Little Creek Content

9 Statistics That PROVE It’s Time You Hired A Writer

No marketing strategy is complete without customer engagement.

But while you’re busy managing payroll, providing customer service, and figuring out which product to launch next your content could be suffering.

Now that we’re some three months into 2017, you may have already noticed another thing that needs to be added to your to-do list—content marketing.

No longer an option, creating meaningful, informative content is the best way to market your business.

If you’re still not convinced that this year is the year you should hire a professional writer, here are 9 powerful statistics that might change your mind

1. The Average Blog Post is 19% Longer Than in Previous Years

The average length of articles on page 1 of Google in 2016 was 1,054 words.

In 2017, experts expect that number to increase. In comparison, the number of articles with 500 words or less has sliced in half!

The longer the article, the more time it takes to write. You probably don’t have time to pine over every last word. Conversely, you can’t afford to let your content slide.

Hire a professional writer who knows how to make the most of every last morsel. This new era of digital content marketing demands it.

2. Long-Form Content Secures More Leads

Naturally, long-form content will see more leads in 2017.

According to Curata, it secures up to 9 times more leads! Can you afford to miss out on 9x more leads than you’re getting now? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Long-form written content consists of thoroughly researched, professionally executed content that includes images and videos to drive the point home. In short, it’s the best form of content you can get. It’s no surprise that more people are looking for it.

Once again, a professional writer can spend time nurturing your content, giving it the care and attention it deserves. The result is brand-worthy content that sticks out among your competitors.

3. Storytelling Will Play a Central Role in Content Marketing

Do you know how to tell a good story? No, I don’t mean retelling that experience you had the last year of college, I mean real, compassionate, empathic story telling.

Customers don’t want to be told what you do or why they should choose you, they want to be convinced.

Stories put your brand in the best light possible. And every brand has a story.

Writers who ‘get’ storytelling can build your brand to fairytale heights and encourage your customers to enter your world.

4. Nearly Half of all Buyers Engage With Content BEFORE Making a Purchase

If half of consumers take action, it’s your job to know why.

According to Industry Insights, half of all buyers check out at least one piece of content before they pull out their hard-earned dollars.

Of course, it’s what that content says to them that has them pushing the ‘buy it now’ button. If you don’t have content, or aren’t creating quality content, then you’re missing out. To outpace your competition, you need effective content that influences their purchasing decisions.

Whether it’s blog posts or web copy, publishing content is one of the best ways to secure sales.

A professional writer can ensure the copy you put out has the best ROI possible.

5. 45% of Marketers Note that Blogging is the most important part of their marketing strategy.

Are you in the 45% of marketers who agree blogging is a critical part of marketing? If not, you’re going to fall behind.

Gone are the days when a monthly newspaper ad was all the marketing you needed. We’ve zoomed past that time and launched ourselves into an era where fresh digital content is a requirement.

Blogging is also one of the best ways to stay relevant and keep your website highly ranked. What you say in those blogs is even more important.

Whether you run out of ideas quickly or suffer from a serious case of “I hate writing,” a pro blogger needs to be on your payroll in 2017.

6. 9 out of 10 Buyers claim Content Has a Direct Effect On their Purchasing Decisions

If 9 out of 10 buyers said they bought a product because of a selfie, you should start posting selfies. Thank god we’re not talking about duck face here.

Fortunately, all you need to do is write content that’s persuasive. OKAY, maybe that’s more than you can handle.  However, you can’t glaze over this fact—it’s staring you right in the face like those awful selfies.

Your job as a business owner is to either create convincing content or to hire someone who can. Otherwise you’ll miss out on 90% of buyers who use it to make purchasing decisions.

7.Over 70% of Your Competition is Increasing their Content Output

Do what the competition is doing or get left behind. If 70% of businesses are planning to increase their content output, so should you.

Quality is still important, however, so don’t publish content just to publish it. Instead, be selective. Choose content that’s relevant to your brand and to your customer’s needs.

And, you guessed it, an experienced writer is the route to go. They know what your audience is thirsty for and can build content that quenches that thirst.

8.80% of Decision Makers Prefer Blogs to Ads

More companies are turning to blog post and email drip campaigns to feed their customers. Decision makers don’t have the time or desire to look at ads.

