No post from me about excellent copywriting would be complete without mentioning the folks at Velocity Partners. A B2B marketing agency out of the U.K., we've featured co-founder Doug Kessler's SlideShares (like this one on why marketers need to rise above the deluge of "crappy" content) time and again on this blog because he's the master of word economy.
Part of transitioning to a media publishing mindset requires a change in structure and process to create content at the speed of culture. The old model you see on shows like Mad Men is too slow and cumbersome. By the time an idea becomes an ad, it is out of date. Marketers are increasingly co-locating insights, creative, production, legal approval, and placement to increase interaction and speed in producing and distributing content. Marketing content production is transforming from an advertising agency model to a newsroom model.
Thank you Neville!! Your writing is very inspiring, humerus and educational. I recently took a leap of faith and quit my job so I can work from home. I have been following your posts for the last two days and finally got the courage to write something. I was looking into other types of work from home opportunities which led me to scams or purchasing starter packages. Now I’m 100% sure of what I would like to do. You will be seeing more of this Future Freelance Copywriter.
Does this mean the sales letter is dying out? No; people will still read sales letters. However, they don't like it when you make them work at it-so keep it lean and mean. Equal in importance to your message (some would say more important) is the look of your letter. It should be visually inviting. As soon as prospective customers pull your letter out of the envelope, before they read one word of your sales message, they instantly have a positive or negative reaction based on the overall look of the letter. If it's crammed with words, readers will get a negative impression right away.
Problem: I need to reach more customers, while keeping my costs low. According to Forrester research, today’s customers distrust and resent marketing that interrupts or intercepts them. Engaging content marketing should be part of a natural conversation with current and potential customers, be relevant to their interests and behaviors, and build a continuous story over time. Content marketing pays dividends for a very long time, and this effect multiplies as you build out your content library.
I got my first client from a freelancing site in the Netherlands. It’s something like Upwork – I tried that too – but here, clients are actually willing to pay you good money. So I received 100 euro for some creative web copy around 600 words. And actually I think I could have charged more. The client said it was a decent price. Maybe I could have charged double!
Usually, businesses don't completely cease all other marketing activities and switch to content marketing cold turkey. In fact, most veteran content marketing programs typically incorporate other marketing techniques to complement their content initiatives. But the impetus for most of the companies I've worked with to initiate a content marketing program has been the need for a more cost-effective, predictable, and scalable source of traffic and leads than what they've been receiving from their current marketing programs.
I have just started a business writing resumés and job applications and doing interview coaching. I got my first client through a friend at work who is also my hairdresser. I helped her with some job applications and she recommended me to a customer (cut, foils, blow dry!) who paid me $200 to write responses to selection criteria for a government job. It took me ages to do this but I learned a lot and it gave me the confidence to keep going.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that writers in general earned a mean yearly salary of $73,090 as of May 2018. However, there was a wide variance in wages among writers. The bottom ten percent of professionals took in $31,700 or less each year, while the top ten percent of these workers made $121,670 or more annually. The BLS reported that technical writers in particular earned a mean wage of $75,500 as of 2018, with most of these professionals making between $43,110 and $114,930 each year.
Google grades content: While Google relies on crawlers to discover and index webpages from across the Internet, it also employs search quality evaluators. They visit and grade websites, often by evaluating their content. A low grade can hurt your website’s ranking in search results, which is why it’s imperative to produce high-quality copy for your site.
Another way I use to write copy is write down headlines from my swipe file on little 3 x 5 cue cards and shuffle them. Then I ask myself 10 questions about who my target market is, like what keeps them up at night? What are their biggest frustrations, what are their biggest fears, what do they secretly desire the most… etc. what makes them tick. And also shuffle that with the headlines.
Get familiar with the content writer pay scale. Many content writers starting out in their careers are not sure how much they should be paid per word. Most publications pay by word, or by hour, with a certain word count expectation. On average, content writers should be paid no less than $0.02 per a word, but may not reach more than $1 a word. Salaried positions are different, as you will be paid a yearly rate for a certain amount of work. It can be difficult to get a salaried position fresh out of graduation or when you're just starting out. Most content writers will start out working per word, or per hour.
As you complete each content writing gig, or as you gain more experience in a permanent position, add each article or piece of writing to an online portfolio. This will then help you network for other writing projects and positions in the future. With enough clips and contacts, you may then be able to freelance and work for yourself as a content writer.
We now live in the digital age but that doesn’t mean we should overlook the power of a well-written document such as a sales letter template. An effective letter can help you convert prospects into clients and customers. If you’re in sales, it would be very beneficial for you to learn the skill of writing a good sales letter sample. Then you can send this to your prospects or post it on your website and let it do its work!
Your marketing plan should go beyond the types of content you'll create -- it should also cover you'll organize your content. With the help of an editorial calendar, you'll be on the right track for publishing a well-balanced and diverse content library on your website. Then, create a social media content calendar so you can promote and manage your content on other sites.
There are several copywriting exercises that you can do at home, in your spare time, that will help you learn the skill of copywriting faster. The reason why the expression, “Practice makes perfect” is said so often, is because it’s true. It’s especially true if you keep practicing the same type of copywriting over and over (for example, practicing writing Facebook ads.)
You’ve asked your reader once. and you hope they're thinking about it. Add a P.S. to your sales letter to light a fire under your customer and get them to act right now. Use a carrot such as throwing in an additional bonus (“If you act right now, you’ll also receive…."), or a stick, such as reminding the customer that quantities are limited or the pricing will only last for a certain period of time (set a date).
The work of our team doesn’t go unnoticed by industry professionals. We’ve won more than 50 awards for our innovative strategies, demonstrating that our team doesn’t settle for “good enough.” Instead, we go the extra mile, delivering customized, performance-driven strategies that achieve your goals — and then some with our SEO copywriting services.
Blog posts. Distill your content marketing strategy into your blog schedule or strategy. The company blog can and should be used to cross-promote other content, which will help keep posts on a consistent schedule. If you don’t have a marketing team member who is familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), this is one area where you might want to consult a professional.
Thanks for this write-up Nev. I know it is old but I just started getting my hands dirty copywriting. I have read your book on copywriting (this book will teach you to write better..) and I have read all the boron letters too. I have done some little (copy) writing (mostly sales page without any intent of them being a great copy, just a necessity I had to go through). I must thank you for all these resources. My writing has gone up by over 1000% doing all the stuff here. I figured out I need to communicate clearly and use conversational style and that is just what your writing style is and what you advocate for (Imagine! this was easy for me to write. Damn!. Normally I will struggle to have my thoughts gathered together for this kind of writing). I am still practising, I have to thank you again. As for the tripple skills threat, I am a web developer (I have an engineering degree (masters), which makes this even a more sweet spot for me). I am able to apply writing clear copies to write clear code (least effort, no convolutions or complicated ideas if not needed). Damn, I enjoyed writing this piece. Feels like I finally get my word(s) across. Thank you and please recommend me how else I can improve.