catchy titles for articles

What’s Wrong with Your Headline? 8 Catchy Headline Titles for Your Articles

Content creation isn’t for the faint of heart. From creating catchy titles for articles to researching and including interesting facts to back your claims up – it can be tedious.

In fact, one of the most common problems most novice content creators often find themselves dealing with is low engagement rates.

Here’s the thing…

You can have the most outstanding content ever, yet, if you don’t have a catchy title for your article, one that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them beg for more, your amazing content won’t get noticed.

Why? 80% of readers will take the time to read your headline. However, only 20% of those individuals are going to move on to the body of your content.

Yes, content is vital to engagement. Unfortunately, that content isn’t the first thing your readers are going to see.

Much like an email, your online content is prefaced with a headline of some sort. This headline is the very first impression your readers are going to get from you. If your headline doesn’t stop them in their tracks, then they aren’t going to read through the rest of the content.

Why should they?

The moral of the story: First impressions are crucial!

To create a first impression that matters, you need to know how to craft a successful headline.

Content creation isn't for the faint of heart. 💔 Without a catchy title to top off your outstanding content, it won't get noticed nearly as quickly OR as much. Learn how to do it from an expert copywriter at EW, Cassie B. 📝 Click To Tweet

8 catchy headline titles for articles

Capturing the Reader’s Attention: The 4 Primary Functions of a Successful Catchy Title or Article Headline

In his book, The Copywriter’s Handbook, Robert Bly outlines just how critical a properly formatted headline is to any piece of content. He states that your headline is the “first impression” readers get, and it can mean the difference between success or failure:

“If the first impression is boring or irrelevant, the ad will not attract your prospect. If it offers news or helpful information or promises a reward for reading the ad, the first impression will win the reader’s attention.” – Robert Bly, The Copywriter’s Handbook, 4th Edition

Before you can start creating catchy titles for articles, blogs, and other content, its essential that you understand the primary functions of a successful headline. Here at Express Writers, our content specialists are carefully trained in creating not only eye-catching headlines but headlines that perform.

We understand that there are four primary functions of a successful headline. I’ve gone ahead and outlined them for you below.

1. Select Your Audience

As a content writer, you already understand just how important it is to know your target audience. Julia McCoy, the founder of our agency, talks at length in her book, Practical Content Strategy & Marketing, about how creating content that nets any ROI requires the writer to not only identify, but understand who their audience is:

“Sure, you could start writing and creating content any time, but without an understanding of whom you’re creating it for, your visitors may not connect with any of it.” – Julia McCoy, Practical Content Strategy & Marketing

Bly also discusses this in The Copywriter’s Handbook. He goes on to say that a successful headline will cater to the needs of a specific audience member, and this is because it’s meant to drive action. If crafted correctly, your headline could be responsible for not only driving engagement to your piece of content, but also for converting a reader into a new prospective lead.

Take the following ComEd ad:

ad headline example

Source: ComEd

In the time of COVID-19, ComEd understands that many of their audience members are currently experiencing financial difficulties. So, instead of simply headlining their ad with “New Bill Options,” they target the members of their audience who are genuinely struggling by including the term “Assistance” in their headline as well.

2. Capture the Reader’s Attention

Once you’ve defined your audience, you’ll be able to start formulating a headline that captures their attention. To do this, you have to go beyond the “norm” and not be afraid to push the envelope a bit. Of course, I’ll never advocate for creating clickbait headlines, but that doesn’t mean you have to have dreary headlines that only state the facts.

The best way to get your reader’s attention is by appealing to their self-interest or by introducing a hot piece of news.

Here is a good example that got me to stop scrolling through my Facebook feed recently:

facebook ad headline example

Source: Facebook/Marketo

As a professional content creator, something I research quite a bit is ways to increase my follower engagement, and since I publish a lot of my own personal content on my social media pages, the fact that this ad highlights “Social Media” and maximizing follower engagement – I was instantly drawn in. This is an excellent example of a brand fulfilling my self-interest because it’s telling me they can help me accomplish something I’m currently working to improve on.

Here’s a fun fact worth knowing: 76% of consumers expect a company to understand what it is they need.

So, make sure you are addressing those needs in your headlines to convey to readers you can deliver what they want and/or are looking for.

3. Deliver a Complete Message to Your Audience

Let’s take another look at that Facebook ad from Marketo. They for sure were able to get me to stop scrolling by using keywords that caught my attention, however, for it to be a compelling headline, it has to deliver a full message, too.

While the copy in the ad was effective enough to get me to stop in my tracks, it was their message that got me curious.

“Develop a Social Media Calendar”

It’s short, it’s sweet, and it tells me exactly what I need to do to improve my follower engagement. In fact, this message is so effective, it stops my eyes from wandering and fulfills the final function of a successful headline.

4. Entice Your Reader into Reading Further

This headline is direct enough to tell me exactly what I need to do, yet it also has me wondering how to move forward. The headline is intriguing enough that I’m going to read its subheading, and I’m even compelled to click the ad to learn more.

Marketo did a wonderful job of fulfilling all four functions of a successful headline. However, no two headlines will ever be the same. That means this same approach may not work for a brand that, for example, provides email marketing services.

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That said, it’s time to dive into the best formulas for creating catchy titles for your articles.

8 Catchy Headline Title Types for Your Next Article

Headlines are often put off to the end of the content creation process simply because so much more work goes into the meat of the actual piece of content. This leads to haphazard headlines that are created just to entice a click – A.K.A. clickbait titles.

There are right and wrong ways to go about creating a headline that earns not only click-throughs, but also increased engagement from your audience.

Julia talks more in-depth on the subject in her YouTube lesson on how to ditch the “annoying clickbait headlines” in favor of quality content:

Here at Express Writers, our staff is taught to use the eight headline title types that are outlined in Robert Bly’s book, The Copywriter’s Handbook. We believe so firmly in these title types that we want to pass the knowledge on to you.

So, get your pen and paper out and start jotting down notes on these eight headline title types that are guaranteed to help you increase reader engagement.

8 catchy headline title types

The top 8 catchy headline types are formulas you can mine over and over for great engagement. Learn all about direct & indirect headlines, news headlines, how-to headlines, + more with examples ✍🆒 Click To Tweet

1. Direct Headlines

We live in a TLDR (too long, didn’t read) society, and while catchy titles for articles are great, if they get long-winded or try to hide the point of the piece, then your readers are going to move on rather quickly.

Here’s the thing – people don’t always READ your titles. They just skim them. So, keeping them short, sweet, and to the point is an ideal method.

Take this example from Neil Patel:

Neil Patel catchy title headline

Source: Neil Patel

This title gets right to the point and tells the reader exactly what they’re getting if they read the article in full.

2. Indirect Headlines

Now, while many readers prefer direct headlines, sometimes it takes a bit of finessing to genuinely capture their interest enough to click-through to your site and take the time to read the article in full.

60% of people will share an article they come across on social media without reading past the headline!

This is especially true if you give away all your goods in the headline. Instead, craft a title that not only makes your point but does so in a roundabout way so that your readers must actually click and read the article to find out what they should/shouldn’t be doing.

This catchy article title from ProBlogger is one of the most talked-about examples when it comes to crafting indirect headlines that work:

ProBlogger catchy headline title

Source: ProBlogger

3. News Headlines

News headlines are pretty straightforward! These are the headlines that share news about a new product, must-know industry news, and more.

Campaign Monitor does a beautiful job of crafting news headlines that both get to the point, but entice readers to click for more information:

Campaign Monitor catchy title for article

Source: Campaign Monitor

4. How-to Headlines

When readers head online for information, they are very likely searching for an answer to a “how-to” question. In fact, BuzzSumo did an in-depth headline analysis on what works and what doesn’t, and when looking into the top first word used in articles, the word “How” took the third spot overall:

BuzzSumo headline study

Crafting “how-to” titles is amazingly simple, and when a direct approach is taken, these articles can perform quite well.

"how-to" headline example

Source: Scribe

5. Question Headlines

If “how-to” headlines work well with a direct approach, then question headlines make for an excellent example of an indirect headline that piques the reader’s interest and encourages them to click-through to your page.

These headlines highlight the reader’s issue, and then tells them that you’ve got their solution, much like this example from one of Julia’s recently published blogs:

catchy title for article EW

Source: Write Blog

6. Command Headlines

If you want your readers to take action without having to spell it out for them in your headline, then a command headline is right up your alley!

These headlines tell your prospects exactly what they need to do to solve their pain point and to complete that action; they must click and read your article, much like this example from Smart Insights:

catchy headline title SmartInsights

Source: Smart Insights

7. Reason-Why Headlines

Another excellent example of a direct headline that generates action is the “reason-why” or listicle article headline. Again, your readers are looking for answers to their questions – so, you want to supply them with the answers, and a listicle allows you to give them “reasons” or multiple solutions to work with.

After all – people do like options!

catchy article title SEJ

Source: Search Engine Journal

8. Testimonial Headlines

One of the most underutilized headline types is the testimonial headline.

Marketers understand just how crucial testimonials can be. After all, approximately 92% of consumers will read online reviews before making a purchase, while 72% of consumers state that positive testimonials/reviews help to increase their trust in a business.

A great way to use your customer testimonials is to format them into a detailed blog to show prospective clients how they could benefit from your products/services.

The email marketing giant, Campaign Monitor, does an excellent job of doing just that:

Campaign Monitor testimonial headline

Source: Campaign Monitor

Our Content Strategy Research Now Focuses on These 8 Types of Headline Titles

Here at Express Writers, we don’t just talk the talk – we walk the walk.

catchy titles for articles

We understand that reaching your customers in a deep and emotional way is vital to the success of your content. As I stated before, first impressions are crucial – so you must apply this same thought to your headlines as well.

As a part of our content strategy services, we conduct headline analysis using the Advanced Marketing Institute’s Headline Analyzer, but we also believe that the most powerful tools in our arsenal include:

  • Using structured headline formulas
  • Humanly-done research
  • Relevancy to our clients’ niche and audiences

Our Content Strategists have swipe files on hand that include lists of power words and lists of proven headline formulas that work, time and time again, for developing powerful headlines. They personally create and review your headlines for relevancy and accuracy using Robert Bly’s eight proven headline structures from The Copywriter’s Handbook, as well as relevant power words.

It can take quite a few tries to craft a headline that works, so our Strategists put in the time, work, and effort to build a great headline that drives traffic to your content.

Curious how our Content Strategists can help you craft catchy headlines for your articles? Schedule a call with one of our talented team members today!

Creating Catchy Titles for Your Articles

Creating catchy titles for your articles doesn’t have to be a tedious process.

The key to success, which Julia discovered back in 2012 just after forming Express Writers, includes better strategy – researching your topics and keywords carefully, picking the right terms, and then weaving those into headlines that perform.

After testing out her theory among her team and clients, she decided it was time to pass on the knowledge to those who needed it most: content creators, such as yourself.

That’s what inspired the brainchild that is her book, Practical Content Strategy & Marketing, and her ultimate training course,  The Content Strategy & Marketing Course!

The lessons taught in this course are an excellent complement to the teachings of Robert Bly and his approach to crafting catchy titles for articles, which include the eight types of headlines we’ve covered above.

If creating catchy titles for your online articles is a struggle, then let us help you simplify the process! Learn more about our Content Strategy & Planning options.

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how to make a high converting landing page

The P.A.S.T.O.R. Formula: Your 12-Step Guide on How to Make a High Converting Landing Page

It takes only one high-converting landing page to give your brand a gigantic boost in sales.

Here’s an example.

To promote its blenders, Vitamix launched a single landing page highlighting its superiority over other brands.

It blended together (no pun intended 😀) great content, simplicity, and a deep knowledge of its target audience.

landing page example


The result?

  • A 500% increase in daily visits to the Vitamix pages
  • A 20% increase in revenue
  • 32% of visitors returned to the Vitamix pages after their initial visit

AMAZING! We all want results like that.

But here’s the thing. Not all landing pages are created equal.

There are good landing pages, OK landing pages, and landing pages which are just well…meh. Plus, there are landing pages that make you want to pull your hair out and throw a tantrum.

And then there are the landing page unicorns. The ones that stand out, give you a huge boost in conversions, and get your brand front and center in the minds of your audience.

These are the ones I’ll teach you to make in this guide, using a unique formula: P.A.S.T.O.R. –one of the most underrated, yet best formulas in copywriting existence, created by legend Ray Edwards (author, How to Write Copy that Sells). Hint: Ray wrote copy for Tony Robbins, Jeff Walker (author of Launch), and many other globally-famous entrepreneurs.

This blog is a good one.


Psst… My new writing course launched today. Learn more and enroll here!

It takes only one high-converting landing page to give your brand a gigantic boost in sales. 💰 Learn how to create one using the P.A.S.T.O.R. formula created by @RayEdwards ✍ - now on the Write Blog via @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

how to make a high converting landing page

What is a Landing Page?

According to Unbounce, a landing page is “a standalone webpage, created specifically for a marketing or advertising campaign.”

It’s called a landing page because it’s where users “land” when they click a link from an email, an ad, or your blog.

Unlike other webpages, landing pages are created with a single goal in mind. It can be to sell a specific product, get users to sign up for a webinar, collect email addresses, and so on.

A landing page is where users 'land' after clicking a link from an email, an ad, or your blog. They're created with a single goal in mind: To move users to an action that benefits your brand 🏃‍♀️💨 Click To Tweet

Let’s look at how a landing page fits into the buyer’s journey.

Look at this email from AWAI (American Writers and Artists Inc.) In the middle of the email, you’ll notice a link inviting you to check out the program award-winning author Donna Baier Stein created.

email from AWAI

If you click the link, you’ll be taken to this landing page.

example landing page


This lengthy landing page is packed with useful information, benefits, and testimonials.

Its number one (and only) goal? To sell “Write Your First Novel or Memoir Now!” for $497.

Why Do You Need a High Converting Landing Page?

You already have an informative website and blog. Aren’t these enough to convert buyers? Why spend extra time and energy creating landing pages for each product or service you offer?

Here are three reasons you absolutely need landing pages.

Reason 1: You’ll Stop Throwing Leads Away

Go back to AWAI’s email above. Now, imagine your ultimate dream is to write the next New York Times Bestseller. The email appeals to you because it promises a step-by-step guide on how to do it.

But what if you clicked on the link in the email, and it led you straight to AWAI’s homepage? You’d see this.

AWAI homepage


Sure, the homepage promises you’ll learn how to make a living as a writer. But there’s no mention of the specific course that caught your eye in the email. You’ll have to dig it up yourself.

If you’re like a ton of users, you’ll either:

  • Get distracted as you look for the course through the navigational menu
  • Leave because your interest has faded and you don’t have time to look for the course

So, if you link directly to your homepage from emails, your blog, or social media? You’re throwing hot leads right out the window.

Reason 2: You Can Get Powerful Insights into Your Marketing

Landing pages are amazing because they help you measure the success of your marketing efforts.

  • You can collect information on your audience.
  • You can measure the percentage of people who convert.
  • You can compare different marketing offers.

Reason 3: You’ll Increase Conversions

Your website’s homepage is distracting. And that’s not a bad thing. You don’t want to leave out a single piece of sizzling information about your brand, right?

