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books for copywriters

25 Best Books To Help You Learn Copywriting

Mastering the art of powerful copywriting can take years of experience, and a creative mind.

In today’s digitally focused world of marketing, top-notch writing skills are critical to attracting and converting customers. However, we can’t all be Grade A writers — or can we?

For those who need to polish and perfect their writing skills, we have a list of 25 best copywriting books that will bring your writing abilities to current standards.

Learn and get started with techniques taught by the greats right away, and watch your copywriting come to life through your content!

books for learning copywriting

Enhance Your Copywriting Skills With These 25 Awesome Books for Copywriters

1. So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing — By Julia McCoy

I wrote So You Think You Can Write? for anyone who wants tobuy my book slate background copytransparent grow their online writing skills significantly. Written to current standards in SEO and with a best-tool-list for every online writer, I teach readers how to adapt and write for the seven major forms of online content; how SEO plays into online writing, and which tools to use and how to implement keywords correctly; and how to market yourself as an online writer and make money! I believe this book will truly help people – and I’ve already seen that happen, from the messages I get from readers around the globe! My book launched early 2016, and it’s already been a #2 Amazon Bestseller in multiple categories. It’s on Amazon as print and Kindle.

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2. The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Copy That Sells — By Robert W. Bly

Robert Bly’s copywriting handbook helps you turn bland copy into persuasive and meaningful content. He also offers advice on web marketing, e-mail marketing, and multimedia presentations. The book includes 15 techniques to ensure that your e-mails are opened, and 11 ways to make your copy more readable. The Copywriter’s Handbook serves as a valuable book of reference for common copy writing needs.

3. Everybody Writes: The Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content — By Ann Handley

The power of superior content writing is at the turn of every page in Ann Handley’s book. She offers practical advise for publishing content that makes an impact, along with the secrets behind content that helps bring businesses to authority status. For a copywriting guide that packs a punch, Everybody Writes just might be the right choice for you.

4. The Adweek Copywriting Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Powerful Advertising and Marketing Copy from One of America’s Top Copywriters — By Joseph Sugarman

Looking to learn how to motivate your buyers? The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman is yet another solid reference source for writing top-notch copy. Joseph demonstrates how to write effective copy that sells product, but he doesn’t skimp on the creativity. This book is easy to follow and serves as the perfect guide for writing snappy and creative ad copy.

5. The Online Copywriter’s Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Write Electronic Copy That Sells — By Robert Bly

Yet another hit by Robert Bly, The Online Copywriter’s Handbook is an all-in-one demonstration guide to writing copy that turns into conversions. Catering to multiple online media platforms, Robert focuses in on the best copywriting techniques for websites, landing pages, e-mail marketing, and more. Don’t miss out on this handbook if you are looking for an all-inclusive guide to online copywriting.

6. Creating Fat Content: Boost Website Traffic with Visitor-Grabbing, Google-Loving Web Content — By Dr. Andy Williams

Dr. Williams’ book on web content emphasizes the power behind content that feeds the search engines. In order to get the most mileage out of your online copy writing, you should aim for a balance between pleasing both your audience and the search engines. He gives clear examples for content that converts and content that falls flat. Creating Fat Content explains exactly how to write great content all while boosting traffic.

7. Empower Your Writing: Skills for Today’s Content Creator — By Farnoosh Brock

Content creators come in all forms these days. This author breaks down includes 22 errors to avoid when writing content, along with 9 tips for empowering your writing skills. The author takes this book a step further and includes 28 honest questions for discovering your own writing voice. As a content creator, you are the voice of your brand. This book will help you find that voice and empower your writing skills.

8. Kickass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps: Build The Buzz And Sell The Sizzle — By Susan Gunelius

Everyone loves a step-by-step guide, especially when it comes to copywriting that will sell your products and services. This kickass copywriting book helps small business owners understand the methods behind powerful writing. Susan offers clear concept on how to effectively market small businesses with content, and she also uses real-world examples with emotional triggers. This book is a must-buy for small business owners who are new to content writing.

9. 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love — By Rachel Aaron

Nearly everyone wants to write better, but what about writing faster? With content essentially flooding the market, serious writers need to keep pace with the endless stream of demand. 2k to 10k demonstrates exactly how writers can take their ho-hum daily word count to beyond what they have imagined capable. Rachel shows her readers how to double their word counts while still maintaining the quality of their writing. For busy bloggers to newbies, 2k to 10k can help you write better and faster.

10. Breakthrough Copywriting: How To Generate Quick Cash With The Written Word — By David Garfinkel

Looking for a few inside secrets in the copywriting industry? Breakthrough Copywriting gives business owners the know-how to writing copy that generates a profit. The book outlines exactly how to craft world class copy that sells your products almost every time. Breakthrough Copywriting helps you zone into your target audience by establishing emotional connections and tap into their subconscious.

11. This Book Will Teach You How to Write Better — By Neville Medhora

This book is short, sweet, and gives great guidance for helping yourself write stellar copy. At only 56 pages long, this book is highly reviewed for its conversational tone and straightforward approach to copywriting. This book emphasizes the importance of the human touch in copywriting, while steering readers away from writing like robots. It will help inspire new bloggers and startups while giving specific examples of quality content writing.

12. The Idea Writers: Copywriting in a New Media and Marketing Era — By Teressa Iezzi

The Idea Writers offers copywriting tips from a unique angle. Teressa dives deep into the new rules of copywriting in the form of the digital age. She emphasizes that customers consume information on multi-channel levels, with not only written content, but video and beyond. She describes how the advertising copywriter has evolved over the last 50 years, and how we must change our style of copywriting to reach a more modern customer base.

13. How to Write Seductive Web Copy: An Easy Guide to Picking Up More Customers By Henneke Duistermaat

Are you tripped up over what to write on your home page? What about your about us page? How to Write Seductive Web Copy gives new writers an edge on how to write copy for your own website like a pro. This how-to is dubbed as a practical guide that tells you how to write, as well as what to write about. It also offers multiple techniques on updating your existing web copy into something that’s unforgettable.

14. High Conversion E-Mail Copywriting: 50 E-Mail Marketing Copywriting Tips to Increase Your Rates by 30% or More By Scott Frothingham

E-mail marketing remains as a top marketing technique in 2015, but getting your copy just right can be a challenge. In High Conversion E-mail Copywriting, Scott offers pro advice and tricks on getting customers to open your e-mails, turning them into sales. Better yet, Scott offers a 50-point checklist that every copywriter should keep on hand when starting a new e-mail campaign.

15. Phrases That Sell: The Ultimate Phrase Finder to Help You Promote Your Products, Services, and Ideas By Edward Werz

Have you ever been stuck with wondering what to say? With Phrases That Sell, the thought on the tip of your tongue will flow seamlessly into your copywriting. Edward showcases thousands of words, phrases, and slogans that can be applied to almost any kind of marketing. Not only does the author spell out the best phrases to say, he also helps his readers generate their own ideas on the spot.

16. How to Write Magnetic Headlines: The Fundamental Guide to the Most Important Copywriting Skill on the Planet By Copyblogger Media

One of the most well respected content marketing agencies in the industry crafted the perfect guide to writing headlines in this eBook. When it comes to writing compelling headlines, it’s sink or swim. With 80 percent of customers reading your headline and only 20 percent clicking through, you only have one chance to grab your customer’s attention. This book gives you the inside scoop on writing headlines that click with your customer.

17. Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business By Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman

Copywriting is all about customer engagement, and you can’t go wrong with the tips contained in Content Rules. Whether you are looking to perfect your copy for your blog, eBook, or video, these tips for copywriting and marketing will help make your sale soar. This book offers a comprehensive and how-to angle on creating the best content possible.

18. Choice Words for Local Marketers – How to Use Content Marketing to Generate Revenue By Susan Andersen

While some of us may be attempting to dominate national (and international) search terms, there are others who are focusing on a much smaller scale. Choice of Words for Local Marketers helps small businesses understand the power of local content marketing and the impact it can have on their business. The book also helps small business owners understand the varieties of content marketing and how to reach more customers with copywriting.

19. Web Copy That Sells: The Revolutionary Formula for Creating Killer Copy That Grabs Their Attention and Compels Them to Buy —By Maria Veloso

The title may be a mouthful, but this book is a practical guide for crafting web copywriting that sells. The author helps writers perfect their skills for copywriting on multiple mediums, including online video scripting, tips for Facebook ads, and even test copy to help maximize your response rate.

20. Words that Sell, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Thesaurus to Help You Promote Your Products, Services, and Ideas

We already have a book on phrases that sell, but what about a solid selection of power words? In Words That Sell, Revised and Expanded Edition, there are over 6,000 words that help copywriters promote their products and services. Even if you’re not looking to completely overhaul your copy, this book can help with tweaks that can yield surprising results.

