Category Archives: Writing Content in Spanish

Blog articles about writing content in Spanish. Tips about writing website content and writing in Spanish in general.

Choosing Your Tone of Voice When Copywriting

A huge aspect of copywriting involves tone of voice, but how do you know if you’ve got it right? This is particularly difficult for a freelance copywriter, who have to figure out the right tone to use for different businesses.

In this article we will be looking at how you can hit the nail on the head when it comes to the right tone for your copy.

Branding & Personality

It may be useful to think of your business (or the business you are writing about) as a person. If you humanised them, what would they be like? When making your hypothetical mind-map about this, try to avoid generalised words like ‘friendly’ – almost every brand in the world wants to be friendly.

Instead, think about specifics. Nike, for example, would be a tenacious, hard-working person. Coca-Cola would be relaxed and sociable. These are the kind of things you should be looking at.

And if the brand were a person, how would this person talk? This is key in establishing the brand’s voice.

Branding & Values

Every company has values that they want to push. People connect more with brands who they share values with, so it is important to adopt the same values as your target audience. Make a list of the values you think the company possesses; if it helps, reflect on the brand’s values in the past and whether these have changed.

Consider how these values would translate into the language of your writing.

Now the Good Part: The Style of Writing

Now we will talk about what you came here to see – how should you be writing? I can’t concretely tell you how you should be writing, because part of being a good writer is developing your own flair and skill.

For example, friendly and conversational brands will use ‘you’ll’ and ‘doesn’t’ rather than ‘you will’ and ‘does not.’ Adventurous and laid-back brands will use ‘awesome’ and ‘stoked’ rather than ‘good’ and ‘motivated.’

It may be helpful to fill out a table regarding your company’s values, how they want to come across, and how a person with these same values and personality traits would sound if they were speaking. You should be getting into the minds of the audience, in a way.

A final thing to note about tone is that you should always be consistent. If you change your voice halfway through the copy, it seems unnatural, strange, and will probably put the reader off. Re-read your piece thoroughly afterwards to check that the tone remains consistent. As long as you have this aspect nailed, you will more or less be able to write good copy regardless of the specifics of the tone.

Writing a content plan for 2019 for a Spanish audience

A new year, new goals, new blog posts. If you happen to have blog, it is really important to plan your posts ahead of time. By creating a content plan for the following year, you are able to avoid the so called “writer’s block” every month, or at least regarding the titles for your blog posts.

Last year, I wrote a post about writing blog posts throughout the year for the Spanish audience. Even though I did not completely stick to this plan, it was quite interesting to look at it whenever I had no idea what to write about.

You see, having a content plan with exact dates when to post on is key, because you write for an audience. They expect constant posts. They want to know when you write. For example, if you post each day, they expect an article to be there daily. It is essential to set a day or some days to post on your blog in order to keep your audience.

There are other aspects that you should keep in mind when you start planning your posts for the following year. Each month is different, and people usually want to read something that they can relate to. I have said it before, and I will repeat myself because it is important: People want to read about events and topics closer to what is currently happening in their lives. I mean, it is quite odd to write about Christmas in the middle of summer, or about Valentine’s Day in October. It just does not make sense.

As this blog is both for people who are learning Spanish and Spanish natives, the topics are quite diverse, ranging from posts about culture, to grammar and vocabulary. In addition, there are posts about content writing, and freelancing. Below, I will write my content plan or some ideas about posts that I want to share with you in the next couple of months. You might even end up getting inspiration for your own content plan for your blog. Let’s start.

January

Given the fact that January is the first month of the year, this is the moment when you should write about your New Year’s Resolutions. You can always write a post in which you look back at the year that has just passed. You can see what you did well and what you did wrong and how you can improve.

Topics for the general public:

1.        What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

2.        How can you keep your New Year’s Resolutions?

3.        A look back at the year that has just ended

Topics for Spanish learners:

In this month, we will learn about expressing possession in Spanish, both with possessive adjectives and by using the preposition “de”. As for the vocabulary part, we will focus on presents, wrapping, letters, and everything related to sending Santa a letter. Why? Because the Spanish celebrate Christmas on the 6th of January, when the Three Kings ( los Reyes Magos) come with gifts. In addition, posts about Christmas traditions are suitable.

February

People usually associate this month with love, as Valentine’s Day is the main holiday.

Topics for the general public:

1. Valentine’s Day date ideas

2. Valentine’s Day gifts

3. Valentine’s Day origins and traditions

Topics for Spanish learners:

In February, we will focus on expressing love. The vocabulary that we will learn will mostly be related to expressing feelings. You will be able to learn some phrases to finally “conquer” the person that you like, or impress the one you love with some Spanish love phrases. As for the grammar, we will focus on the verb “gustar” (=to like) and its different meanings. Finally, for the culture part, we will focus on Valentine’s Day traditions in Spain.

