Web Site Copywriting – Tricks of the Trade

While it is best to hire a professional to handle the web site copywriting for your business, there are some areas you can work on if you are writing your own content. Even if you do hire a professional, it is important to know what to expect from them. Your site is your business’s front door. If you do not take the time to ensure that it is beautiful, easy to use and welcoming, your web site visitors will not stay long.

Web Site Copywriting Tips

The following a few ways you can improve your web site copywriting. If you are using a professional, be sure they are writing in this manner so that your business profits from the investment.

1. Write in a language that the reader can understand. One mistake often made by site owners is that they write in the lingo of the business. For example, it may be legal terms, medical terms or just the design of the product you are selling. Take the terms and simplify them so that the everyday consumer understands them.

2. Answer the question, “What does this mean to me?” As your visitors begin to arrive at your web site, they should be able to answer this question. Web copywriting is effective when it is complete in such a way as to let the reader know exactly what they are getting when they arrive. Avoid the filler and fluff. Instead, ensure the pages give answers to questions and deliver the real message of what you can do for the consumer.

3. Write clearly. Web site copywriting is not the same as other forms of marketing. It is far more relaxed and casual. It has to be understood clearly. Keep paragraphs short and to the point. Allow important details to stand out so that the reader grabs those items first. When a visitor comes to your web site, they will not take long to read large paragraphs and complex designs. They want it fast and easy.

4. Do optimize the content. For web copywriting to be effective, keywords need to be used appropriately. If you do not know what keywords are, or are unfamiliar with incorporating them into your web site, it is time to learn! This is key to being successful on the web.

5. Be the expert. Your site should have the goal of being the one-stop location for all information on your niche. In other words, if you want people to buy from you, allow your web copywriting to educate them and give them information. Become the expert in the topic.

SEO Copywriting – A Steady Diet of Steroids For Your Website

I know what you’re thinking: O.M.G! They have steroids for websites? They do, indeed, it’s called SEO copywriting and it’s legal. However, you have to have the right formula to pump up those site muscles.

SEO copywriter + website analyst + creativity = perfect formula for a buff website.

So how does SEO copywriting really work? I mean, so you write a couple of fluff pieces, send them out across the Web and, suddenly, more traffic, right? Well, not exactly… because the point of SEO copywriting isn’t just to get traffic, but to get targeted traffic using keywords. SEO copywriting is used to:

Promote Keywords

The best way to really promote your keywords, and thus hit your target market, is with web content. You want to get traffic, true, but you also want to generate sales leads. An SEO copywriting company, in essence, becomes your online marketing team. Every line of text, every blog comment, every article or Twitter post is a chance for keyword – and business – promotion.

Raise SERP Rankings

SEO content is the biggest muscle booster a website can have. The SEO copywriter doesn’t stuff keywords; they pay close attention to density and proximity – where the keyword is placed and how often. On reread, they answer the questions: Will it read naturally to visitors? Is the keyword in a high enough placement for search engines to easily pick it up? A mix of natural writing, keyword placement and keyword density is a steroid boost for your website, keeping visitors interested and search engines ranking you higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Get Your Message Out

It seems easy: “Look, people, I have this product, it does XYZ, now come buy it.” However, consumers are savvy. They understand, for the most part, when you’re shoving sales down their throats. An SEO copywriter provides a blend of sales and writing to get your message out in a pleasing, non-forceful way. It’s fine to pressure visitors into buying; anytime you see some form of “Act now!” it’s a type of pressure. It is not fine, however, to threaten their lives if they don’t buy. SEO copywriting says, “Yes, buy it, because it will help you with…”

Get Visitors To Act

No amount of SEO, copywriting, design or anything else does a bit of good if visitors don’t ACT. A strong call to action, blended with persuasive content, is absolutely necessary for boosting conversion rates. Whether you want them to share their email, buy a product or just comment, call to actions are the main purpose of all the content on your site.

