Blog Copywriting Tips: 5 Steps to Follow when Writing Effective Blogs

tips to follow for blog copywriting
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According to Forbes, having a blog on your website increases search engine traffic, humanizes your brand and increases leads.

But a blog will only achieve those results if it’s written properly! Here are five of the best blog copywriting tips we suggest you follow when writing your small business’ blog.

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Infographic: 17 Unknown Facts About Small Business Copywriting

It’s getting more and more difficult to be successful as a small business owner without effective web copywriting.

Think about it: the majority of consumers head to good old Google for information and answers. And if that consumer lands on your website and finds a lack of engaging, relevant copy, guess what they’re going to do next?

That’s right, they will choose another website – probably your direct competitors’!

All but ten percent of organizations are using copywriting in their marketing efforts. But not all copywriting is the same! Only quality, error-free, SEO-friendly copy gets people to hang around your site, build interest in your brand and eventually create more customer conversions.

Learn more about small business copywriting with these interesting facts!


As Toronto copywriters, we can get you results you deserve from your small business’ copywriting! Arrange a free consultation with us today.

5 Small Business Management Tips that Will Save You Time

small business management tips

As a small business owner, you feel like you work constantly.

Even on your ‘off-time’ (what is that?!), the wheels of your mind never stop turning. You’re constantly thinking about how to improve your business, get more customers and increase your sales.

But no matter how many hours you work, you can never seem to get to the end of your to-do list.

When you’re working in this manner, it’s only so long before you suffer from burn-out. And as a small business owner, you definitely can’t afford that to happen!

That’s why it’s important to start working smarter. Here are five small business management tips that can help you accomplish that!

#1) Plan Your Time

Improving the productivity of you and your team starts with getting organized.

Take some time at the beginning of each week to review your business’ projects and goals. Then create a master list of all the tasks you need to accomplish.

Next, estimate how long each task would take to complete and prioritize each task. Open up your calendar and schedule a suitable time to focus on each specific priority.

Trying to remember things that need to be completed is an energy drainer. Instead, write down any item that needs to be done so that you no longer have to remember it yourself.

Solution: Make a list of three tasks that you want to accomplish each day.

#2) Stop Wasting Time

Many times, meetings that are held with the goal of increasing efficiency end up doing the complete opposite. They can quickly get off track, drag on for hours and create confusion for your staff about what still needs to be done.

Even worse, they can leave employees feeling mentally exhausted which can affect the rest of their workday.

Solution: Before scheduling a meeting, think about whether the information can be shared in an email or memo instead. If a meeting is still necessary, try to limit your meeting to a half hour or less.

#3) Just Do It

It’s easy to get into a habit of putting off certain business tasks by telling yourself you’ll complete them tomorrow.

But then tomorrow happens and they remain on your to-do list.

Apply the Nike philosophy and “just do it” when it comes to tasks that need to be done! For any task that takes you less than two minutes to complete, stop putting it off and do it immediately. If a task requires longer than a couple of minutes to complete, either schedule it to be completed at a later date or see if it can be delegated to someone else on your team.

Solution: Begin your day with the task that you least prefer before you accomplish anything else. This helps set the tone for a more productive day!

#4) Control Your Email

Our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. Receiving constant alerts for new emails and social media comments isn’t helping.

How many times have you started completing a task only to abruptly stop it when you receive a new email notification?

When was the last time you took a few minutes to scroll through social media?

Regularly pausing your work to start a new task causes you to start and stop a different train of thought – creating more work for you in the end.

Solution: Schedule a maximum of three times each day to check your email and respond to social media comments. Ignore (or stop) phone notifications otherwise! When sending emails, use short, efficient messages and only include necessary parties.

#5) Outsource When Possible

You only have so many hours in each day. Wouldn’t you rather spend them focussing on key business aspects that you excel at rather than ones you struggle with?

Outsourcing is one of the best ways to get tasks accomplished that require the skills you lack.

Was math never your strong suit? Then outsource your company’s payroll to a bookkeeper.

See the benefits of a regular e-newsletter but regularly experience writer’s block? Then check out a copywriter.