21. Copywriting 101: The Fundamental Guide to Writing Compelling Copy That Sells Your Product, Service, or Idea By Copyblogger Media

This is the third Copyblogger book on our list, and with good reason. This eBook covers the art and science of copywriting that captivates and moves product. It offers the basic fundamentals of great copywriting, all in one convenient and affordable eBook.

22. Writing for the Web: Creating Compelling Web Content Using Words, Pictures, and Sound By Lynda Felder

The mysteries of writing for the web are unraveled in this book, as author Lynda Felder breaks down the basics of creating compelling web content. She uses visuals and straightforward instructions for web-focused writing techniques. This book is great for beginners and it’s noted as very easy to follow and understand.

23. Letting Go of the Words, Second Edition: Writing Web Content that Works By Janice (Ginny) Redish

Letting Go of the Words helps you create copy that not only enhances user experience, but also boosts search engine traffic. Janice ties in the value of content creation along with SEO in this popular second edition of Letting Go of the Words.

24. Clout: The Art and Science of Influential Web Content (Voices That Matter) By Colleen Jones

Clout is the copywriters’ guide to creating the best content possible for a variety of websites. Even if you aren’t experienced in copywriting and content creation, Clout helps readers easily understand the value of quality content and how to

25. Copywriting: Successful Writing for Design, Advertising and marketing — By Mark Shaw

Those that don’t write copy may see the craft as a talent only existing among the few. However, that mindset will change when you dive into Copywriting by Mark Shaw. He demonstrates the steps for what it takes to become a successful copywriter in the world of marketing, and how you can put yourself on the path to success with the written word.

BONUS – 26. Copywriting For The Rest of Us — By Mike Shreeve

With the mindset of you can write copy, too, Copywriting For The Rest of Us includes easy steps to becoming the best copywriter possible. The ability to write motivational copy is essential if you are looking to promote your brand and generate cash online, and Copywriting For The Rest of Us will help you put your words into action.

Conclusion

These 25 copywriting books will put you on easy street for making you a better copywriter. While you might not become a pro overnight, following the steps, formulas and advice in these books will enhance your skills and help boost sales!

Need great copy for your websites, blog or social media? Contact us today and request amazing copy from our Content Shop!

9 Reasons Picking Up A Book And Reading It Today Will Help You Succeed As A Writer

There is nothing new under the sun. And guess what, I am not the first person to have said that. In fact, it was written in Biblical times by King Solomon. So if nothing was new back then, imagine how much more true that is today?

No matter what you write, you are not going to come up with something that has never been said before in some way—unless you are talking about exclusive news, are Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, or

What will make your content great is the unique spin you put on that old concept. When you read, you experience all of the things you want to express.

And once you have experienced them, you are much better equipped to share with others.

9 Quotes from Literary Geniuses that Tell You Why Reading Makes Your Writing Better

Reading makes you a better writer whether you are writing a novel or copy for your latest product. However, do not just take my word for it. I am going to prove my point through copious references to the words that have inspired me all from the mouths of the greatest writers and thinkers. You won’t be able to argue with me, because you have to admit they know what they are talking about. Which means all my reading has already paid off in writing this post alone.

  1. “Genius is one percent inspiration … “ – Thomas Edison

So what if the other 99% is perspiration. Even Edison recognizes that to really be a genius, you need a little bit of inspiration. That is the purpose of books: to inspire the reader. When it comes to writing, reading a book does not magically make you a wordsmith. It does not have any actual magical powers.

Writing takes a lot of hard work. If you want to be a genius writer, you are going to need to put in that 99% of perspiration that Edison suggests. However, while you are putting in that hard work, do not forget that one percent. Read a book, and be inspired. That is part of the genius formula.

  1. “Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” – William Faulkner

George Deeb wrote an article for Forbes that says mentors are one of the most valuable resources you can get if you are an entrepreneur. Well, if writing is your enterprise, then you have access to some of the greatest mentors throughout time.

Take advantage of this. Tap into the resources of the masters and learn from them. Within the pages of a book, you will find all of the secrets of writing success. What other profession allows you that type of opportunity?

  1. “It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” – Oscar Wilde

Believe it or not, your reading preferences reflect on who you are. What do you enjoy reading? Sci-fi, romance, mystery? There is no right or wrong answer here, but your reading choices do say something about you.

They should also say something about what you write. When you write what you like to read, you know that you are pleasing somebody. And since one of the things reading does is show you that you are not alone in how you feel or act, you know that if you please one person, you are likely to please many.

So read to determine who you are, then write for that person. You will find that many other people want to read the same things as you.

  1. “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” – G.R.R. Martin

One of the best things about reading is that you get to have an adventurous life even between all of your real-life adventures. As a reader, you get to discover things that non-readers never get to.

Great writers do not just tell you what they want to say, they show you what they want you to feel. They put you in the shoes of their characters so that you are the one fighting the white walkers or becoming the mother of dragons.

How does this translate into great writing? You have to be able to take your readers on an adventure. Whether you are writing the great American novel or you are selling sneakers online, you have to convince the reader that they are part of your story and that they want to continue on with you.

In order to get to a place where your writing transports your readers, you have to have been transported yourself. So reading allows you to travel to other places and have epic adventures, which will help you bring your readers along on all of the thrilling sagas you want write about.

  1. “The more that you read, the more you will know.” – Dr. Seuss

Reading is educational. When you read, even a novel, you learn. What you learn depends on the book. Maybe you learned about some theorem in a physics book. Maybe you learned about the Civil War in a history book. And maybe you learned about the strength of emotions between the pages of a Romance.

Knowledge is never a bad thing. In fact, it is almost always a good thing. So, educate yourself. You cannot teach others anything unless you first learn it yourself.

  1. “Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.” – John Locke

If you really get into a book, you cannot help but start thinking. Great writing challenges your viewpoints and makes you question everything that you thought you knew.

Once you learn to start thinking for yourself, you stop spewing out facts, and you begin to write real, compelling material. If you do not first learn how to think, then nothing you have to say will have real value to your reader.

Readers do not want to read a list of facts unless they are reading the news. They want you to give them something to really ponder. But to get other people thinking, you first have to learn to think.

Sally Kerrigan, a writer for A List Apart, points out that writing is thinking. When you write well, you are not just creating noise. Read, then, so that you can figure out the signal you want to send to the world.

  1. “Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” – Lemony Snickett

Giving sources builds trust. Proving your statements shows you are not just making things up. Reading allows you to find the information that is going to help you prove to your authors you know what you are talking about.

In other words, if people do not believe you, nothing you say matters. So prove to them you are not just throwing up smoke and mirrors.

  1. “Think before you speak. Read before you think.” – Fran Lebowitz

Reading helps you form concrete ideas. It allows you to see viewpoints you might not ever before have thought of. It helps you connect with people of all cultures, races, religions, and genders.

If you want readers to connect with you, you have to first connect with them. Find out what people are thinking and what makes them who they are. Once you have developed empathy, it will come through in your writing. People will listen because they will see you really get them.

  1. “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” – Stephen King

Stephen King has created a name for himself not only as a writer, but as a writing coach. Josh Jones, on Open Culture, took away 20 tips on writing that he has gleaned from King’s own writing tutorial books and interviews. Basically, what Stephen King say you should do in order to be a good writer is what you do if you want to be a good writer.

There is no lesson here like educate yourself or learn who you are. The only point, and it is a huge one, is that Stephen King said if you want to be a good writer, you have to make time to read. And that is reason enough to go grab a book right this instant.

Pick Up a Book, and Change Your Writing

There are many reasons to go out right now and pick up a book. Your writing is only one of those reasons. Listen to the words of all the wise writers and thinkers before you. If you want to write successfully, read frequently.

Many great authors did not wake up one morning successful. They worked hard and discovered the path to success through trial and error. So use their trial and error as a map for yourself.

I’ve got to wrap this up now—Stephen King told me to go read something, and I’m going to listen.

 

 

Citations: What They Are, And Why You Should Be Using Them

If you’ve been hanging around blogs over the last year or so, you’ll realize that citations are a big thing. Citation is a skill that bloggers need to learn in the twenty first century in order to see their pages rank well.

Think of these like high quality backlinks that affect the overall rank of your blog and also create a pretty large impact on how your audience perceives your blog.

What exactly is this citation thing anyway?

What are Citations?

Citations can simply be thought of as a means of presenting another website as a link within the body text of your own. The term stems from the academic field where extensive literature reviews usually result in citations that are lengthy and reference a large number of topics on the subject at hand. Similarly, citation in a blog or website references relevant topics so that readers who are interested in these topics can get further information if they so desire. Citations make up the major part of creating backlinks for your site in the modern era of search engine optimization.

Why are Citations Important?

Citations allow for the building of backlinks. The higher the quality of a backlink, the better your page ranks in search results and the more authoritative your own page is in comparison to others on the same topic. Citations are important for two major reasons. Firstly, they allow you to share contact with another, higher-impact blog. If enough traffic comes from your link to their site you may be able to form a suitable link sharing agreement, thereby increasing your traffic. Alternatively, and more importantly, a good backlink foundation allows your website or blog to rank well in relevant search results. The basis of your citations comes from proper use of something called the anchor tag.

