Copywriting Tips – Should You Ask Your Prospect Their Budget?
Somebody at the Warrior Forum asked in a thread if it bothered you when a copywriter asked you for your budget. Well, the answers came fast and furious. It appeared that the sides were really split on this one. Some people were totally against it, felt it was rude, and others just took it with a grain of salt. But the question is, from the perspective of the copywriter and potential client, should you do it? This is not an easy question to answer, but I’m going to do my best to give you my personal opinion of this issue.
I think we can all agree that the last thing a copywriter or a client wants to do is waste time. What’s the point of getting into a discussion about project details if the copywriter is in the $5,000 to $10,000 price range and the client is looking to spend 500 bucks? I mean it just doesn’t make any sense. So by asking the prospect what his copywriting budget is, it immediately qualifies the client as either somebody you will work with or won’t work with. Doesn’t that make sense?
Well, the counter argument is this. Why not just have your copywriting fees on your sales page? Well, there are several reasons why this doesn’t work.
At the top of the list, many copywriters do not charge just one fee. For example, they’ll charge one amount for a sales letter for a 50 page eBook and a completely different amount for a set of 10 DVDs. Few will charge the same amount for both projects. And the prices may be worlds apart.
Another reason this doesn’t always work is that many clients don’t find the copywriter through his sales page. Many will find him through forums like the Warrior Forum. If that’s the case, they’re going to have absolutely no idea what the fees are.
Taking the argument one step farther, those against asking for a budget claim that all the copywriter has to do is ask the prospect what they want and then quote their price based on what the specs are. The problem with that is many prospects don’t even know what they want or what info has to be given. And a copywriter doesn’t want to waste time with these people dragging out all these details only to find out that their price is out of their budget anyway.
Asking for a budget is a quick way to qualify your prospect…period. It saves both people a lot of time.
Whether or not you, as a copywriter, do it is up to you.
In my ‘s good business sense.
To YOUR Success,
Steven Wagenheim…Read more
How to Write Your Own Copy – A Quick Guide
Should You Go it Alone?
Not everyone has the budget (or hours) to outsource their copywriting. This is especially true of small businesses; such enterprises want to minimise their expenditure whilst maximising time spent on lead-generation. Conversely, business professionals – (who often aren’t specialist writers) – are often called upon to produce persuasive, call-to-action copy. If you’re sagely nodding your head, then you probably fall in to one of these two categories. You already know commercial writing isn’t easy and wonder how you can acquire the specialist skills necessary to make your words work well for you.
My honest recommendation is that you should hire a professional to do the work. I’m not just saying this because I’m a copywriter – my comments are based on experience. I frequently encounter business owners who’ve spent circa Aï¿½1,000 on a website, but are reluctant to invest a third of that cost on the writing process. In an attempt to save money they undertake the project themselves or hire someone on a shoestring budget to do it for them. The result is unfocused, unconvincing copy that isn’t even search-engine-optimised.
If you must go it alone (and if you work for someone else, you have no choice) please refer to my short collection of tips, below:
Plan Your Work
Before I begin work for a client, I ask them to complete a questionnaire. This is quite basic, but provides me with the following information:
(i) what they do;
(ii) how they do it;
(iii) what they’re selling;
(iv) what that product/service does; and
(v) why that product service is unique.
Sometimes, I’ll follow up with a short phone call, just to iron out any discrepancies. I’d advise you to do the same. Using the above headings, write down some ideas. You can then use these bulleted-points to form a structure. Without a plan, your writing will lack logic, purpose and impact.
Less is Better
Your customers lack patience. They want quick answers and will lose interest if things aren’t immediately clear. Online browsers, in fact, have an attention span of about 51 seconds – which means you’ve little room for verbal acrobatics. Keep your writing tight, crisp and relevant and you’ll retain their attention.
Optimise Your Copy
If you’re writing digitally, it’s important to include some keywords and phrases in your copy. Don’t overdo it, though; otherwise your writing will appear contrived. Also try to include definitions of your business that aren’t too generic. Online competition for a phrase like ‘marketing consultant’ will be in the millions, so use ‘experienced online consultant’ instead. If you’ve access to a keywords.…Read more
Copywriting Tips – Are You Sure You Want to Be a Copywriter?
The grass is always greener on the other side. If that isn’t one of the biggest cliches in the world, I’ll eat my hat. Truth is, there is a lot to that cliche. When it comes to copywriting or doing other things, more than you realize. So the question I’m asking in this article is a simple one. Are you SURE you want to be a copywriter? No, this isn’t a trick question. After you are done reading this article, you’ll understand why I’m asking it.
What you probably don’t know about me is that I am also a marketer. In fact, I was a marketer before I become a copywriter, at least professionally. Oh yes, I always wrote my own copy, but never offered my services to others until recently. And when I did, I discovered something absolutely amazing. In fact, it was so fascinating that it made me wonder why I do this copywriting thing at all. Let me explain.
