How to Be a Copywriter (By Those Who Do It for a Living)

You quite fancy becoming a copywriter, eh? I like you already. Copywriting is a great career choice - and all the very best people write for a living. But I would say that, wouldn’t I?

So, don’t just listen to me. Before you bust onto the scene like a pen-toting copywriting machine, take the advice of the people who make up this very blog. Copywriters in various stages of their career, they write for agencies, for themselves, or in-house for a brand - but they all have one thing in common: they worked blinking hard to carve for themselves the life they want. Saw it, wanted it, got it. YES!

You can do it, too. Read on…


Make Some 'Pen' Pals

"Make friends." says freelance copywriter, Elise Dopson. "Whether you're chatting with other copywriters on Twitter, sharing their work or striking up an email conversation about the struggles you're both facing, friends make this job less lonely (which is ironic—we spend most of our time writing for humans on the internet, but still feel lonely in real life). Since making this my top priority since I started freelancing, I feel much less lonelier—and even have a lovely bunch of people who send referrals my way when they're fully booked (and vice versa). The opportunities are endless once you're "in" with people in the industry."

Just 'Go For It'

"So for me, I think the most important thing is to go for it." says André Spiteri of Maverick Words. "Don’t wait for everything to be perfect. It’ll never be. Get a portfolio together and start pitching. The more you work and learn, the more you’ll improve. "


Set Up a Blog

Alex Fassam from The Curly Haired Copywriter is fairly new to the industry, having recently took up a position on the Infinity team.

He says: “I knew I wanted to become a copywriter more than anything but I knew no-one would hire me with little to no experience. The best thing I ever did was set up my blog. It was my way of A) Showing people I could write B) Expanding on ideas I’d learnt about during my studying on copywriting C) Showing prospective employers I could manage a site like WordPress. It worked like a charm and I’ve landed my dream job. I couldn’t be happier!"


Use Social Media to Your Advantage

"Invest time in social media - it's an important part of your marketing, so don't feel guilty about spending (quality) time online. Don't be bamboozled by the jargon, it can make writing seem more complicated than it is. Befriend other copywriters - they're a lovely supportive bunch! And finally, but importantly, know what you're worth and don't undersell yourself." - those are the wise words of Megan Rose, who runs her own freelance copywriting business over here.

Hone Your Craft

“I’ve only just got my first job as a copywriter, so I’m still pretty inexperienced myself.” says Simeon - junior copywriter at Pink Squid. “But one important thing I’ve learnt already is to work on mastering different tones of voice, instead of simply relying on the one that feels most natural to you. It seems obvious, but it’ll give any new copywriter a huge advantage if they start off doing that. “


Put a Portfolio Together

"I’d say there is absolutely no substitute for having a portfolio of relevant work." says Paul French, a copywriter who works at legal firm, Eversheds Sutherland.

"You need to try and work out what sort of copywriter you want to be - creative/long form/jack of all trades and also if there is an industry you want to specialise in. Then either find relevant work experience or work for reduced rates to get some work behind you, which you can use to leverage more work (freelance) or a job (in/house/agency)"

Don't Work for Nothing. EVER.

Rebecca Pearl Messagelab Communications has some sound advice via a piece featured on the Professional Copywriters' Network website.

She says: "I don’t think you need to work for free while you’re building up your portfolio. I didn’t. Of course you won’t be charging the amounts you will with five years’ experience under your belt, but I don’t see any reason to ever work for free. There are always paid opportunities for talented writers. You just need to find them, which is also good practice."

And here’s a tip of my own…

Never Give Up

When it feels like you’re getting nowhere, just keep going. Believe me when I say persistence (and hard work) is key.

Are you a copywriter? Have a tip or two to share? Ping me a message and I’d be happy to add it here. Let’s make this the biggest and best guide for anyone who wants to get into the wonderful world of copywriting.

Until next time…


The Best Tools for Creating Better Web Content

Have you ever looked at your web content and thought that it could be even better? But you can’t work out how?

Sitting down and looking at your content after reading through it hundreds of times can be a fool’s errand, especially if you wrote it in the first place. It’s easy to start glancing over parts you really should be paying attention to - and before you know it, you’ve made very few amends and the whole afternoon’s gone. We’ve all been there.


Web content is difficult to tackle. The fact that you’ve already got a website packed with up-to-date information and written content is a credit to your planning and motivational skills. Plenty of businesses haven’t looked at theirs since their website was created in 2016. While that might work for them (although spoiler alert - it almost definitely isn’t) you know you need to up your content game.

Luckily for you, there are a few trusty tools you can use to help you create attention-grabbing web content. Grab a notepad, or open up a Word doc, and let’s get started.

