The 5 qualities of a great copywriter

So, you’re in the market for a copywriter.

When you first started out, paying someone to write your website copy was an expense you couldn’t justify. Makes sense. But, you’re out of that basic survival phase and thinking it could pay to get an expert on board. Because words? They’re not your thing. But for a copywriter, they’re a match made in heaven. Think chocolate and peanut butter, poached eggs and avo, or hot sauce and, well, anything. 

Or, you’re part of a marketing team, stretched to the limit and you need some content support. Someone to develop consistent SEO-friendly blog posts or emails, who won’t be whisked away onto another project. An external copywriter could be the answer.

A bit bamboozled about where or how to start? There are so many copywriters out there. So, before you open your wallet, here are five qualities to keep in mind when searching for your wordsmith.

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Good listening skills

This one may not be obvious. But, in the beginning, your copywriter should be doing a whole lotta listening. This will be peppered with questions, of course, but you'll get the space to finish your thoughts without rushing.

Writing chops

If you’re someone who needs oodles of physical proof, please don’t be offended if some copywriters push back at some point. Our time is precious. And, let's face it. Our websites, blog, accolades and testimonials are legit proof that we’re serious writers. We may have a portfolio, or links to show you, but can’t always create new work samples, just for you.

Clear communication

I love that my clients know how important this is to me. I expect it whenever I’m the client, so I always work to deliver it in spades. I’m talking about prompt responses to your emails and phone calls and generally being easy to work with. Check out the testimonials on a website for evidence before submitting the contact form. Once you’ve been in touch, are you getting all your questions answered and are you clear on timelines and process? Awesome. You’re on to a winner.

A thorough briefing process

The better the brief, the better the copy. So, don’t panic when you get served a hefty briefing form or asked to schedule a briefing call. And, please, as Tom Cruise once said, help us help you (or something to that effect). To write you the absolute best copy for your business, we need the inside scoop. Trust me. It’ll be worth it in the end.

Experience

When it comes to copywriting, experience can come in many forms. While specific copywriting experience is a big plus, a background in another industry is a bonus! Training in psychology or education, for instance, provides depth to a copywriter’s expertise. Teaching’s where I nailed my processes and time management. It was also my training ground for creating and delivering engaging content, day in, day out to all kinds of audiences.

So, now that you’re armed with the tools for your search, happy copywriting process to you!

P.S. If you think we might be a good fit, learn more about how I can help you or check out some happy client feedback.

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The Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas

You know you should be blogging. And I know you know it.

But, why? I hear you ask. I’m so busy with everything else. I totally get you.

Ok, so first the why. Blogging can establish you as an authority in your industry, help you to build an audience of potential customers or clients, and it’s also great for SEO. Depending on your industry, your blog can also act as a portfolio. For instance, potential clients can quickly get a sense of my writing style by reading my blog.

But who has the energy to come up with content ideas all the time? Even fortnightly blogging comes around very quickly, I can tell you!

So let me help.

This list of 11 ideas is readily adaptable to your industry, and flexible enough to suit your unique tone - whether that’s more serious or light and humorous. Each blog post idea also offers a WHY - the benefit for your readers. Ultimately, it’s them you are writing for and their time is precious.

When it comes to crafting the post, make sure you always create a strong headline to engage your readers, using a ‘hook’ that relates to your topic. Try not to be too clever or obscure! Numbers can work well to grab the attention of readers, such as 10 Instagram Accounts You Need to be Following. Bam!

I really hope you enjoy using this list of ideas, and I’m sure it will spur you on to create many more of your own.

 

A day in the life of...your profession.

Help your readers - potential clients and customers - learn more about you and what your typical day looks like.

Bust myths about your profession.

Assist your readers to understand more about what you do work-wise, and perhaps helps them overcome any blocks they might have about using your product or services.

Quick tips about small business.

Establish yourself as someone your readers trust and appreciate. Tips could be anything from how to make over a LinkedIn profile, to how to stay organised for tax time. Just think - what could simplify life for a small business owner just like you?

How to survive the first year in business.

This piece could be either humorous or serious, while providing practical advice for readers.

Instagram accounts or bloggers to follow.

Provide your readers with new inspiration, resources and networks.

Podcasts to listen to.

Position yourself as someone who shares useful resources. Don’t worry if you don’t feel like an authority or an expert! You have something worth sharing.

Music that motivates or inspires you.

Reveal more about yourself, while broadening the interests of your readers. After all, who doesn’t want to feel more motivated or inspired?

Networking tips or tricks.

Give your readers valuable advice about an aspect of business that scares the pants off some people.

A product or service review.

Review a business resource, cafe, restaurant, playground - you name it. Help readers to learn more about what interests you, while perhaps introducing them to a new product or service.

What I wish I knew when I was starting out.

Position yourself as someone who shares resources and good advice freely with others.

Teach your readers something.

The ‘something’ doesn’t need to strictly relate to your business, but make sure it’s helpful information.

Happy blogging!

P.S. If blogging still sounds too scary - or time consuming - just shout! I'll happily craft any blog posts you need.

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7 Surefire Ways to Beat Writer's Block

There’s nothing worse than the feeling of staring at a blank screen, willing the words to come.

We’ve all been there, whether we write for a living, or it’s just one aspect of our work. Just because you may enjoy writing, that’s no guarantee it comes easy all the time. The ideas or the flow can’t just be turned on like a tap.

The good news is, though, that there are strategies that give writer’s block a good 1-2 punch. So, don’t just sit there and take it - fight your way back into the writing groove.

1. Take a walk

Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery. Even if you’ve got a deadline looming, take 5 or 10 minutes to get out into the fresh air and change your view. Avoid headphones and just be open to observing what’s around you - sights, sounds and smells. Inspiration can be found anywhere, and you may find just the thing to move you beyond your roadblock.

2. Read something

If you’re under pressure you might not have much time. If you’ve got longer to ruminate, you may be able to switch your focus for a little while. Whatever the case may be, you need to do some reading of writing that’s not yours. That may be a book, an article, blog post or simply a twitter feed. If you’ve been sitting with your own writing for some time, you may need to interrupt the pattern as a way of creatively resetting yourself.

3. Take yourself on a creative date

This one is my personal favourite strategy, because I find it really opens up my creativity if I’ve been feeling flat. Some suggestions for creative dates are the museum, a public transport adventure (even better if the final destination is unknown), fabric shopping, $2 shop wandering with a $10 budget, or wandering through some beautiful gardens. You can be as cheap a date as you like!

4. Change your writing mode

If you’ve been committed to your keyboard, opt for journal handwriting with a pen. If you can’t bear to put your computer down, change the font size and style, or move from Google Docs into Word or Notes. It may just be the tweak you need to get the ideas flowing again.

5. Write at a different time

There’s nothing like a time zone change to reset your system, so if you’re a morning writer, try the night shift. If your tap, tapping happens into the night, try the day shift. Routine can breed predictability, so don’t be surprised if you create some great new stuff.

6. Write what has to be written first

By that, I don’t mean the item on deadline, but the stuff that is standing in the way of your creativity - the story/poem/post that simply must be gotten ‘off your chest’. It doesn’t need to be a masterpiece, as a blurt will suffice. Once this writing is done, the rest has a chance to step forward out of the wings, where it has been waiting patiently.

7. Start anywhere

Whether you’re working on an article, story, blog post or novel, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you must write chronologically. Write wherever the inspiration strikes you, worrying about how it will all fall into place later.

Rather outsource instead? Be in touch to handball your writing task my way. I look forward to helping you out!

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