I can sit down and crank out a limited run product at 100 units in about 8 hours and make about $3,000 from it. That comes out to close to $400 per hour of work, which isn’t too shabby. Now, I’m not a high end copywriter by any stretch of the imagination as far as price goes. But when I calculate how long it takes me to go over a product, in order to write the copy for it, and then actually write the copy, I figured out that I’m making about $50 for an hour of work.
Do you see the problem here? Naturally, if you’re not a marketer and writing is all you can do, you’ll take it and gladly. But think about it. There are easier ways to make a buck online. I can think of many jobs that pay more than $50 per hour of work. And with some copywriting jobs, the amount of work, because of extra bonuses to go over, brings your hourly pay down to that of a McDonald’s fry cook. Think I’m kidding? I’m not.
Point is, while being a copywriter is certainly a glamorous profession, and while there is a certain excitement about seeing your sales letter rake in the sales for somebody, if you’re thinking this is an easy way to riches, you might want to reconsider this as a that I’m trying to discourage you. I just want you to realize that all is not roses on this side of the fence.
As I am quickly finding out.
To YOUR Success,
Steven Wagenheim…Read more
Improve Your Search Engine Rankings With Off-Page Optimization Techniques
The paradigm of internet marketing has been transformed at the greater extent with the inception of search engine optimization techniques. SEO experts therefore apply a number of unique tools and techniques to optimize online business websites. Off-page optimization is such a process that accommodates numerous optimization activities that are implemented to offer much more influence to the web pages in the prominent search engines like Yahoo, Google and Bing. Let’s go through some of the primary components of off-page optimization used by the search engine optimizers and internet marketers.
Link Building: The art of inbound link building is primarily focused on exchanging quality inbound links from some relevant websites of good page rank. If experts are to be believed, link building is the most important strategy that paves the path for effective search engine marketing. Since millions of webs pages are doing round, it’s very important create high value back links for your websites. Being a newbie link building professional you should take guidance from an expert SEO person to create quality back links from the reputed and relevant websites to improve Google Page Rank.
Click Density: This is another quick and highly efficient off-page optimization calculates the matrices in which the links are followed in the prominent search engines. The HTML Meta tags in the source code of the websites help to improve the Click Density of the links. As an SEO expert you may also use the process of article submission to create rich click density for the websites.
Article Submission: During the process of article submission, optimization experts write a number of articles in the different niches and submit it in different article directories and other submission resources. During submission of an article, users can create their own links back to the web pages to increasing search engine rankings. If the pages from where inbound links are obtained has high PR, the prominence of your websites and associated pages also get high value and worth.
Directory Submission: Very like the article submission, directory submission allows submission of the web pages with small summary in several web directories. If you submit your site URLs in directories using proper anchor text with proper categories that are relevant and related to your website niche, it helps to increase your website’s search engine rankings rapidly.
Blog Commenting: Another innovative method of off-page optimization is Blog commenting that enables bloggers to write blogs and description about the services and products their websites are based on. Apart from the blog posts, blog commenting can also be the best tool for creating regular and quality back links for the websites. Bloggers post their comments on other blog sites with their anchor text links to create the reciprocal links for the website.…Read more
The Four U Formula to Writing Intriguing Headlines
It’s no secret that nearly 80% of people who stumble upon your words will never get past the headline.
People are busy and are constantly in a state of information overload. Rather than read every email, sales letter, blog post, and article they come across, they quickly scan headlines to see whether what you’ve written is worthy of their time and attention.
In order to keep them reading, you have to first pique their interest with an intriguing, benefit-laden headline.
And as you might imagine, this is easier said than done.
But the “Four U” copywriting formula can help. So next time you write a headline, consider these four qualities:
Urgent: Urgency gives the reader a reason to act now rather than later. This is critical because if they don’t get to your article, blog post, or sales letter right away, your reader will most likely forget about it altogether.
The easiest way to suggest urgency is to incorporate a time element in your headline. For instance, “Make $100,000 Writing Articles From Home This Year,” is more urgent than “Make $100,000 Working From Home.”
Unique: A powerful headline should suggest that what it’s offering is in some way different from everything else of its type.
So, this means your headline should either say something new, or say something that’s been said before in a fresh and exciting way.
What’s more, all claims made in your headline should be uniquely associated with your product or service (not anyone else’s).
As an example, the headline, “Earn 100,000 Air Miles in 3 Months Using This Simple Trick” is unique because it’s talking about a specific trick which will be described in the body copy. “Earn Extra Air Miles Using Credit Cards” is not because it could be talking about almost anything and doesn’t describe anything unique or specific.
Creating a unique headline is more important than ever in the age of the Internet, because people are always searching for something new and don’t want to read what they feel they’ve heard before.
Ultra-specific: The more specific your headline, the more believable it will be–and the more likely your headline will encourage your reader to continue reading.
The headline, “Free White Paper,” is vague and won’t create much interest, despite something being offered at no cost. But saying, “Free White Paper on How to Take Better Indoor Digital Photographs” will presumably attract a lot of photographers.
The more specific you can be in your headline, the better.
Useful: Adding usefulness to a headline means offering a benefit to the reader. What will she get out of reading your article?