March

This month is usually associated with the beginning of spring. Many people also relate March with Mother’s Day.

Topics for the general public:

1. Ways to show your mother that you appreciate her

2. Gift ideas for your mother

3. How to throw the best Mother’s Day surprise party

Topics for Spanish learners:

In March, we will focus on positioning adjectives, and shortening them. As for the vocabulary, in this month, we will learn about plants, trees, as the whole nature comes to life after a hard winter. You will also get to learn some words about the weather such as rain, fog, and other words that will help you describe spring. In addition, I will talk to you about how the Spanish celebrate Mother’s Day. In this way, you might even incorporate some traditions in your celebrations.

April

This year, Easter falls in April. Suitable topics related to this time of the year are ones related to this holiday.

Topics for the general public:

1. Origins of Easter traditions

2. How to organize an Easter party

3. Easter traditions around the world

Topics for Spanish learners:

In April, the main vocabulary focus will revolve around Easter. Together, we will learn about some key words that you need to know if you are spending the holidays in Spain. As for the grammar, I will teach you about verbs with prepositions, which will help you have smoother conversations in Spanish. As for the culture part, the main focus will be on Easter traditions in Spain, maybe even some foods revolving around the holiday.

May

When we think about May, we think about Labour Day, barbecues, and having fun with family and friends.

Topics for the general public:

1. Labour Day party ideas

2. Labour Day decorations

3. Labour Day traditions

Topics for Spanish learners:

In May, the main we will learn vocabulary related to food, barbecue, and having a party. This will prepare you for a great barbecue with your family and friends. As for the grammar, our main focus will be on negations. Sometimes, you simply have to learn how to say no. As for the culture lesson, we will learn about the main Labour Day traditions in Spain, and maybe even focus on the famous Cinco de Mayo, even though it is a Mexican holiday.

June

June is the first month of summer, so the focus should be on this season, and even the holidays.

Topics for the general public:

1. How to plan a perfect holiday

2. How to post articles while on holiday

3. Organize your office for summer

Topics for Spanish learners:

In June, the vocabulary that you are going to learn is going to be related to summer. We will talk about the beach, some activities that you will get to do there, and maybe even about packing for the holidays. As for the grammar lesson, our main focus will be on the future, about making plans for your vacation. In addition, for our culture lesson, we will learn about what the Spanish do in the summer. Do they have some traditional foods in this season? How do they spend their holidays?

July

While the Americans associate this month with the Fourth of July, the Spanish celebrate their famous bull racing holiday called San Fermín.

Topics for the general public:

1. Summer activities with the family

2. Festivals that you should not miss this summer

3. Fourth of July preparations

Topics for Spanish learners:

This month, our vocabulary focus will be on summer essentials, such as summer clothing, and even some summer foods. As for our grammar lesson, the focus will be mainly on substituting pronouns. In addition, you will get to learn about the holiday: San Fermín, which is the famous bull race in Pamplona, Spain. Who knows? You might even get a chance to see the traditions yourself.

August

August marks the end of summer or the beginning of the summer holidays for some. It depends on how you see things.

Topics for the general public:

1. Prepare yourself for autumn

2. How to enjoy the last bits of summer

3. Vacation ideas

Topics for Spanish learners:

In August, our main focus will be on travelling. We will talk about how to pack your bags, how to book a hotel, and basically the vocabulary you need to know when going on a trip. As for our grammar lesson, our main focus will be on direct object pronouns. As for the Feria in Málaga. Maybe you might even give it a try and embrace the culture.

September

September marks the beginning of autumn. It is an excellent opportunity to write back to school related posts and anything related to autumn.

Topics for the general public:

1. Prepare for going back to school

2. Tips and trips to get in the mood for autumn

3. Make this autumn cozier

Topics for Spanish learners:

September is the ideal month to revamp your autumn related vocabulary. We are going to learn about some season specific vocabulary related to our clothing, the nature, and even some activities. As for our grammar lesson, the main focus for this month will be on positioning object pronouns, which will help you have a better control of the Spanish language. Regarding our culture lesson, I will teach you about some other “ferias” in Spain and even take a look at Fiesta de cartagineses y romanos in Cartagena.

October

When we think about October, our mind immediately goes to Halloween, or Spain’s national holiday. It depends on what you are interested in.

Topics for the general public:

1. Spooky stories

2. Urban legends

3. How to plan a perfect Halloween party

Topics for Spanish learners:

In this month, our main focus will be on Spain and it’s culture. We will talk about some Spanish symbols in our culture lesson. As for our vocabulary lesson, the main focus will be on telling stories, getting scared, maybe even learn about some Spanish legends that are scary. Since we are telling stories, our focus will also be on the past. The grammar lesson will be based on the imperfect tense, since it is the tense that we use when telling stories.

November

November marks the end of autumn. It is also the month when people celebrate Thanksgiving, and lately more and more countries are adopting the Black Friday sales traditions.

