Here at Content Equals Money, we write day in and day out for our living – and we need to ensure that the writing we do has a high level of quality for clients. There are a lot of romantic notions about writing for a living, but the reality of it is that it’s very much like a science. Not to mention, though many harbor fantastic dreams of being a creative writer, most of us need to ply our trade in a more capitalistic market, at least at first. (Even J.K. Rowling wasn’t a success overnight, if the stories are to be believed.)
But don’t let this paint a picture of doom and gloom; those of us who write for a living genuinely love slinging the written word around, and whether I’m writing a chapter in a novel or blogging for business, I like the process of polishing my words to suit my audience. Writing, after all, is a base desire to communicate. And when you overflow with words naturally (it’s not just writing for me – if I ever had a conversation with you face to face I’d probably bowl you over with verbosity), you just want to write.
For those who are looking to make the best out of their affinity for words, copywriting is a great profession. It allows you to interact with clients all around the world and gives you a variety of different topics to write about. For instance, I never thought that I’d delve into the nitty gritties of real estate – but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been an enjoyable journey. (And if I were talking to you in the aforementioned hypothetical conversation, I could probably knock your socks off with my library of knowledge about underwater mortgages.)
Through my tenure in the copywriting business, I’ve managed to accrue quite a few tips and tricks when it comes to polishing a piece to not just fit client specifications, but also knock it out of the park. Without further ado, I present the 7 things that all copywriters need to know when polishing the piece. It’s not just about saying what you have to say – it’s making sure that what you say sounds good!
7 Things: One for Every Day of the Week
Make sure any keywords are used appropriately. Many clients are highly concerned about the use of keywords. Sometimes, copywriters want to appease the client so much that they resort to keyword stuffing. I’ve gone over the evils of keyword stuffing in many previous posts, but when you’re polishing a piece for presentation, make sure to read over your copy and be sure it doesn’t sound like a SEO Thanksgiving turkey. Copy shouldn’t be stuffed. It should sound natural and flow – so much so that the keywords don’t even appear to be there!
Grammar check. Spell check. Really. It’s amazing how many (good!) writers forget the importance of editing. If your product is writing, a misplaced comma or even forgetting an apostrophe can make your professional image crumble. For those who are looking to hire a copywriter, remember that working with writing services close to home is always best.
Headings and Subheads. The use of headings and subheads is vital when creating a strong copywriting piece, particularly if it’s for the internet. Headings and subheads help break up a piece, and they’re also a good place to slide in those ever-important keywords. Headings are also incredibly useful in terms of SEO, so make sure you understand how to use them correctly.
Not just technically unique – conceptually unique. Unique content is important in the eyes of Google – Google can penalize websites that are found to be scraping content or are full of duplicates. But its vital that your content not just be technically unique – that is, it passes Copyscape – but also be conceptually unique. Does your piece actually add to the conversation?
Consider the position of the piece in an overall content marketing scheme. This should also be considered prior to writing the piece, but if you’re a copywriter who’s working to create a content marketing plan for your client, ensure that the piece actually works as part of that plan. Editorial calendars are a great way to ensure that everything stays on track. Just make sure that you do, as well!
Make sure the call to action is clear. This is related to the “technically verses conceptually unique” concern listed above, but if you’re writing a blog there should be an actionable ending to the piece. When the reader is done with the blog, what is the next action that he/she should logically take? Whether you’re pitching a product or simply seeding the reader’s mind with ideas, make sure that the idea is strong!
Does it sound good? Read your copywriting aloud after completing it. This is a great way to ensure that the piece flows naturally and sounds good. You don’t just want to put words on a page. You want to create an experience. In order for that experience to be good and not dissonant, the words need to sound good on the page. Don’t forget – you’re a writer, so write like it!
Copywriting is not the same as creative writing, but there are plenty of creative elements that come into taking a topic and crafting the perfect piece for the client’s needs. We here at Content Equals Money are proud to say that we hit the nail on the head every time – feel free to contact us to learn more about what we do and how we can use our talents to help you better the standing of your business.
(And that, ladies and gentleman, is the perfect call to action, if I say so myself.)
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