Copyblogger FM | Content Marketing, Copywriting, Freelance Writing, and..
Copyblogger FM is ideal if one is looking to improve their public relations writing. The weekly episodes feature trends and offer advice on topics such as content marketing, simple storytelling and SEO.
There’s a huge volume of content marketing advice out there — but most of it only applies to certain sites. Pamela Wilson joins us to talk about “content lifecyles” of websites, and how to know precisely what to focus on for your site, depending on where you are today.
Rainmaker.FM is Brought to You By
Discover why more than 80,000 companies in 135 countries choose WP Engine for managed WordPress hosting.
Too many businesses think of blog posts and podcasts as a “fluffy” nice-to-have. But content marketing can drive real business results — and if you’re going to put the work in, there’s no reason to settle for fluff.
In this 16-minute episode, I talk about:
Why the creative (some say “soft”) side of writing is critical to business results
How to break through content clutter and sustain an audience’s attention
3 important KPIs (key performance indicators) you can drive with the right content
Ways to measure your content’s effectiveness (“it seems awesome” is not a business metric)
The powerful role content can play in the sales process
Amber Naslund is a writer, speaker, veteran content and social media strategist, and co-author of the best-selling The Now Revolution. She’s also the new senior content marketing evangelist at LinkedIn.
Once known mainly as “the site where you look for a job,” LinkedIn has evolved to become a sophisticated platform for business-oriented content.
In this 22-minute episode, Amber and I talk about:
What content professionals should start doing today
Content formats that are working particularly well on LinkedIn
A few common blunders that can tarnish your reputation
Why Amber no longer follows the old LinkedIn advice to “only
connect with people you know personally”
Amber’s advice on creating content that’s meaningful, not “fluffy”
Persuasive copywriting is a big part of what Copyblogger is all about.
In this episode, I pull a few posts out of our archive, to focus on some of the most important elements of good copywriting. I’ll also give you a quick tip from each one right in the podcast … but to get the most out of this, you’ll want to read through the posts as well.
In this 18-minute episode, I talk about:
When to bring in a professional writer
Where to find a highly qualified writer if you’re looking for one
Why headlines matter so much — and how to get a lot better at them
How to keep attention in the few seconds after the click
Writing numbered list posts that won’t make you barf
The roles of emotion and logic in decision making (and persuasion)
The quickest way to make persuasive copy work better
Sonia Simone: So glad to see you again, and welcome back to CopybloggerFM, the content marketing podcast.
CopybloggerFM is about emerging content marketing trends, interesting disasters, and enduring best practices, along with the occasional rant. My name is Sonia Simone, I’m the chief content officer for Rainmaker Digital, and I hang out with the folks doing the real work over on the Copyblogger blog.
Note: See the show notes for all the links!
When to hire a writer
5 Situations that Demand You Hire a Professional Copywriter
I wrote this post for two reasons — one, if you’re, let’s say, a business owner who’s good at writing, to let you know when you should bring in a pro. And two, if you are a pro, this is a piece you can send to clients or potential clients to let them know just why it is you charge money for what you do.
If you do need a pro, you may or may not know that Copyblogger actually has a certification program for content marketers. Their work is reviewed in-depth
So, if you are a writer or if you want to be a better writer, particularly for web copy, today I’m going to cover five points of focus for you.
#1: Get great at headlines
Copyblogger as a blog was known for headline advice from the very, very early days, for one reason: If the headline is weak, your content won’t get shared which means it won’t get consumed which means it won’t help you accomplish your goals.
When Brian started writing about that on Copyblogger, the environment was different. We didn’t have Buzzfeed, and overall we didn’t have the level of sophistication about the importance of headlines.
It’s so much more important now. You’re competing with a lot of people who are pros at headlines, and you have to be able to compete on that playing field.
We have a free ebook for you in the member library, go to MENU > FREE! MY COPYBLOGGER on the site.
It’s free, you should go get it, and you should spend the time between now and the next podcast practicing headlines. Even if you’re already great.
I’ll give you two to get started but don’t shortchange yourself, go grab the ebook.
Make your headlines clear. Cleverness, puns, and confusion won’t get clicks.
Make sure the person can see a benefit of clicking. Sometimes it’s dumb, like “Which of the 7 Dwarfs are you,” and sometimes it’s smart, like 10 Ways to Build Authority as an Online Writer. But let people know that the content on the other side of the click will be worth their time and attention.
