Entries from April 2012 ↓

High Quality Content and the Panda – Part One

Neil Stoneham of Voxtree has kindly agreed to allow me to re-post his blog High Quality Content and the Panda – Part One on Freelance Copywriter’s Blog.

When I was setting up Voxtree early last year, I googled the words ‘copywriting business’ and recoiled at what I saw. Among those offering genuinely useful advice were sites with content so badly written, you wondered how on earth the authors had the cheek to call themselves writers at all. Grammar was appalling, there was nothing resembling a structure and much of the content made no sense whatsoever.

Cut to April 2012 and I google the same words. This time, the vast majority of content is of decent quality – mainly written by copywriters with a track record and, thankfully, a good dose of writing ability.

So, what happened? The Panda happened, that’s what!

Shortly after my initial search, Google initiated the ‘Panda’ update. Without going into too much geek-speak, they changed search algorithms to reward good quality writing that is viewed for a reasonable length of time – and therefore actually read – as well as shared by other users.

In the bad old days, the search-bots would reward quantity over quality and thus saw the birth of content mills – farms of ‘copywriters’ happy to churn out keyword-dense copy for pitifully small amounts of money. It didn’t matter that these documents were hastily written – the main criteria being that the keywords fitted into something vaguely resembling an article. After all, the content wasn’t designed to be read by humans. As long as it wasn’t so stuffed with mumbo jumbo that Google would penalise them, then that was okay.

The good news is that the writing is on the wall (ha!) for this approach to content. There has been a tangible shift in the way that good quality copy is perceived by business people – partly driven by the Panda update but also from the perspective of increased competition in an economy that is putting many companies on the back foot.

It’s also good for those of us who take pride in producing properly researched and well-crafted copy. There’ll probably always be a market for cheap copy – a quick update here and there or frequent blog updates don’t usually tax a good copywriter too much. But hopefully the days of googling for advice on copywriting and having to trawl through reams of rubbish written by some poor hack – no doubt wondering where the next Pot Noodle is coming from – will soon be long gone.

Here is a good blog that goes into some more depth on the issue.

In part two, I’ll be looking at ways you can add high quality content that is relevant AND attracts Brownie Points from Google!

How to Make Sure Your Copywriting Project Runs Smoothly

Working Effectively with Your CopywriterYou’re over worked and under paid – aren’t we all?

Just as you thought you were about to see the bottom of your in-tray for the first time in months, your boss dumps another load of work on you. As he walks away he mutters…

‘Oh, by the way, we need the annual report writing – see to it will you?’


Not only do you NOT have time to write it, you don’t have the necessary skills to write it so you call in the cavalry.

After a quick Google search, you find a copywriter who is:

a) Available

b) More than capable of doing the job

c) Within your budget

So what now?

Too many cooks…

With an annual report (or with any other copywriting project as it happens) there is probably going to be more than one person involved within your company. There may even be cross-departmental involvement.

If that is the case, before you provide your copywriter with a full brief, make sure you know exactly what you want them to do.

If you bring them on board while you’re still thrashing out details the brief will get confused, as will your copywriter.

One point of contact

Once you’ve started working with your writer, make sure they have one point of contact (i.e. you). if they end up on a cc’d email list with ideas flying backwards and forwards they won’t know what needs to be done, what information is relevant to them or who they are supposed to be reporting to.

A single contact name makes life a whole lot easier.

If one of the departments involved suddenly has a brainwave or realises something was missing from the original brief, get them to tell you and then you can relay the information to your copywriter.

Pick up the phone

Even though email is a convenient way to communicate, if you are dealing with complex projects, pick up the phone – it really is better to talk.

You can easily get your ideas or points across, your copywriter can react immediately with any questions they may have and it will speed the whole process up.

First /initial/rough drafts

A first/initial/rough draft, whatever you want to call it, is exactly that.

It may not be perfect, there may be the odd typo, there may be omissions or inaccuracies, but that’s why it is called the first/initial/rough draft, so try to resist the urge to shout ‘you made a typo’ from the roof tops just because you can.

The idea of it is to provide you with a starting point from which to refine and shape the text.

The final draft will be perfect, flawless and divine – if it’s not, then by all means rant and rave because any errors should have been picked up and dealt with.

Is anyone there?

During the project, your copywriter will probably email you questions and draft updates.

When you get these, it’s a nice idea to drop them a quick response either:

  • Telling them information they need
  • Saying you’ll find out and come back to them
  • Letting them know when they can expect to receive your revisions


That way, everyone knows where they stand and what’s happening.

At the end of the day, clear and effective communication is the key to your project running smoothly.

Guidelines to setting up Facebook Businesses with Timeline

Facebook has come up with the biggest change ever made for page owners – the new timeline layout for business pages. The timeline is divided into two parts – the top part is known as the Cover and the remaining part is known as the Heart. The Cover contains your personal information along with your friends, photos and the likes and is based on the concept of a book cover. The Heart of the timeline is similar to a line graph symbolizing important events in your life.

Facebook Business Page before Timeline

Before the invention of timeline, businesses used to create a Facebook Fan Page in order to generate “Likes”. The page owners could upload photos and videos of their products and services for advertising as well as for communicating with prospective customers. The visual aspects of Facebook could not be fully optimized because of the limitations in the form of thumbnails and albums or tagged photos being hidden in the wall.

