how copywriting works

How Copywriting Works: A 101 to the Writing that Fuels the Web

Most copywriters know exactly what this conversation feels like:

“What do you do?”

“I’m an SEO copywriter!”

“Oh…great! So, what do you do?”

When you say you’re a writer, most people assume you’re an aspiring Hemingway, tapping away at your typewriter in pursuit of the next great American novel.

Unless someone has experience in the digital marketing, content marketing, or online world, few people know what a copywriter does. (Not a copyright-er. I have another post on that.)

That said, though, everyone is familiar with the work of copywriters, whether they know it or not. In a world as marketing-dense as ours, copywriters essentially make the digital web spin. They write the scripts for television commercials, radio ads, mail and email marketing materials, and articles that help people find answers to problems and learn new things.

In other words, copywriters are everywhere!

As such, it’s never been more critical than it is right now to understand how copywriting works, and what a massive role it plays in our modern world.

guide to copywriting

What Copywriters Are (and What We Aren’t)

First things first: not all copywriters are clones of Don Draper.

don draper

Although romantic to imagine, that was way back when. Today, it’s 2017. There’s much less drama, smoking, and drinking in the office in this industry than what you see in the Mad Men series. 😉

That said, however, copywriters today fulfill a vast selection of positions.

Here are just a few of the things that define what copywriters are:

1. Copywriters Write Copy for Various Industries and Specialties

Depending on a copywriter’s unique job description, he or she might create marketing copy for a website or work one-on-one with an SEO company to write their website or create their Facebook posts. In other cases, copywriters write physical text material, like books, pamphlets, and educational sheets. No matter what industry they work in, copywriters work with words daily.

2. Copywriters Work with Other Teams to Create Marketing Copy

In most cases, copywriters work with other specialists, like SEOs and sales teams, to create well-rounded marketing copy that fulfills a broad series of goals.

3. Copywriters Wear Many Hats

A great copywriter is also a part-time marketer, editor, and publisher. While copywriters typically work with teams of editors, these skills are indispensable, and the best copywriters must know how to evaluate their content for quality and figure out what will and will not work for a client.

What today’s copywriters are NOT:

1. Novelists. While copywriters do sometimes create text copy, they’re not developing books that sell as novels. Those are typically ghostwriters or other forms of writers. Instead, copywriters may create ebooks, articles, or white papers.

2. Machines. Good copywriters pay a lot of attention to each piece they create. They don’t just churn out work in a one-size-fits-all manner. Instead, they collaborate closely with teams and managers to build customized material for each client.

3. Outbound Marketers. The wheelhouse of copywriters is to create material that makes people want to connect with a company. They don’t typically push themselves or their content on other people. Instead, they work hard to create content that delights readers and makes them want to interact with a brand.

The following graphic applies very much. 😉

what copywriters are

What’s Under the Hood at a Copywriting Agency: What Express Writers Does

Here at Express Writers, we know a thing or two about copywriters. Not only do we hire them – we are them! Before I founded my company, I worked as a copywriter on various freelancing platforms. I landed hundreds of gigs and dozens of clients, and within three months of self-teaching as an online copywriter, I went on to start my agency. (Check out my full story here.)

Today, my agency has a full-service Content Shop with over 40 products:

content shop express writers

And our content agency staffs a team of more than 50 copywriters, strategists, and editors, handpicked by moi (more on our standards here), who specialize in writing, creating, and publishing the following types of content:

  • Blogs and blogging packages
  • Web pages, landing pages
  • Product descriptions
  • Infographics
  • Meta copy
  • Interviews (with our writers, strategists, project managers)
  • Research
  • In-line and developmental editing
  • Keyword strategy
  • Content planning/editorial calendars
  • Expert copywriting in all areas, including Financial, Technical, Creative, Legal, Medical, & more
  • Press Releases
  • Ebooks
  • Slides (PowerPoint or PDF)
  • Ad Copy
  • Slogans/Taglines
  • Scripts
  • Sales Pages
  • Whitepapers
  • Email content
  • Social media posts and custom imagery
  • Social media plans, profile creation

Here’s an example of what we create in a year, per our year-end report for 2016:

content creation report

ALL this content is created by our handpicked copywriters, strategists, and editors, who specialize in different industries, content types, and services.

This gives you a pretty good idea of exactly how diverse copy offerings can get!

What Qualifications do Good Copywriters Have?

The field of copywriters is a very diverse one. While some copywriters attended school for degrees in English or Journalism, others have spent their pre-copywriting lives working as attorneys, cooks, or dog mushers! Copywriters come in all shapes and sizes, and this unique assortment of backgrounds allows copywriters to bring their experiences into the field, creating more diverse and interesting copy.

As it stands today, there is no one-size-fits-all educational program for copywriters. Instead, a copywriter that’s going to succeed in the industry just needs to possess a few key traits. These are as follows:

1. Creativity

First off, copywriters need to be creative. While many people assume creativity is only necessary for people writing novels and short stories, and not people writing marketing copy, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Since copywriters write for such a diverse selection of clients, they need to be agile enough to think on their feet. Storytelling is central to great copywriting, and the best experts out there know how to access their creativity to weave compelling, unique copy that will engage an audience and help a brand meet its goals.

2. Strong Writing Skills

While copywriters don’t need a college degree to excel in the field, they do need strong writing skills. While it’s true that copywriters write about everything from firearm safety to SEO, the center of all that work is writing, and it’s essential that those skills are rock-solid. Copywriters need to be comfortable with the written word and know how to bend and command it to do what they want.

3. An Ability to Work with Others

While many copywriters work remotely, they are not lone wolves. Instead, copywriters work with teams of SEOs, advertisers, designers, and sales professionals. As such, the successful copywriter has strong teamwork skills and knows how to work collaboratively with other people to create a comprehensive product.

4. Strong Research Skills

One of the questions I frequently get as a copywriter is “what do you do if you don’t know the industry?”

Although some copywriters specialize in certain sectors, such as the financial or medical industry, many copywriters write on all topics for their clients. Because of this, it’s critical to have strong research skills. For example, if a customer asks you to write about choosing an engine lubricant for your sports car, and you’re not an expert on sports cars or their engines, you need to know how to use the web to find quality information that can help you write the article.

Here’s a post one of our full-time writers wrote on how to write for even the most boring-est of industries.

5. An Ability to Take Criticism

If you didn’t receive any formal training as a copywriter (and even if you did), criticism is a central part of the job. You can’t always “nail it,” and great copywriters expect to get the occasional negative feedback from editors and clients. In these cases, excellent copywriters take the feedback and learn from it, while people that won’t make it in the industry crumble beneath it.

6. A Hunger for Knowledge

Copywriting intersects with other industries, like SEO and digital marketing, and copywriters who will rise to the top of their industry are continually seeking to learn about these things. In addition to strengthening your writing, these simple tricks will also allow a copywriter to stay on the bleeding edge of his or her industry.

7. A Willingness to Learn

Copywriters who aren’t familiar with the industry before they start need only to want to learn it. Things like social media, proper blog formatting, and good SEO practices can all be learned, and dominating them is what sets one copywriter apart from the next.

Check out the book I wrote on how to create online copy, if you’re hungry for an educational read on copywriting!

How Much Do Copywriters Make?

The answer to this question varies depending on how much a copywriter works, who he or she works for, whether they’re employed by a company or by themselves, and where the copywriter is.

According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for copywriters is $55,000 annually.

That said, though, it’s not uncommon for copywriters to earn far more – as in five figures per project when they work for large corporations or run a successful self-employed business. Joanna Wiebe, famous conversion copywriter, doesn’t work for less than $60,000 per project.

As the world of digital marketing changes, copywriters who also learn relevant and in-demand skills, like video script copywriting and some graphic design, can supplement their offerings, provide more value for their clients, and make more money. Copywriters can also boost their worth by creating a longstanding history of quality content for a variety of customers. When companies see that a copywriter has successfully increased conversions, helped companies draw new customers, or overhauled a company’s online presence, that copywriter becomes more in-demand in the industry.

Public speaking (especially at TEDx stages) can also significantly boost a copywriter’s rep and net them far higher-earning projects and prospects.