This means it’s time to take a new look at advertising. Blogs can be perfectly good sources of advertising if you know how to craft them. Information must be relevant and educational, but a Call To Action (CTA) can be worked in.

Smart businesses know they need a pro to handle their blog content if they want real results.

9.91% of the World’s Top Business Bloggers Publish Weekly

Curata published this statistic with the follow up that only 70% of all other bloggers post with the same frequency.

What’s that mean for you? It means it’s time to create more content.

Again, I go back to the quality of these posts. Rest assured, the best business bloggers aren’t churning out useless posts for the heck of it. They strategically define the needs of their audience and concoct content accordingly.

Without the help of an experienced writer, you may not be able to keep up.

Tying It Together…

Investment in content marketing is the focal point of digital branding. Buyers and marketing leaders agree—now is not the time to back down from your content marketing. No matter what your budget is, a portion should go to copy creation.

As a professional writer, I’ve seen businesses, both small and large, struggle to keep up because they refuse to invest the proper amount in their content. Don’t be that person.

The value of your content goes beyond the short-term.

Whether you need email content, social media posts, blogs or white papers—I can help. Get the answers to all your pressing content questions with a free consultation with yours truly.

What Are Meta Tag Descriptions & Why Does Your Website Need Them?

If you have ever used Google, you have read a Meta Tag Description.

These tiny ‘snippets’ of information are condensed stories that tell what your website page or blog post is about. They may be generated automatically by Google’s crawlers, or can be written manually by web owners.

But there is more to the story than meets the eye.

These snippets hold the key to increasing your Click-Through-Rate (CTR), so it’s your job to create killer descriptions.

Here’s what you need to know before you begin writing meta tag descriptions for your website, and how your small business website can benefit from them.

What is a Meta Tag Description?

Meta Descriptions are HTML lingo that deliver precise descriptions of the content on any and all web pages. Most often used for search engine result pages (SERPs), they deliver a simple preview or snippet of the page they are attached to.

Meta Descriptions

Here, we see an example of a meta description for a search result about how to bake a potato. See how the description perfectly matches both the keywords used and the content on the page? That’s what Google likes to see, and what you need to emulate.

In HTML terms, meta tag descriptions are short paragraphs placed in the HTML code of a webpage to describe content to search engines.

Meta Tag Descriptions can also show up when folks share your articles on their websites and social media channels.

No matter if you have a WordPress website or a SquareSpace site, you need killer meta descriptions for every page on your website. You have complete control over what goes into those snippets of information, so leaving them to chance is the equivalent to shooting your foot.

A). Not something you want to do, and B). Easily avoidable.

What Your Meta Description Looks Like in HTML

Adding a meta description to the <head> section of your website’s HTML is what you want to do. In the most basic terms, it should go something like this:

<head>

<meta name=”description” content=”killer web page description>

</head>

Easy enough, right?

It can be even easier if you use plug-ins like Yoast. In most WordPress themes you have the option to preview an example of your meta description in terms of SERPs, but Yoast can provide an easier format to do it in.

Meta Descriptions vs. Meta Titles

Since we’ve already covered what a meta description is, let’s dive into what meta titles are and how they’re different from meta descriptions.

A meta tag, or title tag, is an HTML feature that tells search engines what the title of your web page is.

Title Tags also show up in SERPs along with your meta description. They are critical for usability, SEO, and of course social shares.

Each title tag should be a concise description of what’s on your web page. Not quite as long as your meta description, but equally important, your meta title will have a direct impact on your CTR.

From the example above, these are what a title tag are:

Meta Tag Titles

Preview your own title tag with this nifty SERP Preview Tool.

How to Write Killer Meta Descriptions & Title Tags

Now that you know what they are, the next step is to figure out how to write them.

These tiny snippets of information dictate who clicks on your links, and who doesn’t. What you say here can either motivate or bore.

To get noticed in all the right ways, here’s what you need to know about writing meta descriptions and title tags.

Four Things Every Meta Description & Title  Should Include

Guidelines for writing meta descriptions are pretty straightforward. But ALL meta descriptions & Titles need these four things:

  • Action Orientated Words
  • Focused Keywords
  • Matching Content
  • Limited Character Count (No more than 155 characters!)

