The Unique Nature of Writing for B2B

In case you haven't gone to business school or had the pleasure of writing for B2B companies, then the term itself might be somewhat unfamiliar to you: “B2B.” 

Before I go on, I should probably clear up what it means.

Basically, it stands for “business to business,” and it denotes a type of business where a company sells to other companies instead of to individual consumers. 

Selling to consumers is called “B2C,” or “business to consumer.” 

The B2B arena is a completely different beast than that of its B2C counterpart, and once you start writing for it, you will find out that this can be quite tricky. 

It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about producing sales copy, marketing materials or if you’re simply running a blog for a B2B company—it’s a very unique style of writing.

Things Might Get Boring

The first thing you need to prepare yourself for if you plan on writing for B2B brands is that things can get a bit boring. Quite often, B2B companies will be so narrowly niched that you might feel as if you were crammed into the tiniest writing room known to mankind. 

For instance, you may end up writing for a company that provides an extremely specialized piece of software that is can be used, realistically, by about 3,000 companies in the world.

It goes without saying that in such a situation, your writing will be more restricted than normal.

You Will Need To Know Everything

Another irregularity of B2B writing is that you need to be on top of things—completely on top of things. 

For example, let’s go back to our hypothetical company that sells specialized software …

If you wish to write for them, you will need to know every single thing about this piece of software, as well as tons about the overall industry and its potential customers.

This can be nerve-racking and time-consuming, but the absolute worst thing you can do in B2B writing is to try and bluff your way through it—“fluff” simply won’t work …

The good thing is that most B2B companies understand the complexity of what’s going on and are willing to teach you as much as possible about what they do. 

Get to the Point

If you think that you need to learn a thing or two about writing more concise copy or getting to the point quicker, then B2B writing is the crash course you’re needing. 

B2B writing is an exercise in brevity and precision

Your readers don’t want to hear a lengthy story, or be wooed with empty promises. They want to see hard facts, and they want to see them as quickly as possible. 

If you can say something in a sentence, don’t write two. 

If your sentence is complete with 6 words, don’t use 8. 

You will probably find yourself feeling like somewhat of an automaton at times, but precision in writing can also be art. 

Try this on for size—there are many solid reasons for which people love haiku poetry, and concision is one of them. 

Once you come to see precision and brevity as an art, you will see the world of B2B writing open up to you.

Always Solve Problems

The company that’s hired you is trying to attract client companies by solving a certain problem that they have. In the case of our imaginary B2B software company, it’s a very specific problem that those 3,000 companies regularly encounter. 

Your writing needs to convey exactly how this piece of software will solve the problem. 

B2B is 100% about making money. 

Clients of a B2B service or product provider (your employer) are also companies that are trying to make money. As such, they do not have the time to work out what your writing can do for them. 

They want to understand it within seconds. 

Solutions that help them make money are good solutions. Write in a way that will make it clear to them your that your employer makes their problems go away.

Keep the Salespeople in Mind

In the B2B ecosystem, making money is what matters most.

If you happen to start writing for B2B companies, you need to remember that your success will be measured by how much your content is able to produce real, quantifiable leads

In other words, your job is to produce content that will attract people from potential client companies who will then be turned into actual clients by your company’s sales staff. 

It’s tough writing, but when done well, it’s effective writing, at that.

Closing Word

As you can see, B2B writing can be just as much of an art as any business-oriented writing. 

It's just that it’s a different kind of art … 

Whereas B2C writing is Renaissance art with an abundance of color, volume and drama, B2B writing is traditional Japanese art or Suprematism where every single stroke and line matters.

Even better, it’s just as amazing. 

 


James D. Burbank has spent almost 15 years in the trade show industry. He’s been writing about business for a few years now. He runs a business blog called BizzMarkBlog with some friends of his. You can also find him on Twitter.

Why I Started Writing Boring Business Articles

 

My name is James (not that it matters, but my parents always taught me it is polite to introduce oneself) and I have been writing business-related articles for quite a few years now. 

Recently, during one of those late-night introspection sessions that we all have to deal with from time to time, I started honestly and almost brutally dissecting the stuff I write on the blog I run with a couple of friends and on other websites. 

After about half an hour of palm-sweating and ulcer-inducing pondering, I came to the realization that I have definitely started writing boring business articles, or at least more boring than I used to write back in the day when I still believed business articles needed to be creative and unique.

It was only logical that I spent the next couple of hours trying to figure out why this was the case. Let's just say I didn't sleep too much that night and leave it at that.

In any case, I have come up with a few observations and theories that I feel the need to share with other writers just like me.

The Early Days

Ah, the early days—how fondly I remember you! I was only becoming a true family man back then; fresh off years spent traveling around the world as part of my career in the trade show industry and ready to revolutionize the world of business writing with my spectacular articles and extraordinary literary prowess.

As I started reading up on business blogging (as is common), I was finding out that most "experts" shared my initial instincts, i.e. that creativity and a unique voice is the best thing you can do for your business blogging. 

Even now, if you check out the basic 'how to write business content' articles, guides and even infographics, you will often hear that it is vital to be creative and that only unique business content gets noticed and shared.

So, what were novice bloggers like myself to do in such a situation? Well, they're to buckle down, tap into the deepest wells of insights they have obtained over a decade-plus of traveling the world and interacting with all kinds of businesses and belt out articles that would turn this blogger into the next big thing in the world of business blogging—right? That’s how it works?

The Sobering Truth

Well, not so much … 

As it turns out, writing half-decent (I am not a delusional prick) content that is going to be somewhat more creative and unique is not enough to garner much attention. In fact, it might actually harm your chances of getting such content accepted and shared once it is published.

Whenever I would offer blog owners and webmasters articles that were challenging some widely-accepted concepts and ideas, it would be as if I was talking to a wall. They would either not respond at all or they would ask me if I was open to modifying my article so that it resembled every other article on the subject ever written.

At times, I would strike gold and get published, writing some really innovative and interesting articles which often spoke about subjects from a standpoint that had rarely been considered. Unfortunately, when this happened, the amount of shares and comments was just plain discouraging.

My Theories

We are finally completing the circle and coming back to that waking night when I ultimately came up with a few theories on why too much creativity can actually spell trouble for business content.

My first theory is that basic, almost painfully boring content has the biggest potential audience. It is the same with any other art form. You are far more likely to make it with mainstream, middle-of-the-pack stuff than with something that might challenge people or actually take sides.

Basic content also makes people feel involved. When they know they understand as much as the next reader, they are more likely to have a positive response to the content. It is quite simple. No one likes feeling left out.

As far as blog owners or webmasters go, they might be afraid to alienate some of their readers by providing content that might be controversial or at least to some extent dares to unsettle the status quo. 

Of course, it would be nearsighted not to realize that business writing often needs to meet certain prerequisites that other niche writing does not have to. I am talking about enormous amounts of references and data that can be checked. Sometimes it is difficult to make content pop and sizzle when it is based around dry numbers.

What About the Future?

In case you were wondering, I haven't stopped trying. My articles have definitely become more boring in the sense that I am now more likely to settle for an idea that has been regurgitated dozens of times before to please a publisher. Still, I have been trying to find new ways to make my content challenging or at least interesting.

Moreover, there are still websites and blog owners who are not afraid to publish creative content. For example, you are now reading an article called Why I Started Writing Boring Business Articles, and that's not a bad thing.

Other people are trying, too. From both successful bloggers and content marketing companies, you will still hear about the importance of great, unique content. In fact, I recently come across a great blog with articles that are definitely not your ordinary digital marketing articles.

