Category Archives: Writing Tips

What to Look for in a Really Good Copywriter

copywriterThe hardest thing any business owner can do is to write about him or herself or their business. It just can’t be done—or at least done well. You need that outside eye—preferably a writer with a good marketing background and solid writing reputation—to create copy about you that others will find compelling. If you try to write about yourself, you will get bogged down in too many details, wondering which are the most important. You will also labor for hours on end trying to get the copy “just right.”

What Makes a Really Good Copywriter?

When you’ve decided it is best for both your sanity and your time to hire an outside writer, here’s what you should look for:

Style of copywriting experience

Your copywriter should be up to date on the latest ways to write for the particular medium you’re writing for, be it the web, brochures, a media kit or an author bio, for example. The writing styles for each are entirely different. If the writer doesn’t know the difference, look for one who does.

Great interview skills

Most of the information for the copy will come from you. A great copywriter has the confidence to conduct an interview to gather what they need in the shortest time possible. We know you’re busy and we need to use our skills to ferret out details quickly that make your copy shine. Expect some “off the wall” questions, and roll with them. We’re also looking for insights into your personality so we can inject that into the copy.

Ability to handle details

There are a lot of little details that go into writing good copy. The writer must be an expert at gathering information through research and interviews. They need to know the right questions to ask, and how to get this information quickly and accurately from you and your staff, or their research. You need to trust that the writer has checked credible sources and accurately reported details so that you don’t need to spend your time fact checking. A good copywriter will also be sensitive to proprietary or sensitive information as well as deadlines.

See the Types of Work we do at All the Buzz

Lack of an ego

The writer must understand that the represents you, not them. Seek a writer who doesn’t involve their own ego in the copywriting process. A writer with a big ego about how perfect their work is will make it much more difficult to make edits along the way. Make sure they are easy to get along with and are honest and up front through each stage of the work.

Gumption to take the reins

A great copywriter knows what to do on a project and can take the reins and run with it. A not-so-good copywriter will wait for you to give them all the directions. Be impressed if the copywriter offers new ideas on how to present your copy, and even more ideas on how to market it once it’s done. Be open to their suggestions; they’ve helped make hundreds of clients successful.

Patience and clarity

Expect that the copywriter will need to interview you and perhaps others in your company. Also expect the copy to go back and forth a few times for editing. A professional copywriter will establish a limit on the number of times you can edit the copy and then charge for further edits. Look for a clear presentation of the first-round copy, clearly defined. This will make it easier to modify it or make any changes as needed.

Make sure the writer clearly defines what is missing and understands your changes. Changes during final edits can at times be frustrating, especially if there is a difference of opinion. Both sides should show patience. The outcome—the final product—is the goal, not the personalities involved. However, trust the copywriter to know what they are talking about. They are experts in getting the message across and have experience in what does and does not work. What you personally like may not be the best way to get the message out there to convert readers to customers.

Quality of work

Your written product should be clear, well laid out, well written, and well designed—in each stage of the process. It should be free of grammatical and spelling errors. If the first copy comes in messy and fraught with errors, that is not a good sign for a final product. A good writer makes it easy for you, their client, to give go-ahead approvals at each stage.

Need a Great Copywriter? Contact All the Buzz.

Linda Barrett, the principal at All the Buzz, is a Clio Award-winning writer (that’s like an Academy Award in the advertising business!). We also employ other writers to assist us with projects and social media programs. However, all work comes through the top so you can be assured of the best product every time.

When you need great copywriting for your website, marketing and communications materials, magazines, social media, etc., contact All the Buzz.

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25 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Business Blog

blog post template graphicDo you write a blog for your business and keep posting to it regularly? It’s a great way to talk about your industry, provide information about your business, and to entertain. It’s also a great way to build a following for your business. Yet many business owners ask how to make people aware of their blog and to attract followers.

25 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Business Blog

  1. Tell everyone you have a blog
  2. Post your blog name and link in your email signature
  3. Include your blog link on your business cards, stationery and all forms
  4. Add your blog link to your bio
  5. Post snippets of your blog posts on your social media with links to the blog
  6. Add your blog link to your social media profiles
  7. Be active on your social media accounts and social networking sites like StumbleUpon and Mixx
  8. Continue reading →

Types of Blog Posts

types-of-blog-postsWe all know that we should be blogging in our business. Blog posts not only keep relevant content on our website for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes, they give people a way to learn more about what you do and what you can do for them. There are a number of types of blog posts, as we’ll discuss here.