Topics for the general public:

1. Thanksgiving dinner ideas

2. Prepare for Black Friday Sales

3. How to get ready for a family dinner

Topics for Spanish learners:

In November, our main focus in terms on vocabulary will be on shopping. We will talk about sales, about how we buy, even prices. You will know everything that you need in order to survive the Black Friday sales. As for the culture part, we can talk about Día de los muertos. It is a Mexican holiday, but it might be of interest.

December

The last month of the year is also related to Christmas, for some. For others it is all about snow and spending time with the family.

Topics for the general public:

1. Winter holiday ideas

2. Looking back on the year that has passed

3. New Year’s traditions

Topics for Spanish learners:

This month is ideal for learning winter vocabulary, along with some greetings related to Christmas and New Year’s. As for the grammar lesson, it is a good opportunity to review the past tenses, maybe learn something new. In addition, the culture lesson will take a look at the main traditions in Spain for New Year’s. You might even get to celebrate New Year’s there, so you should be prepared.

This is my plan for 2019. If you have any suggestions or anything else that you want me to write about, do not hesitate to ask me. I am here to help you and I wish that you have a great year ahead.

 

Repurposing Content: How to Get the Most Out of Your Posts

Content creators know all too well how much energy it takes to churn out content frequently. A lot of blood, sweat and tears goes into every photograph, every article, every piece of work you put out there. So after you hit that post button, what happens? Your content is out there on the web, but surely you want to make the absolute most of it?

Repurposing content refers to re-using the same ideas and content you have already produced, but in a different format. Not only does this allow you to milk your content, but it also means that you might reach a wider audience that prefer their content in a different format to what you would usually post.

When it comes to repurposing content, it’s a good idea to use your most popular and best-performing posts. Once you have that figured out, you have to decide how to re-package it.

Read on to find out our five ideas for repurposing your content.

1. Turn blog posts into podcasts

Podcasts are proving to be a very popular way of ingesting information online. Busy people can simply stick a podcast on their speakers on the way to work, or listen to it while they fall asleep. It’s a great way of reaching people.

If you don’t have a podcast, it’s pretty easy to set one up. Once you have some recording equipment, simply read your blog posts aloud and then post them online. Then, you can even embed the podcast in your blog post to offer your subscribers a new way to access your content.

2. Combine your best posts into a round-up

At the end of every month or so, try creating a little listicle (that is, a list article) to throw your content right back at your readers. You could also create a round-up based on a particular theme.

This could give your content a new lease on life or even make readers aware of content they had previously missed.

3. Combine newsletters into a blog post

Spend a lot of time sending out e-mail newsletters? Well, now you can repurpose them! Similar to creating a round-up, try combining similar newsletters into a blog post. That way, readers that don’t subscribe to your mailing list also have access to all your content. Of course, you should leave a time delay between the newsletters and the post to ensure that subscribers get exclusive access.

4. Turn quotes or statistics into infographics

Internet users love infographics and images. BuzzSumo found that articles with an image every 75-100 words had the most shares, so you should definitely be paying attention to aesthetics.

Use free image creation tools like canva to create infographics for your statistics. You can post these to Twitter and Instagram with links to your blog posts, too.

5. Turn videos into blog posts (or vice versa)

If you’ve spent time creating a video, you can embed it right there in a blog post to help demonstrate your point. Furthermore, you can transcript the video and make a whole blog post out of it!

Or, if you’ve expended energy writing a blog post, turn it into a script, film it as a video and post it on YouTube!

6. Rewrite it in other language

Typically you start your website in English and after some time you decide to have a Spanish version of your site. 

When doing most of people just get it translated, but in many cases it could be more useful for readers if instead of translate it, you ask your Spanish copywriter to use the content as inspiration. This way, the writer has more freedom than doing a translation, can add value from his own experience and can adapt the text to the audience. Yes I know that good translations should include localization and adapt the text to the audience, but let’s face it, something written by a native don’t need to be adapted, because it is created adapted.

Final thoughts

There are endless ways to repurpose your content, with the above ideas being just a few prompts. As you can see, you just need a little creative streak and you’ll be able to repurpose all your content with ease.

There’s no need to waste your energy, just get innovative!

How to gain more viewers on your blog

When you are writing a blog, you usually do it so that you can share your experience and your knowledge with more people. This is one of the reasons why you opt for writing online as opposed to writing in your journal. If however, you want to make a living out of writing a blog, then one thing that you will definitely need is your viewers. The more readers you have, the more views you will get and thus, a higher income. Below are some of the tips that you should take into account in order for your blog to gain more viewers.

  1. Write engaging content

This is one of the hardest ways of getting viewers, but is also the most rewarding. If you have a bit of trust in yourself, your blog will get noticed. You could write about your passions, your beliefs, your experiences, maybe some events that have changed you. Give your reader something to come back for every time. Write things that will grab their attention in a good way and you will surely win them.