Get Some Fresh Ideas!

Thinking of great ideas for web content can be a time-drain if you’re not in the right headspace for it. These apps are perfect for brainstorming when it’s just you, yourself and you at the keyboard.

Ideaflip is an ideas machine that helps you sort out your buzzwords into valuable concepts. Think of it like an interactive doodle pad, where your scribbles can be shared by your whole team.


Get to know Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator. You’re not too good for it. Even the greats use this amazing little tool to fashion blog posts out of thin air. Whether you’re having a low-motivation day or you’re just struggling to see how a topic could be flipped a couple more times, this app is a really handy way to quickly get back on track.

Improve Your Style and Sentence Structure with ProWritingAid

If you’d like a bit more feedback on your writing than what Yoast can give you, ProWritingAid is the perfect app for you.

It takes a good look at your writing and suggests improvements, just like your favourite teacher. Unlike your favourite teacher though, instead of using a red Papermate to correct your work, the ProWritingAid app flags errors and suggests improvements that you can instantly change in your document.

 Sort Your Tabs Out With OneTab

Do you ever feel like you’ve got ten thousand tabs open while you search for relevant content online, and you don’t want to let any of them go? But it’s affecting your computer’s performance? And you’re terrified it’ll crash before you’ve had time to take what you need from each of them?


Get started with OneTab and all that terror and glitchy wonkiness goes away.

This useful little app turns all your open tabs into a list of URLs, so you’ve got a workable list to go through and your computer gets to cool down. Everyone’s a winner.

Have you got some different tools you use everyday to help you create sparkling content? I want to hear about them - why not ping me a message?

Five Reasons Your eShot Isn't Being Opened

Using eShots - to create interest for your products, announce news or even shout about special offers - has become second nature to us in 2018.

Need a boost in sales? Send out an eShot. Want to share some amazing new lines with your best customers? Ping them an email. Got a surprise sale going on because of a larger-than-usual shipment? Get the message out quickly using an email newsletter.


But what happens when your eShot open rate…well…takes a nosedive?

Overcoming eShot Fatigue

It’s time to look at why your emails are starting to be ignored. Take a look at your metrics and have a think through these top five reasons your eshot is being left in the spam folder compost heap.

  1. You’re sending too many emails

 Subscribers want to hear from you, but there’s a limit to their love. If you’re sending out emails more than once a week, you need to think about whether each of these are relevant to all of the addresses you’re sending them to.Consider all the emails you’re sending and who they’re going out to, and answer the following questions:

●     Does every recipient on your list need to get every email?

●     Why are you sending so many emails?

●     Could you say less and save your emails for really important or exciting news?

If you really feel that you need to be sending more than one eShot a week, it’s wise to make sure each of these emails are visibly different from each other and contain totally unique content each time.

A customer can forgive oversharing if it involves useful nuggets each time. What they can’t forgive is being bombarded with the same old stories over and over again.

2. You’re emailing the wrong people

You might have a long list of email subscribers, but how many of them are active? And how many of those email addresses have ever given you any sort of reciprocal attention?

Take a deep breath and count to 10. Yes, you’re going to have to scout through your subscribers to check their validity. It might take some time. Luckily, if you’re using an email service like Mailchimp, in-built stats and other shortcuts can make this a lot easier than trawling your way through a long list of emails manually.


Maybe they’re not interested in what you have to say anymore. Maybe they only signed up for an offer that’s now expired. Maybe, just maybe, they bought something from you in a previous role, but months later they just aren’t a relevant customer anymore and will never buy any of your products again.

Check for the number of eShots they open, and start getting ruthless. It also pays to check the types of emails they’re opening - move onto our next tip to find out why:

3. You’re giving the right content to the wrong people

Eh? What?

Yes. There’s every chance that your email subscribers are perfect for you, but you’re feeding them info they’re just not interested in. But as they say, “one man’s spam is another woman’s ribeye.”

 Take a look at the types of emails your subscribers are actually opening. It will almost definitely vary.

Now it’s time to separate your followers into relevant lists so you can make sure you’re only sending certain types of emails to the customers who could benefit from them. Here are some list ideas to help you shuffle them around:

●     Special Offer Snoopers: Only interested in sales, discount codes and offer

●     Blog Readers: Only opens emails that promise interesting content, or links to blogs

●     Hype-Hunters: Only wants to know about new and upcoming products

●     Forgetful Customers: Usually clicks on emails that remind them to complete purchases.

4. Your emails are boring

Sorry to say it, but you just might not be making an impact.

It could be a case of the subject-line snoozies, or it could be that your customers have become accustomed to opening your emails and immediately regretting it. Either way, they’ve taken to avoiding you at all costs to quell the boredom.