But there’s a downside to a fully-optimized, information-loaded homepage. When users visit it, they get distracted. A web page can have an attention ratio of 20:1, 30:1, or worse (God forbid) 150:1. This means there are 150 things to do distracting users from the one thing they should do.

On the other hand, a high-converting landing page has an attention ratio of 1:1.

Why do you need landing pages for your website? 1️⃣To stop throwing away leads. 2️⃣To get powerful marketing insights. 3️⃣To increase conversions. 🔥 Click To Tweet

How to Make a High Converting Landing Page: 12 Tips You Absolutely Need to Follow for Success

Now you’re convinced you need landing pages for your marketing campaigns, let’s dive into how to create a landing page that converts like crazy—following the formula of one of the most powerful copywriters in existence.

1. Stick to a Proven Formula for Long-Form Copy with The P.A.S.T.O.R. Formula

Have you heard of legendary copywriter Ray Edwards, or read his amazing book How to Write Copy that Sells? He is the communications strategist and copywriter for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business—New York Times best-selling authors Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (co-authors of Chicken Soup For the Soul), Jeff Walker (author of Launch), just to name a few.

In How to Write Copy That Sells, Ray Edwards introduces the powerful P.A.S.T.O.R. framework for writing copy that works.

P.A.S.T.O.R. stands for:

  • P: Person, problem, pain
  • A: Amplify
  • S: Story or solution
  • T: Transformation and testimony
  • O: Offer
  • R: Response

Let’s look into them one by one.

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1. Person, Problem, Pain

Do extensive research on your audience. Discover the problem they’re facing and imagine the pain they’re feeling because of it.

2. Amplify

In a few short sentences, describe the consequences your audience will experience if they don’t solve their problem.

Here’s an example from Bottom Line. It outlines the consequences of not knowing the secrets airlines keep from passengers.

amplify part of PASTOR

3. Story or Solution

After outlining the problem, tell a story of someone who solved it using your solution. Of course, it should be 100% genuine.

4. Transformation and Testimony

If you’ve made customers happy in the past, reach out to them for testimonials. Genuine testimonials powerfully inspire readers to take action.

transformation and testimony part of PASTOR

Source: The Entourage

In fact, 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from a friend!

5. Offer

Describe the solution you’re offering to solve your audience’s problem. When outlining what you’re selling, focus on the benefits your product offers rather than its features.

Don’t say, “My product can run 12 miles for each liter of gas you buy.”

Instead, say, “You can save $XXX a year if you buy my product.”

6. Response

The bottom of your landing page is where you ask your reader to buy your product. Remember, your CTA must be clear, concise, and attractive.

2. Craft Copy Specifically for Your Target Audience

Your landing page must speak directly to your target audience. You have to know exactly who they are, what they’re looking for, and why they landed on your page.

Let’s go back to the Vitamix example above.

landing page example

Vitamix is a premium brand, making it pricier than its competitors. Since it doesn’t usually give out discounts, this landing page is targeted at comparison shoppers wanting to know why they should make the extra investment in a Vitamix blender.

Is it convincing? Take a look!

It’s trusted by chefs.

vitamix landing page example


It’s convenient.

vitamix landing page

It gives you control over your food’s texture.

vitamix landing page

No wonder this landing page gained the company a 20% increase in revenue!

When you know your audience, you’ll know what questions they’re asking and how to answer them.

Want more guidance on how to write for online audiences, and UNLEARN all those bad essay-writing habits you picked up along the way? Enroll in my NEW course, Unlearn Essay Writing!

3. Stick to Your Custom-Designed Brand Imagery

Your brand imagery is everything consumers see, taste, hear, smell, and feel about your business. Not surprisingly, a huge part of brand imagery is your logo and custom colors.

When designing your landing page, choose your colors, design, and font carefully. Make sure they go seamlessly with your brand imagery.

For instance, can you guess whose logo this is?

branded imagery

Even without the wording, you can recognize Pepsi’s signature logo and colors from a distance.

Now, what if Pepsi designed a landing page with a pink background and yellow font? That would be confusing!

Since you don’t want to confuse your readers, stick to your custom-designed images and colors when you design your landing page.

4. Don’t Leave Out the Images

Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text. In fact, 90% of the data transmitted to our brains is visual!

So, when you meet your audience with a landing page stacked with text, you’ll hear them yawn. They’ll think about wading through your long, heavy paragraphs “later.”

You don’t want that. You want people to be hooked the moment they land on your page. The secret to achieving this is through compelling images.

Look at Business Ignition Bootcamp’s landing page. Imagine how dry this page would be without the photo of Mirasee’s founder and CEO, Danny Inny.

business bootcamp landing page


Here are three tips to keep in mind when selecting images for your landing page:

  • Make sure they’re high-quality.
  • Keep them relevant to your product or service.
  • Select large, compelling, attention-grabbing images.

5. Spice it up with Video

Exciting fact: adding a video to your landing page can increase sales by 80%!

What’s more, 74% of consumers who watch a video about a product end up buying the product. Wow!

Here’s an example of a landing page that’s a smooth combination of video, text, and images.

real free life landing page


Of course, you can’t just slap on any random video onto your page. These three tips will help you make your video relevant and powerful.

  • Appeal to the emotions. People buy things for emotional reasons. So when you create video, tell a story, highlight pain points, and show how your brand is the solution to your audience’s problems.
  • Make sure your video is purpose driven. Don’t add a random video to your page simply to make your visitors laugh. Instead, closely sync the purpose of your video with the purpose of the landing page itself.
  • Keep the video short. Between 1-2 minutes does the trick.

6. Grab Readers’ Attention with a Killer Headline

Scary fact: while 80% of visitors will read your headline, only 20% will finish reading your content.

This means you have to magnetize readers with a powerful headline that’ll have them reading to the very end of the page.

Go all out. Shock them. Scare them. Make them dream about a life they once thought impossible.

Here’s an example.

smart start copywriting crash course landing page example


When writing a landing page headline, you should:

  • Keep it short. Between 10-20 words works best.
  • Make it specific, unique, urgent, and useful.
  • Include your main promise to your readers (the number one benefit they’ll get when they buy from you).

7. Add in an Explanatory Subheading

You can skip this step if what you’re selling is simple and can be explained in 10-20 words.

But if your headline is getting too long and complex, feel free to cut it down and add in an explanatory subheading to fill in the blanks.

Here’s how Mailchimp did it.

Mailchimp landing page

Since it’s not easy to describe Mailchimp’s services under 20 words, they added in two extra sentences to explain what they do for their clients.

8. A/B Test Relentlessly

No matter how well you follow the rules, you’ll never know how to get the best out of your landing page unless you do A/B testing.

How is it done?

The principle is to create an alternative version of your landing page. The alternative will be slightly different from the control. For instance, the control might have testimonials at the top of the page while the “challenger” has testimonials at the bottom of the page.

To test the two against each other, note how each one performs.

How many times should you do A/B testing?

The more, the better! In fact, we’ve revised the landing page of my course The Expert SEO Content Writer 15 times!

Is all the hard work worth it?

Of course. By far, this is my highest-converting landing page. Its conversion rate is around 8-10% from organic traffic. No paid ads involved!

expert seo content writer course landing page


How many times should you A/B test your landing page? 🤔 The more, the better! In fact, we’ve revised the landing page of my course, The Expert SEO Content Writer, 15x! It's now our highest-converting landing page. 🔥🔥 More tips here: Click To Tweet

9. Make Your CTA Irresistible

You put all the time, effort, and creativity into your landing page with one goal in mind: to make your readers click on your CTA.

So, what can you do to compel them to do it?

Naturally, great copy comes first. No matter how amazing your CTA looks, no one will click it if they don’t believe in what you’re selling.

When you’ve perfected your landing page copy, it’s time to work on your CTA. Here are three tips to keep in mind:

  • Always make it a button instead of a link.
  • Use action words. Tell readers what to do.
  • Don’t be boring. Instead of saying “join now,” say, “jumpstart your business today.”

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10. Match Your Landing Page Length with How Much You’re Asking

How long should a landing page be?

200 words? 500 words? 1,500 words?

The truth is it depends.

There are successful pages that aren’t longer than a few paragraphs. And there are landing pages which run to thousands of words and are filled with testimonials, bulleted lists, stories, video, and more.

The key when choosing landing page length is to consider how much you’re asking buyers to give you.

Asking them for a few dollars or an email? You can go for a few short, compelling paragraphs.

Asking them to buy your online course for $2,000? You need a longer piece to give them proof that your course is worth the cost.

For example, check out the landing page for my course The Practical Content Strategy and Marketing Course.

content strategy and marketing course landing page


Since I sell this value-packed course at $997, the landing page runs to nearly 2,000 words.

11. Make Buyers Feel Safe with a Guarantee

Don’t want buyers to hesitate for too long wondering if they should buy or not?

Offer your product or service for free!

For a limited time, of course. You can either:

  • Give them a limited-time free trial, or
  • Offer them a money-back guarantee

Here’s an example of a great limited-time free trial.

buzzsumo landing page

Source: BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo allows users seven days to test and fall in love with its tool before committing to a monthly or yearly plan.

And here’s an example of a money-back guarantee.

money back guarantee landing page example


Ramit Sethi is so confident users will love his course, he promises a 60-day money back guarantee.

12. Provide Easy-to-Navigate Forms

You don’t want buyers to reach the point where they want what you’re selling but feel frustrated and confused about how to buy it.

To avoid this problem, always make sure your buyer forms are simple. No fluff. No distracting designs or multiple links to click.

Like this.

landing page form example


Also, don’t forget to assure buyers their payment information is safe.

safe purchase on landing page


Ready to Make Your Own High-Converting Landing Page?

Making a high-converting landing page is a big deal.

An awesome landing page helps you:

  • Capture hot leads
  • Increase revenue
  • Gain powerful insights into your marketing

And the GREAT news is you don’t have to be an expert to create one that clicks.

With the 12 tips above and a load of intuition and creativity, you’ll soon have a landing page that converts like crazy!

Want expert copy that converts visitors into buyers? Visit our Content Shop for pricing.

And don’t forget — my ALL-new writing course launched TODAY. Check it out here!

Enroll now in my online writing course

Defining and explaining UX writing

What is UX Writing? Defining, Explaining, & How to Learn UX Writing

Myth: As a writer, you must write thousands of words per day to earn a comfortable living.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The truth is, there’s a type of writing that strictly follows the principle “less is more.”

It may sound crazy, but it’s true — you can earn up to $100,000 a year writing 20 words (or less) per day!

If you’re really good, you can land a job at a huge company like Facebook, Google, or Spotify.

You don’t even need a B.A. in creative writing, nor do you need tons of experience crafting Shakespearean prose.

So, what kind of writing is this? How do you get into it?

In today’s blog, I’ll introduce you to UX writing. 📝

I’ll show you exactly what UX writing is, how to learn it, and what you need to become an excellent UX writer. I’ll give you examples of great UX writing, techniques you can use in your work, and more!

Since I can’t wait to share this with you, let’s dive in right away! 👏🏻

What is UX writing?

What is UX Writing?

“UX writing” is the short term for user experience writing. In other words, it’s the kind of writing that guides users as they interact with a product.

Here’s how it’s different from copywriting and technical writing.

  • Copywriting: Persuasive writing that urges people to buy something.
  • Technical writing: Writing that conveys technical information into text.
  • UX Writing: Writing that guides people as they use and enjoy a product.

In her blog post on Medium, UX writer Lisa Sanchez describes her main craft.

ux writing definition


You’ll be surprised to know that by now, you’ve already come across tons of examples of UX writing. Here they are:

  • Call-to-action buttons
  • Error pages
  • Sign up forms
  • Menu labels
  • Terms and conditions
  • All the micro-copy across the web you barely notice (but desperately need)
UX writing is the short term for user experience writing 👩‍💻. It's the kind of writing that guides users as they interact with a product or page. Think error pages, call-to-action buttons, sign-up forms, and menu labels. Click To Tweet True or false: As a writer, you must write thousands of words per day to earn a comfortable living. 🤔 NOT true, especially if you're a UX writer. What is UX writing? @JuliaEMcCoy explains ✍ Click To Tweet

Let’s look at three great examples of work done by UX writers.

This is Google’s error page

Google's 500 error page

Source:’s create an account page create an account ux writing


…and AWAI’s signup page for their free webinar.

AWAI sign-up page - ux writing example


Notice how short, succinct, and to-the-point the content on these pages are?

What You Need to Become an Excellent UX Writer

If you’ve looked over the examples and thought, “Hey, I can do this!” you’re perfectly right.

You too can do UX writing.

And like I mentioned earlier, you don’t need a special degree, a BA in creative writing, or even what people call “writing talent.”

Here are five things you do need to do UX writing.

1. Empathy

As a UX writer, you’ll need to be your target audience’s closest friend. This means you must know them deeply, including how they talk, what they want to see, and the specific way they react to words.

This will help you craft the right content to guide them through your (or your client’s) product.

2. The Willingness to Work Closely with Others in a Team

UX writers don’t work alone. They collaborate closely with project managers, developers, technical writers, and designers to give users a flawless, enjoyable experience.

3. A Curious Mind

A UX writer’s day is filled with questions. What will work? What won’t? How can I put a smile on users’ faces as they use a product?

Only a curious mind will keep you asking the tons of questions you need to perfect UX writing.

4. Open-Mindedness

A close-minded person who’s always 100% sure of his/her opinion won’t thrive in the fluid, changeful world of UX writing.

5. Creativity

As a UX writer, you’ll have to translate business-centric jargon into friendly, attractive words. A spark of creativity will make it feel effortless.

What do you need to become an expert UX writer? 1️⃣ Empathy 2️⃣ Teamwork 3️⃣ A curious mind 4️⃣ Open-mindedness 5️⃣ Creativity Click To Tweet

How to Learn UX Writing (4 Ways)

There isn’t a single correct path towards learning UX writing. And that’s great! It means you can take the road that’s most exciting and comfortable to you.

Here are four great options.

1. Go on Your Own Online Adventure

Go everywhere you can on Google. Visit your favorite websites like Airbnb, Mailchimp, and The New York Times. Read every word on their call-to-action buttons, sign up pages, and menu labels.

Here’s a super example from Mailchimp’s signup page.

Mailchimp sign-up


Then, visit websites you’ve never heard of before. Check out their products and sign up for their offers.

Take note of what you like and what you don’t like with their UX writing. If you constantly steep yourself in the beautiful, good, bad, and ugly of UX writing, you’ll soon be able to come up with your own rulebook to guide you in your future career.

2. Read Blogs on UX Writing

Go for blogs written by authorities in the industry. You can start with everything written by John Saito, former YouTube UX writer and current Product Designer at Dropbox.

Don’t stop there! The internet is teeming with tons of blogs full of tips and tricks on the trade.

3. Get a Great UX Writing Book

A great choice is Nicely Said: Writing for the Web with Style and Purpose by Nicole Fenton and Kate Kiefer Lee.

Here’s a review of the book from content strategist and author Erin Kissane:

“Between them, Kate and Nicole have written for many of the web’s most valuable and respected companies. Their commitment to clarity and kindness is the result of their experience, and it makes them extraordinary teachers.”