So, is your website missing muscle? Does it need a little extra beef? Did your call to actions flex and hurt themselves? Hire an SEO copywriting company and give your website a steady diet of steroids! Your wallet will love you for it.

Keeping the Copywriting Cash Coming – How to Make Sure You Get Paid As a Copywriter

As with any small business, freelance copywriters need to make sure they get paid – consistent cash flow is fundamental to the success of a business and you can get into financial trouble very quickly if your clients fail to settle their accounts on time. Sadly, many freelance copywriters haven’t got the best business heads and tend to collect debts irregularly, frequently only acting when the situation gets out of hand.

You need to be vigilant from the beginning when it comes to payment. That means that when taking on a new copywriting client you need to make sure you know exactly who you are dealing with – if a new client only has a hotmail account and a mobile phone number then this could lead to problems later down the line. Politely ask for a full postal address and contact details for your records – if they can’t provide that then proceed with extreme caution. You’re perfectly in your rights to ask for payment up front from a new client, which if they seem a bit shady is a particularly good idea.

Set out your terms and conditions clearly, so everyone knows where they stand. State exactly what you will do and for how much – if the terms of the job change then immediately renegotiate payment, don’t just assume that the client will pay you more. This will help in the long run if any dispute is raised by the paying party. If any objections to your terms are raised at the outset, you can either renegotiate them or consider whether it is worth having that customer as a client. Ensure that all terms are agreed and incorporated prior to carrying out any work.

Once an invoice is overdue, chase the client with a polite email or informal call after a set time. Leave it for a fortnight and then, if payment is still overdue, send a more strongly worded missive along the lines of ‘I am disappointed to note payment has not been received. I am sure that this is an oversight and would be grateful to receive payment within the next seven days.’

Unfortunately, you are likely to encounter a lot of late paying clients as a copywriter – there are many reasons why people won’t pay you. They may have a long list of creditors and the humble freelance copywriter is a long way down the list of people they have to pay. Frequently they do not think you are serious or, alternatively, they think they can bully you. On many occasions they think if they ignore you, you will not persist. If someone is putting them under more pressure, they will pay them before they pay the copywriter. The solution is to make sure that you are putting your creditors under pressure and make sure they know you are serious about being paid.

Email or call bad payers every week – if that fails to have any effect then threaten legal action. If this also gets you nowhere then ask a solicitor to send a letter giving your debtor a set time in which to discharge the debt, normally 14 days in accordance with court guidelines. Don’t let cost put you off – most solicitors will do this relatively cheaply and you will be amazed by the effect it has! A solicitor’s letter means you are serious and the vast majority of debtors will then pay up.

Obviously some common sense has to be used when chasing debts – base your actions on the client, so if your best copywriting client fails to pay an invoice after four weeks, don’t immediately start chasing, the chances are there’s just a small glitch in the system and payment will soon come through. If another four weeks pass without payment, then by all means send a very polite email querying the situation.

You also need to think about the size of any debt and the amount of time and money you want to spend in chasing it. If someone owes you £50 for copywriting work, then just how much of your precious time is it worth spending on chasing this up?

However, the message is don’t let anybody take copywriters for granted – you provide a valuable business service and deserve to be paid promptly and in full.

Copywriting Issues in the Online Domain

In the simplest term, copywriter is a person who writes a copy. The copy can be an article, feature, news, script or anything else. Copywriting is getting immense popularity especially with the online media wherein the websites are hiring copywriters to write for their websites. They hire freelance copywriters and also recruit permanent copywriters who can write as per the requirement.

Many a times these copywriters are asked to write an article by referring to existing websites with similar information while in other cases they may have to rewrite the same. While doing so they need to follow the Copyright Act which prohibits anyone to sell someone else’s work as their own. Therefore a copywriter can not copy- paste another article and pass it as his own. The websites that carries such article can be sued in such cases.

