Entries from February 2011 ↓

How to Enhance Your Blog Content

blogging Blogging has long been known as an effective promotional tool for businesses.

Not only do they allow you to add numerous pages of great content to attract readers, they are also an excellent source of links and potential link bait.

Through your articles you can offer advice, build your repuation as an expert in your field and develop online relationships with your readers who, potentially, may become customers of the future.

On this blog I have looked at the art of blogging from many different angles including articles on:

Get Your Blogging Noticed

Can You Be a Great Blogger?

How To Become a Blogging Expert

The Holy Grail of Blogging

Better Blogging

I was interested to come across a really useful pots in socialmediaexaminer.com called 26 Ways to Enhance Your Blog Content.

The article runs through their 26 top tips related to the craft of blog writing and a number of critical factors that will help to ensure the production of high-quality posts. After all it’s only through the constant generation of interesting, well-written articles that you’ll attract a regular audience for your blog.

Grab a coffee and have a read and see how you can improve your blog content.

How to Set Up Your Writing Workspace

deskThis is a guest post by John Brooks, a writer at Office Kitten where he reviews office furniture, business equipment and stationery online.If you are interested in writing a guest post for Freelance Copywriter’s Blog then please get in touch with your ideas/outlines.

Writing is a job like any other. You have to set up the right work environment in order to start, build, and finish your writing task.

Could a welder weld in an office cubicle? Could an accountant add up a column of figures on the pitching deck of a fishing boat in the middle of an ocean storm? Could a commercial fisherman cast a net in a city street, and expect any fish? Of course not!

A professional copywriter or business writer has to set up the proper work environment for the task of writing. Here’s some tips on what to think about:

1. Pick a Writing Work Area

Pick somewhere where you will be both comfortable and efficient for hours at a time. The place should allow you to concentrate only on your writing, and not get involved in some non-related task. Physically separate your writing life from your family life, and from all other aspects of your life, and you’ll be able to accomplish much more than you realise.

2. Minimise All Distractions

Keep distractions out of your work area. Do not have a television nearby. Keep other people out, which also means you should not pick a work space through which people are continually moving. Have a clear uncluttered space in front of you in which you will do your writing. Limit the number of distracting objects within your line of sight.

3. Set Up the Right Lighting

Your work space should have enough light, whether from external windows or from electric lights, to prevent eyestrain. One good test is to see if you can read the smallest print in a magazine’s table of contents while seated in your work space. If not, you need to add some more lighting. In addition to being functional, good lighting will also improve your mood.

4. Make Your Desk and Chair Ergonomic

Your chair should be adjustable, with a high back and wheels. Both your spine and your weight should feel fully supported by your chair – you do not want to feel as if you’re about to topple over when seated. On your desk, your computer screen should be a bit less than three feet away from your eyes, and slightly below your line of vision – but not so low that you have to dip your head down to read the screen. Organise your desk accessories and your phone according to whether you’re left-handed or right-handed.

5. Organise Your Cabling

This point may seem minor, but, once you organise and label the innumerable cables and wires under your work area (and away from your legs), you’ll appreciate the effort when the time comes to unplug one thing and plug in another. What could turn into a major all-day task then turns in something you can do in a matter of seconds. And an ample supply of time is the best resource a professional writer can have.

6. Optimise the Ambient Sound

Some people think that insulating oneself from all sound is an absolute requirement for creativity. However, a lack of sound can be just as distracting as a jackhammer. Keep some soothing music, or nature sounds, playing while you work – avoid popular music or songs that you’ll sing along with. Some classical music, perhaps Brahms or Chopin, is always a good choice.

7. Organise Your Papers

Even in an endeavour as creative as writing, there’s paper. Keep your working papers organised with folders, your label maker, and colour-coded tabs. Rather than having piles of paper on your desk, invest in a hanging file that you can install on the wall. If there’s not enough storage space there, get a small file cabinet and place it close to your desk so that you can wheel over in your chair, and easily pull out what you want.

8. Keep Your Resources Handy

Keep those books you’re using for research nearby, but not scattered all over your desk – a small open plastic cube is perfect for storing books. Use your wall space as a resource – some writers use a whiteboard or a large piece of paper tacked to the wall to keep track of the larger context in which they’re doing their current task.

9. Check Your Internet Access

Internet access is a must nowadays – make sure you can get to the Internet with your computer from your work space, whether your access is by cable or is wireless.

10. Take a Break

Stop, get up out of your chair, and stretch every so often. Get up and take a short walk, even it’s only across the room to get a cup of coffee from the coffeepot. Take a long look at the view outside the window, or glance at this month’s calendar page of a beautiful landscape. Then settle back into your chair, and get back to work.

How To Use Social Media Effectively

social mediaSocial media can be useful for every part of your business.

It’s not and should not be used solely as a tool for self-promotion. If you do that you’ll be about as popular as a skunk in a broken lift.

In the good old days the only way customers could get in touch with you was by phone or letter. If they were disgruntled they would moan to their friends about your service and products and you’d probably be none the wiser.

But now, they won’t just talk to their friends. Social media has given them an incredibly loud voice so if they’re unhappy about something, it won’t be long before the whole world knows about it.

How to use social media to your advantage

Monitoring social media channels can help practically every part of your business.

People love to talk and if you listen carefully you can learn a lot about their habits, their likes, their dislikes and their needs.