4. Sign Up for a Course

To do be an effective UX writer, you need the skill to think behind content. A great way to learn this skill is to sign up for my Content Strategy and Marketing Course.

In this course, I teach you how to create a blueprint that’ll guide every single piece of content you write. A much-needed skill if you want to go into UX writing!

How to become a UX writer? @JuliaEMcCoy recommends studying your favorite websites, reading UX writing blogs like @saitojohn & signing up for training like 💡 Click To Tweet

3 Top Techniques for Powerful UX Writing

Of course, your success as a UX writer depends on how well you do the job. There are amazing UX writers, great UX writers, and UX writers who are just, well…meh.

Here are techniques to help you stand out.

1. Be a Minimalist

With UX writing, less is more. Your goal isn’t to WOW people with your beautiful prose. In fact, you don’t even want to draw attention to your choice and flow of words.

As a UX writer, your #1 goal is to help users do what they came to do. That’s it. Being a minimalist with words helps big time.

2. Be Personal

Don’t talk to people like they’re robots. More importantly, don’t talk like a robot. You want to connect to people on a personal level so they don’t hit snags as they use your product.

Here’s an example.

personal vs impersonal writing


3. Be Crystal Clear

Users read your UX content so they can accomplish what they came to your page for. They don’t want to end up confused, worried, or even afraid they’ll end up making a mistake.

For instance, if you’re creating a payment form, you need to give users assurance they won’t “accidentally” pay for something they didn’t want to buy.

Here’s how Airbnb gives their guests confidence to proceed to the next step.

Airbnb ux writing example


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How Much Can You Earn as a UX Writer?

You don’t need experience to start earning great UX writer salary. You only need to show what you can do, and you’ll start earning a nice living writing micro pieces of content.

So, exactly how much can you earn as a UX writer?

According to Career Foundry, a junior UX writer can earn an average of $75,000 a year. Not bad at all!

And the longer you work in the field, the more you’ll earn.

average income for ux writers


UX writers have the potential to earn $75,000/year, on average @careerfoundry - And, the longer you work in the field, the higher your earning potential 💸 Click To Tweet

Where to Find Work as a UX Writer

UX writing hasn’t been around that long, but this doesn’t mean it isn’t flourishing. In fact, huge companies like Airbnb, YouTube, and even Google need UX writers to create their micro-copy.

Here are five places you can go to find UX writing jobs:

Remember, since UX writing is a relatively young practice, there are companies that won’t use that term in their listings. They’ll use “technical writer,” “content writer,” or even “content strategist” in their job offers.

Moving Forward: An Amazing Career Path You’ll Love

So, it’s true.

You can earn a six-figure income writing tiny, tiny pieces of content.

And you don’t need a special degree or tons of writing experience to start.

All you do need is a curious mind, the willingness to work with a team, a handful of great tips, and the courage and determination to take the first step.

At Express Writers, we specialize in all kinds of content. Visit our Content Shop to find out more.

Work with expert content marketing writers


how to grow evergreen blog posts

How to Grow Your Inbound Traffic by Writing Evergreen Blog Posts

This post was updated October 2019. 

Picture this – summer is here, and your calendar is full of pool parties, barbecues, picnics, and whatnots.

You’ve been waiting for this moment for what seems like ages. ☀

There’s only one small problem.

You want to look great in your bikini, but it’s been cold out there for the past few months, so maybe you’ve stayed in and eaten one, two, or twenty more pizzas than you should’ve (no judgment, we’ve all been there!).

At this point in the game, you don’t have a lot of options. You can go on an aggressive diet, use a body wrap or two, or skip a few meals. There are a lot of ways to get fast results, but the thing is, you shouldn’t be focusing on quick fixes.

What you want is a sustainable approach that can get you the best results possible, and the same goes for blogging.

For a long time, my approach to blogging was all about putting out as much content as possible. That’s not necessarily a bad idea since there’s a correlation between high publishing rates and increases in traffic.

The problem is, quick-fire content isn’t a sustainable strategy, much like any diet that promises dramatic results in a matter of days.

If you want to grow your traffic and maintain it, you need powerful, evergreen content that’s going to keep your website in the best shape of its life for years and years to come.

4 Types of Evergreen Blog Content

maintain evergreen blog posts

  1. List-based articles
  2. How-tos and tutorials
  3. Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
  4. History-based posts

That’s a quick cheat sheet if you need help coming up with evergreen blog post ideas. If you stick to those types of content, you’re on the right path. However, you may need a little help coming up with ideas, so keep reading!

If you just fire out short trending posts that will be irrelevant tomorrow, you'll have a hard time getting results. Better grow your traffic with evergreen blog posts. @JuliaEMcCoy shares what you should start posting now. 🎋 Click To Tweet

Two Types of Blog Content: Evergreen Posts vs. Trending Topics

We can break down most of the content you’ll run across in blogs into two categories:

  1. Posts that have to do with current trends
  2. Evergreen content

Both types of blog posts have the potential to bring a lot of traffic to your website. However, content that focuses on trending topics has an expiration date.

The best way to put that into perspective is to take a look at Google’s most popular searches for the past years.

Here are some of the shiny things that caught our collective attention in 2017:

Source: Google

Now compare that to 2018 and you’ll see there’s little overlap:

Source: Google

The trends themselves change, but certain topics never go out of style. For example, those two breakdowns tell us that as a society, we care a little bit too much about sports and celebrities.

Spotting those types of big-picture trends is important because it enables you to come up with blog post ideas that tap into more lasting concerns.

I’m talking about the type of content that your readers care about now, and they’ll still care about in five years.

Chances are if you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ve already written some evergreen posts without even noticing it. The best way to spot them is to take a look at your website’s analytics.

Usually, there’s a spike of interest around new content. It brings in some traffic, and then that flow of traffic turns into a trickle.

Evergreen blog posts, on the other hand, tend to bring in a steady amount of traffic over time.

Source: Google Analytics

Blogging about current trends may give you a great ROI in the short term. However, evergreen content is the equivalent of that healthy lifestyle that will see you get to the pool party with the same six-pack you’ve been sporting all year.

Keep in mind, though – just because you follow a healthy diet, doesn’t mean there isn’t room for burgers and pizza somewhere in there and the same goes for blogging.

It’s very difficult to build an entire blog around evergreen content only because it tends to require a ton of work.

Ideally, you’ll have a healthy mix of blog posts that target current trends and evergreen articles. That way, you’ll maximize your traffic growth, and you’ll be able to maintain it ✔️

4 Types of Content that Make for Great Evergreen Blog Posts

As a rule of thumb, evergreen content is in-depth, and it has built-in longevity. Let’s break down the five types of blog content that fit those criteria.

1. List-Based Articles

The web is obsessed with list-based articles. If you do a random Google search right now, I’m willing to bet that most of the articles that come up are based on lists.

The logic here is simple. List-based articles enable you to judge an article’s worth at a glance. Know what’s better than learning 5 ways to tie your shoelaces?

Learning a cool 15. Can’t argue with that logic.

When it comes to evergreen content, you want lists that aren’t tied to specific products or events since those can change over time. Instead, go back to the basics and focus on everlasting advice. Articles like “6 Super Simple Tips for Writing Clear Sentences” will never go out of style.

2. How-Tos and Tutorials

The internet is amazing for a lot of reasons. Not only is it the best source for cat-based humor, but you can find guides on how to do anything.

Let’s say, for example, you want to learn how to change a tire. It doesn’t matter if no one ever taught you – you can look it up online, read a quick tutorial, and you’re in business.

Notice how lists are also incredibly popular when it comes to tutorials. If you can find a topic that you can break down into steps, you have a winning formula for an evergreen blog post.

3. Frequently Asked Questions

If you run a popular website, chances are there are a lot of questions you get all the time. You’re not alone, and that’s why FAQs are a thing.

We know all about that, which is why we have a shiny FAQ page.

Not only do FAQs save you a ton of time, but they also serve double duty as evergreen content. A FAQ can be both a page on your website or a lengthy blogpost that answers key questions about your industry.

The more questions you answer, the more valuable your FAQ becomes. That means more opportunities to use keywords, more traffic, and since it’s all broken down in clear sections, it’s easy for visitors to find what they want.

4. History-Based Posts

When you think about it, history is the ultimate example of evergreen content.

History is fact – it never changes, it only gets updated as we go along.

Now, here’s the deal, I don’t know what your blog is about. By some estimates, there are over 500 million blogs, and I’m only one person, I can keep up with maybe 1 million of them before things get confusing.

However, most blogs have one thing in common – they stick to a narrow set of topics or a niche.

Every niche or industry has its history. If you blog about running shoes, for example, you can write about their history, from the moment a guy first had the idea to attach spikes to the bottom of shoes for cross-country running back in the late 1800s (yes, of course, I had to Google that).

Whatever your deal is, there’s a history there, and it’s evergreen. If you can write about it and keep it up-to-day, you have winning blog content on your hands.

What evergreen blog posts should you start posting now? Try list-based articles, how-tos and tutorials, FAQs, and history-based posts. Understand what these content types are in this post. 📰 Click To Tweet

Evergreen Blogs Are Healthy Blogs

Growing your blog’s traffic is easy, in theory.

You write blog posts that people want to read about and boom, you get traffic. The thing is, the only way to maintain that traffic is to keep publishing content at a fast pace.

Option B – you write evergreen posts that keep bringing traffic long after you’ve published them (or you hire an expert writer to do it for you!).

If you need help coming up with and writing evergreen blog posts, check out our content shop.


tone of voice

Tone of Voice & POV: How to Use Both Correctly for a Stronger, More Consistent Brand Presence

How are you perceived online? It all begins and ends with your point of view and tone of voice. 💡 ✍️

Unfortunately, some of the most common mistakes I see in content writing have to do with both of them.

From clients we work with, to students in the classes I teach, to writers I talk to — there’s always a conversation I observe that bears a misunderstanding of these two fundamental writing concepts.

The problem is, misunderstanding can lead to major gaffes in communication. (Can you say disappointed, annoyed customers?)

These are tricky concepts if you don’t know the rules and logic behind them. Luckily, learning about tone of voice and point of view isn’t too hard. Plus, the massive results you’ll earn are worth it: a more consistent brand presence that will draw your customers to you, consistently, time and time again. 🔥

Let’s get into it.

tone of voice and pov blog

Your Guide to Point of View and Tone of Voice: Table of Contents

What Are Tone of Voice and Point of View?

1. Tone of Voice

2. Point of View

  • First-Person POV
  • Second-Person POV
  • Third-Person POV

How to Use Tone of Voice and POV Correctly for a Better Brand Presence

1. Choose Your Tone of Voice from the Four Dimensions, Then Refine

2. Don’t Go Too Far with Tone of Voice

3. Choose Your Words Wisely

Your Tone of Voice and Point of View Define Your Brand

How do you want to be perceived online? Funny, serious, formal, smart, helpful? Make yourself stand out by identifying the right tone of voice and POV. 🎭Let @JuliaEMcCoy explain how the two are different and how to use them correctly. Click To Tweet

What Are Tone of Voice and Point of View?

First up, let’s clearly define the meaning of point of view and tone of voice in writing.

1. Tone of Voice

Tone of voice in communication determines how the writer comes across to the reader. What emotion(s) come through? How do they feel about the audience?

Tone of voice directly affects communication no matter where or how you’re talking.

In speech, the literal tone and pitch of your voice convey how you feel about what you’re saying and who you’re saying it to.

Likewise, your writing tone of voice has a direct impact on how your audience interprets your meaning and intentions. In writing, however, the key is word choice. The words you use, and the way you phrase them, define your textual tone.

Look at these tone of voice examples for an imaginary editing service. They convey the same message, but each has a different tone:

  • Sympathetic tone: Writing is hard. If you need help refining your prose, we’re here for you.
  • Witty tone: Writer’s block is as much fun as sitting in gridlock traffic for an hour. We get it. We can help you get unstuck.
  • Direct, straightforward tone: We’ll refine your writing, correct your grammar, and make your work shine.
  • Angry/combative tone: How the *$&!! did you get into this line of work with so little talent?! You obviously can’t write, so what CAN you do?

(That last example isn’t copy so much as harsh commentary, but it’s a good taste of how your tone of voice can change drastically by adding in a few all-caps and extra punctuation. This is a prime negative tone of voice example.)

A good synonym for tone of voice is writing style.

Remember! Tone of voice shows how you, the writer, comes across to the reader. Using the right words and the right sentence construction can deliver the emotion you need to connect to your audience. 💡 Click To Tweet

Need guidance on best SEO content writing style and practices? Check out The Expert SEO Content Writer Course.

2. Point of View

Point of view (POV) is perhaps more confusing for some people than tone of voice. Let’s clear the air.

Point of view refers to the narrator of a piece of content and their particular perspective. This is the person who’s telling the story, relaying the information, or reporting the events. Everything is told from this person’s point of view.

However, sometimes the narrator is not the writer, and vice-versa. The writer may assume the POV of someone else, essentially stepping into their shoes and writing from their perspective. This can be a different person, character, or entity (such as a brand or organization).

Whether you’re writing as yourself or writing as someone else, you’ll use different types of POV:

Image: Grammarly

First-Person POV

This type of POV is the most personal. With first-person, you’re writing directly from your own experience (or directly from your chosen narrator’s experience) using words like “I,” “me,” and “mine.”

Example: I know writing is hard. For me, I had to read and write every day before I became any good.

First-person POV also can be plural, i.e., one person speaking on behalf of many. In this instance, you’ll use words like “we,” “us,” and “our.”

Example: We know writing is hard. For us, the key was to read and write every day to improve our skills.

The 1st-person point of view is one you’ll see most often in personal stories, where people are describing their experiences. You’ll also find it in modern fiction writing.

Ann Handley uses first-person writing to great effect in her blog posts:

Second-Person POV

Writing in second-person means you’re talking directly to the reader, using words like “you,” “your,” and “yours.”

Example: You can learn to write well. It just takes a bit of practice. Soon the skill will be yours to command.

Sometimes, first and second-person POV can intermix – you can write both personally and directly.

Example: I know how difficult writing can be. You don’t need to be intimidated, though. You’ve got this!

This is the most common type of point of view you’ll find in online content writing. See this example from Brian Dean of Backlinko for inspiration:

Third-Person POV

Finally, third-person POV means you’re writing from an outside perspective.

You’re not talking directly or personally, but rather describing what others see, do, or think, like you’re watching them from afar and reporting all you see. You’ll use words like “he,” “she,” “them,” “it,” and “they.”

Example: The team didn’t know how to write well, so they enlisted a good editor for her guidance and feedback.

This POV is most often used in formal or professional articles and reports. This article from Reuters is a great example of a 3rd person POV:

POV tips: 🙋‍♀️ 1st-person - 'I, We, Us, Our' 👉 2nd-person - 'You, Your, Yours' 👉👩‍🦰👨‍🦰🐈 3rd-person - 'They, He, She, It, Them.' How is POV different from tone of voice? @JuliaEMcCoy clears up the confusion. Click To Tweet

How to Use Tone of Voice and POV Correctly for a Better Brand Presence

Tone of voice and point of view are essential to understand for better content. More importantly, choosing ONE tone of voice and ONE point of view to use consistently across your content will equal a more defined, recognizable brand presence online.