Need a new website that you can drive traffic to? Look for an affordable web designer.

Sure, outsourcing may initially seem like a luxury for small business owners. But when you use an affordable one, it actually isn’t! Plus, hiring an expert to complete a task that your skillset isn’t suitable for can bring savings in time, stress and productivity.

Solution: Decide what business tasks you dislike the most or are least qualified to complete. Then find a freelancer to fulfill that role.

As a small business owner, it doesn’t take long to get overwhelmed. But by implementing the small business management tips above, you can quickly experience an increase in productivity and a decrease in your stress level!

For more information about the services we provide as Toronto copywriters, contact us today!

How to Write a Blog Post that Gets Noticed

Blog writing questions

It’s no longer a choice to have a blog as a small business – it’s a necessity.

The majority of shoppers seek advice from the Internet before making purchases these days. According to WordPress, over 409 million people view blogs every single month.

At first glance, this seems like a huge potential audience base for your small business to reach.

However, this outlook changes upon realizing how competitive the world of blogging really is. With an estimated 505 million blogs on the Internet, how do you make your blog stand out?

Wondering how to write blog posts that will get noticed by the right audience?  Looking to grow traffic on your already established blog? Follow these five tips to start getting more views and traffic to your blog – starting today!

How to Write a Blog Post, Step 1: Write the Right Stuff

Blog content that an audience will want to read in full and share with others is the best way to build and cultivate an audience.

In order to do that, you need to create content that will be useful and appealing to your audience.

Let’s say, for example, that you’re the owner of a plumbing company. Instead of only writing blog posts about your products and services, craft topics from the viewpoint of your customer base. What type of questions does your company frequently get asked? What is your most requested service?

Sharing tips about how to unclog a sink on your own may be more likely to be shared to others than a blog devoted solely to self-promotion.

How to Write a Blog Post, Step 2: Pay Attention to SEO

When you need an answer to a product question or advice about a service, who do you turn to?

More than likely, it’s Google.

Google is still one of the key ways of generating traffic to your blog. But in order for Google to rank your site in search engine results, you need to be crafting content with SEO in mind.

Keyword research, optimized meta descriptions, engaging headlines and more all contribute to an effective SEO strategy.

Have no idea what we’re talking about? We can help.

How to Write a Blog Post, Step 3: Get Your Blog Out There

So you’ve spent the time crafting engaging, informative, error-free blog copy. Now you need to get it in front of the right audience!

Social Triggers’ Derek Halpern insists that you should be following the 80/20 rule. Blog writing should only take 20% of the time; the remaining 80% should be devoted to promoting the blog.

Besides ensuring your blog’s SEO friendly, you should be promoting it on social media in every way possible. Include social media sharing buttons on the bottom of each blog post so that readers can easily share your content with their networks. Start a Facebook page for your business and tweet your new blog posts.

Engaging and interacting in online discussions with other bloggers is another great way to promote your blog. Oftentimes, the author of the blog you comment on will check out your own work – and may even become a subscribed reader.

Every once in a while, send a link to your email list that includes a link to your blog. Include it in your email signature as well!

How to Write a Blog Post, Step 4: Continue to Put in the Effort

When comments are generated on your blog, be sure to respond to them. Whether they’re positive or negative comments, they can help improve your site and provide content that your audience wants to read.

Be sure to blog regularly, too. You have a better chance of developing an audience quicker if you blog frequently using a regular posting schedule.

Building a successful blog that has a lot of followers takes time. But if you put in the work to develop great content and promote it effectively, your hard work should soon pay off.

For more marketing tips for small business owners, be sure to subscribe to our blog by using the link in the sidebar.

How Do I Write a Blog Post?

guy with writer's block

So you’ve had “create a blog post” on your to-do list for a few days now.

But each time you sit down in front of the keyboard, you end up looking at a blank screen…unsure of where to begin.

Sometimes starting a blog post can be the most difficult step of the entire blog writing process. But normally once the pen gets flowing – errr keys get pushed – the content seems to flow!

Need some help with thinking of a blog topic, a headline, or a great intro? Wondering how to write a blog post that will bring traffic to your site?

