Getting a reader interested in your sales pitch

Posted by on Mar 8, 2011 in Copywriting |

Having a loyal following on your blog and social media platforms is about giving people interesting, relevant commentary about things that interest them. You don’t need hundreds of thousands of followers – what you are aiming for is zoning in on a niche group of people that listen to what you have to say. Once a writer has achieved this, the next obvious step is turning this following into an income. The problem is that you can’t switch the style of your writing to a full-on sales pitch (because you’ll appear gimmicky and nobody wants to read that). Here’s how you can sell or promote something (and earn money) without losing your loyal readers: Let opportunity meet chance The first (obvious) step to making money out of your blog is having something to sell – but don’t start spamming your readers or continuously blogging about this “once in a life-time opportunity” (if you are selling grooming products – call a spade a spade and don’t pretend the product is more than it actually is). The key is to let your readers know that you are using the product, that you’re happy with it and that you would recommend it. Then only do you make an offer. Don’t come on too strong, but make sure they know that there is an opportunity to get the product from you if they want it. If you have been blogging for a long time and you truly understand your audience, you could also create something to sell. Be it software, an ebook or a new resource that could add value to their lives – make sure you’ve researched the probabilities and that you have something to offer! Baby steps You may feel your confidence slip when you start researching the product you want to sell (there are already so many sites, products and ebooks available and you will have to compete with established companies and websites). Don’t let this put you off. See your first initiative as “getting started” in the market – not as an attempt to take a huge piece of the pie. Please follow and like...

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Recycling good copy ideas

Posted by on Mar 3, 2011 in Copywriting |

I often hear copywriters complain that “there’s no news!” when writing for a client in a difficult or boring industry. Saying there’s “no news” isn’t always true – there may be news in the industry, but somebody else has already written about it and SEO copywriters don’t always want to risk producing duplicate content. Instead of complaining that the client should be supplying you with industry news (if they’re paying a copywriter to update their Latest News page – they probably don’t have the time to spoon-feed somebody content ideas), there are other ways to steal ideas from other sites while ensuring the content is fresh. Drawing conclusions and finding new relationships The key to keeping your content ideas new and interesting isn’t becoming an investigative reporter – it’s drawing a relationship between a topic and something you already know about. If you’re writing for a steel manufacturer, for instance, you can take the latest budget speech, find out how much is being awarded to infrastructure development and take it from there. Recycling old copy is too obvious for news updates, especially for the people who follow the blog or news page. Gaining a different perspective on their industry is simply about discovering a unique connection that the readers didn’t necessarily think of (before your article). It doesn’t always take insider knowledge to provide people from a specific industry with news they would want to read – it’s about improving on your existing copy with a new idea. One of the best tips is to become an expert in the industry. This doesn’t mean you need to know how steel frame buildings are engineered or how steel cladding is rolled (in the case of the steel manufacturer) but it does mean that you should read everything related to the field. Subscribe to newsletters about the industries you write for and take an hour out of your morning to scan news sites! Please follow and like...

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Why content farms will no longer work

Posted by on Mar 1, 2011 in Copywriting |

We’ve all stumbled upon articles from content farms at one point or another. These articles all have the right keywords and keyphrases, without offering any worthwhile information. It’s just continuous babbling about the keywords and mentioning keyphrases all over the place – in other words, the weak content was created solely to satisfy Google algorithms and is of no use for the reader. Google changes the content algorithms Up until recently, there was nothing that could be done about content farms, but that all seems to be changing. In the beginning of 2011, Google said they were going to take action against this poor content. On 24 February, Google released an official statement saying that they’ve improved their algorithms in order to outsmart people who have been benefitting from high search results with weak content. “Our goal is simple: to give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible. This requires constant tuning of our algorithms, as new content – both good and bad – comes online all the time,” said Google. Algorithm change impacts almost 12% of US internet content The big shocker is the amount of websites and pages that are affected by this change – 11.8%! At present, the change is only impacting Google search results in the US, but the company plans to roll out the new content algorithms to the rest of the world in the future. While Google isn’t acting in an “anti content farm” manner (they don’t use the phrase specifically), head of Google’s spam fighting team Matt Cutts told “I think people will get the idea of the types of sites we’re talking about.” The message is clear – if you produce high quality content with the correct SEO, you will rank well, but the two go hand in hand. You can no longer sprinkle keywords over low quality content and earn the top spots! Please follow and like...

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Let your words spin their magic

Posted by on Feb 25, 2011 in Copywriting |

Words spin magic in the minds of others; therefore let your words do their bit of magic by selling for your client. Write better and sell more, using your words to their best advantage while satisfying your customer’s needs. The written word can transform the most mediocre site into something quite spectacular. Most of us do not consider ourselves writers, as few of us have that claim to fame that the likes of Nadine Gordimer or Bryce Courtney have, but don’t let this deter you, as the most important point when writing copy is the power of persuasion. Selling online and selling face to face have similarities. Selling is selling, no matter which angle you look at it. Writing copy is no different from selling a product door to door, and clinching the deal. One way to get started is by continuously asking yourself: “What is in it for my client?” All the client is interested in is how their needs and requirements can be met, and could not care less how fabulous your product, you or your business is. All they really want is what you can do for them. Remember – customer is  king When writing for your client, the words you and yours should replace the words I and me, as all they are concerned about is what you, the copy writer, can deliver and offer them to make their business grow from strength to strength,  increasing their sales. Zoning in on the client gives the reader a sense of security – let them know you care about what they need to solve their problems. Making your clients feel appreciated and unique, you give them the power. Be persuasive and use presumptuous words to make it all happen. Grab your client’s attention; make them glue their faces to your pages, and use whatever persuasive copy you will need to make them excited by your word power. Please follow and like...

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How to improve your copywriting skills

Posted by on Feb 22, 2011 in Copywriting |

Practice makes perfect, as the old adage goes, but there are most certainly formulae that works when writing convincing copy. Arriving at your desk and writing is simply not enough. There is far more to copywriting than meets the eye. Pointers that will grab the attention of your readers: You need not have a degree in English to be able to get your point across to your readers. All that it takes is something short and sweet, using everyday language that is not too flowery. Simple, clear, easy reading is what your readership is looking for. Not long, waffling articles that make you doze off. You should be able to grab the attention of your readers upfront with your opening sentence or heading. Aim to keep your articles concise and short. And by short, I am referring to the length of the sentences, to help your readers to absorb what they have just read (we have short concentration spans). Many paragraph breaks helps the reader to absorb information, too. When writing, it is imperative to keep the tone pleasant. A reader is able to pick up the “tone” from your writing and what mood you might be in; strange but true. And best of all, if you write about the big three, you will always have the attention of your audience. They are sex, danger and food; yep. If you discuss any of these topics, people will sit up and listen, really carefully. Such is human nature. Easy reading is what we aim for, especially when writing for the web. To sum up: aiming for short and sweet paragraphs and sentences that hold the attention of the reader, don’t use flowery words, just simple language, getting to the point, and sticking to the topic. Please follow and like...

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