So as you may know by now, I was the winner of the recent Crazy Shoemoney Affiliate Summit Contest that finished up a couple of days ago.
Here is the prize as it currently stands:
- A platinum pass to Affiliate Summit West.
- 2 nights hotel accommodations paid for at host hotel.
- $500 Airfare Reimbursement.
- $2000 to gamble on 1 hand of blackjack (can you handle the pressure?).
- Roll with me at Affiliate Summit.
- A pass to the Epic Advertising Playboy Mansion Party this fall.
Very epic prize.
It was a long road with many hours invested. To win, you had to write a post on your blog stating “why you should win the contest”. 10 finalists were then selected by Shoemoney’s staff. After that it opened up and the winner had to acquire the most votes over the course a 5 day period. In the end, I emerged triumphant with 43% of the total votes.
Over the next two posts, I will give a break down of exactly what I did to win the competition.
The Finalist Post
First things first. Before anything else you had to get selected by Shoemoney’s staff as a finalist. This meant a killer post.
The first thing I did was assess the competition. I immediately understood that there would be no point attempting this thing half hearted. Just whacking up a useless post on my blog isn’t going to win me a prize easily valued at $5k but it will deteriorate the quality of my blog and brand. So before even deciding whether to enter it or not, I had to do a quick analysis on reward/ratio.
If I my chances of at least getting into the finalists were slim to none, I wouldn’t even bother entering. That decision would be made solely based on the competition. In the end, there were 92 Comments with probably 70 entries to the competition. But when I made the decision to enter, there was less than 40 entrants.
Firstly, this low number was very surprising. I guess that it was the holidays and what not probably meant less people were aware of the contest. Any way, I started reading through the other comments and was fairly shocked at what I saw.
There were a number of entries that were 1 paragraph long, broken links and posts with clearly no thought put into them. Yes there were also a few good posts, but most of them were below par.
Low numbers and low quality? Shit yeah, bring it on.
When I first read the post there was two days left to enter the contest.
Knowing that I had two days, there was no reason to rush the post. You should treat it like any other piece of writing you are trying to get right and write it out, let it sit, edit it, let it sit some more (something I usually don’t do because it takes to long and editing is annoying but it definitely is the most effective technique).
The Essay Approach
When it came down to writing the post, the first question I had to ask my self is “What is this post trying to achieve?” this is something we all had to do in school when we were given one of those annoying questions and told to discuss it. What are you trying to achieve? Are you trying to argue a point? Solve a problem?
In this case, the point was to be selected. To be chosen. So I started thinking about other types of documents that have a similar purpose. The first that came to mind was a resume, something I have lots of experience with as an ex-recruiter. A resume is a document you create so you are selected. But getting hirired for a job is not usually just from your resume, you need to do a good job selling youself to secure the position.
This train of thought brought me down the path of a sales letter. Really the purpose of this post was to sell myself. Really, this post was to be a sales page.
The Sales Page Post
I am by no means an expert copy writer. But I know a little. I know what some of the key elements of a strong sales letter are. These include:
- Telling a story
- Building Trust
- Emotional stimulation
- Focusing on the benefits
I started telling my story. People like dealing with people they know, so the more of a story you can tell the more trust you will build plus it makes for an enjoyable read. I continued with emotional stimulation by writing the post in a very casual manner and by sprinkling humour through the post. I then wrote a section on how I can give back and what the benefits would be of hiring me. Whether they are tangible benefits for someone like Shoemoney or not is irrelevant. They just have to be better than the benefits the other contestants were offering. Some is better than none.
On top of the above elements which appear in every post I added two more of my own for this particular post:
- An element to show I had done my research
- A gimmick to stand out from the crowd
If you see down the bottom of the post, there is a picture of a girl in a grey shirt with a CLICK HERE underneath her. This was not chosen by accident. Actually Shoemoney talked extensively about this picture in his video on Facebook advertising. By adding this element is showed that I actually knew who Shoemoney was, followed his stuff and paid attention. Plus it was slightly humours, at least I thought so anyway.
The last was the tattoo gimmick. To be honest, this was chucked in right at the end. I was basically reading my post thinking shiit, I need a gimmick to close this deal and maybe more importantly, to win the votes. Sure I had a strong post, but it didn’t jump out at you, there was noting overly special about it. If you see Donny Gamble’s post he included the elf video and Danger Brown had a cool video of his own plus he was going to shave his head. These are two other fantastic examples of utilising a gimmick to get attention which resulted in both these guys making it to the finals.
I don’t know why I chose to get a tattoo. Basically I just thought it would be something that the judges would notice, people would talk about and it would make a funny story. No real reason besides it was a straight gimmick.
The End Result
Here is my winning entry. I probably spent a good 4-5 hours on it, possibly longer. Lots of that time was just reading it over and over correcting little bits and pieces. But every couple of times I read it I would get another big idea and chuck it in. As I said the tattoo idea didn’t come until the very end, maybe the last or second last re-read so it definitely pays to do this.
Next up securing the most votes.