What is this “Anchor Tag”?

Basically, it’s an HTML tag that replaces an actual HTML link with actual words. Thus instead of a URL, you can have a short description that, upon being clicked, sends the user to the URL hidden beneath it. Search engines utilize anchor texts to figure out the content of the site you’ve linked to. This means that proper use of anchor tags can affect both your linked-to sites and your own site. The use of the anchor tag represents a particular metric that search engines have taken to tracking termed link relevancy. Link relevancy is determined by what content is on the source page and what the anchor text attached to that source page represents.

Link Relevancy

Search engines cleverly utilize human beings penchant for linking relevant things to figure out exactly what the source page is relevant regarding search terms and keywords. Link relevancy indicators utilize this particular inclination along with complicated natural language processing in order to generate an idea of how relevant the link in question really is. Google’s Penguin update started being more specific in its determination of natural search terms and this allowed the algorithm to determine with a good degree of accuracy when it was dealing with non-organic links by determining if the same anchor text yielded the same link results each time. To this end, links should be made throughout the body of a page with as much variety as possible while still remaining relevant to the source page.

How Does Anchor Text Affect SEO?

As we said before, anchor text allows the building of links that raises the search rank of a page. After understanding search relevancy, we can now form a picture of what our anchor tags should contain to be proper examples of good SEO link building, from Backlinko. Remember that you’re trying to have different anchor texts that lead to your external page in order to create more organic content. To this end, what you should do is to brainstorm possible options that you may have for the creation of alternative anchor texts for your outbound links. It is important that you keep these thoughts in mind when developing your anchor tags:

  • Do NOT create zero-anchor situations such as “Click Here…”
  • Do NOT overuse anchor text. Overuse of anchor text makes a search engine look at your linking suspiciously and may actually hurt your search rank rather than helping it.

5 Types of Anchor Text

Anchor text comes in many types and each type has their own particular use. The most common anchor types that you are likely to encounter during your time building SEO type links are:

  1. Zero Anchor Text: These are the text anchors that simply come with a “Click Here” appended to them via anchor tag. Not recommended at all.
  2. “Naked” URL’s: This also defeats the purpose of the anchor tag as some URL’s are usually made up of non-words and incomprehensible strings of letters. On the off-chance that the link is actually made up of good keywords (as is the case in many links from WordPress blogs), the link might end up helping itself out.
  3. Exact Match Anchor: One of the best anchor tags to use in a localized anchor tag strategy. These give a geographical area and a relevant keyword. In some SEO strategies, they allow for more localized searches which can lead to a much higher conversion rate.
  4. Partial Match Anchor: This depends upon the ability of a search engine indexing bot to determine the relevant location and other information from the surrounding words in order to rank the link. It has the benefit of allowing you to be freer with your anchor text and helps you create more natural outbound links. Highly recommended.
  5. Hybrid Anchor: These are a combination of links that associate different anchor tags with each other allowing for a more targeted strategy, while at the same time giving you the freedom to create links naturally. The links usually relate branded items with non-branded items and are also highly recommended.

The flavor of anchor text that you use can make it more difficult for search engines to rank the link and therefore affect your overall search ranking and how well regarded your site is.

How Can I Generate Authority Links? 7 Key Ways

Authority links in the past (as close as 2013) was a whole different game to what it is today. In fact, if you follow the same link-building strategies that you would have done in 2013 today, it’s likely to hurt more than help. When you’re trying to generate authority links for your site, it’s important that you follow best-practice. There are a few very successful ways to build backlinks that are high quality and help your search engine ranking immensely. A few of these are:

  1. Create a Resource: Developing a resource is as simple as compiling a single location that gives information to visitors. What resource links do is they give other websites a handy place to link to that covers all their needs in a single URL. This makes it attractive to link to this resource site and allows a lot of traffic to come through it through linking and cross-linking. Resource pages are useful and amazingly good at generating high-quality backlinks, and all it takes is a little bit of skill in content curation. Knowing your audience also does a great deal for creating resource pages that are beneficial to them, making it all the more likely that you’ll generate backlinks from that page.
  2. Bridge the Content Gap: One of the hardest things for site owners to do is to catch the attention of their target demographic. It’s what many content producers and marketers spend countless hours trying to figure out. How to attract your audience’s attention is one of the most important things you learn in advertising. Bridging the content gap means reaching out to your audience and grabbing their attention by giving them something that they want but that other content hasn’t managed to satisfy yet. You’re trying to fill the gaps left by other content producers. There are countless opportunities that exist out there that have yet to be explored. All it takes is a little bit of imagination.
  3. Use the Power of Infographics: If you don’t know what an infographic is, you probably haven’t seen new content at all in the last 3 years. Infographics are a unique way of blending text copy and images into a nice, holistic piece of content that catches the eye but doesn’t bore the audience with tedious walls of text. If anything, infographics are the way that all content marketers should seek to converse with their audience. Developing infographics on trending themes is a great way of getting backlinks and sharing what you know at the same time. These text-pictograms have become one of the most effective ways of leveraging an audience’s attention span to your own benefit.
  4. See what the Competition is Doing: Monitoring the places other sites you compete against in your niche are doing is a great way for you to develop an idea of where quality backlinks are to be found. You can start off by studying the types of links your competitors have by doing a system of competitive auditing. From that you can come up with a plan to outperform them. Imitation has always been the sincerest form of flattery and if your opponents have managed to find a workable solution for getting high quality backlinks, then you can follow suit and do what they have done, even improving on their methods immensely.
  5. Capitalizing on Broken Links: Google’s main source of determining how well your site ranks on the Internet is still based heavily on your links. In such a case a broken link could spell disaster for a site’s link-building hopes. Enter broken link building. Essentially, in this type of strategy, you spot a link that leads nowhere and point it out to the webmaster of the site, while at the same time asking for a link where that dead one currently is. It’s a very good strategy for developing a rapport with owners of authority sites. One link from an authority site can generate as much or more traffic than ten mid-range or low-impact sites can. That’s a lot of traffic to spotting a broken link.
  6. Find the Influencers for your Niche and Interview Them: Influencers make up a major part of content marketing strategy. They’re called “influencers” because their opinion usually sways a large portion of a target demographic. One of the reasons that they are such influential people is because a lot of people are interested in them. Interviewing an influencers creates a post based on what you found out about that person and also provides an authority link for others who may want to garner information about or directly link to information that supports one of their article’s points. This is another type of resource site with the same overall effect: a lot of links coming inbound from high-authority sites that raise your overall search ranking.
  7. Content Repurposing: You might have had content that performed well but seems to be a bit dated now. You don’t have to toss it out as old content, but you can refurbish it and republish it as repurposed content. Some of the content you made at a previous date was probably not well received because at that point in time your article wasn’t a relevant piece and the industry’s attention was held elsewhere. Giving it new form and function allows you to resurrect these posts, especially if they become more relevant in the present day. Repurposing content and presenting it in an alternative format (such as on Slideshare) makes for a great draw for social media sharers, since Slideshare is much more suited to a social media platform. Repurposing content in this way can gain you a lot of inbound links through social media shares and external linking.

Keep an Eye on your Citations

After understanding how important citations are, and how they function, you’re in a much better place to deal with citing links correctly and increasing your search rank through dedicated link building. It might seem like a tedious process, and at times it can be, but it’s far more effective at getting your traffic and search rankings up than almost any other method of promotion out there. It works hand in hand with SEO strategies to guarantee that your site finds itself among the top search results for a particular keyword.

How to grow your traffic with evergreen content

How To Maintain and Grow Your Traffic By Writing Evergreen Posts

Here’s a crazy scenario. You are trying to quickly look good for the bikini pool party that you just realized is next week, but there’s not much time to get results. What’s the quickest fix? Suck in that tummy with a body wrap or two, follow every fad diet you can find, and maybe just stop eating for the next day. Is it healthy? No. Can you keep it up? I hope not. Does it get you those quick results you need, though? Probably. But the day after that party is over, all that weight is going straight back on.

When you want to make lasting life choices that will make you a healthier person and allow you to keep the weight off so that you look good at every upcoming pool party, you create a healthy eating and exercising regime.

Now, since this isn’t a post on dieting, there must be some point. Right? Exactly. And here it is.

How to grow your traffic with evergreen content

Two Types of Content Posts: Evergreen vs. Trending

There are two main types of posts that you see the most on blogs:

  1. Hot ticket items.
  2. More evergreen topics.

Choosing a hot, current topic that you know is going to turn out to be a fad is the writing equivalent of starving yourself before an event where you want to look good. It might get you a lot of hits and attention in the moment, but a week or two later when that hot event has passed, you are right back where you started.

