couple already open up here you’ll see.

I like to look at about six books, at least six books and it’s important usually, to find books that have a lot of reviews. Because, the ones that have 12 or 13 reviews, the ratio of fake to real reviews is usually pretty high. We want a lot of reviews in the hopes that some of those are actually real reviews.

54 customer reviews, I feel pretty good about that. We’re just going to click that. I’m going to go over to the next one, 35 customer reviews, we’re getting down there a little bit, but I’m going to try that and see, and this one has 39.

Let’s go back to the first one. You can look at five star and one star, but what you’re mostly going to find is in two, three, and four stars. That’s where the reality lives. People are more critical of it. They’re more honest with their experience, it doesn’t mean you discount the ones and fives, I still look at those, because this is a fast moving exercise, you can look at all of them. But, if you do have a book or product, again it doesn’t have to be books, but I do books. That’s where I find the best stuff. You can look at whatever you want to, the point here is just to look at those reviews.

You can go through all them, but if you have something where it’s got … I think the Amazon Echo has 20,000 reviews. If you wanted to write a page for that, you’d probably want to narrow those reviews down. Of course you’d choose the right four stars, two, three stars, somewhere in there, and the most useful reviews, things like that. Amazon has those tools to help you sort out which ones to look at anyway.

Now we actually go through and start looking. I’m just going, let’s go right to four star and see … when we’re reading through this, again it’s really rapid, and I did this in advance, because you don’t want to sit there and watch me read through these reviews, and go “Oh okay.” It’s very hard to do it knowing people ar watching you too. You can go through, and what you’re looking for is, again you’re moving fast, and you’re looking for language that stops you. That’s a little stickier, that’s saying things in a different way. You might go through 30 reviews and not find anything. I took, to get all these cards I’m going to show you over here with all of these reviews, or these little snippets of them. I took about 20 minutes to do that, and it’s really a quick paced thing. You mind find in the first five minutes that you’ve got nothing, and it feels like it’s taking a long time, you’ve maybe clipped two things, and then you keep moving through for the rest are 20 minutes. But, by the end you’ll find that you have quite a bit, and a lot to work with. Then you can also gaps, which I’ll show you as well. Then you go back and you fill in those gaps.

Let’s say, okay this is a book of project management. “as introduction I’m a practicing … ” Great. “as a project manager I use this system. The brilliant part of this book lays out the very simple matrix for tracking, reporting key project deliverables, identifying responsible parties and … ” I might take this, because it’s something that we think back to how people describe the solution, the specific value they get from it. This could go under how they describe the solution right? It might be some tracking or it’s important stuff for us to note when we’re writing a page and we’re like “what’s important for people to understand.” Well, tracking, reporting key deliverables. Identifying people that should be doing the job. Reporting progress. So, maybe that’s all important. I’m just going to right click that. Then, send it back there.

Just half a second, I’m trying to recall what the [inaudible 00:18:13] is. Let me just go back and look to how to say it, worksheet that’s right, because I did that for a worksheet.
Worksheet. Send it back, and I just keep going through.

“The Excel templates are available for an additional fee, but I’m too damn cheap to buy them.”That’s kind of interesting, “Good enough with Excel to make my own templates.” That might just be a good insight to have, I’m going to take it as well.

Speaker 2: Close the …

Joanna Wiebe: Oh I’m sorry. Yep you’re right, I didn’t close this down. You want to make sure you do that if you do use [inaudible 00:18:42] make sure you do that. And a right click, send that away. This is actually not bad. This guy’s got some pretty good stuff. Four stars is usually a good place to go.

Worksheet again. Then we keep going through. Now, I’ve found two things already, and I’m not being super picky right now either, because I’m doing this live here too. Because it’s actually not that crappy, it’s a pretty good review. “I also created tabs for an action list, a risk register and issues list, all sorts of things, these weren’t even mentioned in the book. What I ended up with is a project notebook that is a one stop shop for everything but meeting minutes.” I like it, this one stop shop, I don’t think I’m going to take it. “The other key deficiency I learned to deal with is that every place I’ve been insists on a plan, either in MS Project or … ” Okay. “Most places also have specific reporting requirements.” Okay. “You either sell the boss on the system or you conform to their ways and use this as your own personal backup.” This guy again, is a PMP, but I am going to take that.