How to Find Copywriting Jobs

If you’re a copywriter looking for work, your options are virtually limitless. You can work for almost any major company, on your own, or with a dedicated content creation agency, like Express Writers! Here are just a few places to start looking for work:

  • Express Writers. We’re almost always hiring! Send in a resume as a writer and an editor. You must have at least 2 years of writing or editing experience for either open position area.
  • The ProBlogger Job Board. The premier copywriting work resource, the ProBlogger Job Board features thousands of writing jobs refreshed daily. It’s a wonderful filter for high-quality writing jobs. This job board features many major, well-known accounts, such as Canva and Thrive Market. Targeted directly at copywriters. The brainchild of one of the best copywriters out there, Darren Rowse, this is a job board made by writers for writers.
  • Private Companies. Content marketing is growing at an astonishing rate and, as such, virtually everyone needs copywriters for their businesses. As such, you’ll find that many private companies need copywriters to help them develop their online material. If there’s a company you admire, look at their job board to see if they’re hiring copywriters. If they’re not, you can always reach out and pitch your services according to best pitch practices.
  • Local Companies. Local companies in your area may need copywriting services to grow their online presence. Keep your eyes peeled for companies in your area in need of copywriting services and offer your expertise when you find them!

How to Hire Copywriters

We put a guide together on how to work with your copywriter! Check it out here.

One of the tips our Content Development Specialist, Tara, had to share is a great key of working with writers.

tara quote outsourcing

Our content creation agency works hard to staff the very best copywriters on the web. What’s more, we offer some benefits that individual freelancers don’t, namely the ability to take on far more content and the assurance that your content will always get finished, even if a freelancer falls ill or has a family emergency. As if that weren’t enough, we also staff a selection of industry-specific copywriters so that you can find a professional financial, marketing, or medical copywriter for all your online needs.

5 Things That Make Online Copywriting Great

Now that you know a little bit about how copywriting works at the foundational level – who copywriters are, what they do, how to be one, and how to find one – let’s talk about what separates the wheat from the chaff regarding the actual writing that goes into copywriting.

If you’ve ever read a batch of college essays, you know that not all writing is created equal and that ten different people writing about the same topic can create a series of ten very different results. With this in mind, how do you tell what’s great copywriting and what falls short?

The answer is simple: great copywriting possesses the following things:

1. Detail

Copywriting is nothing without extensive detail. Today’s readers are more discerning than ever, and they’re not easily placated by fluffy, low-hanging content that doesn’t do much to appease their needs or help them find solutions to their problems. As such, great copywriting digs deep.

Here’s an example: if two copywriters had an assignment to write about coal mining in America, the sub-par copywriter would give a definition of coal mining, talk about where and how people do it, and then be done. A great copywriter, on the other hand, will do some research, provide in-depth statistics about how coal mining has grown and changed over the year, discuss the challenges facing modern coal miners, and provide a realistic outlook for the future of coal miners.

The more detailed online copy is, the more useful it is for your readers. This, in turn, helps you create material that ranks well and allows you to stand out as an authority in your industry.

2. Quality

No copy ever rose to the top of the web for being riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes. Today, quality is more essential than ever in online copywriting. In fact, Google itself even made this explicitly clear back in 2015, when they released their Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines.  Their “Characteristics of High-Quality Pages” section stated explicitly that pages that were to rank as high-quality must possess “a satisfying amount of high-quality main content.”

SQEV Screenshot

Today, it’s easy to create low-quality content that doesn’t take user experience, SEO, or flow into account, and writers who do that are a dime a dozen. To truly stand out, though, copywriting needs to be high-quality, free of spelling and grammar mistakes, and tailored specifically to a company’s unique audience. When all these things are in place, content can not only do its job of educating and entertaining audience, but it can also claim and maintain a prominent spot on the web.

3. A Focus on SEO

 Neil Patel has said that SEO and content go together like peanut butter and jelly, and he’s right! Without content, search engine optimization (or SEO) can’t function, and without SEO, content would just drift around the web, homeless and hungry for an audience and a place.

If you’re not familiar with search engine optimization, it’s the process of using a series of tools, tricks, and approaches (such as keyword researchmeta content optimization, and proper formatting for blog content) to optimize content so that search engines can “read,” categorize and deliver it.

To succeed in today’s digital world, online content needs to marry SEO best practices with quality writing. This means including relevant keyword phrases naturally throughout the material, utilizing strong internal and external links, keeping sentences short and the reading level low enough to appeal to various audiences, and using headers and subheaders to break up text and make it accessible for readers on all devices – from mobile phones to desktop computers.

If copywriting doesn’t focus on SEO, it’s simply not worth investing in!

4. The Right Voice

While a brand like Poo-Pourri can get away with writing in a lippy, off-the-cuff fashion, the ACLU can’t. The difference is the culture of these two organizations. While Poo-Pourri, a “spray before you go” toilet product, is sassy to its core, the ACLU is a serious legal organization where people expect to find professional, informative information. As such, the voice for these two platforms is very different, and great copywriting takes this into account.

Today, a large part of what makes copy successful is its voice. Even if content is well-written and compelling, it won’t perform well unless it’s speaking directly to a platform’s audience and readers. As such, great copywriters must know how to adapt and adjust their voices depending on publication and platform.

5. A Willingness to Play the Long Game

There’s a distinct difference between outbound marketing and inbound marketing. Outbound marketing goes out, from the organization it begins with, to capture and engage customers. Think purchased email lists, unsolicited phone calls, and door-to-door sales.

Inbound marketing, on the other hand, seeks to provide material that’s good enough to bring customers in. Think blogging, social media, and video marketing.

While copywriting can be used for outbound marketing (copywriters create most of the material you find in your mailbox), most copywriting jobs today are in the inbound marketing sphere. And this is for a good reason. Today, content is much more effective when it doesn’t shove readers. For evidence of this, all you need to do is look at the rise in ad-blocking software (which Seth Godin wrote about back in 2015) and the fact that the majority of direct mail is never opened.

Today, people want content that builds relationships, rather than trying to jump right into their pockets. As such, the most successful copywriting currently on the web is the stuff that builds trust, explains difficult concepts, offers solutions, and doesn’t try to sell anything at all. While it may be tough for companies to understand why they would invest in a copywriter who won’t try to sell things to their clients, the truth is that, in 2017, the best sales pitch is no sales pitch at all.

Great Digital Copywriting: The Stuff That Makes the Web Go Around!

Today, the web runs on great copywriting. It’s everywhere you look!

From the banner ads that pop up as you cruise a website to the social media posts that make you laugh and the blogs you turn to when you need to learn how to change a bike chain or navigate your newly updated Instagram feed, copywriting is what makes it all work.

To find out more about the ins and outs of online copywriting, check in with us at Express Writers and follow The Write Blog. As one of the premier copywriting agencies on the web, we know a thing or two about hiring writers, connecting writers with companies, and keeping you up to date on all the great news, happenings, and events in the world of online copy!

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what is larp

What is LARP & 7 Ways It Made Me a Better Brand Storyteller

Like most writers and many content marketers, I’ve been a natural storyteller my entire life.

Over the years, I’ve practiced my storytelling skills in a variety of ways: by earning an English degree some people branded ‘useless;’ through active participation in theater groups as an actor, crew member, and playwright, writing collaboratively with others I trust, and by creating and participating in LARPs (live action role playing games).

Even as a recent college grad at a self-publishing company, I realized the thrill in completing and marketing work – especially when a long-term success pays off.

It’s not just about having a story, but selling it.

Each media – theater, collaborative writing, formal scholarship – has taught me something new about storytelling, but LARP is the culmination of these skills. The medium itself is also flexible enough to warrant explanation and innovation. Scroll past the infographic for the full story by Tara!

What is LARP & 7 Ways It Made Me a Better Brand Storyteller (Infographic)

What is LARP Storytelling Infographic

What is LARP?

LARP stands for “live action role play.” In this interactive medium, participants create a story collaboratively while representing a character in the LARP, sometimes to a very immersive degree. LARP covers a variety of genres such as medieval fantasy, sci-fi, western, and post-apocalyptic. Some games include boffer or ranged weapon combat; others focus on personal interaction and emotional intensity or a combination of the two. Styles vary greatly depending upon genre, region, and participants’ preferences.

Like a consultant might encourage participants to role play sales and customer service scenarios, LARP is also a very effective educational tool. It’s used heavily in schools in Scandinavia and it can be very similar to military combat simulations. Depending on the LARP, you might do something similar to Model UN – or you may feel like you’re in Lord of the Rings.

edularp

Young LARPers explore their creativity as they portray characters in a cyberpunk LARP. Photo by Matthew Wright, courtesy of the Wayfinder Experience.

