My younger cousin was applying for a scholarship recently and asked me to pass my eyes over his application to see if I thought he’d clearly answered the questions, and to make sure he hadn’t sold himself short.
1. The OnTime Group was trying to create a brochure. But it was taking too long (over 4 months), and there didn’t seem to be a set process for completion in place.
2. So far, the content in the early drafts of the brochure seemed inaccurate, or “not quite right” but no one really knew how to fix it and finish the job.The images and layout that the graphic team had created were good, but the messages around the text needed help.
3. Trying to complete the editing in-house was confusing. They’d been going back and forth trying to make adjustments to the wording, but besides basic grammar, no one knew how to fix the other key components of writing: like aligning messages with the target audience’s needs; creating a logical flow and a structure that was simple-to-read.
Tangible Words arrived with a structure to complete the project, giving The OnTime Group a sense of control again.
1. First, an investigative process was needed to understand the work that had been done and the “big picture” concept The OnTime Group wanted. The OnTime Group was immediately happier because Tangible Words’ process had everyone on the same side before we started messing around with text and making edits – the goals and expectations were shared, all input was collected so all key DMs’ (decision makers) opinions were included from the start.
With “big picture” established, Tangible Words managed the rest of the details: what words would create the big picture message?
2. The confusing elements (like different messages directed at separate target audiences) was no longer confusing. The sales benefits (and value) of using The OnTime Group was identified and separated for each target audience.
3. The ideas were selected, deleted, rewording, reorganised and rewritten so that they made sense, and met The OnTime Group’s expectations. Plus, a PROCESS FOR EDITING was now in place. So the client didn’t feel like they needed to “rewrite the brochure” just because they wanted to change words.
4. Tangible Words wrote the text of the brochure to suit the preconceived images and graphical layout of the brochure.
5. The copy for the brochure was created in 5 business days (a guarantee we offer all companies) so that the brochure they wanted (that had been taking 4 months or more) was created within a week of meeting with Tangible Words.
And here’s what The OnTime Group had to say about the experience of working with Tangible Words.
Check out these case stories where website copywriting helped other businesses get what they wanted.
We had some questions about preparing for the next change in SEO rules from search engines like Google after the “Google’s New Rules” post.
However Google changes the rules, the free indexing of your site will always be based on your creation and dissemination of good content.
Search engines will always try to get rid of spammers (who are evil) and ruin the authenticity of search engines. Thus, search engines will always fight and find ways to excommunicate with dodgy sites. It makes sense: the search engine’s legitimacy is based on their ability to give valuable recommendations to their users. So crappy content will always be penalised.
Now, here I am, giving them SEO credibility by a) talking about them in positive light on my site and b) sharing their site with you via built-in hyperlinks. When search engines see a reputable site linking to Ocean Feather’s content (i.e. a “backlink” to their site) the algorithms start to trust their content more. The Search Engine thinks, “Hey, someone good is linking to that site, it must be great content; I’ll keep recommending it.”
4. Also, posting the same article to a bunch of free sites simply for the inexpensive link back to your site used to be acceptable. But now algorithms see this as “a cheat” to strengthen your own position. (It’s better if other people authentically recommend your content “because it’s awesome”, rather than you deeming it “cool” and re-submitting it over and over.)
5. And further more, you have to beware of your associations. You can’t link up with people who do these “evil” things. That’s what Ocean Feather means when they talk about creating “good neighbourhoods” online.
There’s always a lot of talk online (by people who like to guess at Google’s search algorithms, and general “leaders of the SEO pack”) aboutGoogle’s New SEO rules: how to follow them correctly or, from the unfortunate “black hat” types – how to break them.
Considering the fact that the search engine is the ultimate judge as to how you will rank, it makes sense to me that you should follow their rules. As Search Engine Industry leader, Google’s new SEO rules (the “Penguin” update) is proof of how you can get burnt by not following sound SEO principles.
And if you’ve hired an SEO Marketing firm, it’s up to you to protect your company’s online integrity. Make sure you ask your SEO marketing team how they are following honourable SEO principles.
In the Penguin law, everyone who has been posting duplicate content just to increase their organic SEO rank is going to be penalised (eventually) for not providing unique content.
Unique content = content that does not exist (word-for-word) elsewhere.
