How to Explain Conversational Writing to a Clueless Client

Figuring out what a client wants their content to sound like isn’t always easy. This is especially true when clients don’t know what they want or worse, don’t know how to explain their vision and rely on buzzwords or terms that they’ve heard, but don’t fully understand.
One of the most commonly used and misunderstood directions that clients rely on is, “make it sound conversational.”
Because clients know the phrase but don’t always know what it means, it can lead to a first [...]

Time to get some perspective

Do you remember those Magic Eye pictures? They were all the rage in the 1990s. (There was even an appearance in a Seinfeld episode … but, I digress.)
The point of these pictures was to stare at it until you saw the hidden 3-D image within the picture. Some people saw the image right away, others took some time, and some people never saw the picture (although they claimed they did).
Those pictures used to drive me crazy because I was never [...]

Should Content Always Be Free?

I’m going to suggest something radical.
You know that content you’re creating? Your blog posts, white papers and other assets you use for SEO and lead generation?
What if you sold that information rather than giving it away for free?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Back in the “early days” of the web, we didn’t have blogs or Twitter (ah, the wonderful days when we didn’t worry about social media.) Yes, we talked about the importance of “fresh” content and recommended [...]

SEO Copywriting Top 10: April 23 to 29, 2014

OK, fellow web writers. We’re switching up the roundup again.
Instead of giving you all of the awesome posts we could find on writing, SEO, content marketing, freelancing and social media, we’re selecting the 10 most relevant posts for you.
You have enough to do as it is. Now, you don’t have to sift through countless articles to find the most helpful few that you have time to read.
We’re helping you fight the overwhelm monster. (Be sure to take a look at [...]

21 Ways a Copywriter Can Help a Small Business

Writing: A Subtle Fear of Small Business Owners
If you ask a small business owner to give a presentation in public, you can see beads of perspiration forming almost immediately. That is, if your attention isn’t drawn to their knees knocking or their leg imitating a piston right where they sit.
While public speaking is a known and easy-to-admit fear of many, writing is a more subtle fear. Accepting the task is easy, but when it comes to stringing words together, many business [...]

FREE is powerful, but dangerous

“Free” is a very effective power word. It grabs your reader’s attention and may even convince him to take that next conversion step.
However, if you use “free” incorrectly, it could cost you.
Does “free” remove value?
I recently witnessed the following scene.
A 15-year-old boy uses color ink to print the informational page for a PC that he wants to buy (Let’s not kid ourselves – that he wants his mother to buy). The printed description has a picture of the computer, so [...]

SEO and content writing tips: Week ending April 22, 2014

This week, check out the SEO audit information under our “SEO for beginners” section, so you know how to check your site for proper optimization techniques, what needs to be implemented or changed, and how it’s done.
For the advanced SEO crowd, you’ll find new Schema.org actions, a deeper dive into Google+ SEO and how to steal competitor links!
Hop to it, crew, and get crankin’ on that SEO and writing goodness!
Search engine news
Dave Neal writes Will Google Reward Secure Websites With [...]

Experts share top tips for freelance writing success

Are you starting a new freelance writing business or trying to get ahead with your current one?
We’ve rounded up some experts to answer: What’s your top tip for running a successful freelance writing business?
Enjoy and happy freelancing!
Demian Farnworth, The CopyBot:
Avoid isolation. Arrange to get out of the house two or three times a week to work. Do lunch at least once a week. Video skype or Hangout at least with one person a day.
Miranda Miller:
Networking and professional development are incredibly important, [...]

Another year older: Give your content a birthday

It is official: I’m now two 21-year-olds! (That sounds so much better than 42.)
This past year has definitely brought many changes in my life. (Check out my Not another thankful post to see what I mean.) It is safe to say that I am not in the same place in my life that I was a year ago.
Although things may not have changed as radically for you as they have for me – I bet you have experienced some change [...]

The lazy person’s guide to writing great copy – fast!

Would you rather be hiking a wooded trail rather than writing your latest blog post?
Or taking a quick catnap on the couch?
Or catching up with friends?
You can. You just need to learn how to write content the lazy way.
“Lazy” doesn’t mean that you write poor-quality content. Or you don’t write at all. It means training your writing brain to write top-notch content, faster.
Writing more efficiently has some pretty cool benefits. If you freelance, this means more money in your pocket. [...]