There are several ways in which LARP helps participants hone their storytelling skills:

  • You drop any pretense of the ‘real world’ (except for physical and emotional safety). As adults, we’re often encouraged to focus on reality. LARP sparks your imagination and allows you to focus on building a story with others. This is not unlike how a marketing team can function at a brand of any size.
  • As in real life, LARP worlds and scenarios often feature problems and solutions. Innovation helps you get things done, complete objectives, and reflect on your progress – almost like a more natural agile marketing process.
  • LARPs do not always have a beginning, middle, and end format, but they can. Participants often reflect upon their role in that story. LARPs may provide the opportunity for you to be less rigid and confined in how you tell your story – and that’s a great lesson to take into the business world.
  • By portraying someone else, you can become more empathetic (deliberately or not). Imagine if you could understand your readers this way – or your customers!
Grand Masquerade

Through LARP, participants can discover unexplored sides of themselves by portraying characters. Photo: Joshua Heath: Vampire: The Masquerade Grand Masquerade: Blood and Betrayal 3

I’ve been an active LARP participant for a decade – that spans most of my career in publishing and marketing. I’ve participated as a player, non player character (NPC – a scripted character who helps the game master tell the story), and as a game designer, marketer, and staff member.

7 Major Lessons for Brand Storytelling from LARP

When it comes to storytelling, LARP has taught me seven major lessons that I deliberately apply to business:

1. Just Provide Setting: The Secret to Community

Successful marketing brands like HubSpot know that building a community around your brand requires a long-term strategy and an investment of time and money. They do it because it works.

This LARP takes place in a cyberpunk setting. Photo taken and edited by Mark Chadbourne for Oblivion LARP.

This LARP takes place in a cyberpunk setting. Photo taken and edited by Mark Chadbourne for Oblivion LARP.

While brands can and should provide spaces for enthusiasts and customers to discuss their brand, ultimately the community usually works best with guidance instead of harsh motivation.

At Seventh Kingdom IGE, a medieval fantasy LARP in New Jersey, a small staff handles the logistics of events. But with extensive lore and an ongoing story, players also take responsibility by taking on leadership roles in game. In the real digital world, existing players are to credit for a great deal of recruitment, which usually happens by word of mouth and by players posting about their positive experiences on Facebook.

While players love the game and its brand, what they crave most is the ability to be the hero (and villain) in the game world – similar to a video game or a tabletop RPG like Dungeons & Dragons.

2. Customers Invest in Experiences

When you sell a LARP ticket, what are you selling? The game may include basics like lodging and meals, but people are really investing in the story and in the experience – and, if your LARP is particularly impactful, in a person’s transformation and education.

"Endgame," A LARP by Hans Olai Martinsen and Anne Marie Stamnestrø - Run for The Art of Storytelling Through Gaming group. Photo by Aaron Vanek.

“Endgame,” A LARP by Hans Olai Martinsen and Anne Marie Stamnestrø – Run for The Art of Storytelling Through Gaming group. Photo by Aaron Vanek.

Experience means you’re selling them the experience; transformation means you’re flipping non-fans into fans or even altering their worldview with their product. As LARP can be a very social and personal experience featuring high levels of immersion, participants often enjoy both the experience and the transformation.

As internationally renowned professional game designer Claus Raasted said, “I’m not only an experience designer, but a designer of transformations.” That’s storytelling full-circle.

What would change about your business and how you market it if you took this approach?

3. Play Your Own Story

We all know that employee engagement is necessary and enthusiastic employees are the most productive advocates – but what about the management? Are you playing your own story?

A LARP could be a week-long epic battle scenario or a two hour experience at a convention. One thing I’ve learned about successful game masters and game designers is that they play their own story.

Sure, this happens out of necessity sometimes – just like a business, the game can be short-staffed or someone calls out sick and upper management needs to fill in. However, I advocate for intentional insertion into the game world (or business) you’ve created. With a small investment of time, you’ll possibly learn more about your LARP (or business) than you would by conducting various customer experience surveys.

Here’s a LARP example of how that can work:

At New World Magischola (a LARP about being a student at a magical college), the game designers recently participated in their Yuletide events. The Yuletide events took place in a smaller area than the usual college campus the game requires, and it allowed the designers to more actively participate in the game.

This allowed them to not only gently guide scenarios and pay attention to safety (like when we were outside in the snow) while still allowing players to make decisions, but it showed they were a part of the community. They were also able to experience their game design first-hand.

As a former staff member at a fantasy boffer combat game, I’ve also noticed a wider gap in communication between players and staff when staff members aren’t out there on the field fighting on the same side as the players.

If your customers don’t see you fighting alongside them, they might not hang around for any rough transitions you face. Do they view you as a partner, or someone potentially fighting against them?

4. Your Goal: Innovation

If you’re a successful marketer, you understand that your brand needs to offer something that your competition doesn’t. You’ve probably worked on your USP (unique selling proposition) and have determined how to express that as your brand. Once you’ve established that, then what do you do?

Like business and entertainment niches, LARP is centered around innovation that is quite literally game changing. Through online communities and by supporting new game designers, innovation is an intrinsic part of the LARP community. From new hobbyists to professional LARP studios, getting involved means giving and gaining a great deal in terms of how you impact the hobby as an influencer.

Unheroes larp

While this may look like a charismatic and engaging leader conducting a business meeting, this is actually a LARPer contributing to a collaborative story. “Unheroes” by Joanna Piancastelli run in Hilton Hotel restaurant in full public view. Photo by Aaron Vanek.

Related to that are the LARPs themselves. Most LARPs involve problem solving, creative thinking, and portraying a person who is different than yourself. These are the cornerstones of collaborative storytelling as the character is the basis of a LARPer’s interaction with the game environment and other participants.

If you didn’t have the restrictions of the real world, what kind of spell would you cast? What kind of fortress would you build? Who would you be? Deliberately embodying this way of thinking by regular LARP participation has changed me as a person and as a professional.

Similarly, we constantly adapt and innovate to serve our customers better at Express Writers. The other day, a customer asked me about a service we don’t offer. After speaking with our CEO and expressing that I am able to execute this product, we built out the service and quoted the customer. This took less than 48 hours.

That’s not just agility and teamwork, it’s innovation that only happens through:

  • Trusting your employees
  • Listening to your customers
  • Analyzing budget and ability
  • Responding to customer needs.

5. Most People Crave the Opportunity to Be Loyal

It’s clear that LARP has allowed me to identify and pursue changes in my life – and applying that to business development skills has been especially useful. After LARPing for so long, I’ve also noticed that the wide variety of characters I play have something in common: they crave loyalty.

People love to belong to a group. I enjoyed playing a member of Maison DuBois, a group in New World Magischola. Photo: New World Magischola / Learn Larp LLC.

People love to belong to a group. I enjoyed playing a member of Maison DuBois, a group in New World Magischola. Photo: New World Magischola / Learn Larp LLC.

It’s not just me, either. Many LARPers enjoy portraying people who are devoutly loyal to various factions, religions, political causes, corporations, families, and school affiliations in game worlds. This is an appealing aspect for people to explore without the ramifications of expression real-world political beliefs – and if you can figure out how to provide rewards for that craving, you’ll have loyal customers for life.

6. Creativity is Worth Something: Money

The arts are spectacularly undervalued. Earlier, I mentioned how I was told that pursuing a degree in English wasn’t the best plan for my life, and this lack of value for the arts certainly relates to why many people feel that way. I feel vindicated now that ‘storytelling’ is such a marketing buzzword, but that doesn’t eliminate the problem of society viewing the arts as a waste of time or education.

That’s stuck with me. Like other writers and artists, sometimes I still find it hard to believe I deserve compensation for my work, even though I do – while other writers are tough on people like me for allegedly lowering the value of content based on rates.

Fellow LARPer Kathleen Burns (right) works at SEMrush. We make a great team in part due to the leadership roles we take on in LARPs. Here we are celebrating Halloween as our LARP characters. Photo: SEMrush.

Fellow LARPer Kathleen Burns (right) works at SEMrush. We make a great team in part due to the leadership roles we take on in LARPs. Here we are celebrating Halloween as our LARP characters. Photo: SEMrush.

In LARP worlds, the arts are generally valued. Who else will create songs and epic poems about the adventures and exploits of tavern-dwelling townfolk? Who keeps a detailed chronicle of the events that transpired? And who relays news and tells songs and stories at feast? In most LARP settings, bards in some form are appreciated – and often compensated – for their work. I try to internalize this as often as I can.

In LARP communities, artistic talents are extremely valuable. Costume creation and customization, boffer weapon creation, propsmithing – most LARP communities need these talents, and most other players will pay for them.

Storytelling in practice at Mystic Realms. Photo: Mystic Realms.