Action words and keywords are the lifeblood of your meta descriptions. While Google doesn’t factor in keywords for ranking your page (at one time marketers would stuff their descriptions with irrelevant keywords and Google quickly put a stop to it), it does help your audience understand what your page is about.

Use action words like:

  • “Find”
  • “Discover”
  • “Buy”
  • “Click here”

Encourage people to take action by clicking on your page link in SERPs. Of course, they have to be relevant to what your page is about.

In the example above, the first words are the verbs “bake” and “rub.” They’re action words, and also helpful to the person searching for information. That’s precisely what you want to do with your descriptions.

Also, be aware of your character count, otherwise you could end up having your content prematurely cut off.

For more information about how to write meta descriptions, Yoast has a beautiful article that outlines precisely what to include.

Why Should You Care About Meta Descriptions?

Your meta description have a direct influence on whether or not searchers click through toy our content. Descriptive, attractive, and motivational descriptions get higher click through rates. Coupled with on-point relevancy, your meta descriptions can lead the charge for quality traffic

Extra Resources to Make Sure Your Meta Descriptions Kill it On Search Engines

If you still aren’t sure where to start with your meta descriptions or title tags, I can help.

As a freelance writer in Austin, Texas, I’ve helped countless folks churn out relevant meta descriptions that improve click-through-rates. Click here to get a FREE review of your meta descriptions and a chat session with yours truly!

How to Write an Amazing About Us Page

What page did you click on when you came to my site?

If you could respond, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d say that you visited my “About” page after landing on my site.

Your audience does the same thing on your website.

Right after your home page, your about us page is the most visited page on your website. To make the most of your traffic, you have to write a page that cuts to the core.

Here’s a few simple tips to help you write a killer page for your business.

Focus on Your Audience

The number one reason that people come to your about page is to figure out how you can benefit their business or improve their life.

Sorry, no one wants to read your list of degrees, how you were teacher’s pet all through college and graduated with honors. They want to know if what you do, sell, or offer is beneficial to them.

The one exception to this rule is if your achievements directly relate to your business. If you’re a former Navy Seal who sells survival gear, for example, then tell people about your experience. But if you’re selling art work, that experience doesn’t apply.

Find the Right “Voice”

Do you sell baby gear? Then the last thing I want to read is a formal “About Us” page. I want to know that you started this business because you couldn’t find a soft enough swaddle blanket for your newborn baby girl. That you wanted something healthy and safe to rock her to sleep every night, so you started your business.

Conversely, if you are the founder of a real estate firm, you should write your page in the tone your audience expects. Professional third-person would be the correct ‘tone’.

Ask yourself what you want your audience to ‘feel’ when they read your about us page. Then use that as your inspiration.

Tell Your Story

I don’t need your life story. I need the story of your business.

Tell me how you got here, what inspired you to open your business, or how your team came up with the idea for your product.

A few ways to organize your story include:

  • Start with your idea—write down how you came up with it.
  • Mark the start date—tell me how excited you were when you opened shop.
  • Identify key turning points for your business or life.

Use Images or Video

Visual storytelling is all the rage right now. Use it to your advantage.

Showcase pictures of your team, or better yet, add pictures describing each step along your journey. If you work alone and offer a service, share pictures of yourself in a professional setting.

Another way you can WOW people with your page is with a video. Put up a short introduction into your business or show your product in action. Watch your analytics and bounce rates to determine if these adjustments to your page are hitting the target.

Make it Scannable

Images and video help break up your content, but you definitely want to steer clear of blocks of text. Short sentences and even shorter paragraphs work splendidly.

Bullet points listing your benefits are also a good idea. Check out how I use them on my own about page.

You can easily see what I do and how I can help you thanks to the nifty bullet points I’ve added.

What to Keep In Mind

Above all, your about us page should be compelling and tell people who you are and what you do. It doesn’t have to be an essay, but it should be thorough.

If you need help writing your about us page, contact me. I have a thing for writing about us pages, and I can make your brand outshine the competition.