Some people think that writing for a print media and writing for an online media is the same while this is not so. An example to prove this point is that in print media, the headlines should be attractive and creative while in case of an online media, it should be direct. The copywriter should know what is required from the copy and what are the objectives of the website he is working for. He should be aware of the writing style followed by the company.

When the copywriter writes for a website the first thing that he should keep in mind is that none of the information presented in his copy should be copied from other site. As mentioned before, this may lead to legal battles and infringement of the Copyright Act.

When writing for online domains, the copywriter should use the keyword and the key phrase as much as possible. The headline, the first few paragraphs and the last paragraph of the article written by the copywriter must carry the keyword within them. This is because when a person is searching for information on the said topic, the search engine would be able to locate your website easily for him and would place it in the first few sections of the search page.

The copywriter should write an optimized copy that should be coherent to the theme or the subject on which he has been asked to write. The most important part of the website is not the design but the copy as it carries the information that the visitor is searching for. Thus the copywriter must be careful with what he writes in the copy. If the subject given to him is Hollywood Stars then he should not end up talking about the stars in the galaxy.

The paragraphs of the article should connect to each other. The copywriter should check the copy so as to maintain the flow. The body can either follow the inverted pyramid style of writing or the straight style.

Small Businesses – Can You Afford (Not) to Use a Copywriter?

Traditional business lore says that half of all new businesses fail within the first year.

The latest statistics from the Small Business Administration (SBA) show that “two-thirds of new employer establishments survive at lease two years, and 44 percent survive at least four years.” These numbers are far more encouraging. Still, why do one-third fail in the first two years, and more than half within the second two years?

This story is told at MarkTAW online: “In season 2 or 3 of The Apprentice, [a contestant] named Tana wasted a lot of time trying to repeat a past success. She’d started her own business during the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. She bought a bunch of ordinary Olympics T-Shirts wholesale, and spent her time bedazzling them. She was able to sell them at a premium because her shirts were better than the competition’s.

“When given a new task: Sell t-shirts designed by prominent NYC artists, she was convinced that the key to profitability was to bedazzle the artist’s designs. She wasted hours trying to find a bedazzler and completely ignored marketing. After all, who doesn’t like rhinestones? The other team simply emailed a list of their artists’ fans and sold their shirts for 5 or 6 times what Tana’s team was able to fetch from strangers off the street.

“This might seem like an incredibly stupid move, but it’s probably very typical behavior.”

I agree. It’s a basic law of marketing that you may have the best product, but unless you have a marketing program as good as your product, you’re not going to sell it. And you’re in business to sell, aren’t you…and ultimately to make money? So while marketing does cost money, it’s an investment in your ultimate success.

Let’s say you just heard your great-aunt has died, and you’re mentioned in her will. You don’t know how much your share of the estate is, but you have reason to believe it’s significant. The only condition is that you must attend the reading of the will in person.

Further, let’s say you live in Massachusetts and your great-aunt’s will is going to be read in her hometown in southern California, a trip of considerable distance and expense. What’s your reaction going to be?

1. “No problem.”

2. “Oh, forget it. I don’t need Great-Auntie’s money.”

3. “I can’t afford to travel! Someone else will have to get my share!”

4. “Wow, that’s a big trip, but I guess I’d better go if I want the money.”

Now, if you’re already well-off, you may have the luxury of reacting as in number one or two. But if you’re a person who could really use the windfall, you’ll probably react more like number three or four. And if you have good sense when it comes to investing in the future, it’ll be number four.

The point is that by spending some money, you create the opportunity to gain far more.

If you’re a small business, this is the reality you probably face every time you consider something you could (and should) be spending money on: insurance, legal counsel, accounting, data backup, professional cleaning services. The list of things you shouldn’t be trying to do yourself may seem endless.

At the top of that list is marketing. Saying, “I can’t afford to work with a copywriter!” and trying to create your own marketing package is equivalent to saying, “Someone else can have my market share!”