Storytelling in practice at Mystic Realms. Photo: Mystic Realms.

In my role at Express Writers, every so often I’ll get into a tough spot with a prospective client: they don’t want to put value on high quality content. I dislike having to justify the exceptional work of our vetted writers and editors – and sometimes I find that it’s best to leave this potential business relationship on the grounds of incompatibility.

Quality content has value – and if the customer isn’t willing to pay the full price, they’re not worth the investment of your time.

7. Embodiment is Empowerment

People want to transform their businesses and themselves. Through LARP, it’s possible to learn more about yourself by portraying various characters. If you’re able to genuinely appraise your experiences in this way, you can really grow as a person. LARP has enabled me to feel more confident in sales and public speaking and to continually sharpen my storytelling skills across a variety of genres in unique ways that set me apart from many of my content marketing peers.

That’s me on the left. I’m creating a collaborative, magical story with three talented friends who also support my personal and career development in the real world. Photo: Darren M. Fitzgerald Photography.

That’s me on the left. I’m creating a collaborative, magical story with three talented friends who also support my personal and career development in the real world. Photo: Darren M. Fitzgerald Photography.

In business, that level of empowerment isn’t something you find by hiring one full-time content writer to handle all of the work your business or agency requires. Instead, invest in the labor of a subject matter expert to ensure your message clearly captures your brand’s expertise and enthusiasm.

Bring a Little LARP into Your Content Marketing

Most content writers can tackle the basics: SEO-friendly copy, proper grammar. We know all about how this helps your search engine ranking. However, human-focused content now takes the lead when it comes to search results.

I recommend adding the LARP BASICs to your content marketing. Always remember how you can be:

  • Brand-positive
  • Adaptive
  • Skill-focused
  • Innovative
  • Creative

Whether you’re out killing goblins in the woods or taking a more active interest in imaginative play with your child, keep these tips in mind when you want to create a more engaging and adaptive marketing strategy.

All LARP photos used with written permission of copyright holders.

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how to write a press release for music

How to Write a Press Release for Your Music Release

Press releases are a critical part of online marketing. Businesses use them, individuals use them, and big enterprises use them.

One use of press releases that people commonly overlook, however, is music.

In the music business, press releases are a standard tool to showcase new artists, albums, or partnerships. Unfortunately, most musicians and people in the music industry do not know how to write a press release for music. Luckily, it’s not nearly as hard as it sounds.

To learn how to write a press release for music, read on.

how to write a press release for music

How To Write a Press Release for a Music Release: 6 Critical Points

Learning how to write a press release for music is simple. Just follow these six steps:

1. Know when to use a press release.

The first step in learning how to write a press release for music is simply knowing when to use a press release. You can write a press release anytime you would like to notify the media about something that is happening. Common uses for press releases include album launches, new gigs, label signings, or upcoming tours. Remember that the purpose of a press release is to publicize something that is newsworthy, and while there is some free rein to that definition, it’s still smart to use them sparingly.

Your personal use of press releases will depend in large part on your media contacts, the types of content you typically produce, and your level of recognition within your community. Anytime you want to use a press release, be sure to do a bit of research to find out what the media outlets you are targeting cover and how commonly they pick up press releases. This will help to make each press release you publish more lucrative and compelling.

2. Include relevant details.

Press releases are not a place to focus on branding. Instead, they’re a place to offer the bare-bones details of your newsworthy topic for journalists. With this in mind, be sure to include all of the relevant details in your press release.

For example, if you are writing a press release to bring publicity to an upcoming tour, you will want to include the start dates of the tour, some of the main cities visited, any tour mates, and any major sponsors or bands.

When writing a press release, it’s important to be as succinct as possible without robbing journalists of the details they need to interpret your press release or reach out for further details.

3. Develop a compelling title.

No matter what type of writing you’re doing, a compelling title is the one thing that stays the same across all fields. If you’re learning how to write a press release for music, one big thing to focus on is the title. The title of your press release should provide an immediate value proposition to reporters.

In other words, they should know exactly what they will get from reading your press release, and what topics the press release covers. Focus on being straightforward and detailed in your title and your press release will stand a better chance of being noticed by the media outlets you’re targeting.

4. Proofread your press release.

If you’re not going to proofread your press release, don’t bother writing it. There is nothing worse than a press release riddled with grammatical and spelling mistakes and then pushed out to the media. In addition to being embarrassing, this is an excellent way to harm your reputation.

With that in mind, always be sure to proofread your press release before you publish it. If you’re not confident in your proofreading abilities, hire a professional editor, or use an advanced spell and grammar checker like Grammarly to help you fine-tune your press release.

5. Keep it simple.

Depending on your place in the music industry, you might be tempted to dress your press release up with elaborate colors fonts or images.

Don’t.

A press release is a professional type of content, and attempting to doctor it with glitzy elements will only detract from its authority. Keep your press release simple, straightforward, and visually appealing.

6. Avoid self-promotion.

It may sound funny to advise avoiding self-promotion in a document that is meant solely to promote an event or happening, but the tone of your press release is critical to its success.

While it’s fine for a press release for music to showcase an upcoming event or release, you’ll want to avoid being self-promotional. The reason for this is, again, that a press release is a professional document.

Think for a moment about what a journalist do. Their job is not to sell the public on a band or event. Instead, it’s to educate the public about the things that are happening around them.

Take pains to make your press release educational rather than promotional. In doing so, you will increase the chances that it will be picked up by a journalist, and decrease the likelihood that it will alienate readers.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing a Great Press Release

To turn out quality work, follow this list of do’s and don’ts:

Do’s:

  • Be short, precise, and to the point
  • Format your press release with plenty of white space and no flashy graphics
  • Outline the details, such as exact dates and times and other parties involved
  • Reach out to local news and media outlets with your press release
  • Proofread it before you publish it

Don’ts:

  • Write in a self-promotional tone
  • Get carried away with images, fonts, and colors
  • Rush through the writing of your press release
  • Slack on the headline
  • Publish a press release even when you don’t have anything newsworthy to share

A Note on Distribution

Here at Express Writers, we get asked all the time if we offer distribution services in conjunction with our press release writing services.

Unfortunately, PR syndication is dead, and you’re better off making use of localized distribution in your local media.

That said, skip the PR syndication and approach local journalists and news stations about your press release. You’ll get a better ROI, and you’ll get to skip syndication, which is one of the most ineffective channels out there.

How to Write a Press Release for Music

If you’ve never written a press release for music, don’t worry. The process, while slightly different than writing a standard press release, is very similar.

By learning to master things like headlines and press release formatting, you can ensure that each press release you publish benefits your band, release, or upcoming event.

Are you looking for skilled writers to help you craft press releases for music? We’re your team! Check out our press release services in the Content Shop.

how to write web copy

How to Write Web Copy

Web copy has the power to make or break your online presence.

Think about it for a moment.

When new customers find your company online, what is the first impression they get? It’s coming from your web copy, but does that copy welcome them in or push them away? Does it educate them? Is it funny and relatable and written specifically for them? If not, it’s not fulfilling its purpose.

If you want to succeed online, you need to learn how to write web copy that intrigues, delights, and inspires your readers. Only through learning how to do this will you excel at online marketing and build the reputation your brand deserves.

Read on.

how to write web copy

How to Write Web Copy (and Why it Matters)

Today, experts claim that we only have seven seconds to make a first impression. People who find their way to your website or social media profiles are developing an impression of you and your company as soon as they start reading, and that impression can either help or harm your business.

Think about the sites that publish web content that stands out in your mind. What do you love about them?

If you’re like most people, you love that these sites speak to you like a real human that wants to learn new things, rather than a “target persona” with no name or feelings.

These companies know how to create compelling web copy, and you can follow suit by paying attention to what they do so well.

How to Write Web Copy 101: 10 Smart Tips

If you want to learn how to write web copy, follow these ten quick tips:

1. Keep scanning in mind.

While people read books, people scan web copy. Because of this, you can’t write the two things the same way. Web copy must adhere to the way that people read web copy, which means it must be straightforward and easy to digest.

It must also keep the habit of scanning in mind. This means short, succinct paragraphs, headers, and subheaders that tell readers what to expect in a section, and bulleted or numbered lists that showcase must-have bits of information.

When your web copy includes these components, it will automatically become more reader-friendly, and it will perform better online.

2. Give your readers what they want.

People don’t read marketing blogs just because. In most cases, they’re looking for information, trying to solve a problem, or searching for a product to purchase. In other words, they’re on the hunt, and it’s your job to give them what they want.