  1. Make your posts something people can relate to

When you write a text and want people to read it, it is really important to be yourself. Readers want to find something that they can relate to, things that they can apply to their daily lives. If people find the stories that you tell similar to what they are going through, they will continue to read. For example you can write about how you became passionate about writing. Maybe it was after a life changing experience or maybe it was something that you have done all of your life. It might inspire people to do the same and they might share the article with their friends and this way your network of readers will expand.

  1. Know who your readers are

It is really important to know who your main audience is when you write your blog. You can adapt your posts to what they like and even respond to their requests. For example, people want to learn some tips on how to improve their writing and they might leave a comment requesting a post about it. Remember, that your readers keep your blog alive and their opinions are really important if you want to use your blog as a source of a viable income.

  1. Communicate with your readers

This is more or less related to tip number three. It is really important to have a comment section on your blog and always respond to your readers’ comments. If you do not know what to say, a simple smiley face might do the trick, or a simple thank you. They want to know that their opinion is important to you and that is why you should not ignore it. Being open to your readers makes them trust you more and have that special connection with you.

  1. Spread the word

Sometimes, all you have to do to gain followers is to spread the word about your blog. You can share your posts on your social media accounts and also exchange links with other bloggers who have sites written on similar topics.

  1. Make a giveaway

You know how most sites, when they reach a certain number of followers, readers, subscribers usually have a giveaway? Well, this is actually quite a good strategy. How do you think it works? Just think about it for a minute. When bloggers have a giveaway, they usually put some conditions. You need to subscribe to their blog, like their most recent blog post and share the link to the blog or even tag a certain number of friends. If the blogger wants to simply give his or her latest book or a certain item, he can do so without you having to do all of these steps. Imagine that besides you, there are many more people who share the post and each share adds at least 2 or 3 more clicks to their site. So, just remember to make a giveaway to celebrate something and also gain viewers.

  1. Make collaborations

We are all best off if we collaborate. For example, you can either opt for collaborating with a brand (they can sponsor you in return for promoting their products or services) or you can collaborate with another blogger. You can try to guest post on his or her blog and get your blog noticed or simply get him or her to mention your blog in one of his or her posts. In return, you can do the same for them. Also, you can write posts together and feature them on both sites (no the same text in two sites, but two texts written by you two) and this way you can generate content and gain more viewers. Wouldn’t that simply be great?

Even if at first, starting a blog might not be so easy, with a bit of faith, you can succeed. The important thing is to never give up. The views will come, and, even if in the beginning you will have a small number of people who read your blog, the important thing is to not panic. Patience is key and you will see that time has a solution for everything.

Try out the tips listed above as they may come in very handy. Also, you can ask other bloggers about how they started out or how they gained viewers and maybe they can give you a helping hand. You never know where you can get your sources of viewers. It might just even be that post that becomes viral over night. One thing is certain, never give up. Even when you have viewers, it is important to keep posting and continue to keep in mind these tips, because as hard as it can be to gain readers, as easy it is to lose them.

What is Marketing Automation?

Any kind of marketing is a lot of work, especially digital marketing. It requires a constant upkeep of high quality content to push products and services, chasing leads and sending e-mails to keep people on the hook. Thankfully, marketing automation provides a way to reduce the workload by cutting out small and repetitive tasks, without compromising quality.

Generally, marketing automation only requires: a central marketing database, with somewhere to store data such as information on your audience; an engagement marketing engine to manage and automate processes such as e-mail; and an analytics engine to measure the impact of marketing techniques on your business.

How it Works

Marketing automation encourages interaction from existing clients and helps to nurture any leads you have.

For example, if you send an e-mail about a product or service to a targeted list of leads, you can use marketing automation to note who clicks the link or downloads the product. Then, these people can receive a thank you e-mail to build a personal relationship with clients. Next, you can send out another e-mail to these people with promotional offers, more information or to push more products.

This technique is so effective because you can still write the e-mails in an amicable and personalised way in order to make you seem trustworthy. This in turn leads to better engagement and a better rapport with clients, encouraging them to continue working with you or buying from you in the future. Of course having you e-mails written by a copywriter may enhance their performance.

What it is Not

Since marketing automation is often used for e-mails, it can be confused with e-mail marketing. However, this technique can also be applied to phone campaigns, direct mail, and it also includes analytics elements to help you improve.

Additionally, marketing automation should not be used to send spam. The end goal of this strategy is to nurture leads and encourage clients to work with or buy from you. Spam will achieve the opposite effect by pushing clients away and is therefore not a useful application of marketing automation.

How to Use Marketing Automation Effectively

In order to achieve the most out of marketing automation, you should be using it along with other digital marketing strategies. This tactic will not work at all unless you have a strong foundation for your business. Other marketing strategies, such as search engine optimization, social media marketing, and many more, should be central to your promotional tactics, with marketing automation used as a bonus.