5 Powerful Tips to Write Killer Product Descriptions!

Every product needs a description, but writing descriptions that inspire action isn’t easy.

E-commerce sites thrive on powerful product descriptions. They are literally the bread and butter for anyone who sells online.

While you may not be a qualified copywriter, that doesn’t mean your Etsy description needs to be bland and uninspiring. A few well-written words can take shoppers from nah to yah! You just need to know how to do it…

#1. Hone in On Your Target Buyer

When you created your product, who did you create it for? Are you selling purple shoes with lime green shoelaces? Customized quilted purses? High-end tech gadgets?

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling helium to a balloon, you have to have that buyer firmly fixed in your mind when you write your description.

Imagine your target buyer’s likes, dislikes, where they go on the weekend, what their favorite color is, and what they’ll use your product for. Create an entire personality around this image in your mind and let it guide you when you begin writing your description.

Struggling with the details? Do some social media research by tweeting about certain products and get demographics based on the people who respond. A little feedback goes a long way.

#2. Develop a List of Features & Benefits

Before you put finger to keyboard, write out a list of your product’s features and specs. Once you have the technical jargon in front of you, ask yourself if that’s what you’d want to read if you were a buyer.

The answer will be no, I promise.

What you’d want to know are the benefits to buying it.

Sure, it’s amazing that your nifty new watch tracks daylight hours with precision accuracy. What would be even more amazing is if people knew why the hell they’d want it to do that.

You could say something like, “Our 2016 watch helps you maximize your sleeping patterns with a 24/7 daylight tracking functionality. Sleep the way your body intended; with the Sun’s rotation.”

Doesn’t that sound much more interesting?

Don’t get me wrong, listing features and technical information is important—but selling it’s benefits  is what motivates people to take action. Focus on what people will get out of your product, not so much on HOW it provides those benefits.

Sell an experience, not your product.

#3. Get Specific

Writers block happens to the best of us, but it shouldn’t reduce the quality of your description.

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s tempting to use phrases such as, “exceptional quality”, “premium results”, and “incredible materials,” but these words are meaningless to buyers.

Everyone claims their product is “the best,” and everyone is probably wrong.

Your description is less persuasive when you use words that everyone else does. Prevent boredom by getting specific.

Instead of saying your product is ‘high-quality’ tell them why. Describe your product fully and allow that description to naturally leave an impression of superiority.

#4. Use Your Brand’s Voice

What voice do you use in your marketing materials? Are you conversational? Do you focus more on luxury?

Combine the voice you use in your marketing with your description. The tone of voice you use sets the stage for buyers. It lets them know what type of product they are buying and what they can expect. It also helps you engage the right people.

#5. Make it Easy to Read

Scannable content always does better than blocks of text. To make your product descriptions scannable include:

  • Bullet points
  • Enticing Headlines
  • Extra White Space
  • Variable Font Sizes

Package your product descriptions so they are easier to read and scan through. Use emotional words to describe benefits, tastes, and features. Make it enjoyable to read your description.

Pull it All Together

Tickle the senses, persuade your readers, and explore the tiniest of details to conjure up more product sales. The more engaged your web visitors are, the more sales you’ll make.

Still drowning in writer’s block? I can help! As a freelance copywriter in Austin, Texas, I excel at writing product descriptions and I’d love to pump up your product sales. Contact me at 5dollarginger@gmail.com to chat more!

5 Writing Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes (And How You Can Avoid Them)

5 Common Writing Mistakes

Writing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Even as a freelance content writer in the game for five plus years, I still have my off days.

While you certainly can’t always be perfect in your writing, the key to churning out professional copy is self-awareness. Recognizing when and where you’re making mistakes is the first step towards drool-worthy content.

Below, I’ve outlined a few of the most common mistakes that even professional writers make, and a few ways you can avoid repeating them.

#1. Failing to Edit Your Work

Before you say “duh, editing is writing rule number 1” ask yourself if what you’re doing is real editing or just proofreading.

An editor will go through your content and pick out grammatical errors, yes, but they will also add and remove information as they see fit. Take a similar approach.

Edit to make a positive change in your writing. Edit to engage and refine what you have to say. This goes way beyond red-marking spelling and grammar errors, and I would argue it’s more important.