Below are some blog writing tips that we follow ourselves at Sarah McKenzie Copywriting Services!

How to Write a Blog Step #1) Understand Your Reader

Whether you’ve been blogging for years or have just started, coming up with fresh topics that will resonate well with your audience can be difficult.

Creating an effective blog post takes plenty of time (and sometimes sweat and tears, too!)! What’s the point in spending your (already limited) time and energy on an article that won’t be read by your target market?

Spend some time researching your audience and conducting market research to learn about their needs. This can be as simple as generating a question on your social media sites asking your audience to post industry-related questions that they want answers to.

Taking the time to fully comprehend your readers helps you create copy that won’t just get read, but shared, too.

How to Write a Blog Step #2) Generate a Topic

Now that you have a better understanding of your audience, you need to brainstorm some topics that would interest them. What do they want to read?

Check out your competition and see what type of topics are getting shared and commented on regularly. Perform keyword research to identify what search terms are most frequently getting searched in Google related to your industry.

Don’t forget about using the power of social media for your topic research, too! Follow industry leaders and read informative articles to remain up-to-date on industry trends and news. These can be great sources for time-sensitive, trend-related blog articles.

How to Write a Blog Step #3) Know What You Want to Say

It’s time to start creating your blog article now! Decide what your spin will be on the topic you’ve chosen. Maybe your competitor did a great how-to article that trended well on social media. Instead of copying that idea, make it your own. For example, change your competitors’ how-to post to an article that discusses what to avoid instead.

Your article’s intro must be engaging enough to entice a reader to continue reading. Make your article’s topic apparent right away. Doing so helps the reader to quickly identify whether your article will be useful to them or not. You don’t want to drive potential traffic away when your article seems to lack focus!

Whenever you get stuck writing, take a step back and review what you’ve written so far. Are you staying focused on your topic? Are you creating content that will keep your audience interested and engaged until the end?

In a lot of cases, experiencing writer’s block is a result of not knowing how to clearly articulate your thoughts. Take a break, and come back to your keyboard with a fresh mind.

How to Write a Blog Step #4) Craft a Catchy Title

We always create our titles after the article writing is complete.

Wondering why? From our experience, we’ve found that generating a topic right away can really roadblock our writing process. You can get so stuck on creating the perfect title that you become too frustrated to write the actual article.

After we start writing the article itself, topic generation becomes much easier for us. It almost seems to write itself! Keep in mind that the title is even more important than the content since it is what compels your audience to continue reading or not.

Don’t forget about your meta description! This helps your article appeal to readers in search results.

Conclusion

Sometimes even with the best intentions, crafting your company’s blog is just not your forte. And that’s okay!

Knowing when to outsource certain tasks to experts can bring a range of benefits to your company. If you’re interested in learning more about outsourcing your company’s blog to an experienced Toronto copywriter, we would love to help!

Blog Writing 101: What to Include in Your Next Blog Article

computer desk

You’ve come up with a great blog topic and you’re excited to craft your next article.

But how do you ensure it will be your best one yet; that it will generate the website traffic, social media shares and comments/likes that it deserves?

Simple – by including six key requirements.

From the article’s first few lines to its final sentence, here’s what to include in every blog article you create to maximize results!

A Compelling Title

In a maximum of five seconds, a reader will decide whether they’re going to read your blog article or not. Without an interesting title, the chances of a reader continuing on is virtually zero. Why put all that effort into writing an entire blog article, without dedicating even more effort to crafting the perfect title?

A headline plays an important role. Besides clearly informing people what your article is all about, it gets readers excited to read your entire article. Plus, integrating SEO techniques into your title can compel people to click on your site in search engine results instead of your competitors’ websites.

Topic Generation

When writing a blog article, you need to write about what your reader wants to read, which may differ from what you actually want to write.

Blog articles are targeted to a certain audience and must address their needs and wants. Why would they choose your company over your competitor? How can your company’s products/services fulfill their needs?

Coming up with topics can be tough if you aren’t an experienced copywriter. You need to not only generate an interesting topic but one that will be searched on Google, too. Conducting some keyword research is key during this stage and our Toronto copywriting services can help you do that successfully!

