The Day My Father Saved My Life – and Why You NEED Ninja Skills


I go into the bend just a little too fast, so I lift my foot off the accelarator.

It’s no use: this old and battered jalopy with its worn tires and leaking suspension doesn’t obey and veers to the edge of the tarmac.

The right front wheel runs off the edge into the gravel – I correct to the left.

Instantly, the entire front of the car starts bobbing wildly, driving us chaotically to the left side of the road.

There’s a 5 meter cliff and no guardrail on that side.

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So, What Actually Are You Saying?

What you say to people and how you say it – it matters a lot.

Point in case: There’s a site called You Are Not So Smart, which is an intelligent useful blog about the human condition and self-delusion that goes with it.

But the owner set up his emails to always start the subject line with ‘You are not so smart’, followed by the title.

I just really resent seeing that in my inbox all the time.

Yes I know I’m not so smart – it’s part of the human condition. I know that.

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Sure do Love my Clients

Some days, my emails just write themselves.

Or rather, get written for me by happy clients.

Like Inge, for example:


“Martin’s Mentorship Program is exactly what I needed. As a small business owner, writing good blog posts is important to me. But it’s also hard. I’ve taken online writing and blogging classes, but those still left a gap.

Martin’s service fills that gap by editing my own writing attempts. His comments go wide and deep;

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What if You – GASP – DIDN'T Ask for the Sale?

Just received some copy feedback from a client.

She’s having me write emails for her list, and obviously I included a call to action in each.

Because like I always say: The best way to get more business is by asking for it.

Given the type of person on her list, I deliberately created a very mild CTA – much more gentle than the ones I write in my own emails.

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(Not Just a) Sales Lesson Inside: "Make it hard", she said and then we had tea.

I honestly can’t tell you why this article makes me feel so flustered.

Other than, like I said last week, stepping out of my comfort zone.
Well, here we go. The game is afoot, and the alea is also iacta est.

But since I’ve gone and taken leap – will you please help me garner the highest level of either ridicule, or fame?

Meaning, if you think it’s a stellar piece (what, you have doubts?), could you please share it around?

Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon, Reddit, or wherever you share – please help out your favorite Stellar? Much obliged.
Without any further ado, I present you my latest madness,  entitled:

(Not just a) sales lesson: “Make it hard, she said”.

And in case your wondering: it really is about sales. And also sex, but more sales than sex. Or vice versa, maybe.

Anyway, enjoy and do please share.



P.s. In case you want copy that gets you sales (sex optional), then have a read here and get in touch:

What Comes First: The Product, or the Marketing? (Not what you think)

Seems like people are still getting the basics wrong, even though I’ve written about it before.

Sometimes it’s like nobody is paying attention to me.

I’m talking to you, Sandra Bullock.

Anyway, had a conversation about a mutual friend:

“Martin, this is what she should do. She should offer a this, and build a that, and then sell that to people. It’s perfect!”

Yep, it’s perfect.

But it didn’t answer my favorite question:

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Can I Slam You With a Claudio? Also: My Pet Caveman


Right, back to business.

Because if my friend Claudio would be able to speak right now, he’d scold me, and very harshly so.


“I have run this bar for 20 years, Martin.

20 years, and I’ve never, ever, had a day off.

I’m here each night.

Never a holiday.

Because if I don’t show up, people find a closed door and I wouldn’t even *have* a business.

And you, Martin, you close shop just because I’m in hospital?

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Starship Mentorprise: Coaching at the Speed of Write

An email came in last week:
“Martin, I need better copy but I don’t have the budget to buy from you. Do you offer mentoring services, so I can improve my own writing?”

Smart. Always good to learn from an expert.

Truth is, while I’ve helped many people over the years, it’s always been part of a larger project – I’ve never offered teaching or mentoring as a separate offer.
Just never thought of it.

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If You Blow a Tire, Do You Throw Away the Car?

Had a minor heart attack yesterday.

Somebody wrote a blog post, proudly proclaiming they had closed their Mailchimp account and stopped all email marketing.

I was polite in my reaction, of course.

She may be making the most idiotic decision in the world, but that doesn’t mean I have to make her feel bad.

But idiotic it is.

After all, if you’re talking to people but they’re not buying, the best thing you can do is stop talking to them – right?


I see it a lot.

People will spend a year or two, emailing once a week, or twice a month because oooh – we don’t want to overload our readers.

Then they don’t get results – instead they get unsubscribes and spam complaints each time they do send something out.

And in the end they decide that email marketing isn’t right for them or their industry, or just doesn’t work.

And so they go and close their account, and go back to places like flakebook to do their ‘marketing’ there.

Here’s how I see things.

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Pet-Peeve Time: Sneaky, Conniving, Pseudo-Ethical Marketing Creeps

I’m pretty annoyed today.
Some bigshot marketer dude, one I thought I could trust, did something really sneaky yesterday.

Here’s what happened:
‘Read my blog post’.
Click, read post. Popup appears: “Want to read this too?”
Click yes, I read the second page.
Another popup: “Say, I have a 75% discount on this – want to read the details?”
I didn’t want to read the details – I wasn’t in a buying mood, and besides, I was enjoying my read.
So logically, I clicked the little cross in the corner, thinking the popup would disappear.
It did disappear, but instead of showing me the same page I had been reading… I was taken to the 75% discount page anyway.

Hang on a minute.

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