It takes fewer than 5 seconds for someone to decide whether to stay on your website
What exactly is copywriting?
Copy is just words – used in the right place, in the right order. But these words have to inform, explain or persuade, depending on their purpose
When people say they want a website, my first question is “Why?” You need to know what you want your website to do. There is no point in creating yet another (dull, confused) website gathering dust in cyberspace.
WHY DO I NEED A COPYWRITER?
1. You don’t have an in-house copywriter
2. Your in-house copywriting team are too busy with other work
WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
• Write (SEO-optimised) content for your website
• Rewrite your whole website or just bits of it
• Do a website copy audit and tell you what’s wrong.
• White paper
• Case studies (stories from satisfied customers about what you did for them.)
What can I write about? Do I have a niche?
😎Travel, 🏨hotels, 🥑food and 🥤drink, 🏤property, 🏆education – these are topics close to my heart – but I can write about almost anything. Recently this has been website copy for a tour guide, competitor analysis for a stationery brand and a technical report for HMRC tax relief.
I’m a trained journalist with ten years’ professional writing experience and a former secondary school English teacher, so I’ve spent years honing my skills. No fluff, no nonsense – just simple words that work.
I’ve also run two successful small businesses (and had one failure), so I ‘get’ it. All the challenges, worries, responsibilities that people who have always had secure paid employment don’t understand. I also run a small business now.
Need help with your website SEO?
SEO is sometimes sold as a mysterious dark art but copy comes first. SEO on its own is pointless. It can help, of course, but not at the expense of satisfying your user’s needs.
All copy should be relevant, succinct and compelling ; then solid SEO should follow on from that.
I’m SEO-certified but see SEO with a copywriter’s eye. I won’t promise to get you to number one on Google. It’s not the most important thing on earth, despite what the marketing people (hawking you their SEO services) tell you.
You should consider a regular blog post and postings on selected social media to drive organic visitors to your website. I can help with that too.
Or why not ask me to do a website MOT? I’ll take a look at your website from a copy and UX point of view and suggest ways to improve it.
The biggest website mistake
Over and over again I see websites that are just confusing and overwhelming. WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR ME? That’s what the visitor wants to know.
By all means have other information on different tabs but your home page should communicate what your website is about as clearly as possible. Cut to the chase and focus on that.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF COPY – let me explain
Is much as it sounds – creating or writing content. This is the term used to describe website copy or most digital copy.
Is the copy used to create a buzz around a brand. This raising of positive brand awareness is best done in a way that is useful to your potential customers. You need to provide your targets with meaningful information that will enhance your brand and, importantly, build awareness of your brand.
For example, if you sell organic vegetables, you might want to provide reliable recipes.
You could also do some work with food banks, in line with your customers’ and your brand’s beliefs.
Personal information enhances the human aspect of your brand, so ‘A week in the life of a carrot farmer’ blog post could be a good move.
Is an area of copywriting that involves straplines, clever slogans and lots more. It’s not an area I specialise in. I am happy to edit and proofread advertisement copy, but I’m not normally involved in the initial concept creation.
Fees and terms: and the boring bits
ANYONE CAN WRITE, RIGHT?
Not really. Anyone can type, but that’s different from writing. It can be a false economy to engage someone just because they are cheap, but I’ll leave that to you.
I’m also not the fastest worker; I spend a lot of time thinking about my approach and choice of words, maybe doing some research.
So if you want cheap and super-quick, someone to just churn something out, best give me a miss too.
THE FIRST STEPS
The most important things are:
1. Find the right person for your job (hopefully me)
2. Know what you want
HOW I WORK
If you aren’t too sure what you want, we will need to talk about that in our initial (free) discussion. This aspect is really important to me. I rarely take on work where we haven’t even had a brief chat. The most successful jobs are where the brief is detailed and clear. That’s why I may ask you to fill in a short questionnaire.
“It depends” is not a very helpful response to “How much, roughly?” but it really does. My pricing is transparent and you will always get a written quote before work starts.
I have a minimum charge of £150 per assignment and my day rate is around £350. Work is either calculated at a day rate (seven hours) or a project rate.
Price depends on complexity of the work; two revisions are normally included in the quoted price. VAT will be added to all invoices. Terms are 15 days. New clients are required to provide 50% of the fee upfront. Rushed jobs are normally charged at a premium, which is agreed in advance. I retain copyright until work is paid for in full.
Any other questions? Just ask.
What I can write for you
• Write website copy – digital copy should read naturally but with strong SEO awareness (just stuffing pages with key words is old hat). It should be easy to scan, as most people don't read every word.
• Rewrite website copy so it reads better
• Reinvigorate your website copy – the copy should change and evolve over time, in tune with the business; it’s not a static thing like a building
• Write lively blog posts in the correct tone of voice
• Case studies by interview. This is a popular way to show work you have done for your clients. They tell you what their problem was and how you solved it.
• Write easy-to-understand training manuals
• Write brochure copy
• Write product information or instructions in an informative but interesting way
• Write advertising flyers with compelling calls to action
• Devise a social media strategy and set up relevant channels: blog posts, Twitter account, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook page.