Length

One question that we often get asked by our clients is in regards to optimal blog article length: “How long should each and every blog post be that we create?”

There’s no simple answer to that. Blog length depends on your topic, your audience and your intent.

Does your audience enjoy reading long-form copy, or are you targeting people who are already crunched for time?

How much information do you have to discuss while keeping your audience engaged?

Do you want to provide a broad overview of a topic and encourage readers to reach out to you for more information? Or do you want your blog article to address numerous questions so that you only get traffic that is more likely to convert into customers?

When it comes to blog length, we always tell our clients that it’s the quality that matters. A 1,000-word long blog post is useless if nobody will want to read it!

Readability

Your blog needs to be easy to read which is why you need to make readability a priority.

Keep sentences short, avoid flowery phrases and edit, edit, edit! Target your writing to your audience – ie. depending on who your blog’s intended for, it may be okay to use acronyms.

Don’t forget about the power of subheadings! They help break up your content so that readers short on time can skim to the exact information that interests them.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The world of Google is constantly changing and it can be difficult to keep up.

Staying on top of the newest algorithms and SEO techniques helps your content get found by search engines. SEO cannot be learned overnight – and even the most experienced copywriter is constantly learning new tips.

Title length, keyword research, meta descriptions and more help get your content in-front of the audience you’re targeting.

Call to Action (CTA)

Each blog article you write should include a CTA that encourages some sort of action by your reader.

Maybe it’s to sign up for your e-newsletter, email you for an estimate, or download your newest e-book. Whatever you decide on, including a CTA in each of your blog articles will help grow your audience base and convert more customers.

The Bottom Line

Many company owners think that blog writing will be a very simple task. But in order to get the best results, your blog needs to include the six items above.

At the end of the day, you want to increase website traffic and get more sales. Your blog is a great way to help you achieve these goals!

For the greatest chance of blog writing success, hire a Toronto copywriter that’s experienced with writing effective blog posts. Contact us today for a free consultation!

5 Questions to Ask a Potential Copywriter

hire sign

So you’ve finally made the leap and have decided to outsource your company’s copywriting needs? Good for you! Not only will this move free up time in your busy schedule, but hiring an expert should bring you more web traffic – and a higher customer conversion rate, too.

However, getting results from your copywriting is only possible if you hire a copywriter who knows what they’re doing. Here are five important questions that will help you hire the best copywriter for your needs.

#1) How Long Have You Been a Copywriter?

Experience matters when it comes to writing copy that will be engaging, informative and accurate. Only experienced copywriters know how to make that happen.

Choose a copywriter who has been in business for at least five years. Doing so means he/she has been around long enough to establish a reputation, plus there should be plenty of work samples.

The world of copywriting – especially SEO copywriting – is constantly evolving. Someone who has been copywriting for a while will know this and should be well versed on current best practices.

#2) What Type of Industry Are You Comfortable Writing About?

As much as we hate to admit it, we’re not good at everything.

And that’s not a bad thing! At Sarah McKenzie Copywriting Services, we are firm believers that we should “do what we do best and outsource the rest” ourselves. (That’s why we don’t do our own accounting!)

The same logic applies to copywriters. Not all writers are familiar – or even interested – in writing about certain industries, so asking this question can quickly screen out unsuitable candidates.

#3) What is Your Schedule Like?

Working with a freelancer can be a challenging relationship if both parties aren’t honest with each other from the beginning.

Since most freelancers are remotely based, there isn’t a chance for many face-to-face meetings. Instead, emails and phone calls are the main communication methods used.

Freelancers likely have multiple clients and competing deadlines. If it sounds like your client already has a lot on their plate, ask how they will be able to accommodate you as a client. For example, we request that our blog clients submit their topic requests to us a minimum of two weeks in advance. Otherwise, they risk not getting their copywriting completed on schedule.

If you’re more of a last-minute person, be upfront to potential copywriters and see if this would work for him/her.

#4) Can I See Samples of Your Work?

More than likely you’ve already checked out a potential copywriter’s website by the time you reach out to them for a consult. But if you haven’t, now’s the time! Seeing for yourself what type of copy they have created in the past can give you an idea if their writing style is suitable for your company.