Of course you can still reference great content (videos, photos, blogs, comments…) that exist elsewhere. You can still do reviews as part of your content marketing strategy. But you cannot copy whole chunks of text. It’s safest to write your own intro/review and provide a link to the original content.
Remember, Google is a librarian. For the same reasons librarians want it to be easy for you to find the right book, Google wants their Internet searchers to find the best link after a keyword/keyphrase search.
As an international (Toronto; Ottawa; Melbourne) copywriter, I really like the summary given in Ocean Feather’s blog May 19, 2012 which focuses the argument for good SEO principles on Google’s motto, “don’t be evil.” Next Post: “What does it mean ‘to be evil‘ in Content Marketing?”
1) Content Strategy and set KPIs
2) Content research and collation
3) Determine and find audiences and sources for dissemination
4) Content creation, client feedback, adjustments and scheduling
5) Dissemination to various sources and audiences and track KPIs.
Now you might be wondering:
“Content marketing” is a type of Web 2.0 advertising (Web 2.0: now anyone can easily publish content online). But why do you need content marketing?
Everyone is buying stuff online – even if we aren’t actually using e-commerce; we are researching products and brand names like crazy. This means that the most information wins:
1. Publish great content to build trust and establish credibility.
2. Publish frequent content to communicate with authenticity and to stay ‘in the game’.
3. Publish SEO-friendly content so people can find you more easily, more quickly, more often.
Our 1st review of a website with excellent copywriting techniques was Quicken. In our 2nd review of a good website, we move to Mailchimp, which is in fact an e-newsletter software that businesses can use. Mailchimp is free but there are others like Constant Contact that you pay a small fee and do get a few more capabilities.
Review #2: Mailchimp (www.mailchimp.com)
1) Metatitles – Search Engine Optimization is critical when writing online. Not only do your key words need to be throughout your content, but don’t forget the meta titles on each page. For those that aren’t sure what they are, when you open a website, on the top hand corner (usually in grey), you can scroll over it and words should appear. Unfortunately most businesses don’t implement themselves, or instruct their website developers to make sure these contain their keywords and not just the title of the company.
Mailchimp does this well. On the home page the meta title is: Email Marketing and Email List Manager and THEN their company name. These are the words they have chosen. If you look at Tangible Words, you will see Toronto Copywriters, Melbourne Copywriters, Website Copywriting, Content writing and THEN Tangible Words.
2) Call to Action? – Make it easy for readers on your business website to get in touch. Remember you have 3 seconds to attract their attention and if they don’t contact you soon after, you may have lost them for good.
3) Ease of Finding the Information – as we are all readers online, we know how frustrating it can be, when you go to a site and you can’t find the information you are looking for, or you don’t know where you are supposed to go next. That is why website storyboarding your business website is important before you start revamping or cleaning up your online content.
Mailchimp: Since they are an online service that can be completed without really any interaction with a human being, it is essential that their navigation is clear. They have done this with clear buttons at the top of the page, clear content on how to get started with interlinks for their readers. You don’t have to go far to find out what to do next.
Overall: Mailchimp has a clean and clear website. Not all businesses have only one main service that can be purchased right online, but if you do have a ‘shopping cart’ type business, then take note on what Mailchimp has done right. You don’t always need long copy, or tonnes of pages to convert readers into customers online.
As a website copywriter in Toronto and Ottawa, I run into plagiarism issues frequently. In our first article I ask the question: Are we guilty of plagiarism in this Web 2.0 era? Do you think Web 2.0 is screwing around with intellectual property rights?
What do you think?
1) Give names to your terminology
2) Publish a book – to capture your knowledge in print first, it seems safer than any other form (PPT, Blog, LI groups)
3) Keep a running works cited list of everything you read that changes the way you think – include the page URL, the author, date and time you read it.
4) Publish a works Cited list at the end of every online article and blog post you write
5) Publish theories –people will remember it. For instance, Simon Spinek is cited often and no one will ever forget that he was the original creator of The Golden Circle theory.
We all must hold ourselves accountable to the things we believe-or how will there be any integrity left in the world?
