Entries from September 2010 ↓

Make A Statement By Business Card

Business cards may seem a strange subject to be talking about on a copywriting and marketing blog. After all, can a copywriter help with the creation of business cards?

Well the answer is yes – in a way they can.

It is not very often that the  humble business card gets to fulfil its potential. Seen by many as a simple means of leaving their contact details with someone, the business card is in fact a mini marketing tool. A fact that is usually overlooked.

Its layout, contents, strapline and use of space is very important in creating something that is eye-catching and memorable. After all, how many times have you been to a networking event only to return home with a fist full of cards that all look the same? Usually they are plain white with a bit of text on showing a name and contact details. They are instantly forgettable and, sadly, so are the people who they belonged to.

If you want to be remembered, make a mark with your business card.

There are two sides to every story

There are also two sides to every business card. So why do so many people forget to use the space on the back of their cards?

Use it to show the services you offer, your USP, even images of your product.
copywriter business card

Above is my business card. As you can see I have used both sides of the card to show not only my contact details but also the services I offer to my clients. That way I avoid the conversation that goes…

“Oh, I didn’t realise you did that as well. If I’d known I would have called you.”

The reverse side of your card can be used for many purposes:

  • List of services (as above)
  • Images of your products
  • Your USP
  • An offer
  • Your picture
  • Testimonials

I’m sure you can probably think of a few more.

Make an impact

As you can see from the above, my business card is fairly plain. But its white background sets off my blue logo and works well.

But business cards don’t have to be white. Utilising colour is another way of generating interest and getting your card (and you) remembered. Whether you go for something soothing and pastle or bold and vibrant, the colours you use can say a lot about your business.

For example, if you are a young and funky design agency, your business card will need to reflect that with bold colours and vivid text or graphics.

The market you are aiming for will be reflected in your colour pallett – heritage colours (burgandy, dark green etc.) for the more serious professions (e.g. Solicitors, Accountants etc.), bright and vibrant colours for ‘cool’ businesses (e.g. Design agencies, IT etc.).  Of course that’s not set in stone, I’m sure there are many trendy accountants out there who would benefit from a bright, eye-catching business card design too.

Don’t be square

People often seem to believe that business cards have to be rectangular. That’s not so.

Just because most cards are that shape (yes, including mine),  doesn’t mean that’s the way they have to be. Stand out from the crowd by using different dimensions or shapes:
business card shapes

Using a shape that is slightly out of the ordinary is a great way to draw attention to yourself. And, when an unusual shape is coupled with a strong colour, the impact is increased.

Interactive cards

What do I mean by interactive? Well, your business card could fold into an card that stands up. Perhaps it can be folded into a box shape. Maybe it has a slit in it to hold something – the pizza restaurant Zizzi is very good at that. Your bill arrives slotted into a business card.

This makes your card stand out from the crowd and gets you noticed.

So you can see there are lots of ways you can use colour, shape and clever functions to get your card and you noticed.

Where does the freelance copywriter come into all of  this?

Well, we may not be designers, but we are very  good at coming up with straplines and succinct ways of putting your marketing message across.

This post was inspired by an entry I found on dailyblogggr.com. Here are the 36 brilliant examples of business card designs they identfied. It’s amazing the impact such a small piece of card can have – they really can be a very powerful tool in  your marketing armoury.

How To Write a Great FAQ Page


If you tried to give your customers every piece of information about your business and processes within the body of your website, you’d end up with something confusing, long and incredibly tedious.

That is why the humble FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page exists.

It is a simple way to communicate simple pieces of information to your reader quickly. Most websites include one these days because:

  • They provide an extra level of support for your customers
  • They save you time by posting answers to questions you are constantly asked therefore reducing email and phone calls
  • They show you care about your customers by providing them with as much assistance as possible

Of course, for it to be a truly effective page you must ensure you include questions that people want to know the answers to. Look back through your email correspondence with customers and pull out all the questions that crop up time and again.

That’s all well and good, but how do you make sure you write a good FAQ page?

Well these 6 pointers will get you started in the right direction.

6 ways to write a winning FAQ page

1. Forget the fuss

The first thing to remember is that your FAQ page is there simply to provide information. It is not one of your main sales pages. So, although its content should still be clear and informative, it is the content that matters so forget images and other distractions. Make sure it is well written and easy to follow and that there’s no ambiguity.

2. Simplicity is key

Providing an FAQ page and then making it difficult to find answers is rather counter-productive. Make it easy for your user by categorising your Q and As. Cluster all questions relating to similar topics together. That way it will make your customers life much easier because they’ll be able to find the information they need quickly.

3. Information overload

The number of questions and answers you have will depend on your business. Some of you may only have half a dozen or so. But for those who are likely to have ten or more questions, gather all the questions together at the top of your page and link each one to their answer. That way your reader can scan down the list of questions, find the one relevant to them, click on the link and be taken to the answer. This will make it much easier to use than if you merely list all Q and As together so they have to scroll down your mammoth list until they find the one they want.

Just bear in  mind though, if you do list your questions and link them to the answers, make sure you provide a ‘return to top’ link at the end of each answer so they can easily return to the top of the page.

4. Start with the easy stuff

Another good way to make sure your list of questions is useful is by placing the simplist and most often asked questions at the top of the list. The more complex questions should then come further down the list.