So, how can you do it? Here are some tips:

1. Choose Your Tone of Voice from the Four Dimensions, Then Refine

If you haven’t decided how you want to relate to your audience in your content, now is the time.

How do you want to sound in your communications? What feels right for your brand, product, service, image, etc.?

A helpful tool you might use to refine your tone of voice is the Nielsen Norman Group’s Four Dimensions of Tone of Voice. This is what they say about it:

“We decided to design a manageable web-specific tool that content strategists could use to create simple tone profiles for a company’s online presence. Our goal was to identify several tone-of-voice dimensions that could be used to describe the tone of voice of any website.”

These are the four dimensions:

  • Formal vs. casual
  • Funny vs. serious
  • Respectful vs. irreverent
  • Enthusiastic vs. matter-of-fact

Each dimension is represented by two extremes (e.g. formal at one end, casual at the other). You could choose a tone that’s one of the extremes, or decide to fall somewhere between the two.

Additionally, using a mix of dimensions is a good way to further refine your tone. For example, your brand tone of voice could be funny, casual, squarely in-between respectful and irreverent, and matter-of-fact.

Once you define each of your dimensions, you can then choose more specific words that further describe your brand voice. For instance:

  • Funny: Playful, punny
  • Casual: Chatty and friendly
  • Respectful/irreverent: Witty, kind
  • Matter-of-fact: Direct, outspoken

Once you’ve refined your tone of voice this far, it’s easy to choose a corresponding point of view to use in your content.

  • First-person: The least formal; relatable, subjective; storytelling emphasis
  • Second-person: The most direct; helpful, guiding
  • Third-person: The most formal; professional, knowledgeable, objective
Pro tip ❗ You can refine your tone of voice by following @NNgroup's 4 Dimensions of Tone of Voice: funny vs. casual, funny vs. serious, respectful vs. irreverent, and enthusiastic vs. matter-of-fact. Click To Tweet

2. Don’t Go Too Far with Tone of Voice

What happens when tone goes wrong?

You’ll make your readers feel the exact opposite of what you want.

This is easy to do when you go too far with tone of voice.

  • For example, maybe you decide you don’t want to be merely funny – you want to be HILARIOUS. So, you use exclamation points like they’re the only option, you constantly make ham-handed jokes, and you attempt to be light-hearted no matter what.
  • Or, maybe you want to sound professional and intelligent. You take care to always be serious, only use 3rd-person POV, pull from a rigorous vocabulary, and create a rule where your sentences must always be at least five words long.

Do you see how, in both scenarios, you’re going too far with each tone of voice?

In the first case, you won’t come off as a comedic genius or even funny – instead, you’ll sound unhinged, wacky, and uncaring.

In the second case, you won’t impress anyone. You’ll drive people away from your brand with your cold aloofness and condescending style.

When implementing your tone of voice, balance is a necessity.

  • Don’t rigidly stick to your chosen tone of voice when it doesn’t make sense. There are times to be serious and times to be more formal, even if your overarching voice is casual and funny.
  • Be human in your communication with your audience. Use common sense.
  • Don’t get set in your ways. Formal doesn’t necessarily equate with wordy. Informal doesn’t mean you must only be brief.

Image: Mike Atherton via SlideShare

3. Choose Your Words Wisely

As we said, tone of voice and point of view in your written content is all about word choice and punctuation.

Keep your point of view consistent. Don’t insert “I” and “me” into a blog where you’re using third-person POV. Similarly, don’t refer to people as “they” when you’re writing in second-person, and so on.

Use the vocabulary that matches up with your chosen tone of voice. The tone of voice you’ve defined comes with its own vocabulary. For example, if you’re a brand like MailChimp, your voice is simple, straightforward, and warm. See how their word choices reflect this?

If “love” and “heart” don’t make you feel warm and fuzzy, I don’t know what will.

Remember the definition of tone of voice. Your tone of voice determines how you come across to customers. Always, always think about how you might sound to them when putting together your content and copy.

With the correct POV (first-, second-, or third-person) to use with your defined tone of voice, you can easily make you or your brand's presence recognizable online. 🧿📣 Click To Tweet

Your Tone of Voice and Point of View Define Your Brand

Who you are online (or who you want to be) is demonstrated through your point of view and tone of voice. The perspective you speak from and the emotions you stir up in others will define your personality and presence.

Understand what each of these writing concepts will mean to your brand, then define them. Finally, keep them consistent across channels to build better relationships with customers.

home office optimization

Your Guide to Home Office Optimization: 10 Tips and Tricks from a Work-at-Home Content Manager

This is a guest post from our content manager, Korilynn.

Facts: An efficient workspace is more than just moving some papers and keeping your desk tidy.

In my role as a Content Manager for Express Writers, I juggle multiple tasks, manage a busy team of writers and editors, and entertain a three-year-old who is at home with me every day too.

There’s no way I could pull off my daily to-do list without implementing a few home office optimization techniques.

I am an organizational freak of sorts. Papers have a place, my desk cannot have a speck of dust, or it will annoy me until I whip out the Pledge and remove it.

I also have a checklist for just about anything and everything.

By staying so organized, I’m more efficient and productive at work, and I still get to enjoy the number one benefit of working from home: flexibility.

When you’re not glued to your computer working tirelessly to meet deadlines that are around the corner, life is so much easier. You don’t have to be OCD organized either. In my blog, I’m sharing my best tips with you so you can learn how to implement some home office optimization to maximize your productivity — and have more successful, much-needed “you” time.

home office optimization

10 Home Office Optimization Tricks to Implement for Maximum Efficiency

Home office optimization starts with your desk.

Your home desk setup is critical because this is your productivity hub. Once you sit down here, you are in “work” mode. Even if you don’t have a dedicated office, you can optimize using my tips for the best productivity setup regardless of where you are in the home.

I bought a large executive home office desk to fit my three monitors, but also have room for writing notes, paperwork off to the side, and everything else I need. I even have hidden sliders off to the side that I can pull out for those days my desk space isn’t enough (or if I need to place my Pumpkin Spice Latte somewhere safe).

Aside from buying a desk, you need to know how to design an office that focuses on how you work best. What works for me might not work for another, but you can use my home office ideas as a jumping-off point for your workspace. To get started, consider these essentials for your perfect home office, and see what works for your style and budget.

Working at home is great. But sometimes, juggling those career and family-related tasks can get you crazy. 😱 Stay productive with these 10 home office optimization tips from our content manager, Korilynn! 🤹 Click To Tweet

Tip #1: Get a Great Computer (My PC, aka The Blue Beast)

My PC was custom-built, because most ready-to-buy PCs do not meet my needs, plus I wanted the ability to run three monitors without my computer ever having an issue. It is quite a monster – almost as tall as my desk. However, it runs quietly, and all three of my monitors works flawlessly on it.

It has a bright blue light effect, which glows and at night looks like a big blue orb in my office; hence the name. I don’t dare lift it after we installed it either – takes two people to lift and move it.

I currently run:

  • Intel Core i7 Extreme
  • 32GB of RAM
  • Windows 10 64-Bit
  • Corsair Hydro Series Liquid Cooling
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080Ti

There’s plenty more in there making the Blue Beast run, but those are the primary components.

Do you have to go as crazy with your system? No, but I recommend more than one monitor. With three, I can lay out my work without having to manage multiple windows or tabs in Chrome, and I have seen a drastic improvement going from a single monitor to three.

Before I had three monitors, I had two. I initially swapped to two monitors after reading a study that adding a second monitory could increase productivity by 20 to 30 percent. While skeptical at first, once I added the second monitor, I was hooked – and I dare say my productivity spiked higher than 30 percent.

Tip #2: Try a Mechanical Keyboard: The Only Real Way to Type

When it comes to keyboards, I love mechanical ones. Not only are they easy to work on, but the sound is quite soothing. They have so many cute options today – including ones that mimic typewriters. I love to buy those, as I am obsessed with typewriters and their sound.

Even better, mechanical keyboards last way longer than rubber keyboards. If a key stops working, buy a new switch, replace, and off you go. Most keyboards come with a few extra switches too.

I recently swapped to the Cherry MX Silent from Corsair because my old mechanicals was too loud for early morning work sessions – didn’t want to wake everyone in the house as I crazily typed away.

Source: Corsair

With mechanicals, you almost feel as though you are working harder when your keyboard is clicking away like crazy. Sure, it annoys everyone around, but it gets you in the zone — so don’t mind anyone who tells you otherwise. Just show them your checklist when everything is marked “done.”  ✅ 😉

Tip #3: Consider a Treadmill Desk for a Change of Pace (Literally)

It is hard to sit at your desk all day, and it isn’t healthy either. Harvard Medical School mentions sitting for too many hours can increase your risk of diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and even deep-vein thrombosis.

I use a treadmill desk about once every other day.  Don’t buy an actual treadmill desk. What I did was purchase a regular treadmill (so I can enjoy all the great features) and created a makeshift board across it that holds my laptop when I want to get in some steps while typing. Not only does it keep me healthy but makes sure I annihilate anyone I’m competing in Fitbit challenges for that week too.

The research is out on whether treadmill desks increase productivity, but it is still a functional home office optimization tip to consider. Just be prepared – it takes time to get used to walking and typing at the same time.

Tip #4: Clean Your Workspace – Clutter Is the Enemy

You don’t have to be a clean freak to notice that clutter on your desk creates a stressful working environment. One home office optimization tip you can’t skip is decluttering your workspace. Try to reduce the clutter by putting pens in a single pen holder, keeping your notes and paperwork in neat piles, and removing anything unnecessary to your work from your desk. Organize your drawers, so everything you need is within reach, but not taking up real estate on your desk surface.

Quick home office optimization tips from our content manager: get a great computer that allows you to work flawlessly (and open +20 tabs), try using a mechanical keyboard, and make sure your desk is clean! Read more in this post. Click To Tweet

Tip #5: Have Ready-to-Go Saved Work Tabs on Chrome

As a Content Manager, on an average day, I need three Chrome windows open and a total of 22 tabs. Finding and opening each of those tabs manually each day is a waste of time, and this is by far one of the easiest ways to optimize your home office.

I created pre-set tab categories by monitor, in the order I want them to open on my Chrome window, and all I need to do is open with one click in the browser each morning – taking a task that usually was 5 minutes of searching down to under 60 seconds.

Tip #6: Create a To-Do List and Track Projects in Asana (or Similar)

I’m a big to-do list junkie, and it is a home office optimization task you cannot skip if you want to get things done. I use a standard paper planner for regular to-do’s around the house in one color, and another for work-related tasks.

For bigger jobs and projects, I use Asana to organize it all. I also put all of my daily tasks in Asana – there’s so many, I’d forget without a daily checklist.

Asana has a great feature that allows a task to auto-repeat every set number of days/hours after you hit the checkmark.

So, for daily tasks, I have it repeat every 24 hours. When I hit the checkmark, it automatically reappears on tomorrow’s to-do list.

Tip #7: Use Focus Timers to Encourage Breaks and Maximize Productivity

Sitting at your desk for hours on end, focusing on a single project, makes you think you’re productive, but in reality, you’re wasting more time than necessary, which brings me to the next must on your home office optimization to-do list.

Your brain isn’t designed to focus for hours. Instead, you need small breaks every 15-20 minutes to refresh. After three 15 to 20-minute sessions, you should take one longer break to recharge.

The Pomodoro Technique, which is what this practice is named as, was created in the 1980s. The Pomodoro Technique works differently from how I like to break up my work but is a great place to start if you’ve never done a focus timer. In this technique, you do a 25-minute session, then break for 5 minutes. After you do four 25-minute sessions, you take a 15 to 20-minute break.

You can use an ordinary kitchen timer, but I have installed an app on my PC known as Focus10. You can customize how many work sessions you do, the time limit for each, and even the break amounts.

If you are a PC user, you can find Focus10 in the Microsoft Store under apps or search “Focus10” and the app will appear.

Microsoft Store has a few other timer choices, but after trying a few, Focus10 is my favorite. It is incredibly user-friendly, free, and simplified. Others were cumbersome and way too busy. I just wanted a timer that I can program and move on.

Use your time wisely by listing down your to-dos on a planner or programs like Asana for easier tracking. Use focus timers too to encourage breaks and maximize your productivity. ⏲️ Know more home optimizations tips here! Click To Tweet

Tip #8: Utilize Gmail’s Built-In Email Organization Tools

Gmail is not user-friendly. They have so many features, but they make it impossible to find them at times. Only by accident did I stumble across labels and color-coding inside my Gmail. Who knows how long this little gem was there!

Mess around with your labels and filters, so that you have emails automatically deposit into specific categories. You can even have them skip the inbox and go into the category folder.

You can organize your desk, and you can follow every home office optimization idea I give you, but one you also should include is your inbox. When you’re done for the day, that bad boy should be empty. Every email pushed into its place, and if you want to go crazy, add color-coding.

Main categories have one color, subcategories another. That way when it shows in my inbox, thanks to the nifty labeling rules I’ve set, it automatically has a color, and I know what is important and what can wait until after coffee hour.

Tip #9: Start the Day with a Brain Dump

I cannot focus on work if I have thoughts running through my head. I often tell people to picture a hamster on his wheel running around like mad because that is my brain daily.

To tame the hamster and at least get him to take a nap while I work, I do a morning brain dump. While this might not specifically organize your office, having a mind ready to work is critical. With all the home office optimization in the world, when your brain is somewhere else, you’re not productive.

I sit down before I log in for the day, take out my journal and write. What do I write? Literally everything.

I will run on about how the kids have soccer that day, or how I really want to repaint my kitchen. Anything that is running through my brain, making that hamster wheel turn, gets written down, off my chest, and then my mind feels free and ready to tackle the day.

Tip #10: Consider Your Existing Home Office Design Layout – and How to Improve It

Your home office should be comfortable and operational for flawless home office optimization.

A good-sized desk is a great start, and if you have a dedicated space in your home for an office, even better. When I first started working from home, my office was in my living room. So, I’ve been there too.

Regardless of where, or how much space you have, you can make your workspace more efficient and comfortable by moving things around and creating “stations” for your work.

My current office, for example, seconds as my craft room. However, all crafts and work are separate. One side of my office is my dedicated craft area, with its own desk and all craft supplies stored neatly on shelves.

The other side of my office is the “work” area. Here you have my desk, my chair, printer station, and filing cabinets. When I’m on this side of my office, I’m in work mode. When I’m on the craft side, I’m in relaxation mode.

Organize your home office to what works for you. If you have a dedicated office without a craft room, then you can space things out more.

Just make sure you get plenty of natural light. The more exposure you have to natural sunlight, the better you will feel (health-wise), but also, the more productive you will be each day, according to Cornell University.

Now You Have the Home Office Optimization Tips You Need to Improve Your Game

Whether you are a freelancer working from home, a virtual assistant, or a content manager thriving on PSLs, the more optimization you do for your home office environment, the more productive you’ll be each day.

Getting your job done is rewarding, but getting it done quickly and efficiently even more so. After all, would you rather have the afternoon to get outside for fresh air, or stay stuck at your desk because you fell behind?