This is the second post in the Web 2.0 Internet and Plagiarism Series. If you read the first post on definitions of plagiarism, you’re now wondering: “Why Web 2.0 Internet might be screwing up all intellectual property rules–and the concept of plagiarism entirely.”
Web 2.0 Internet includes using Social Media and the concept that EVERYONE (including people who can’t write code) can publish.
Now all people can simply type and press “Publish” and bang! Your words are online.
Web 2.0 has enabled ease of publishing. Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress, your website or even social media platforms (Facebook; Twitter; your free Blogger Blog) now allow you to publish content without any knowledge of coding (HTML or similar).
Thus, the Internet is now overwhelmed by writers both good (informed) and bad (uninformed, uneducated).
Content has become unreliable. “Who is publishing it?” We wonder. “They’re not likely trustworthy,” we assume.
I built Tangible Words because of that suspicious feeling we all have: “you can’t trust people online, and you especially can’t trust companies.”*
When you’re on Twitter, Linked In, Google +, Facebook – you’re constantly clicking links and going to read something new. We’re learning on the Web 2.0 Internet ALL of the time.
Because content is at risk of being seen as crap, people are constantly producing GREAT original content on their blogs—introducing new terms, new theories—by way for their blog, website or video blog. So we’re learning and integrating ideas form people all the time. AND, because of that, does it not also follow that we are stealing from people all the time.
You used to write a research paper with a notes list of all the books you read along the way. You had to keep track of all the websites you visited so you could create a Research list as you went along.
But I’m writing a book right now about all of the things I know and believe about website copywriting. Much of what I’ve learned, I’ve learned from reading online over the last 5 years. I didn’t know I was going to write a book. I simply am sitting down now and letting some of my knowledge pour out of me.
How can I possibly remember which articles have influenced me? I can mention names, but to do a works cited list is near impossible. Am I not now, also guilty of plagiarism?
It is a gut-wrenching accusation for the true academic and any content writer—but how can we avoid it in Web 2.0, learning all of the time as we are?
Plus, when you publish there is no librarian hanging over your shoulder or teacher requesting a Works Cited List—no blog post requires it.
How much of what I know have I learned from other people’s proprietary content? I look on Twitter, or Google any time I have a question, I get it and promptly forget the URL such that if I don’t bookmark it I may never find it again to my own fury. So how do we make sure we aren’t making the same mistakes we dread in others?
* = I help companies create trust with their audience by talking to customers in the way customers want to be spoken to instead of saying stupid things that makes everyone suspicious of you. It’s a win-win situation for both customer and company, because it’s about communicating with intergrity.
This is the first post in the series “The Web 2.0 Internet World and The Guilt Of Plagiarism.”
In early Internet days the threat of plagiarism shook librarians to the core; but all of that is so long ago forgotten. Now the Internet-for-research cause is championed such that “intellectual property” battles seem the sole problem of recording studios and TV channels fighting big court warfare to shut down the likes of all who followed in the Napster trail. You’re familiar I’m sure.
Plagiarism is reproducing, borrowing, or copying more than 10% of any original document, idea, or set of words, that does not exist in the realm of public knowledge without permission or appropriate citation. Allow me to talk in first person to give you some examples.
Copying my website pricing packages page and using it to create your SEO marketing package is plagiarism (because you’ve copied 100% of the page, you’ve used my words and my ideas).
You might be thinking, “but it’s not plagiarism because a website page is in the public domain – so it exists for all to see.” But you’d be wrong. The copyright emblem at the bottom of my website tells you all content that appears here is content created by our company.
Our online writing workshops participants, and even my content marketing clients, often ask me – can I use other people’s content on my company blog?
As you can see from the possessive term “someone else’s” – all of this content belongs to someone else (i.e. it is “property”). The first person to publish content gets Copyright privileges. To “re-publish” content someone has already published (and thus who has copyright privileges on the Internet) either without permission or without proper citation is plagiarism. **Keep in mind I’m not speaking as a copyright legal expert, I’m just using my university degree to explain this to you. **
In the past, you were safe using these methods. All of these original ideas would be properly cited—and the author would THANK YOU for the mention. Because backlinks are so prized in SEO (when someone else’s website or blog links back to your site)—authors were only too happy when you gave them a link and referenced their article.
