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Introduction – Mark’s Story

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My original website - dark and atmospheric, with lots of text and not many images

Once upon a time I had a website that was the equivalent of a glossy brochure online. It looked beautiful. The copywriting described my services and the powerful benefits for potential clients.

Hardly anyone visited. No-one bought anything.

I scratched my head and rewrote the text, so that the benefits were even clearer. I made sure there were plenty of ‘keywords’ for search engines to find. I made the logo bigger.

It didn’t work.

Graph showing monthly web visitors rising from hardly any to 6,000 per month

Then I added a blog to the site and started publishing articles about creativity. Within a couple of months, my web traffic started to pick up. Within a year, I was attracting over 6000 visitors a month and regular new business enquiries.

And when I went to sales meetings, I didn’t have to work as hard as I used to. I was treated as an authority, like the author of a book. I didn’t have to sell myself. Instead, people were asking for my advice.

My website had become a new business magnet.

Eventually, I realised that the tail (the blog) was now wagging the dog (the website). So I moved my blog from www.wishfulthinking.co.uk/blog to the homepage www.wishfulthinking.co.uk. These days, my blog is my website. The sales pages are still there, with prominent links at the top of every page. And the sales copy does a pretty good job. But most of the work has already been done by the time people read them — by the blog.

When I change my website from an online brochure to an online publication, I stopped telling people how good I was and started showing them how good I am — by writing entertaining and useful content that delivered real value to them.

From my point of view, the best thing about the blog is that it allowed me to build up a list of subscribers (currently over 2,000 at Wishful Thinking) who have signed up to receive every article I publish. Over time, my subscribers get to know and trust me, to the point where some of them decide to become clients.

Even the subscribers who never buy anything are still valuable to me — many of them help me by linking to my website and telling others about me, amplifying the word-of-mouth effect.

Unexpected Benefits

The Lateral Action website

When I started blogging, I was only thinking of promoting my coaching business. The blog has done a great job of that — but it has also caused some unexpected and magical things to happen:

  • I now have lots of new friends, many of whom I’ve met in ‘real life’, others who are scattered across the globe.
  • I’ve gone into partnership with two of the biggest names in Internet marketing, Brian Clark and Tony Clark, to create the website Lateral Action. With Brian in Texas, Tony in North Carolina and me in London, in the normal run of things we’d probably never have heard of each other. Now we’re working together on a site that brings me much more traffic and exposure than Wishful Thinking, with big plans for the future… And none of us have ever met face-to-face.
  • As I write this, I have three book offers on the table — one from the UK, one from the USA and one from Brazil.
  • In partnership with people I’ve met via my blog, I’m currently planning to take my seminars to continental Europe and the USA.
  • I also have another two business ventures in development, again with people I met via my blog.

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