Evergreen topics are the posts that last over time. They are what is going to keep your blog looking good all the time instead of just during that big moment. So you definitely need to be utilizing them.

Now, this is not to say that you should never write about the hot trends. They can get you over that hump in the road or get your readers revved up and ready to click through to everything else you have to say. However, they should just be supplements to the core of your healthy blog life. With the exception of blogs that are intended to consistently focus on current trends (e.g., news, gossip, and entertainment blogs), evergreen posts should be the healthy diet you follow most of the time.

But what is an evergreen post, and how do you write one?

What Is an Evergreen Post?

An evergreen post is on a topic that is popular when you write it, but is also likely to remain popular months or years down the road. It is, as the name suggests, ever green, or at least green for the foreseeable future.

To use another analogy, think of it as a crush versus finding true love. People get over one really quickly, but they stick around for the other.

Buffer says that evergreen topics include things like:

  • Posts on productivity, time management, etc., that do not go out of style
  • On topics like social media that change quickly, more basic and/or beginner topics
  • Quality content that is useful for a long time

Evergreen topics do not include

  • Quickly dated information
  • Passing trends
  • Current events

A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself the question, “If I waited a year, and then wrote this post, would it likely still be relevant?” If the answer is yes, then you have likely found an evergreen topic.

How To Tell If A Topic is Evergreen: The Secret Lies Within Google Analytics

If you want to figure out if a post is evergreen or a passing fad, just look at the analytics by using tools such as Google Analytics. How does the topic do over time?

If you look at a chart and it has a high spike followed by stagnation a few days after the post was created, then it likely did not have the lasting power. However, a topic that has steady views, likes, and shares over time is likely evergreen.

When you are evaluating potential topics or past posts, analytics can be very helpful.

  • Past Posts: If you want to know how the topics you have been doing have fared, then you simply need to check the analytics. Are you getting flashes of readers followed by long periods of inactivity? Are your new posts getting hits, but anything older than a few months is being ignored? You can learn a lot by taking an in-depth appraisal of your own posts to learn what is working for you and your readers and what is not. A good blog will likely use those flash in the pan topics, but only as a supplement to its long-standing, reader-sustaining posts.
  • Potential Topics: You can also use analytics to determine how likely a potential topic is to be evergreen. You can search by a keyword that you are planning to use to examine how that word or term has done for people in the last few years. Once again, if you see a sharp jump in activity around the term due to a recent event, then it is probably not a good choice for an evergreen topic. If it has sustained steady popularity for a while, then it probably is.

5 Things You Want to Avoid in an Evergreen Post

There are many things you want to avoid in an evergreen post, but here are five of the big ones.

  1. Holiday themes. When you have a blog that you regularly post to, you are probably going to do holiday posts. And you should – you want to develop a relationship with your readers and this is a way to do it. However, you do want to avoid using a topic you want people to keep coming back to view at these times. After all, seven months later, people are going to see your Independence Day post and assume it is outdated.
  2. Dates. If you want consistent readers for a specific post, you might want to do your best to avoid dates, both in the post itself and listed on the entry of the post. Once again, no matter how relevant the topic still is, if people saw it was written a year ago, they might assume it is too old to be useful.
  3. Pop culture references. For more on this point, read the Pop Culture References in Evergreen Posts section of this post.
  4. Predictions. Let’s say you make a prediction on how successful the newest XYZ gadget is going to be on the market. Now, after the gadget comes out and has had time to perform, what is going to happen? Either your prediction will be right or it will be wrong, but either way it is going to be old hat.
  5. Stats. There is nothing better to make a post look outdated than to have stats listed from 1992. Now, think about this: this year’s stats are the outdated 1992 stats of the future.

5 Things That Make Good Evergreen Posts

While this list isn’t all-inclusive, here are five things that almost always make good evergreen posts.

  1. Back to the basics information. While all the fancy stuff is likely to advance and change, the more beginner, basic information will stay the same. Think about it as the difference between explaining social media to a newbie and discussing the newest social media platforms.
  2. Lists. “Top 5 Reasons … “ “10 Ways You Can Improve … “ etc., are all things people like to keep on using.
  3. How-tos. Similar to the first two, people like step by step guidance.
  4. Answered FAQs. There is a reason these are called frequently asked questions. People are consistently asking them over time.
  5. History. History is fact, which means why you may need to update it with any new developments, it is not going to get old.

Pop Culture References in Evergreen Posts

The topics you pick for your content marketing are important because you certainly don’t want a Dukakis in the tank situation. You don’t want to say anything inappropriate and get bad press like Willie Robertson. When you pop up in their AOL account, you want people to want to read what you have to say.

And outdated references just do not help. If you are writing a news post on an upcoming political debate, then by all means, talk about that political debate. But if you are trying to write an article that is going to last, then don’t use that same political debate as an analogy because six months to a year down the road, somebody is going to come across it and think it is either really old or that you are really unhip.

Which reminds me, the same principle applies to current slang. Your post can be groovy, hip, chill, dope, a okay, the cat’s meow, boss, and bad (in a good way), when you write it, but if you use words like groovy, hip, chill, you get the picture, then next year, when those terms are so last year, you are going to sound like that mom who wants to relate with her kids by “using their language.” And nobody wants to read that.

A Healthy Blog Is Usually An Evergreen Blog

Once you have a blog filled with evergreen posts, you are much more likely to have a healthy blog that has a long life ahead of it. Which is way better than following that topic diet that makes you look good for a day, and does not do anything for you in the long run.

Photo credit: canbalci / iStock

why you should hire a copywriter

14 Reasons You Should Hire A Copywriter

Writing web copy is something you know is vital for your online presence, but it can get overwhelming quickly if you don’t know how to do it or where to start first in terms of hiring a copywriter or even trying to do it yourself.

Regardless of knowing just how badly you need it, sometimes your web copy can get pushed to the back of your pile of important business-related items. But it really shouldn’t.

What should you do if you can’t spend the time writing excellent web content to help set your site apart from competitors?

Hire a copywriter, of course!

hiring a copywriter

Let’s take a look at just why you should hire a copywriter and how one can help you create the best web copy ever for your business.

14 Reasons Hiring a Copywriter Could Be Your Best Idea Yet

Let’s take a look at some great reasons why you should hire a copywriter and why you will be glad you did, in the end!

1. More Time for Your Morning Coffee (Or Anything Else You’d Rather Be Doing)

One of the main reasons why you should consider hiring a copywriter for your content needs is simply because you will have more time. This means you can spend your time drinking your favorite cup of coffee or tea in the morning, or spend more time on another aspect of your business. Creating consistent, engaging content can take up a significant amount of time, and copywriters are a great way to save that time. Expertly trained copywriters are able to write excellent copy quickly while still hitting the mark that you want every single time.

2. A Professional Copywriter Can Perfectly Capture Your Services

When you hire a professional copywriter, you aren’t just getting someone who can write amazing pieces, you’re hiring someone who can capture your services. Copywriters are trained to learn as much as they can about various industries to make sure they write quality content. In addition, there are many industry-specific copywriters out there that have special training in different industries, making them perfect to write for you. When the copywriter writes about your services or industry, you will see just how well he or she can capture things, making it exciting and engaging for your audience.

3. Never Worry if The Dress is Blue or Gold

A few months ago, the Internet was taken over by the viral phenomenon known as “The Dress.” No one could agree if the dress was black and blue or white and gold, and many articles sprang up about it. Several businesses also used this viral sensation as a way to market to audiences and create a fun atmosphere. However, during this time, I am quite sure there were a few businesses that were a little too worried to join in because they weren’t entirely sure how to handle trends. The great thing about hiring an expert copywriter is that you will never have to worry about that again. You can give a copywriter the freedom to utilize the current trends to create excellent, fun content for your blogs and social media channels. This will help you boost your chances for viral content amongst your existing evergreen content.

4. Grammar Issues, Bygone

Not everyone is skilled with grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and that is usually perfectly fine. However, when you are writing web content, you want to make sure every aspect of your copy is perfect for the big Google machine. You will know if you are a strong writer or not, and it is a good idea to make sure you hire a copywriter if you are not strong. Copywriters all have various degrees in fields that require great grammar, perfect spelling, and understanding punctuation, which means they will be able to craft expert material for you, Google, and your readers. In addition, many copywriters will also have copyeditors who can then look through the content to catch any little mistakes that do make it through. Grammar is vital when it comes to having great SEO, and you can make sure you always have excellent grammar simply by hiring a copywriter.

5. A Copywriter Knows How to Write Persuasive Content

When it comes to web copy, you want to make sure that it is persuasive, right? Of course! However, not everyone has the talent to create persuasive content that helps makes sales without coming across like a 1970s used car salesperson.

Copywriters know the importance of creating persuasive content for their clients without focusing heavily on sales-speech because we know this can make or break a sale for you. When you write your own content, it might come across as far too sales-like for your readers or it may not be persuasive enough. Beat the doubt on whether or not your content is persuasive by hiring a writer that can create expert copy that will turn readers into customers quickly and easily.