1. Sales

So let’s take a look at how social media can help your sales department.

The ideal time to sell to someone is when they’re ready to buy. But that’s not easy. Say you were a local electrical retailer and were looking to push a new line of washing machines. Monitoring social media channels will help you identify people who are asking advice about which washing machine to buy or those who are moaning because theirs has just broken etc.

By responding, making contact and offering advice puts you in the right place at the right time – when they’re ready to buy.

2. Marketing

Can it help with marketing?

Oh yes. Listening to your target market will give you an idea of whether what you’re saying and what they think are aligned. Do your marketing materials answer the questions they raise? Are you speaking the same language as them?

Many companies have the odd idea that they have to speak in a language all of their own. Their words have to sound impressive and convoluted – they think that’s what their customers will be impressed by.

Wrong. Customers want straight talking. If you’re a window cleaner call yourself that rather than a vision technician.

3. Customer service

As for customer service, that one speaks for itself.  I’ve already mentioned how useful social media is for disgruntled customers so make sure you’re listening. If someone has received bad service, make contact straight away and put it right.

This rapid response shows you as a company that cares about its customers. So you could turn a bad situation to your advantage.

4. Development

You’ve probably got your R&D boffins locked away somewhere trying to come up with ways to improve your products.

But surely it’s your customers you should be listening to?

Social media channels will let you eaves drop on their conversations about what they would really like your products to do. You can even ask them directly to do a bit of customer research.

5. Human resources

Yes, social media can even help your HR department.


Well social media users have profiles showing their skills and experience. You can search for specific talent that your company needs. You can even see what connections they have. Head hunting has never been so easy.

So as you can see, social media can help practically every aspect of your business. These online channels are a direct link between you and your customers so use them.

Sally Ormond – freelance copywriter, blogger and social media addict.

Social Media – Getting Started With Your Brand

social mediaOne of the most vital aspects for any individual or company looking to boost their profile is getting involved with social media. Since starting out as a freelance copywriter I’ve embraced social media channels to ‘get my name out there’, offer advice and drive business my way.

But if you’re a newbie, where so you start?

There is a social media language that many find impenetrable – what do you do? Should you Tweet, Facebook, go with LinkedIn? Once you have set your profiles and accounts up, what then?

Well to help you get started I found this great post on socialmediaexaminer.com on How to Create Your Personal Social Media Brand which features a video interview with Mari Smith, author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day. Mari talks how to create yourself as a brand and how to monetize your personality on social media.

By watching the video you’ll learn how to build your own brand equity with social media plus some amazing tips for both the self-employed and people who work for large companies.

Here are some of the things you’ll learn in this video:

  • Why you need to carve out your position and brand equity
  • How to start branding yourself on social media if you don’t have any brand equity online
  • Why you need to use your name on social media
  • How to brand yourself on your Facebook business page
  • How Mari brands herself and what she does to craft the brand she represents

So grab a coffee and take a look – it’s only takes about 6 minutes.

Can You Afford NOT To Have A Budget For Copywriting?

copywriting budgetWhether you’re starting out and setting up an online presence or looking to create some new marketing materials, your success will be determined by their content.

Is your message engaging? Does it really give the reader what they want? Does is make them say “Wow, I really need that. How do I buy?

Because that’s what it comes down to – the words you use have to attract, convince and convert.

I can do that…can’t I?

As well as working with individuals and companies directly, I also work with a number of graphic and web designers. When talking to them we always end up having the same conversation—they often find it hard trying to convince clients of the need for professional copywriting.


Well their thought process follows this pattern:

I have a limited budget…

I don’t know who to do HTML so I need a web designer…

Design is not in my skill set so I need a graphic designer…

I have no idea where to source great images from so I’ll pay someone else to do that…

Writing? Hey I can write I’ll do that myself.

Big mistake

So what happens next?

Someone in your company gets lumbered with the task of writing your sales copy. Here’s the problem:

  • It is unlikely they have experience in writing sales copy
  • They take ages to write it because they don’t have the time which holds up the whole project
  • The finished copy tends to fall into the category of ‘it’ll do copy’

It is very difficult to write about your own company because you’re too close to it. To write effectively you have to distance yourself from your business and write it from your customers’ point of view. Your readers want to know how your product or service is going to benefit them. So your copy must be written for your customer.

What a copywriter will do for you

When you hire a professional copywriter they will get to know you, your business and your product/service.

They’ll put themselves in your customers’ shoes and create structured copy that addresses their needs, sells the benefits and talks to them directly.

Your website copy will be optimised for the search engines so it will attract targeted traffic. The content will convert those visitors into buying customers. And the copy will tell them what action they need to take to buy your product.

Your brochures will sell not just inform. They will convince the reader your company is the one they should deal with. No longer will they be used as a mat for their coffee cup.

Your case studies will entertain, inform and sell. Your press releases will engage and attract new business. Your email marketing will be opened, read and acted upon.

Does that really sound like a waste of money to you?

Yes we can all write, but creating eye-catching, compelling and powerful sales copy is a difficult skill to master.

So next time you are looking to create a new website or piece of sales copy, don’t try and go it alone. That piece of writing, whatever form it may take, will be the first impression the reader gets of your company – hire a professional and make sure it’s the right impression.

Don’t gamble with your company’s image.