You can go through and keep … Sorry I have, I’m not being clear with what I’m saying, because I’m always distracted, your brain is still working on what you can do with that right?

If we go through and do that for all these reviews, and one after the other, knowing that some are going to be better than others. You don’t have to tag them, you don’t have anything with your clips right now. You’re just going through and trying to find language that stops you. Ideally also it’s going to fit in to those categories, but number one is that it’s language that stops you. It’s specific, it’s saying something real, it’s talking about benefits, talking about the problems that people had, that drove them to look for this solution. All good stuff.

Let me go back to the project. Now is the part where we go through and start tagging what we’ve found. This is official comment. “Get rid of anything that’s not useful, you either sell the boss on this system, or you conform to their ways and use this as your own personal backup.”

What we want to do is, tag. I just want to tag my cards, that’s all I’m going to do at this point. I can tag it as describing the solution. Value, I think that one that I did there is … hold on, I’ve got tags down here already. Oh yeah, “makes life better.” And then long term is the other one. So, I go through and tag these to [inaudible 00:21:12] problem or agitation.

You choose as you go through, lets get rid of that. “You either see the boss on this system.” I’m going to put it under agitation. Again, it might not end up there in the final form, but I’m going to put it under agitation. “Excel templates are available at and additional fee, but I’m too damn cheap to buy them.” I don’t think I’m going to use this, I don’t see that it’s going to describe the solution, because it’s about something different from this.

Specific value, how it makes life instantly better, or better in the long term is also not a problem or agitation. It’s just kind of an interesting insight. I’m just going to archive that one.

Then we go into the next. “Tracking, reporting key project deliverables, identifying responsible parties.” This is more of a solution. It’s not value, but it could go under solution. It could be part of the page we can imagine where we talk about the things that are inside the solution. It’s not a benefit, although reporting progress, I might also then tag it under “makes life better.” Then we’ll go with that.

Those are the new cards that I’ve added here. If you went though and kept doing this exercise, you’d get a whole bunch of cards just like I already did. I’ll show you what those look like. I’ve already been through this exercise, where I’ve tagged things, and now all I have to do is drag them onto the page and start organizing it. This is where life gets really easy. We’re like, “yay all I have to do is drag things in.” I do agitation as the first one, this is solution and makes life better. I’m going to currently out it makes life better, and then we’ll see when I start writing.

That’s just the framework for this problem we’ve got up here. Agitation’s more. Problem. Makes life better. Value. Agitation. Value. Value. Solution. Value. Lots of value here, you can see, and then agitation.

Then we’ve got this whole other column as well around long term. Value. [inaudible 00:23:52] Value. More value, lots of value here, that’s good. That’s going to make for a nice area. This is just a solution as well. “Refreshingly practical.”Could be a good way to describe it. “That was possibly not useful here.” Another problem. Some more agitation, “deadlines to meet.” Another problem. Some more agitation, and then we’ve got one long term.

We’ve gone through, and now we have all these cards in this order. I’m just going to shrink it up, so you can see. We’ve still got problem, agitation, solution, and we can go into each one and see what’s inside there and under solutions as well. I’m going to go over to this view. This is just the regular document view, and because I’m swiping language here, I’m not … It’s going to capture all … Airstory already took all the citations and all the source material of it.

I’m not interested in going through and and doing much more than maybe organizing the page. I’m just going to merge all the documents.

