copywriting

[209] How to write great copy with John Espirian

When it comes to writing content for your business, it’s important to understand exactly who you are writing for and be able to speak their language.

In this episode, technical writer John Espirian shares practical tips on how to get tuned into your audience’s needs and write compelling content to help grow your business.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • John Espirian’s business story - how he became a technical copywriter and blogger
  • The questions you need to ask about your audience before you start writing
  • Some of the most common copywriting mistakes made by businesses - and how to avoid them
  • Why John thinks you are the best person to write content for your business
  • How to research the language your prospective customers use, by using LinkedIn, Facebook groups and industry forums
  • Practical ways of writing in a conversational tone - including using voice memos to create written content
  • Ideas on where to get inspiration for blog headlines
  • What to consider when it comes to keywords and the search engine optimisation (SEO) of your content
  • Why every piece of content you write should encourage an action

Key resources

Order the 2018 media diary or join the media diary owners’ club

The Soulful PR Studio

Your Year in PR - my media planning masterclass

Video of Soulful PR Live

Soulful PR for Starters

A PDF guide to navigating the podcast episodes

John Espirian’s website

John on Twitter

KW Finder

Keyword Tool.io

Answer the Public

Podcast Are you making this mistake with your about page? (episode 144)

Podcast SEO made simple with Martin Huntbach (episode 167)

Podcast Shut up and write with Stella Orange (episode 99)

Podcast How to tackle writer’s block (episode 172)

Podcast Six types of blog post you should be creating regularly (episode 134)

My blog post Why using big words can make you look stupid

Podcast How to quadruple your income through blogging with Kate McQuillan (episode 119)

Podcast How to use competitions in your marketing with Kate McQuillan (episode 191)

Livestream Katya’s website

Podcast How to use livestreaming to make money in your business with Livestream Katya (episode 103)

Podcast How to build raving fans through livestreaming (and why you need to) with Livestream Katya 195

Soulful PR Podcast Community on Facebook: chat about the show with Janet and other listeners

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My FREE Soulful PR Facebook Community: tips & advice for promoting your business

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

What to do next

If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it using the social media buttons at the top of this page.

I’d also love it if you could take a few minutes to  leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes. I read every one personally and may even read yours out on the show.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live.

 

[113] How to write non-spammy marketing emails

If you want to build a profitable business, email marketing is a must. But what should you write in your email copy? And can you ensure people actually read it?

In this episode, business coach Nadia Finer shares her tips on crafting email marketing copy that people want to read.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Nadia Finer’s business story - from marketing strategist to business coach
  • How to focus on building an email list of people who want to hear from you
  • Ways to write emails that people look forward to receiving
  • Why everything that happens to you is a content opportunity
  • Tips on how to tell compelling stories in your email marketing
  • Why unsubscribes shouldn’t be considered as a bad thing
  • The importance of coming up with effective email subject lines

Key resources

Nadia Finer’s website

Nadia Finer on Twitter

My Black Friday offer

Soulful Marketing one-day masterclass - select 'Black Friday' ticket 

Your Year in PR media planning masterclass - enter code BLACKFRIDAY16 for special offer

Nadia Finer’s Profit Pack business club: use the code PlanetJanet and get $25 your first month - so your first month is just $5.

Here's the link to the sales page with all the details.
http://nadiafiner.com/profit-pack/

2017 media diary to plan your year ahead

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My Soulful PR group coaching  programme (next intake starts in March 2017)

The Soulful PR Business Club

My FREE Soulful PR Facebook Community

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

What to do next

If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it using the social media buttons at the top of this page.

I’d also love it if you could take a few minutes to  leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes. I read every one personally and may even read yours out on the show.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live.

[097]How to legally protect your online business with Genevieve Shingle-Jaffe

Genevieve Shingle-Jaffe - aka the Shiny Lawyer - helps business owners protect their businesses - both through online training and off-the-shelf legal documents that can be customised for your business.

In this episode, she explains the biggest legal mistakes online business owners make and how to avoid them.

Here’s what's covered in this episode:

  • Genevieve's business journey: from corporate lawyer  to running her own online business
  • The essential legal documents Genevieve believes every business owner needs
  • What kind of budget to aside for your essential legal documents
  • How to protect your brand through trademarking
  • What kind of things you should consider when putting legal documents e.g. refund policies together
  • How (and why) Genevieve turned her legal knowledge into an online course
  • Why getting your legal documents in order is a PR issue

Key resources

Genavieve's website 

Genavieve on Twitter  and Instagram 

Suzanne Dibble - UK lawyer specialising in small businesses

Soulful PR Session with Angela CorpeITV's Good Morning Britain (Oct 20)

Soulful PR session with Hannah Fearn, opinion editor, the Independent (Nov 23)

Soulful PR session with Andrea Thompson, Features Director, Marie Claire magazine,The Guardian (Dec 15)

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My Soulful PR group coaching  programme (next intake starts in March)

The Soulful PR Business Club 

My FREE Soulful PR Facebook Community

What to do next

If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it using the social media buttons at the top of this page.

I’d also love it if you could take a few minutes to  leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on itunes. I read every one personally and may even read yours out on the show.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live.

[064] Three writing hacks that will help you write stylish copy - fast

So you’ve pitched an idea to a newspaper, magazine or online publication and the editor has said ‘yes’.