The first step in doing this, of course, is to understand your readers. What do they want? If you don’t know, develop a buyer persona to help you put your finger on their top needs and desires.

Once you’ve done this, be sure that your content is positioned in such a way that it’s delivering what your customers are looking for. In addition to making your content more relevant to them, this simple step will also help ensure that your web content finds its niche and stays there.

3. Arrange your content with the most relevant information at the top.

Think about how you bait a hook to go fishing. You don’t place the bait halfway up the line, where the fish is unlikely to see it, do you? Instead, you put the bait on the hook, right where the fish is virtually guaranteed to bump into it.

The same practice applies to your web content. When you top-load your articles and blogs with the most relevant and important information in the first few paragraphs of the body copy, you stand a better chance of “hooking” readers and keeping them there.

With this in mind, add all of the most critical details of your piece to the upper portion of the web page. Depending on the topic of the page, this could include benefits of a product, detailed information about an event or launch, or statistics that illustrate your point.

To take your web content a step further, use the personal “you” voice, and a selection of facts, figures, and statistics to appeal to your readers and draw them in from the get-go.

4. Don’t try to sound smart.

One of the most-shared blogs of the year was on exactly this topic. Published by Harvard Business Review on October 5, 2016, “Stop Trying to Sound Smart When You’re Writing” is all about how trying to sound smart often has exactly the opposite effect. Instead of impressing your readers, it alienates them. Instead of boosting your brand, it harms it.

That said, start writing the way you talk. In addition to being more authentic for you and your company, this approach will also help to keep readers interested. When you don’t speak down to people, they’re more likely to want to stick around and engage with your content. This is a great thing for both you and your brand.

5. Get rid of the jargon.

If the only people who can read your web page copy are people in your industry, you’re doing something wrong. To keep your web page copy reader-friendly and accessible, get rid of industry jargon or unfamiliar words. While it may seem like this helps you sound smart or professional (see tip #4) it more commonly alienates entire segments of readers and hems your online writing in too tightly.

With that in mind, get rid of the jargon and use familiar, simple words to communicate your point. For help, use an editor like Grammarly or Hemingway to make alternate word suggestions and help you catch overly complicated sentences.

6. Research your keywords.

Keywords, once the center of on-page SEO, have fallen from grace a bit in recent years, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t important. In fact, keywords still work hard to guide Google and your readers to understand what your content is about. Think about it: when readers search for online content, they do so using a string of keywords.

For example, if I wanted to find a business that served coffee in NYC, I’d type, “coffee shop NYC” into Google. That’s a keyword phrase, and using keyword phrases that relate to your company and offerings is an excellent way to improve the conversion rates of your web content and help readers find what they’re looking for. If you need help researching keywords, use a tool like Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner tool, or get in touch with us to discuss our keyword research services!

7. Format your content correctly.

Again, online writing isn’t the same thing as novel writing, and you need to format your online material properly to help it to convert. Do the following things before you publish your web content:

  • Break your paragraphs into short chunks. Each paragraph should have a maximum of 4 sentences
  • Shorten your sentences by eliminating any unneeded words and phrases
  • Simplify your language by removing jargon
  • Swap out passive voice for active voice
  • Delete areas of repetition
  • Use second-person voice to appeal to readers

Learning how to write web content can be tough, but these simple bullet points will go a long way toward helping you format your content accordingly. This, in turn, will make it easier for your online visitors to read and engage with.

8. Arrange your web content to be cohesive.

One of the most-overlooked aspects of learning how to write web content is that people don’t interact with web content chronologically. This goes for your website as much as it does your blogs and social media material. Because of this, you’ll need to make sure you’re not organizing your content so that people must interact with it in a sequential manner.

Arrange your content so that it is independent and free-standing. Every page of your website, for example, should have a link to take visitors to the home page. Your content should read as an individual chapter of a book and you should include your name, address, and phone number information in everything you write.

9. Include visuals in your web page copy.

Learning how to write web copy isn’t all about writing –it’s about learning to use visual content, as well. On the one hand, “visual content” refers to formatting, which we already talked about. Good formatting makes your content appealing and can help draw in readers.

The other offshoot of visuals is images. Think stock photos, infographics, screenshots, memes, and more. The reason for including these things is simple: people get exhausted by reading dense bricks of text, and adding relevant visuals throughout a piece of content can help break it up and make it more approachable for readers.

That said, use compelling and informative visuals like graphics, photos, and screenshots to illustrate points and provide a visual break for readers.

10. Keep it friendly.

It’s easy to make web content too stuffy and unapproachable. To make it as exciting and welcoming as possible for your readers, keep it warm. Write the way you talk and don’t be afraid to infuse your individual personality into the web copy. It’ll help it convert better and be more memorable for your clients.

How to Write Web Copy The Right Way

There are dozens of wrong ways to write web copy, but these ten tips will help you ace yours right from the gate!

By learning what it takes to craft compelling web copy, you can help your brand or business stand out online – both now and in the future!

Need great web copy? Trust a pro team. We can help!

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how to write a press release for a business

How to Write a Press Release for a Business

If you run a business, press releases are a critical way to spread the word about your happenings and events.

Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to write press releases, and they wind up missing out on important media opportunities as a result.

In this article, we’re here to help you learn how to write a press release for a business, and what you need to expect in the process. Read on.

how to write a press release for a business

10 Tips to Help You Learn How to Write a Press Release for a Business

1. Understand the format of a press release.

To write a great press release, you need to master the structure. Format keeps a press release organized, and helps ensure that it touches on all the needed points.

As a general rule, the opening of your press release should answer what Business Insider calls the “five W questions.” Here they are:

1. Who

2. What

3. Where

4. When

5. Why

When you answer these questions, you help place your audience and let them know what they can expect from your press release.

2. Keep your press release short.

Press releases aren’t the place to mimic the novel. To keep yours interesting and useful, keep it short. The press release should cover the essential details of your announcement, but they shouldn’t go over the top with information. Bear in mind that the primary purpose of a press release is to make a statement about something and that the media can contact you if they want to learn more. That said, resist the urge to get overly wordy in your press releases. You readers will thank you.

3. Write in a professional tone.

A press release is a professional document, and it’s important that your voice reflects this. To get the most traction possible from your press release, write it in a very professional tone. Again, a press release is meant for your colleagues and reporters, and it’s important that the material and tone you include in it reflect that level of professionalism and intelligence. Anything less will result in lost readers.

4. Write it for the media.

While most marketing copy is written for your clientele or audience, press releases should consider the media, first. Think about the document the way a reporter would: where is the hook? What is interesting about the story? Where are the “must-have” facts?

By making these things as pronounced as possible, you can ensure that your press release does what it’s supposed to do – appeal to reporters and journalists. When you consider a journalist’s outlook on the piece, you can write it more efficiently and help it cater to its needed audience.

5. Make it readable on all devices and platforms.

Today, people view press releases on desktop computers, phones, tablets, and more. With that in mind, be sure that your press release is readable on all devices. This means the text should be large enough to read on a small screen, buttons should be clickable, contact information should be simple to find, and the press release should be easily shareable and downloadable for your viewers.

6. Optimize for SEO.

Yes, even press releases need to be optimized for SEO. While they’re meant to be picked up by the media, they’re also intended to appear in search engines and, when they do, they can be a fantastic form of advertising for your company. That said, optimize your press releases for your target keywords, target visuals, and keywords that are relevant to your business or niche. This will make the press release easier to discover and can broaden its reach with your audiences.

7. Cut the fat.

A press release isn’t for “fluff,” either in content or tone. Your press release will automatically become less compelling if it features repetition, unneeded words and phrases, or a joking tone that misses the mark. With this in mind, trim the fat and ensure that the material included in your press release actually needs to be there.

8. Time your press release correctly.

A press release is only as good as its timing, and timing your release correctly can make the difference in its performance. According to Business Insider, the time that you send your release depends in large part on the channels through which you’re sending it. If you’re sending it via email, for example, you’ll want to aim for a time between 2-3 pm, since people are typically at their desks then. If you know that there is a day and time that performs best for your audience, consider pushing your press release out at that point, since it’s likely to get more traction if you publish it at a high-volume moment.

9. Use quotes.

Quotes are a powerful tool in the world of press releases. In addition to helping draw out important points, well-placed quotes also showcase your voice and help establish you as an authority. Don’t be afraid to sprinkle some original quotes throughout your press release. The media will have a chance to pick them up, and they won’t have to work hard to do so since you made it easy for them.

To make sure that they can find more or take a further interview from you, include your contact information within the press release, where journalists can easily find it.