My plan is to keep trying, definitely. If you'd join me as a business writer, I'd really appreciate it. Take care, and thanks for reading!

 


James D. Burbank has spent almost 15 years in the trade show industry. He’s been writing about business for a few years now. He runs a business blog called BizzMarkBlog with some friends of his. You can also find him on Twitter.

Finding Your Individual Creative Process

 

Brendan Behan, the famous Irish playwright, woke up every morning at exactly seven. He then wrote steadily without a break until noon. That’s when the pubs opened. Roald Dahl started at ten and stopped every two hours, regardless of how well he was going. He attributed much of his success to resting his mind with these regular breaks.

Some people consider commercial copywriters less creative than novelists or playwrights, but I think that’s nonsense. A writer creates his or her own style, regardless of the client or eventual publishing medium. Having a set creative routine is as important for copywriters as it is for any other sort of writer. In fact, for those of us that write for business, it might be even more important to find a way to maximize personal productivity.

The Internet is packed with how-to articles offering to teach you the correct way to be productive, but I’m not convinced that there’s any single perfect method. Like most important things in life, a creative process is a uniquely individual thing. A schedule that works wonders for one writer might leave another one completely cold. The important thing is to experiment until you find what works.

I’ll give you a few suggestions, but first let’s look at why you need a process in the first place. Why can’t you just write when you feel like it?

The Importance of Routine

In some ways, copywriting is different from other creative pursuits. We don’t often have the luxury of waiting days or weeks for inspiration to strike. We aren’t supported by government grants or wealthy benefactors. If we don’t meet deadlines, we don’t eat. Sometimes we have to write so much, so fast that it’s impossible to craft every sentence like Hemingway.

In this demanding environment, taking a lackadaisical approach to scheduling can be fatal. Copywriting is a job, and it should be treated as such. Starting and stopping at the same time every day can help you quickly find “the groove”—that coveted mind space where the words flow and the work moves quickly. It also allows you to draw a firm line between your work and your life. If you’re always stressing about the jobs you’ve been procrastinating, your mind will never have time to relax and recharge.

Once you’ve decided to create a routine, the next step is to figure out what sort of process works best for you. Again, there is no perfect answer—but there are some helpful questions.

When do You Have Good Ideas?

My best creative thinking always happens in the shower. It never fails. When I have a problem, I turn the water up hot and try not to think about it. By some magical process, I almost always have a solution by the time the steam clears. Other people do their best thinking while running or cycling. Others drive. 

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One thing I’ve noticed is that very few people do their best thinking behind a monitor in a cubicle. Your routine doesn’t have to be routine. Study your day’s work, then go somewhere or do something to get your creative juices flowing. Take a shower, take a jog, do whatever it takes to open enough cracks in your frame of mind to let inspiration shine through. Then pull your ideas out of the ether and get to work.

How Much Distraction Can You Handle?

Once you’ve got a rough idea of how you want to approach your writing for the day, you still need to get the ideas out onto paper. As you well know, this can be a tiresome and labor-intensive job. I used to listen to music as I wrote, but I’ve found that I write much faster and more clearly in silence. I don’t do well with distractions, so I tend to sequester myself a bit. 

It’s important that you create an environment around yourself where you can work comfortably and effectively. Freelance copywriters especially struggle to find space like this at home, but the problem extends to those who work in offices as well. Do whatever you can to make your workspace conducive to clear thinking and creativity. This might mean avoiding Twitter for a few hours, (but let’s be honest; probably not).

How Driven Are You?

Roald Dahl could take a 30-minute break every two hours and still get back to work. If I let myself get off on a tangent, however, I sometimes struggle to find my way back. Inspiration is an elusive creature. You can’t ride it until you find it, and if you let it go, there’s no telling when it will appear again. 

Some writers can pound through pages and pages of material in a few hours. I often wonder how they do it. I think the secret is actually desperation. Looming deadlines can turn anyone into the writing equivalent of the energizer bunny. 

However, we aren’t always beneath the slave driver’s whip. If you struggle to find motivation, as I sometimes do, you might need to create your own pressure. Set short-term goals for yourself to help you stay on track. Limit your bathroom breaks. Do whatever it takes.

Where Do You Draw Inspiration?

You can’t wring original material from your brain if you aren’t feeding it properly. Take the time to pause occasionally and treat your mind to something inspiring. I firmly believe that good writers start out as good readers. Find which authors have a style that resonates with you and devour everything they touched. Don’t feel bad if you don’t end up reading the classics—you can learn as much from mommy blogs as you can from Euripides. 

Take long walks on the beach if you must, or paint or watch good TV. Any activity that resets your mind and leaves you with new perspectives or ideas is an investment in yourself. Too many writers try to increase their output without first taking in more of the material that inspires them. You can’t write if you’re starving for inspiration. It’s like trying to donate blood when you’re anemic. It just doesn’t work.

Once you’ve asked yourself these questions, you should have a fairly clear idea of what you need to be productive as a writer. Take what you’ve learned and incorporate it into your daily routine. As you become more disciplined, you’ll have ideas faster and write more efficiently. You’ll be a better writer. And a wealthier one.

 


Tanner Wadsworth is a freelance copywriter, advertising student and connoisseur of fine jogger pants. To know what he thinks about in the shower, follow him on Twitter. To know what he thinks about at work, connect on LinkedIn. Gape slack-jawed at his advertising portfolio here.

How to Keep Your Readers Engaged and Interested

 

The average person's attention span is just 8.25 seconds long.

If you're a writer, then this statistic is rather depressing. You work hard to create high-quality content, only to find that many in your audience lose focus before they've even read your introduction.

Some people may choose to skim the remainder of your content, scanning to find the most interesting bits.

Others won't even bother to do that much. In fact, more than half of your readers are probably gone after just 15 seconds. Ouch.

But even though attention spans are getting shorter, long-form content is often recommended. Why? Because it tends to rank better in Google and get more shares on social media.

So how do you get people to actually read through everything you're writing?

Obviously, finding a way to capture (and retain!) people's attention is vital. Thankfully, there are methods and techniques to help you do so.

1) Start With a Strong Introduction

Do you share amazing facts and interesting opinions in the middle of your content? If so, that's awesome—but don't neglect your first few sentences.  

A dry or tired-sounding beginning could ruin everything. Instead of being thrilled with what you share, your audience will never even read the exciting part.  

Sadly, they'll be gone before they ever scroll down that far.

This is why you need to grab your audience's attention right away. Use your opening lines to pique their curiosity and convince them to keep reading.

How do you do this?

Well, you could mention the amazing story you're going to tell, give them a surprising fact or shocking statistic, or ask them a thought-provoking question.

Honestly, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.  

If you've got great content and know what your audience wants, then strategically placing an interesting bit of information at the beginning of your content shouldn't be difficult at all.

2) Keep Your Audience Curious (But Do Get to The Point!)

Have you noticed that most TV shows don't end with a complete resolution of conflict?

They leave everyone wondering what's going to happen next, rather than winding up every single loose end.

Why do they do this?

Because they want us to keep watching the show.

By leaving some things unresolved, they make us curious about what happens next. Instead of assuming that all of the characters live happily ever after, we're left with a feeling of suspense and a desire to see the next episode.

This strategy is solid, and it's one that you can copy to hold your reader's attention (Now, in excessive amounts this can actually be detrimental—more on that in a minute).