It is also important to create personalised, highly-targeted content. Since you are wanting to target customers and follow leads, the promotional material you create should really connect with the audience. Creating a relationship with customers is important if you are aiming for success. Ensure that you stay in contact with previous clients to continue building the relationship.

Finally, make sure you have some way of tracking analytics to check your performance. If something doesn’t work, change it as quickly as possible. This is the best way to get the most out of any digital marketing, because it will ensure that clients are getting the best out our your services.

E-Mailing Basics You Shouldn’t Forget

When it comes to online marketing, an often-overlooked tool is e-mail. A lot of brands focus too much on social media and neglect the power of e-mail marketing. That’s why this article is here to explain how useful e-mail can actually be, and how to harness its power.

What E-mail Can Do for Your Traffic

There are a number of ways that e-mail can work wonders and boost your traffic. For starters, e-mail can encourage engagement from existing clients or even bag yourself a few newbies. For instance, if you write a great article on your site, you can e-mail existing readers and subscribers about the new post and increase your traffic.

Using a good ‘call to action’ in your emails can increase engagement on the post, such as asking for users to leave a comment or linking them to other social media channels. Promoting other social media is an excellent way to drive engagement; think about how much user engagement would increase if your e-mail subscribers also followed your accounts on Twitter, Facebook and others.

Similarly, you can drive regular content consumption by asking readers to subscribe to email lists that will send them periodical newsletters or discounts when they are available. These are called content hooks and are a good way to increase user engagement. Speaking of which, discounts and offers sent out by email is an excellent way to drive engagement.

Lastly, e-mail is a great way to create content that works. Writing long e-mail newsletters is handy when you can turn them into posts on your site. Simply add a few links here and there and change parts of the content to make it a brilliant stand-alone blog post. This even could help to your search engine rankings because it provides fresh content to the site.

Now that we know how it helps, what can you do to craft perfect e-mails by taking lessons from email copywriting?

Create an Intriguing Subject Line

Nobody will click on an email with a boring subject line, so it’s absolutely vital to nail this. This is a great opportunity to use words that will appeal to your target audience. Research has shown that people are likely to ignore or delete e-mails with words like ‘buy’ or ‘deal’ in the subject line, so be sure to avoid this, and instead use your SEO skills to find the optimum keywords that will encourage readers.

Keep on with the Keywords

In addition to including keywords in the subject line, make sure to sprinkle a few throughout the body text. If the recipient files the e-mail in a ‘read later’ file, keywords will help the user find the message when they search. It also makes it easier to sell products or services when using relevant vocabulary.

Make it Personal

Selling becomes easier when you develop a relationship with clients and customers. This can be difficult when you don’t actually know the person, but anybody in business knows that you can create a synthetic relationship through language. For example, make sure you address the recipient by name, and use more personal language like using first person or writing “hi” instead of “good day.”

Avoid Spam

According to statistics, 81% of email traffic is spam, meaning email recipients are used to receiving unwanted messages. This means that, not only should you avoid sending spam, but you should also avoid sounding like spam. Consider what makes you click on e-mails you don’t usually read, and start applying those techniques to your own work.

Final Thoughts

In short, SEO and e-mail marketing can go hand in hand. It’s easy to apply SEO lessons to writing electronic messages. Remember these tips and tricks when you’re next sending out e-mails to customers, and you’ll be sure to boost your user engagement.

Writing Style: How to Write a Blog

When it comes to writing a blog post, there are several things that make the writing style differ from, say, a newspaper article or a content marketing post. Of course, there are sometimes overlaps since businesses now often use blogs in order to connect more with their audience. That said, there are certain conventions that blog-style writing should follow, even if yours is a blog for business purposes.

Read on to find out how you should be writing if you want to nail blog posts every time.

Website style

The reason this is the top of the list is that blogs are website-based: the first thing people see when they click the link is the layout of the website. Additionally, people often skim-read when reading things on a screen.

Good formatting uses a constrained column width to make it easier to read, as well as a reasonable text size and font.

Formatting

In addition to the website, each blog post should also be formatted. Use headers and sub headers to separate out the information – large blocks of texts can be too intimidating! Furthermore, you can experiment by using lists and bullet points to further separate out bits of information. Your users will thank you for this, and that leads to an improved user experience.

Use images

Again, the website-based format of a blog means that using images is a great way to catch user attention. The images should be relevant to your content and ideally, they should suit your house style. Images are an easy way to add that little bit more to the text. But here there is one problem: property rights. Even the sites that offer images under creative commons licenses don’t give you the scurity that the image is really under that license, because they just get them from the internet, and sometimes in their research they are misslead by others.

Keep it simple

Short sentences and short paragraphs are the key to blog writing. This relates back to the fact that people on the internet tend to have shorter attention spans. Short sentences are easier to read and understand. That said, too many short sentences consecutively, without punctuation and clauses, can seem very stilted and not flow naturally, so be aware of that.