10. Find a distribution partner.

Once you’ve written and organized your press release, it’s time to consider distribution. Today, though, that’s tougher than it used to be. PR syndication is dead and the key to getting your press release found today is localized distribution in local media. Here at Express Writers, we don’t offer press release distribution because the benefits for a typical “syndication network” don’t outweigh the costs.

That said, localized distribution in your local media system can help make your press release distribution more effective and enjoyable than before.

Conclusion

Learning how to write a press release for business is an ongoing process, and these ten tips can help you manage it, step-by-step. Whether you’re unleashing a new product or announcing a new partnership, knowing how to write a press release for business is a critical skill that can take you far in the world of online business.

Not sure you can tackle running your business AND writing the press release for it? That’s why we’re here! We have a 100% acceptance rate with talented team journalists on staff to write your PRs. Check out our press release services.

how to write a press release for a nonprofit

How to Write a Press Release for a Nonprofit

While they are typically considered the domain of companies and individuals, press releases can be extremely helpful for nonprofit organizations.

By spreading the word about community services, charity events, and more, a press release can serve to boost attention and increase attendance for a charitable event.

If you’ve ever wondered how to write a press release for a nonprofit, here’s your complete guide!

how to write a press release for a nonprofit

How to Write a Press Release for a Nonprofit: 5 Key Components of a Successful PR

Knowing how to write a press release for a nonprofit, and being successful at it in getting the word out and publicizing your organization or event successfully, stems around five key components.

Since a press release is a very professional document, there’s not much wiggle room in the formatting standards. Journalists and other organizations expect to see a particular layout, and it’s in your best interest to abide by this. With that in mind, here’s a brief breakdown of how your nonprofit press release should be formatted:

1. The headline

The headline is the first and most visible portion of your press release. It should be centered across the top of your company’s letterhead and should contain information including the city of origin for your press release, the state of origin, and the date of publication.

The next piece of the headline should be a two-sentence paragraph that offers a brief overview of the press release content, and why it matters to readers. It should be exciting and intriguing to the audience.

2. The intro

The intro is a few-sentence paragraph that offers relevant background information regarding your nonprofit’s program or event.

It should be written to a general audience and should be as succinct and targeted as possible. This is not the place to go into the “why” or “how” of the event. Instead, it’s just the place to offer some background information surrounding the event and your nonprofit.

3. The body of the press release

The body of the press release should be 2-3 paragraphs in which you explain the purpose of your nonprofit’s events and compel your readers to want to learn more about it. Here is where you provide relevant details regarding the time, place, name, and sponsors of the event. Again, write this section of the press release to a general audience and give your readers a reason to get excited.

4. Boilerplate information

Boilerplate information is an official bio that offers detail about your nonprofit. It’s a common practice in press releases for nonprofits and is the content that a journalist will likely pick up to introduce your organization to readers should he or she decide to publicize your press release. The boilerplate should be a paragraph long and should offer some brief background and relevant information about your nonprofit organization.

5. Contact information

The final component of the press release is your contact information. This allows journalists and other interested parties to contact your organization for details, and is a critical part of the media release. For best results, include your current phone number, website URL, and mailing address. You may also choose to include links to two or three relevant social media profiles.

6 Things to do When Writing a Press Release for a Nonprofit

While 50% of writing a nonprofit press release is nailing the formatting, another 50% is making it interesting and compelling for readers. Here are six things you need to do every time you create a press release for your organization:

1. Hook the reader in the first sentence.

While a “hook” is commonly written off as the stuff of novels, it’s critical in a press release, as well. To grab the reader and keep him or her there, you’re going to need to provide a reason for them to stay. This is where your hook comes in.

For best results, make your first 1-3 sentences catchy and compelling, and arranged so that they inspire curiosity in your audience. This will enhance the likelihood of your readers staying with you all the way to the end.

2. Structure your press release like an inverted triangle.

An inverted triangle is widest at the top, and narrowest at the bottom and your press release should follow suit. Keep people interested by top-loading the body of your press release with the most relevant information, and narrowing down to the least valuable information as you conclude the body paragraph. This will ensure readers don’t miss your most critical points and will help people stay attached to your press releases.

3. Tell the story of your nonprofit.

It’s easy to get dry and dull when you start talking about your nonprofit. Instead, seek to tell a story that keeps readers interested. For best results, start with the “why” of your nonprofit – why it does what it does and where that mission came from – then branch out to the how and the where. This will help people make an emotional connection with your organization and will increase the likelihood that the media will pick up your press release.

4. Stay brief and focused.

A press release is not a place to ramble on and on, and you’ll lose your readers if you do. For best results, keep your press release focused and succinct. This will help readers stay on-topic and will allow the most important components of your press release to shine, instead of being bogged down by unnecessary information.

5. Keep it realistic.

A press release is a document designed to be picked up by the media, so it’s critical that everything in it be news-worthy. This means that exaggerating and using hyperbole are both strictly prohibited. In addition to harming your organization’s credibility, this will just reflect poorly on the writer if the press release does get picked up by the media.

6. Optimize for SEO.

Optimizing a press release for SEO will improve its chances of succeeding. With this in mind, add relevant keywords and target phrases throughout the body content of your press release. It will help your press release rank more efficiently and increase its likelihood that the document will appear in the search results.

The Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Press Release for a Nonprofit

To make your press releases as successful as possible, follow these dos and don’ts:

Do:

  • Write your press release to a general audience
  • Give readers a reason to get excited about your press release
  • Provide some background information about your organization
  • Give readers the specifics (where, when, why, and how) of your event
  • Be targeted and precise in your language
  • Top-load the body content of your press release with the most important details
  • Be realistic with your language
  • Use storytelling language to draw readers into the story of your nonprofit 
  • Optimize your press release for SEO

Don’t:

  • Ramble through your press release – only offer what is relevant to your readers
  • Forget to include the current contact information for your organization
  • Target PR syndication for your press release. This is an ineffective method of distribution (which is why the team at Express Writers doesn’t do it anymore), and you’ll be much better off reaching out to local news agencies instead.
  • Forget to put the most relevant details in the top of the press release

A Better Press Release, Made Simple

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to write a press release for a nonprofit, now is your chance. From publicizing an upcoming event to showcasing the unique offerings of your organization, press releases provide many benefits for nonprofit organizations. By becoming familiar with the standard format, layout, and content of a nonprofit press release, you can write compelling and exciting press releases that help further the mission of your organization.

Not sure you can nail all of these (many) aspects of writing a great press release? Let our PR writing pros help!

writing a press release for a fashion brand

How to Write a Press Release for a Fashion Brand

It’s finally here: the big launch of your new line. You’ve spent countless hours working on it, and the time has arrived to share it with the world. You couldn’t be more excited. To showcase all of your hard work, you decide to learn how to write a press release for a fashion brand. The only problem is that you’ve never done it before.

Fortunately, this next step isn’t nearly as tough as it might sound.

Today, we’re going to walk you through the process of how to write a press release for a fashion brand, in hopes that these simple tips will have you on your way and writing your own press releases before you know it.

Read on!

how to write a press release for a fashion brand

Why Learn How to Write a Press Release for a Fashion Brand?

When you’ve poured thousands of hours into a new line, just hoping someone will notice its release isn’t enough.

Instead, you’ve got to make a concerted effort to spread the word, and a professional press release is one of the best ways to ensure that your big launch finds its way into the mailbox of big-time fashion editors.

While learning how to write a press release may seem hard, it’s a worthwhile expenditure to ensure that your big launch goes off without a hitch.

How to Write a Press Release for a Fashion Brand: 5 Actionable Tips

A press release for a fashion brand is different than one for an album launch or a new product. To ace your press release, follow these top tips:

1. Be as specific as possible.

When it comes to your press release, specificity is your best friend. You need to tell people exactly what is exciting about your fashion launch, and why they should sit up and pay attention. Bear in mind that, within your press release, you’re speaking to content editors, PR executives, and editorial assistants at various outlets and each wants to know why, exactly, picking up your press release is a good idea. The more specific you get, the more you can help convince them.

With this in mind, be sure to answer the where, when, how, why, and who questions about your new launch. Provide some detail about the inspiration for the line and how it came to be. Tell your readers where they can find it and where it will first debut.

In addition to giving people something to get excited about, this level of specificity also makes it easier for journalists and other content specialists to pick out the relevant portions of your press release and share them with the public.

2. Provide clear and actionable details.

For your press release to succeed, it needs to be clear and actionable at every step of the process. This means that you’ll need to answer exact questions regarding where your launch will happen and why it matters to people.

