Entries from November 2011 ↓

Copywriting – How to Sell Without Being Obvious

Selling without sellingWhen companies write their own copy, they tend to fall at a couple of hurdles when it comes to its effectiveness:

  • It’s full of we
  • It’s a blatant sales pitch

The first point is covered in this very sanitary blog post, so this post will concentrate on the second.

How do you convince your reader to buy something without being blatant about it?

Before I answer that, let’s take a look at the problem itself. When you’re writing about your own business, you’re keen to get across every last detail to your reader.

You want to tell them all about the features (sadly forgetting the crucial benefits) and then you’ll proceed to tell them it’s amazing, brilliant, superb and fantastic in varying font sizes, colours and turns of phrase.

The problem with that is the reader will instantly recognise your sales pitch and if there’s one thing people don’t like, it’s being sold to.

So if you want to get them to buy from you, you’ve got to be a bit more cunning than that.

How to sell without selling

As a copywriter, I use 3 techniques to get around this particular problem. Each one will help you sell your products or services without the reader recognising an in-your-face sales pitch.

Let’s take a look at the first…

1. Storytelling

As kids, we’ve all grown up listening to stories. We naturally warm to them, listen to them and learn from them, which is why it’s such a powerful way to communicate the benefits of your products or services to your readers.

By reading about a situation and how your product helped someone, will sell the benefits to your reader without them realising they’ve just been sold to.

That’s because they have seen how your product/service works within a given scenario and how it benefits the user.

Placing it within a content they can relate to, is a powerful way of selling without obviously selling.

2. Testimonials and case studies

Whether you use a testimonial from a client, or use their story as part of a case study, because it is a real life story, your reader will read it and take more notice of it than anything you write.

After all, the authors of the testimonials have no incentive to lie about your service, so they are seen as trustworthy insights into your business.

Another powerful way to use testimonials is by video. There are a few people who take the view that testimonials can be written by anyone and where’s the proof that the person sighted is the person who wrote it. But if you have a video testimonial, it will tend to blow the sceptics out of the water.

3. Teaching

Does teaching really work?

Of course it does.

Whether you offer a free sample, video ‘how to’, or an offer, these all act as bait to get your reader hooked.

People love something for nothing, and if it means they get to see how great your product or service is first hand, they are more likely to buy from you.

Over to you

Do you use any other techniques to avoid the ‘hard sell’ approach?

Perhaps you’ve had particular success with one of the above. If so, leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.


Why is free email marketing a great place to start for a contractor looking to boost business?


Aidan Hijleh is a freelance copywriter and serves as the Non-Profit Partnership Liaison for Benchmark Email. Aidan advocates free email marketing services to assist with the flourishing of grassroots organizations.

The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of FreelanceCopywritersBlog.com. If you are interested in producing a Guest Post for this blog, please get in touch with your ideas.

A number of industries have moved their business operations to the internet, but some are migrating slower than others. One vertical that is still tethered to offline world is the contracting  industry. In fact, research shows that only a mere 33% of professionals in this industry even have their own website. Although some are surviving just fine with their offline efforts, many others are missing out on opportunities that could potentially take them to the next level. In this article, we will explain why free email marketing is such a great place to start for a contractor looking to emerge online and improve business performance.

Requires No Investment

For many contractors, the one factor standing in the way of creating a presence online is the cost associated with internet marketing ventures. Whether it is social media promotions or paid search advertising campaigns, creating a presence in the internet space can be a costly endeavor. Even email services generally require a budget, despite being cheaper than other methods. The thing with free email marketing is that it requires no budget at all, which makes it a fine choice for cash strapped professionals in all fields. If you are a contractor, a free service will give you the freedom to invest the budget in other crucial areas of the business.

Tools to Accelerate Business Growth

The tools that typically accompany free email marketing solutions can be of great help to a contractor trying to improve business performance. In fact, it is very possible to get your hands on the same features other businesses pay for on a monthly basis. Some of the features you find in a free package may include sign-up boxes to place on your website and build your mailing list, HTML editors and templates for formatting and designing your campaigns, and comprehensive reports for tracking your results. These features and others are ideal for the contractor looking for an effective way to stay in touch with their clients and grow in the process.

A Marketing Solution You Can Count On

Some professionals avoid email marketing like the plague, instantly associating it with the dreaded practice known as spam. They believe that utilizing this technique will alienate clients and ruin their reputation. It is this line of thinking that causes many of them to remain stuck in the loop of mediocrity. Although spam complaints can and do occur, free email marketing can provide you with a highly reliable infrastructure from which to conduct your business. The platform is there to back you up. All that is asked of you is following the best to practices in order to keep the complaints to the bare minimum.