#2. Not Researching the Topic

Say you sell jewelry and want to write a post about the most common types available. You might think you have enough knowledge in your noggin to come up with a killer blog without doing any research. And you’d be wrong.

Every single piece of content you create—particularly for your business website—should be well-researched. Information is constantly being updated, and what may be considered up-to-date information today might be irrelevant tomorrow.

Let go of your ego and do some research on the topic you’ve chosen. Pull together quotes from industry leaders and respected brands and include them in your content to build authority.

If you’re trying to boost traffic via SEO, do some research on your topics and titles to make sure they’ll target the right audience.

#3. Writing too Fast

Putting content, blog posts, or articles on your website just to have them there isn’t going to do you any good.

I constantly work with clients who want their content yesterday, simply because they don’t understand the importance of slowing down and creating valuable content for their audience. I don’t blame them. Google will quickly make you yesterday’s news if you fail to regularly post fresh content on your website.

Don’t get caught in the trap of pushing out blogs for the sake of having them. Instead, write slowly and simplify what you want to say. A well-written piece may take time to create, but it will serve your goals better in the long run.

#4. Not Thinking About Your Audience

If I were to ask you who your audience is right now, you’d probably say something like “Moms aged 25-40 looking for xyz” what you’re less likely to say is something like “a woman who works 6 days a week, is raising 2.5 kids, and is passionately into sports.”

My point is, demographics only go so far. As a writer, it’s your job to know exactly who you’re speaking to. What does their life look like right now? Are they struggling to keep food on the table? Do they want a way out of their financial troubles? Do they suffer from a higher than ideal body weight but are hopeful there is a way out?

Each piece of content you write should be targeted to a certain person, not to a generalized group of people. You should know that person like the back of your hand. When they get up, what social media sites they prefer, and what they like to eat are the kind of details you have to have if you want to create an effective content strategy.

#5. Not Creating an Outline for Your Article

This goes back to English class, but the rules remain the same for blog writing.

An outline keeps your thoughts in line as you begin to write, and it makes the process faster. Before your fingers hit the keyboard, you’ll know what you want to say if you have an outline in place.

Conclusion

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your content doesn’t really matter. Not only is Google looking at it, so are your potential customers. Be cognizant of these mistakes and work tirelessly to avoid them in your writing.

As a freelance writer who specializes in web copy, I am constantly working to improve my writing. If you need relief from your company blog or could use some help writing content that sells, then drop me a line. I’ll happily help you create content that improves your website.

 

5 Qualities Your Freelance Writer Should Have

Freelance writers are their own breed of people.

They’ve committed themselves to the art of writing, and most spend years honing their craft into something worthy of your hard-earned cash.

Not everyone can churn out quality copy on a deadline with little more than their imagination propelling them forward, however.

Whether you’re in the market for a new freelance writer in Austin, Texas or are searching the interwebs for someone to help you write your “about” page, who you hire makes a difference.

No two writers are alike. Each has their own style and experience.

Still, writers who kill it for their clients possess the same core qualities. Ask yourself if the writer you are hiring has these 5 qualities before you send them a deposit.

  1. They know how to conduct research like a BOSS

A quick Google search will only get you so far.

Experienced writers have sources and contacts all over the world, and are quick to pull a quote or statement that supports what they’re writing.

Sure, some writers are knowledgeable in certain fields and don’t really need to research their topic.

However, no one can know everything.

The writer you hire should have the skills to research whatever you want written, and do so with expert precision.

  1. Has a good grasp on grammar

I say a good grasp because no one is perfect. Even bestselling authors have editors who undoubtedly spot an error here and there.

Let me be perfectly clear—there is a difference between an error here and there and flat-out awful grammar.

You are paying good money to have a freelance writer take on your project. You should receive high-caliber writing, but on the off-chance a mistake pops up don’t freak out.

The most important aspect of writing is creativity and a unique ability to sew sentences together. Focus on that first.

Read a few samples from your potential writer and determine if they have the grammar skills you require, then let it go unless you want to spend your life searching for the ‘perfect’ writer.

Writing mentor and Fortunate 500 freelance writer, Linda Formichelli, wrote an excellent post about grammar police. Give it a read if you still believe professional writers should be error-free at all times.