6. Sometimes There is Such a Thing as Being “Too Close” to a Topic

You might think that being very close to your industry is helpful when it comes time to create copy, but this can actually become detrimental.

First of all, when you’re too close to your industry, you might not realize just how confusing your jargon is to those who aren’t.

Second, when you are writing about your own business and services, you might find it hard to be objective enough. We all think we can be until it comes down to it, and then we begin questioning and doubting, which you don’t want reflected in your content.

When you hire a copywriter, you are able to have someone write about your services in a great light without focusing heavily on jargon, making your content easy to understand and enticing.

7. Copywriters Know the Importance of Variation in Content

Writing content means that you need to know the importance of variation, especially when it comes to content length. While longer content is still the most popular with SEO, you should also have different lengths such as a short piece or medium length to give clients the ability to choose the content they consume. Someone on a commute might be more likely to read a short content piece and read a longer one over lunch or after work. You need to let your readers choose. A copywriter can make sure that each and every piece of content is written in different lengths to provide that ability.

8. A Copywriter Will Know How to Help Craft Different Content Formats

Creating copy doesn’t just mean writing blog posts and web content, but also creating ideas for multiple formats. You can find copywriters that have training in helping create infographics, videos, and images that help drive engagement on your social channels and blog. In fact, a copywriter can easily write a blog piece that can then be broken down into different formats, repurposing your content and getting it out to a wider audience. This is a great way to cover all of your bases, and provide people with the ability to choose how they wish to consume their content. You can find copywriters that have training in all areas of content formats, or ones that specialize in different ones to make a greater impact. Whichever way you go, a copywriter will be able to help you create a content format for all of your readers.

9. Copywriters Keep Up-to-date With Every Single Google Change

Google is a great place when it comes to people finding your business and boosting your revenue. However, it can be a difficult place due to every single change the search engine giant makes. There seems to be a new update every month or so, and lately there have been some mega changes that everyone needed to be prepared for. Whether it is the large mobile-friendly update or something a little smaller, a copywriter will know all of these changes. This will help you get the best, most up-to-date content and SEO to better your copy and website.

10. When it Comes to Hitting the Target, Copywriters are Regular Katniss Everdeens

Hitting your target audience can be trickier than it seems, and no matter how much you do, you still might be missing the mark. Professional copywriters are great at making sure they hit the target audience each and every time, bringing in great, organic traffic from Google and your social media channels. When you bring in more traffic, you have a higher chance to convert visitors into leads with even more content. Hiring a copywriter to write copy for you is like hiring Katniss Everdeen to hunt for food or to support your side of the rebellion.

11. You Will Get Fresh, New Content All the Time, Avoiding Duplicates

Fresh, new content is a vital part of the Internet world, and you need to make sure you always have it. It can be easy to use the same content across your website, making it feel streamlined and taking up less time. This, however, looks sloppy and many of your readers will not appreciate duplicate content. In fact, Google doesn’t appreciate it either. As I mentioned earlier, hiring a copywriter will save you time, and this is one of the many ways that can happen. A copywriter can write consistently fresh, new content for your web page, keeping duplicates out of circulation and making your site a high quality, Google-approved page.

12. A Copywriter Can Make Anything Sound Exciting

I’ve had a few clients come to me and ask about how a copywriter can make their boring subject or niche market sound exciting and enticing. They don’t believe it is possible, but it never hurts to try. When you hire a copywriter, however, it becomes more than possible to create engaging, exciting content for a yawn-worthy topic. The good news is that not only can a copywriter make your product or service interesting, but also all businesses do have exciting aspects that can be found. You can trust a copywriter to locate and use the exciting elements of your industry while also coming up with great, new ideas for incredible, impactful content.

13. Copywriters Can Help You Generate Organic Traffic and Bring in Sales

Organic traffic is something we would all prefer to have instead of needing to pay a lot for ads. While ads are still an important aspect of any online presence, if you generate more organic traffic, you will find that you are likely to have more legitimate customers. In fact, organic traffic can lead to quick sales, as well as helping you keep the clients you bring in.

Copywriters can help create content that drives organic traffic such as creating content for social media, and then creating content on your site that keeps visitors once they reach your landing pages. When you get organic traffic, your revenue is likely to bump up significantly, and you will really enjoy getting to meet all of your new, wonderful clients. Remember, build the relationship with them once they get there to keep them coming back!

14. Use a Copywriter to Get Social

Being social is yet another vital aspect to any online presence, and in our blog linked in the above paragraph, you can see just how important it is to your SEO.

A copywriter can help you create a perfect social media presence by creating engaging, epic social media content that drives clicks and interaction with clients. If you hire a social media copywriter, you will begin to notice that you have more interaction with your clients, which will help when it comes to word of mouth marketing.

Leave it to the Wizards of Words

As you can see, a copywriter is a great idea for every single business when it comes to creating excellent web copy.

Leaving your content in the hands of capable word wizards will help improve your copy and website, bringing in great traffic and clients.

Looking for expert copywriters that can write engaging copy for any industry? Express Writers has a team of expertly trained writers who can provide you and your business with the exact copy you need for your web pages and social media to shine. 

trivial content

5 Ways to Avoid Becoming Boring & Trivial With Your Content

How often do you stumble across low-quality written material with no real message or meaning while surfing the net? How long does it take you to dive in the pool of diverse web content to bring the most original and inspiring ideas back to the surface?

The truth is that the Internet is flooded with the worst kind of writing: uninspired, thrown-together, no-originality content. We’re talking about the really boring, trivial content that could only stimulate you to shut your computer and take a nap.

 

boring

Boring, Trivial Content Is Your Brand’s Worst Enemy

Low-value content will never support your marketing goals for a number of reasons. First of all, today’s prospects are savvier than ever and know how to differentiate thought leaders from players who share the herd mentality and have nothing new of exciting to say about their company or their products. Secondly, they have a short attention span and a zero tolerance for writing that fails to answer and address their needs, questions and demands and only makes them waste time in front of their computer screen.

How do businesses entirely avoid this pitfall? How do they get creative with new stuff?

5 Ways to Kick Trivial and Boring Content Ideas to the Curb

If you’re striving to find the simplest answers to the questions I just asked, keep reading. I’m listing the 5 easiest ways to replace unremarkable concepts with written gems that will boost your readers’ interest and loyalty.

  1. Write with Your Audience in Mind. The truth is that you don’t have to waste all your time trying to craft content pieces that are loaded with bells and whistles. Sometimes, the more you try to adorn your writing, the more you lose your focus and get farther away from the real substance of the message that you’re trying to convey. Therefore, as Hubspot points out, even when you’re working on educational content, you can upgrade your copy by making it respond to the questions and concerns of your audience. For instance, let’s assume that your services have been contracted by a company selling automotive supplies. By answering a very mundane question related to a popular topic, such as vehicle maintenance for example, you would actually be creating high-value content that would be assimilated with great interest by your targeted audience.
  2. Let Social Networking Websites Be Your Guide. When it comes to crafting interesting content, social media platforms are your number one ally and one of the most amazing sources of inspiration that you could ever ask for. Just think about it: social networking websites represent the natural habitat of thought leaders and influencers who are constantly recruiting faithful virtual ambassadors. This is the place where companies go from small and obscure to big and successful in record time. Need another reason to poke around Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn? In this case, think about the fact that these websites are the major platforms where quality, relevant and original content can instantly become a viral sensation. Some of the freshest stories shared through these channels can inspire your writing and help you stay far away from boring, trivial content.
  3. Use the Best Tools to Get Inspired. Sometimes, the most trivial concepts are born out of excessive boredom, apathy and a dangerous lack of inspiration and motivation. What can you do when you’ve struggling to overcome a case of writer’s block? Should you still be praying for inspiration after your fifth cup of coffee? Here’s a simpler alternative that can help you put pen to paper and let those clever words flow smoothly: use a wide range of free and almost free online tools designed to inspire your new content pieces. Content Marketing Institute has recently published a long list of such aids that can take your writing to a whole new level. Options such as Ahrefs Content Explorer tool, Topsy, Hubspot Blog Topic Generator or Ubersuggest are the best choices that you should explore to come up with exciting topics for your blog and avoid uninspiring ideas that could only make your readers yawn or raise an eyebrow while bouncing off your page.
  4. Plan Ahead. Last minute decisions and successful content creation shouldn’t be a part of the same sentence for a very simple and logical reason: as a goal-oriented small business owner, you should know how, when and how often you should satisfy your readers’ cravings for premium content. In other words, proper planning and a smart, well-balanced editorial calendar are everyday essentials that can tighten the bond with your audience, while also optimizing your content flow. These two key elements will also help you avoid the tension, confusion and sense of powerlessness that could make you resort to cheap, yawn-inspiring content, which you may be tempted to use as time-fillers to give your audience something to chew on while you’re working on a new recipe for content success. There are several prominent content strategy tools, such as keyword research for example, that could offer you the expert insight you may require to start and follow a detailed editorial calendar that would ultimately enable you to achieve a rich online presence and a deeper connection with your content-hungry audience. Don’t forget that brainstorming with new staff members could offer you the finest food for thought that you could ever dream about adding to your content menu. Ask your client manager to attend these sessions to find out what kind of topics they would like to add to your editorial calendar. After dealing with clients all day, client managers are the team members who usually come up with the most spectacular content ideas that have what it takes to please and stimulate writers, readers and clients at the same time. At the end of the day, it becomes obvious that good old teamwork will never go out of fashion, especially when it comes to organizing brainstorming sessions revolving around creative concepts that can be rewritten and reinterpreted in countless ways.
  5. Employ Expert Writers. At some point, you may realize that your limited amounts of time and energy represent real obstacles standing in the way of your content creation efforts. In this case, what’s the simplest way to avoid generic, overdone, extremely boring or trivial concepts that will never do your company any favors? If your goal is to get rid of most of the burden of coming up with unique, awesome content, consider hiring a team of expert writers.

