Tag Archives: Blogging
The current media fascination with contaminated “beef” burgers throws up an interesting parallel for website content managers and copywriters – just how fresh is the text on your website? Does your website contain contaminated copy?
The demand for new website content is insatiable. Blog posts, white papers, articles and general product information pages need to be created on a frequent (even daily) basis to attract customers and search engines alike. But what about the older copywritten content on your site?
Well established blogs have hundreds of posts which help maintain a narrative trail for your business. The problem is that these blog posts often contain outdated information. Defunct products, old pricing information and outdated research can contaminate your copy, discrediting newer, up-to-date blog entries.
It is tempting to think that outdated information will be ignored by customers, but search engines have a nasty habit of resurrecting old web pages. When a would-be customer stumbles across one of these pages they may decide that your out-of-date information reflects your business as a whole – disinterested in keeping things up to date, or lacking in attention to detail. Worse still, you may end up losing sales when clients contact you about an online price which is no longer relevant.
What is the answer? Unfortunately the only way to prevent contaminated content damaging your brand is to keep on top of it, amending and deleting old web pages to reflect the current situation. Is this time consuming? Absolutely! Can you avoid it? No. But you could make someone responsible for ensuring website copy remains up-to-date relieving the burden on you and your team. And if you already employ a professional website copywriter, they are the logical choice for such a responsibility.
Many amendments can be avoided by careful advance planning of content. If you are launching a new product via the company blog, make it clear that any promotional pricing is time-limited for instance. Or include a link from the blog entry to a dedicated product page on your ecommerce site for customers to find pricing information.
Need help getting your website copy up-to-date and back on-track? Drop us a line and see how Tech Write can assume responsibility for ensuring your website and blog are up-to-the-minute accurate.
Wherever you stand on the issue of Britain’s EU membership, no doubt you will be hearing about David Cameron’s speech made this morning on the topic. Reading between the lines, and ignoring the political bluster, the format of the speech and the language used have some interesting lessons for bloggers and copywriters. Here are three tips which can be lifted from the speech and put to use for great copywriting success.
1. Visual language engages
Several times Cameron employed the use of descriptive language to help engage listeners with his “vision”.
“A war which saw the streets of European cities strewn with rubble. The skies of London lit by flames night after night. And millions dead across the world in the battle for peace and liberty.”
“I never want us to pull up the drawbridge and retreat from the world. I am not a British isolationist.”
“Let’s stop all this talk of two-speed Europe, of fast lanes and slow lanes, of countries missing trains and buses, and consign the whole weary caravan of metaphors to a permanent siding.”
The choice of words used clearly encourage the listener to visualise what is being said, helping to keep them focused on the message. This use of powerful descriptions is an extension of the old copywriting technique “Show don’t tell” which has helped businesses sell since the beginning of the advertising age.
2. Ask and answer questions
The speech is littered with examples where David Cameron asks a question before going on to provide his own answer. Good copywriting often presents readers with questions and problems before going on to supply the answer.
However there is a trick to using questions well in copy, just as there are in Cameron’s speech. Questions should never be open-ended (otherwise your reader could supply themselves with the “wrong” answer), even if that means the answer is blindingly obvious. Look at Cameron’s example:
“Can we justify a Commission that gets ever larger? Can we carry on with an organisation that has a multi-billion pound budget but not enough focus on controlling spending and shutting down programmes that haven’t worked?”
The correct (and only logical) answer to these questions is of course “no”. The listener immediately engages with the speech, helping to ensure they continue to listen to the end. So too with using questions in web content – use closed questions to which your reader already know the answer to keep them hooked.
3. Use points for emphasis
David Cameron used his speech to outline his vision for a new European Union, using five principles to explain it. A technique popular with copywriters and bloggers is to write web content that uses points to split up text, to guide the reader down the page and to firmly emphasis the key aspects of their marketing message.
