He is the co-founder of NP Digital and Subscribers. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
While the goal on social media sites like Instagram or Snapchat is to connect more intimately with your audience, your goal on platforms like Facebook and Twitter is to expand that audience, drive traffic toward your website, and start conversations in your industry. Do some basic market research to discover which platforms your buyers are on, and mold your content to their expectations.
Email lists are marketer's most treasured assets -- and they're a smart way to drive traffic, conversions, and re-conversions on your content. Invest in growing your blog email subscription list for an incredibly valuable distribution arm alongside your sales lists. You can do this, for example, via lead flows that politely ask readers if they'd like to subscribe as they're reading through certain articles on your website.
Name recognition is important. Social media puts everything you need within your grasp. Build your audience, meet publishers and talk to industry experts. When your writing is published, the fun has only just begun. The more active you are on social media, the more likely your followers will be to recommend your content. Successful content writers are active, public and friendly.
When tax season rolls around and people are Googling answers to their tax preparation questions, they stumble upon your blog posts, and realize you offer tax preparation services. Some of them keep doing their own tax preparation, but perhaps keep you in mind for next year; others throw their hands up in the air, decide to rid themselves of tax preparation headaches for good, and hire you -- because you're clearly way more qualified to do this than they are.
The introductory paragraph of the letter should start with a sentence that grabs the attention of the reader. Then go ahead to thank the reader for the interest that he/she has shown in the product that you are selling, or the services that your organization provides, and convey the benefits and incentives that a client or consumer of the company will be eligible for.
The headline of the sales letter needs to get the reader’s attention. Its job is to make them want to know more (and actually read the rest). The secret? Be sure the headline makes a specific promise that relates to your prospects’ needs or interests. If, for instance, you offer domestic cleaning services, don’t use a headline such as “Want Cleaning Services?” in your letter. Instead use something such as, “Your Whole House Sparkling Clean—We Do It for You so You Don’t Have To!”
The personal finance site Mint.com used content marketing, specifically their personal finance blog MintLife, to build an audience for a product they planned to sell. According to entrepreneur Sachin Rekhi, Mint.com concentrated on building the audience for MintLife "independent of the eventual Mint.com product." Content on the blog included how-to guides on paying for college, saving for a house, and getting out of debt. Other popular content included in-depth interviews and a series of financial disasters called "Trainwreck Tuesdays." The popularity of the site surged as did demand for the product. "Mint grew quickly enough to sell to Intuit for $170 million after three years in business. By 2013, the tool reached 10 million users, many of whom trusted Mint to handle their sensitive banking information because of the blog’s smart, helpful content."
For Panasonic, we needed a reliable long-term resource. We love working with MarketSmiths - they've exceeded our expectations, are easy to work with, and have been a great partner on our engagement with Panasonic. They produce consistently high-quality content that is well-written and hits on the key messages we're looking for. We trust them and value their opinions and suggestions.
I’ve been reading your articles for the past year, and it really has changed the way I approach copy, especially when crafting emails. I, too, have a swipe folder (bwuahahaha), and after reading this article, I consider myself a triple threat (copywriter with 2 years working in a marketing department… ex-medical assistant, barista, and IT person). Either way, I’m always reading, sharing, and generally enjoying your blog. Well played, sir!
Finally!!! [sighs with relief]. Some good stuff!!! I surf the net, comb seminars and search every paper or journal to find some damn good reads on copy-writing. Guess what Neville, I think I like the fact that I have tried some of these tips before reading your article and for the first time, I could actually say I found tips that resonate with some deep copy-writing truths. From the bottom of my heart, TENK U for sharing.
But one thing I feel is share worthy is when I went for the meeting, I did the “briefcase method”. Basically did my homework and prep before the meeting, added value and suggestions on how to boost his business and highlighted how I helped my own business make money before. (I was selling gold and silver investing advice in 2010 before the great crash.)
