Selling With Stories - For Content Writers and Copywriters
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Selling With Stories - For Content Writers and Copywriters

The secret to effective content marketing is to touch your audience’s emotions through the power of well-told stories.
4.2 (116 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
724 students enrolled
Created by Nick Usborne
Last updated 3/2017
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $35 Original price: $75 Discount: 53% off
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Create powerful stories for your clients or your own business
  • Know how to tell a strong ORIGIN story and a HERO’s JOURNEY story
  • Use stories to attract attention and deepen reader engagement
  • Use stories to leverage a company’s existing narratives
  • Use stories to maximize sharing across all social channels
View Curriculum
  • No prior qualifications required
  • All you need is a passion for writing and marketing online

People make purchase decisions with their hearts, not their heads.

And the most powerful way to reach a person’s heart is through a good story.

By taking this course you’ll learn how to use stories to power up your content writing, your sales copy and your social media writing.

"The course was INSPIRING! It uncovered what should have been obvious, and included PRACTICAL tips to put the principles into practice. GREAT!" - Gopinathan Thachappilly

“I’ve learned and enjoyed listening at the same time. I studied case studies – but this program takes content with stories to another level – an exciting marketing strategy. And taught as only Nick can teach.” Judith

Over the course of 19 lectures you’ll learn how to apply 5 key attributes of all good stories:

  1. Stories capture & hold attention
  2. Stories engage people at a deep, emotional level
  3. Stories build empathy and trust
  4. Stories drive sales without the need for hard-sell tactics
  5. Stories create long-term relationships and are remembered

“Really enjoyed this course …. Came away with a better understanding of how important stories are in writing web content for myself as well as for my clients. A great jumping off point for tackling a blank page.” Teresa Barretta

NOW is the best time to grow your expertise as a writer who can sell with stories.

Online, people can “turn off” most advertising any time they want.

If people find a company’s emails too salesy or pushy, they’ll unsubscribe or mark those emails as spam.

If people get fed up with all the ads that fill their favorite news, sports and entertainment websites, they’ll install an adblocker.

It is estimated that by 2020 over $12 billion worth of ads will have been blocked with adblockers.

In other words, people don’t like ads and they certainly don’t like the hard-sell approach favored by some copywriters and marketers.

So... if you can no longer convert prospects with the hard-sell approach, what’s the answer?

The answer is to sell with stories.

Stories stir up emotions. And emotions drive people to sign up, subscribe and buy.

Who is the target audience?
  • Freelance content writers who want to create more powerful content for their clients, and differentiate themselves by offering deep expertise in the skills of engaging and converting readers with stories.
  • Freelance copywriters who want to use stories to close sales faster and more often, without having to resort of hard-sell copywriting.
  • Entrepreneurs and growth hackers who are looking to leverage stories as a way to reach more prospects, engage with them more deeply, sell to them more often and keep them as customers for life.
Curriculum For This Course
22 Lectures
3 Lectures 16:39

A brief overview of who I am, and the power of stories. Stories are a massively powerful force in our lives, at every level

Preview 05:23

I have added this video to address a question a few people have asked me. It goes more or less like this... "Nick, do I have to be good at telling stories to make this work?" And the answer is no, you don't. This isn't like writing a movie or a book. These are short, simple stories that are easy to tell. I include three examples in this video.

Preview 04:48

Whether you are a content writer, a copywriter or a growth hacker, stories are your best friends. Among other things, they are the ultimate cure for writer's block!

Why stories are your best friends
Why Sell When You Can Tell a Story Instead?
2 Lectures 13:51

None of us like to be "sold at". This has always been true, but is truer than ever online. Millennials and younger have a very low tolerance for ads and promotions on their computers, tablets and smartphones. 

Nobody likes being sold at

Stories make us feel good. And they can bring even the most boring topics to life. Yes, a good story can even make an insurance company look good!

Stories bring everything to life
Stories Demand Attention and Are Remembered
2 Lectures 18:10

A good story demands attention. Whether on your TV, on the big screen in a cinema, or on the pages of your Kindle e-book reader, a good story literally transports you into a new world.

Preview 08:46

Do you remember the contents of your text books from school? I didn't think so. How about the stories your parents read to you when you were a kid? I bet you remember some of those. Good stories are remembered - often forever.

We remember good stories
Stories Build Trust and Are Widely Shared
2 Lectures 18:17

Stories stimulate the release of oxytocin in our brains. And oxytocin increase levels of empathy. Yes, it's a scientific fact that a good story can increase levels of empathy and trust. Try that with sales copy.