If you're telling a story, then it's going to be fairly easy to keep your reader's curiosity piqued.

If not, then you can accomplish this with other methods. 

How? Drop hints of what you're going to mention in a few paragraphs, create intriguing subtitles, or focus on compelling conflicts. 

But while you need to keep people curious, you don't need to string them along.

If you continually hint about something awesome while never delivering what they want, you're going to sound sleazy.

Get to the point, and promptly deliver the content you're promising them. If you're going to give them promises of something amazing, then you need to fulfill those promises promptly.

3) Make Your Writing Easy to Understand

The average person reads roughly 200-250 words every minute.

But when they start to read something technical, that rate plummets to a mere 50-75 words per minute.

What does that mean?

It means that you've got to avoid difficult copy. Most of the time, you're going to be writing for people with short attention spans. Write in an easy-to-comprehend style.  Long words and complex phrases generally don't make you look smart—they just make it harder for others to digest what you've written.

Being a writer doesn't just involve throwing information at a paper. If that's all it took, then we wouldn't have a job!

Instead, our job is to make information easy to comprehend and digest. Writing in a friendly, conversational way is almost always the best way to accomplish this.

Use examples that others can relate to. Throw in a bit of humor, and let your personality shine through.

If you're able to take boring facts and turn them into something that's fun to read, then keeping your audience engaged isn't going to be a difficult task.

4) Pay Attention to Your Formatting

Would this post be easy to read if I took out all of the spaces between paragraphs?

Nope! If this were a single mass of text, it would be an imposing blog post.

Now, I know that most of you already understand the value of adding white space. But it's still possible to forget and write painfully long paragraphs, so a reminder isn't going to hurt.

Subheadings, lists, and graphics are also beneficial. Because they stand out from the rest of your content, these areas may help grab the attention of anyone who has started to skim your post.

How do I know this?

Mostly because I've been guilty of skimming articles in the past.

The intriguing headline may have convinced me to click, but that doesn't mean I'm committed to reading the content.

Unless I know that the article is relevant and useful, I tend to scan for relevancy and leave if I'm not interested.

But there are many times when an eye-catching subheading or graphic makes me pause.

If my attention is thoroughly re-captured, I'll go back to the beginning and everything in its entirety. This rarely happens when the content lacks subheadings.

Of course, even the most perfect piece of content ever is going to fail to engage some people. There are literally thousands of reasons why someone might quit reading. These can range from utterly mundane (their browser crashed) to ridiculously dramatic (their computer suddenly burst into flames).

Obviously, you can't control these sorts of things.

But what you can do is create attention-grabbing, easy-to-read content.

 


Hannah Callahan is a content strategist and copywriter who believes in creating high-quality content that is both relevant and engaging.  When she isn't busy writing Hannah spends her time eating chocolate, reenacting the Civil War & WWII or reading.  Would you like to read more of what she's written?  Then head on over to her blog!

Setting Goals That Convert

 

I am sure you have heard the phrase…

Time is money.

This is even more evident for entrepreneurs and freelancers.  YOUR time is YOUR money. 

Are you throwing your money away?  Are you wasting your time?

Have you ever heard the term opportunity cost?  Opportunity cost is defined as:

A benefit, profit or value of something that must be given up to acquire or achieve something else.

Every action you take, takes time away from some other action.  If you WASTE valuable time on something that doesn’t enhance your business, you are taking time away from something that could benefit your business.

If you are not focused on what matters; you are focused on what doesn’t matter.

As entrepreneurs and freelancers, we are focused on the conversion process.  We are interested in converting traffic to leads, converting those leads to clients or customers, and ultimately, converting those clients or customers to repeat business.

We are also focused on converting our time into money.  We want a return on our time investment.

Are you doing everything within your power to maximize your effectiveness in this process?

I am going to ask you two questions that could dramatically impact the success of your business.

  1. Are your daily activities and objectives aligned with your goals?
  2. Do you have systems and processes in place to help you remain laser focused on accomplishing the daily objectives?

If you don’t know the answer to these questions you are working inefficiently and leaving money on the table.

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Entrepreneurs without focused goals might feel busy.  They might feel like they are working a lot.  They might be performing a lot of tasks.  However, those tasks might not be yielding anything of value.  Essentially, they are busy, but getting nothing accomplished.  

Consider the following story and see if it sounds familiar. 

An entrepreneur wants to start an online or freelance business.  The entrepreneur goes to the source of all things informational…

The Internet.  

The entrepreneur does a bunch of research, and ultimately buys an educational program or class.  The entrepreneur takes the class and begins following the program and establishing their business.  They run into some challenges and think, “I just need to change _____.”  Maybe the entrepreneur finishes the class; maybe s/he doesn’t.  It really doesn’t matter.  Because rather than follow-through on developing their business, they begin searching for more information again.  They register for another class.  The cycle continues in perpetuity.

The entrepreneur never actually gets their business off the ground.  Rather, they become a professional consumer of information, constantly seeking the next best thing.  The entrepreneur is VERY BUSY doing things; however, the things they are doing are fragmented and unfocused.  Even if they are doing some of the tasks exceptionally well, it doesn’t matter, because it is not part of a bigger functioning system or process.

Why do people do this?  It is simple.  People are pain avoiders and pleasure seekers.  Because they don’t like pain, they want to take the path of least resistance.    

They are looking for the secret or shortcut to success.  I am going to give that to you now.

There is no shortcut.

I am sorry to be the harbinger of bad news.  Unfortunately, excellent marketing has led people to believe that there is a quick fix or easy way.  Look no further than the weight loss industry for evidence of this nonsense; “lose 10 pounds in 2 days.”

The good news is that you are here.  

The educational material and support you will receive here will lend itself to your entrepreneurial success.  I assure you of that.  The secret is that you must develop laser focus on developing systems and processes to operationalizing the content.  

Information alone does not yield results.

You need a plan of action; a system that helps you push through the challenges and difficulties that you are GUARANTEED to face.  There is no amount of information alone that will help you negotiate this process.

On a regular basis, I see new entrepreneurs find a new concept and immediately begin implementing it in their business, with no regard for the end goal or objective.   For example, simply building an email list for the sake of building an email list is probably not the best idea.  If you are in the copywriting business, and I GAVE you a list of 10,000 people today who are only interested in puppies and have no interest in copywriting, is that going to help you?  

Puppies are cute, but that isn’t going to help your business.

What if it took you 10,000 hours to build this list?  Is that a good use of your time?

I am not saying having an email list is a bad goal.  To the contrary, having an email list is an excellent idea; it is probably one of the single most important things to an online marketer.  However, I am saying that you need to be very specific in your purpose for having the list.  If your goal is to monetize, or make money off your list, then you need to align your list-building activities with the purpose of the list.  

For example, if you are a web designer and you want a list of potential clients, you should advertise (either with or without money) in places potential clients frequent.  In other words, don’t go to the “I love puppies” group on Facebook to get subscribers for your web development business.

I also see another major error relating to goal setting.  When I read goals like, I want to make $100,000 a month (even though I don’t have a business yet), I want a steady stream of clients (without knowing who my potential clients are), or I want to lose weight.  Why?  Because those aren’t goals; they are wishes or dreams.  They are subjective to the individual.  That means they potentially have different meanings to different people, e.g. your idea of steady stream of clients and my idea of steady stream of clients might be different.  

Goals should be very specific, with a clear linkage between the goal and the required action to complete the goal.  This can only be accomplished if you are crystal clear with your goal.  For example, if you say you want to lose weight, do you really want to lose weight, or do you want to lose fat? Let me illustrate further; these two people WEIGH the same.

