Groucho Cuts Up Copywriting Big Shots While Harpo Tweaks Comcast

But first, let me share some good, free stuff:

  1. Free webinar replay (in-stream): “How to Use Social Media to Manage Your Company Brand Online” .
  2. Article: 30 Twitter Tools for Business”

This week there was some great dialogues regarding copywriting, within my Linkedin copywriting group.  And I had some great dialogue on VOIP within the Telecommunication forum.   In the spirit of the Marx Brothers, I thought I would let them virtually substitute for me.

You must be an affiliate for Michel Fortin,  for posting his articles

I’m NOT an affiliate of Michel Fortin, any more than I’m an affiliate of Clayton Makepeace. I do value their articles on copywriting and marketing, which is why I share them. Everyone here is free to share what they feel is important articles and news on copywriting and marketing. If you disagree with a statistical observation of Michael – or anyone else for that matter – then please post it as a comment in their blog entry. They would be sure to explain it. If I post an article of Michael Fortin (or anyone who is SELLING anything), let me know – it’s NOT my intention.

I could easily share blog entries of Daniel Levis, Dan Kennedy, Clayton Makepeace, John Carlton, Ray Edwards, Bob Bly, or anyone else “well known” for that matter. They have “good stuff”. If you disagree with what they are saying – let them know on their blog. I have reread the article and don’t see him selling anything. If I’m wrong, please point out where in the blog post. Of course, nobody would notice “Michael Fortin” articles, if there were other entries posted.

The Copy in Michel Fortin’s Blog is bad

Do you mean the “original” copy or the one “rewritten” by Michel Fortin? Actually, NOT all copy of the “big names” resonates with me. The criteria for Michel (or any other big name) is that businesses pay him a lot of money in fees and/or royalties, and he makes a lot of sales for them. It’s the same with the Tabloids and the ads that run for months on end. One famous one is “5 Ways to Cure Corns”. I’m not a big fan of the ad. But someone paid the copywriter some big dollars in fees and/or royalties. Someone is paying the Tabloids big dollars to run the ad, for months on end. And someone must be buying the product or book, else you probably wouldn’t see the expensive ad running, for any considerable period of time.

I Mean The Michel Fortin Blog is Bad

There are copywriters and there are writers. One doesn’t always walk successfully in both worlds – although I’m sure Michel’s blog gets a considerable amount of Traffic. Copywriter Ben Hart – who was a college graduate and former presidential speech writer – admits he had to “dumb down his writing” as a copywriter. He appeals to a grade school level vocabulary.

For the record, I like the writing styles of Daniel Levis, Clayton Makepeace, and John Carlton. In fact, John would rank among my favorite, as his blogging style reminds me of the Jeff Foxworthy redneck comedy team. John’s style would be akin to Larry the Cable guy, talking in a bar.

Writing is a matter of taste. If I go watch Jerry Seinfeld do his solo comedy ventures – they stink. That’s also the opinion of friends who have seen him in person. Yet if I watch the cast of Seinfeld collectively talk about “nothing” – it’s hilarious.

If I read any of Stephen King’s horror genre works, they’re nothing compared to folks like Edgar Allan Poe or H.P. Lovecraft. But King’s book on writing is exceptional. In a similar manner, I love the information Michel shares. Yet I admit – John Carlton is far more entertaining.

But I saw some glaring blog grammar errors Michel made

The solution for Michel is simple. With all the money he makes as a copywriter and marketer, simply hire a blog proofreader. I suspect that Michel’s simply spreading himself too thin with his high profile assignments, that he doesn’t devote enough time for blog editorial passes. Now Clayton Makepeace can farm that chore out, to his copy cubs.

How about Nick Usborne’s Web writing course? He sells a web copywriting course for $500.

How about the book “Web Copy That Sells” by Maria Veloso (see )? It’s much cheaper than Nick’s course, which I have heard mixed reviews on.   I normally don’t put in a plug for those I’m connected with on Linkedin, but you might want to check the website by Gilbert Carlson. At about $50 (along with $10 – $15 for the Maria book on – your local library can get it for free), it’s much cheaper than Nick’s course. One technique Maria recommends is just copying great website copy by hand. It’s something I do each day.