Your company might not easily lend itself to fun, bright and breezy emails, but even the driest of subjects can be interesting to a customer who’s invested in what you do.

Take the time to think about how you could be putting yourself across in more attention-grabbing ways.

5. It isn’t clear what you’re selling

If you’ve sent a few emails out recently that have fallen flat, take another look at the content.

 How many times do you actively tell your readers to ‘click here’ or ‘do this’ or ‘go there?

People who are quickly scanning an email need a prompt to hook them in. Being able to passively read through an email to get everything they need might be convenient for your customers, but it isn’t doing you any favours.

Drag them through to your website at all costs, where they can easily find products to buy, more information to read and even more ways to be reeled in by your marketing.

 Putting it All to Work

After you’ve worked out what your customers are avoiding and you’ve learned how to get around it, it’s time to get working on improving your emails.

Figuring out what will catch their attention is one thing, but making sure you continue to offer them frequent mailings that keep them hooked and ready to buy from you is another kettle of fish.

●    Check your statistics regularly to make sure you’re getting the opens you need and work with the information you find out to guide your content moving forward

●    Don’t send out emails you wouldn’t read yourself. Stick to one or two important points and keep it snappy.

Still struggling? I’m an email marketing expert with more than 10 years’ experience under my belt. Give me a call or drop me an email today and how we can collaborate to get your emails working hard for you.



What Your About Page Says About You

Does your website's 'About' page says exactly what you’ve asked it to say? Usually, about pages are fairly simple. Maybe yours has a couple of paragraphs about your brand's views, morals and expertise. You might also have added an FAQ, or even some Meet The Team snippets. At the very least, your page should have a basic description of your business - basically, who you are, what you do and why you do it.

Some businesses don’t bother to do much more than that. I’m here to tell you that they’re missing out. You most definitely should put in a little more effort into this often-overlooked page.

Your About Page Offers Insight About Who - and What - Your Business Is

How does a customer decide how to choose your business for the products or services they’re looking for?

Millions of hours of research has been done on this exact subject, concerning every level of the sales funnel. What remains true for every customer no matter their stage, is that they want to know more about you before they trust you with their money.


In an age of high competition and easy research, the way your portray your brand can make or break your conversions. If you’re selling a similar product to your competitors at the same reasonable shipping cost and with similar additional extras - for example, customer service, warranties and guarantees - your about page can be how you set yourself apart.

How to Use Your About Page Effectively

It might just be a page on your website, but there are many ways you can utilise the space within it to communicate directly with your customers. Your about page should be considered an important part of the inbound marketing journey, and on top of that, it should represent exactly what your brand priorities are.


Think outside of the box. Instead of writing out a few paragraphs lifted from your employee and brand handbooks, try to match the personality you want your brand to have with the way you share that information.

Some ideas for you:

●     Design up an interactive timeline of your business’ history

●     Add videos and team interviews for more unique insights

●     Tell your story creatively.

How Your About Page Can Inform Your Brand’s Tone of Voice

Tone of voice is a vital part of your brand. It might not be something you’ve considered on its own, but if you choose certain words or phrases to describe what you do in any of your literature on in your web content, that’s your tone of voice shining through.

Basically, the words you choose help to build up a picture of who you are. If you use the words 'professional' and 'experience; in the same paragraph, you begin to build up a picture of your business as an outfit people can trust, Using words like 'care' and 'your needs' gives off a different impression; one that shows your business aims to look after and support your customers or clients.

Using these brand-aware words and phrases in your about page will help to build your image psychologically.

Take a look at these successful brands' about pages and you’ll see what I mean.

Jewson: Leading providers, friendly customer service.

Pampers: Care, protection, love.

Edinburgh Zoo: Connection, conservation, experience, research.

Fancy Some Homework?

After taking a look at those three examples and comparing them, how would you improve them? Using that same constructive criticism, take another look at your own about page. Does it need an update?

Finding the Time to Update Your About Page

Of course, updating and refreshing your web content can be another important task in a long list of jobs you have to tackle this quarter.


Why not outsource to a professional copywriter and web content creator? I have experience with working with businesses of all shapes and sizes and in a huge range of industries. Get in touch to find out how I can help you.




10 Tasks You Can Do Now to Improve Your Website’s SEO

Googling your business name again? Don’t worry, we all do it. There’s something strangely addictive about checking your Google ranking, after all. We hope for the best but even if it’s not as good as we'd imagine, there’s still some grim satisfaction to be gained, because we know that with a little elbow grease, we’ll start to see our site rise up the ranks.