Business Opportunities with Facebook Timeline

The timeline is a very good visual platform and attracts attention because of the basic human tendency of paying more attention to pictures rather than text.

The concept of Facebook timeline is based on photos and videos. Thus, the earlier practice of posts and blogs, which gave rise to lots of spam, is now being replaced by visual content. Previsously, the news feed used to appear only for a day or two, but the infinite scroll of timeline stays for a longer period of time. Businesses will be able to create an emotional bond with the fans through their timeline by sharing quality content like photos, videos, real time mobile pictures and also by posting regular updates.

What has changed with Timeline?

Default landing tabs have been removed in timeline. The visitors need to go over the content first before viewing the features or the apps meant for fans. Direct messages can be sent to the fans and this feature will enable a business to build a better relationship with their customers.

The tabs have also become wider at 760 pixels. The main highlight is the addition of a cover page image. There is also a new admin panel which has many more tools for doing better social research and also for keeping track of all the timeline activity.

What must not be done with the cover page?

The cover picture must not contain any information about product prices or any promotional discount offers like “50% off” or “Download now”. Avoid putting contact information in the cover image because these details are supposed to be in the “About” Section. There should not be any references to “share” or “like” any feature or content. And most importantly, phrases like “Call us today” or “Click on our Welcome tab” should never be used on a cover page.

The timeline is a major setback for the spamming marketers on Facebook. It presents an exciting opportunity for creative businesses who believe in being more and more interactive with their customers for achieving success. All these changes can be a little deluging for some small companies with little presence in Facebook but they will soon realize that the timeline feature is the future of almost every business.

About the author: Brianne is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology and luxury. Beside this she is fond of gadgets. Recently an article on porsche 959 attracted her attention. These days she is busy in writing an article on honda city diesel.

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.

3 Apps That Will Help Your Copywriting Business

Guest post by Sam Mauzy, a copy writer and blogger and also a contributing writer for QuickSprout, a digital marketing agency.

Many copywriters are traditionalist in their approach to business, choosing to write down ideas and plans with pen and paper first, before transferring them to a digital format by typing them up manually later. However, it’s possible to circumvent what can be a laborious and lengthy process by making use of some of the modern applications and software that have been designed to help creative professionals capture ideas, create compelling copy, and deliver projects in a timely fashion and to a high standard.

1. Evernote

When starting out, many copywriters keep a notebook with them at all times so that they can jot down ideas as soon as inspiration strikes. But this is certainly not the most efficient or effective method of capturing ideas and information, and that is where Evernote comes in. Evernote is the favorite app of copywriters all over the world. Described as ‘the ultimate note-taking app’, it enables you to collect thoughts and ideas when on the move, capture text, images, video and other content from the internet. You can use it to record speech, whether it is your own, or the words of an interviewee or someone giving a seminar or talk. Everything you capture can be tagged for easy sorting and location.

2. Omnifocus

David Allen’s Get Things Done methodology is used by many creative professionals to manage time and tasks with greatest efficiency, and OmniFocus is just one of the apps available that can help you to prioritize your workload and break it down into manageable tasks. Using the projects function, you can organize tasks by their goals and group associated tasks using the ‘contexts’ tool. You can keep track of your tasks by sorting them according to project, location, person or date. Available for Mac, iPhone and iPad, this app uses a simple interface which allows you to access your tasks wherever you are, and synchronizes across your devices using MobileMe or the WebDAV servers. The app will even build your task lists according to your location, using the in – built iPhone GPS, and receive notifications when you are near a location that has tasks available. For everything from planning and organization to reminders and taking notes, this app offers users flexibility and a range of tools to make project management effortless, so you can get on with the work at hand.

3. Mindmeister

Ideas are the driving force behind any good copywriting business, and there are plenty of apps that are designed to help you maximize your creativity and make the most of your ideas. Mindmeister is one of the simplest but most successful creative apps available. The app is connected to the online MindMeister service, which is the web’s no. 1 site for collaborative mind – mapping, boasting more than 1 million users. The MindMeister mobile app can be used anywhere to generate new ideas, organize and prioritize information, and create connections between ideas. Users can create an unlimited number of folders and mind -maps, all of which sync seamlessly with the free online MindMeister account if you choose to use it. Users can share mind-maps directly from their mobile device, and make use of the app’s support for multi-touch functions to zoom in and out, pan, drag and drop. They can also add themes, styles, colors and icons to mind maps to make them visually interesting and stimulating, and to make them meaningful to those they are shared with. For busy creative professionals on the move, losing a great idea can make or break a project, so having this app at your fingertips is a great way to keep all of your inspiration in one place. A powerful internal searching function means that it is easy to find ideas again across multiple mind-maps, and the real-time collaboration enables you to brain-storm with your colleagues and work with them as easily as if you were in the same room.

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.

Getting to Grips with the New Facebook Page Timeline Design

Love it or loathe it, it’s arrived.

The timeline format for Facebook pages has landed – whether you like it or not.

If, like me, you’re still trying to get to grips with it, take a look at this info graphic courtesy of Hubspot

Facebook Page Timeline Design Cheat Sheet

Facebook Page Timeline Design Cheat Sheet

If you need more help, Hubspot also offer a free Step by Step Guide to New Facebook Business Page Timelines, which takes you through the different ways Facebook’s new page features can support your marketing and strengthen your lead generation activties.