We know this is a lot of information, but the work has just begun. It takes time, organization, and creativity to grow a successful content marketing strategy. From building the foundation of your content marketing plan to adding tools to better manage your content, setting up your strategy for the new year won't be a hassle if you follow the steps and explore the resources here.
There are as many types of content marketing as there are types of content--far too many to cover here. My intent is to give you an introduction to content marketing and get you thinking like a content marketer so you’ll see the opportunities all around you. Soon you’ll be coming up with 50 content marketing ideas every day. You won’t be able to stop seeing opportunities to create content. Here are five examples to help your mind start percolating.
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.
Search engines love content: While your company can optimize your existing content for search, it’s not enough for Google, Bing, and other search engines. Today, they want to provide users with the best content possible, which means your website could fail to rank on the first page of search results if it doesn’t provide users with helpful, informative content. That’s where our team can help.
The key word here is “valuable.” It’s what changes this definition from one that could describe almost any form of advertising or marketing. You can tell if a piece of content is the sort that could be part of a content marketing campaign if people seek it out, if people want to consume it, rather than avoiding it. So was VW’s 2014 “Game Day” commercial, which has been viewed on YouTube almost 18 million times as of the writing of this post, an ad, or content marketing? The answer is it’s both, depending on how it’s received by each individual who is exposed to it. The same will apply to any piece of content marketing you create, depending on whether the recipient received value from it or not. Of course the goal is to provide as much value from your content marketing to as much of your target audience as possible. At this point, despite this definition and explanation, you’re probably still wondering what exactly content marketing is. We can get more clarity by considering a few examples.
Great post !! I only recently found your Kopywriting Kourse, purchased and was able to implement a great number of improvements that evening. Thank you! I also used the website “editor” to rewrite ad’s and stories to compare to the original…what a great tool! (and a great way to “wind up my smart ass friends” when I send a screen copy of f’d up stories on them…) I told them i found a way to “hack” their web based articles….I guess I should tell them today I was just messin’ with them……or maybe let it ride over the weekend….
Add value. That’s the secret. It’s not really a secret at all. We've already talked about it throughout this piece. Although when you look at some of the marketing companies engage in you wonder if they’re purposely avoiding the obvious. We skip advertising when it provides little to no value. If you want to learn about advertising that doesn’t get skipped, find a skateboarder and ask him if you can watch him look through a skateboard magazine. You’ll see that he spends as much time looking at the ads as he does looking at the articles and photos. Or check out The Berrics website. Much of the content is advertisements, but skaters don’t skip these videos, they watch them just like they watch the other videos, because they’re getting the value they want--good skating. As a skater I’d like to say skateboard companies pioneered content marketing decades ago, but I know they were only doing what came naturally, and selling more product was secondary to the fun of creating videos and magazines. If you want to hire someone onto your marketing team who understands content marketing intuitively, hiring a skateboarder might not be a bad step.
Sales letters serve an important purpose of increasing the customer base of your company. They are an important constituent of any form of business writing. Most people tend to find it a cumbersome task because it can be difficult trying to praise a product without sounding like a braggart. It is actually not that tough if you can objectively list out the benefits of the product you are offering, and the gains that the client will garner. In order to do so, it is always better to take a look at examples that will prove to be a guideline for you.
Load that baby up into your “Canned Responses” and send it out whenever you need. Oh, and those blue [purchase] links are just links to PayPal buttons. Don’t get distracted with being over-fancy with shopping carts and merchant accounts and all that jazz. Wait until you’re a baller copywriter bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars before fiddling with that.
A cool way to increase your value and income as a copy writer is to learn another language. In an economy that is both global and digital, companies need writers who can write copy fluently in different languages for web & landing pages, blogs, emails, white papers, video scripts, etc… I’m finally buckling down and learning Spanish and hope to market goods and services to businesses in Spanish speaking countries (and maybe realize my dream of retiring and living in Spain someday soon).
With a marketing team size of around 18, your content marketing team will be staffed with all the same roles -- bloggers, long-form content creators, SEO specialists, designers -- just multiplied. Aim to have three bloggers on staff, and two employees for each of the other roles. It's wise to have one of those bloggers have expertise in editing, too, so there's someone dedicated to maintaining content quality as output increases.