How is this possible? Muscle actually weighs more than fat.  But, I digress.  The point here is to ask, what is the goal?  Do you see the ambiguity in the “goal” to lose weight?  Do they want to lose weight, develop “six-pack” abs, or some other fitness metric?   The goal is so poorly defined that you can’t possibly know if you are accomplishing it or even making progress toward it.

If you want to “test” your goal, ask yourself, if someone else read my goal, would they understand what I am trying to achieve?  Setting goals is not a complicated process.  When you set goals, they simply must be SMART.  What does that mean?

There is a very clear framework in which to craft your goals.  You should always write your goals in a SMART format, which means:

Specific – The goal should be clear and well-defined.

Measurable – Progress and completion of your goal must be measurable.  This ensures that you are able to track your progress on your goal.  In addition, this provides an avenue for improvement.  Never forget; if it can be measured, it can be improved.

Attainable – It is essential that it is within the realm of possible to achieve your goal.  Your goal can be difficult; but not impossible.  For example, setting a goal to walk on the sun is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE.  In fact, you want to set goals that are extremely challenging.      

Relevant – Your goal must be relevant and important to YOU.

Time-bound – Goals must have a deadline.  

Which statement is SMART?

  1. I want to be rich!
  2. I want to make $20,000 a month in my freelance business in the next 24 months by increasing the number of clients I serve by 10 and increasing my rates by 30%.

Having a SMART goal is the first step.  However, having a goal alone is not going to make things happen.  Then, you must take action toward completing your goal.  This is best accomplished by beginning with the end in mind.  What do I mean?

Start from your goal and begin working backward, breaking your goal into primary objectives.  The primary objectives should support the goal.  Then, work backward from those objectives and create nesting or secondary objectives.  The nesting or secondary objectives should support the primary objectives.  Finally, break the secondary or nesting objectives down into tasks.  All of the objectives, primary, secondary, and tasks, should only be focused on one thing.  In other words, you shouldn't have an objective that reads, “Increase Facebook advertising by 50% AND increase LinkedIn advertising by 30%.”  Those should be separated into 2 separate objectives.  

In the end, this process creates a link between every task and the goal, with distinct steps in between.  It ensures every activity has a purpose.  It will be illustrated in a process map that will look like this:

When you follow this incredibly simple, yet powerful process, there is literally no goal you won’t be able to accomplish.

Let’s go back to the original questions:

  1. Are your daily activities and objectives aligned with your goals?
  2. Do you have systems and processes in place to help you remain laser focused on accomplishing the daily objectives?

If you follow this system, your goals will be SMART; in essence, this ensures the goals do what you want them to do.  The goal is focused specifically what you want to achieve.  Will the daily activities and objectives be aligned with your goals?  You will have created direct links between the goal, objectives, nesting objectives, and tasks.  Will this create systems and processes in place to help you remain laser focused on accomplishing the daily objectives?  Absolutely!

If you have created the direct links, by simply completing the tasks you are completing the goal.  You will not be working on things that are not instrumental or necessary for the completion of your goal.

Your actions as an entrepreneur can be linked to the bottom line.  This system ensures that your actions will make you the most efficient and effective business person you can be.

Ultimately, you will be converting your time from unproductive to productive and profitable.

Isn't that the goal?

 


Ari Zelmanow is an expert freelance copywriter who believes in using the science of psychology to influence consumers. Known as the "Professor of Persuasion," he's developed a reputation for being one of the most action-driven copywriters the field has to offer. Feel free to learn more about Ari and his services here.

Ad Blockers: One Millennial’s Perspective

This week I received an offer from LinkedIn for $50 worth of free advertising credits. If you’re a marketer, you probably got the same message. There were no strings attached. As an advertising student, I was excited by the opportunity to broadcast my portfolio of work across the LinkedIn network. I accepted the offer and began hastily creating an ad for my book.

As I neared the closing stages of the process, LinkedIn generated a preview of my ad. I have to admit that upon seeing it, I was a bit taken aback. The small advertisement looked completely unfamiliar to me. In fact, it looked downright out of place on the page.

With mild surprise, I realized that I had never before seen a sidebar ad on LinkedIn. I’d been using the platform for more than a year, but I’d installed an ad blocker plugin before I built a profile. 

I stared for a moment at the suddenly distasteful ad and then closed the window. If I, a copywriter at a digital marketing agency, was unwilling to look at an online ad, how could I conscientiously foist it on others?

It wasn’t LinkedIn’s fault. Their ads are easily as beautiful and effective as those of any other social media platform. The fault was mine. I had created something that I wasn’t personally interested in and expected others to engage with it. Publishing it would have been the digital equivalent of throwing a diaper out onto the street.

Since then, I’ve given a lot of thought to the state of modern digital advertising. I’m no genius, but I’ve chatted with my peers and they generally feel the same way I do. Here are some of my conclusions.

1) Ad Blockers Aren’t Going Away

Did I delete my ad blocking plug-in? No. I deleted my ad. It wasn’t a hard choice. Ad blockers allow me to access content cleanly and immediately. I don’t want to hear your quote of the day. I don’t want to download Clash of Clans. I just want to read the blasted article. 

In a very unscientific Twitter poll, I recently asked my followers if they thought ad blockers were “good” or “bad.” Bearing in mind that my network is mostly composed of marketing and advertising professionals, I was surprised when the results showed that 86 percent of voters thought ad blockers were good. They’re just too convenient. They make the Internet experience so much more pleasant. They’re here to stay.

I know it’s selfish, but I get irritated when pages beg me to disable my ad blocker. I never do it. Call me irresponsible, but I don’t feel obligated to personally hold up the faltering online publishing industry like some sort of modern Atlas. I just want to read another piece about the Kardashians.  

2) Outlets Matters

The same day that I deleted my LinkedIn ad, I read dozens of sponsored articles posted by The Onion. The satire page is a personal favorite of mine. I ravenously devour everything they post. In a twisted way, I trust them as publishers. If they write it, I know it will be entertaining—even sponsored content.

Businesses should carefully consider the outlet they choose to publish their content. Facebook and Twitter are the go-to outlets for most, but there’s a risk of over-saturation. Many of my friends feel like social media is becoming too promotional. Distasteful marketing drives them from platform to platform, but the ads and promotional posts are never more than a step behind. 

In addition to traditional social media outlets, I think that businesses should consider sponsoring content in online periodicals and news sources. Many of these outlets have devoted followings who will happily digest content the way I savor Onion articles. I think content marketing is generally a better approach for marketers than pay-per-click ads.

3. If You Don’t Love Your Content, Nobody Will

If Charles Dickens had serialized A Tale of Two Cities on Quora, he probably could have published the whole novel before he had a thousand readers. The sad truth is that today’s content consumers are a jaded bunch. They’re so used to literary cabbage that they’re prone to miss the occasional strawberry that finds its way into the trough. 

When you finish a content article, you should feel a strong impulse to bind it in leather and display it on the mantelpiece. It should be so good that your kids ask you to read it to them as a bedtime story for consecutive nights. If you can’t picture your ad hanging in the Louvre, at least be able to imagine it on the cover of Communication Arts.

I believe that quality content builds consumer bases faster than any other marketing technique. I also believe that it’s the most difficult and time-consuming technique to pull off. Don’t expect the Internet to be merciful to your ads. Instead, try to blow consumers away with your breathtaking work. The idea that all publicity is good publicity is a tired fallacy. 