Hence, the concept of “going viral” became covetable and profitable—once your content ‘went viral’– you would also be accredited for creating the awesome, original content, and you could track your influence from the number of times it was passed on.
Now we’re all on the same page about the definition of plagiarism. And if you’re still keen on how Web 2.0 changes all of that, subscribe by RSS so you’re sure to catch the next post “Here’s why Web 2.0 Internet might be screwing up all intellectual property rules–and the concept of plagiarism entirely.”
Been wondering about how to get started—and make the most of—Wordpress for your business blog or website? WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) letting you publish freely so you can update content and features as easily as you would on Microsoft Word.
Everyone keeps talking about WordPress because it’s the #1 Free Online Blogging and Website Software. This full day workshop will save you the time it takes to familiarize—and master—Wordpress whether you’re a business blogger or using it for your business website. BRING YOUR LAPTOP so you can play, ask questions and discover how this innovative Web 2.0 software can boost your business online.
You’ll leave knowing:
BONUS inclusions for this workshop:
– a light lunch will be provided
– *Workshop fee is $85 dollars*
– Register Today
79% of people who want your service, are using the Internet to judge you.
If you’re acutely aware that the flaws in your website are worse than a divet-filled golf green, it’s time to think about redeveloping your website design—and your website content.
To minimize the “gap” between what your website says you do, and what you actually do, consider an internal team-meeting, or an external professional consulting service to help you articulate what you do and what your customers love about your services.
1) Planning your website content with a website storyboard is one of the best ways to ensure your company message is communicated in a way your customers will want to listen.
A website storyboard should be much more thorough than a list of page names. Think about:
2) Use Graphic Text (Headlines, Interlinks, bullet points, etc.) to make it easy for the reader to go through your website content. Get rid of all that long text you likely have on your old website and break it up using graphic text.
3) Offer, Incentive, Action – after you have spent all of that time and money to make sure that people find your website online, now you need to make sure they actually “DO” what you want them to do. You don’t want them to just visit and leave without contacting you, buying something, or at least downloading helpful information.
Other helpful Content Marketing articles:
How do you write website content that builds rapport?
Is your website content grabbing all the business you can?
Not sure where to start with website copywriting? Join us at one of our workshops or webinars.
March 21st, 2012: “How to Improve Your Website Content and Build Your Business’ workshop – Markham
– 1pm to 5pm; Hwy 7 and Warden.
Here’s a workshop to help you transform your website into a powerful sales tool. You’ll learn and apply 5 strategies to make your website content compelling to prospects. Understand how people read online, discover how to share your expertise, and get feedback on your writing all under guidance of an e-literacy expert and website copywriter.
Learn from multiple examples, asking questions and time to rewrite your website homepage. So you will leave the workshop with:
BONUS inclusions for this workshop:
Business Blogging is essential to building rapport with your clients online. As a website copywriter we cannot encourage you enough to create trust and nurture relationships through blogs, e-newsletters and of course your business website.
We hope we have helped you with understanding the importance of business blogging:
An evening business workshop event to help you improve your online content writing from a website copywriter. Don’t forget to register in advance, Markham! Here’s what you’ll learn tomorrow night:
Need to get in touch with new and existing clients? If you’re wondering what it takes to get prospects to respond to your letters and e-newsletters, learn it in this session. Create the campaign your clients want to grab onto, and gain the confidence that make prospects listen.
I was copywriting a client’s website, and stumbled upon a grammatical query. (In an early draft, I managed to trip myself up with one of those complex sentences I don’t usually recommend for online content writing.)
I knew I needed to fix the sentence in general; but it was also bothering me that I could not remember the rule for pluralisation of collective nouns with singular verbs and plural pronouns.
Luckily for me, working with language is what I do all day. So I was justified in spending time hunting online for an answer to my grammatical query. And I found it. But in the process, I realised people have problems like this all of the time when writing; and they pretty much are just looking for a quick ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to their grammatical question.
After all it takes extra time to wade through the technicalities and various grammatical scenarios. Fortunately for me I often know the quick answer (so Tangible Words’ Toronto and Ottawa Copywriting business can flourish!) 🙂
From now on, if you’re looking for a quick answer to a grammar question, tweet your question with the Twitter hashtag “#grammarhelp” and I’ll get back to you quickly.