As with Cameron’s speech, it is crucial to:
- Tell readers in advance how many points you will be making (“It is built on five principles“)
- Make it clear when you are starting a new point (“The second principle should be flexibility“)
- Let the reader know when you have finished your list (“These five principles provide what, I believe, is the right approach for the European Union“)
Which helps explain why you see so many blog posts with titles like “5 ways to use a widget”, “8 tips for greater success” and “3 tips from Cameron’s EU speech for bloggers & copywriters” (see what I did there?).
So there you have it. 3 tips lifted directly from Cameron’s speech which can help your copywriting succeed. Don’t say the Government never gives you anything.
Need help? Tech Write offer technical copywriting services to digital media agencies and customers direct to help create web content that works. Drop us a line and see how we can help (we promise not to talk politics either!).
Following on from our last installment (predictably named 2012 – Our Copywriting Year in Review – Part 1), we continue our run down of the past twelve months, describing some of our projects and introducing some of our new customers. Enjoy!
Despite many businesses winding down their marketing efforts to reflect the Summer slow-down, Tech Write forged two new relationships requiring frequent blog contributions. Warrington-based educational IT-specialists Do Digital employed us to write a number of monthly blog posts targeted at their unique market niche. Meanwhile Essex web design agency Bytewire were also on the look out for skilled ghostwriter to contribute content to their company blog.
August was relatively quiet although our ongoing commitments for blog content and articles kept us rather busy!
The end of the school holidays led to an explosions in requests for work. First up was another press release for Italian iOS developer Fabrizio Bartolomucci to publicise the update of his In Arrivo! iPhone app designed to help tourists navigate Rome by taxi or bus.
This was closely followed by requests for complete website rewrites for Manchester-based software consultancy Systems Valley and Indian specialist fire services provider Agnice International. Both project required creation of new SEO-optimised content to coincide with the website relaunches of both businesses.
Tech Write also formed a new working relationship with inbound marketing experts Tomorrow People based in Birmingham and were immediately put to work ghostwriting web content for an established SME accounts software developer.
The success of our first project with Tomorrow People led to immediate requests for the complete re-write of a large website for an ERP software provider accompanied by a number of articles for their new company blog.
Tech Write were also commissioned to write a one-off article for Essex-based IT support services Those Computer People for their company blog.
Tech Write were referred to an Irish software developer looking to ghostwrite the content for a client’s website. The project involved writing a number of pages to publicise a brand new performance management system.
We were also asked to ghostwrite some specialist technical articles for a Maltese consultancy specialising in Microsoft Hyper-V services.
Tomorrow People were in touch again early in the month looking for another website re-write, this time for a specialist financial services software provider. Content needed to be SEO optimised and amended to fit the constraints of the new website according to the plan provided. We were also asked to ghostwrite a number of extended articles for their ERP software customer.
So there you have it. 2012 in review. A busy but productive year!
This year International Education Week is being held between the 12th and 19th November. But what does a celebration of international education and web copywriting services have in common?
The answer involves considering what your own website is trying to achieve. What are most people looking for when they surf the web? What are you looking for as you trawl websites? For some it will be entertainment but for most it will be information. Some will even be looking for entertaining information.
But when you read useful information, you are of course being educated in the process.
However, unlike International Education Week, the content on your website has to last longer than seven days. In fact it probably needs to be added to at least once every week to keep visitors coming back. Why? By providing genuinely useful information on your website you can:
- Encourage visitors to come back and visit your site, hopefully converting them into customers in the process.
- Establish a reputation within your industry or sector for expertise and generosity.
- Attract the attention of search engines who will direct more visitors to your site once they have indexed your content.
This copywritten content can take the form of new web pages, blog posts or even articles submitted to publications or guest posts on other websites. The key is to ensure the information you produce is genuinely useful to your readers – try to educate and inform rather than just writing for the sake of it.
So why not get your business involved with International Education Week by engaging in some creative web copywriting? Your readers learn, your company prospers and the world becomes just that little bit better educated!
If you need help, Tech Write offer a number of very affordable web copywriting services designed to give your website the content it needs and that your readers deserve. Alternatively drop us a line using our contact form to find out how we can help.