Converse with the audience

Blogs are very informal pieces of writing. You should be connecting with the audience, making them feel that there’s some common ground between you. This means using personal pronouns (I, you, we) and writing as if you almost know one another. Being too formal is likely to put readers off, especially because they look for a sense of trustworthiness in the brands they’re loyal to.

Invite feedback

One of the great things about blogs is that you can actually open the conversation to your readers. Finish off your posts with calls to action such as “tell me what you think in the comments box!” or ask them their opinion on the topic you have been writing about. Not only is this a brilliant opportunity to drive engagement, but it also provides a sneaky opening to gain some feedback about what you have just said. What better way is there to get to know your audience?

Something to note is that spammers often target the open comments on blogging websites. If you do have commenting enabled, then make sure you check the comments and remove ones that give your brand a negative image. Most blogging software allows you to delete such comments.

Final thoughts

Writing a blog is not so hard once you get the hang of it. As with anything, practice makes perfect, so stick at it and make sure you update regularly to keep your followers on the hook. Above all, follow the above tips to adapt your style to one that resembles a blog, and before you know it your business will be booming.

Why Copywriting is Important for Marketing

If you work in the world of advertising and marketing, it is important to understand the role of copywriting. Often, the words ‘copywriting’ and ‘marketing’ are used interchangeably, which can make the distinction a little confusing.

This article is here to explain to you what the difference between the two actually is and, more importantly, why copywriting is such an essential skill in marketing and advertising.

What’s the difference?

Content marketing means writing pieces that have the purpose of marketing. Copywriting, however, is written with the intent of making the reader take action. It’s used more for direct campaigns and infomercials, or sales pages.

Yes, there is quite a bit of overlap between the two, especially when it comes to marketing. Ideally, you should really be incorporating copywriting (calling readers to purchase, subscribe to mailing lists, or signing up to receive content) into your content marketing.

To summarise, there used to be a wider gap between the two, but now it is essential that you combine both copywriting and content marketing to really maximise your success.

The most important aspects of copy

Writing copy that works is a fairly easy process once you get the hand of it. There are several factors that you should include in your pieces to make sure that its effective copy:

  • Headlines that encourage a high click-through rate (CTR)
  • Content that offers something to the reader
  • Content that builds trust, brand identity, and eventually leads to brand loyalty
  • Text that gains positive social attention
  • Content with a clear call to action (CTA)

These are the key things to include in your marketing material to ensure that you get a high success rate; these will ensure that your readers take action.

Why copywriting is essential

More specifically, good, copywriting is absolutely essential if you want to run a successful campaign. There are many reasons why it is a very important part of the marketing process; let’s take a look at some below.

 

Headline Writing Guide

Copywriting is an essential part of the marketing process. There is a lot of competition out there for freelance copywriters, so how do you make yourself a cut above the rest?

Well, there are several things you need to know about writing good copy that will encourage clients to buy into your products or services. But before they even start reading your text, you need to get them interested in the ad.

This article will explore several factors that are important to consider when copywriting, particularly when it comes to catching customers’ eyes and encouraging them to read on. You can do this improving your headline writing.

People nowadays are bombarded with information in the form of articles, with advertorials and marketing slotted in between. This constant flow of information can easily make your ad fade into the background, but not if you know how to grab the audience’s attention.

The first impression

Even a strong advert won’t perform well if it has a weak first impression. The audience filters out all the information they are seeing by selecting which parts to read and which parts aren’t important. How do they do this? By looking at the visuals and the headlines, or whichever bit stands out most depending on the medium.

In a magazine, for example, the headline and visuals matter most; on a website, it’s the homepage; in an e-mail, it’s the subject line. In essence, you need to be familiar with which marketing technique you are using, and how to best exploit this medium.

The body text is nothing without achieving a good first impression, because people simply won’t bother to read on.

The headline writing

On the subject of headlines, you need to know what makes a good one. A lot of copywriters opt for ‘cliché’ headlines, making use of puns and humor to catch attention. However, the reality of sales is that people want to be sure about the merchandise, not entertained by the salesperson.

This calls for a headline writing that promises the reader some kind of benefit. “How to” headlines or ones that ask questions are likely to engage readers. For example, in Marketingprofs.com used this headline time ago: Do You Know the Secret of World-Class Sales Organizations? It is great because readers are promised the reward of learning this secret if they read the article.

Functions of headlines

Headlines can be used to:

  • Get attention
  • Select the audience
  • Deliver a message
  • Draw the reader in

Stimulating, fun headlines are all well and good, but they’re useless if they’re irrelevant. Without a benefit, potential customers will avoid the ad and you’ll make no sales.

Headlines should also select the audience in some way. Obviously, certain products are marketed at a specific demographic, and this should come across in the headline. For example, selling Spanish courses in China does not require an ad that appeals to Spanish expats; even when they could be interested in the content, they are not going to hire the services!