Bonus third point: Actually make the content worth their time and attention. Don’t put great headlines on crummy content that fails to deliver on the promise.
#2: Start strong
This has always been important advice, but it’s extra important now because people’s attention spans are so fragile and finite today.
Brian Clark has a dandy classic Copyblogger post with five strong, proven ways to get the party started quickly. You’ll be able to use them again and again, and you’ll start seeing them in the content that captures your attention.
My #1 tip on this is, on the Copyblogger blog, we use a More tag. That means you get a teaser, then you click the “More” link to read the full post.
Whether or not you use this on your own site — put an imaginary “More” tag on your content after the first few lines. Be honest with yourself — would you click? What could you do to create a stronger desire there?
#3: Don’t fear the numbers
A lot of good writers shy away from the proven techniques like the numbered list post, which is now called by the most horrible noun ever coined, the Listicle.
Please can we stop using that word ever. It’s writer abuse.
But, numbered list posts can be some of your strongest work, and they still do get more shares and reads. I wrote a post on this, but I’ll give you just one tip from that post:
Don’t start with an arbitrary number and then find points to fill in. Instead, write out what’s important to know about the topic, then assign the number.
If it turns out to be a weird number, like 17 or 6, that can be great. Excellent professional copywriters know that weird numbers often work better to capture attention. “10” is boring. “13” is interesting. “25” is boring. “27” is interesting. It feels less padded, less arbitrary.
Also, make your last number a call to action that moves to whatever your goal is for the post.
#4: Emotion, then logic
Good persuasion always combines emotion and logic. You need to get into the emotional benefits of doing what you’re trying to persuade them to do, then justify it with logic.
This is old-timey copywriter stuff, again. The interesting thing is, it’s very much validated by neuroscience. We actually, physiologically do make decisions first with what we think of as “emotions.” But if we can’t give ourselves logical reasons — justifications — to move forward, there’s a real possibility we’ll balk, because that creates fear and uncertainty.
Again, I’ve got two posts for you with some more details.
#5: Call to Action
This one is a favorite of mine because it’s so fast to fix, and it can make such a difference.
If you want your audience to do something, tell them exactly what to do. Clearly, simply, and succinctly.
Again, sometimes good writers will shy away from this because it “sounds like an infomercial.” It sounds commercial because when you’re paying millions of dollars for infomercial spot, you have to make sales.
You don’t have to be cheesy, but you do need to be direct. Don’t hint around and let them connect that last dot. Ask for what you want.
And yes, we have a post for that! It’s called How to Be a Copywriting Genius: The Brilliantly Sneaky Tip You Must Learn.
And on that note, it’s time for me to make an “Ask” — it really helps the show when you give it a review or a star rating on iTunes, so if you’re an iTunes listener and you feel moved to show us some love there, that really helps us. And a big thank you to everyone who has already left us reviews and ratings, it’s so appreciated.
Today I wanted to talk about some distinctions that have been on my mind lately — the differences between crafting content and writing copy for conversion, and how much of ourselves to put into our marketing writing.
In this 15-minute episode, I talk about:
The differences (and similarities) between content and copy
How to write about your own experiences without being self-centered
Why we can’t get away with “feel bad” marketing any more
Getting real about audience problems — without blaming or bullying
I’ve been talking this month about entrepreneurial fear — on the blog, in our private content marketing community, and today on this podcast. Today, I invited Becca Tracey to talk about the fears that hold us back. Becca is a coach who specializes in helping new solopreneurs to clarify their business ideas and move forward.
In this 20-minute episode, Becca and I talk about fears including:
What if it doesn’t work?
What will other people think?
I’m overwhelmed and can’t figure out what to do next
Becca also shared some of her most powerful tips for working through the “stuck spots” caused by fear.
If you’re ready to see for yourself why more than 201,344 website owners trust StudioPress — the industry standard for premium WordPress themes and plugins — swing by StudioPress.com for all the details.
Our editorial team talked about their writing fears this month on the blog
Becca’s program Uncage Your Business is open for enrollment until November 2, 2017 (not an affiliate link)
Lately I’ve been spending more time on LinkedIn @soniasimone — feel free to drop me a question or note there, or right here in the comments