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Copywriting - Small Businesses
Posted 23 December 2003 - 01:51 PM
A lot of small businesses are justifying just hiring an SEO. Hiring a copywriter as well is too much for their budget.
Like many here, my copy is ok - it passes. I definitely don't have the natural creative flow that only great copywriters have. If I really know the company's products or services, I'm confident in writing the copy. If I don't know it, I'm not touching it.
So, I'd like to hear what others have done with small businesses. A partial solution I suppose is to buy Karon's book and learn more. I think that's going to be a late holiday present I'll get for myself. Anyone have success on coaching the client on how to do their own SEO copywriting?
Posted 23 December 2003 - 02:00 PM
Yes, buying Karon's Copywriting Course can certainly help. If you absolutely HAVE to write your own copy, I would definitely suggest that at a minimum. Make sure you do all the practice exercises too.
Google is looking more and more at semantics. Good copy that also converts is imperative!
Posted 23 December 2003 - 02:39 PM
Any other thoughts?
Posted 23 December 2003 - 03:47 PM
Posted 23 December 2003 - 05:11 PM
Thanks in advance for your purchase Teaching clients to do their own SEO copywriting may be more than you bargained for. I think it would be easier to teach yourself SEO copywriting. Then your "it passes" copy can do more than just pass.
Then you can also provide copywriting services to your clients (as it appears you're already doing) without involving a freelancer. That would also mean you could keep all the profits, too!
Posted 23 December 2003 - 10:58 PM
However, I can see how they don't want all 15 pages of the website done. That's where it's a case of maximizing the value you get. Have your homepage written professionally, and perhaps one other very important page. From there, you've got a head start on the other pages-- use the professionally-written copy as inspiration, to check your own work against.
I can see not being able to afford to have it all done, but it seems silly to me to spend money on a website and then not extend that to the content of the site.
Another alternative is to have a pro edit or SEO-ify existing copy. It's the most bang for your buck to have the clients write the copy themselves, doing all the research involved, and simply have it edited and possibly lightly rewritten than a pro. Much cheaper than having the pro have to research it at so much an hour!
Anyway, I think there are a lot of, well, levels of expense inherent in webdesign, and copywriting is no exception. Sure, there are places to cut corners, but you don't have to cut them so close you miss out on much of the benefit of the website. Be creative, stretch your dollar, but get as much value as you can.
Posted 24 December 2003 - 11:25 AM
Posted 24 December 2003 - 04:28 PM
But as Jill mentioned, there ARE good writers out there available at reasonable rates. It means doing some research. And DL's comments about having just a few pages at a time done are excellent.
A rule of thumb: the better and the more experienced the writer, the higher the rates; but also usually the more professional the work. If you have a big, big client and you need GREAT copywriting for that site, then it justifies higher rates. But for the small business person, by all means find someone with a good basic mastery of grammar and English who can help you out, or enjoy Karon's book and apply it to your writing.
Posted 28 December 2003 - 04:38 PM
Better to pay a $100 and get good traffic than to waste $25
Posted 29 December 2003 - 12:05 PM
Strunk and White's The Elements of Style.
The full text is available there for download and I highly recommend it.
Simple language usage, writing and style manual. Once you've mastered the points covered therein, applying it to whatever type of writing you require is simple enough.
So, if you really can't afford to hire a copywriter, and want to look into doing it yourself, start with the basics, and after that you can start learning about the psychology of selling and all that stuff. Most people move onto the more complex stuff without first considering the simple, and that's the main downfall of many amateur (and "professional") writers.
Posted 29 December 2003 - 12:37 PM
Most people move onto the more complex stuff without first considering the simple, and that's the main downfall of many amateur (and "professional") writers.
While you have a good point there, my friend, I wouldn't view this as the "main" downfall of writers. I'd have to say the main downfall is not knowing and understanding who they are writing to. (Or "to whom they are writing" for style & grammar buffs )
Most amateurs just begin writing what "they" want to say. However, the reader isn't interested in what "they" have to say. The reader is interested in how his/her own problems/needs/wants can be fulfilled.
Once you get into the mind of your customers (or your client's customers) your conversions take giant leaps forward. And as advertising copywriters, we don't write just for the pleasure of writing... we write to sell.
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