Asking for testimonials or references from past clients can also provide huge insight into a particular copywriter’s strengths. Getting him/her to complete a test project first (before signing a contract) can provide you with an even deeper understanding of their writing style.

#5) What Can You Tell Me About My Company?

A great copywriter takes the time to research each piece of copy they produce. To find out if your potential copywriter has this skill set, ask them to tell you what they already know about your company. Find out what he/she thinks your target market is and what style of writing should be used throughout your copy.

A copywriter who is able to answer these questions accurately means that he/she has done research prior to your interview and is genuinely interested in getting your business.

Hiring the Best Toronto SEO Copywriter For Your Needs

You’ve decided to outsource copywriting to make your life easier and get more results for your company. That’s why hiring “just any copywriter” won’t do!

If you’re going to outsource your company’s copywriting, make sure you do it right. After you’ve found some potential copywriters using these tips, be sure to ask them the five questions above. And if you’re considering hiring us as your Toronto, Hamilton, Burlington SEO copywriter, then know you’re choosing a company who is highly experienced, professional and affordable.

See for yourself! Contact us today for a free consultation about your blog, web, press release, or other copywriting needs!

Who Needs Copywriting?

mystery face

In business, there are some tasks that you may be fine with figuring out for yourself.

Like managing payroll.

And even hiring your staff.

Then, there are those other tasks that are best left to the professionals – copywriting being one of them.

We frequently get asked to clarify who needs copywriting and what copywriting actually means. That’s why we decided to devote an entire article to this topic.

Here’s everything you need to know about the art of copywriting and whether you should be utilizing it in your business.

What is Copywriting?

Anything that you read that a business publishes – from blog and web content to e-books, brochures, social media posts and more – is completed using copywriting techniques.

Copywriting is the art of writing text to be used for marketing purposes. Not only is it used to sell a product or service, but it can also be used to educate an audience about a brand.

Traditional copywriting (ie. print ads and billboards) is well-known for its in-your-face, blatant sales technique. Like traditional copywriting, new age copywriting (ie. e-newsletters and blogs) requires copy that is still persuasive, engaging and interesting but uses a more discreet selling technique.

Although writing copywriting that sells has never been easy, the advent of the Internet has made it even more difficult. In order to get found on Google, your copy needs to be created with SEO in mind. The higher you rank on Google with effectively written copy, the higher your chances are of generating website traffic that can turn into customer leads.

Every business needs text written. And that text is best written by a copywriter.

So, Who Needs Copywriting?

Now that you know what copywriting is all about, do you think that you can complete it for your own business?

The following three questions can help you to determine if you need help with your copywriting or not:

#1) Do I know enough about SEO?

You need to be writing copy using SEO techniques in order to appear in search results.

#2) Do I have enough time to write compelling, informative copy on a regular basis?

To rank on Google, your site needs to be publishing relevant, interesting, error-free copy on a regular basis. If you don’t have the time to ensure quality copy is produced, it’s best to hire a copywriter.

#3) Do I want to grow my business?

Professional copywriters have the knowledge, skillset and experience to write in a way that targets your market and builds your company’s brand.

The Bottom Line

To stand out from your competition, your business needs great copy.

Although many people have writing skills, not everyone can be a copywriter. Great copy instills a reader to take action on a product, service or brand. It should be created using effective copywriting techniques and be spelling and grammar free.

Even more important, it needs to use the latest SEO techniques so that you actually show up in Google results.

If you’re not already a copywriting superstar, we can help! Send us an email by using our contact form or call us at 519-717-7700.

 

Why Should My Business Have a Blog?

completing a blog post o

“Everyone’s doing it.”

Blogging, that is.

Even though it may seem like every small business has a blog, many have still not stepped foot into the blogging world.

Whether it’s due to a lack of time or a lack of knowledge, the time is now to start a blog! Here are the five biggest reasons why blog writing is important for your business.

#1) Business Blogs Create Better Search Results

Google rewards sites that regularly produce fresh content.

The more pages your website has, the higher your chances are of being ranked, being posted to social media and attracting a new audience. Blogging provides an organized way to constantly add new information to your site without creating clutter.