Going to start with the problem. “Being a good boss” might be, so these feel close together. “People to manage” This is an engineer, “there must be a better way.” We might put that under agitation, now that I look at it. I can just go through and organize things. Let’s say that I put everything in to the order I feel good about. All I have to do is merge cards now, and now I have … I can replace each one of these problem, agitation, and solution with all of these beneath them with a crosshead to describe what’s within. I can take any of this stuff that I’ve got here, “whether a project sinks or sails falls on the shoulders of the leader.” What if that was my headline? Could be. “Whether a project sinks or sails falls on the shoulder of the leader.” Let’s save, so we start with that and now we’ve actually got … I’m not sitting here wondering what to say or frankly how to say it then. I’m just filling this in and starting from a really strong place where my job then becomes stitching all of this stuff together.

That’s the core of how you use Amazon review mining to write a page, where you can actually now go through this, take 20 minutes to clean it all and go over it, grab some formulas from our big formulas post, and start optimizing the little pieces of it, just to make sure that anything that doesn’t feel, or might not be as optimal as possible.

So we spend an hour putting together a page filled with language that is more likely to convert because it’s not fake marketing messages, it’s actual real stuff that people have really said. That is the core of how to use Amazon review mining to write a landing page, an email, a long form sales page, whatever it is that you’re working on writing. Your homepage, any of it.

Hopefully that is clear. Hopefully you can see how this stuff will work.

Are there any questions?

Speaker 2: [inaudible 00:27:08]

Joanna Wiebe: Oh there are no outstanding questions.

Speaker 2: A little bit from some Q&A.

Joanna Wiebe: Oh under Q&A. I just have to open that up. How relevant is Amazon review mining for marketing nascent technology or service offering? Are there any cases where Amazon or Youma[phonetic 00:27:23]?

Sure, Amazon review mining isn’t going to be useful when … I’m trying to think of something but … If you don’t buy into Amazon review mining, you won’t find the gold that’s buried out there. There is that initial hurdle that you have to get over, and I know a lot of people do. A lot of people go through it and then they start grabbing every line, because it’s hard to have that initial filter to go “Well what’s actually making me stop and why is it making me stop? Is this copy worth swiping or not?”

I say yeah there must be cases where it’s not useful because I don’t believe that it would be accurate to just answer, “no it’s useful in every possible case.” I’m sure there are cases, but I use it for everything. And, if it’s not Amazon, it’s some other review service, or forums. Going on places like Reddit, always knowing that there’s going to be a filter that you’re going to have to use. Sometimes you’re going to get in … especially on Reddit, you might get in to a world where it’s a really heated conversation and it’s that dramatic emotion that can be problematic when you’re trying to find language that’s going to convert your prospect. But, no, if it’s not Amazon review mining, it’s going to be other places that you go to, where your customers and prospects have been talking openly about solutions like yours, and if it’s not your solution it’s something else … some other solution they hired to do the job that your solution does. That’s what we’re looking for. Hopefully that’s helpful.

“How do you PAS and other awareness stages?”

PAS works in every stage of awareness, it just seems most natural in problem stage of awareness, but at every stage you have a problem. I have found at every stage you have a problem to solve. Now there’re going to be those solutions that aren’t problem-y. Where it’s like, “is it a pain killer? Or, is it a delight-er?” Pain killers are really phenomenal and most of us are making pain killers. Some consumer products are not pain killers, like a sweater is not a pain killer. But, a sweater is also hard thing to solve if you can’t identify the problem. It all comes down to things like, price, which celebrity was wearing it? In almost every case you should be working actually to use something like problem, agitation, solution. Again, it’s like The Edge always sounds like The Edge in U2, you can always hear him. That’s not a problem. It’s not bad to have something that you sound like, that you rely on.

For me, it’s PAS, it’s going to be that framework. It works again and again. Keeps working, doesn’t stop working in every stage of awareness, even in unaware. When you’re creating content for things for unaware people, to try and get them toward problem awareness. You’re still going to enter the conversation with them around a problem that they’re having. That’s a really solid way to pull them into a conversation. It doesn’t mean that you have to have the problem be some dramatic thing right? It doesn’t have to be that dramatic, but, what is the problem you’re solving? Whether that’s like for Airstory it’s write faster, we’re positioning it as the benefit. You’re still talking about the benefit, but underlying that is the problem, which is “oh man I’m working so slowly. I need to work faster.”