To make sure you get a copywriter who’s right for you, take these steps:

1. Determine your budget. If you’re a startup, you may not have an official budget, and you may have no idea what copywriting normally costs. So determine how much you think you can spend without serious hardship, and be ready to listen to the copywriter’s ideas about how your marketing dollars are best spent.

2. Don’t aim for a top-drawer copywriter, but don’t aim for a bottom-drawer one either. The lowest bidder is probably the lowest bidder for a reason. Your best bet is a middle-drawer copywriter–one who has a decent portfolio (usually on his website) but isn’t necessarily writing for nationally known clients.

3. Ask the copywriter if she offers any kind of special package or “deal” for new and/or small businesses. Some do; some may never have thought about it, but might be open to the idea. If you feel comfortable with the copywriter, and suggest that you’ll have future work for her, she may be willing to work with you at a discount rate for the opportunity of getting in on the “ground floor” of a successful business–yours.

4. Don’t ask the copywriter if you can write it and he can “improve” it for a lower fee than starting from scratch. You may be a good writer, but unless you’re already trained in copywriting, it’s going to be just as much work for him to “fix” your work as to start from the beginning.

5. Be prepared to learn something. The copywriter is a copywriter (and you’re not), and she has training and experience you don’t. It’s okay to ask why this or that is done a certain way, but trust that she knows what she’s doing. If you’re not comfortable with the copywriter, find a different one.

Professional Advertising Copywriting Experts London UK

Back from a nice week in Devon, doing nothing except walk on the moors and lazing about. Couple of calls to the office – “Anything good happening?” “Well, it’s good you aren’t here” – and that’s about it. Didn’t even bother to travel 30 miles to take up the offer of a free lunch at Cornwall’s most famous seafood restaurant though, as this was compensation for a lunch I had there last year that pole axed me for three days with food poisoning, my non-attendance wasn’t 100% sloth related.

Arrived to find an article – “How to Write a Job Ad” – left open on my desk (rather pointedly, I thought) which was vaguely thought provoking, though things like “most are full of corporate puff and management-speak…fail to give detailed information…generally don’t get the people you want” were a bit too sweeping for me (and I hate all sweeping statements).
Copy can be quite emotive, not least because it’s the one area of advertising that anyone can do – we don’t all know the media, we can’t all design, but we can all write – so we all bring our own opinions/pet hates to it. For example, there’s lots of things I don’t like; from “previous” experience (isn’t all experience in the past or previous?), “staff” as opposed to “employees” (I use a staff to round up sheep. Well, I would if I had sheep. And if I had a staff), “meticulous” attention to detail (you either have attention to detail or you don’t). None of these are likely to alter the response to an ad (which probably should be the test of whether any copy change is necessary in an ideal world) but I will still try and amend any of these, every chance I get, so the ad is done “my way”. To be honest, I can get a bit precious about my personal copy conventions (aka “he’s off on one again”), so much so that we actually have a little list of them that we refer to – hey, at least it ensures consistency. Though I like to think some of them achieve more than that – isn’t “attractive” salary a better sell than the rather dull “competitive”, isn’t “you” rather more personal than “the successful candidate”, isn’t “we thank all candidates in advance for their interest and would appreciate all replies by xxx” warmer than “closing date xxx”?

Anyway, back to the article where, after the ritual slaughter of almost the entire industry’s copy (“banal” was another description used), the authors laid out their modestly titled “Seven Golden Rules”, based on psychological research, to get to the people you want – “who are so busy being successful in their current job that they don’t have the time or inclination to read the recruitment section”. Ignoring the fatal flaw in this argument (if these successful people are too busy to read the recruitment section you could write an ad that could outsell the entire “Harry Potter” phenomenon and it still wouldn’t work, would it?), their rules were:

1. Be bold about job title, salary and location

2. Spell out what you want

3. Describe the job in detail

4. Use questions

5. Tell a story about why you are advertising the job but keep it real

6. Make applying easy

7. Fly your flag – put your logo in the ad.

On the face of it nothing much new there, although it was a shame that their own example of good copy for a sales position “you’ll be called in to clients when the door of opportunity has been opened, to provide the technical detail to close the deal” seemed to include the type of management-type speak they abhor and was too wordy – the one thing all clients dislike – because, for example, “you’ll use your technical knowledge to turn qualified leads into sales” says pretty much the same. In over 50% less words.

