Archive | Charleston web copy writer RSS feed for this section

The Secrets to Web Content that Sells

13 Jun

The best web developers understand that a critical part of every website design is the actual web content on every page. This content is what drives viewers to the website, and it is what keeps viewers interested in what the website has to offer. Additionally, web content compels website viewers to take action and either buy something or want to learn more. In order to write excellent web content, it is important to understand the basic fundamentals of writing search engine optimized copy. Here are some guidelines for writing web content that sells.

Web Content Research

Expert web content writers understand that before one word is every written for a website, research must be done first. This research consists of learning more about the niche industry or hobby that the website is about. This means reading up on the industry, as well as finding out what the top competitors are including on their websites. Any business that wants to get ahead in a smart way will take the time to research competitors first. Do this right and you have a great start to creating web content that sells!

Web Content Keywords

When consumers are looking for something on the Internet, they will generally type in a series of keywords into a search engine. These keywords are what lead viewers to particular websites. The websites which have enough of these keywords included in the web content get the best results in the search engines. This is often referred to as search engine optimization, or SEO. When writing content, be sure to use keyword research tools to indentify the top five keyword combinations for the best results for your website.

Web Content Word Counts

Another way to web content success is to make sure that you follow the rules when it comes to the actual word count of your web copy. Many people do not understand that if you do not have at least 250 words on a web page, it will simply be ignored by most major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Be sure to write at least 250 words for each page. In addition, do not get carried away with your keywords, which will only cause your pages to be dropped entirely!

Web Content Paragraph Structure

Most readers will spend approximately 30 seconds or less reading your web content, so keep your sentences easy to read to keep them interested. Limit each paragraph to no more than 3-4 sentences and make sure that they make overall sense. Each paragraph should start with a compelling sentence and end with another compelling sentence to lead readers to the next paragraph. Remember, you are not writing a novel here, just great web content!

Call to Action in Web Content

Lastly, if you want to write the very best web content, you must include a call to action for your readers. Near the middle to the end of the web content, be sure to ask the reader to take action such as exploring other parts of the website (through imbedded links), pick up the phone to call, make a purchase, or send an email through a web contact form. The goal of the website is to not have people get stuck reading through many pages of content, but rather to take clear action.

As you write your web content, be sure to take the time to proofread it and spell check it so that your website comes off as intelligent and authoritative to readers. The basics of good writing apply to web content and will help your copy to sell to viewers. By following the above tips, your web content will improve and you will get positive results in terms of selling your ideas, services and products on a website marketing platform.

Advertisements

Should You Use Facebook to Talk to Copy Writing Clients?

7 Jun

Facebook has opened up a bright new online community of socially conscious people who are using this website as a platform for sharing information, making new acquaintances and marketing businesses online. While this is a great way to build a following of loyal fans and readers, there is still some etiquette that needs to stay in place when communicating using social media.

A new relatively phenomena has emerged in which copy writers are communicating almost exclusively with clients on facebook, as opposed to traditional telephone or email methods. Writers (and other freelancers) are searching for potential clients on facebook, befriending them, followed by sending introductory messages. On the other side, businesses, web content companies and web developers are seeking out talented copy writers and inviting them to get on board with writing gigs. It’s basically business networking on speed!

But before you get all excited about using facebook to find and communicate with new copy writing clients, here are some things to watch out for:

1. Facebook messaging can lead to miscommunications. Sure, sending off a nice little message to a potential client can be fun, but it can also lead to certain communication snafu’s. For example, some companies prefer to be contacted through other means like email or contact form. Many get bombarded with so many inquiries, they simply block out these messages. Some may even look at your attempts as a form of unsolicited “spam” and you could turn some people off or worse yet – get banned from facebook. Remember, don’t go overboard with your inquiries and research the company fully before attempting initial communication.

2. Facebook is not a sales platform. One of the biggest pet peeves of users of social media is that some people use it as a way to continually pitch their products and services. Nothing is more annoying than allowing someone onto a followers list and then seeing just a bunch of poorly written sales pitches in every micro-feed. Think of it in terms of meeting new people in person for the first time. You wouldn’t immediately launch into a sales speech, would you? Respect others and lay off the overly sales oriented posts. Limit yourself to a sales type post once a week.

3. Beware of links in facebook messages. Unfortunately, we live in a world where scamming others and stealing information run rampant. When getting a facebook message that includes a link to a so-called “opportunity”, use extreme caution. There are an  increased number of scammers sending out links that include malware, viruses and other nasties on facebook, twitter and other social media websites. If something looks fishy, report it to facebook security and don’t allow your computer or personal information to become easy prey.

4. Nothing beats old fashioned forms of communication. I would like to say, from personal experience, that using facebook as a primary means of communication with copy writing clients is not really a good idea. For one, it’s impersonal. Messages don’t always reach the other person in a timely fashion. As much as facebook has become a place to share personal thoughts, these can also backfire and offend some people. Additionally, as a business person you should be using the telephone and email as much as you use facebook to get to know your clients. It’s the sign of a polished, and confident copy writer to be comfortable with all forms of communication, so don’t limit yourself to facebook for this purpose.