Now that I’ve armed you with what works for me, the next step is for you to go out and find what works best for you.

CTA home office optimization

technical content writer

How to Become a Technical Content Writer: A Real-Life Guide from a Tech Content Writer

This is a guest post from one of our technical writers, Megan A.

Many writers I know hear “technical writing” and instantly recoil, as though the words were some sort of scaly monster that had slithered into their ears. 🐍

Others believe technical writing to be the death of a writer’s soul. After all, there can’t be any room for artistic creativity in a realm so coldly logical, can there?

Well, not exactly.

While it’s true that technical writing is mostly analytical – and typically not your first choice to read on a long flight, there is a branch of technical writing that is engaging, creative, and increasingly high demand:

Technical content writing.

So, what is technical content writing? How is it different from technical writing? Why is it so important in today’s workplace, and why should more creative people consider going into it?

Let’s get into it.

Need technical content writing? See our rates.

a real life guide from a technical content writer

How to Become a Technical Content Writer: A Real-Life Guide (What’s Ahead)

What is Technical Writing?

What is Technical Content Writing?

Why Employers Want Technical Content Writers

4 Perks of Being a Technical Content Writer

Discussing Technical Writing Career Paths

How to Become a Technical Content Writer: Your 3-Step Checklist

What is Technical Writing?

Wikipedia defines technical writing as the process of communicating information between two or more parties through any medium which best gets the point across.

wikipedia tech writer

Some of those said mediums are:

  • Technical reports
  • User manuals
  • Instructions
  • Documentation
  • Policy procedures

The list goes on and on, but they all share a singular purpose: to transfer knowledge in such a way that enables the recipient to complete a particular task.

Learn the difference between technical writing, technical content writing, and why employers are seeking tech content writers 🔥 More in this real-life guide by our tech writer Megan. Click To Tweet

What is Technical Content Writing?

Let me answer that question with another question: What is content writing?

Content writing is all the customer-facing media that drives interest for a particular product, business, or website. In today’s digital world, the majority of content is designed for the web.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • Social media
  • News writing
  • Ghostwriting
  • SEO composition

Technical content writing is effectively all of that but specifically for the tech world.

Technical writing and technical content writing can be seen as two sides of the same coin. Whereas technical writing shares knowledge in a user-friendly manner, technical content writing generally shares knowledge in a customer-friendly way.

Why Employers Want Technical Content Writers

As more and more jobs become automated, a lot of us have growing anxiety that our profession might be the next for robots to replace. However, content writing will still rely on humans for a while, and technical content writing is one of the fastest-growing jobs in the market.

In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics from the United States Department of Labor predicts that between now and 2026, technical writing employment will experience a growth of 11%. That’s 5% higher than the average growth for all occupations and 6% greater than the employment growth for media and communication specialists.

technical writer graph

The reason for this is because technical products – new technologies, software, and services based on the web – are being developed at a rapid pace. With those new products comes the need for people savvy in communication to explain the ins and outs of it as well as creatives who can get more people interested.

Need technical content created for your blog or site? See our tech writing prices in our Content Shop.

What's the difference between technical writing and technical content writing? Technical writing shares knowledge in a user-friendly manner. Technical content writing shares knowledge too -- but in a customer-friendly way. Click To Tweet

4 Perks of Being a Technical Content Writer

If job security and high demand aren’t enough for you, here are a few of the other appeals to being a technical content writer.

1. Work Never Gets Stale

Have you ever worked a job that was the same day in and day out? I certainly have. It was mind-numbing.

However, with technical content writing, there’s always something new to learn and it changes every day. As long as new technologies, methods, and ethics surrounding those technologies come into being or fade out of use, there will forever be something to learn and write about.

This is especially true if you go into technical content writing with little to no experience in the technology industry, as the less internal jargon you know, the more you have to research.

2. You Don’t Need Experience in Tech to be a Technical Content Writer found that few technical writing jobs require applicants to have a degree in anything technical.

tech education

None of these degrees have a direct relation to working with technology. I would also argue that you don’t need a degree to become a writer, but we’ll get to that later.

Most of what you do as a technical content writer is take the complex and simplify it for the rest of us. For example, you could be asked to write a journalistic blog discussing recent cyberattacks on universities, or create a lesson for developers on how to code an interactive map in their app.

None of that requires you to be a programmer or IT technician (though many people in such roles do go into technical writing). All it needs is for you to be adaptable, able to learn, and know how to effectively communicate with others.

As long as you’re curious, a fast learner, a good researcher, and have a history of writing strong content, you can break into technical content writing.

3. You Won’t Lose Your Passion to Work

When I was attending university for a degree in writing, I found that my passion for creative writing had died. Where once I wrote stories because I wanted to, I was now selling stories for a grade. It didn’t matter if I liked what I was writing – as long as it got me an A, it was good.

In short, it can be emotionally draining to manipulate something that used to be part of your soul into a sellable product. That’s not to say some authors can’t do it (looking at you Stephen King), but generally, work is still work no matter what you’re doing.

Fortunately, technical content writing does not rely so heavily on how creatively the author crafts a narrative as much as it values whether or not the author can produce something that serves a purpose. There is still an emphasis on creativity in technical content writing, but it’s primarily on how well the author can maximize reader engagement and make the subject matter comprehensible to the general public.

As such, you can have something you do for work and something you do for yourself at the end of the day. Striking a balance between those two is more important than many people realize.

4. The Best Money You Can Make as a Writer

The average content writer in the United States makes $17.50 an hour.

technical writer salary

Meanwhile, according to Josh Fetcher, technical writers can earn anywhere between $50,000 to $200,000 annually. The amount a technical writer makes is based on a few factors, such as:

  • The speed at which you put out work
  • The quality of your work – or the quality that is expected from you
  • How strongly the company you’re employed with trusts your ability to work on larger projects

And of course, if you’re working freelance, the demand for your technical writing will determine how much you earn on average. It could be more than the estimations listed above or less.

The amount you make as a technical writer also depends on how much you are willing to learn about the tech industry. A writer who doesn’t know the first thing about coding will not be able to accept assignments from a client that wants them to write about the pros and cons between Angular and JavaScript, for example. It literally pays to have a curious mind.

Accepting the title of a technical writer or technical content writer may not be as sexy as saying you’re a journalist, reviewer, or that you’re working on your upcoming bestseller, but for some (myself included), it can be the difference between living with your parents or paying off your student loans.

For our tech writer, Megan, there are more technical content writer perks besides job security: work never gets stale, no tech experience required, you can be creative, and good money. 🙌 Click To Tweet

Discussing Technical Writing Career Paths

Like how doctors have many different specializations to go into, technical writers are not limited to a single discipline for their career. Within technical writing is a handful of career groups which then can be broken into sub-groups.

tech writer careers

Some of those groups are:

  • Content Production: This includes content writing, developing, and editing. A technical content writer may also be asked to produce scripts for video or podcasts, blogs, news articles, or marketing copy.
  • Communication: Technical communications is a broad field with many subsets, but the overarching objective of a technical communicator is to convey information through various means. A technical communicator may be asked to write instructions, publish articles in scientific journals, present new technology at a conference, and so on.
  • Information production: This is similar to technical communication in that you would be expected to help others understand a complex concept, but the tasks that would be given to you are more specialized. For instance, as an information developer, you’d be tasked more with software development and the systems on which your software is built. As an information designer, you’d more likely be asked to create graphics that visualize data in an effective way that’s easy to understand.

These branches are good to reference as you look to begin your career in technical writing, but your choices are not limited to the ones listed above. If you decide to create your own business or freelance career out of technical writing, you can create any number of paths you want for yourself.

How to Become a Technical Content Writer: 3-Step Checklist

Technical content writing has many avenues you can approach it from. The strongest skills you will have as a technical content writer is your willingness to learn, your adaptability, and your ability to produce strong written content. The following are some good tips for success when starting your career in technical content writing:

1. Become an Industry “Expert”

Merriam-Webster’s definition of “expert” is about what you might expect.


However, the term “expert” has been experiencing a shift in meaning as of late due to how frequently it’s used in the professional world. Now it mostly just means that you aren’t completely naive on the subject you’re supposedly an “expert” on. In general, you should have a firm enough grasp on the technical matter you’re writing about that you can add your own perspective instead of regurgitating what you learn about it.

If you want to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. As in, if you want to write about technical information, you have to know how to work with said information.

That doesn’t mean you have to be a surgeon to write about surgical robots. Similarly, you don’t have to build your own security software to discuss new developments within the cybersecurity sector.

The term “expert” has been experiencing a shift in meaning as of late due to how frequently it’s used in the professional world. Now it mostly just means that you aren’t completely naive on the subject you’re supposedly an “expert” on. In general, you should have a firm enough grasp on the technical matter you’re writing about that you can add your own perspective instead of regurgitating what you learn about it.

In my case, I figured that in order to effectively write about software, I needed to at least know the fundamentals of coding.

To do this, I used Codecademy, and continue to use it to this day. Through them, I learned the basics of HTML and developed a calculator using Python. I wouldn’t say I’m an “expert coder” because of that, but I am at least familiar with the processes involved with producing software. This allows me to have a better understanding of what goes into software and web development, thus enabling me to produce higher quality technical content.

Otherwise, strong research skills will be your greatest asset. If you don’t know what something in your assignment is, look it up. After looking it up, read similar pieces from other authors to get a fuller understanding of what that thing is and how to address it. Then, when writing your technical piece, think of what you would add to what you’ve just learned to make it better.

This ensures that not only are you providing your readers with facts, but you’re also giving them unique takes that can benefit their lives.

2. Learn Your Audience

One of the reasons I got into technical writing was because I am surrounded by people who work with technology.

My proximity to these sorts of folk helps me understand the minds of people in the tech industry, the types of problems they work with, and what solutions many of them look for.

In other words, I’m intimately familiar with my audience.

There are other, less direct ways to learn about your audience in the technical world, however. You can start by:

  • Reading the comments: Remember how I mentioned that research is your greatest asset? Well, when you research other technical content online, look for any comments that may be attached to it. If there are comments, make note of what people are saying and how they’re feeling about the subject at hand. Be as empathetic as possible when taking their comments into account, as these people will likely be the same who will read your work.
  • Finding case studies: Here is an example from JumpCloud of how you can find case studies on a company website:

Go to the reviews and testimonials section of any website that aims to deliver a service or product to tech professionals and look through any case studies they have. Case studies are designed to help a company build a customer persona, but they can also help you identify the common issues your audience might have and what they would like to hear.

  • Following tech blogs: By following tech blogs, you’ll keep up to date on new developments and what people are thinking about them. Sign up for their emails and stay on their list.

Josh Fetcher also recommends conducting interviews with industry professionals. He says “technical writing often requires interviews,” so the sooner you get comfortable with them, the better.

3. Build a Portfolio

I’m sure many have caught on to this, but a degree that isn’t STEM-related is virtually meaningless today. Employers mostly want to see that you have experience, but experience is in short supply. That’s why you have to create your own.

Find a technical topic that interests you. This can be software development, hardware development, scientific research, etc. Read everything you can on your chosen subject. Then, create your own piece of technical content that focuses in on it. Save your work on something that’s easily shareable – in my case, it was a WordPress blog – so that you can direct potential clients or employers to it when you need to.

How can you become a technical content writer? 3 steps: become an industry expert -- understand the topic and have strong research skills, know your audience, & build your portfolio. Read more in this guide by our tech writer, Megan! Click To Tweet

Finding Balance as a Tech Content Writer

I found my technical content writing career after spending half a year writing blogs on health and wellness. Reading medical journals was actually something that interested me. When I learned the work I was doing was similar to technical content writing, I starting looking into that field.

I can thank Express Writers for allowing me to practice technical content writing at a highly professional level.

Technical content writing was a bit out of my comfort zone, tried it out, and found that it wasn’t as daunting or dull as it sounded.

If anything, technical content writing has helped me feel more fulfilled in my work. It has allowed me to exercise both the left and right side of my brain while keeping the type of writing I consider to be part of my soul intact.

Looking for technical content writing for your site or blog? See our tech writing prices in our Content Shop.

cta technical content writer

freelance writing online

How I Got Started Freelance Writing Online: A Day in the Life of a Content Writer

Freelance writing online—a part-time gig to fill your spare time, a common misconception that many have.

Sure, writing online can be a fun hobby for some; however, for others, it’s a passion that fuels a fire that some simply don’t understand. Content writing is oftentimes a thankless job—in some cases, you work hours on end researching and toiling over a keyboard creating an outstanding piece of content that doesn’t even garner you a byline. So why bother doing it?

Here’s my answer: because it’s my passion.

I’ve been a writer my entire life—I kid you not. Before I could even write, I was telling wild stories that my family would write for me so I could have a copy to show off to my friends, family, and maybe my own children someday. That passion turned into a love of reading and a love of creation, one that spurred my love of education. An odd combination, sure, but it all comes together, I promise!

I knew college was my dream in elementary school, but when the time came, choosing what road I was going to take and what I was going to do with the rest of my life…

Talk about an impossible task!

freelance writing online

Freelance Writing Online: From Dream to Present & Future

What started as a love of education and wanting to educate other’s, quickly fizzled out as soon as the job market told me that becoming an educator wasn’t ideal. Teachers were getting laid off left and right, so why bother wasting my time and tuition money in a dead-end dream?

Okay, so it was time to choose a fallback option. I loved to read and create, so English was an obvious choice, but what kind of job could I get as an English major… Besides teaching English? Enter in Dr. Terri Fredrick, and there began my journey in professional and technical writing. This was a professor who encouraged us to look at every option available, including freelance writing online.

She taught us every lesson in the book:

  • How to spot scams
  • How to research clients
  • How to cold-pitch ideas
  • To not count yourself short

However, the lesson that stuck with me the most was to do what you love.

Upon graduating in 2013, this English major with her background in professional and technical writing knew that she wanted to write, but oddly enough, there weren’t all that many positions open for in-office writers. So, despite my family’s objections, I headed online, hit up, and landed my first writing position for a journalistic style website.

freelance writing online workspace

How do writers land a work-from-home online job? And what does their day-to-day writing from home look like? Cassie Boss, Express Writers' expert writer, shares her story and tips. Click To Tweet

Interested in working from home and writing? We’re always interviewing for additional writers. Send in your resume or samples here!

Freelance Writing Online: Part-Time Gig or Full-Time Job?

The overall job outlook for writers and authors is projected to grow 8% between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and with traditional publishing declining due to the uprising of online publication, the demand for online freelance writers is expected to grow.

The overall job outlook for writers and authors is projected to grow 8% between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

The overall job outlook for writers and authors is projected to grow 8% between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Still not sure if freelance online writing is for you? Read our expert writer's advice! Click To Tweet

What does that mean for anyone looking to start freelance writing online? Is this a position for part-timers looking to fill in some downtime? Alternatively, are there real possibilities to go full-time and make a living?

It all comes down to your intentions and personal preferences. For those looking to make a hobby of it, there are plenty of opportunities, both paid and unpaid; however, for those looking to make a career of it, I have some advice:

Prepare to get dirty and fight for your position.

Becoming a full-time freelance content writer takes a lot of time, patience, dedication, and yes, maybe a few tears along the way. Just like any other dream, you must be willing to work for it.