Hopefully that helps Paige.

Kristin asks, “can you please define agitation again for this process?”

Agitation is the part where you make your reader feel it. That’s the most fun. That’s incredible fun, for a geek I guess like me. The agitation part is where you get to say … so for Sweatblock, this is a common example, because we really zeroed in and just dedicated ourselves to the PAS framework with that page that we tested that go a really awesome paid lift. The agitation part was … so Sweatblock as an example, Sweatblock is there it’s a clinical strength antiperspirant. We opened with the problem, which is my underarms are always wet, even when it’s not hot out. Then, we agitated that with basically, have you experienced these situations. You have to wear black all the time. You can’t high-five in the summer. You can’t high-five anytime. You’re afraid of going in for the hug, because you might get the person damp. Those are the agitation parts, where by the end of it you’re “holy crap, yeah exactly. That’s exactly how I feel.” That’s the point and then you swoop in with the solution and it’s like “ah” everybody is happy now, because there’s this problem that they’re feeling so deeply by that point and then you solve it.

Hopefully that helps Kristin.

James asks “Hi J can you show us a real example of finished copy using this process?”

Not in this tutorial, that would be me writing the copy live. Which would be a ridiculous thing for me to try to do, because …

Speaker 2: [inaudible 00:32:54] a couple of clients like Sweatblock and …

Joanna Wiebe: This is what we use for clients like Sweatblock, exactly. Sweatblock has 5000? 4000 Amazon reviews. I didn’t have to write anything, I didn’t have to write a flipping word of it. I just go over and clip it. If you go to Sweatblock on Amazon.com then you can see that, and go to Sweatblock.com how that language has made its way on to page. That’s just an example, but yeah, good point.

Hopefully that helps James.

Violetta asks, “do you rate the comments by frequency?”

Do you mean like how many times something appears? If I keep seeing something, what’s going come out is, if I keep clipping something and I don’t … your brain shouldn’t get too involved in this process. You’re assigned to the job of just grabbing stuff that holds you, and grabs you in. Knowing that, my job when I’m doing review mining isn’t to go “hey I’ve seen this comment, like, four times already.” I might think that, but my job isn’t meant to interject and start summarizing. What will happen is, when you see the same thing again and again, and you drag it into the right part of the page. You’ll see, oh they’re all saying this the same way, so maybe I’ll organize that at the top of this section, putting together my hierarchy of messages in that section. Let’s say that it kept coming up that, lets see, that forecasting for agitation here.

If I kept clipping forecasting, people were saying forecasting, forecasting, forecasting. Then I might organize that at the top of this agitation section. Where I can say “is forecasting a problem? How about this stuff too?” Then get into it. So your people are already feeling that forecasting is, but again this is … there are some people for whom forecasting will not be a thing, but that’s always the situation when we’re writing copy. We’re doing our best with the information we have and ideally we’re going test it, to ideally knowing we can’t test everything. Sometimes you’re going to be pulling in copy that snagged you, that someone else wrote, but that might not still be the ultimate message for everybody, but it might make for really good copy on a targeted landing page. That’s where this can work exceptionally well. I say that just as a slight caveat, it’s not actually anything that I’ve ever run into as a real problem. Like, “oh no I thought that was a big deal, and in fact nobody thinks it’s a big deal.” Because I’ve found it in reviews, so I know that there’s a stronger to believe that we’ve got something to work with when you find it somewhere else, versus when we sit around a boardroom table.

I know that went off topic a little bit for you Violetta, but yeah, if you’ve got … if you see the same thing again and again then you probably want to prioritize that I would, prioritize that in the right section of the page.

Laurie asks, I get this question every time. Laurie asks, “are there any copyright issues with using someone else’s words from reviews?”