The headline, “How to Lose Weight Exercising in Less Than 15 Minutes a Day,” offers the clear benefit of knowledge–as in once the reader finishes the article, she will suddenly know how to lose weight by exercising in under 15 minutes a day.
Be clear about the benefit you’re offering and never try and trick or mislead your reader by offering a benefit in the headline but then talking about something else completely in the body copy.
What to do next
Once you’ve written your headline, go through each of the characteristics and ask yourself how strong it is in each of the four U’s. Use a scale of 1 to 4 (1 = weak, 4 = strong). Categorizing at.5 is also acceptable.
Ideally, your headline should rank at a 3 or 4 on a minimum of 3 of the four U’s. If not, your headline isn’t near as strong as it could be, and could benefit from some rewriting.
Use the Four U formula in email subject lines, sales letters, blog posts, articles, advertisements, and more to create powerful copy that grabs your prospect in and keeps her reading.…Read more
Web Copywriting Tips – 5 Tips to Boost Conversions
As attention spans continue to dwindle, it’s extremely important that you do whatever you can to keep your visitors on your web page as long as possible. The longer your visitors stay on your page, the more likely they are to get drawn into your copy and that will always boost your conversion rate.
Here are 5 tips to boost your conversions:
1. Make sure your website is professional in its appearance and easy on the eyes. Now, I’m not saying you have to spend big bucks on your website graphics but it shouldn’t look like it was created by a six-year-old kid with a crayon. Also, use an easy-to-ready font (like Arial, Helvetica or Tahoma) for the majority of your site’s content and don’t make the font size too small. Lastly, use plenty of “white space” by writing in short paragraphs and using a decent-sized margin between the edge of your website template and your copy.
2. Ensure your main headline is big, bold and lists the primary benefit of your product or service. Your headline should immediately grab the attention of your visitor and let them know there is value in reading more. This is done by making your headline bigger (and bolder) than the rest of your copy and by letting them know what benefit they can expect from your product or service. It’s said that about 80% of your visitors’ decision has already been made after reading the headline. That’s why it’s extremely important that you write the best headline you can and test a variety of headlines against each other to see which truly speaks to your market.
3. Use a “drop cap” at the start of your opening paragraph. A “drop cap” is a large letter that is used to start your opening paragraph. It’s been used in the magazine industry for many years and has been proven to improve readership. For best results, use a font that is tall enough to span at least three lines of your regular text, is a different font type from your main content and a different color as well.
4. One of the most important web copywriting tips is to use some “personalization” elements to make your content appear more personal and less commercial. Direct mail marketers have been doing this for a very long time and it works just as well online. Elements like handwritten looking fonts and graphics that look like the writer has “scribbled” on the page enhance this personal feel and keep the eye glued to the page.
5. Use “sub-headlines” (aka sub-heads) that are big, bold and tell the main part of your “story.” Most readers will scan your copy rather than read it word-for-word so these sub-heads are of prime importance. They help to highlight the main benefits of your offer and are large enough that “scanners” are likely to read them. Putting all five of these tips to use will help you keep your readers on your page longer and increase your conversions as a direct result.…Read more
SEO – On-Site Optimization With Internal Links
Most webmasters dealing with website optimization are focused on keywords, header tags, meta tags, building backlinks, etc. Baclinks have two very important properties: anchor text and “nofollow” attribute. Both properties define quality and value of any link. Website owners spend a lot of time searching for various opportunities to get external links from pages with high PageRank. Those links can significantly contribute to popularity of the website. Usually links with the “nofollow” attribute are considered as less valuable. But this is not the right thinking. In most cases you can easily ignore this attribute–simply focus on the link text. Because link text explains what the page is about, link texts like “click here” or “on this page” are of little use for page optimization. There is nothing you can do if this happens on other websites. Fortunately, there is one group of links where you have all the freedom for anchor text and nofollow attribute–internal links.
Internal links are those which are present on our pages, in menus and various navigations. For all elements on the website we have total control and therefore we can choose anchor texts and whether the nofollow attribute will be present or not. This means that with carefully chosen words we can help both human visitors, web spiders, bots and web crawlers to understand what is on the page where the link is pointing. It sounds simple but most websites are not using the whole power of links. On-page optimization is more than keyword frequency–the whole content describes the page. Every single on-page element, either visible or invisible, contributes to the description of the page.
A typical example of internal link with generic anchor text is the Home button, menu item or link. There is absolutely nothing wrong if you have a quick way to the homepage. But is some cases it would be possible to slightly modify this text to more accurately describe the home page, for example with the name of the website or any other suitable phrase. The same applies to all menu items and other links on the page. Try to use words or phrases that most accurately describe target pages. Avoid links with text “click here”. Modify the sentence to include appropriate text to link to another page. Even for links that point to external pages it makes sense to create meaningful anchor texts. This will never hurt your website and others will appreciate it. Internal links count as externals do. If you have a high PageRank internal page, links on it will transfer this “reputation” to other internal pages.…Read more