Trivial Content Is Perfectly Preventable

Whether you choose to use the finest online tools to boost your creativity, conduct brainstorming sessions or create and follow a strict editorial calendar, you should know that all these strategies can help you avoid damages associated with poorly materialized, dull or trivial ideas. If you’re already at the bottom of the sea of trivial content and don’t know how to swim, do keep in mind that professional content creators can put the wow factor into your marketing messages while crafting a unique story around your brand and feeding your readers’ ever-growing appetite for captivating writing that actually serves both aesthetic and practical purposes.

Photo credit: g-stockstudio / iStock

david ogilvy copywriting

10 Authorities on Copywriting

Inexperienced copywriters tend to think that creativity is the gift from above that automatically determines the quality and effectiveness of their content pieces. In reality, efficient, target-oriented copy that actually works is a complex 1,000 piece-puzzle requiring multiple skills, time, talent, passion and lessons learned over the course of a few days, months of years. Novices may also tend to think that what’s been done before (with excellent results) should always be stolen, borrowed, reinterpreted or recycled to come up with new meanings.

The Valuable Lessons Provided by the 10 Most Inspiring Pioneers of Copywriting

In reality, the basic principles of advertising highlighted by the biggest names in this industry haven’t changed much.

Here are 10 authorities on copywriting offering valuable lessons that can inspire and enable you to squeeze more out of your web content.

  1. Victor Schwab. Victor Schwab ((1898 – 1980) started in this business as the secretary of Maxwell Sackheim, who was employed by Rathrauff & Ryan. After improving Sackheim’s copy in a radical manner, he got promoted to copywriter. In this position, he became known as the very best direct mail-order copywriter in history. His excellent results were influenced by in-depth research and ample testing. He tested virtually every single aspect related to his copy, including layouts and calls to action. Schwab was also the genius who advanced the idea that first-hand copy should illustrate the promoted product in action, to allow the prospect to understand its benefits and crave for it.
  2. Eugene Schwartz. Eugene Schwartz (1927-1995) follows a similar approach, explaining that copywriters could achieve their daily goals by exploring and exploiting the overwhelming desires manifested by consumers. Headlines such as“Give Me 15 Minutes and I’ll Give You a Super-Power Memory” reflect the honest, transparent trade established between buyers and sellers, based on the principle “you give me what I want and I’ll give you what you need,” which is still applicable today.
  3. Rosser Reeves. Do you really think that brand uniqueness is an innovative concept guiding the strategies of modern online marketers? Sorry to disappoint, but it isn’t. Rosser Reeves (1910-1984) coined and perfect it before it was cool. As an inquisitive man with multiple interests, Reeves reached the conclusion that advertising should depend strictly on hard-sell strategies. Known as the “Prince of Hard Sell” according to Copyblogger, Reeves has promoted quite a few brands that we still know and love today, such as Viceroy or Colgate. He firmly believed that copywriters could make any product recognizable and increasingly popular by highlighting its unique selling proposition.
  4. Robert Collier. Some people speak just to hear the sound of their voice, while others write for the sake of writing. Both tactics are equally dangerous and inefficient. According to Robert Collier (1885-1950), one must come up with a string of ideas based on the effect that they want to trigger in their readers. In his masterpiece entitled The Robert Collier Letter Book, this copywriting authority unveils the key to writing direct-mail letters that actually reach their target. According to this source, before putting pen to paper, you should identify the ideal emotion (pride, anxiety, flattery or envy are excellent choices!) that you wish to awaken in your readers and act accordingly.
  5. Leo Burnett. Why waste time and money researching and buying products that are plain boring? Wouldn’t you rather focus on finding the real gems that make your life just a bit more interesting and enjoyable? This is one of the ideas highlighted by Leo Burnett (1891-1871), who advises fellow copywriters to accentuate the drama associated with the product or service that they’re representing in order to make it more desirable. This gifted and highly successful American advertising executive and founder of the prestigious Leo Burnett Company, Inc. has provided a simple piece of advice that may just represent the Bible of modern copywriting: “Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” According to Business 2 Community, Burnett also highlighted the importance of authenticity and believability in this industry, indicating that the truly successful copywriters are the ones that are able to think like a potential client. According to another important lesson offered by Burnett, creativity is the end result of curiosity about life in all its forms. Unlike the Prince of Hard Sell, Burnett affirmed that there is no such thing as “soft sell” and “hard sell”, specifying that there are only two approaches that one should ever factor in: “stupid sell” and “smart sell.”
  6. Mel Martin. You may be tempted to think that some of the best-selling products represent the success of marketing tactics associated solely with positive emotions. In this case, what do you think about anxiety? Anxiety is not necessarily a negative feeling. As long as it can fuel your boldest aspirations and stimulate you to perfect yourself, this emotion actually has strong positive connotations that Mel Martin knew how to explore. What happens if you’re not the best golfer? Or the best chef? Or the best teacher on the Planet? You work harder and buy the products that support your rapid ascension. In short, you basically use the clever technique of exploring an old anxiety to advertise your product, patented by Mel Martin. Martin wrote headlines such as “For golfers who are almost (but not quite) satisfied with their game — and can’t figure out what they’re doing wrong,” unleashing the power of audience referencing and making its readers believe that his copy was actually crafted to solve their unique problems.
  7. David Ogilvy. Known as the Father of Advertising, David Ogilvy was the well-respected wizard of words. Promoting the idea that the best concepts come from a well-informed subconscious, Ogilvy took this thought a step further. He underlined the importance of the testing phase, suggesting that there is no such thing as a safe bet in advertising. He also provided useful guidelines on how to write magnetic headlines, indicating that irrelevant and/or tricky constructions will automatically be ignored by people who are often landing on random pages just to find quick answers to their most pressing questions.
  8. Claude C. Hopkins. Recognized as one of the most potent pioneers of advertising, Claude C. Hopkins (1866-1932) was an expert in human psychology and knew every single trick in the book meant to consolidate his relationship with his targeted audience. Hopkins is the author of the bestselling book entitled Scientific Advertising, published in 1923, who was bold enough to state that “please buy me” type of sales pitches do not work. Ever. In his opinion, one could achieve copywriting success by simply abandoning this counterproductive strategy and putting the customer first. What does your client actually want? Discover the most concise answer to this question and let your product or service do all the talking, while keeping in mind that coupons and other perks can only make your prospects become more receptive to what you may have to say about your brand. According to Todaymade.com, Hopkins also affirms that selling uphill is an incorrect tactic. Instead of wasting time and money trying to convert new prospects, one should try to rely on the experiences of existing customers to build credibility and trust. These are only a few of the most significant lessons offered by the promoter of Scientific Advertising, who was also a firm supporter of continuous testing, an essential phase that shaped the face of digital marketing as we know it.
  9. Raymond Rubicam. Rubicam (1892-1978) was one of co-founders of the Young & Rubicam advertising firm and a respectable pioneer with a new vision, the highest dosage of creativity and proven leadership skills. He always insisted on the idea that one should “resist the usual” in an attempt to highlight his very own uniqueness and fresh, individualized copywriting approach. At the same time, according to Investors.com, Rubicam was the visionary who made the first decisive steps towards bringing solid market research in the ad business, revealing that ads should be written by writers with a broad knowledge database and even broader “human sympathies,” which would enable them to stay in sync with their audiences.
  10. Tom McElligott. Arguably one of the greatest and most inspiring copywriters of all times, Tom McElligott gave a valuable piece of advice that is still valid in any context: do not underestimate the intelligence of your readers. Aside from its unique perspective on copywriting, McElligott also gave us the key to handling one of the hardest challenges in today’s markets- a tiny budget-after facing it himself. In the 80s, Tom McElligott had to promote a brand of whiskey.  Not the toughest assignment that you could think of, right? The problem was that this project counted on an almost negligible financial support. According to Vice, even in this particular situation, this legendary copywriter proved that you don’t necessarily need a lot of zeros to create memorable masterpieces. By relying on stock photos (the ones that every modern advertising book will tell you to avoid), and a clever message (“Fortunately, every day comes with an evening,” Tom McElligott managed to illustrate the concepts of tediousness and awkward daily events to perfection, while also presenting the perfect “remedy” for this problem:  a little bit of whiskey served in a cool-looking “rocks” glass.