Hear their story and love them

Stories and social media were made for one another. Nothing is more shareable than a good story. This is why smart social media marketers are always seeking to frame information in the form of a good story.

Good stories are incredibly shareable
Built-in Stories, and Building Stories
3 Lectures 19:57

Some companies and organizations are born or founded with great stories baked into their DNA or business model. When this happens, be sure to maximize the impact of those stories whenever you share them.

Some companies have stories built in

While some companies are born with great stories baked in, others are not. When a company seems to have no stories to share, it's your task to dig deep and find a good story. Or create one from the ground up.

Rewrite a boring story and win

Every company needs a story or a narrative to help people understand "who they are". If a company doesn't tell its own story, people will create a story for them. And stories told from outside the company are usually not very flattering.

Every company needs a story
The Elements of a Good Story
4 Lectures 26:41

Origin stories are particularly powerful. People love to know the founding story of a business. That story can frame people's perception of a business for decades.

The power of Origin Stories

The Hero's Journey has been around and has been used by authors for thousands of years. It is the story structure most loved and used by Hollywood. And you can often find a Hero's Journey narrative to apply to your own business, or to a client's company.

What is the “Hero’s Journey”?

In the absence of an Origin Story or a Hero's Journey, there are many other story types you can use.

Other types of stories

If your business,or a client's business, is totally without "story", there are ways to create fertile ground from which new and original stories can grow. Yes, you can create the circumstances that drive new stories.

For clients and companies without stories
Where and How to Use Stories
2 Lectures 32:24

In this lecture we'll look at the practical application of stories - in email, on sales pages, in social media, and elsewhere online.

Use stories everywhere online

In this lecture we'll look at preserving the authenticity of stories - keeping them real - and at some pro tips on making stories compelling to your audience.

Tips on crafting and sharing your story
The Storyteller’s Toolbox
1 Lecture 06:41

If you want to become a storytelling professional, as a writer and a marketer, you need to get into the habit of watching for and collecting great story ideas.

Become a story collector, and more
Wrapping It Up
3 Lectures 17:21

In this, the final lecture, I'm going to summarize the key points of this course, and send you off with a new-found passion for selling with stories!

Everyone loves stories

Use stories to pitch your own services as a writer.

This lecture includes a list of posts and video posts that further explore the power and application of stories in the world of marketing online.

Bonus Lecture: Additional resources on Selling With Stories
About the Instructor
Nick Usborne
4.4 Average rating
424 Reviews
1,866 Students
5 Courses
Online writer and copywriter. Author, speaker and instructor

Over the course of a copywriting and consulting career spanning over thirty years, offline and then online, Nick has worked with dozens of major companies, including:

Citibank, Apple, Chrysler, Franklin Mint, TV Guide, Diners Club International, J. Paul Getty Trust,, Technogym, Encyclopedia Britannica, New York Times, Country Financial, Adorama, Reuters, WebEx, and others.

During his years as a direct response marketer he wrote direct mail by the ton, and earned 15 awards, both in Europe and North America. In 1997 he stopped writing direct mail and has been working exclusively on business online ever since.

Over the years he has also worked as an advisor and consultant to various start-ups, principally in the area of consumer product sales online.

He has spoken at numerous online marketing conferences and has conducted in-house seminars and training sessions for many companies, including:

Yahoo!, Intuit, Walt Disney Attractions, Association of American Publishers, Novartis Pharma, John Deere, National Cancer Institute, Merck & Co., Textron, and the Information Technology Media Advisory Council.

Online, he has written literally hundreds of articles for,,, Business 2.0 and other online publications. He is also the author of Net Words: Creating High-Impact Online Copy. Published in 2001, it’s still a good and valuable read today.

"In a world of instant pundits and stuffed shirts, Nick Usborne stands out as an astute, insightful and original mind. He's able to find substance when others see just fluff, and can cut right to the core of the issue." Seth Godin

"The best writers are also clear thinkers who can distill complex issues and processes into something entirely more manageable. Nick does this well as a writer, certainly. But his talents apply more broadly to business as well. He has a real talent for seeing through the clutter, and recognizing what works and what doesn’t work when marketing online." Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs

"Nick Usborne is one of our most popular speakers at Search Engine Strategies, and I consistently get positive feedback about his presentations." Danny Sullivan, SearchEngineLand

Today he divides his time between online copywriting, teaching, consulting – and enjoying life.

He lives in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.