Each time you refresh the login page, you see a different, equally clever example email belonging to a fictional character, like Ender from Ender's Game and Dana Scully from The X-Files -- a great example of nostalgia marketing. This is a small detail, but nonetheless a reminder that there are real humans behind the website and product's design. Delightful microcopy like this kinda feels like I just shared a private joke with someone at the company.
Simply master short form copy before you learn long form copy. Long form copy could be a 5-page landing page, or writing the script for a long webinar, or crafting a lengthy direct-mail piece. It often takes years to hone in on your craft and learn how to write really great long form copy. That’s why it’s best to start by learning short form copy, especially when you’re first starting out.
Since then I’ve been trying to recapture the same flame I had going on Elance on the Upwork platform. I’m honestly just frustrated with platforms such as these. I’m an experienced Copywriter, with a Journalism degree. I want to make this a career. I know that I have services that many can benefit from. All of your advice is what Ive been searching for. It’s extremely difficult to to find resources on how to carve out a writing career. You genuinely want to help others, and I thank you. I’m going to put everything I’ve just learned from you to work today!
Low pay. Most content writing positions do not pay well, especially entry level writing positions. Small newspapers or publications are often good places to start in terms of gaining experience and contacts. But often, the compensation will be $10-$12 an hour. The average salary for content writers in the United States is $40,000 a year. Higher paying positions in the content writing field include project managers, online researchers, and proposal writers. However, you will need higher levels of experience to qualify for these positions.
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.
It’s that, for most of us, the idea of selling something is already unnerving. Who wants to come across as a slimy salesperson? Plus, with writing, there’s a delay between copy being created and the other person reading it. You’re vulnerable without the luxury of self-correcting based on that person’s body language. You have to release your words into the ether and hope that someone receives it and acts upon it.
The reason is that each form of writing has its own style. News is delivered AP style, in short, informational paragraphs with the meat of the story at the top. Blogging is personable, friendly and often opinionated. Ad copy is short and persuasive. White papers are long; they describe a problem and provide the solution. But, regardless, each and every category is content, and each style writers master makes them more valuable and in demand.
Great post! In case it hasn’t been pointed out though, AdWords headlines are limited to 25 characters, so your example rewrites wouldn’t fit. This is a really great exercise to do with a character counting tool – fitting everything into so few characters is a real challenge, especially when you sometimes have to include specific keywords that are super long. An added level of complexity are the two 35 character long description lines. If the first line ends in a “.” or “?”, it can be added to the end of the title after a dash (provided the ad isn’t on the sidebar where horizontal space is limited). The second line on the other hand can be dropped entirely on mobile, so anything crucial has to be headline or description 1. A real copy puzzle!
Lack of creative license. Though you may think content writing will give you a chance to showcase your creativity and rousing ability with words, in fact, most content writing is seen as a way to sell a product or simply inform a reader of the facts. In a content writer role, you will likely be writing about dry or dull topics, though you may get a chance to also write copy for more engaging projects on occasion. Your employer will dictate the topics you write about, and you will need to learn to be flexible and engaged on even the most obscure or boring subjects, regardless of your personal preference.
Hey Nev! Awesome post. It’s very informative for someone new (like me) to copywriting. This post couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I like your tips and I’d like to give you one that is working well for me. Just write. Every day I have been creating the habit of writing daily. Just having a daily goal with a super-simple task to complete helps tremendously. I think Stephen King recommends daily writing practice, too. It’s working well for me as I increase my skills and learn new things. And that’s my 100 words for the day!
To have the best chance of being read, your letter should be open and airy-looking with short paragraphs--including some that are one sentence or even one word long. (A one-word paragraph? Here's how: Write something like "I have one word for suppliers who say they can't offer you a one-year guarantee." Follow that with a one-word paragraph such as "Baloney!" or any similar word you want to use. It is a real attention-getter.