The hard part is knowing exactly which tasks will help you improve your website’s position. There are plenty of background tweaks and content checks you could work on, but without a solid idea of what you need, you may be concentrating valuable resources on areas of your website that won’t actually make that much of a difference to your Google ranking.

That’s why I’ve put together 10 tasks you can get on with straight away to improve your website’s SEO, with no gimmicks or shortcuts included. Read on...

1.Fill in adequate meta descriptions

We all know how important meta descriptions are, but when it comes to filling in all those metadata forms in the back-end, it takes a very disciplined person to complete them perfectly every single time.

If you have a lot of products on your site, or a lot of separate pages, you might need to put together a task team to get this done in a timely manner. It’ll all be worth it when you see your domain authority creeping up.


2. Buff-up your security

Google loves safety. So much so that sites with good security measures in place for their visitors get brownie points when it comes to Google rankings.

The first thing to check if your rankings have suddenly slumped is your security certificate. It’s easy to forget to renew it but it can have big implications for your website’s reputation online. Incorporates a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a huge step towards completely securing your site against security breaches. Ask your IT team to create a security plan and implement their suggestions as quickly as possible.

3. Include more pictures - and optimise them!

People find information much easier to digest when pictures are used to break it up. Google recognises this and naturally favours sites with useful, relevant imagery with all the correct metadata filled in.

Good, original photography of your company and the work or products you create is the best possible source for these images. If you’re not in a position to take new photos currently, try looking at free-to-use stock imagery websites like Pixabay for some temporary placeholders. However, be warned: irrelevant, cheesy stock imagery is not a good look for any business.

seo 3.jpg

4. Put a blogging schedule together - and use it

Regularly updated, useful content is always favoured by your customers and that means Google loves it too. Blogging is still the number one way to keep that content lemony fresh, and the beauty of a blog post is, it can be about anything. So, if you’re looking to tell people about a new service you offer, do it here. If you’ve just taken on new team members, a blog post is a great way to shout about it.

Word of caution though - always make sure you slip in one outward-bound link and two inward-bound links in each post. It really helps with your credibility.

5. Be mobile-efficient

Is your website mobile-friendly? Is it actually mobile-friendly?

Here’s how to test it. Send the homepage url to everyone in your office and ask them to open it on their phones. By the natural order of things, there will be a range of different models and ages of smartphones in use throughout your team, giving you an accurate representation of what your website looks like to almost any phone user.

Now the hard part: which bits of your site look weird? Which don’t function? Note it all down in an audit document and send it through to your developers so they can fix what’s broken and send your ranking back up the charts.

6. Make it snappy

If visitors to your website are having to wait for ages for your pages to load, they aren’t going to stick around. Google penalises websites with long loading times because it makes them look bad for recommending them - so make sure your pages load fast!

There are a number of ways you can do this. Look into reducing the size of images on your pages, you could ask your developers to reduce the code size on certain pages, or if you use Wordpress, you could look into plugins that help slim down your load times.

7. Consider your keywords

When was the last time you gave a thought to your company’s researched keywords? If your customers are searching for terms that will lead them directly into your lap, use those keywords liberally, and in useful places.

Headings and subheadings are your best options, but including keywords within block text is another great way to show google that your content is relevant.

seo 2.jpg

8. Make sure it's easy to read

Nobody likes a showoff, especially when it comes to web content. Google loves it when you get straight to the point, and likes it even more when you write in clear, concise sentences.

Instead of writing out a long paragraph about your company on the “about” page, why not chop that content into short, snappy paragraphs with purpose? If you’re writing about a complicated process or service, consider bullet points to help readers take in the information. It really will make a world of difference.

9. Get some authority

If you’re looking to stand out, it might do you some good to align yourself with well-known brands within your field. Some businesses offer guest blog posts to company websites who are more internationally renowned than themselves in order to get some much-needed kudos. Others find it beneficial to link with their local Chambers of Commerce and other local networking groups, with reciprocal hyperlinked badges on their homepages to make sure the world knows they work as a team.

10. Revise/Remake

Scan through your old blog posts from more than 12 months ago. There’s some great stuff on there, isn’t there?

Look, nobody says that your relevant, fresh content has to be totally new every time. Even the best companies revise their content. It’s necessary, especially when you work in a sector or industry where things don’t really get shaken up very often.

You’ll find that some of your best blog posts, or some of the posts that had the most hits, can actually be separated out into two or three different new blog posts. Read through the content and see how you could update it, using new findings, statistics or projects you’ve worked on. Voila - great new posts that your customers will really find useful.

If you would love to give your website the SEO content overhaul it deserves but you just haven't got the resources or time to spend, why not contact me for a chat? Let's talk about how we can work together to get your website climbin' back up those all important search engine ranks.

Until next time...