I think my experience with the LinkedIn ad is representative of the whole advertising industry. We look at our work, grimace, and then press the publish button with the attitude of a man pulling the trigger in Russian roulette. It should come as no surprise that consumers are choosing to tune us out. As an industry, our music has become flat. 

If we want to overcome the ad-blocking problem, we either need to correct our pitch or learn to sing a different tune.

 


Tanner Wadsworth is a copywriter, digital marketing consultant and connoisseur of fine jogger pants. He works for the BYU AdLab and Fusion 360 Agency, in addition to freelance work. To know what he thinks about in the shower, follow him on Twitter. To know what he thinks about at work, connect on LinkedIn. Lastly, his advertising portfolio is available here.

3 of the Most Painfully Common Content Marketing Mistakes

 

Just like anything else in life, content marketing comes with its ups and downs. There are times when content strategies are effortlessly implemented and bring with them a mountain of positive results and, on the flip side of things, others that fail to really do much of anything. This is just the nature of the game.

That said, regardless of how long you’ve been a part of the content marketing community, the more aware you are of the most common content marketing mistakes, the less likely you are to experience their negative consequences. The following are four of the biggest, most typical content marketing blunders to continuously plague both novice and experienced marketers:

1) Focus On an Audience as Much as Possible

You already know your product or service extremely well. It doesn’t take a genius to know that. However, what very much has the potential to separate you from your competitors is how well you know your target audience. 

Instead of using your brain like a business owner, step outside of yourself and think like an end user. After all, awesome content marketing is geared towards widespread entertainment, education and help.

2) It’s Not About You or Your Product

Old-school sales tactics call for oppressive measures and hard closes at every turn. In today’s day and age, with so much marketing noise being force-fed to potential consumers, such measures couldn’t be less effective. 

Yes, the end goal of content marketing is to increase sales, but harder product or service pitches have their place and time. Needless to say, if something independently provides value, its more important.

3) If It Lacks Substance, It’s Not Going to Help

Be it through desktop computers, laptops, tablets or smartphones, odds are high that your specific target demographic is constantly taking in new information. Because of this, consumers are no longer impressed by run-of-the-mill content

They’ll see it for what it is and will quickly tune you out. Instead, you’ve got to impress them both early and often to eventually convert them into paying customers.

Content marketing can be a tricky endeavor. However, when the aforementioned pitfalls are consciously avoided, the chances of success are most assuredly high. So, armed with a new outlook, make your next content marketing project your best yet.

 


Lucas Miller is a Freelance Copywriter and Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier comms publications.

Why New Copywriters Must Sometimes Apply the ‘Fake It ’Til You Make It’ Doctrine

 

Usually, the “fake it ’til you make it” mentality is seen through a negative lens. Honestly, I’ve never understood why this is—well, at least with some things. 

Sure, there are people out there who are hypocritical to the max, but in matters of copywriting, getting started with things before you’re completely ready for the full-blown title of “copywriter” is without a doubt the best way to go. 

I’m no longer fishing for entry-level work, but when I was, I talked the talk and did my best to ensure that my walking followed a similar trend. Sometimes it did and sometimes it didn’t; either way, if I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Only You Know Who You Really Are

When I was younger, I wanted more than anything to become a sportswriter like Dan Le Batard or Jay Mariotti. I spent my Summer afternoons reading the paper and watching the same episode of “Sportscenter” multiple times each day. 

I was bound and determined to do all I could to become a columnist for Sports Illustrated or ESPN.com. Ya know—one of those big-time publications. 

Anyway, one day I hopped online and did a bit of research to try and learn how I could increase the likelihood of me becoming a top-tier journalist when I grew up. 

It’s been over a decade since this happened, but I remember stumbling upon an article that claimed that the best way to become a journalist was to accept that you already were one. If you wrote regularly and sought to tell stories in an accurate manner, you could confidently refer to yourself as a “journalist” when speaking with others. 

Eventually, my desire to cover sports for money gave way to making a living as a copywriter. Though my interests had changed, I never forgot the nominal side of things, and—as long as I was immersed in writing activities—openly referred to myself as a copywriter. 

The evidence was there, and people never questioned me. This wasn’t a lie. The projects weren’t all that sexy. I mean, most of the time, I wasn’t even making much money off of them. Yet, years later, looking back, it was the right thing to do. Heck, it led me to where I am today, so it must’ve worked to a certain degree.

Taking Action Is the Best Way to Learn

Copywriting isn’t neuroscience. It’s a trade—almost like welding or something similar. Instead of a blowtorch, copywriters use laptops. If you want to become a copywriter, you’ve got to spend time doing the very thing copywriters spend 90 percent of lives doing—writing. 

Get involved with a local publication, start and build a blog or hunt for a few one-time gigs on Upwork. By so doing, you’re becoming a copywriter. Yes, things could be better, but this is the hands-on beauty of copywriting.

I’ve looked over this post a time or two and, admittedly, it’s a bit clunky. That said, I feel pretty strongly about this one. So, what do you think? Is the ‘fake it ’til you make it’ doctrine a joke of a philosophy or something more worthwhile? Express you thoughts and feelings in the comments section below.

 


Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.

4 Effective Ways to Combat the Urge to Not Write

 

It doesn’t really matter what type of writing you’re doing—if it’s going to be worth a reader’s time and a client’s hard-earned cash, some actual concentration will be required. Pretty crazy stuff, huh?

No, but seriously—I love to write, but every time I sit down to write a few blog posts, some other enticing option presents itself. It could be a football game, evening out with a friend or even another writing assignment that’s more exciting than a more pressing project.

So, if you’re going to make a name for yourself as a professional copywriter, some real discipline is going to be required. That said, how does someone go about making writing more of a priority?

When the urge to bypass writing for something else, how should you respond? Though by no means a perfect copywriter, I’ve found a few different methods rather handy for fighting through the most common distractions. If interested, here’s what works for me:

1) Create Mini Deadlines Along the Way

If you’ve ever taken a course on goal setting, then you’ve probably already heard people talk about how important this is. Trust me—my intention isn’t to bore you with what you’ve already heard, but if top-tier professionals are talking about it, there must be something there, right? 

Remember, these are small goals, so don’t make this more serious than it needs to be. I know many copywriters who base their daily goals on predetermined allotments of time, but I prefer to base mine on word counts. 

After starting the day, once I’ve produced 1,000 words of copy, I can go for a run, watch a sitcom or go out to eat with my wife. Before that, none of this can occur.

2) Remove Any and All Distractions

You know what these are, so don’t act like you’re lost as to what’s being discussed. Smartphone, television, Internet radio, Twitter—they’re all distractions and, when eliminated, it’s substantially easier to write

For example, before diving into an email marketing campaign or sales letter, turn your cellphone off and place it in a nearby drawer. Heck, when I’m really needing to get to work, I even go as far as logging out of my Gmail account. 

Though cut off from client communication, I’m able to write without anyone or anything keeping me from making money. Besides, in an hour or two, I can reconnect and get back to the communicative side of the job.

3) Focus On the End Goal

Why did you get into copywriting in the first place? What is it that you’re ultimately trying to accomplish? 

Maybe it was to get out of debt or build a new lifestyle for you and your family. Whatever the case, when laziness or something similar rears its ugly, it’s important to draw inspiration from that original source.

For me, it’s always been about being my own boss. Whenever I don’t feel like writing, I think back to what it was like to to have another individual calling the shots. I own my freelance copywriting career. 