When I first started my journey into freelance writing online, I figured my degree would be enough to land me quality work, but just like with any other position, I had to prove that I could tough it out.

This meant researching and writing on topics that I didn’t love, working long hours and when I finally had the opportunity to take on freelance editing, it meant working overnight shifts, effectively putting my social life on hold.

Peace, Coffee, Love mug

What made it even harder, personally, was the fact that my circle didn’t believe that freelance writing was a “real job,” simply because I worked from home. To most, a “real job” consists of putting on business casual clothing, driving into the office and working 9-5. A “real job” wasn’t working in your home office at varying times researching and writing on topics varying from healthy keto recipes to Kim Kardashian’s latest relationship dramas.

Online freelance writer with her dog beside her napping

While it wasn’t a traditional reality, it was my reality, and I loved it. Not only was I writing, but I was continuing my love of education because I had to continuously research topics for client pieces, and I knew I would be educating others once they read the content I was creating.

I was living my dream…. I am living my dream.

Becoming a Full-Time Online Freelance Writer

I could go on to tell you that to become a full-time freelance writer online you must create a website, pitch your ideas and network, but I’m not going to. There are enough blogs and how-to articles out there that do just that.

That said, here are my tips on how to become a full-time online content writer.

1. Put Yourself Out There

By putting yourself out there, I mean get comfortable with being uncomfortable. If I’ve learned anything in my 6+ years of freelance writing online, it’s to be prepared to get out of your comfort zone. Since I was trained in literature during my school years, never did I imagine I would end up writing about digital marketing, celebrity entertainment, or health and wellness.

As a freelance writer, you can choose your niche; however, if you are just starting off, you need to prove your skills just as you would in any “real” job. This means researching and writing on topics you aren’t that familiar with and providing top-quality content that delivers results. Don’t be afraid of writing outside your comfort zone because it could be the difference between going full-time and struggling to land work.

2. Build Your Network

Okay, so I said I wasn’t going to go there… however, I’m going there. Building your online network matters more than you know. Writing is a creative art, even if it is technical in nature. You are creating something from nothing, and you need to have a network of people surrounding you to endorse your skills and help guide you on current trends. Think of it this way; your network works a lot like an artist’s online portfolio or a business’s testimonials page.

Having a strong network of people to endorse your work is one of the best ways to prove to future clients that you are capable of completing given tasks. Better yet, this network can also work to give you feedback to help shape your future work. Having a networking profile, such as a LinkedIn profile, is beneficial on so many different levels because it helps you continue learning from industry experts, all while allowing you to showcase your talents to prospective clients—all of which are vital steps in your journey to freelance writing online.

3. Your Client is Your Customer, Treat Them as Such

Another essential lesson I’ve learned through my years of online freelance work is always to treat each client as if they are the only one you have. Whether you found a steady job with a content creation agency or are choosing individual assignments on your own, each client needs to be treated as if they are your only focus.

Freelance writing online is a service that you are providing, and just like any other service, you are being hired to fulfill a customer’s needs. Treat your clients with the respect they deserve and always give them your best work. If you don’t feel like as if you can do their assignment justice, do the right thing, and tell them so. The absolute last thing you should be doing is handing in [email protected]$$ed work. That’s not going to get you the reputation you want. So, remember, the client is your customer, treat them as if they are the only one you have, and give them the quality work they deserve.

4. Let Go of Stigmas

If I’m being honest, this is probably one of the biggest struggles I had to overcome as a freelance content writer. Between disapproving loved ones, the stigma of being “lazy,” not having a “real job” and dealing with the instability of the job market, there were many times when I felt that freelance writing online simply wasn’t a viable position.

Here’s the lesson—I let outside influences tell me that it wasn’t viable, when, in fact, online content creation is a booming industry. With over 1.6 billion websites online, businesses are turning to online freelance writers to create expert-level writing that will attract new readers that will eventually lead to new customers.

That said, let go of all stigmas! The more you tell yourself you can’t, the more real that negativity becomes.


If you're serious about freelance online writing, here are Cassie's top 4 tips: be prepared to get out of your comfort zone, build your network, treat clients with respect, and let go of stigmas. 💓 Click To Tweet

Get Serious About Freelance Writing Online

Sure, while many individuals turn to freelance writing online as a source of extra income or even just as a hobby, there are many out there that want to make this more than that and turn it into a full-time career.

To do that, you must get serious and buckle down. There are dozens of different ways to go about finding a freelance writing job, but until you let go of those stigmas I mentioned earlier and start treating this as the passion you claim it to be, you won’t see much in the way of results.

Get Serious. Put Yourself Out There. Live Your Passion and Create Something Amazing!

awesome cta

how to improve your writing skills

How to Improve and Transform Your Writing Skills and Create Powerful, Zero-Fluff Content

What separates good writing from great writing?

You’ve got the fundamentals down and then some. Your grammar is flawless. Your flow is impeccable. Your source formatting is perfect.

Those are all fantastic qualities – but they aren’t all you need to produce outstanding content.

For that, you need something more, or, in some cases, something less.

The key to creating top-notch content your clients and readers will love is to lose the fluff. Replace your empty phrases with power words. Cut out the filler, and make room for more actionable, insightful language.

Trust me, it works. Power words and stronger language tap into our emotions. Harvard research has proven that emotions are a bigger driving factor in our decisions than logical calculations.

A style of writing like this doesn’t just come to us.

It takes research, practice, and dedication. Today we’ll discuss steps on how to improve your writing skills and transform your content.

6 Steps on How to Improve Your Writing Skills

1.    Understand the Basics of Good Writing and Why They Matter

2.    Take a Closer Look at Your Language

3.    Cut and Cull Filler, Fluff, and Fallback Words

4.    Use These Exercises to Build Better Habits

5.    Proofread with Power Words in Mind

6.    Final Checks: See How Your Work Measures Up

steps on how to improve your writing skills

The key to creating top-notch content your clients and readers will love is to lose the fluff. Learn transformative #writing skills in this post by @JuliaEMcCoy 📝 Click To Tweet

Starting Out: Make Sure You Have the Fundamentals Down

I did mention that good grammar, flow, and citing practices are fundamental to good writing. So before you set out to empower your content with stronger words, make sure you’ve got all the basics taken care of.

This isn’t to say you won’t ever make a typo or fail to link to a source properly – everyone does it. Yet, we need a solid base to work off of.

Think of the blog you’re creating like a house you’re building. Even if you paint and clean the exterior, it won’t cover up for using old materials. Consider it like a piece of music. You can have the best mastering toolkit out there – but a poor mix can only be polished so much.

If you’re wondering how to improve your writing skills and grammar, I recommend a tool like Grammarly. It’s a free add-on for Chrome that’s helped millions of people improve their grammar, and even find better word choices.

I also wrote a book for online content writing beginners back in 2016, the book I wished I’d had when I started out, called So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing. Check it out on Amazon.

For sourcing your work correctly and getting better flow, there’s nothing better than analyzing the experts. I love Jon Morrow from SmartBlogger, and Henneke at Enchanting Marketing. Stay original, but draw inspiration from the content you want to emulate.

Now onto the main part of our guide – how can you take a piece with perfect grammar and great fundamentals and make it even better?

If you’re wondering how to improve your writing skills and grammar, I recommend a tool like Grammarly. - @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

Examine Your Vocabulary and Pick Power Words

Great writing isn’t just about saying something – it’s how you say it that is important. Take the following example – examine the difference between the first and second image.

Images from OptinMonster

Those power words trigger something in our psychology. Think about how bad it would feel to miss out on something – or how good it would feel to get a freebie.

Power words can activate positive or negative responses. In either case, they drive some type of reaction. They can take the same message and magnify it, enriching the copy and facilitating a better connection with the reader.

I get this question all the time. How do you know what constitutes a power word? Admittedly, some subjectivity is in play. If you want to get a quick start on empowering your vernacular, check out this resource from my agency containing 120 amazing power words – plus 10 calls-to-action you can use for more results.

The importance of writing skills for content creators doesn’t just mean the ability to crank out thousands of words per day or follow client instructions. It means being able to go above and beyond with language that commands reactions.

Here are some tips for choosing power words:

  • Be Unique and Ultra-Specific: The more your words stand out, the better. If you can choose a word that describes what you’re talking about in more detail, do it. Remember, being as specific and precise as possible strengthens the overall message of your writing.
  • Express Urgency and Describe Degrees: As shown in our last example, power words can reinforce the time-sensitivity of a message. You should also look to reinforce the degrees of what you’re talking about. If something is better than good, or worse than bad, pick a word that expresses it.
  • Always Stay Relevant and Useful: Remember, we aren’t beefing up our vocabulary just for the sake of it. Don’t use elaborate words just to be using them. Make sure your choices reflect the content you’re writing and the mood you’re trying to create. Otherwise, you’re being wordy for the sake of it, which could count as fluff – but more on that later.


Image from Pinterest

'Choosing power words tips: Be unique, specific, express urgency, and stay relevant' - @JuliaEMcCoy on improving writing skills Click To Tweet

Mood is another thing to keep in mind. There are different power words to use depending on what emotion or vibe you’re trying to cultivate.

Creating a step-by-step guide? Give your readers amazing advice to help them command results and see incredible changes.

You can do this for the entire spectrum of emotions and human urges. Fear, excitement, lust, bravery, and more.

Even with a general idea of power words, you may be curious about how to work them in. The good news is you don’t need to extend your word counts that much. In some cases, you can make room by eliminating weak language.

Learn to Spot Fluff, Then Cut and Cull it Out of Your Writing

Fluff, filler, and fallback words can befall even the best writers out there. We all do it – sometimes it’s just too tempting to get wordy even if the situation doesn’t necessarily call for it.

Again, there is some subjectivity in play when determining exactly what counts as fluff. However, your quest to transform your writing requires you to make this determination and change your approach accordingly.

Fluff could be thought of as “the extra words” which don’t add much to the sentence – if anything. Could the same point be made, as strong (or even stronger) without a word? Then that word is fluff.

Image from Pinterest

Cutting the fluff is key for making room for your power words. It’s also great for keeping your reader interested, making each piece feel unique, and strengthening the message you’re trying to convey. Here’s a quick set of steps to help you find filler and eliminate it – or better yet, avoid falling back on it to begin with.

  • Start with an Outline: Concise writing, by default, will have less filler. If you’re worried your piece will get fluffy, start with an outline. It will help you stay on track and cover the important points without drifting too far out of focus.
  • Don’t Get Too Descriptive: Just because you’re being concise doesn’t mean you have to be too detailed unless the subject calls for it. Fluff isn’t just extra words that add no value – it can also be extra details that aren’t necessarily appropriate in the piece you’re writing.
  • Remove Redundancy: The key to impactful writing with crisp, powerful language is value. Your words should compel, and say a lot with a little. Because of this, there’s no need to use different words to say the same thing over again. You can explain the same thing in multiple ways if doing so strengthens the message, but less is more in most cases.

The process of removing fluff usually comes into play during editing. However, there’s a better way to eliminate fluff – do it as you write.

Of course, this is easier said than done. The best way to train yourself to write powerful content with zero fluff is the same way you train yourself to do anything else – with the right exercises.

Image from one of my favorite marketers ever, Henneke at Enchanting Marketing

Once you get the right techniques and use exercises that can build good habits, it becomes much easier to get inspired toward creating impactful content.

'Steps to detect fluff: create an outline, avoid getting too descriptive, and avoid redundancy - @JuliaEMcCoy on improving writing skills Click To Tweet

Use These 3 Exercises to Improve Writing Skills

When you’re trying to put power words into your writing, you’ll find old habits are hard to break. If you’ve relied on tame terminology and fluff for a while, you’ll also take a while to transform your writing.

The best way to improve your technical, promotional, and creative writing skills is to try these helpful exercises.

1. Find Your Fluff Fallbacks and Cut, Cut, Cut

This writing exercise begins in the editing phase. When you’re learning how to spot fluff, you’ll start by plucking out those unnecessary elements from your writing. Maybe you have a thing for adverbs, or you’re a person who loves their prepositions.

Whatever your fallbacks are, they will usually fall into a few specific categories. Once you find these, challenge yourself to write without them. If you find it too hard to avoid them completely, set a goal such as having no more than 5 cases in the piece you’re working on.

2. The Reverse Word Count Trick

Copywriters are familiar with the concept of minimum word counts.

But what about maximum word counts?

Yes, you may know me as the “long-form queen,” but even I have a maximum. 🙅

When you’re writing a sentence, read it back afterward and ask yourself: Could I use fewer words to get my point across? This is the “reverse word count” trick.

You don’t always have to splice every modifier or adjective out for the sake of brevity. However, learning to say more with less can help you avoid filler words and ensure you aren’t adding words in just to reach a total.

When you’re writing a sentence, read it back afterward and ask yourself: Could I use fewer words to get my point across? This is the 'reverse word count' trick. - @JuliaEMcCoy on strong #writing Click To Tweet

3. Broaden Your Vocabulary: Use Powerful (But Simple) Language

When we talk about putting power words into our work, complexity immediately comes to mind. But since we’re using them to make a connection with the reader, it is often better if they are simple. Try replacing your generic words with powerful alternatives – but only if you know their meaning. To widen and broaden your vocabulary, use I use it constantly when looking up a more powerful synonym.

Image from Jar of Quotes

Mr. Grishman’s quote also has an extended version, where he tells us to go sparingly on the second category.

This applies especially to industries full of terms that qualify as “jargon.” Don’t write in phrases you have to think too deeply to understand, or you’ll turn off your online readers. If you have to search and contemplate for the meaning of the word, your reader may have to do the same thing. If they are required to keep a dictionary tab open just to get through your piece, they won’t even bother.

Power Writing Requires Power Proofreading

I want to close out by letting you in on a secret about proofreading your work – it’s easier if you use power words.

Why is this?

There’s a secret that seasoned writers and editors know about when it comes to checking your copy. If you read it out loud, you’re less likely to skim over errors. How do power words factor in?

Imagine you’re reading your work aloud in front of a crowd of eager listeners. Is the pressure on yet? Good. The best way to feel confident is to bring a presentation that makes you confident.

Ask yourself – would you feel better reading a generic script full of weasel words? Of course not. You want to have something powerful that attracts attention and keeps your readers hanging on your every word.

When you’re reading your copy back, don’t just make sure it flows well. Ask yourself if there’s any way you could change out words, eliminate some or add others in to strengthen what you’re saying.

When you’re reading your copy back, don’t just make sure it flows well. Ask yourself if there’s any way you could change out words, eliminate some or add others in to strengthen what you’re saying. More on great #writing ✍️ Click To Tweet

This may not always come into play. However, when you’re doing your proofreading and editing, you’re more likely to find spots to put power words.

'Looking where to put power words? You can do this through proofreading and editing. - @JuliaEMcCoy on improving writing skills Click To Tweet

Compare Your Work to See Where You Stand

Putting power words in the right places is the best way to change your writing from good to great. However, how can you know whether your writing is really more impactful than it used to be?

The key lies in comparing it. When we talk about comparing our writing, we’re usually told to compare it to our favorite writers. We did list that tip earlier, but it isn’t the only type of comparison you should be making.