The idea of using questions (4) and telling stories, while keeping it real (5) are well known advertising techniques which, research shows, do boost response (questions involve the reader and make the process two way, while people do read stories). But I can’t think of many examples where questions can be, or are, used meaningfully in recruitment (interestingly, the authors don’t provide any examples) apart from the ubiquitous “interested?” just before the response details. Which, incidentally, is another of my pet hates – because if they aren’t interested, I’d like to know what they are doing reading the ad through to the end. Perhaps ploughing through ads of no interest is their sad hobby or something?

As for telling stories about why you are advertising the job, I have two issues. One, I’m not entirely sure that, if candidates see jobs advertised that they really want, they give a fig why it’s become available. And two, as a Golden Rule, it has the severe limitation that jobs only become available for a very limited number of publishable reasons – mainly growth or replacement (and, with the latter, you can’t, for example, advertise that you need a new FD because the last one was a total twonk), so I’m not sure how ad after ad repeating one version or another of these reasons enhances response to any of them.

Their other point about telling stories is that “recruitment sections read as if failure never happens so you should stand out of the crowd by talking about your failures as well as your success”. Hmmm. I can’t recall the world’s number one brand – Coca Cola – advertising much about the effects of all that sugar on your teeth (If any, of course – Legal Editor). I’m all for truth (or tooth. Ho! Ho!) in advertising but, in recruitment, think this should be limited to facts – which I’d have as a Golden Rule – and a description of the challenges or opportunities. Talking about your problems because “chances are, you want people who can handle problems. And good people want a job they can get their teeth (what’s this new dental fixation?) into, not one where the problems are all solved” isn’t particularly logical or realistic; I’d be interested to see if the authors could sell this “warts ‘n all” approach to any client, anywhere.

How to Choose a Copywriter

Your product or service is near completion. You’ve thought before about the adcopy, but it’s now time to hire a copywriter.You understand that you need a specialist who will make the best impression for your product to your potential customers and get you the most sales.

This is a critical step and your quest can go smoothly or be a total nightmare. I hope that this report will help to answer some of your questions and make working with your copywriter a dream come true.

One of the most difficult aspects of giving your copywriting assignment over to someone else is your fear of their lack of commitment to you product or service.

You’ve perhaps conceptualize the product, worked with the developers and finally given it ‘birth’. The hardest step is now to give your ‘baby’ over to another for special care. Traditionally, copywriters never got the kind of respect that other professionals receive. For example, there aren’t many people who argue with their mechanics or doctors but everyone seems to have a better idea than their copywriters.

Everyone seems to think that writing is easy until they have to do it for themselves! The key here then is to give your copywriter the room and freedom to work.

You may know your product best, but your copywriter knows how to sell that product better than you do. This is the reason you sought him out in the first place.

You should hire a copywriter who has experience in your product category and stand back and give the copywriter room to do his work. You should have an opportunity to review the work and make suggestions, but take the copywriter’s suggestions seriously-as you would take that of any other professional.

Samples of the copywriter’s work should be available for your review but each assignment is different so you can only get a ‘feel’ for the writing style here.

Go with your gut feeling. If the copywriter is familiar with the industry, jargon and language of your product category then your customers will be better able to identify with his writing.

He will appear to be a part of the group. This is why you should look for the ‘specialist’ in your product market. At the same time copywriting is copywriting, is copywriting.

So any copywriter who is worth his salt should be able to write for any market. There are cases however where technical knowledge in a highly specialize field will give one copywriter the edge over another.

After you are satisfied with the sample work then you should be sure that you understand his fee rate. This should be stated right upfront, not hidden in some fine print. If you cannot afford the rate it’s best to find another copywriter.