The trouble is, you’ve now got to write the bloomin’ thing. And it’s sent  you into full-on panic mode.

Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone.

I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t feel nervous about writing for a new publication or in a style they’re not used to. And that includes award-winning writers.

Here’s what I cover in this episode:

  • Why having hang-ups about your writing means you're probably a better writer than you think
  • The most common writing mistake (and how to avoid it)
  • How to write powerful beginnings and endings

Key resources and links

Best UK podcast of 2016 award - please vote for me before June 10

Why we need to talk more about miscarriage 

Is it so bad for me to have a career and be a working mum? 

Why women need to stop working for free 

Doctors warned me my premature baby might struggle at school 

How to sound great on radio  with Kevin Field (episode 59)

Soulful PR Live - spend a day with me & eight national journalists in London on July 7

The Soulful PR Business Club

The Soulful PR Facebook Community 

What to do next

If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it using the social media buttons at the top of this page.

I’d also love it if you could take a few minutes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on itunes. I read every one personally and may even read yours out on the show.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live.

[0021] Guest post like a boss with Kimanzi Constable

Kimanzi Constable used to be a bread delivery guy. Now he's a writer who's sold over 100,000 copies of his books and been published on hundreds of influential blogs and websites including the Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, The Good Men Project, Fox News, MindBodyGreen & many more. 

In this episode, he shares his tips & advice on how you can use guest posting to grow your business or brand. 

Here’s what's covered in this episode:

  • Kimanzi's journey from 'bread guy' to writer (& how he lost 170 pounds, saved his marriage & moved his family to Hawaii along the way)
  • How he pitched and placed 80 guest posts in influential blogs & websites - in his first year of writing (with no formal training)
  • The article he wrote that helped sell 2,200 copies of his book
  • Where Kimanzi gets his ideas from (his writing output is incredible)
  • His insider tips for successful guest posting (including writing great bios, headlines & 'cross-over' articles)

Key resources and links

How to become a contributing writer on large media sites (Kimanzi’s interview on the Pat Flynn podcast)

Kimanzi's website

Kimanzi on Twitter & Facebook 

Kimanzi's new book Stop Chasing Influencers (out next month)

Articles we talk about in this episode

7 choices you'll regret at the end of your life  & the day after my wife & I separated (two of Kimanzi's 'viral' Huffington Post articles)

After 16 years with my wife, it still feels like the honeymoon period  (another of Kimanzi's viral posts)

49 words you should avoid in your press releases 

How to do PR if you're an introvert

5 reasons why social media marketing is overrated 

What to do next

If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it using the social media buttons at the top of this page.

I’d also love it if you could take a few minutes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on itunes. I read every one personally and may even read yours out on the show.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live.

Want to get more press coverage in 2016? Click here to get my free video training: how to get your first article published in the national media 

 

 

 

 

How to write ridiculously useful web copy

Are you completely focused on reading this article?

Perhaps you’re watching television or flicking between this post and your inbox.

Maybe you’re in a meeting.

Even if you’re 100 percent focused right now, I bet you’ve multi-tasked today: checking Facebook over breakfast, reading emails during a meeting or watching television while you shop online.

So you won’t be surprised to hear that most people don’t read web copy, word-for-word.

They skim and scan.

Keep it simple

When you’re writing for the web, you need to keep it simple. That means short words, sentences and paragraphs. No complex or technical vocabulary. And no ‘word waste’ (that’s anything that doesn’t add meaning or insight).

Choose strong verbs, use adjectives sparingly and your writing will have more bite.

It’s the difference between this:

The keen sharp spike of pleasure when I make something new and an all consuming feeling that continues to drive me to explore more.

and this:

Cooking excites me.

Every word works for its place on the page.

Just as it should do.

Break it up

According to the  latest research, the average attention span is now just eight seconds.

So when you’re writing for the web, you need to break up your text with bullet points, subheadings and images.

Add value by adding hyperlinks - both to your own site - like this article on 11 signs you're a good writer (word nerds will love #11) - and to other peoples’, like Hubspot’s 55% of people spend less than 15 seconds on your website. Should you care?

Use active voice

Note the difference between these two sentences:

The newspaper is being read by the girl (passive voice)

and

The girl is reading the newspaper (active voice)

The second is more engaging because the subject of the sentence (i.e. the girl) is performing the action stated by the verb (reading the newspaper). It is more direct and uses less words.

The wrongness of passive voice isn’t universal, but wouldn’t it have been clearer if I had said passive voice isn’t always wrong?

p.s. I stole that line from this Copyblogger article but that’s ok. Here’s why it’s good to be a copycat.

Write killer headlines

Sadly there’s no magic formula for headline writing (although I’ve written more here about what motivates people to read, watch or listen to something). But some types of headlines do seem to work with most audiences.

Posing questions works well - as in this post: Want to get more press coverage? Try using these 9 influential words. It’s also a bit of a tease, as is 23 questions you should ask yourself before you pitch an idea to a journalist. It’s no accident that both use numbers (the odder the better) as does my most popular post: 49 words you should avoid in your press releases. Putting contrasting ideas together can also be effective, as I found with another of my greatest hits: why using big words can make you look stupid. 

You might also like how to write exciting copy about boring things.

Do think about what people might type into a search engine to find your content and try to use key words and phrases in your headline (and opening paragraph). But don’t get too hung up on SEO.

Quality should come first.

Always.