  1. Has Communication Skills!

Writers have to communicate clearly and quickly with their clients. Fast email response, open dialogue, and a willingness to listen are a must.

Also, a professional writer should communicate their concerns and ideas for your piece, and you should want them to. Why?

  • Because writers have an outside perspective of the project
  • They have experience you don’t
  • You’re paying them for fresh ideas

If a writer doesn’t ask any questions and simply sends you an invoice for their work, chances are you’re dealing with someone who really doesn’t give a shit about your project.

I know that’s harsh, but I can tell you from experience—a lack of communication equals a crappy outcome for you.

Keep an eye out for new ideas, questions, and comments about the project from your writer. You’ll find that professionals never hold back their opinion, and you’ll be glad they didn’t.

  1. Is Deadline-Conscious

A good writer has several pots on the stove at any given time. They can’t risk running behind on deadlines.

In my work, the deadline is critical. I don’t like to be late on projects and I do what it takes to guarantee a quality piece is delivered on-time and within the budget set.

You’ll find that’s the case with all professional freelance writers. Your deadline is held up to the light like the Holy Grail, shining down on our keyboard. Remember—if they care they make the deadline happen.

  1. Has a professional attitude

No matter who you choose to be your freelance writer, they should have a professional attitude.

Friendly email responses, asking if you’re happy, and a willingness to explain their process are a few things professional writers make happen. Regardless of your project, your writer should have a professional attitude throughout.

While this mostly becomes a concern if something goes awry, take note of how the person speaks to you initially and what their clients have to say about them.

Put simply—work with professionals if you want a professional result.

In Conclusion…

Hiring a professional freelance writer can be challenging. Use the qualities above as a foundation for your search and don’t settle. You work hard for your cash and should only give it away to someone who delivers.

If you like this post, and the other things I have said, then send me a message about your project. I’d love to work for you!

3 Easy Ways to Develop Meaningful Connections with Customers

 

When I was in elementary school, I was left out of the “cool kids” circle and I wanted nothing else but to be accepted by them.

I tried various techniques like chasing away the boys who ultimately wanted to flirt with them, being super nice to the leader of the pack, and eventually just started being nasty to them in hopes they’d fear me enough to include me.

As you can imagine, none of my strategies worked.

Fast forward about 20 years, and I find that those same principles apply in my career.

As a freelance writer in Austin, Texas I’ve experimented with marketing techniques to help my customers feel included.

Some have worked—while others have flat out failed.

I’ve come to realize that the only real way to hook customers, and to get in the circle where the “cool marketers” hang out, is to create meaningful connections.

Even though I’m a copywriter, you can use these same techniques in marketing your business or product.

 

Speak to them like a friend.

 

Who of us hasn’t been bombarded by ‘fake’ salespeople and immediately moved in the opposite direction?

Instead of coming at your customers with facts, figures, and reasons why they should buy your product or service, make them your friend.

Use stories and personal experience to explain why choosing you is more beneficial—even if it isn’t the lowest price.

People appreciate realism, and are more apt to buy from you when they feel a connection.

 

Figure out what they really want.

I already mentioned how all people want to be included, but how each of us goes about achieving that goal differs.

For example, one guy might become a comedian and get people to like him because he makes them laugh.

Another woman might go overboard with kindness in hopes of winning favor.

It’s your job as a marketer or business owner to determine what it is that makes your customers tick.

What is it they really want out of life? Is it success? A better financial standing? To look and feel younger?

Once you decipher what it is they want, you can create a deep connection that sucks them in from the start.

 

Give them something they want to identify with.

When I was a kid, my mother did this awful thing where she made frosted oatmeal cookies our dessert.

Don’t ask me why she did it, all I can say is I certainly didn’t want the damn things.

Similarly, don’t shove unwanted products or services down your customers’ throat. Give them something they want to identify with, something that resonates with who they are.

You are no doubt proud of your products or service, but that doesn’t mean your customers automatically will be.

Make what you are offering so tantalizing they can’t help but buy it. They’ll start to identify with your brand out of habit, and might even spread the word for you.

