Copywriting Tips

I have heard from some people that a picture is worth a thousand words.=)
And more often than not, an awesome picture is definitely going to have more of an impact than 1,000 words, but what if you use them together?
I think that only means more awesomeness. By using a photo that goes great with your words, you will enhance and give personality to the marketing material you are creating. Using images that get noticed is just as important as having clear and concise copy. There are several sites on the Internet that offer free stock photos so check them out to see if you can find the right picture to help make your copy stand out even more. Of course, if you are too busy to find photos and create words, please contact me and I will be glad to help out. Give me a call @ 208.995.9437 or send me an email so we can talk. Have a great day.

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Make The Most Out Of Your Marketing Dollars

Is your company facing increased pressure to get their message to the right audience. Is there a way to take control of your company’s advertising and maximize your return on investment?

If the answer is yes, then now, more than ever, you need to make every marketing dollar count.

Getting the most out of your marketing dollars is especially important in today’s economy. A company’s decisions need to show a return on investment, and drive targeted traffic to their business. Chances are your company has a great website that they paid a lot of money to have built. But what good is a beautiful website if your target audience cannot find you anywhere online? With the power of the Web, companies have the opportunity to employ their website as a marketing vehicle to increase sales, acquire new clients, build rapport with current clients, and reach their target market.

I help companies get the most out of their marketing dollars.
Give me a call @ 208.995.9437 or send me an email so we can talk.

Did I mention that content is really important?

One of the most common mistakes people do when they are building content is thinking only of the search engines. They will stuff in keywords even when they make no sense. Even if you do get past the Search Engine filters and spam detectors, what happens when someone actually lands on this page? What is the point of having someone come to your site only to find the content makes no sense? Wouldn’t you leave? You are better off spending more time or paying more for content that a visitor will find valuable. Also, good quality content will stand the test of time.

When you build good content, the links will come. When you have good content, other websites will link to you to make their sites look better. I have found that if you write about a relevant topic and then go out to the expert bloggers and notify them of it, they will usually reference your content and link back to you.

This one tip is for sure, content is forever. Links, metatags and other SEO (search engine optimization) techniques come and go but content has always been relevant at some level. Don’t look at your content task as an ongoing uphill climb. Get in a ritual of writing 1 page of content every other day for your site, or find a partner that will. Within 2 years, you will have roughly 350 pages of unique, indexable content on your site. Search engines will love it, your visitors will love it, you will benefit from it for years to come!

It doesn’t have to be award winning content to make a difference. Many people get stumped on what to write about. Just write! Read an industry publication to get the ideas rolling. You don’t need a 5,000 word essay that will change your industry. Just write about a topic you were challenged with recently. Write about how great your employees are, write about a new portion of your product or service that few know about. Just write!

Of course if you just don’t have the time to create content or just what to pay someone to do the job for you then you can always hire a freelance copywriter like myself.

Ten Copywriting Tips

Here are some great copywriting tips from one of the leaders in the industry. I hope you find them helpful.

  1. Review your copy. Do it over and over. Six or seven times or more.
  2. Do not use long Latin words like “regulations, indicate, publications” – use short Anglo-Saxon words like “rules, show, books”. These words have more punch.
  3. Avoid being clever and cryptic. Some ads take me weeks to work out what they mean. We are all too busy to be bothering with the clever stuff. If it can be understood by a half-wit with a two second attention span you probably have a winner.
  4. Do not be handicapped by thinking that everything has to be “grammatically correct”. When you are copywriting all that stuff goes out the window. Say it in the simplest way possible.
  5. Use short sentences. And only contain one idea in every paragraph. Do not spend ages constructing enormously complex sentences with millions of clauses and sub-clauses. Also, be specific, state real figures, avoid things like “up to 5%” or “over 1,000”. Avoid percentages and state real sums of money instead
  6. State the facts and focus on the benefits the customer will get when he buys the product. Do not waffle. Every word needs to be earning its place in your copy. Do not be worried by length of copy. Testing shows long copy sells more than short and long headlines sell more than short. Your copy should be as long or as short as it needs to be to sell the product.
  7. Speak the reader’s language. Do what a salesman would do. Think about how you would sell the product to someone. The best copy often has a kind of speech type “you-and-me-talking” quality about it.
  8. Visualize a person and write to them. Better still, write as if you are writing to someone you already know who fits the target audience: Your Mum, a friend, whoever.
  9. Use simple words that everyone understands then everyone will understand. Good copy is often criticised for having a childlike quality. This is deliberate; if a simple person can understand it, everyone can understand it.
  10. And finally: read books on the subject. Study the work of the great men of advertising. Write, write and re-write. The way to get effective advertising is to test everything. Do not use full stops in headlines. And remember: good copy is like a river; you should be able to jump in at any point and be carried along by the flow.

