Marketing products through copywriting

Posted by on Oct 27, 2010 in Copywriting |

As a creative copywriter, you will often have to write about another company’s products. You’re not the owner of the product, you’re (probably) not the target market and you can’t do hours of research about the specific market segment – but you do need to get people to read about it and ultimately buy it. Writing about products can become mind-numbing if you have been contracted to write a number of pages and when your ideas run it, it shows in your work. Here are some fatal flaws that should be avoided to create great content about products: Stop writing about yourself! Unless you are the chief communications officer for Apple or Harley Davidson, chances are people don’t want to hear the words “we” and “our” and any other self-important rambles. Establish how popular a brand is before you start marketing the product’s affiliation to a specific company. Fulfil a need Internet users rarely go online thinking “I wonder what I can buy today!” so starting an article with hard-selling words such as ‘brand new’, ‘improved’, ‘get 1 free’ and these types of agency catch phrases will only harm your content. People go online to find information and fulfil their own needs so keep your article informative and to the point. Don’t stress the technical stuff If you are selling a technical product to engineers or IT wizards, don’t worry about the lingo. Chances are the people who are selling and buying the products know the industry-speak and can give you a brochure before you start copywriting, but don’t assume knowledge. If something sounds vague, link to a Wikipedia explanation so that you don’t lose your readers. Avoid laziness Saying that proofreading is important is an understatement. It’s also something that every copywriter knows but few of them rarely apply this principle. A good tip is to leave your article for a day or so and simply re-read it before you send off the final copy (you will be surprised to see how many mistakes you made that you didn’t pick up the first time around). Don’t be lame Whether you’re trying to sell a tooth brush or the brand new motorcycle helmet – do it differently than other articles you find on the web. Don’t try to copy existing content in a rush to get it finished. If a company is spending money on hiring a professional copywriter to write about their product, they are going to expect something different than the average brochure-type...

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The SEO checklist for article writing!

Posted by on Sep 13, 2010 in SEO |

1. Write descriptive headlines. Make sure your article headline would make sense to the average reader when written on a blank sheet of paper. That headline might show up out of context in an RSS reader, a search result or who-knows-what. So the headline alone must tell the reader what to expect. And, of course, the headline will likely become your article’s title tag, which is key to SEO. 2. Forget about wrap. Don’t shorten your headlines or subheads. If they wrap to two lines, it’s OK! This isn’t print. 3. Write descriptive links. In a sentence like ‘SEO improves your organic ranking,’ don’t add a ‘click here’ at the end for more information. Make ‘SEO improves your organic ranking, the link itself. You can also have click here, if you want. Just make sure there’s a descriptive link in place. 4. Mention the primary person/topic/event in the article headline. Seems obvious, doesn’t it. Apparently it isn’t. If your article is about writing, make sure writing is in the headline. 5. Mention the primary subject in the first paragraph. lots of articles don’t have the subject or the description of the key information or whatever else in the first paragraph. Why oh why? 6. Resize images in an image editor. I know you’re in a hurry to get that story uploaded. But take the time to resize images properly, using an image editor. Don’t resize them using the content management system or HTML. Image crawlers want to ‘see’ an image file that matches the size and shape of the displayed image. 7. Write ALT tags for images. Write an alternate tag for your image that fully describes the image. I guarantee your content management system has a field for the ‘alt’ tag, or uses another field for it. The right ALT tag can help you get that image indexed, and help rank the text around it. 8. Give images relevant captions. Put a relevant caption under or near the image, or at least make sure the text of the paragraph before/after that image is related. That helps search engines figure out if the image is relevant, and could get you higher rankings. 9. If you write a related story, link to it. If you write a story the importance of SEO to improve your rankings and therefore traffic/conversions, and wrote a related story a year ago, link back to it. By connecting the stories, you create a cluster of relevant content. 10. Use full names. The first or second time you mention a person or company, use the full name. Not ‘Mr. Macleod’ or MacLeod’, but ‘Jamie MacLeod’. Not ‘SEO, but ‘Search Engine Optimisation’. That will give search engines...

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