When it comes to free and paid offerings, the free option is usually of substantially lesser quality. As you can see, that is not always the case where email marketing is concerned. In fact, it could be the perfect solution for the savvy contractor looking to gain a competitive edge.


How to Sell Through Social Media

Although many businesses are now using social media as a marketing tool, few of them have worked out how to see a return on their investment.

Let’s face it, if you are going to spend man-hours on using social media as part of your marketing strategy, you’re going to want to see some sort of return for it.

In an earlier post, The Money’s in The Relationship, I showed that your return through social media is measured in relationships rather than cold hard cash.

Taking that a step further, I came across a great post on socialmediaexaminer.com that looks at the 4 steps you need to take to sell with social media.

After all, it is your customers you are interacting with through Facebook and Twitter, so there must be a way to encourage them to buy from you through those platforms.

The post tells use that to improve your ROI your marketing and campaigns must include these essential components:

  • Attraction
  • Retention
  • Conversion
  • Measurement

To read more about how it’s done, follow the link and discover the 4 steps to selling with social media.

 What do you think?

Are you convinced? Can you sell through social media?

Leave a comment and tell us your experiences.

Simple Search Engine Optimisation


fed up with SEO

Are you fed up with unsolicited emails from SEO companies?

Barely a day goes by without at least one of their (often) brightly coloured emails popping into my inbox.

Every single one promises the earth in return for a small fortune.

But surely, if they are as good as they say they are they wouldn’t have to resort to cold emailing every business owner under the sun – would they?

A while back I wrote a post about simple SEO checks anyone can make. So, don’t respond to anyone who contacts you out of the blue, instead, grab a coffee and have a read of these posts. They should give you enough pointers to check the effectiveness of your site yourself (and tell you what to do to improve it).

Here goes – take a look at:

Simple SEO checks any small business can make

SEO copywriting – how it’s done

Page titles and SEO

The importance of off screen SEO

You can do basic SEO yourself – go on, give it a try.

How to Use Keywords in Your Content Marketing

Search engine optimisation copywriting isn’t just for websites.

If you want your content to be found, you have got to use keywords. However, over use of them is common, which is why you’ve probably come across numerous articles during your searches that are incomprehensible.

For many people, the strong desire to be found causes them to cram as many of their keywords into the articles and blog posts as possible. After all, surely the content is just there to build links – it’s not trying to sell like web copy, so it doesn’t matter – does it?

Of course it does.

Any content you put out on the web will reflect on you and your business.

The fact that you want to optimise your text is a given, so here’s how to do it.

The proper use of keywords in content marketing

Below are the 4 areas where you should concentrate your SEO efforts when producing content.

1. Title tags

Whatever phrase you want to rank for, make sure it’s here.

This is the tag that tells the search engines what your page is about, so make sure you tell them. If you‘re using a WordPress based website/blog, make sure you install the All in one SEO pack because it helps you automatically optimise your posts for the search engines.

2. URLs

In the search results, you will see the title tag (that’s the top part, which is underlined), the URL and then the META description.

You might think it unnecessary to optimise your URL, but because the search engines highlight the keywords that were searched for (in the example below I searched for ‘dog training courses UK’), it’s important your URL slug (that’s the part of the URL that identifies a page using human-readable keywords) contains your keywords.

URL slug and search engine optimisation

3. META Descriptions

These have no value when it comes to SEO, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore them.

The META description is the 160 characters of text that appear below the name of the web page in the search results. This is the enticer that is used to attract the click from the user. Therefore, including your keywords within it will help draw them to your post and show its relevance.

4. Content

Of course, you also need to optimise your content. But a word of warning, don’t start thinking keyword density. Because as soon as you do, you will start writing for the search engines and not the reader.

Just write naturally. You will find that because you page is about your keyword, it will naturally appear in your text.

Now, the keen-eyed amongst you have noticed that I haven’t mentioned META keyword tags – and that’s for a very good reason.

They have absolutely no impact on your rankings whatsoever. In fact, back in 2009, Google clearly stated this fact in its webmaster central blog.

So, when you are next creating content, make sure you:

  • Write primarily for your reader
  • Be natural with your keywords
  • Pay close attention to your title tags and URL slugs
  • Write eye-catching META descriptions