Show your customers that you hear them, recognize what they want, and be willing to give it to them. If you do, you’ll end up with satisfied customers for life.

What’s a Writer Worth? —A Realistic Look at Copywriters

Succinct, original and well-written copy goes a long way towards improving your stance in Google’s search engine results page (SERP). A top ranking page is like the holy grail for small and large businesses alike. That coveted no. 1 spot brings traffic to your website like nothing else can, and gives you greater opportunities to make a sale.

The problem is, you probably don’t have time to put on makeup and wash your face in the morning, let alone sit down and churn out in-your-face content.

So what’s the solution? Many in my area turn to an Austin, Texas freelance writer to help them craft copy with a kick. But what is the real value of shucking out hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to an expert? How can you quantify their value?

The Changing of the Tides

In 2011, Google completely reinvented the world of copywriting. Writers and web owners had to rethink the way they crafted content as Google announced a software program called “Panda” that would penalize sites that had ‘thin’ content.

Flash forward 5 years, and we’ve gone through nearly 30 Panda updates, all of which have had a dramatic impact on how writers write and web owners view content.

Gone are the days of stuffing keywords into a blog post and getting somewhere on the first page of Google. Today, smart writers know there is much more involved in getting ranked than simply posting an article here and there.

That’s where you can start quantifying value, it starts with the knowledge that Panda exists and how to write copy that isn’t in conflict with these changes.

Your Customers Prefer It!

Nearly 70 percent of consumers report that customized content is vital for their purchasing decisions. Infographics and blog posts represent the vast majority of this customized content, and can only be effectively executed by a professional copywriter.

Over 80 percent of customers feel more positive about a brand after reading customized content as well.

Companies agree about the importance of well-written content, and with good reason. Enterprises that post a blog on their site at least 15 times a month get over five times the traffic than businesses that don’t.

Affordability

While copywriting rates vary, and are based on factors such as experience, type of content produced, and time spent to craft it, content marketing remains one of the more affordable marketing options.

Data reveals that content marketing costs 60 percent less than traditional marketing with three times the leads produced. That’s a convincing number for any business, but start-ups and small businesses reap the greatest rewards.

The Benefits of Hiring a Copywriter

Whether you’re looking for high quality SEO content, blog posts, Press Releases, or even infographics, hiring a copywriter can be the best thing you’ve ever done for your business. Companies that use a qualified and professional freelance writer can expect:

  • Improved Customer Engagement
  • Increased Brand Awareness
  • More Traffic
  • Better Conversion Rates
  • More Free Time!

While quantifying the exact ROI for a writer can be difficult, there is no doubt that hiring a professional to handle your content will bring tangible results.

If you’re in the market for a freelance writer in Austin, Texas, I’d love to hear from you. I work with small businesses and individuals to craft compelling copy that builds a relationship with readers. Contact me to learn more about how I can help you improve your online web presence.

5 Morning Habits of Successful People

Ugh, mornings. Is there anything worse? As you drag yourself out of bed and into your car at the start of each work week, hundreds of thousands of successful people have completed their morning routine and are eagerly anticipating the work day ahead of them.

The secret to their motivation is routine. They happily invest time in themselves each morning to make sure their day goes as planned. If you want to change your Monday-Friday morning blues, check some of the most common morning habits of successful people.

  1. Wake up early

Most ‘successful’ individuals wake up from 5am to no later than 7am. This gives them time to absorb the morning and get their mind straight before they begin their day. Getting things done requires getting up early enough to do so.

Don’t cut your sleep cycle short, however.  Your brain needs enough sleep to rid the neuro toxins that build up during the day. Instead, go to bed earlier, and wake up as early as possible the following morning.

  1. They go for a walk

Spend some time alone first thing in the morning. Go for a walk in your neighborhood, or take your dog for a walk. When our minds aren’t fixated on a certain thought process, the brain moves into neuroplasticity. Spending time alone helps clear the mind and primes you for the day ahead.

  1. They eat a healthy breakfast

Nearly 10% of the population skips breakfast. Not successful people, however. They realize that a nutritious meal is important to fuel their motivation and creativity throughout the day. Eating a carefully selected breakfast and taking the time to consume it leads to a calmer state of mind.