Research has shown that four out of five readers skip the ad after reading the headline. For this reason, some authors say it can be useful to deliver the whole message right there in the headline. Try including the company name and selling promise in the headline; this might make you some sales without people even bothering to read the copy.

But the Internet is different. Most of search engines take into consideration the CTR = the proportion of people that click to visit your article when they see your headline. The most clicks you get, the best ranking you get. So for the Internet while having a promise is great, having all the information may be counterproductive.

Many products and, in particular, services, require a lot of information to be given before the reader is convinced. Therefore, the headline must get the reader’s interest so that he or she is willing to read on a little more. In this case, less is more – leave the reader wanting to know more, leave them a little curious. This way, they will be encouraged to read on.

For example, when writing copy in Spanish, it is a good way to use words like este, esta, estos, estas (meaning this, these) because they make the insights that are supposed to be found in the copy more specific. A reader can live without knowing the solution of the problem, but they for sure will want to know which is “this” specific solution you talk about. It enhances curiosity.

Types of Headlines

If you know anything about marketing, you’ll know that staying ahead of the game requires originality and variation. That said, when it comes to headline writing, it also means sticking to things that work. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Below are several different formulas identified by Bob Bly (by the way I highly recommend his books) for headline writing that are proven to work.

Direct Headlines

These state things without any ambiguity. Direct headlines tell the reader exactly what they’re getting, straight to the point without any wordplay. Retailers usually use these to announce sales and offers.

Indirect Headlines

These make the point in a not-so-direct way. Remember talking about piquing interest? These are the headlines that raise curiosity and encourage the reader to find out more. Sometimes, they use things like double meaning that force the reader to engage with the body text in order to find out the real meaning.

News Headlines

Words like “new”, “introducing” and “discovery” deliver an announcement about the product. Readers know that the product is new or updated, and this obviously encourages sales. Consumers always want to get their hands on the latest stuff, which is why news headlines work.

How-to Headlines

This is one of the most followed tips of headline writing. So many ad headlines start with “how to”, and there’s a reason for that – it works. They offer a quick fix for whatever problem your demographic is facing, which is why this is the default formula for many marketers.

Question Headlines

Once again, question headlines incite curiosity in the reader, willing them to read on with the hidden promise of finding an answer to that question.

Command Headlines

These utilise Call to Action (CTA) phrases that are oh-so-useful for marketers. Imperatives can easily encourage readers to follow your command and, as a result, buy the product.

Reasons Why Headlines

These headlines include a number, such as “4 ways to,” “12 reasons why”, or something to that effect. They tell the audience exactly what they’re going to get in the copy, which can be an effective technique to get them to read on.

Testimonial Headlines

Nothing makes a sale like evidence that the product works. Putting the headline in quotation marks indicates that it is testimonial evidence backing up the product, which definitely gives the reader more incentive.

Switching between different types is enough variation in the copywriting world. That said, never be afraid to try other techniques if you’re comfortable enough to take a risk and see if it pays off.

Copywriting Headline Templates That Work

Sometimes, it can be hard to know what works, especially when you’re just getting started out. Here, I will give you some classic headline templates that you can steal and mould to fit your work; these are guaranteed to work!

What You Need to Create a Headline

Before we get started with some classic templates, there is some information you need to compile. The templates are very simple and easy to adapt, with certain information stripped out for you to fill in. It’s like a fill in the blanks game, only one that will earn you money if you use it right.

As a copywriter, you should already know the information below, but it is worth knowing what information you need to be thinking about when writing a headline.

Make note of the following details:

  • Product name
  • Target market
  • Benefits of the product
  • Possible objections
  • The time required to get results
  • Negatives about other products

These are, of course, not the only things you can include in a headline, but they are very good starting points.

Headline Tips and Tricks

Writing a headline is important for various types of copywriting. Technically, the tag line of an email functions as a headline, because it needs to reel the reader in in the same kind of way. The templates we give you below can be used for either text headlines or e-mail subjects.

There are many ways to write a headline. You can open with facts, be straightforward and to the point, write a little story (e.g. “They used Pinterest to plan a dream trip” from the Pinterest website), talk directly to the reader…

The possibilities are endless, because writing a headline requires the same flair and writing expertise as anything else. Don’t let my templates make you feel like to have to write rigid headlines every time – have fun with it. Nevertheless, if you’re completely stuck then check out these ideas.

Catchy Headlines Examples

Here you have some examples to write catchy headlines. Remember that since you will likely write for websites, you also need to keep them short, so that they can be included in the search engine results.