Do the Lessons of Established Copywriters Have an Expiration Date?

You may wonder: can we still rely on the words of wisdom spoken or written by an established copywriter who made in history in the 20s, 50s or early 90s? Times have changed, but the basic rules of the game are still the same.

There are two notable differences worth mentioning. First of all, modern consumers are constantly bombarded with a wider range of messages developed to promote a more generous selection of goods and services. Secondly, both online marketers and prospects count on online and offline channels and a plethora of gadgets and tools to promote and respectively, research and purchase goods. But even in this context, people still read articles that address their anxieties, just like Mel Martin underlined; they talk about content pieces that explore their most ardent passions and desires just like Eugene Schwartz said they would, and yes, they still tend to favor brands that do a great job at underlining their unique selling proposition just like they did when Rosser Reeves was still in business. At the end of the day, you don’t necessarily have to sink into a pool of frustration while trying (and failing) to reinvent the wheel in copywriting. Just learn the best lessons served by your predecessors on a silver platter, do your homework, explore different media (and social media) channels and work hard to maintain a solid connection with your clients and audiences to stay on top of your game.

Featured photo: David Ogilvy via Sellorelse.ogilvy.com

 

 

dennys copywriting

Copywriting Success: The 4 Ways Denny’s Grand-Slams Content Marketing

Sassy and smart – it is the way of the Internet and Denny’s knows it! This brand is a perfect example of how to create amazing content whether on social media or advertisements bringing in people from a wide demographic. We’ve all seen at least some part of their successful ad campaigns throughout the years, but how did they become so successful again?

4 Ways Denny’s Just Makes Their Content Irresistible…Mmm, Breakfast Anyone? 

Let’s take an insider look at Denny’s and their incredible approach to content marketing & overall copywriting, making them the champion of breakfast food!

1. Denny’s Began Reinventing its Brand. Before we get to the different things that make Denny’s remarkably successful with copywriting, let’s focus on what made them get to that point. Denny’s used to be an incredible place for family and friends to eat at, complete with that fun diner flare. However, it eventually lost its spunk and began going downhill. This is the point in a business’s life that can either mean it will disappear forever or the owners can come out fighting and be stronger than ever. This is just what Denny’s did.

A few years ago, the eatery began with a Super Bowl ad offering free breakfast for everyone in America and included a value menu to spark more interest. However, the business knew it couldn’t stop there. In 2011, Frances Allen, the chief brand officer, realized that the brand needed more emotion and spunk to get going. It was around this time that the restaurant started reinventing its brand and became what we all know now. They said “so long” to irrelevance and are now a powerhouse and inspiration for copywriting and content marketing.

This shows just how important it is to reinvent your brand. Yes, you like it the way it is, but if it isn’t working, then you need to start making changes. If you are hesitant, just look at Denny’s; it is now wildly successful and everyone wants to go there at some point. Don’t hesitate to reinvent your brand if it isn’t working right now. Changes here and there can really impact your business in positive ways!

2. They Have a Sassy Social Media Approach. When you think of a restaurant that sells breakfast food, you don’t see how it can really have a great social media approach. However, Denny’s proves this wrong with a hilarious, sassy approach to social media. They have a wide variety of posts they send out from hilarious one-liners to emoticon filled stories. They also started a hashtag #poorjack to tell the story of a robotic car named Jack that drove itself to a specific location. The restaurant’s social media pointed out that the car drove past so many Denny’s on the way but was deprived of enjoying delicious breakfast food.

Poor Jack Image:

 

They utilize multiple social media channels, and always hark on current pop culture trends that are likely to resonate with audiences more. You can check them out at Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, and Twitter. Denny’s is a great example of how fun, relevant social media usage can boost your engagement, and reach a wider audience. Relevant content is a great way to make sure you create a great place for engagement for your audience. This can be on social media, but also in your blogs. Who can forget the ever-relevant Hobbit menu from Denny’s? Relevancy and fun are great when creating unique content that is sure to help engage your audience.

Waffman:

First Words:

Denny's First Word
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Utilizing a Web Series to Reach Young Adults. Denny’s also knows the audience that is going to help make them more successful – young adults. College-age individuals are more likely to frequent this establishment because of affordable prices, good food, and it is usually open at perfect times for the college-age crowd. Because of this, Denny’s undertook a campaign to reach out to this demographic. You can easily see this with their social media campaign, but they also did a whole web series for young adults. The series features an alumnus of Saturday Night Live interviewing different celebrities as they sit down to enjoy a meal together. It is a great chance for witty one-liners and things that will resonate with a young adult crowd.

This is a great example of reaching out to various demographics. Denny’s can obviously resonate easily with older crowds, especially appealing to those who enjoy diners, but they realized young adults were being widely missed. Take a look at your demographics and see if you are missing any group that could find your company interesting and helpful. You might be surprised at how limited your scope is, so take a chance a broaden it.

4. Denny’s Reaches Out to More than Just English Speakers. Denny’s also knows that they need to reach out to wider audiences that aren’t just English speakers. The restaurant created a Latino Facebook page for their Spanish-speaking costumers. They interact with them and reach out to a demographic that can easily be overlooked in marketing. Spanish is the most popular non-English language spoken in the United States, which makes it wise to create Spanish ads and social media campaigns.

This goes hand-in-hand with Denny’s reaching out to young adults. They saw a demographic that was being overlooked and changed their campaign to reach it. Again, take this to heart and see which demographics you might be missing and consider adding a Spanish (or different language) branch to your company, especially if you are based in America. This will help you reach a demographic that is looking for companies that are willing to speak to them in their language.

Turn Denny’s As Inspiration For Your Next Fab Copywriting Idea

Denny’s is a great example of how effective copywriting and content marketing can help turn a slowly declining business back into a massive success. Take a few of these great ideas and apply them to your business’s content marketing campaign and make things fun for your audience! Remember, you can always be professional while still adding a fun flair to your social media campaigns, web content, and blogs. Which of these ideas do you think will help inspire your business to do better?

 Photo credit: eater.com

 

under armour copywriting

How Under Armour Wins At Copywriting: The 10 ‘I Wills’ of Content Writing

Chances are that you have heard of Under Armour. They are well known for their ultra-warm athletic clothing, serving not only athletes, but those who are looking for top-quality clothing for multiple purposes. Under Armour has nailed their branding image through quality products and catchy copywriting and motivational phrases. Business owners take note: Under Armour has dominated their niche, and here’s how they did it.

Under Armour’s Target Audience Defined

Half the battle of a successful marketing campaign is to understand your target market. Throwing your products at the wall to see what sticks can lead to disastrous results. With that said, Under Armour’s audience is defined as athletes, those who want top-of-the-line clothing, and even those who see Under Armour as a status symbol.

Under Amour’s grasp on their target demographic helped pave a pathway to success, but their work still wasn’t done. The next step of Under Armour’s branding success was establishing a connection to their athletic audience.

Hitting Home Runs With Athletes

In order for Under Armour to successfully connect with their audience, they needed to get inside the head of athletes. What do athletes want in their apparel? What motivates them to continue training? How do they manage to push through pain or being uncomfortable?

Motivation Comes From Within … or From a T-Shirt

Almost every athlete knows that your ultimate source of motivation comes from within yourself. However, that doesn’t mean that athletes can’t use a little help every now and then. In order to give athletes a boost during their training, games, or competitions, Under Armour incorporates copywriting that scores big both on and off the field.

Experiencing The Power of ‘I Will’

Under Armour’s slogan has gone through a transition as of late. Originally, the athletic apparel powerhouse frequently used Protect This House. This context could have been taken several ways: protecting the playing field of your home base, or protecting your body by exercising and keeping it healthy.

Today, Under Armour’s mostly operated under the catchphrase I Will. In fact, there was recently a lawsuit settlement between Under Armour and Nike, with Nike using the I Will catchphrase on some of its products.

Using The Motivation of ‘I Will’

Under Armour strategically uses their slogan to I will to help motivate almost any athlete. Here are several examples of how the megabrand incorporates their slogan into key motivational phrases — mostly screen printed on T-Shirts.

  • I Will Change The Game
  • I Will What I Want
  • Attack I Will
  • I Will Never Quit
  • Protect This House I Will
  • I Will Crush My Personal Best
  • Show The World I Will

These are just a few examples of how Under Armour incorporates their slogan to motivate athletes. Under Armour uses the power of branding, top-notch copywriting, and quality clothing to score with their audience.