Most professionals will give you less than their best if you try to negotiate downwards from their price. In other words, you normally get what you pay for.

You should also find out if the copywriter has any other type of writing experience. Has he published a book? Done articles in professional magazines or newspapers?

Copywriting, like any other type of writing involves the ability to communicate clearly using words. If your copywriter has other writing experiences then this will be a plus for you.

There are a few people who will call on a copywriter and try to ‘milk’ him for all he is worth. These business owners are not normally interested in his services or intend to hire him but would like to get free consultation.

Most copywriters are aware of these freebie seekers; so if you are not serious about hiring a copywriter you should respect his time. This is the ethical thing to do.

I’ve often had potential clients who will send information for me to look over, materials to read and ask my opinion on different aspects of their business only to hire another writer or none at all.

Well, this was before I recognized the trend and started filtering out these free loaders by asking for the down payment before I can give any “free consultation”.

Here are some other tips on working with a copywriter:

1. You should provide complete information about your product or service. I would normally ask my clients to fill out a questionnaire before I can start working on the copy.

The purpose of this questionnaire is to get the client focused on what they are really selling and also to provide ample information for me to work from.

There is no substitute to product knowledge when you are selling anything. A copywriter can never know too much information on the product he is trying to sell. Usually the more you tell; the more you sell.

2. Be sure that you understand what you are paying for. Get it in writing if necessary. It is important for you to know both the cost and what exactly you are paying for before the project starts, not at the end when it is too late.

Some copywriters work by the hour but I normally work for a flat fee or rate. I would therefore tell my clients that this letter will cost you $XX dollars and requires a 50% down payment and the other 50% at presentation of the first draft.

If I work by the hour there may be surprises at the end, but not when I quote the fee forthright. So I prefer the flat fee.

3. Give the copywriter his space to work. If you are promised the salescopy in three weeks, don’t call or write in two weeks to find out how he is getting along.

Writing is already a mentally taxing exercise, so the added pressure of your frequent inquiries will not help at all. In fact, the way in which I write is that I take 80% of the time to think and plan and only 20% of that time to do the actual writing.

So if you called me half way through the time period that I promised you the copy the answer will be that I haven’t written anything as yet.

Remember that you are involved in a partnership with your copywriter so you will want to keep this relationship as smooth as possible.

He is trying to make your business money, not to take your money-hopefully. I speak for myself here but I think that most ethical copywriters will say the same: “I get greater satisfaction from knowing that my salescopy made my client a lot of money, rather than knowing that I made a lot of money from my client.”

Because copywriting is a creative process there is a lot of personal pride that goes into every piece a writer puts out.

4. Pay in the agreed time frame. Pay promptly. I can still remember that old saying that ‘an army marches on its stomach’. What about other one that says that ‘reward sweetens labor’?

The whole point here is that if you refuse to pay your copywriter he or she isn’t likely to give you his best work-just human nature. When you pay on time, you are saying that you appreciate you partner in business-which he is.

If you are not immediately satisfied with the work then you should indicate the changes that need to be made, but don’t hold his payment ransom by refusing the balance.

Of course every case must be judged on its own merit, but if you did your research well it is hardly likely that a job could turn out so bad that you think that it doesn’t deserve a fair reward. This brings us to the next point.

5. Be rational on how you critique the work you receive. If you send statements such as ‘I don’t like the copy’, ‘It’s too boring’ or ‘I expected better’, these statements are too general to mean anything to the copywriter.

You should be more specific and say something like, “I think you should emphasize how unique our product is in the market place”, or “I think that you should strengthen the guarantee more”. These statements are all more specific and measurable.

You should also make it a point to indicate what you love about the copy before you state what you don’t like about it. You are working with a human being-not a machine-who have just given a piece of his soul on paper.

To be just outright critical will surely hurt-the same way in which a writer’s heart bleed after his manuscript comes back from his editors! Remember that it is always easier to criticize what already exists than it is to create something from scratch.

