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.

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.

A Great Product Needs Great Copywriting

A great product needs a great sales copy. The objective of the sales copy is always to sell the product. And even if your product is the best that is out there in the market, it needs the RIGHT words to strike the RIGHT chords in the heart of your potential customer.

The two big questions you need to ask if you are attempting sales copywriting are: Who is my target audience? And: How do I strike the right chords to their heart so that they sing the same tune as me and believe that my product is the best one to buy?

These two questions should be the backbone of your sales copy. The rest, you may forget about for the time being. You have to lead your target audience on to the benefits of your product and give them some good and valid reasons regarding why they should buy it from you.

The first step in writing a successful sales copy is to identify your audience. Who would be the potential users of your product. Once you have done that, you have to find a way to lure them into your website. Look for the right keywords and litter them judiciously in your sales copy so that whatever search engine your potential customer is using, he or she gets to see your site at the top. You can use simple applications like ‘wordtracker’ or ‘overture suggestion’ to look for the right keywords related to your product. Weave these keywords throughout your website sales copy including title tags and meta tags. It would be easier for your potential customers to find you on the web that way.

Now that your audiences have found you, you have to get them hooked to your site … and that is where the lesson ends today. 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.

More Copywriting Tips

You must have heard different camps of copywriting experts giving their opinions on what killer copywriting really means and how it should be. While one camp believes in the dictum: Word is God, the other believes that just words won’t get you far. While writing a killer copy words are THE most important components to make your copy successful- the importance of color, pictures, graphics and imagery cannot be ruled out.

In this far evolving business revolution, killer sales copies must be equipped with design that speaks more than words. You may have a killer headline to grab the visitor’s attention but a drab web design would quickly dissipate that initial interest the viewer had shown and you’ll be back to square one.

Give your killer copy a much needed boost with a good website navigation system. Your navigation system must be consistent in every page of your website. If you are using four different links in four different pages, make sure that you post the links in the same position in all of the pages. This would make it easier for visitors to navigate through your site and use the links you provided. Instead of keeping your website plain and drab, use color coordination to make navigation through your site a pleasurable experience. But over use of color may just make your site look like an advertisement for children’s products. Unless you intentionally have kept it that way and unless you are really selling play dough or teddy bears, steer clear of making your website look like a potpourri of colors.

Never use shocking colors. They would just ‘shock’ visitors but not shock them enough into buying your product. High contrast colors are hard on the eyes. Avoid using such colors. It would be nice if you could create a logo for your company and put it on all the pages of your site. It would keep reminding your readers of your company’s name.

However, in a way, the word ‘killer’ is somewhat misleading. The Webster English Dictionary defines killer as: “to cause to be destroyed, to defeat or veto, to cause to cease operating…” Thus ‘killer’ copy therefore should mean a copy which is irresistible and extremely tempting. There are various web resources that teach you how to write killer copies. Some sites would ask you to purchase the access to such file by paying a onetime cost. This would be a good idea depending on the copywriting website and their author’s credibility.

If you have additional questions about copywriting and how important they are to helping your company get found 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 for more information to discuss how I can help you or your company with its search engine optimization, online marketing, or copywriting needs.

Copywriting Tips

Here’s a neat little copywriting secret you can use, immediately.

As if coming up with a headline isn’t difficult enough, for most people, sitting down and trying to come up with an opening of a sales letter or display ad, is like trying to figure out which way is north, when you’re standing smack dab in the middle of the desert at high noon.

I will fix this for you, forever, right now:

There are many approaches to coming up with an opening line, but no matter which one you take, you need to make sure you’re compelling … you can’t waste time on idle chit-chat … and you’d better be speaking directly to your marketplace with enthusiasm.

Today we’re going to talk about one way to come up with an opening line: by using a punchy introduction.

For example, something like “Today, I have some amazing news to share with you about lowering your blood pressure.”

Or, “Now there’s a way you can eliminate pet odor for good, without using ANY chemicals at all.”

And how about this old standby, which was taught to me when I was working with a previous employer: “If you are a cigar smoker, and you’d love to know how to save as much as 75% on all your new cigar purchases, then here’s something you MUST know:”

Now there are a few guidelines you’re going to want to pay close attention to when you’re doing this. One, you’ll notice I extended each of the base openings (“Today, I have some amazing news to share with you…”) to include a benefit.

You want to do this to capture your reader’s attention and to make sure they know something’s in it for them. Otherwise, you’re just being vague and hypey with no substance. That’s a HUGE turn-off, and no one’s going to pay attention to what you’re saying, if you do this.

Two, you want to say something that’s got energy and power. If you’re trying to get someone’s attention, nothing beats enthusiasm.

And three, another trick you may want to try is to add what I call a “bonding factor” in your opening. So for example, “Today, I have some amazing news to share with you about lowering your blood pressure,” can often be enhanced by saying something like, “If you are a woman over age 65, I have some amazing news to share with you about lowering your blood pressure.”

This adds depth to your relationship and makes your reader much more curious about what you’re about to tell them.

Now you have an inside secret to writing opening lines, so copywriting doesn’t have to be so difficult for you.

If you have additional questions about copywriting and how important they are to helping your company get found 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 for more information to discuss how I can help you or your company with its search engine optimization, online marketing, or copywriting needs.