Killer Content: A Web Copywriting Guide for Small Businesses

There’s a big online world out there. Some places are filled with noise and people. Some are empty as an ocean. It’s easy to find yourself stuck out in the middle of nowhere with no one to talk to, simply because you made a few bad choices.

It may sound downbeat to start an article on marketing content like this. But it’s an important thing to get straight from the beginning. Get your marketing strategy wrong and you can spend a lot of time shouting into the darkness.

A lot of businesses (and I mean A LOT) throw content on their site and then sit twiddling their thumbs waiting for someone to visit. They’re appalled when it doesn’t quite work out.

Killer marketing content is about more than just selecting the right keywords or having an eye-catching heading. It’s about creating marketing content that really engages your audience, fulfils their needs, entertains them and sticks in the memory.

We’re surrounded by so much noise in today’s modern environment that it’s difficult to get noticed. Wander off the point just one iota and you’ll find your audience has lost concentration, gone elsewhere.

How do you stop that happening?

Great content builds a bond with your visitor. It energises them to press the spend button, encourages them to find out more about your product, mention your brand to their friends, share your thoughs on social media and talk about what you do.

In short, great web copywriting is all about delivering the goods time and time again.

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Advice from a Professional Web Copywriter

Anyone can write. The key is creating high quality content that not only figures high in Google rankings (and for other search engines) but also engages your audience and is widely shared.

My top tip: Don’t produce content for the sake of it.

Ask what each piece of work you produce delivers for your audience. Is it relevant? Is it useful? Does it read well? Does it stick? Will it bring THEM back?

Get these things right and you have the solid foundation for some great web copywriting.

Web copywriting is different from other kinds of writing. You are not creating the next bestselling novel. You do not want to include flowery words or abstract arguments, plot twists or explosive endings. You want to keep things simple and focus on your topic.

Yes, you can be controversial, argumentative, different and even a little quirky. But only up to a certain point.

My next top tip: Search Google and read the top-ranking articles, look at how they are structured, the type of language they use and the kind of response they get. More importantly, understand how YOU CAN DO IT BETTER!

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing actually covers a wide range of media. Here, I’m going to be concentrating on written marketing content.

On top of that, however, there’s video content, which is highly effective nowadays, visual infographics, social media posts and a whole host of other assets that you can use to promote your business.

It’s essential to find what works for your business. That can take a lot of work, experimentation and a steep learning curve when you are a small business and you’re trying to do everything yourself. But it’s not impossible.

How Do You Write Great Marketing Content?

Each bit of content you write needs to have a reason to exist. Go beyond simply wanting to target a particular keyword.

  • What do you want your audience to do after they have read the page?
  • Is there important information that they need to know?
  • What’s the best way to get that knowledge across?

If you are tied to a particular industry, it’s a good idea to have resources to hand so that you can keep a track of current updates or new trends. Look online and understand what your audience is searching for and what types of content they are engaging with.

10 Tips for Killer Marketing Content

  1. Never write and publish straight away. Leave an article at least a couple of days and then come back to it with a fresh mind. This way you’ll be able to add new, relevant information, edit effectively and proofread out any mistakes.
  2. Do your research. Don’t just copy an article from a competitor online and hope for the best. The more information you can put in that is relevant to your audience the better. Always look for your own slant on things.
  3. Less is more. Keep your sentences relatively short and avoid using BIG words unless they are pertinent to your audience and your industry.
  4. Always assume your audience is impatient. Get to the point quickly. If you are writing about the best foods to improve brain power, don’t confuse things with a long introduction. Jump into your list after a few words and get on with it.
  5. Build a content list. The big mistake small businesses make is not having a content production strategy in place. Think ahead and build, for example, your blog list for the next six months.
  6. Focus on the headline. What you want is a catchy headline that grabs the attention of your audience and energises them enough so that they click on the link if they find it on social media or a search engine like Google.
  7. Write your first draft quickly and without stopping to edit. This is the best way to stay focused on the central theme of your article and keeps your train of thought on track. You can always edit at a later date.
  8. Break up paragraphs so that they are relatively small. People will often read content like this on their mobile phones so it needs to be easy to digest. Shorter paragraphs are just easier to read online.
  9. Include images with your written posts. We are essentially visual animals and a whole block of written content can look daunting. This also helps break up the content and makes it look more readable.
  10. Never leave a post or page on your site without going back to it at some point to revise. Information goes out of date and you might find better ways to get your point of view across and want to amend some paragraphs in longstanding posts. Put some time aside to review pages on your site at regular intervals.
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Adding an image or two breaks up your blog posts

Spot Your Over-Use Words

There are certain words I tend to use too much.

‘That’ is one. ‘Often’ is another. Now I think about it, ‘more’ is another one. The list is endless.

Learn to spot these ‘weak words’ and get rid of them or replace with an alternative. It will tighten up your prose and make it flow better.

Should I Hire a Freelance Web Copywriter?

Not all small business owners have the time to spend on producing high quality content. It therefore makes sense to hire a professional copywriter who can do it for you. Fortunately, there are a number of sites online such as People Per Hour and Upwork which allow you to hire copywriting services on demand.

The challenge, however, is finding the right person. Next on The Feckless Goblin, we’ll look at the top tips for hiring freelance web copywriters and whether they are worth the money. Stay tuned!

 

 

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