6. Read the copy as a customer not as a business owner. After you’ve spent so much time on the creative side of the fence it’s hard to see your product from the customer’s side.

What may appear as second-nature to you may be rocket science to the customer. Only the customer can decide how effective the copy really is-with their credit cards. When the salescopy is placed into operation your sales will be the only acid test for the power of the copy.

Whether you like the style, language or any other aspect of the copy doesn’t matter one bit to the customer.

Customers are only concerned about the benefits they can get from your product, not your image. This is a very hard pill to swallow for many business owners who take too much control away from their copywriters. It goes back again to an innate lack of respect for the copywriting professional.

7. Be generous with your praise and update on sales. The majority of clients will receive the copy, make their payment and unless they need to hire the copywriter again, never make another contact. You should send a ‘thank you’ note and especially when the copy sells well, you should inform your copywriter about your success.

This will help him to improve his skill and also may save you some money on your next project. Again, remember that reward sweetens labor and a word of thanks can be very powerful indeed.

Who should know about the power of words than a copywriter?

8. Copywriting is only one number in your sales equation. There are other factors other than the effectiveness of your copy that will determine how successful your sales are. Bad copy can sell a great product but great copy cannot sell a bad product.

So don’t be too quick to blame your copywriter. I know of some copywriters who would not take on your project if they think that your product will not sell.

This lack of sale may be a result of a saturated market, heavy competition, bad timing, a low perceived value of your product and a bunch of other possibilities.

If you carefully performed your market research before you created your product or service then this shouldn’t be a problem. But just be aware of it.

Is Your Content Provider Selling You Ripped Content?

Ripped content: well the term itself is self explanatory. Content that has been copied from some other site, without any official authority to do so. Although sounds like an extremely trivial issue but is not so, considering the strict copy right laws governing intellectual properties in various countries. Careless usage of such content can thus lead you in some seriously troubled waters and at times involving legalities of more then one country. By the term “content provider” I denote the person, whom you may hire for writing the content of your website, articles or for copywriting a product or service.

Let’s look at this problem more closely. You are contacted by some person, quite distinctively, through your IM service. The person introduces himself to be a reputed content provider and for credibility also supplies you with some web site addresses he claims to have given the contents for. The final shot, to sweep you from your feet is their rock bottom prices. Any mention about copyrights is brushed aside or circumvented so effortlessly and cleanly that you stand fooled with both eyes open.

However, this is the end of the stage one of their plan. Enter part two and you are supplied loads of tweaked and altered or down rightly plagiarized material from numerous sites, all packaged into one installment for you. While you are complimenting yourself about a steal deal, what you don’t probably know is that there are laws you have violated and for which you might have to pay a price many fold – than your steal deal!!

Caution- is the word when it comes to hiring content providers or copy writers for your site or products. And there are some unspoken rules within the industry circles. For e.g.,

a) Before hiring a content provider or a copy writer, always check for their portfolio, those with a site of their own are some how more trust worthy.

b) Request and check references,

c) Ask for samples of some specific style or format, this shall help you ascertain the quality of the worker.

d) Have a clear understanding about copy rights and laws pertaining to the same.

e) Expect to go by the prevailing market rates, do not be fooled by throw away prices and always deal only after fair agreements are chalked out.

A good way of finding out ripped content is to Google parts of the final works and cross checking the results.

Following these precautionary guidelines will not only help you respect and abide the laws but also save your precious money that might go into settlement prices once you are caught for violating these laws, plus the bad name that your business might incur for using plagiarized content.

For more information on what Plagiarizing actually is, go through my article titled: Plagiarism -an Overview.

Freelance Copywriters: How to Turn Old Job Listings into Freelance Cash

I’m sure many are familiar with popular job boards like Craigslist.org, WritersWeekly.com and FreelanceWriting.com. As you probably know, if you’re not among the first to apply, you will most likely never hear anything from the prospective client.