I Will Learn From Under Armour

When it comes to capturing your audience and creating killer content, there’s a thing or two we can learn from Under Armour. Whether you are just starting out on your content strategy or you are looking for a few pointers, let’s look at the ways that we can connect to our own audiences with Under Armour’s guidance.

Tap Into Your Core Audience

As a marketer, sometimes it is hard to step outside of your own mind and into the head of your readers. However, we see here that this is exactly how Under Armour was able to become so successful. Here are a few tips to help you connect, really connect, with your readers.

  • Ask more questions. You might think that you know what your audience wants, but until you ask, you might not really Don’t be afraid to ask probing questions. Ask your audience what exactly they need to solve their problems, and what persuaded them to look into or buy your product.
  • Conduct a split test or review your Google analytics. Don’t always assume that your audience favors your how-tos or in-depth guides. Your entertaining or humorous posts might be the content that is pulling your audience in. To get a thorough understanding of what your audience is valuing the most, you will need to split test a few pieces of content, or simply review your analytics for traffic patterns.
  • Use your best customers as resources. It goes without saying that your best customers see the value in you. Pick their brain and find out what exactly it is that the value so much about your product or service.
  • Don’t try to be everything to everyone. One of the key branding traits that Under Armour nailed is zoning in on one particular target market. There’s nothing wrong with servicing a niche; in fact, it can work out better for your business in the long run.

The 10 I Wills For Winning With Copywriting

Now that you have an idea for how you can connect to your audience, your next obstacle is to write some top-notch content that kick starts your sales. When it comes to writing content that resonates with your audience, be prepared to put your best foot forward — and do it with a plan.

 1. I Will Meet My Audiences’ Needs With My Content

In the world of content, it is almost never about you. The purpose of developing content is to satisfy the needs of your audience, whether it is through answering questions or providing relevant information on a regular basis. Whatever your audience is seeking, it is up to you to be the go-to source for their needs.

2. I Will Produce Content Of Top Quality

If you really want to get the most out of your content strategy, producing top quality content should be at the top of your list. Your content should always be 100 percent original, free of spelling and grammatical errors, and exclusive to your company.

3. I Will Educate My Audience With My Content

One of the latest Google Panda updates put an emphasis on educational content. As far as quality content is considered, content that informs and educates is one of the characteristics that Google looks for when ranking content.

4. I Will Format My Content So It’s Easy To Read

Presenting your content as one big block of text is a big turn off to your customers. Properly formatting your content involves breaking it up into easy-to-read paragraphs. Use bullet points, bolds, and italics where necessary. Don’t forget to break up your paragraphs with headlines.

5. I Will Write Attention Grabbing Headlines

Studies have shown that 80 percent of your customers will read your headline, but only 20 percent will click and read. In order to increase the number of click-throughs to your content, you must write compelling headlines. Compelling headlines typically consist of numbered lists, questions, and statistics.

Here’s 4 more ways to create captivating headlines.

6. I Will Use an Editorial Calendar

Simply winging your content strategy will have you running out of blog ideas and losing your readers one by one. In order to maximize your content strategy and get the most mileage out of your efforts, incorporate an editorial calendar into your content campaign. It’s as easy as A-B-C.

7. I Will Curate Content Often

Curated content is predicted to take a big turn in 2015. Showcasing the hard work of others on your own blog will put you in the position of a thought leader. The key to successful curating is adding your own twist with expert insight — give it a try.

8. I Will Re-purpose My Content To Reach More Audiences

Add a twist to your usual blog post by trying out an infographic on for size. You can also expand your blog posts into slideshows and videos, which will help you reach a larger audience pool.

9. I Will Run Regular Content Audits

Content audits aren’t the most fun activity in the world, but they can help you find gaps where your current website needs improvement. By filling these gaps, you can satisfy the needs of more customers, which can ultimately translate to sales.

10. I Will Develop Content Like A Thought Leader

The best content marketers write and think like thought leaders. Thought leaders blaze trails and think outside the box with their content. Strive to develop top-notch content that is original while showcasing the very best of your products and services.

It is safe to say that Under Armour nailed the I Will slogan, as you can apply it to pretty much anything in life. By following this set of guidelines, you can start connecting to your audience on a deeper level while producing the best content in your industry . . . and you will.

Photo credit: UnderArmour.com

 

 

stephen colbert copywriting

Mr. Funnyman: 3 Key Ways Stephen Colbert Wins at Copywriting  

In a “why so serious” world, we desperately need people who bring laughter to our lives and Stephen Colbert is one of those humorous champions! Along with people like Jon Stewart and John Oliver, Colbert has created an amazing network of satire news that both informs audiences of major news stories while mocking major media establishments.

For those who don’t know, Colbert is the host of The Colbert Report where he discusses everything from current events to nerd rage about various films. His achievements include being a political satirist, a mega, well-informed nerd, and comedy show writer. He even showed up in one of the installments of The Hobbit since he is a major fan of Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings.

Come 2015, we will all get to watch Colbert without a major cable package when he takes over for Letterman on the Late Show. Colbert is quite an expert at copywriting and I am sure you can learn a thing or two from the comedian. Let’s take a look at a few awesome things that are sure to inspire you!

1. He’s a Social Media Powerhouse

With 7.19 million Twitter followers, Stephen Colbert constantly proves that he knows how to use social media. He is an absolute powerhouse and many won’t deny that when he tweets, all of his followers re-tweet. He uses social media to inform followers about who will be on his show, which helps remind people when to tune in. He also uses it to connect with his fans and to prove just how funny he can be. Whether it is a joke he unnecessarily breaks up into three posts or a sarcastic remark about the latest news story, he proves that being funny and active on social media is both easy and successful.

What can you learn from Stephen Colbert’s winning social media strategy? Here are a few takeaways you can use:

  • Work on cultivating a following on Twitter and other social sites. Your postings will only work if you have a following, and you can only grow larger if you encourage your following to share. You can this by encouraging people to follow your social sites via your website, blog, or email campaigns, as well as business cards.
  • Always stay with the trends. Something that makes Colbert easy to re-tweet is that he is always focusing on things that are currently trendy. This is a great way to build and maintain a following and get more engagement on social media.
  • Create entertaining content for your followers. I will focus on this a bit more later on in the post, but we all know that Colbert wins at content because he is such an amazing entertainer both on and off screen!

2. He Focuses on Building a Loyal Fan Base

Everyone knows that Colbert has a rather large and loyal fan base, but he had to create and maintain it. How does he do this? He works to create a loyal fan base by constantly engaging with his fans and making fun activities for everyone. In the end, he is able to gain help from this base when it comes to charitable organizations and other fundraisers. He continues to build on this base and work to maintain it each and every day with social media and through his show.

This is a great example of how important it is to build your customer base and make sure it is a loyal one as well. While you won’t have the draw that Colbert does, you can do things like engage with clients on social media and send out emails in other campaigns. You can ask for clients to fill out surveys to help make your business better and offer incentives for helping out.

In fact, offering freebies just for a customer being your customer is a great idea and can make anyone feel appreciated. By doing something like this, you are creating a greater chance of boosting your revenue and also having a great base when you want to raise funds for various charities during the holiday season.

3. He Uses Humor with Copywriting in the Best Way Possible

The most obvious thing that Stephen Colbert does with copywriting is he uses humor in the best way. Humor is something many people enjoy, and when used correctly, it can really help boost content. The majority of Colbert’s content is humor based, but he knows how to use it for various trends and knows when and how to deliver the right punch line.

You don’t have to be Colbert to use humor in your content though and you don’t have to go to his level with it. You can use sarcasm, silly jokes, or whatever type of humor you feel is appropriate for your content, the time, and your clients. A few tips when using humor in content are:

  • Avoid offending your client base. Sure, some of Colbert’s humor can be offensive to different people when it comes to politics, but he does a good job of staying away from incredibly offensive jokes.
  • Make sure the humor fits your brand. You don’t want to get too off base with your humor. Make sure it matches your brand and your already-established voice.
  • Make your jokes very obvious for the audience. The written word can make it very difficult for people to know just what you’re saying and many times people can misunderstand. This can cause a lot of problems that you want to avoid so make sure everyone knows you are joking.
  • Hire someone who is funny. This will make sure your jokes come across well and that they truly are funny!

In Closing, Make Them Laugh, Make Them Laugh, Make Them Laugh!

Whether you need a laugh or want to learn a few more marketing tricks from the comedic genius, Colbert is a great resource! Tune into his show if you have Comedy Central or follow his various social media sites to keep up-to-date. With each new video and show comes more inspiration for humorous content, things to share on social media, and great ideas that you can use in your content. What are some things you’ve learned from the brilliant mind of Stephen Colbert? Let us know!

 Photo credit: Forbes.com