You should also consider adding an image to your press release to underscore your point further and make it more exciting for people to interact with. Because fashion is a highly visual industry, an image in your press release can help grab a reader’s attention and keep it throughout.

3. Provide all the needed information throughout your press release.

If your press release is going to be useful for journalists, it needs to provide as many specifics as possible so that they don’t have to dig for additional information. In the realm of fashion, this detail-rich structure should include a discussion of who the brand is that’s launching the product, the season the line is designed for, when the launch will happen, and where.

Only once you’ve done all of this should you dive into your “why.” In any press release, you want to top-load the document with critical information, so it’s easier for journalists to access. This helps them pull out the most relevant information and get on with reading, rather than having to wade through lots of unnecessary information to locate your key points.

In addition to making it easier on journalists, top-loading your press release with relevant information can help make it more useful for readers from all walks of life, since readers who can’t find what they’re looking for (such as the venue your launch will appear at, for example) are likely to leave.

4. Include boilerplate content.

Boilerplate content is essentially a standardized breakdown of who you are, what you do, and where people can reach you. It’s meant for editors and journalists and can serve to streamline a reporter’s job massively.

To show that you’re thinking of the journalists reading your press release, include a boilerplate piece at the end of the press release that includes a short bit of background information on your brand, your contact information, a phone number, and an email address. This will make it easier for interested parties to communicate with you, and can also be used in future media to feature your brand and company.

5. Make it visual.

Visually exciting press releases perform best, especially in the fashion industry. With this in mind, include the best image at the top of your press release and lay out the press release in a way that will allow it to be easily digested by journalists and other content specialists. Not only will this make your press release more exciting to view, but it will also reflect positively on your brand.

The Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Press Release for a Fashion Brand

Write the best press release of your life by following these do’s and don’ts:

Do:

  • Speak directly to your target audience
  • Be specific
  • Include relevant visuals to make your document more interesting
  • Distribute your press release through local news agencies and media outlets. PR syndication is dead and this is the most effective way to get your press release out there today.

Don’t:

  • Go overboard with graphics, fonts, and colors
  • Forget to include relevant contact information
  • Stuff the bottom of your press release full of the most essential details

Fashion Press Releases Made Simple

While learning to write a press release for a fashion brand might seem tough, following this simple guide can help you nail it, starting now. When you write a succinct, interesting, and compelling press release, you’ll be rewarded with increased attention for your fashion launch and a place in the minds of target fashion editors everywhere.

Need professional help on your fashion press release? Our proven team can help!

how to write a press release for an art show

How to Write a Press Release for an Art Show

If you’re curious about how to write a press release for an art show, you’re not alone. While press releases are a common form of content used to announce things like new products, new company mergers, new hires, and more, many people don’t know how to write them. In fact, learning how to write a press release for an art show can seem especially daunting.

Fortunately, the process is not nearly as complicated as it sounds, and it’s easy to master in just a few simple steps. PR is the perfect channel for getting the news out about your art show!

Read on.

how to write a press release for an art show

How to Write a Press Release for an Art Show: 7 Essential Things to Include

How do you write a press release for an art show? What do you need to include in the document? How much detail is enough? What will your readers want to know? If these are questions on your mind, read on to learn about the seven critical elements you need to include in your art show press release.

1. A compelling headline

Regardless of whether the press release is for business, the music industry, or the art world, a headline is its most critical component. The headline is what grabs the press’ attention, and tells people about what is in the media release.

To ensure that your headline performs the way you want it to, keep it descriptive and concise. Some sources recommend keeping your press release headline to 120 characters or fewer. While that’s not a hard and fast rule, it is smart to keep it as short and succinct as possible.

On a formatting note, be sure to format each word in the headline with the first letter capitalized and include relevant details. When people read your press release headline, they should get an immediate value proposition that tells them what the press release covers, and what they can expect to learn from reading it.

2. An information-rich summary

The next most critical piece of your press release is the summary. The summary is the section that allows you to expand on the key details of your press release and include any relevant keywords that you are targeting within it.

This section of the press release should be short, detailed, and simple. Be descriptive about your upcoming events, and tell your readers why they should read the rest of the press release.

Keep in mind that this is one of your first opportunities to “grab” the reader, and you don’t want to waste it.

3. Relevant dateline information

The dateline component of a press release contains the date that the press release is published. While it may seem like a small detail, this is critical for the authority of the press release, since it allows the reader to determine whether the press release is new or old. This, in turn, allows a journalist to decide whether to contact the author of the press release for more information or keep looking for new news.

In addition to telling readers when the press release was published, the dateline also includes the city of the press release, which is important if you’re hosting an art show in a particular location. By including the city of origin in the dateline section of the press release, you stand a better chance to track to local news media and pick up local coverage for your event.

4. An exciting introduction

After the headline, summary, and dateline comes the introduction. While it may seem like the summary and introduction go hand-in-hand, the introduction is a paragraph meant to answer the following questions for any journalist that may be reading your press release: who, what, when, where, and why?

Think of the introduction as the component of the press release that helps journalists decide whether to pay attention. It should offer the relevant details of your art show and should be written in a clear and easy to understand fashion.

5. Informative body copy

Next, it’s time to focus on the body copy of your press release. While the introduction provides the critical details regarding your art show, the body text offers background information, further details on the artist, and explanations for the show.

Although the length of your body copy will depend on the art show and the details you need to share, it should feature at least two paragraphs. These paragraphs should both be short, with no more than five sentences in each.

Be sure to top-load the body copy with the most important details in the first few sentences. This will enhance the chance that your readers will catch them rather than skimming over them.

6. An original “about” section

The “about” section is a single paragraph that offers some relevant background information about you, the author of the press release. This paragraph should be short and should provide some needed details about you, your organization, or your company.

7. Current contact information

Last but not least, you’ll want to include your contact information in the press release. These contact details will be used by any journalist who wants to contact you for further information about the art show.

For best results, include your full name, your current telephone number, your email address, the mailing address for your company or office, and the URL of your website. You may also include two or three relevant social media links.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Art Show Press Releases

To ensure the success of your press release, follow these do’s and don’ts:

Do’s:

  • Keep your press release short and detailed 
  • Write like you would speak, without too much jargon or industry talk
  • Answer the questions who, what, where, when, and why?
  • Include your current contact information

Don’ts:

  • Get too long-winded in your press release
  • Neglect to include relevant details
  • Provide current contact information
  • Forget to add a city of origin for your press release 
  • Get tied up in PR syndication. It’s dead, and you’ll be much better off reaching out to your local news agencies and media outlets to help you publicize the press release. 

How to Write a Press Release for an Art Show: The Professional Way

Learning how to write a press release for an art show is critical for the advancement of your career.

With these seven tips, it’s easy to master the art of the press release and ensure that your local news organizations pick up your press release and help publicize your next big art show.

Need some help creating your next press release? Check out our press release writing services and have our professional art press release writers help you publicize and boost engagement for your next show.

how to write a press release for a product

How to Write a Press Release for a Product

A product press release is critical to inform journalists and customers about your exciting new offerings. A professional document designed to be picked up by reporters, a press release is a fantastic way to drive attention to your new product and create a social dynamic that’s ripe for sales.

When done correctly, a press release is an excellent way to boost your business and spread the word about your newest offerings. Keep in mind, however, that learning how to write a press release for a product is a process, though, and there are skills that you need to know to execute the task properly. Fortunately, these things are easy to learn!

Today, we are going to talk about how to write a press release for products, and how to make sure that your brand aces it every time.

how to write a press release for a product

4 Things to Remember Before Writing a Product-Focused Press Release

If you’re going to write a product press release, it needs to be done well. Since the purpose of a press release is to inform the media about your upcoming product, it’s critical to ensure that every piece of the press release is newsworthy, professional, and accurate. With this in mind, here are four things to consider before you sit down to write your press release:

1. The press release should showcase your product’s unique features.

If you were going to write a press release about your new product, it needs to be newsworthy. In other words, nobody wants to read a press release that just says, “Hey, we made a thing!” Instead, arrange your press release so that it includes the most unique benefits of your new product.

A portion of the press release should outline your product’s selling points, and make readers feel intrigued enough that they want to interact further with the products. To ensure that you’re including the unique benefits of your products in the press release, consider making a list of the things that make your product stand out before you sit down to write. This helps ensure you won’t miss anything when crunch time comes.

