Do you have a content style guide? Setting some style guidelines saves time in the long-run and clears up any disparaging thoughts on writing styles. Our content style guide here at SendGrid includes sections on brand voice, grammar/punctuation reminders, common word confusion, frequently used terms, product notes, spelling and capitalization, and proofing.
You'll need some analytics for your website and blog so you can measure your content marketing performance against your goals. Some content marketing teams rely on Google Analytics, others rely on more robust closed-loop solutions that make it easy to tie content marketing activities at the top of the funnel to revenue. I recommend the latter if you want to use metrics to prove the success of your content marketing program so you can secure more budget and grow the team. If you're looking for an easy way to share numbers across your organization, look into DataHero. This tool integrates with the HubSpot software and allows you to track, visualize, and share your analytics through customized dashboards and charts.
You create a few sample infographics and share them on social media so people see what the tool is capable of doing, and between that and the traffic coming from organic search, you start to get a few hundred people using it every month. A few of them like it so much they provide their name and email address so they can continue using it. Now that you have their contact information, you're able to identify some people that would be a good customer fit and keep in touch with them, nurturing them into customers.
Keeping your message on-point is the key to writing brief email copy. What's the point you're trying to make with your email? If you know the action your email is supposed to drive -- recipient orders free lattes on-demand, recipient remembers to buy their Bruce Springsteen tickets, recipient gets motivated to work out -- then you'll have a much easier time drafting succinct email copy that remains focused on that one end goal.
To me, the two best copywriters in the world are Frank Kern and Dan Kennedy. These are two individuals that I admire most. Not because of what they've achieved. But, because of this skill that I hold near and dear to my heart. The ability to write compelling and killer sales copy that will sell anything is so vital in business. Some get that. But, most people don't.
Great article. I love how you always give simple examples. I have learned from another institution that teaches what you teach, but in a different way. What you are repeatedly telling people is to avoid proclamation, and instead give information. You cant beat people over the head with your marketing message. The goal is to present information in a way that they form the conclusion you want to convey in their minds. That way it is their assumption, not your assertion. The difference between the two approaches is everything.
What does your reader fear the most? Is it bed bugs? Maybe it's the IRS? Maybe it's some other calamity like being in debt or having their house foreclosed or dissapearing from Google's search engine? Maybe something else? Figure it out. To do that, you need to implicitly understand your audience. What keeps them up at night and what drives them during the day?
I hired Chris Orzechowski to write copy for our latest Kickstarter project. The first 5 emails he wrote for us generated over $100,000 of sales in the first three hours of our launch. After 30 days, we made a grand total of $5,170,445 of sales. And as a result, we added 18,550 new buyers to our house list. Chris’s copy is clear, engaging, and fun to read. And most importantly… it will make you a fortune. If you’re looking for a professional copywriter who can transform your business… then hire Chris immediately before your competition does.
Those scenarios might have sounded like a lot of work to you, especially when considered alongside marketing programs that provide more immediate gratification -- like list purchasing, PPC, or trade show marketing that deliver names and email addresses in mere minutes. Often, content marketing is used when businesses realize those programs are either ineffective, too expensive, not scalable, or all of the above. Here's what I mean, using the "infographic generator" example above for demonstrations.
As a freelance web content writer, you’ll work with a wide variety of clients in different fields and niches. Freelance web writing can be done part-time (which will give you plenty of extra spending money) or full-time (which will give you the daily freedom many “9-to-5” workers crave). At the same time, freelance income can be inconsistent and requires more hustling to find and keep clients.
Organize your content so that your website is easy to navigate. Use hyperlinks to articles on your own website and to other helpful sites. Do keyword research to determine what keywords people are likely to use to find your content. Sprinkle your content with those keyword phrases, paying particular attention to your article title, headings and your leading paragraph. Provide alternate text descriptions for your images (Google loves knowing what images mean).
Web content writers must play well with others. I’ve hired writers of my own in the past, and you’d be amazed at how many people flake out on assignments, turn in sub-par work or simply fall of the face of the planet. If you want a shot at the jobs that pay well, you need to present yourself as a responsible, easy-to-work-with writer who meets his obligations without requiring a lot of paper-chasing on the part of the client.
That interest is garnered almost wholly on the subject line of the email (with the sender name playing a role, as well). We've written a few blog posts about crafting email subject lines, including one on the anatomy of a great subject line and one showing 18 examples of awesome subject lines from brands. Here's a distillation of what you need to know to write some excellent copy.
Content creators should use bold text sparingly to emphasize particularly important words and phrases. If overused, it loses its effect, and the user will stop paying attention to your bolding as they scan the page. Perhaps elaborating on when and how to use bolding would be helpful. I would extend the same argument for highlighted text. And in this case, depending on how you use it and why, it may be exclusionary to your users who are colour blind if the colour is meant to convey meaning.
When the marketing team starts to grow, who leads content marketing gets more interesting. With a team of three marketers, you can approach content marketing a couple ways. Either one person can own content marketing activities, while the other two own activities that align more with the middle- and bottom-of the funnel. Or, two people can own content marketing activities, while the third owns the rest.
Infographics. These are generally long, vertical graphics that include statistics, charts, graphs, and other information. If you need some examples, here are 197 infographics on the topic of content marketing curated by Michael Schmitz, head of Content Lab at Publicis, Munich. Infographics can be effective in that if one is good it can be passed around social media and posted on websites for years. You can get a professionally designed infographic by hiring a contractor on a site like oDesk or if you want to remove some of the risk you can go with a company like Visua.ly. A decent infographic will usually cost you at least $1,000 to have designed, but can cost several thousand dollars if you are hiring a contractor or agency to include strategy and planning, research, copywriting, and design. There is also the matter of promoting that infographic to bloggers and the media. Or you could set up a board on Pinterest and curate infographics on a topic related to your business. That is also a form of content marketing, and it costs nothing but your time. Hey, it worked for Michael.
What about official titles and Latin terms, you say? Again, if the purpose of italics is to emphasize text, this is accomplished through the capitalization of principle words, which already distinguishes names and titles from the surrounding text. Italics should be reserved for print products only. Why exclude a portion of your audience from accessing your web content effectively?