What do you think? Do you use facebook to communicate with clients – why or why not?

What I Learned From Blogging Everyday for a Month

29 May

During the month of May, I decided to participate in the 2011 WordCount Blogathon, which required posting once a day to ‘A Journey of Words’. For a busy freelance web copy writer, this was no easy task. First of all, I had to dedicate at least 30 minutes daily to writing a blog post. Secondly, I had to come up with topics that would be of interest to my readers. Lastly, I had to stick with something for an entire month, something I have struggled with in the past. But here I am, at the end of this challenge and I did it!

During this time, here’s what I learned:

1. Blogging can be a great way to connect with readers and meet new contacts. Throughout the month, I had the honor of getting comments from a huge audience of fellow bloggers, writers and business owners around the world. A few even agreed to be guest bloggers, which was such a treat. I have to say that the rewards of blogging are many.

2. Blogging teaches discipline as a freelancer. One of the biggest fears I had going into the Blogathon was that I would not have the time to blog daily. Instead, I found that the time I spent blogging taught me a lot about being committed to something bigger than myself. I became more disciplined and stopped letting things distract me from my purpose as a writer.

3. Blogging daily is a great source of free advertising. Over the entire month, I used Google alerts to track my success as a blogger, specifically to see if my name came up often through web searches. You may have noticed that there were specific keywords highlighted in most posts (but not all). These keywords helped my website to rank higher and I got a lot of Google hits on my name and my blog feeds.

Spending time on your blog daily, or at least a few times a week, can be a great way to build a steady following of people, make new friends and build awareness about your business or passions. I fully intend to use my blog as a tool to reach more people and share information in a big way this year.

Now it’s your turn to share – How do you benefit from blogging?

3 Tips for Coming Up with Ideas as a Writer

28 May

One of the questions that I get a lot from new writers and clients is, “Where do I find ideas to write about?” For many writers, inspiration comes from different sources. These sources depend on what you are exposed to in an average week, who you talk with, and what kind of media streams into your world.

You may be surprised to learn that I personally do NOT watch television, I seldom have time to sit down and read novels, and I don’t go out looking for topics to write about. Instead, I let the world unravel itself to me. I write about things that I personally encounter through different forms of technology and personal networking combined with a passion for researching.

If you are struggling with coming up with topics for your blog, marketing materials or more…here are 3 simple tips to coming up with interesting things to write about.

Use writing prompts. A great way to come up with topics, especially if you are more of a creative writer, is to employ writing prompts. These are short little intros on topics to write about, sort of like what your English teacher used to assign to you to write essays. Some of my favorite writing prompt websites give you fun writing prompts to get you started. Visit Writer’s Digest Writing Prompts and The One-Minute Writer for some fun, daily writing prompts!

Subscribe to favorite blog and news feeds. If you are a sporadic reader (like me) you can often find writing inspiration through what you read. Blogs and online news sources can give you a lot to think about and inspire new writing. If you have a mobile device, you can even read on the go. Just be sure to credit any sources you find and ask bloggers before you quote from their blog posts.

Look for popular trends. As a web copy writer, you will want to ocassionally create articles and blog posts on popular topics to drive traffic stats up. To do this, focus in on the hot topics and keywords that are creating a buzz on the Internet. Try using Google Trends or Yahoo Buzz Index to locate these topics.

 

Now it’s your turn. How do you come up with ideas to write about? Please be sure to share them below!

Paragraph Structure for Web Writing

25 May

As you have been looking through popular websites, following your favorite writers and even dabbling in some web writing on your own, you may have noticed a pattern in the way web writing looks.

There is a certain format that seems to look better on most websites. This is not by accident. Professional web content writers understand that the way paragraphs and entire pages of content are formatted bears an impact on how well the website will perform and how readers will respond.

When you were a student, you were probably taught in English class that writers start out their work by writing a main sentence, followed by supporting sentences. Once the thought or idea is developed and a new thought is introduced, a new paragraph starts. This is fine for creative writing and for writing for traditional print publications, but for web writing, it’s a little different.

Writing for the web uses those same basic principles and takes them to the next level. Because you’ve already learned how website viewers read web pages and how they find websites, you may be trying to figure out how this applies to the format for web articles and content?

Simply put, the format you should write in has a little more to do with keeping readers’ attention and less to do with writing full paragraphs in the traditional sense. Writing paragraphs that appeal to the way people review information online becomes a critical aspect of how you will format your writing.

As you begin writing for the web, you may be tempted to write just as you always have as a creative or technical writer. While you may already have a great personal talent for writing, your writing will not perform as well on a website if you fail to recognize how people read online. In general, your sentence structure should be broken down into a simpler format so that it doesn’t overwhelm readers who are scanning the page for pertinent information.

