Interview with SEO Copywriting Certification Grad, Jacqueline Morrison
Jacqueline is a web author from Glasgow. Her first business failed and that’s how she got into SEO Copywriting. But let’s back up a little and start at the beginning, on Christmas Day 2005 to be precise.
At 5.30pm on said day Jacqueline became a first time mum to a baby girl and not content with being a new mum, she decided to start a new business as well. Full of enthusiasm, she set out and promptly made every mistake in the book, listened to all the wrong people and spent her money on all the wrong stuff.
Jacqueline had decided to a start an internet business, she had a domain name, she had a website and all she had to do was sit back and wait for the traffic and sales to come. What Jacqueline didn’t realise (and I’m guessing she’s not the only one) is that ‘have website’ does not necessarily mean ‘have traffic’.
By the time she had spent a lot of money on the wrong things there was little left to spend on a website and even less to market it. In fact marketing the website was a whole new concept to Jacqueline, who was still labouring under the illusion of ‘have website, make money’. At this point Jacqueline attended a presentation on SEO at a local business club and was so overwhelmed by the amount of work to be done that she went home, ate a whole packet of posh chocolate biscuits and didn’t go back.
But after a few more months of no traffic and no sales, she did go back, again and again and again. She bought books on search engine optimisation and enlisted the help of Brian Mathers, one of the UK’s top internet marketers with a passion for helping the small business community. With Brian’s help, Jacqueline persevered until the ‘SEO stuff’ made sense.
By day she was a full time mum (baby number two had also arrived) trying to run a business, and by night was going to college to learn how to really work this website that was supposed to bring financial freedom.
Skip forward a year or two: the original business was still haemorrhaging money. The cost of manufacturing was simply too high and the product not profitable. With the help of Mr. Mathers, Jacqueline had learned the skills associated with search engine optimisation while trying to run a small business and decided to offer those same skills back to the small business community. Based on her own experiences, Jacqueline can truly empathise with other small business owners struggling with the same internet marketing issues. The decision was taken to let the original business go and the idea of Miss Morrison was born.
What attracted you to SEO Copywriting?
It was the copywriting side of things. I have a SEO background but I hadn’t ever touched on the copywriting side of things and I felt that this was an area where I could expand my skills and offer more of a niche service.
What SEO copywriting projects are you working on now?
Quite an interesting mix! I’m working with a local hotel on their Scottish castles wedding package and I support some local financial services firms. Most recently I finished a site for a private investigator, which was a tough assignment indeed. The client was very much like the work that he does – secretive! Not one iota of information did he want to give away and it was hard to deliver copy that he was comfortable with but also contained enough information to move his potential customers to action.
I’m also working on another project called The Engine Driver that is close to my heart. The aim of the site is to teach small business owners about internet marketing but in a way that they understand. My SEO journey began because I was struggling with my own small business and I couldn’t afford for anyone else to help me and those experiences are still fresh (and painful) enough to allow me to connect with other business owners and deliver info in a way that is ‘hands on’ useful to them without baffling them with science.
What do you find most challenging/interesting about SEO copywriting?
Sitting down to do the actual writing. Even when all my keyphrase research and other preparations are complete, I can easily work my way through umpteen cups of tea and every secret biscuit and sweetie stash in the house before being able to sit at my desk and just write.
What have you found to be the biggest “take-aways” from the SEO copywriting certification program?
Heather’s approach to page titles and meta descriptions has brought about the biggest change in my writing style. Although the meta descriptions have no influence on SEO I now have a much greater appreciation of their click through or conversion value. Heather also suggested that if you wouldn’t submit your web copy to a magazine then maybe it shouldn’t be on your website either, and I think that is a fantastic way of encouraging the writer to step back and ask, who is the focus here – the reader or a search engine?
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Well, I go from one extreme to another. If I’m not out running or at body combat, step, or yoga class I am quite partial to a cup of tea on the couch with a wee cake and a book. However with two small children in the house the chances of actually getting to eat my cake or read a book in peace are quite slim.
Any words for those considering enrolling in the SEO Copywriting Certification program?
Go for it, it is money well spent. If you are new to SEO I believe Heather’s instruction teaches you what you need to know in a non- techno babble way, and if (like me) you have a thorough grounding in SEO, the copywriting techniques will improve your writing by focusing your attention on the reader rather than the search engines.