You can also compare your improved writing to your old writing. It’s a great way to see how much stronger your words sound, and how much of a difference power words really make.

When you’re learning how to improve your writing skills, taking a look back at your older work may even make you twinge a bit. That’s a good thing, though. You’re seeing how far you’ve come and how much progress you’ve made.

Transforming your work with power words requires an understanding of the importance of wording choices. It also means practicing with the right exercises, and even carrying it over into your editing.

Powerful writing with less fluff means more value for your clients and your readers – it’s a win-win.

copywriting advice

57 Timeless Pieces of Copywriting Advice: Secrets to Improve Your Writing Skills

The history of marketing dates back to the early century as ancient art.

Barkers were hired in the Babylonian seaports by merchants to announce the arrival of spices, wine and fabrics.

In Greece, Greeks hung “Lost” posters in an effort to find and reunite with jewelry, children, or even slaves.

In Pompeii, billboards were extensively painted as signs that were used to announce carnivals, plays, and races.

These early realms of marketing drew on tactics, tools and strategies that you still use today, as a marketer to promote your products and services or brand.

You might be asking, “But Julia, why does this matter?”

Tell me why we need to know about advertising history

Source: GIPHY

Besides being fascinated with all the stories that you never imagined could’ve happened years ago, knowing history can affect how you work today — especially in copywriting.

You’ll even get to know what type of content has moved societies, and why some content trends remained effective until today.

Marketing history can help you learn:

  • How you shouldn’t organize a campaign
  • How you can comprehend and guide the constant human psychology
  • Forgotten fundamentals of marketing
  • Unusual copywriter strategies that work
  • How to save time and money by testing the right decisions
  • New publicity insights that you never imagined could be possible
  • Straightforward strategic thoughts of verified advertising directors

Lastly, knowing about the history of marketing and good copywriting can introduce you to a few of the best copywriting experts of all time. Wouldn’t it be nice to know timeless copywriting advice from the classics?

Today’s post is dedicated to your ongoing inspiration as a writer. As a writer, I know more than anyone it can be hard to get the muse to strike. Browsing through a few quotes from some of the greats in our industry can help re-ignite that love of writing inside your soul. Let’s dive in!

timeless pieces of copywriting advice

Top 57 Timeless Pieces of Copywriting Advice: Secrets to Improve Your Writing Skills

Here are the best 57 copywriters of all time and their best ideas. Although some are passed away and others alive, their ideas are timeless and very inspirational.

While you will be familiar with some names, others will be totally new to you. However, what matters is how you can apply their timeless advice and ideas into your copywriting career today.

Note that these experts have been sourced from various disciplines because our most memorable advice as copywriters can sometimes come from other unrelated fields.

The advice or quotes do not just govern our writing, but also relationships with ourselves and others.

We gain the insight to not just sell products and services, but also use the power we have to transform people’s lives.

Here are the best 57 copywriting experts of all time and their best ideas to give you insights into writing to engage and succeed. Learn and enjoy!

1. “Be vivid. Tell a story. Don’t be bland.” – Seth Godin

This copywriting tip is absolutely timeless because of how much it inspires us all (as online creators) to be original. That’s about as foundational as you can get with writing advice.

Giving your own insights, unique thoughts, additional expertise, and new perspectives on something will give you that edge you need to stand out in today’s sea of content.

Seth Godin’s timeless advice is all about writing copy without fluff, which in his words he calls “weasel words.” They do not add any value or flesh to your story, but makes it bland and dull.

Be vivid. Tell a story. Don’t be bland. @ThisIsSethsBlog Be inspired by Seth and 56 other #copywriters Click To Tweet

2. “Swap places with your readers.” – Ann Handley

According to Ann, in her book “Everybody Writes,” you need to swap places with your readers to get a feeling of what goes through their minds while reading your copy.

Is your point clearly brought out throughout your copy?

Is your tone honest?

Have you been hooked into the content despite it being of no interest to you?

Did you enjoy reading it?

If you answer yes to all the above questions, then your copy is ready for the reader, otherwise, revise it.

Create a lasting impression in your readers’ minds by writing interesting, factual and memorable content.

Swap places with your readers. - @annhandley This & 56 other bits of wisdom from top #copywriters in our blog Click To Tweet

3. “Where a web page is the terrain, the copywriter’s the tour guide, instructor, concierge, maître d’, and of course, sales clerk. If the copy can’t seal the deal, it must offer something compelling to start some sort of relationship.” – Barry Feldman

Write compelling content that is good enough to lock in your prospects. Even if they don’t buy now, they can buy in the future.

Feldman recommends writing engaging content that converts: here are the copywriting strategies that work to retain your prospects.

4. “Copywriting with passion, creating a shared, emotional experience of desire, delight, excitement, and awe, is the primary challenge all copywriters face.” – Aaron Orendorff

Just like any other profession, it takes passion for you to succeed in your field.

Passionate copywriting can help you create exciting, delightful and compelling copy that will leave your readers wanting more.

5. “Begin your bullets with dynamic action words, and keep them brief and punchy.” – Casey Demchak

Add powerful bullets in your copy, beginning them using action words while keeping them sharp and short.

Bullets are always a must in our Write Blog posts to make every long-form content easier to read.

Source: Express Writers

6. “Decide the effect you want to produce in your reader.” – Robert Collier

Whether you are a direct mail or self-help copywriter, Robert Collier is a name that should ring a bell. He was prominent in the copywriting field and lived between 1885 and 1950.

Collier is best known for his book, “The Secret of the Ages,” that he published in 1926 and sold over 300,000 copies in his lifetime. He’s a legend in faith, abundance, visualization, desire, and of course, copywriting.

Collier’s books sold for millions of dollars. He shared and explained the direct-mail letters he wrote and why they were successful in his book ‘The Robert Collier Letter Book.

How did he manage to write many successful sales letters?

He explained the secret to his success as a copywriter: you must first decide on the effect you want your copy to have on your audience even before you can start writing.

What kind of feeling or emotion do you want to trigger in your audience? Could it be flattery, envy or pride? Any of these trigger words should get you started in selecting the right effect you want on your reader upon reading your copy.

With the chosen effect or emotion in mind, write to invoke that specific feeling. Start out with intensive research to kick-off your writing for a pre-determined emotion in your audience.

7. “Show your product in use.” – Victor Schwab

Schwab kicked-off his career as a secretary and lived from 1898 to 1980. He worked for Maxwell Sackheim at Rathrauff & Ryan’s.

He successfully improved Sackheim’s copy and that saw him get promoted to a copywriter position. That’s how he became “the greatest mail-order copywriter of all time.”

Schwab was a deep researcher and used coded coupon ads to track his outcomes. He evaluated his copy appeals, calls to action, headlines, copy length and split runs.

He created comics for Dale Carnegie, Sherwin Cody (Classic English Courses) and Charles Atlas, a bodybuilder, as a content marketer.

Source: Do You Make These Mistakes in English?: The Story of Sherwin Cody’s Famous Language School PDF

He explained through his book “How to Write a Good Advertisement” that you should put your product in action for it to be successful.

Schwab explained that it has been proven that, your product can get more attention when you showcase it in your advertisement while in use. For instance, accomplishing or doing something using the product for your audience. According to W.S. Townsend, “that makes it live and breathe and serves right in front of the eyes of the prospect.”

Similarly, incorporating videos on your landing pages can improve your conversion rates, which can double your landing page conversions.

8. “In writing, rhythm is defined by punctuation and the stress patterns of words in a sentence. Long sentences sound smoother, while short sentences make your content snappier.” – Henneke Duistermaat

Keep your sentences concise for readability and ease of understanding.

Use rhyming words to create compelling content.

Duistermaat explains how you can make your words swing and swirl in your copy.

9. “Open like a Reader’s Digest article.” – John Caples

Agencies like Ruthrauff & Ryan’s that clearly “understood” advertising had it easy during the Great Depression.

Seen as a hard-sell mail-order shop, before the Depression, with templates similar to tabloids, the agency was perceived to warn people of sensitive issues, just like a soap ad warns of bad body odor.

However, the most successful copy headline ever was written in the shop’s humble premises.

Working for this agency, John Caples mastered the art of crafting mail-order copies based on perfected results.

His ability to get to the point in no time brought him to write a great headline for a music company “They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano, But When I Started to Play!-“

The success of the headline saw Caples dominate the advertising industry for almost five decades. He wrote the copywriting book ‘“Tested Advertising Methods” and has an industry award named after him.

Caples says Reader’s Digest is specific, telegraphic and packed with facts and a few adjectives to arouse curiosity in your readership.

Similarly, open your blog posts with short (even one-word) sentences and use the right quotes. 

10. “Tap into one overwhelming desire.” – Eugene Schwartz

Schwartz lived between 1927 and 1995. He was not just a successful direct-mail copywriter who addressed businesses and individuals with killer headlines like “Give Me 15 Minutes and I’ll Give You a Super-Power Memory,” but wrote various legendary books like Breakthrough Advertising.

Going for at least $95 on Amazon, the graduate-level book offers insights into direct-response copywriting. He covers how to write irresistible landing page copy, writing exercises that can improve your copy and how you can get what you want by giving people what they want, among other great ideas.

Schwartz was pushing for writing a copy that meets a single main desire, despite its complexity. He said, “Tap into one overwhelming desire in the hearts of many people actively seeking to meet it at the very moment.”

No matter how important a copywriter you are, getting this critical step wrong would render your copy useless.

Getting it right could get the world ticking and dancing to your tunes.

11. “When we talk about something negative, it doesn’t have to be dramatic, but there should be some cost of turning your offer down. What’s yours?” – Amy Harrison

Studies show that we respond better to positive people and positive messages. Therefore, it’s better to write in an optimistic tone for your content to convert.

12. “Make the advertiser the character.”  Maxwell Sackheim

Maxwell Sackheim wrote one of the most powerful headlines in history for a patented English mail-order course dubbed “Do You Make These Mistakes in English?”

This magnetic headline saw the ad run for about four decades, a period many businesses can’t even last.

However, his effective strategy of making the advertiser a “character” was less known.

Your advertising letters should come from the words used by your customers.

A good example is his disarming letter ‘The Gloucester Fisherman” that was written for his client Frank E. Davis. The client showcases his weaknesses in his inability to write, but only took part in what he does best: fishing.

Source: Good Morning Gloucester

He is honest in the letter about his ugly side. He wants to make a living and hopes for customers who can buy his catch.

13. “Develop a Unique Selling Proposition.” – Rosser Reeves

Rosser Reeves began his career as a reporter in Virginia and lived between 1910 and 1984, and later relocated to New York City.

He was another great marketer during the Great Depression and joined Bates agency in 1940.

Reeves had an eye for the finest things like food and drinks, in addition to being well-read and well-traveled. He believed that the goal of advertising is to sell and he did just that.

He successfully ran several campaigns ranging from marketing Colgate toothpaste to Viceroy Cigarettes. However, his most famous ad was for Anacin. It promised customers to relieve them from depression, pain and even tension, in an amazing way.

Source: Medium

His aim was for customers to recognize a particular, unique brand proposition. He was following the footsteps of Claude Hopkins and John E. Kennedy by mimicking the no-nonsense approach to “advertising must sell” taken by the duo.

Reeves focused on identifying a product’s unique benefit, feature or meaning and repeatedly putting emphasis on it in an advert as a way of selling a unique proposition to prospects.

For this reason, Rosser Reeves is known as the “Prince of the Hard Sell.”

The unique selling point (USP) has gone through so much alteration and revision since its invention by Reeves.

Today, your USP doesn’t have to be unique as long as it’s persona-driven or founded on a metaphor.

When you restate your USP and when you repeat words are two totally different things.

Keep that in mind.

14. “Copywriting is way more than putting words onto a screen. … [the] context and situation that influence the copy is called user experience.” – Neil Patel

User experience is more important than ever. Your audience wants a great experience using your product, reading your copy, etc.

Write interesting content with your audience in mind to ensure they have a great time reading your copy or merely browsing through your website. You’ll need these 5 essential content marketing skills from Patel as a copywriter to give your audience a great experience.

15. “Find the inherent drama in your product.” – Leo Burnett

Leo Burnett was named one of the 20th century’s 20 most influential business leaders by Time Magazine in 1998. His career began then, and he lived from 1891 to 1971, atop being the only advertising executive named by the magazine.

Burnett built one of the largest ad agencies worldwide during the Great Depression.

He believed that every product has a story or drama behind it.

How do you find this?

You need to dig deep into your subject with honor and love while being obedient to your hunches as you work really hard.

Burnett used representations of American values in the form of mythical creatures to tell great stories. Some of these characters include the Marlboro Man and Jolly the Green Giant.

Source: Pinterest

A good example of this concept today is well represented in Volkswagen’s advertising story “Once More – The Story of VIN 903847.”

16. “When you don’t give your customers enough information, the right information, or put it where it needs to be on the page, you run the risk of giving them the impression that you care more about the sale than them.” – Jen Havice

Your customer should come first and so are their needs.

Provide them with informational content that answers all their queries and meets their needs.

Havice explains how you can create persuasive yet informational content to increase and retain your readership.

17. “Wrestling with a 2,000-word essay is not unlike birthing a calf. A life is at stake here. Your job is to make sure it survives.” – Demian Farnworth

When writing long content, ensure consistency throughout with regards to creating a compelling copy that will interest your readers and keep them engaged all the way from the start to the end.

18. “Value is best communicated when it’s designed to be believed, not just described.” – Bernadette Jiwa

Create valuable content your readers can believe.

19. “When your customers feel that you’re talking to them on a deep emotional level and understand their hopes, fears, and desires better than the competition, you’re gonna get the sale.” – Adam Kreitmann

Get to know your audience–their fears, hopes and desires on a deeper level and communicate that in your copy.

Relate with your audience emotionally and watch your content attract more prospects, and ultimately sales.

20. “Write to one person, not a million.” – Fairfax M. Cone

Fairfax M. Cone lived between 1903 and 1977, only to begin his career in 1929 at Lord & Thomas that was based in San Francisco. He became a manager at the company in 1939 before relocating to New York City a couple of years later as the vice president.

He took over the company’s largest account, the Lucky Strike cigarettes account, before launching his own agency “Foote, Cone & Belding,” in partnership with Albert Lasker.

Cone advocated for honesty and clarity in place of clever and cute copy. He explained that real people with real issues only wanted honest and clear solutions, not clever and cute ones.

These people want INSTANT answers.

He explained that good advertising is written for a specific person, and when aimed at millions, doesn’t work.

Your goal should be to discover your ideal readership or audience. Get to know your reader’s profession. Is she a farmer, a marketer like you, or simply a teacher? Where is she located?

Discover who your ideal reader is. Once you know her location, interests, profession, etc., write to her and her alone.

21. “Brevity is the soul of wit.” – Shakespeare 

Use concise and brief sentences to create your copy.

Keeping your sentences short makes your point easy to read while maintaining the flavor of your copy.

22. “Your prospects need a reason behind your product based on three factors: why your product is the best, why your prospects should believe you and why they need to buy the product right now.” – Brian Clark

Your prospects could be wondering why they have to buy your product when they are better off with what your competition offers. After all, they know your competition better and your products don’t seem to have any difference.