Is the book “Web Copy That Sells” more B2C Hype?

If you read the preface, the author feels that chapter 3 (the chapter on psychological techniques), is worth the price of the book alone.  I’m not one who believes in “buying books”, before I have read them.  I firmly believe in having my local library obtain a copy, either in house, or through their inter-library affiliates.

Keep in mind that B2C and B2B have different goals.  B2C usually wishes someone to part with their money then and there, which is why it is “hyped up”.  B2B normally works with big ticket items, with many different decision making roles, involving in the buying process.  It’s more of a longer term, lead nourishing process.

Can someone in the B2C world or B2B world, learn from the other side?  Sure.  It’s wise to learn from the other side and see what can be applied.  But if you can read it free, that’s the best way to go.

Can I Become An Internet Marketing And Social Media Expert at Zero Cost?

Here’s how to do it, without spending an arm and a leg:

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  2. Study for free at Inbound Marketing University (, and take their certification exam.  They teach Inbound marketing principles and best practices, such as blogging, social media, lead conversion, lead nurturing, and closed loop analysis.
  3. Take the free web business video course (26 videos, no opt-in) at chrisfarrellmemb….
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Solving a Comcast VOIP Problem

Let’s start with a good article: “Vonage vs Comcast….The Importance of Good Customer Service”

Remember in my last blog post, where I talked about my VOIP issues with Vonage running on Comcast?  I had an interesting story this week.  I was shutting down the modem at night, along with my Vonage device.

In the morning, I couldn’t connect to the Internet via rebooting the cable modem.  Now this is whether I connect through the Vonage V-Portal (which gives Internet connection diagnostic codes), or directly to one of two computers.  A couple Comcast technicians said the modem lights are on and they saw a signal on their end – it has to be a software issue.

Guess what happened?

One technician asked me to turn off the McAfee firewall.  When I did that, I could connect.  Later I discovered something interesting, after talking with the Comcast McAfee support center.  What I was really doing was just confirming the windows firewall was off – which it was.

So what caused it to work again?

Comcast technician: If all the lights are on in the Comcast Motorola cable modem and we can remotely send a signal, it’s a software problem on your computer.

See the flaw in this logic?

If I power down the modem for 30 seconds and power it back up; then run separate tests connecting directly to a Vonage V-Portal, Windows Machine A, and Windows Machine B – with different connecting cables.  What’s the odds of all these items having issues?  It’s probably as great (from a probability and statistics model) as winning a big lottery prize.

I did some talking to various sources…telecommunication folks on Linkedin…McAfee Tech Support…The Dell Computer technical support staff… Various Comcast technicians…a couple Vonage technicians…a software CEO…a former Motorola electrical engineer, who’s a Comcast customer.

The Motorola engineer was the most useful resource.  I leaned that the Comcast Motorola Modem is “smart” and learns over time…it gets software updates at scheduled times…You just need to keep it turned on…But “nobody” at Comcast mentioned this.  I also learned I need to power up the Modem, Vonage Device, and computer,…in that order.  Let’s see how things go now.

Comcast, please!  A little customer education from your side goes a long way!  When I was with ATT DSL for 7 years, they used to have me bring up ATT internal modem IP addresses, and work with me online – diagnosing modem Internet connection issues.  Now they “rarely” happened.   They “never” told me what the Comcast technicians said.

I guess I’m OK until the next Comcast or Commonwealth Edison outage.

Google Voice

I got my invitation this week to use Google Voice.  It’s totally cool.  You need to sign up for an invitation.  Look at the “how to use” videos at….  This gave me a brilliant idea.  If I sign up for basic ATT land line service for $12 a month and hook it up to a digital answering service – guess what I have?

  1. It’s a backup system in case Vonage and/or Comcast Internet goes down.
  2. I can call the 800 technical numbers for free.
  3. I have an emergency back up system, in conjunction with my Tracfone cell phone system.
  4. If my VOIP solution is down, I can make nationwide calls via Google voice.
  5. Google voice serves as a front end system to both Vonage and ATT.


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Randy Kemp



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