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Did you know that web copywriting FINALLY got acknowledged as one of the top 10 sexiest professions? It was about darn time, don’t you think?

Well, I do!

And so do the top copywriters Idunn works with.

So we couldn’t find a more gracious way of accepting (and flaunting!) this honor than giving away a few of our secrets.

We’ve already established that copywriting has changed recently. We are, thankfully, past the era of the “dollar-article”. And the rising cost of copywriting isn’t a symptom of that change. It’s a consequence.

You see, today, top copywriters, the best of the best, crème de la crème or however else you want to name them can easily afford to ask for fees that 10 years ago would have only brought them a laugh in the face.

Why?

Because copywriting sells. Scratch that. EXCELLENT copywriting sells! A great copywriter can turn the readers of your blog into paying customers, while a mediocre one can, at best, boost your SEO ranking. Which is close to nothing.

When Idunn hires SEO copywriters, I always make sure they fall within the first category. This is how we manage to hang on to clients for years in the row. And this is how our clients got tangible results from our work.

And by tangible results I mean ROI aka cold, hard cash!

Since I was feeling generous, I asked my colleagues to share some of the secrets they use to make that happen. These are the four ones we all agreed on.

 

4 Secrets for Upping Your Content Marketing Game from our Top Copywriters

First of all, I need to point out that the perfect blog post doesn’t just happen. Neither does a high-converting white paper. They are both the result of hard work.

And talent isn’t the main ingredient (otherwise, this would be a very short blog post).

But let’s be honest: when you hire a content writing firm, you don’t do it for the penmanship of their writers. You do it because of the revenue that they can bring you.

I agree: penmanship is hard to teach. It can be a gained skilled, but only painstakingly. This is why “talent” is not one of the secrets of top copywriters.

These are:

  1. Research, Research, and… some more Research

Whenever I hire SEO writers, I’m not looking for the next Hemingway. Was he an amazing writer? Of course. Did he sell books? Tons of them!

But could he sell your services?

Maybe not.

You see, behind that actually sells lies a great deal of research. Irrespective of the copywriter’s talent, great copy doesn’t happen without it.

Let’s take a look at just a few of the things my colleagues have to research before even opening a new blank document:

  • Tone of voice: does the brand already have one that we need to match or do we need to create one for them?
  • Buyer persona: what is the tone of voice that appeals to a specific buyer? What phrases, words, CTAs do they respond to best?
  • Topic research: we could probably write on beauty topics and SaaS growth with our eyes shut. But we always look for relevant stats and reports to give credibility to our copy and turn everything we write into authority content.
  • Keywords: long-tail keywords and LSI keywords are always crucial to anything we write. To make sure we get it right, we use at least three different tools just for this type of research.

Total time? Depending on the topic and the complexity of the copy, between 30 minutes and 2 hours. And yes, that’s before even typing a single character.

All of these elements are crucial. It doesn’t matter how well the copy is optimized for search engines. If the tone of voice doesn’t match the preferences of your buyer persona or if the CTAs aren’t perfect, the whole thing will be almost worthless.

  1. Great Headlines

They are also called “attention grabbers”, so you understand why they are so important. My colleagues reported spending most of the time it takes them to write a blog article on the headlines alone! And yes, that entails rewriting a lot of them.

If you’re still not convinced of their importance, here’s some data to back it up:

  • The average human attention span has recently decreased to no longer than 8 seconds! Yes, that’s right, we’re basically gold fish. This means that you have less than 10 seconds to get attention. And catchy headlines are the best way to ensure that you at least have a chance to be read.
  • Headlines get read by 8 out of 10 people. Only 2 out of 10 only read the rest. This means you need to make it memorable and enticing.
  • On average, only 20% of the content on a page is read. Readers skim through the text and headlines are one of the best ways to make the important points stand out.

David Ogilvy used to say that “When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar”. The times may have changed (a lot!). Our headlines appear online instead of print now, but this principle hasn’t changed.

In order to come up with great headlines, we use a few simple rules:

  • Specificity: instead of a mere “How to get more from your Facebook marketing” we’d say something like: “3 things that are killing your Facebook ads conversions.” This way, we ensure we get targeted traffic on a post.
  • Usefulness: you want the reader to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they will get something useful from reading your article. In the example above, readers know that they will get something of value – a better ROI for their Facebook ads.
  • Urgency: the phrase “killing your Facebook ads conversions” makes the point. You need to read this now before you lose more money.
  • Negative headlines: depending on the target audience, we sometimes experiment with negative headlines. I know, some argue that negative words aren’t appealing. At all! But we’ve found that that isn’t always the case. For instance, the above headline could be written into: “Stop wasting money. 3 things that are killing your Facebook ads conversions”. This creates even more of an urgency and, in our experience, gets far more clicks.

 

  1. A Great CTA

All top copywriters know that there can’t be a great blog post without a strong CTA. Sure, the reader knows that you’re selling something. But do they have the time and willingness to find out what and how they can get it.

No!

You must always assume they don’t. This is why you need to place a brief, but convincing CTA in every blog post.

I would go as far as to say that the CTA is the place where copywriting meets content marketing. It’s where top copywriters can actually make their content produce money.

The same goes for social CTAs or ecommerce ones. Of course, we all know that a product page without a CTA is useless.

But do we all know how much difference the right CTA can make?

When working for an ecommerce client, my team suggested A/B testing two different CTAs. “Add to cart” versus “Add to your bag”.

Sounds simple and possibly even meaningless.

But it wasn’t! We discovered that the last CTA resulted in a 4% increase in conversions! That’s huge for any ecommerce shop!

One of our brilliant copywriters had the idea of make it more personal and more different. I, too, was reluctant at first. “Add to cart” is what you expect to find and what users are accustomed to. You don’t want to make them think too much about what a new CTA means.

However, this proved, once again, that getting personal made a huge difference.

  1. Deliver on Your Promises

While very important, CTAs and headlines have very little value in the long run if they are not supported by good, useful and well-written copy. Sure, people will click on your catchy headlines at first. But, sooner or later, they will realize you offer nothing of value.

In other words, they’ll realize you’re click bait-ing them.

If you promised “3 tips to enhance your Facebook campaigns” deliver them. All three of them! And make sure they are actionable and written in a language that your audience is comfortable with.

I’ve seen a lot of top copywriters kill otherwise good copy by using overly complicated language.

We get it. You read. The best copywriters in the world are avid readers. And they know tons of fancy words.

Use your huge vocabulary wisely. A good copywriter knows when to sound fancy and when to use plain English.

Even if you’re writing for educated audiences, they still want your content easily digestible. They want actionable tips that they can quickly understand and apply. This is how you deliver on your promises, not by showing off your language skills.

 

Want to work with top copywriters that can make your content shine and bring you extra ROI? We’re just a form away:

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