2. Tell a story in your press release.

While some people mistakenly believe that storytelling is reserved for novels and books, it’s a critical tool for a product-focused press release. The reason is simple: people don’t want to simply hear the features of your new product. Instead, they want to hear why they should use it, how it will change their lives, how you came up with it, and what makes it so different from anything else on the market. Storytelling is the best way to achieve these things.

As you write your press release, put yourself in the reader’s shoes. Try to visualize what would catch his or her attention, and what would be compelling or entertaining enough to make them want to keep reading.

3. Stick to the point.

No matter what a press release covers, it’s no good if it wanders and rambles. To make your press release useful and compelling, stick to the point and be sure that all of the information you’re providing within the press release is relevant to your readers.

4. Edit the press release carefully.

The final thing to consider regarding your press release is how much editing it will take. Remember, a press release is meant to be picked up by the media, and pushing one out that includes errors or other mistakes can be devastating to your company. With that in mind, set aside ample time to edit your press release before you publish it.

How to Write a Press Release for a Product: 4 Essential Steps

Now that you know what to consider as you start writing a press release, let’s talk about how to navigate the writing process. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow:

1. Craft a killer headline that considers your product’s unique selling points.

Your headline is the first thing a reader sees, so it should grab attention. For best results, include the unique selling points of your product in the header.

Regardless of how you choose to structure it, it’s essential to ensure that the header stays succinct, clear, and easy to understand. This will help intrigue the reader without losing his or her attention in the process.

2. Make your target audience clear.

When people read your press release, they need to know who will benefit from using your products. Is it seniors living at home? Is it teens with ADD? Is it stay-at-home moms or college students?

No matter who your target audience is, you’ll want to target them in the body of your press release. When people know that you’re talking directly to them, they’re not only more willing to read your press release, but they’re also more likely to share it.

3. Use the body paragraph of your press release to back up your claims.

This piece is a unique to a product press release. If you are going to make claims about the product’s effectiveness or desirability, use the middle paragraph of the press release to back yourself up. An excellent way to do this is to include quotes from executives or users, or even to draw in statements made by shareholders.

While this may seem like a simple approach, it serves a critical purpose. First, it gives journalists something to pull out of your press release and use in publication. Second, it inspires confidence within the people reading your press release.

4. Finish the press release with current contact information.

The end of the press release should include your company’s current contact information, including website URL, phone number, a point of contact email address, mailing address, and links to two or three relevant social profiles.

This contact information will be critical for anyone who wants to reach out to your company for more details, so it’s essential to make sure that it is current and up-to-date.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing a Press Release for a Product

As with any other type of press release, writing a press release for a product comes with a set of do’s and don’ts. Here’s a breakdown of each:

Do’s:

  • Speak directly to your target audience in your press release
  • Keep the entire press release direct, and brief
  • Use storytelling components and a good hook to draw readers in
  • Optimize your press release for target keywords and SEO
  • Showcase the unique selling points of your product
  • Use executive or shareholder quotes to back up your claims
  • Distribute your press release to local news organizations and agencies, since PR syndication is dead

Don’ts:

  • Be too wordy or verbose in your press release
  • Speak to too general an audience
  • Forget to craft a hook at the top of your press release
  • Include outdated contact information

Excellent Product Press Releases Made Simple!

Although learning how to write a press release for a product can seem difficult, it’s a critical skill for any company, and following these tips will help you learn to do it in your business. From crafting the hook to optimizing your press release for SEO, there are dozens of little things that can spell the difference between success and failure for your press releases. Happy writing!

Need some additional help on your upcoming product press release? Contact Express Writers to take advantage of our professional press release writing services today.

how to write cornerstone content

How To Write Cornerstone Content

I’m here with another installment of our ongoing #howtowrite series, sharing a guide to cornerstone content.

When you started your first blog, did you know about cornerstone content?

I didn’t. As a more informed SEO blogger, I’m now transitioning my digital property to include cornerstone content strategy.

When I started my blog in 2013, I grew it naturally: I wrote about the niche I liked, interacted and promoted in my niche, and enlisted other writers to grow the site. In 2015, I started to clean up and improve my SEO; I also began using the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin. This plugin told me all about cornerstone content and how to more effectively structure my site.

guide on how to write cornerstone content

What is Cornerstone Content?

Cornerstone content is strong, informative content on a keyword or key phrase relating to your site’s niche.

This is the page you want to carefully, naturally, and deliberately rank in SERPs (search engine results pages), and most other content points to it (via links) and relies on it for sustainability.

According to Marieke van de Rakt, Partner & CSO at Yoast:

“Cornerstone content should be the content that is closest to the mission of your website. I think you should take some time to think about what it is you are doing and which posts or pages on your website are the most important. If you are to point three or four texts on your website, which texts would that be? I think you should extend and improve upon those pages and posts and really make the most out of these pages.

Your text and the ideas in your text should be totally unique. Of course, keyword research is essential. You just have to make sure you are using the words that your audience are using.”

cornerstone content quote

I couldn’t run an effective WordPress blog without the Yoast SEO plugin. When I blog and schedule posts on my site, Yoast frequently suggests choosing a different focus keyword because the one I have selected is already being used as a focus keyword, often for a post that ranks well. Yoast advises me to check out their piece on cornerstone content for more information.

This has caused me to rethink my content strategy – but it’s raised more questions than answers. If I’m going for a comparatively low-competition keyword like “LARP,” should I really diversify my focus keyword selection?

I’ve since started paying more attention, and although I haven’t mapped out a detailed strategy, I’m going for long tail keywords like “LARP tips,” “LARP interviews,” and “LARP costumes” as they apply.

I created my website about women in geek culture before I got serious about my SEO game. I wrote SEO copy well – and naturally – but was using a free WordPress theme with lots of bugs and limited tools. Every week, I spend time writing and revising titles and meta descriptions that the Yoast SEO plugin identifies as nonexistent, weak, or duplicate. Little by little, I improve my SEO.

However, there’s another SEO problem: I didn’t build my site from the ground up with cornerstone content in mind. Yoast SEO encourages me to think about this whenever I use an existing strong keyword on my site. Van de Rakt offers some advice about this situation, since many looking to improve their sites are in a similar situation:

“Cornerstone content is the content you would like to rank the highest with. The content you’re the most proud of. But in order to make sure that it’ll rank the highest you should make sure that the internal linking structure of your site is awesome. We are working really hard to get more features in Yoast SEO which will help people to improve their site structure. In our Yoast SEO 4.0 update, we’ll start with adding such features and we’re planning to do much more. I hope these features will really help people to get their most precious content to rank highest!”

Example of Cornerstone Content and Related Topics

1. Resource Libraries

Keep your keyword strategy in mind as you build out resource libraries. Your on-site resource libraries are excellent inbound marketing strategies, so your on and off-site blog posts on related topics should direct readers to them.

2. Article Series

If you’re like me, you may think that building out a huge content strategy is a little intimidating when you don’t have many resources. However, even a solo act can focus on cornerstone content via an article series.

This #HowtoWrite content series, for example, is written and created by a small team. In the future, we’ll point back to this useful content, hopefully helping the #HowToWrite series pages rank as cornerstone content.

3. Evergreen content

While it’s always best practice to update your content as things change, evergreen cornerstone content is a solid strategy. If you’re going to invest time in pointing search engines towards specific content, you want it to hold value in the long run.

Should You Compete With Your Own Content for a Keyword?

What if your niche is pretty specific? What if you already dominate it? I rank pretty well for specific niche keywords, and the Yoast SEO plugin always tells me to rethink my focus keyword because one of my existing pages already has that focus keyword. I kind of want to be greedy. Why settle for the top search result if I could get more than one on that first SERP? I asked Van de Rakt if it’s better to rank multiple pages in a long tail niche keyword, or expand into ranking a more competitive keyword using cornerstone content.

“I think you should do both. If you are dominating, you could aim to rank for more ‘head terms.’ Long tail niche keywords remain important though,” advises Van de Rakt.

Long Tail or Short Tail for Cornerstone Content?

This depends on your business goal, your content spend, and the amount of competition in your niche. A careful analysis can help, but ultimately, you know your business and field better than anyone.

I aim for 75% analysis, 25% heart – that means most of my strategy is based on hard data about what works, but I leave myself ample room to explore the content and communities I’m passionate about. This is where experimentation and innovation happen – and it’s a great way to bolster less risky cornerstone content with relevant links.

cornerstone graphic

Do You Need Help With Cornerstone Content?

Express Writers can help at any stage of cornerstone content creation and execution.

Get in touch for a free content strategy consultation and learn more about our keyword research and content strategy services. Now through Christmas, use coupon holidayshop5 to get 5% off your total order.

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