I use job boards another way — as I get most of my work from old clients (I’ve been freelancing since 1993, so am grateful to be in the position of not having to market so hard for clients).

How to Effectively Use Job Boards to Solicit Work

So, how do I use job boards to solicit work? In two ways:

1) I always apply — I don’t care how old the listing is, I will still send in my credentials. Most of the time, if I receive a response, it will be something along the lines of, “We received 100 responses to our ad and have already chosen a freelancer. Thanks for applying.”

I’m always thrilled to get a response — even if it’s a rejection. Why? Because it opens a line of communication — which is the first step to building a relationship of any kind. A response allows me to write back. I usually say something to the effect of:

Dear Ms. Client:

[be kind and and complimentary in your approach, eg;] Thank you for apprising me of the fact that your freelance writing needs have been filled. It’s rare to receive a response when a position has closed; I appreciate your professionalism.

[go for the soft pitch, eg:] Please keep my credentials on file for future consideration. I specialize in helping mortgage, real estate and insurance professionals increase their bottom line. In today’s competitive market, turning referrals into paying customers requires consistent contact — no matter the type of business.

[generally explain how you can help the prospective client, eg:] An on- and offline marketing expert, I can show you concrete ways to increase referrals and turn a static and/or non-existent database into a consistent revenue stream.

[use the following if you don’t know who the client is — most times you will be responding to blind ads] I welcome the chance to consult with you along these lines — even if you have no immediate needs.

[use the following if you know who the client is and can do some quick research on them] Eg, I notice from your website that you are one of the largest mortgage providers in the northeast. I can position your company to become the “go to” resource for information by providing a handy e-booklet about the industry.

[give a specific example of how you can help them, eg:] Instead of the standard, How to Apply for a Mortgage, potential clients respond more to what NOT to do when applying. Eg, an e-book entitled, 7 Things You Should NOT Do When Applying for a Mortgage is much more likely to get a prospect’s attention.

This is just one suggestion among many that I can assist you with — building your referral ratio and database for years to come. Samples of my work can be found at the web address listed below, along with my contact information.

I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Sincerely,

Ms. Copywriter

MyWebsite.com

000/111-2222

Copywriting Secrets of a Legal Beagle Marketing Genius

Believe it or not, you can learn a LOT of copywriting secrets from lawyers. In fact, recently I heard a lawyer’s ad that’s SO good I took notes.

Here’s what happened:

I was in the car waiting for my wife (to do whatever it is wives do for so long in stores), and this voice on the radio starts telling the story of a real life court case.

It was a fascinating story, too, about something that could happen to anyone.

Anyway, the ad was in two parts:

The first part described the facts of the case and ended with, “when we return we’ll see how the court ruled.” Then, after a brief ad (for another business), part 2 came on. This time the lawyer cites what happened, followed by a call to action telling you how to contact him if you ever need a lawyer.

Why was I so impressed with this ad?

Well, let’s look at the facts of the case:

1. No Blatant Pitch

It started with a story ANYONE can relate to (some leech sued someone they’d never met — out of the blue). Which was an excellent attention grabber.

2. Use Of The “Cliffhanger”

Cliffhangers are MEGA powerful. Think of all those high rated TV dramas. Almost ALL of them leave you on a cliff hanger — making it impossible not to come back next week.

3. Attention Span Friendly

It was not one long commercial that wore out your mind. This baby was a two parter — making it super easy to digest and super hard to touch that dial and leave.

4. Strutted His Stuff

Demonstration is one of the BEST ways to prove something.

Plus, by explaining everything in “plain English” (in a STORY), the lawyer came off as warm, inviting and friendly. Kinda like someone you’d hang out with. And NOT some shark who milks money from misery.

5. Call To Action

Finally, there was no confusion as to what he wanted you to do — which was to call his office for an appointment.

Anyway, the only “flaw” I could find was not having an offer (a “carrot” to call NOW). Otherwise it was a near-perfect ad that (from what I hear) is working like gangbusters for him.