It’s public domain content out there. I’m not … the copyright that I do is not copyright law of course. I would say, I mean I’ve never, no because you’re not … you’re taking a snippet of something and you ar then using it in copy on a page. There are percentages of things right? You’d have to look at your local laws or your federal laws for wherever you are, but if you’re very curious about that, I know that there is a percentage of the published text that you’re allowed to use without worrying about citing it. That means that … or without getting permission from the author. It can be as much as a page out of Twilight, the book let’s say. If you’re concerned about it, look into it.

Speaker 2: Fair use, Mark suggests.

Joanna Wiebe: Mark just said look up fair use. So cool, do that.

I haven’t, and because we’re not here … all we’re trying to do is listen. It’s like if I overheard a conversation happening, then I was like “oh crap did she just say that? That’s really interesting.” If I was trying to write copy for a hair salon, I would sit in the hair salon, in the front area and watch people look at their hair and I would listen to them talk about it to their stylist. I would be pulling in that messaging, instead of sitting there and not doing it. All we’re doing is listening in on conversations. That’s the idea. Now, I’m not a lawyer, maybe someone out there would argue that we’re doing something else, but I’ve never come across this, but I do get this question every time. If you’re concerned about it, do what feels right to you. I am completely not concerned about it any way.

Hopefully that helps Laurie. Again, I’ve done this a bajilion times. All you’re really doing is taking that little bit of language and putting it into copy. I mean anybody could have said it. Anybody could have said, “stumbling through some incredibly complex projects” Okay, anybody could have said that. The person who wrote that, if they found that copy on someone site, and went back and said ” I think that’s exactly what I wrote on that Amazon review.” And pursued something … okay that’s like a crazy world to live in. I don’t know what to do there, sure contact your lawyer at that point.

Okay, Charles. “Does the nature of the content you mine abandon?”

Yeah, sometimes when you … when I’m writing a homepage, I don’t often use problem, agitation, solution, but I completely loathe writing homepages anyway. For a billion reasons we’ll get into in other tutorials. There’s other really good frameworks, I have a friend over at Agora and he uses the four P’s religiously. Some others swear by AIDA; attention, interest, desire, action, great. Sometimes it does make better sense to use one of those frameworks.

When I say I always use PAS I don’t mean that every single thing I’ve ever written does, because if you look at any of my emails, even they don’t often use PAS, I try to hook in a different way. If I had to recommend a framework it would be PAS, and sure, if I find other content, if you do. You can obviously reorganize that. But I would recommend that you do use a framework, so that you’re not just randomly organizing stuff on the page, and making it up as you go. The content, what you’ve pulled in won’t be as valuable if you don’t organize it on the page in a persuasive way.

Omar. What do you see in a review that makes you think it’s fake.

Usually a glowing review, or something that sounds like … usually it’s going to be pretty short, or it makes it sound like the author is a genius. Something like that, where it’s like, “hmm someone’s friend wrote that in there.” It’s really just going on gut in some cases, like with anything. If it sounds fake, if it looks fake, lets just call it fake and move on. We’ve got other reviews we can be looking at.

Anonymous asks, “what if the industry is too broad like marketing, or copywriting? How do you zero in to look for the copy morsels?”

Depends what you’re writing. You can go through and just do some huge, if you wanted to say “look I want to get all my messages together for everything I might ever write over the course of this year about how to be a better marketer, how to be a better digital marketer.”

Great, so you’re going to write landing pages, emails, content, all sorts of stuff as you go. You could just go and then do a huge Amazon session, where you look up books about digital marketing. You could look up blogs about digital marketing, go through the comments on those blogs, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I don’t know why you would go so broad. I wouldn’t, this is such a quick exercise that every time you’re going to write something, you should just go do the exercise at that point. That’s all I would do, and all I have done. If I’m going to write about copywriting; what’s the thing I’m writing about? Is it how to be a better email copywriter? Is it how to write a better sass onboarding campaign as an email copywriter? If I can zero in on that, then I can write more convincing, compelling copies and reviews that are more specific to that. Instead of this general overarching problem of not being able to find copy or to write copy that converts or something like that.