Content is King

By design, online search engines like Google create result listings based on hot and relevant SEO (search engine optimization) keywords. The most ideal website rankings mostly rely on the strategic use of common SEO practices (i.e. long-tail keywords, blog entry tags, meta tags, link exchanging, etc). However, no matter how visual or audible any Web page may be, the actual content matters the most.

Not only do search engines rank your site by keyword relevance, they also determine whether your site is relevant and unique to a user’s defined search. So when it comes right down to search results, it is more valuable to have something worth saying rather than a page designed with repetitive key phrases.

Following are a few useful writing tips that can enrich the value of your site, increase your readership, and raise your overall web ranking:

1. Stick to a solid writing format: introduction, body, and conclusion. The copywriting should smoothly lead readers to the climax of the story. With a Web audience, you have only a few seconds to make a connection, so your writing should reveal the main point within the first 150 to 200 words.

2. Say more with fewer words. Are there any unnecessary pieces of your copywriting that are clouding the core message? Consider how you can avoid wasting words, or using up your space with ranting, musing, or stream-of-conscious writing that lacks direction. Readers who keep coming back to your site desire originality, and sometimes, meaningful information that may be read, recommended, and linked to over the next 10 years.

3. Think creatively with titles. There are many ways to entice readers with new headers or titles. For instance, you can pump it with SEO keywords to show up higher on the results listing. You can pose a stimulating question or startling statement (i.e. “10 worst predictions in 2009 politics,” “sex, lies and health care reform,” or “will your investments be worthless in 2020?”).

4. Encourage interaction with readers. One of the best ways you can expand your audience is by making your site more interactive. In addition to posing intriguing headers or titles, you can assert your take on a controversial topic instead of presenting an informative and neutral position. You can add a kicker in the middle or end of the copywriting, which will encourage commentators to post their opinions.

5. Offer something unique or original. Above all, make sure that your website benefits readers with unique information that they wouldn’t necessarily find on a related blog or site. Think about the entire online experience that you would want to create with your readers. Is there something extraordinary about the opinions you offer (i.e., are you an expert in your topic?), do you allow your audience to get more involved, and does your site provide the full multimedia experience? What is the true value of visiting your site, and what keeps users coming back for more?

If you have additional questions about how I can help your website generate more leads with great copywriting and how important copywriting is to helping your company increase their presence online, please contact me and I will be more than happy to help. I can be reached at 208.598.0084 or matt.shifley@yahoo.com.

Captivating Copywriting for your Company

How can I do this for you? Web copywriting can be difficult, and if it’s not done correctly, the results will unfortunately be poor. Great copywriting requires the following:

1. Know your audience: If you can’t say who you’re marketing to, how are you supposed to sell them anything?

2. Know your product or service: Like your market, you have to know your product through and through. Placing a few open-ended ideas in your copy can sometimes leave people wanting to find out more, and that can keep them coming back.

3. Showcase the value of what you can offer to customers: There aren’t too many truly new products or services out there. So, copywriting made easy requires that you show people why what you’re offering is better and more valuable than what someone else (i.e., your competitor) is offering.

4. Write for your customers, not for yourself: Cast your Web copywriting with the correct tone and focus, and customers will respond in a positive way to what you have to say.

By allowing me to follow these steps and following them carefully, over time your website will improve and you’ll see your business grow. Great copywriting isn’t easy, but I can help you achieve captivating copy for your company.

If you need more advice or assistance in getting the right copy for your product or your website then contact me. I will be more than happy to help. I can be reached at 208.598.0084 or matt.shifley@yahoo.com.