  1. Advice to [target market] who want [results]
  2. How I improved [problem] without [objection] in just [time]
  3. The product that is guaranteed to [result] without [objection]
  4. [Number] proven ways to get [results] and [benefits]
  5. Why some [target market] always get results
  6. For just [cost] you can get [results] and [benefits] in [time]
  7. How to [results] in just [time]
  8. The secret that [industry] experts don’t want you to know
  9. Get [result] and [benefit] now for less
  10. [Number] ways to boost your [result] without spending more

Final Thoughts

Copywriting requires a good grasp of how to write hard-hitting headlines that work. As with any marketing technique, this requires a little trial and error as you grow as a copywriter. Try using the above formulas and keep in mind the function of headlines to make sure that your copy grabs attention from the get go.

Selling with Text: Persuading your Audience in Copywriting

The whole point of copywriting is to sell a product or service, which means that any copywriter worth their salt is a master of persuasive writing. If you feel that your writing is lacking lately, or just want to learn how to start, then this article is here to get you back on track.

Features vs. Benefits

In sales, a feature describes something about the product; a benefit explains what the product does Copywriting relies on writing about benefits, not features. Amateur copywriters will focus on the facts, figures and statistics (features), which can be off-putting to readers who will get bored of what is essentially a bullet-pointed list of facts about the products. Good copywriters turn those features into benefits, which makes the reader want to actually buy the product.

If you’re really stuck, make a list of the product features and then, for each one, write what benefit it gives to the consumer. The copy material should be written using the latter information.

The Motivating Sequence

There are a number of formulas used by writers to structure copy and make content that sells. In this article, we discuss the motivating sequence, a five-step formula that will help you produce the best content.

1. Attention

Headlines are there to grab the attention of the reader. There are a number of ways to do this, including different types of headlines. It’s a good idea to include the product’s strongest benefit here, to ensure that you definitely hook the reader.

2. Create a problem

The advert should point out something that the reader is lacking in their lives. The need for the product may not be at the forefront of the audience’s mind, which makes it your job to point out what they’re missing.

3. Solve that problem

Quickly show the reader that your product or service is the solution to the problem you just told them about. It shows that your product can satisfy the needs of the customer, and therefore encourages a purchase.

4. Back up your claim

Now you need to prove that your product does what it says on the tin. Discuss the benefits of the product, use testimonials or show that the product works by using evidence from studies. This gives the reader evidence that your product is reliable and reinforces the idea that it’s something they need.

5. Call to action

Call to Action (CTA) phrases are essential in marketing. Ask the reader to do something after reading the article. Ask them to purchase your product by whatever means necessary and make it easier for them to do so by including the company name, address and phone number in case they have questions. For retail copy, include store locations and opening times. Put order forms in the catalogue. Essentially, you need to make sure the reader knows how easy it is to get their hands on your product.

False Logic

Copywriting sometimes treads on a fine line between facts and deception. This sounds morally worse than it really is. It is the copywriters job to help readers make their own decisions about products by presenting facts. However, a good portion of the time, readers wouldn’t by products if the facts were presented so simply.

For example, a catalogue for Harry & David says “Not one person in 1,000 has ever tasted them” in an ad for pears. To the untrained eye, this makes the product seem luxurious and rare; on the other hand, a logician might say that the pears aren’t very popular.

This is called false logic, a term coined by Michael Masterson. It is used by the top marketers, simply because it’s a very effective technique. Even McDonald’s uses it, promoting their “billions sold” slogan to lead consumers into the logic that, just because something is popular, it must be good. Copywriters must twist facts into statements that make consumers want to buy the product.

Unique Selling Proposition

A Unique Selling Proposition, or USP, is something that your product offers that competing products don’t. There are three requirements for a USP:

  1. A benefit or promise to the reader
  2. An element of uniqueness that differentiates the product from similar ones
  3. The differentiation cannot be minor; it must be important to the reader

So many adverts flop because they fail to create a real USP. It isn’t actually all that hard to come up with a USP, but it does require some thought. A popular method is to find a feature that other products don’t have, but writers often slip up here in that they don’t make the USP significant enough. The USP needs to be something that cannot then also be stressed by the competition.

A long-term method would be to build brand personality. Malboro-man commercials marketed Marlboro as the ‘macho’ cigarette, which differentiated it from other cigarettes based solely on brand impression. This, of course, takes much more time, but it can pay off for large companies.

Target Audience

This might seem an obvious point, but it’s absolutely imperative to know who you’re writing the ad for. Successful salespeople can empathise with their customers, understanding their needs and personality (and even their prejudices). Understanding why the customer would buy your product is key; put yourself in their shoes and consider what would make you want to make the purchase. Copy should please the audience in a way that makes them feel understood and like their needs will truly be met by your product.

Thinking like a consumer is an easy way to write copy that sells. Make sure you know exactly who you’re selling to, and that way you can write copy that sells.

Final Thoughts

Copywriters are, in essence, salespeople. This is why, as a copywriter, you need to be able to know the sales techniques and how to incorporate these into writing. Once you get the hand of it, you can put your sales hat on every time you sit down to type and put yourself in the customer’s head. As long as you develop a unique selling proposition, know your audience and provide them with obvious benefits, you can be writing excellent copy in no time.