The money, success and reputation—yup, it’s all mine. That said, so too is the failure, disappointment and idleness.

4) Stop Thinking and Get to Work

This section’s heading says it all—stop thinking and do something. I don’t care what it is that’s keeping you from writing, this is by far the best way to get the proverbial ball moving with a project.

If you’re a copywriter by trade, you clearly have a love of writing. As soon as you’re able to show a bit of grit and get to typing, those feelings of editorial enjoyment will undoubtedly return.  For me, at least, this method works 100 percent of the time.

More than just about anything, I love hearing from other writers. Through them, I’m able to learn more of what I can do to become a better copywriter. With that in mind, what are you currently doing to sidestep your workflow’s biggest enemies? Share what works for you in the comments section below.

 


Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.

10 Reasons Why SEO Is a Must for Your Business

 

Let’s face it—traditional marketing is well on its way out the proverbial door. 

What was once an industry filled with promotional flyers, roadside billboards and radio spots is now one of social media posts, content marketing and—wait for it—search engine optimization (SEO). 

From the outside looking in, the world of SEO is a confusing one. 

Seeing as how we currently live in the digital age of communication, it can be difficult for older, more experienced marketers to make sense of foreign terms like canonical URL, meta description, ranking factor and sitemap. 

That said, just because something is new, doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile. 

In fact, there’s a host of reasons for which any business owner or marketing guru should seriously consider making SEO a more conscious, product- or service-pushing effort. 

Need some convincing? Here are 10 of the biggest, most influential arguing points in defense of the awesomeness that is SEO:

1) SEO Is an Investment

More than just about anything, SEO is an investment

No, it’s not one of those shiny new toys that flamboyant businessmen and women purchase to up their social stock; moreover, it’s an investment that’s based on one thing and one thing alone: monetary return.

Think about it—if you’re business’ site is currently found on Google’s second page of generated results and all that’s needed is a modest investment and a bit of savvy content marketing to get on page one, it’d be worth it.

Well, in truth, it’s more than a wish—it’s completely doable.

2) SEO-Driven Sales Never Stop

Sure, a skilled sales team is important for bringing in new business, but people aren’t perfect. 

They routinely get sick, call in late and flat out fail to perform from time to time. When SEO strategies are put in place, however, there’s no need to fret. 

With the Internet’s largest search engines smiling on your brand, sales leads, opt-ins and generic Web traffic skyrocket. 

Oh, and the best part of it all? 

While you lay sound asleep at night, with your site nestled comfortably atop Google’s first page of search results, invaluable clicks continue to occur.

3) SEO Is Here to Stay

As previously mentioned, what once worked for marketers, may or may not still be relevant in today’s day and age. 

Yet, with that in mind, SEO isn’t likely to go anywhere for quite some time. Search engines are currently developing at an alarming rate and don’t appear to be slowing down. 

Though SEO specialists used to focus almost entirely on written text, the industry has now grown to include the optimization of images, audio files and video clips.

Seriously, if it’s a shelf life you’re worried about, cut your banner ad funding and focus on SEO. It’s a much safer bet.

4) SEO Services Aren’t Horribly Expensive

These days, everything comes with a cost and marketers know it. 

Shockingly, marketing managers are more than willing to allocate cash towards the creation and implementation of pricy endeavors such as pay per click (PPC) advertising, social media management and email marketing campaigns, yet suddenly become reserved when it comes to pulling the trigger on a bit of SEO work. 

In reality, SEO services are relatively inexpensive. 

Yes, it’s true that PPC and social media might be better for driving revenue and building an image, but SEO can undeniably become the foundation of any online presence.

5) Market Share and SEO Go Hand In Hand

Let’s face it—the days of using the Yellow Pages for just about anything are long gone. 

Presently, thanks to Google, Amazon and eBay, when people are looking for a product or service, they immediately hop online and hunt for the lowest deals and reviews. 

No joke—the statistics behind this stuff are staggering. 

Somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of customers do their due diligence online before handing their hard-earned cash over to anyone. 

Even more impressive, this number is pegged to be one the rise.

In the near future, when your target audience decides to use the Internet to find exactly what they need, will they be able to easily discover your brand? 

By way of a bit of SEO, they most assuredly will.

6) Mobile and Local SEO Are More Important Than Ever

In spite of what many naysayers once went out of their way to publicize, during the latter half of 2014, the amount of traffic delivered to smartphones and tablets surpassed that of run-of-the-mill desktop devices. 

This was—and still is, if being completely honest—a complete and total game changer.

Basically, with mobile usage more prevalent than it’s ever been before, the widespread impact of SEO has expanded even further to include local optimization.

7) SEO Takes Time to Master

The best time to get started with your business’ SEO was yesterday. 

Why? The answer can be summed up in one single word: adaptability. Google’s main search engine algorithm is constantly being updated. 

Believe it or not, there are at least one or two of them that take place each and every day. 

Things that worked six months ago might not even be relevant today. 

Take social media, for example. A few years back, Twitter was bypassed by SEO aficionados as little more than an up-and-coming social channel. 

Now, Twitter’s various social indicators are used by Google to help index content. 

Pretty crazy, huh?

8) SEO-Friendly Content Isn’t an Overnight Affair

The evolution of SEO has recently placed a great deal of emphasis on visual and audio stimulants such as podcasts, infographics and video. 

However, the heart of the matter remains the same—written content is of the utmost importance for influencing both search engines and people. 

Just in case it’s been a long while since the last time you sat down and busted out a blog post or two, high-quality writing—complete with optimized text and keyword usage, mind you—takes time produce. 

Moreover, it’s not a one-and-done kind of project, but something that requires an endless supply of fresh, engaging material. 

Simply put, if you decide to wait a few months or years to dive headfirst into SEO, you’ll be far behind the competitors who had the foresight to begin content production well in advance. 

Needless to say, there’s some definite urgency with this stuff.

9) Your Competitors Aren’t Bypassing On SEO

Yup, as the previous section clearly stated, a healthy number of your competitors are already doing the whole SEO thing. 

While many traditionalistic marketers might not want to hear this, it’s painfully true.

In fact, says Jason Bayless, Owner of BestSeoCompanies.com, “Remember, SEO is a never-ending process. If you’re not moving forward and improving your position, you’re losing ground to a competitor who is. That’s a simple fact of how the process works.”

10) When Done Correctly, SEO Is All About People

SEO isn’t just about search engines; it’s about people. 

There was a time and place when the use of unrelated keywords, hidden links and cloaking were commonplace optimizing practices. 

Thankfully, those days are long gone.

Now, more than ever before, real people—yeah, the kind with actual flesh and bone—form the main driving force behind everything reputable SEO strategists do.

What business wouldn’t want to connect on a deeper level with the very customers their employees work tirelessly to attract and maintain? Exactly.

A Few Parting Thoughts

It was famous LSU business professor Leon C. Megginson who once famously said, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change.” 

While it’s unlikely that Megginson was speaking of the field of SEO at the time he made such an authoritative remark, the application is certainly there. 

When the aforementioned points are taken into consideration, the consensus is overwhelmingly universal: SEO is a must for your business.

 


Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.

Why Few Talented Writers Transition to Freelance Copywriting

 

These days, it seems everyone is a writer. Blogging has had a huge impact on this, but it’s almost more than that, I think. Why? Well, millennials, more than any previous generation, have placed a great deal of emphasis on creativity. 