Most importantly, each new blog post creates one more opportunity for your site to appear in Google search results.

#2) Business Blogs Create More Leads

Every single blog article that you write creates a chance to convert website traffic into leads. One of the best ways to do that? Include a lead-generating call-to-action at the bottom of each blog post.

Whether you want to include a free offer such as an e-book, an opportunity to subscribe to an email or newsletter, or a contact method to reach your business, a blog post isn’t complete without a call-to-action.

#3) Business Blogs Establish Authority

Think about this for a moment: what do you go on Google for?

More than likely, it’s to find an answer to a question that you have.

Use this tactic when writing your blogs. Think about issues that your customers have – questions about suitable products and services, answers to key industry problems, etc.

Stuck on topic ideas? Brainstorm with your staff – especially your salespeople – to see what customers are most frequently asking them.

Now craft a blog article around that question!

#4) Business Blogs Create Long-term Results

Spending the time writing a blog article is worth it! Unlike a paid ad, blogging provides the opportunity for long-term results – making your time (and money) better spent.

Once your blog article gets published, it can continue to rank in search engines for years to come. Writing evergreen content (or content that continues to be relevant past its publication date) often leads to compounding posts – or posts that generate leads past their publication date.

Your Blog is a Valuable Marketing Tool

Many small business owners are quick to get discouraged if their blog writing doesn’t produce immediate results.

However, patience is a virtue when it comes to blogging! Putting in the time and effort to write an effective, SEO friendly post that contains evergreen content can generate leads long past the day you hit “publish.” No further resource investment is necessary, yet traffic and leads continue to be generated from that effective copywriting.

Your website is only valuable if people can find it, and blogging provides the key to doing that.

Want to get your business’ blog off the ground? We would love to help! Sarah McKenzie Copywriting Services provides professional copy for businesses based in Toronto, Burlington, Hamilton and the surrounding area. Call us for a free consultation today.

 

How to Successfully Work with a Freelance Copywriter

guy with writer's block

Looking to free up time in your day while getting your company’s copywriting completed by an expert?

Working with a freelancer brings many benefits to your small business. But these benefits can only be enjoyed if you establish an effective working relationship with your freelancer. Here’s how!

#1) Provide Proper Onboarding

You’re hiring a freelance copywriter to accurately portray your business’ brand in their writing. But remember that he/she isn’t a mind reader! A proper onboarding is necessary to provide a freelance content writer with the toolbox needed to effectively write your company’s content.

Before your freelancer writes their first piece of content for you, schedule a meeting with him or her. Review your company’s marketing plan, provide access to necessary materials such as brand content and familiarize him/her with your company’s tone of voice.

An experienced writer will have certain questions to ask regarding deadlines, software and more. Setting up a formal time for onboarding is the perfect opportunity for these questions to be answered.

#2) Choose the Right Copywriter

Choosing a specialized industry expert who you will be able to count on to provide accurate, timely content can sometimes be a challenge. That’s why you should follow these tips to find the right copywriter for your needs.

Just like staff members, every freelancer has their own unique personality. Scheduling a project assignment to a potential writer can provide you with a glimpse of what it would be like to work with him/her long-term.

If you like what you receive from the writer following this test assignment, then you will feel more comfortable signing a contract.

#3) Set Clear Expectations

Typically, freelancers work remotely and have multiple clients. Since they aren’t present for face-to-face meetings like salaried staff, providing them with clear guidelines is key.

Consider what you require from an outsourced copywriter. Be as clear as possible with what you have in mind for your business’ copywriting – but provide some breathing room for the writer to still be creative. Doing so ensures the freelancer can create a piece of content (such as a web page, blog post, press release or newsletter) that meets your expectations – with limited revisions!

Using a freelancer on an as-needed basis instead of bringing a permanent staff member onboard can potentially save your company thousands of dollars annually. But choosing the right freelancer is key!

Sarah McKenzie Copywriting Services has been providing copywriting services to businesses in Toronto, Hamilton, Burlington and the surrounding area for over five years. See what sets us apart from our competition! Contact us today for a free consultation.