  1. They break a sweat

What do Barack Obama, Bill Gates and Mark Cuban have in common? They each take their workout routine seriously. Every morning, successful people hit the gym or the pavement to get their blood pumping and flood their brains with endorphins. This stimulates creativity and some even say it doubles their efficiency. They choose the morning to work out because it diminishes the stress of their day and prevents them from fighting other people at the gym in the evening.

  1. They control their experience

Rather than being a victim of what happens throughout the day, successful people control what they hear and absorb first thing in the morning. Instead of jumping straight to replying to emails, they take time to organize what’s there and respond to the most urgent messages first. Unimportant emails are pushed to the back burner so more important tasks can be taken care of.

If you want to be successful, start adopting some of these morning habits. Remember, even small changes can make a huge difference in the quality of your business and life. With a few changes here and there, you can be well on your way to being the next Richard Branson. I believe in you!

As an Austin, Texas freelance writer, I would love to help you improve your content as well as your morning habits. Shoot me a message if you’d like to have a committed writer on your team

Horrible Headlines—How to Avoid Them in Your Copy

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Do you toss and turn at night, worrying that your copywriting and headlines fall flat with readers?

As a freelance writer, I’m fully aware of how important words are to generating interest—especially on a local level. In Austin, Texas, words like ‘y’all’ and ‘tacos’ create engagement like nothing else, but that’s not the case on a national level.

My point is, our audience often determines the words we use. In the online world, horrible headlines can push your website into the dark corners of the internet.

You don’t want that, and neither do I. Let’s take a gander at a few ways you can improve your headlines for the better

1. Do as the Experts Do

There is nothing wrong with taking a little inspiration from the top websites.

Browse through sites like Forbes, Copyblogger, or The Huffington Post and see which of their headlines get the most social shares and comments.

Engagement is good sign of well-written headlines, and reading through popular sites can stir your creative juices.

2. Verify Your Ideas

The internet is packed with free tools to improve your copywriting.

Once you’ve come up with one or two great headline ideas, verify them with tools like the Advanced Marketing Institute’s Emotional Value Headline Analyzer which gauges the emotional intelligence of your title.

Don’t leave your headlines to chance. Verify them to guarantee they will make a big splash with your readers.

3. Eliminate Annoying Words

That’s totally ‘fetch’! I tote’s agree with you.

If you’re like me, these words will sound like nails on a chalk board.

Eliminate words that your audience will find equally as annoying, such as ‘hustle’, ‘best’, and ‘upworthy’.

Get to know your audience’s likes and dislikes, and follow through with compelling headlines.

Interestingly, most audience’s respond better to negative words like ‘worst’, ‘awful’, and yes, even ‘horrible’.

Find words that create an emotional response, and remember that most people believe negative news over good news because we’re hard-wired to avoid pain. Opt for negative superlatives in your title for the best response.

4. Keep it Short

Long headlines cause disinterest. Get to the point without giving away the point of your post. After all, if you answer the question or spill the beans in the headline, why would people want to read your blog?

For length, a good rule of thumb is between 5-8 words, with 5 being the ideal number.

Of course, you don’t want to cut things short to fit this rule. Instead, focus on succinct and comprehensive headlines. This might be difficult at first, but with time it becomes increasingly easier.

5. Use More Power Words

Give your headline personal charm with powerful words that evoke emotion. Words like ‘scare’, ‘fear’, ‘love’, and ‘perfect’ work well under this rule.

If you’re using them in conjunction with a list style blog title, such as 10 Things You Need for Your Summer Trip, then all the better.

People use the internet to answer questions and find valuable information. They base what they read off your headline. Copywriting is important for the body of your article, but possibly even more so for the headline. Break out your dictionary and thesaurus, and start implementing more power words into your copy.

Conclusion

As a freelance writer I see a lot of headlines that are, quite honestly, garbage. They fall flat when stacked against the competition.

Using these rules and tools, however, can have a powerful effect on your blog and give you the added “oomph” you need to stand out.

If you’re looking for a freelance writer in Austin, Texas to help with your blog or copywriting, feel free to reach out. I’d love to help turn your headlines into emotion packed, engagement-churning titles that get people to click.

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