Rule of thumb as a web writer – Keep It Simple!

 

  • Limit paragraphs to one compelling or interesting opening line or sentence. Then follow with two to three supporting sentences.

 

  • Limit paragraphs to 100 words or less for the maximum results and the increased likelihood that someone will actually read your article or content.

 

  • Limit searchable keywords to once per sentence, as anymore than that will be considered spam or trying to trick the search engines.

 

  • Use hyper-links on the desired keywords or those that are relevant to the topic of the content itself once per paragraph.

 

  • Make sure that all titles and subtitles include at least one of the keywords and bold all titles.

 

  • Keep articles between 450 – 600 words in length as that is the optimal length for web writing.

Want to learn more? Check out Freelance Writing Class for more tips on becoming a well-paid web writer!

How Writing for the Web is Different than Other Forms of Writing

24 May

Today, I would like to share an excerpt from my Freelance Writing Class on the topic of web copy writing vs. traditional creative writing. I hope you learn something here that can help you develop more web worthy writing skills.

Writing for the web is a true form of expression, just as any other form of creative writing is. It takes a great deal of imagination and introspect to piece together sentences and keywords in a format that is interesting to readers. Nothing could be more challenging than trying to keep an audience with a 30 second attention span intrigued enough to read through an entire article. This is the absolute uniqueness of writing for the web and why it appeals to people who are trying to create income as web copy writers today.

When it comes down to the actual differences in web writing versus other forms of writing, the simplest answer can often be the most confusing aspect of web writing. As each project is different, there is no one “set in stone” method to write for the web, but there is a system that can be applied to each web writing project which will guarantee the best results from your efforts. Without this system, no amount of writing or keyword placement is going to help you get traffic to your website or blog. 

Writing for the web takes planning ahead. This is where many traditional writers get stuck. While creative writing depends on the right side of the brain to come up with the ideas, twists and turns of the story or poem; writing for the web means using the left side of the brain simultaneously to actually plan out the content itself ahead of time. This can be as simple as a template for writing web friendly articles. Or it can mean actually mapping out a website ahead of time to determine the way readers will navigate through the site and what will peak their interest and in what order.

Want to learn more about the best system for writing for the web and how it can help you learn to earn? Check out my 6 week course today!

Click here to go to FREELANCE WRITING CLASS

Copy Writing 101: Getting Started as a Freelancer

23 May

Ever since I made the leap of faith to become a web copy writer over five years ago, a lot of people have asked me, “how I did it?”  To be honest, it was not an easy transition from being a corporate HR manager to that of a home based freelancer. There have been a few bumps in the road, but I knew if I stuck with it long enough I would see the fruits of my labor. And over the years, I have.

 So, if you are wondering if this may be a valid career choice for you, here’s some quick advice on getting started!

1. Keep your day job for at least six months. One of the biggest mistakes many work at home wannabee’s do is quit a perfectly great job right away. Not only is this foolish financially, but what if you realize you don’t really like being at home full time? Stay in your current job and write on the side for a while. During this time, develop your skills, pick up clients and learn the ropes of copy writing. Before long, your freelance work will outweigh your outside the home job and you can put in a notice.

2. Devote time to write daily. While you are working on building a nice career in copy writing, start developing the habits which will make you successful for the long-term. Most copy writers spend between 4-8 hours daily at their desks, researching and writing copy for a variety of clients. Many work longer hours to meet deadlines or manage multiple projects around other responsibilities. To do copy writing on a full time basis, you must LOVE writing a lot and you must be able to do this 30-40 hours a week or more.

3. Learn all you can about copy writing. One of the best ways to ramp up your career as a freelance copy writer is to learn from other writers before you. That means taking classes, participating in webinars, reading great books on writing, and studying the masters of marketing copy. A good low cost alternative to a college class is my 6 week freelance writing class where I teach you everything I have learned over the last 5 years as a web copy writer and how you can get started (and find paying work).

4. Select a writing mentor. Just as you would starting out in any other career, finding a good mentor is a critical aspect of becoming a highly compensated copy writer. A mentor should have at least five or more years of writing experience and be able to answer your general questions about freelancing, give you advice on locating work, and provide feedback on your written work. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to my mentor(s) with questions and found the help and encouragement I needed to make sound decisions as a writer.

Well, that’s about all I can tell you about getting started as a copy writer. There is a HUGE market out there of businesses and clients who need supperb copy – so go out there and grab ’em!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

About the Author: Tess C. Taylor, Owner of Taylor Resources Writing, is a skilled web copy writer from Charleston, South Carolina who specializes in helping small business owners project the right message online. She has personally written over 2,500 articles, managed 100+ web copy projects and is regularly featured on The Chamber of Commerce, FindVenture, WiseGeek, US News, Yahoo and more as a business and careers writer. You can find out more by visiting HTTP://WWW.TRWRITING.COM today!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________