Whether it be photography, graphic design or traditional art, more young professionals than ever before are foregoing law and medical school for careers that require real out-of-the-box thinking.

Freelance copywriting is one of said career types. But, oddly enough, great writers often forego the freedoms of freelance copywriting and instead continue to write as a hobby, more than anything else. Based on my experiences as a freelance copywriter, there are a few reasons for this:

The Sales Hustle Is Real

Freelance copywriters need to be excellent salesmen to make any real money. It doesn’t matter how many deadlines you’ve got on the horizon, the sales process is a continuous one and should always be given proper time. 

While stressful, the conscious pushing of editorial services is very much necessary. Seeing as how most writers prefer leisurely writing and complete and total creative liberty over having to become a spokesperson for their own personal brand, freelance copywriting is bypassed.

Writing Under Pressure

As a copywriter, writing is a race against the clock. The faster you write, the more copy you produce. The more copy you produce, the more projects you can take on during the work day.

The end result of all of this? More money. I very much enjoy the “ball’s in your court” side of freelance copywriting. That said, understandably, many don’t.

Impure Writing

Impure writing is basically advertorial writing. I’ve covered this in the past, but there’s this idea within the creative writing community that if the sole purpose of an editorial work is to make money, you’ve “sold out.”

Freelance writing is wholeheartedly driven by money. If you’re not motivated by bringing in as much capital as possible, you’re going to struggle to make a name for yourself.

So, is it just me or is there an astounding number of great writers who would rather do just about anything other than work as a freelance copywriter? If of a similar mentality, why do you think this is? If not, why am I so far off with all of this? Take to the comments section below to voice your opinion.

 


Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.

The Best Thing I Ever Did as a Creative Writer Was ‘Sell Out’

 

There’s this idea out there that “money is the root of all evil.” I’m not saying that isn’t true, but when I was an up-and-coming writer, I sure as heck didn’t want to live out the remainder of my many days (fingers crossed) having to cut coupons from the Sunday morning paper every weekend.

So, what did I do? Well, in the eyes of those artsy-fartsy professional writers, I did the unthinkable: I sold out. Yup, I put aside my dream of becoming a sportswriter and focused wholeheartedly on copywriting. 

While this might be seen as sad for some, looking back on the decision, it was the right move and, most importantly, I couldn’t be happier. How can this be, you ask? Keep reading …

Cold Hard Cash

As previously mentioned, money is important—at least I think it is. Listen, I’m not the kind of guy who craves shiny new toys all the time, but I do want to live comfortably. Is that such a crime? 

While there are a handful of sportswriters and novelists who live rather lavishly off of their editorial production, I’m not smart enough, handsome enough or skilled enough with the ol’ laptop to make this happen.

Yes, I chose the safer route and went with copywriting, but I have zero debt and have never lived paycheck to paycheck. Not too bad, eh?

Complete and Total Professional Happiness

In college, my buddies were always freaking out about what they were going to do with their lives. You’d always hear things like, “It’s just that I’m not passionate about anything.” Or maybe something more along the lines of, “There aren’t any majors out there that really catch my attention.” 

For starters, choosing a field of study should’t be treated as if you’re battling over whether or not it’s time to pull the plug on grandma—it’s just school.

Secondly, if you’re willing to modify ever so slightly what you wanted to do as a naive college student, the core of your passions can very much be present in the professional sphere. 

This is what happened with me and writing, anyway. I love to write. I love sports. As a copywriter, depending on the project, I’ve actually been able to focus on both passions at the same time.

I’ve Learned to Love Utilitarian Writing

I’ve always loved writing, and now I spend basically every hour of every day doing just that. While it’s true that the production of sales letters, email marketing campaigns and generic web copy might not be the sexiest projects on the planet, I’ve learned to enjoy doing all of them. 

The best part of it all is that this newfound passion of mine shows in my work. Clients can see this and, as luck would have it, they come back time and time again for repeat services.

Peace of Mind

There’s a certain tranquility that comes from knowing you’re spending a ridiculous amount of time doing exactly what you want to do. Sure, I’m not interviewing Kevin Durant after a game-winning triple, but I’ve got a pretty sweet gig. Honestly, I wouldn’t trade this peace of mind for anything.

Alright, what about you? Has your writing career turned out like you thought it would? If it has, congratulations! If it hasn’t, how have you adapted to maintain professional satisfaction? As always, head on down to the comments section to share your thoughts on the matter.

 


Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.

Why Regular People Absolutely Loathe Writing

 

I realize that I can’t speak for everyone, but let’s be honest here—few are the people that truly love writing. Sure, many are those who claim to enjoy writing in their free time, but that “passion” often seems like its little more than a hipster-induced craze. 

When it comes time to actually sit down and start typing away, there are simply more appealing things to do. 

More often than not, at least from what I’ve both seen and heard, writing is viewed as a type of activity most comparable to having one’s shins hit repeatedly with a wiffle ball bat. How can this be? 

Well, as far as I’m concerned, there are a few reasons for such a lack of editorial enthusiasm in the good ol’ United States:

Writing Calls for Concentration

I’m a younger guy, so I totally get how difficult it can be to focus for long periods of time. 

While both my parents and grandparents apparently spent the entirety of their youth building character, us millennials are more accustomed to spending our free time on any one of our personal electronic devices. 

Needless to say, with so much entertainment at our fingertips, it can be hard to focus on what most would consider run-of-the-mill entertainment outlets. As such, concentration suffers and the desire to write is almost completely destroyed.

Writing Requires Research

No, BuzzFeed lists and Tumblr posts don’t count as real “research.” At the same time, however, I’m not talking about the old-school research that was required to throw together a few term papers in high school or college. 

Ya know, with like Wikipedia and stuff? 

Conversely, research with the intent to write (not a crime) is substantially more arduous and involves hunting for the most minute of details so as to ensure that any editorial production stands out as a unique creation. Simply put, the tediousness of it all turns many people off.

Writing Demands Thought

Remember when old writing professors would talk about the value of creating an outline before starting in on an assignment? Yes, this was annoying as heck, but there was a method to their madness.

Though the content found on this blog would certainly beg to differ, for persuasive writing to be as influential as possible, each individual reader must be taken into consideration. 

For this reason, the layout of an argument is of the utmost importance. To make this happen, a great deal of painstaking thought is necessary.

What do you think—am I correct in my assessment of the state of writing? Do people really try and avoid writing at all costs, or is this something I’m blowing out of proportion? If willing, take a moment or two to express your thoughts in the comments section below.

 


Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.

The Numbers Behind Making 100K as a Freelancer In a Year

 

Boy, how sweet would this be, right? Well, to be completely honest with you, it’s not all that far outside the realm of possibility. In fact, it’s not outside of it at all—it’s totally doable. 

Many copywriters—regardless of experience, mind you—are able to bring in well over $100,000 in any given year. Yes, they’re hardworking writers, but many of them are only as skilled, if not less skilled, as you and me.

Make Earning Money a Focus

So, what sort of black magic are all top-tier copywriters working with that you’re missing out on? Well, for starters, they understand the concrete numbers behind making $100,000 an annual occurrence. 

If you’re going to pull this kind of coin on a regular basis, the first thing you need to do is make money a real focus. 

Now, this doesn’t mean that your wife and children need to wander the streets both naked and afraid while you trap yourself in your home office, slaving away at project after project. But, you will need to understand the numeric stepping stones that lead to making awesome money.

