You have a way with words.
You also like the idea of working from home. Managing your own time. And being able to use those word skills to forge a new career.
It sounds like copywriting could be for you.
But what is this copywriting business all about? And what is the best freelance writing job for beginners?
Well, you know those words on adverts, websites, emails etc? Yep, copywriters made them.
Copywriting involves the words that stand between a customer and a brand. They are the persuasion that causes a customer to emotionally connect with a product or service.
Essentially, you’re rearranging and playing with words to sell stuff.
Sounds fun? It is.
And we’re going to talk you through the top freelance copywriting job for beginners. The one that all newbies will come up against. And potentially make a ton of money from.
Drumroll please, as we introduce…
THE ART OF BLOGGING
You’ll have heard of blogging before. You’ll have read a blog post before. You may even subscribe to a blog.
Blogging is one of the most popular copywriting gigs, but so many brands get it wrong.
That’s why they usually need the help of copywriters to step in and take the reins.
Blogging, when done right, is one of the most effective ways to build brand awareness. You can provide relevant and useful content to the target audience, earning their loyalty through consistent value.
As a side point, it’s also an inexpensive way for small businesses to drive traffic to their site, enhance inbound marketing efforts and attract more customers. That’s why savvy brands will come to you to write their blog posts.
Here’s why it’s so special:
- It establishes companies and individuals as thought-leaders and experts within their industries.
- It allows businesses to expose their brand and voice to large, targeted audiences.
- It fuels SEO – and is one of the best ways for company websites to do well in the search rankings, and thus generate organic traffic and leads (Google loves fresh, relevant content).
- It goes hand-in-hand with social media marketing.
- It creates a two-way conversation between brands and their customers, prospects and industry influencers.
- It builds confidence, relationships and (eventually) sales.
So it’s powerful stuff, we think you’ll agree.
WHAT DOES ‘CREATING VALUE’ REALLY MEAN?
If there’s one rule you need to follow about blog posts, it’s that they need to be valuable to your readers.
You may have come across brands who use their blog as a means of company news. You know the type of thing: ‘David Smith Gets Promoted to Sales Vice President’.
No offence David, but who cares?
That’s not valuable information to your readers.
Brands who use their blog as for self-promotional purposes will simply get lost in the sea of comms. What they write won’t matter.
You have to remember, fundamentally, your readers are selfish. They’re landing on your blog post and instantly want to know how is this relevant to me?
Here are some examples of valuable blog post topics:
- 41 Ideas to Keep Your Children Entertained Today
- 53 Healthy Recipe Ideas Under 20 Minutes
- Why Your Blog isn’t Getting Noticed
You get the idea: they need to come away with something tangible that’s truly useful to them.
Here’s a handy post from Magnet4Blogging that delves further into creating value.
Now you have your gripping title at the ready, how do you go about writing the rest of the post?
Let’s break it down.
#1 Compel readers with the intro
You only have 6 seconds to convince your reader that your blog post is for them. This is the time to get inside their heads. To show them that they are going to get something out of reading your post. One great way of creating a super enticing intro is employing the power of storytelling.
“We cannot create a world we can’t imagine and stories are the engines of our imaginations.”
~ Josh Stearns
Storytelling isn’t a new concept. It’s an ancient art form (with a little bit of science thrown into the mix). Humans have been telling stories for centuries, for the simple reason that they stick. They grip us and reel us in, helping us to connect with situations and each other.
It’s very powerful stuff.
Savvy marketers have been using storytelling as an engagement tool for a long time, but with the explosion of social media and blogging the storytelling potential is immense.
By using storytelling in your intro, you’re going to create an instant connection with your readers that resonates with them.
Here’s a blog post intro from our very own Content Editor, Sam:
“True story: I once had a drink with Jude Law at the pub.
Right after watching his play, ‘Obsession’ at the Barbican Centre, I headed down the pub across the street.
Lo and behold, Jude Law was there, drinking by the bar and surrounded by people asking for selfies.
So I gathered all my courage, went up to him and asked, “What’s wrong with the blueberry pie?”.
He quickly turned to me and quoted his character in a lesser-known independent film, My Blueberry Nights: “There’s always a whole blueberry pie left untouched. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just…people make other choices.”
I replied: “That’s the biggest lesson I learned in love, so thank you, Jude. And your film, ‘Alfie’ taught me about the red flags I should be aware of, while ‘Gattaca’ taught me to go for my dreams”.
After the compliments subsided, he bought me a pint and we talked for a while about the lessons to be learned from his lesser-known, underrated films before he left the pub.
A simple, memorable phrase and backstory knowledge of something can go a long way to creating a lasting impression.
The same goes for branding.”
What do you think? Enough to pique your interest, right?
(You could say, you had them at Jude Law.)
Use analogies, metaphors and similes to tell a story. Draw from your own life experiences and make it relatable. Whatever you have to do.
This post from us goes into detail about using analogies and metaphors.
#2 HAVE A CONVERSATION
A blog post should be a two-way dialogue with the reader. Like all copywriting.
So don’t lecture them.
Involve them in the conversation as much as possible by asking questions, giving them direct instructions and encouraging them to think on the spot and imagine scenarios that you describe. It’s hypnotic.
Most importantly; write to one individual reader (not the masses) and address them in the first person. i.e. use the words ‘YOU’ and ‘YOUR’.
Write stuff like:
Are you starting to understand the value of…?
I know what you’re thinking.
Now imagine this scenario;
How would you feel in this situation?
I’m going to ask you something. And be honest.
Let me guess.
What if you…?
Have you ever noticed that…?
You probably already know that…
Do you remember hearing…?
Have you ever…?
And so on.
Your clients will, of course, differ on how conversational they want their tone of voice to be, but you should still try to always involve the reader. As much as possible.
#3 MAKE IT SKIMMABLE
Readers don’t have great attention spans. We live in an age of distraction and instant gratification.
Don’t write verbose prose. You’re not writing a textbook. Allow your readers the luxury of being able to find the information they need quickly.
Chop up your blog post with clearly defined sub-headers, bullet points and lists (exactly like we’ve done in this post).
It all links back to value. It’s more valuable for a reader to skim-read than to search high and low for what they want.
On the same vein, avoid chunky paragraphs.
We can’t stand big, chunky paragraphs. Neither can most people.
So for every blog post – for every client – you should always try to stagger the length of the paragraphs to mix up the flow. And they shouldn’t really be any longer than one, two or three sentences each. Just like these instructions.
You should also keep some teeny tiny sentences all alone in their own teeny tiny
paragraph, for extra emphasis.
It’s powerful, captivating and gives the blog post a nice, addictive flow.
#4 ENCOURAGE SHARES OR COMMENTS
Always remember to ask readers to share your blog post if they enjoyed it and found it valuable.
Of course, this increases the chances of exposure, but it also engages the reader with you even further.
And getting comments on a blog post is useful for SEO, which is something you can tell your clients.
You can end your blog post with something along the lines of:
Did you find this post useful? Why not share it on social and help others out too?
- Always focus on giving value to your readers with content they’ll find useful
- Grip them with storytelling techniques that will entice them and make your posts memorable
- Make the content skimmable so readers can easily find what they want
- Avoid big, chunky paragraphs so the copy flows and is hypnotic
And that my friends, is the basic recipe to blogging success.
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