Types of Blog Posts:

  • Story
    Tell readers a story about your product, your company, a client case study, or an industry happening. People love to read about other people’s experiences.
  • List
    Offer an easy-to-read bulleted list of items that can help someone overcome an obstacle or organize their lives, for example.
  • How To
    Take the reader step by step through a process to an outcome. Highlight how to best use and benefit from one of your products or services.
  • Continue reading →

Why a Well-Done Intake Interview is Vitally Important to Writing Copy

intake-interview-importanceWhen working with a new client, we always perform what we call an “Intake Interview.” This interview is valuable in a number of ways.

Get the Facts

First, it provides us with the facts we need about a company’s products, services, customer service policies, history, background, target customer audience and goals.

Get the Tone

Second, it gives us the opportunity to “hear” the company owner. We listen not just for the facts but for how the owner represents the business. Does he or she speak using technical language? Are the sentences long or short? Is there humor? This helps us to write in “their voice,” not our own, and is especially helpful when writing a speech the interviewee will be delivering. Most of the time our client remarks, “It sounds just like me!”

Get the Customer

Listening also helps us to uncover problems the owner may be having in the business, or issues their customers might be having. These can and should be addressed when creating good copy. Continue reading →

Value is What You Get

Warren_Buffett_quotePrice is what you pay.
Value is what you get.

I love this quote from Warren Buffett because it truly describes what sales and marketing is all about.

If your clients or customers are complaining about the price of the services or goods you are offering, they probably don’t understand the value of what they are buying. And this is where you need to beef up your marketing efforts.

We’ve all heard how we must feature the benefits of an item, not its features when selling. This concept takes that credo to a new level. People will pay — and pay handsomely — for something they value.

Within the past few months I had the opportunity to work with a start-up company in creating its brand and new website. We went round and round with the pricing for copywriting on their new site. If it weren’t for the fact that I was referred to them by someone they respected, I’m not sure they would have hired a copywriter at all. They simply didn’t see the value in good writing or the need to pay for it. But in the end, Continue reading →

Google’s Rules on “Duplicate Content”

Do_Not_DuplicateAny good web designer or web copywriter will tell you that you cannot have duplicate content on your site. They’re right–in most cases.

According to Google, “Duplicate content refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.” This means that when writing good web copy, each page should be original and blocks of copy should not be repeated within your site. Continue reading →

Washington Post Reports Writing Skills Rising on the List of Job Requirements But Failing in Candidates

Washington_Post_logoThe Washington Post published an article on Sunday, August 13, 2017 titled “Writing skills are rising on the list of job requirements–and falling in candidates,” by Jeffrey K. Selingo.

Selingo continues to reports hearing an interviewer from government contracting firm, looking to hire proposal writers for federal agencies, complain about “how difficult it is to find good writers these days.” Continue reading →

Why Keywords Matter for SEO

why_keywords_are_important_for_SEOAlthough the rules of search engine optimization (SEO) change frequently, one thing remains constant: the need for content that is keyword-relevant.

Not 20 years ago, it was easy to get noticed with your own website. But now that there are more than 1 billion websites on the World Wide Web, it is increasingly difficult to grab your audience’s attention and get them to click on your site. Continue reading →

The Difference Between a White Paper and an E-Book

Many business owners are told that they need to create a downloadable document that can help them explain their business, support their findings, provide education, set themselves apart as an expert in their field, or used as a free giveaway to help build a list. This can be a white paper or an e-book.

In speaking with business owners, I find that they are often confused about the differences between a white paper or an e-book and which is the appropriate item to create and offer. Continue reading →

How Can You Charge That? It Only Took You Five Minutes!

Pablo-PicassoPablo Picasso was sitting in a restaurant one day when a woman walked up and asked if he would draw her a sketch. He said OK, and jotted down a quick sketch. When the woman went to take the drawing, Picasso held back and said, “That will be $10,000.”

The woman was outraged. “How can you charge me $10,000 when it only took you five minutes!”

Picasso politely answered, “No ma’am. It took me 50 years.” Continue reading →