This is where you come in to differentiate your product from your competition. Find a winning difference between your copy and that of your rivals. As discussed earlier, you need a deeper understanding of your unique selling proposition (USP) to set your product apart from the rest.

23. “Your customers don’t care about you, your products, or your services. They care about themselves.” – Joe Pulizzi

Your customer comes first and so are their interests and needs. Get to know them and what they want and give them just that because they only care about themselves.

Write to them based on what you know about them.

24. “The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say.”– Mark Twain

Your draft is simply your ideas put on paper.

Use it to create a well-organized, clear, intelligent and compelling story to share with your readers

25. “Transubstantiate your product into something else.” – Bill Jayme

One of the world’s best direct-mail copywriters in today’s magazine industry was Bill Jayme (lived from 1926 to 2001).

Jayme considered himself a star in “junk mail”.

He launched his career at Time magazine with a great unorthodox “Cool Friday” letter in which he addressed his audience as “Dear Reader,” before he spoke a little off-topic and delved into his main point.

Before becoming his own boss, Jayme also worked for CBS and McCann-Erikson.

Jayme wrote subscription letters for various publishers in the 60s, 70s and 80s, including Esquire, Smithsonian and Businessweek.

Some publishers even offered him up to $40,000 for each letter he wrote.

He had his way of making friendships with his readers by being fascinating and respectful of their intelligence.

He had a way of getting into the minds of his editors, publishers and even readers based purely on intuition, his gut feeling.

Magazines like Mother Jones, Bon Appetit, Worth, Cooking Light, New York, Smithsonian, and Food & Wine owe their existence to Jayme, a true testament that his approach worked.

He capitalized his motivation and creativity to produce magical copies or letter: transubstantiation is all about transforming a service or product into something ‘magical.’

For instance, when selling a course on mastering PCs, he didn’t focus on the features of these devices, but on the end result, the greater benefit that his readers actually cared about.

He focused on success.

This is how he began his letter:

“You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it. If you’re planning to succeed in business over the coming decade, you’ve now got just two choices left. You can come to terms with the computer. Or you can marry the boss’s daughter.”

In this letter, instead of selling the various parts or features of a personal computer, he sells the ultimate benefit of using a PC, a new experience. It is only by mastering computing basics that users can get a taste of that life.

26. “Everybody in the world divides his mail into two piles.” – Gary Halbert

Gary Halbert (lived between 1939 and 2007) is a direct response marketing legend who came into the limelight after his 381-word human psychology marvel letter was published.

He is known as “The King of Copy” and “Prince of Print.”

He created a business at the back of the letter, which was later bought by

Several legendary ads he successfully published followed in later years. You can find his marketing letters on an online print newsletter called Gary Halbert Letter.

Gary shared several lessons on direct response culture, amongst them is how you can sort junk mail.

According to Halbert, we all divide our mails into two piles, the first being A-Pile and the second B-Pile. The first pile comprises of letters that are either personal or appear to be so. Everything else falls under the B-Pile: catalogs, bills, brochures, envelopes with sales messages printed on them, printed announcements, etc.

When you create direct mail promotions, ensure that your letter falls under the A-Pile. The reason is that we open all our A-Pile mail and only some of our B-Pile mail.

With the internet age, not just readers are a click away, but also your competitors. The only time you have to grab their attention is four seconds.

So, do whatever you can just so your audience can notice you.

Get attention and keep it at just that.

27. “Free is the most powerful word in the copywriter’s vocabulary. Everybody wants to get something for free.” – Robert W. Bly

Use free yet powerful words to captivate your audience such as guarantee, easy, quick and free.

The Copywriter’s Handbook shows you how to use the right language to successfully communicate to your audience.

28. “Do not worship at the altar of creativity.” – David Ogilvy

David Ogilvy (lived from 1911 to 1999) is another legendary in advertising, the father of copywriting. He was called “the most sought-after wizard in today’s advertising industry” by Time magazine in 1962.

He is the author of two great books “Confessions of an Advertising Man” and “Ogilvy on Advertising.”

I highly recommend you to read these books.

Ogilvy’s sophisticated look in suspenders, polished manners, and a British accent created an aura of casual elegance in the headlines and content of ads he created.

His brevity and elegance are seen in many of his pieces, including the “Guinness Guide to Oysters,” “The Man in the Hathaway Shirt,” “How to Create Advertising That Sells,” and “At 60 Miles An Hour” for Rolls-Royce.


Create advertisements that are interesting enough for readers to take their time and read and even go ahead to make purchases, not having them see your creativity in every piece you craft.

He became famous for his direct-response speech to advertisers in India, recorded on video. He said that we all know the kind of ad that works and their equivalent dollar values.

He then advises copywriters and marketers not to worship at the creativity altar.

What did Ogilvy mean by creativity?

You can sell your product successfully through “advertising that sells” without focusing your attention on the product itself.

Ogilvy emphasizes that you repeat your winners. You can increase your readership by making a maximum of five repetitions in your copy.

Clearly, when he mentioned “creativity,” he meant that as long as your ad is generating some revenue, there’s no need to make alterations to it based on your creativity or just for the sake of change.

If your ad still generates revenue 6 weeks down the line, consider keeping it running. Even if it’s 12 months, keep it running. Twenty years, just keep it running.

Unless your new principles are repeatedly backed up based on results, stick to your fixed principles.

Ogilvy isn’t against innovation. He just wants that you start a trend rather than follow it.

He says you can save yourself from general advertising’s manifold lunacy by worshiping at a direct response alter rather than a creativity altar.

Don’t forget your job is to sell.

29. “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” – Ernest Hemingway

Be as honest as possible with your audience in your copy. Communicate with them heart to heart.

30. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

This quote by Da Vinci is very inspirational.

It is meant to influence your writing style to a form that resonates well with the reader.

Your writing style should be readable, concise or short and very simple in the reader’s eyes. Your readers will better understand your copy when you keep it simple.

31. “You can have everything you want in life if you will help enough people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar

One of the most successful salesmen the world ever witnessed was Zig. Moreover, he was an honest businessman and an enthusiastic teacher.

He is proof that ethics and business can co-exist. Zig simply means that your success as a copywriter is not dependent on a particular product, article or even person.

Your success is totally hinged on the number of readerships you can attract with your writing. The more people you can help with your writing to reach their goals and get what they want, the more success you can attain.

32. “The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time.” – Thomas Jefferson

You don’t have to look at copywriting as an expense. When you save a penny, it is just that or even a cent lost.

When you invest in your writing to become a good copywriter, you’re not spending on an unnecessary cost, but a lifetime investment.

33. “We have become so accustomed to hearing everyone claim that his product is the best in the world, or the cheapest, that we take all such statements with a grain of salt.” – Robert Collier

Your audience can smell hype from a distance. Don’t just claim to be the best copywriter with the cheapest services, but prove your worth.

Your readers don’t need the hyped salt, keep it low.

34. “Copy is a direct conversation with the consumer.” – Shirley Polykoff

Before founding her multi-million-dollar advertising agency, Shirley worked for Foote, Cone & Belding.

She became one of the advertisers through her “Does she… or doesn’t she?” promotion of Clairol. The campaign saw the company’s customer bases rise from 7% to about 50% of the female American population, increasing sales from $25 million to about $200 million.

When you write ad copy, you’re simply conversing with your prospects. Therefore, your language and style should be simple and similar to that of your audience for them to relate to your product or service.

35. “The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife. You insult her intelligence if you assume that a mere slogan and a few vapid adjectives will persuade her to buy anything.”- David Ogilvy

Talk to your prospects and give them enough reason why they should buy from you. They are more intelligent than you think.

Use more than just one or two words to convince them to choose your brand.

If possible, tell them a story. We all like nice stories that we can identify with.

36. “Poor copy cannot overcome faults or gaps in dealer distribution; it cannot even cash in on the finest dealer setups. But good copy can, and does, surmount many dealer difficulties, making them secondary, and selling in spite of them.” – Victor Schwab

Writing a good copy is key in winning your prospect’s heart and money. Once you win them, any difficulty or fault regarding your product or service becomes less important.

Writing good ad copy sells not just your product or service, but also the person or company responsible for making the product.

37. “Let us prove to the world that good taste, good art, and good writing can be good selling.” – William Bernbach

You don’t have to use questionable language and shocking techniques to draw prospects to your brand. It takes just good writing with good taste and some creativity to sell your product or service.

Write well to attract a larger audience.

38. “Make it simple. Make it memorable.Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” –  Leo Burnett

Write simple and attractive content to lure your readership.

Readers find great content fun to read and easy to remember. Isn’t that just what you want?

39. “You must make the product interesting, not just make the ad different. And that’s what too many of the copywriters in the U.S. today don’t yet understand.” – Rosser Reeves

Research, research, and research.

Discover what’s unique about your product or service. why should your prospects get excited about it?

Write just that. Do not exaggerate your product by advertising what your product can’t even achieve.

Be honest. Make your product just as interesting as your copy, and watch your sales grow instantly.

40. “The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.” – William Bernbach

Be honest with your prospects. We all love honesty.

41. “Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes it’s an ad.” – Howard Gossage

Create interesting content for your readership. Make your ad as interesting as possible.

42. “Make your advertising too valuable to throw away.” – Sonia Simone

As the co-founder and Chief Content Officer of Copyblogger, Sonia Simone emphasizes the importance of writing for value. Your copy should be so important that no one can afford to throw it away.

43. “A copywriter should have an understanding of people, an insight into them, a sympathy toward them.”  – George Gribbin

You need to understand your audience, your target market. Know their needs and create a product to help meet that need.

When you focus on understanding your audience well first, you can write copy specifically made for them that meets their needs.

44. “Believe me; nothing works as well on the web as deadlines.” – Clayton Makepeace

As one of the highest-paid copywriters in the market, Clayton Makepeace recommends using urgency to motivate your audience.

Create a deadline for your promotion and have it in the call-to-action.

45. “Every product has a unique personality and it is your job to find it.” – Joe Sugarman

Find your product’s unique personality and use it to create your unique selling proposition.

Differentiate your product from your competition and sell its unique personality.

Always write unique content. Your readers will appreciate that.

46. “On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. It follows that unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money.” – David Ogilvy

It goes without saying the essence of your headlines. Your readers will decide to read your copy — or not — based on your headlines.

Create killer headlines to attract more readership.

47. “Wake up and realize it’s not 1964 anymore. You can’t rehash that old stuff. Don’t use scandalous blog headlines on your business website if you want conversions. Talk and write like a real person.” – Peep Laja

Be realistic in your writing and create great headlines for your copy. Don’t forget to test your content titles the right way.

48. “If you can just support the emotions that they’re feeling, and you can do it with integrity—you really do have the solution—then you don’t really ever have to sell hard, or even push to sell.” – Ray Edwards

Understand your audience’s needs and emotions. Use integrity to give them the support they need.

Write copy aligned to your reader’s needs and emotions. Speak their language and use their voice in your copy.

49. “I believe writing copy for Mr. Spock is a recipe for success. If something is logical it is, by nature, persuasive.” – Art Anthony

Write a logical copy to convince your readership.

Check out these copywriting tips for Mr. Spock by Art Anthony to take your writing skills a notch higher.

50. “When you are looking directly to your swipe file for inspiration, don’t look for phrases to copy, or formulas to fill-in-the-blanks. Think about the psychology behind the copy.” – Casey Meehan

You can write great content from an existing copy. But don’t copy phrases from the original-inspirational copy.

Understand the psychology behind it and work from there.

51. “Nobody has the time or patience to read linear content. Instead of writing long indigestible blocks of text, make your content skimmable.” – Tania Cheema

Write skimmable content with 1 to 3 lines in each paragraph.

Write copy with short paragraphs to enable your readers to skim through your content easily and judge whether it’s something they want to read or not.

52. “If the average person needs a dictionary to translate your copy, you’ve lost multiple sales already.” – Martina Mercer

Write your copy in a simple style using simple words.

Your audience can easily read and understand your content when it’s written in simple language.

Don’t use jargon or complex words.

Mercer offers these great 7 copywriting tips to help you write easy to read and understand copy for reduced bounce rates and increased sales.

53. “Use words – all words – with an eye, ear, and nose for the odor of skunk. If you’re not sure how a reader will interpret or respond to a word … if it’s possibly confusing, ambiguous, or offensive … that’s your signal to look for a different way of saying it.” – Will Newman

Avoid ambiguous words in your copy.

Use simple, easy to understand words. You don’t want to confuse and offend your readers.

54. “The often overlooked subhead is really a stealthy and lethal ninja writing weapon just sitting there quietly waiting to be put to good use.” – Gary Korisko

Incorporate sub-headlines in your copy. You can use this guide to write killer subheads in your copy.

55. “The best marketing – and the best copy – is not about duping the reader into believing something, but about amplifying their need, alleviating their fear and exciting them to action.” – Joel Klettke

Know the needs and fears of your audience and showcase them in your copy.

According to Joel, persuading your audience to read or buy your product isn’t enough.

Call them to take action at the end of your copy.

56. “Curiosity will open up your mind, and therefore, the world; an inquisitive mind is easily one of the writer’s greatest strengths.” – Julia McCoy

Yes, a quote from yours truly!

So You Think You Can Write?” is my bestseller on Amazon, launched this April 2016; and I’ve heard from others that it offers timeless copywriting advice. This quote is from page 173—and this sentence simply sums up what I learned along the way, as a self-taught writer.

When you are curious, you get to learn and discover new things that you can share with your audience. Your readers are always hungry for new information. Your own curiosity will see you quench their thirst and feed them with the information they want to read through discovery.

so you think you can write book by julia mccoy

57. “Your job as a writer means placing enough information in front of your audience that they can see your point, rather than be utterly swayed to it. It’s critical to know your audience well so that you don’t over- or under-persuade.” – James Chartrand

Know your audience to write for them without over or under doing it.

Advertising Today as It Was in History

In 1477, the first printed English ad that offered a prayer book for sale was in the form of a 3-by-5 inch handball.

This was followed by the world’s most sustainable ad campaign in ancient years: “Colonizing America.”

In “Soap, Sex and Cigarettes,” the author, Julian Sivulka, states that all marketing campaigns are aimed at luring settlers and investors to the new world, with a promise of free land.

Advertising today has the same persuasive power it had over 300 years ago.

However, it wasn’t until the mid-1800s when advertising differentiated. It evolved and various positions emerged to help meet the demand for the services in the market:

  • Researcher
  • Copywriter
  • Account executive
  • Commercial illustrator
  • Advertising Agent

It was the copywriter who carried the day and dominates the field today.

Sivulka commented on the Roaring Twenties ads saying, “It was obvious that the most prominent member of the advertising team was the copywriter because illustrations and photography are almost interchangeable.”

In the 21st century, this notion remains true for all content marketing agencies. Of course, professional copywriters nowadays are equipped with modern copywriting skills such as writing content that is SEO and social media ready.

We hope these pieces of copywriting advice has inspired you to develop new content marketing ideas that can attract your target audience to engage and help you reach those conversions you’ve been aiming for.

Just a note: Don’t hesitate to delegate copywriting tasks when things have become too overwhelming for you. Check out our Content Shop to find the right service for you.