Do you feel like a fraud?

When people ask “What do you do,” do you find yourself making excuses?
“Well, I’m a writer…but I haven’t written anything that you’ve read.”
“I own a small business. ::quickly changing the topic:: What do you do?”
“I have a newsletter that I send out to a small list” (when your subscriber base is in the thousands.)
Chances are, you envy those folks who can “pull off” a fantastic, 30-second elevator pitch. You’ve tried to create your own so you can clearly explain what [...]

How to charge for freelance copywriting services

Probably the most common question that freelance copywriters ask me is “How much should I charge?”
I know what these folks are really asking. They want me to gaze into a crystal ball and reply, “You should charge $X per page. If you charge that rate, clients will love you and you’ll make lots of money. Now go forth and write.”
If it was only that simple.
Pricing for copywriting services will always be a challenge. When you’re just starting out, you don’t [...]

Are you suffering behind the scenes?

Have you ever said, “If I have to write one more post about (something you’ve been writing about a lot) I’m going to go completely insane?”
Yeah, me too.
Once upon a time, it felt like I wrote copy for every cosmetic dentist in North America. At the drop of a hat, I could talk about veneers, teeth whitening and “laser gum surgery.”  Yeah, I was great fun at cocktail parties.
I was also bored too. So very, very bored.
I’ve seen this happen [...]

Balancing SEO and copywriting best practices: a true story

I was working with one of my social SEO clients on their blog. My SEO company, Brick Marketing, was responsible for writing two blog posts each week, which we would then promote through the client’s various social networks as they went live.
We were specifically instructed to make sure the blog posts were “SEO friendly” and would do well in the search engines. However, before we even scheduled the blog posts I would send the new posts over to my client [...]

Don’t assume your clients need you

You’ve most likely heard the saying, “Don’t assume because it makes an ass out of you and me.” When it comes to your business, assuming certain things can mostly just make an ass out of you … and send your clients elsewhere.
Tis the season
The holiday season is often a busy time for many product-based businesses. Even in this down economy, people still spend a bit extra on their Christmas and Hanukkah shopping – a bonus for retailers.
Many service providers see [...]

How to land more clients with a killer proposal

Sometimes I look back on my career as a copywriter and content marketer… and I wonder how I even managed to feed my family and keep the bills paid in those early days.  It’s a wonder I didn’t run off every single prospective client with the poor quality of my “proposals.”
During the first year or so of chasing clients, every proposal I sent was typed up in an email in a direct response to a query for business.  I probably [...]

Sell more stuff using the principle of scarcity

Are you looking for a way to prompt your prospects to “buy now?”
Maybe you should make your product or service less available.
In today’s “I can get anything I want anytime I want it world,” an approach like that seems counter-intuitive. Yet, the psychological principle of scarcity is alive and well online – and many top retailers are making lots of money from it every single day.
What’s the principle of scarcity? According to Robert Cialindi, author of Influence: Science and Practice, [...]

Your client is wrong. Now what?

Sometimes, it’s not so fun to be right.
Recently, Search Engine Watch ran a great post called, “How to Help SEO Customers Who Aren’t Always Right”.  If you’ve been working as an SEO consultant or SEO copywriter, you’ve come across this issue. Your client insists that you should do things one way. You know that it’s not a good idea. And suddenly, you’re faced with a dilemma – how can you burst your client’s SEO bubble and still keep the gig?
I’ve [...]

Target your web copy with an ideal customer profile

There’s something at the center of every great web copy page. It’s not keyword selection or the call to action, although those are both important factors. It’s the customer. Understanding the customer is at the heart of good copywriting – but to make truly great SEO copywriting you need to go one step further and create an ideal client profile.
In an Ideal World, Who Are You Doing Business With?
When you create an ideal customer profile, you’re basically answering this question. [...]

31 questions to ask your new copywriting client

Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to ask a lot of questions….
Why? Because that’s how I learn. Whether I’m chatting with a new friend or a new client, I ask a bunch of questions. Then, I shut up and let them answer (yes, I know, this is more easily said that done sometimes!)
When you’re working with a new copywriting client, asking lots of question is the key to success. Sure, that means that you’ll be spending an hour [...]