Nonetheless, you can still go find books about copywriting 101, copywriting for dummies. Marketing 101, marketing for dummies. That’s going to be your board stuff, and when it gets down into it, as we look at how to write a sass onboarding campaign, or how to convert trial uses to paid by email. You could then get into books about sass and then get into maybe more target blog posts and other things like that that are about that specific topic.

Paige, do you set a time limit or other constraint when doing this?

Yeah do it, 20 minutes is usually the best amount of time to spend on Amazon review mining. If you only get through a handful of reviews in that time, then you’re not doing it fast enough. Fly though it, push yourself to just move through it quickly. 20 minutes got me, I think 20 snippets, that as I was pulling them out I was like “ugh, I’m not getting anything here, this one sucks.” Then when I went over and tagged and started organizing it, putting it on the page, I went “okay, I actually did get some stuff here. There’s actually lots to work with.” 20 minutes should give you all that you need.

Lee, “could you elaborate on why you don’t use PAS?” Sorry the whole question is, “could you elaborate on why you don’t use PAS for homepages specifically?”

I’ll get into homepages in a tutorial another time, but homepages for me and anybody who cares about getting them right, also loathes homepages, unless you’ve found some killer thing in which case, please come teach me. Homepages attract everybody. You can’t tell who’s there, who should be there, who shouldn’t be there, what stage of awareness they’re in. Which is the number one question I have when I’m writing something. In the absence of knowing that, sometimes just, you don’t know what problem to open with. Because everybody’s feeling different things, everybody’s in different stages. They might be looking for a coupon … it’s not just that I don’t use PAS for homepages, I just don’t like writing homepages. I have use PAS for it, the Sweatblock example again, that was for a homepage where I used PAS. I just used it for Edgar, for meetedgar.com, that’s not live on there, that’s not being tested yet, I just finished writing the page.

I have definitely used it for homepages, I just don’t like homepages and sometimes it’s hard to find that opening problem, and that’s why we often lead with more of a longterm benefit or something like that. It’s my personal dislike for writing homepages, which are such messy things.

Hopefully that helps Lee.

James, “hi again J, is PAS the most most effective outline to use because it converts the highest rate the most consistently, for homepages, emails?” And then there’s [inaudible 00:44:44]

That’s a leading question James. Yes, it’s a really reliable framework, to open with a problem and agitate it and getting into the solution and spending as much time or as little time as you need to based on what your offer is. You might problem, agitate, and then solve very quickly in an email, where the solution is click here to find the solution. That’s not the actual language, but that’s what would happen. That’s why it can be so effective, is matching that opening pain. If you have strong reason to believe that you understand what the problem is, that your prospect is feeling. Then, if you can match what’s going on in their head there, then you’re good.

Brian asks, “would you do a presentation on building about pages.” Oh that’s just another one.

Sure, we can do that down the road. About pages are very different, they’re largely story driven in a lot of cases. I can talk about examples of about pages, but they’re usually all different. When I did [inaudible 00:45:46] about page, it was all about his story when he was little, it was this really personal thing that might not also … that probably wouldn’t work for a sass about page or something like that. But yeah, we can talk about that more down the road, absolutely.

I know, everybody’s stuck on for a really long time and asked some really good questions. It’s been 47 minutes, so thank you. I believe this recorded so we’ll be getting that recording out soon. Of course, you already intended, so you don’t necessarily need to know, but if you want re-watch it and see about more how to organize things on the page when you go forward and do the same, for your own copy, cool. That recording will be out and published very shortly.

On behalf of Lance and Sarah … I forgot to mention Sarah was also here, taking questions. On all of us, thanks so much for coming to this tutorial Tuesday. I said it right, and we’ll see you next Tuesday hopefully. Have a good day guys, bye.