5. You’re not writing a novel

However tempted you are to write something literary and indepth, keep your answers short and to the point. Now’s not the time to show off your writing skills (in fact, that is something you should never do when writing any type of marketing materials. Your writing should be secondary – it is your marketing message that should be noticed), keep your answers simple, short and to the point.

6. Be available

One thing that really bugs me are websites without any contact details. It is so frustrating especially when the FAQ page doesn’t answer my particular problem. Like many people, if I find a site that makes it virtually impossible to get in touch with the company I’ll hit the back browser and find someone else. My instant reaction is what are they trying to hide? If you are a genuine company why isn’t your address, phone number, email address clearly marked on your website? Make sure you provide a link to your contact page from the FAQ page in case someone has a question that’s not listed.

So as you can see your FAQ page really is important and shouldn’t be thrown together as an after thought. It is your extended online customer service portal providing information that your customers need. By making it easy to find, easy to follow and easy to read, you are adding another layer of customer service. Plus, just think of how many emails and phone calls you won’t have to field because your customers can find the answers to their questions for themselves.

Remember to also keep it updated. It is unlikely you’ll predict every question you’ll ever be asked, so as new questions arise add them to your page. Over time you’ll accumulate a valuable bank of information for your customers.

7 Must-Knows About SEO Content

seo copywriter Yes, I’ve returned to my favourite topic – good old search engine optimisation.

What makes me so qualified to talk about it?

Am I an SEO expert? – No.

But, I am a great SEO Copywriter – what makes me so sure? Well, that could have something to do with my website appearing on the front page of Google for the term copywriter which is incredibly competitive (getting on for 7 million search results) as well as several of my other keywords.

OK, that’s my credentials out the way, so let’s get back to the subject in hand.

Writing content that is search engine friendly involves far more than stringing a bunch of words together which include your keywords. Below are 7 things you have to know about SEO content if yours is going to work:

1. The importance of content

Writing great content shouldn’t just be about rankings. If that is what you hone in on, you’ll end up writing drivel. Your content has to be interesting and relevant because not only do you want it to rank well in the search results, you also want other people to link to your site and share its information.  And we’re not just talking about web copy here, it’s also things like articles and blog posts too. These back links are very important to your SEO strategy so attracting them is vital.

Obviously when writing your content you will have to include your keywords, but do it in a natural way. Don’t cram your copy with  them or have them so concentrated it makes it impossible to read. Read your copy out loud, if you find you’re falling over yourself because you have so many keywords, cut them back or re-write it so they are more naturally spaced. Readability is everything.

2. Attention grabbing

Headlines are a great way to grab your readers attention. You obviously want them to be relevant to your copy, but don’t just write decriptive headlines. Think of yourself as a journalist. How would they create a sensational headline to make your reader want to learn more? Try to come up with something that will really capture their imagination and, of course, make sure your primary keyword is in there too.

3. Bionic bio

When you write articles, blog posts or directory submissions, you will be asked for a biography. Again make this as interesting as you can and make sure your keyword is in there.


META descriptions are often overlooked. They never seem to be thought of as important. But they are. If you are unsure what a META description is, it’s basically 150 characters that are used to describe your content. Include your keywords so your reader can instantly see whether your content is going to be relevant to them or not. Although this may not necessarily directly contribute to your SEO, it will help direct readers to your website.

5. Layout

Just as you would take time to make sure your business letters are laid out correctly, spend the same amount of time ensuring your web copy, articles and blogs are laid out effectively. Lots of white space make them more appealing to the eye and easier to read. Headings and sub headings should be used to attract attention and direct readers through your text. When you use headings, make sure you use the correct tags and in a hierarchical order. H1 tags are your main headings; your sub headings should be H2 etc. And of course, always use your keywords where possible within the headings.

6. Be original

Coming up with continuous and original copy isn’t easy and the temptation to recycle is great. But don’t – unless you want to fall foul of Google’s duplicate content trap, make sure all your content is original. That’s not just your web copy, articles and blog posts, but also directory submissions, biographies and profiles. It is a lot of work but well worth it.

7. Pretty pictures

Finally I want to look at pictures. Images are always a great way to enhance your copy. But make sure the images are relevant to your content and that you have the right to use them. Many people over look the SEO potential of images. The ALT tag is very important as it gives you another opportunity to include your keyword within your site. But make sure the description you use is relevant to the image.

Why do you need to know this?

Many people believe SEO is all down to keywords and content. In part it is, but your SEO strategy should encompass so much more. You have to think about readability, links, images as well as the navigability of your website (for humans and search engine spiders).

Too many companies are still spending thousands on websites without giving a thought to its content. Yes a well designed site is important, but it is the words within it that will do the hard work for your rankings, attract traffic and convert those visitors into paying customers.

If you think SEO copywriting is an expense you can do without, you may as well think customers are an unnecessary annoyance. Investing in well written SEO copywriting is vital for the success of your online marketing.

It won’t be cheap but it will make a huge difference to your bottom line.

Sally Ormond is an international SEO Copywriter. She has worked with numerous companies (SMEs to Blue Chip Companies) from a broad range of industries to create eye-catching SEO website copy that attracts a targeted audience and converts them to buying customers. Find out how you can benefit from her experience by getting in touch today.