The Numbers

For starters, don’t focus on the totality of the year; instead, look at what sum of cash is to be made each and every day. Assuming you work 8-hour days, 5 days a week for 50 weeks, this means you’ll have to nab roughly $400 a day.

Seems fairly doable, right?

Basic math provides more detail: if $400 are to be made each week, by the end of said week, you’ll need to have brought in $2,000.

Save yourself the headache—that’s 9,000 bones come the end of the month. Simply put, to ensure this happens, dedicate your time only to the kinds of projects that pay the most money.

Proofreading and article generation are great projects, but you’ll need to focus on ghostwriting e-books, fundraising letters, speeches, annual reports and web copy if you’re to ensure this comes about.

Lastly, remember that you’re not going to make $400 every day. The work of a freelance copywriter is sporadic and involves activities other than writing. 

Realistically, maybe you’ll need to take a day or two to promote yourself and do a bit of digital marketing.

You’re the One In Charge

Just remember the specifics of what needs to take place on a more micro scale and hold yourself accountable. If you spend two days networking and bringing new projects onboard, that third day, your earnings should total $1,200. 

Conduct every work-related activity with this in mind. Though more money can always be made, time is your most precious commodity and can’t be taken for granted.

Alright, I’ve presented my findings—what do you think? With the numbers in place, is it really possible for mediocre copywriters to bring in six figures in one calendar year? Voice your take on the matter in the comments section below.

 


Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.

Why Freelance Copywriters Must Rid Themselves of the ‘Poverty Mentality’

 

I’m sick of copywriters working under the “poverty mentality.” You’re a writer, you know that right? Like, the skill you’ve taken years to develop isn’t an easy one. 

If you think about it, there are skills that require substantially less time and effort to master, but still bring in disgusting amounts of money.

Plenty of Opportunity Out There

In fact, while I was in college at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, there was a young man from Ghana who’d joined the football team after having been spotted by the head coach at track practice one day. 

His name was Ezekiel Ansah and after only two years of playing defensive end for BYU, he was drafted by the Detroit Lions with the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft.

Clearly, Ansah’s innate athleticism played a role in this fortunate turn of events, but the point that I’m making here is that little learned skill was needed to transform him from a scrub to a star. 

As a defense end, he gets the quarterback. Yeah, there’s more to it than that, but not much.

More Evidence

You’re probably thinking the following: “Lucas, makes sense, but that’s an outlying incident. Generally speaking, people don’t pay real money for easy-to-obtain skill sets.”

Really? Well, were you aware that a doorman in New York city earns on average about $30,000 a year by simply opening the door for other people? 

Not too much difficulty there, right? Yet, innumerable are the freelance copywriters who are making similar annual salaries.

The point I’m making is this—if there are employers out there who are willing to pay for skills that don’t demand much in the ways of much raw ability, the vast majority of them certainly will. 

It’s illogical to think otherwise.

Take a Stand; the Work Will Still Come

Writing is hard, so stop accepting work that’s beneath you and demand more from those who desperately need your services.

Now, with that in mind, it’s your job to always produce top-tier work so as to command higher wages, but if you can consistently do that, there’s no reason for why you can’t make anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000 a year as a freelance copywriter.

I’m not one of those guys who’s always looking to revolt against “The Man” or anything like that, but this gets to the point where it’s sad sometimes. 

There are many individuals, businesses and organizations out there whose top priority is not to simply find the cheapest editorial option; moreover, they’re looking for quality, lots of it and are willing to slap some real money on the table for it. 

Find them. Work with them. Get paid. Stop eating off the McDonald’s Dollar Menu.

However, as copywriters, until we stop with the constant pity party and make it a point to seek out and astound the best, most reputable of clients, most of us are going to be unhappy with our bank statements. 

Keep at it and earn what you deserve.

Newer copywriters—what’s your experience with wages been like thus far? On the flip side of things, experienced copywriters—how were you able to overcome the aforementioned “poverty mentality” while still continuously earning real money? 

Take a moment or two to share your knowledge in the comments section below.

 


Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.

 

Grunt Work: How to Write 10,000 Words In a Day

 

As of 2013, there were 7.13 billion people on earth. Flip on the news and you’ll see many of them doing completely idiotic things. Even worse, much of this is voluntarily done. 

Seriously, next time ESPN is hosting either the Winter or Summer X Games, you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. 

Sure, motocross racers, skateboarders and BMX bikers lead extreme lives, but my guess is that few of them have ever done what us bloggers would toss into our very own “extreme” category: write 10,000 words in one day. 

I did this once myself—emphasis on the word once. It took a great deal out of me.

I mean, as far as normal writing is concerned, I did the math a couple of months ago and, as a copywriter by trade, I average anywhere between 4,000 and 5,000 words a day. 

Honestly, as a freakishly hyperactive human, it doesn’t seem like all that much. That said, when it’s time to close up shop, I’m dead tired and ready for some real rest and relaxation.

So, when I busted out 10,000 words, I wasn’t all that surprised by how much the activity took out of me. Anyone can do it, but it’s substantially harder than what you’re thinking.

Whatever the case, if this sounds like something you’re interested in, I’d be happy to share with you the very tidbits that helped push me until I’d successfully finished “The 10,000-Word Challenge.” 

That’s not an official title or anything, but it sure sounds impressive, huh? Anyway, here’s what you should do if you feel like downing this editorial giant:

Work With a Schedule

If you plan to belt out a disgusting number of words in one 24-hour period, don’t think it’ll be one of those things you do after your evening shower and before sliding into bed. 

No, it’s going to take more time than that.

This isn’t a one or two hour ordeal; moreover, it’s something that you’re going to need to plan out and—here’s the hard part—execute.

If you’re a full-time copywriter, blogger or journalist, this isn’t all that hard to do. You write for a living. If this is your situation, by simply upping your level of production, you can make this happen. 

On the flip side of things, however, if you’re a part-time writer or simply do this sort of thing for fun, it’s going to to take a “sick day” or weekend to make this happen. 

Basically, as long as there’s plenty of time and a plan in place, you’ve won half the battle.

The Tortoise Still Wins the Race

Writing 10,000 words isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. Yes, the whole “Tortoise and Hair” narrative is painfully overused, but it works here. 

You’re going to be writing 10,000 words and—more than likely—much of what you produce won’t be your best work, but it doesn’t have to be your worst either, right? 

Think about it—there’s an ever-present dichotomy in the world of copywriting. If you write too quickly, you’re not focusing enough on quality. 

Conversely, if you focus too much on quality, you’re missing out on thousands of dollars each month due to your lack of pace. 

The real solution? Write both quickly and beautifully. You can have both. Nobody’s saying you can’t.

Needless to say, the “slow and steady” method not only helps you create awesome content in a calm and collected manner en route to 10,000 words, it prevents you from linking your name to complete and total garbage.

Eliminate Distractions While Writing

Think you’re immune to the ever-present pull of distractions? I’ve written entire pieces on this before, but it’s especially huge when tackling 10,000 words. 

You might be good, but come 6,000 or 7,000 words, you will most assuredly feel the urgent need to respond to that Facebook message you’d forgotten about from a second cousin of yours over three weeks ago. 

I’ve been there. It’s rough. 

This goes back to the whole scheduling thing. When it’s time to write, it’s time to write. When it’s time for a break, it’s time for a break. Save the email, smartphone, snacking and even trips to the restroom for those built-in moments for clearing your thoughts. 

Otherwise, you need to be at your computer working on the next project.

Commit Mentally

You’re not a professional cyclist or marathon runner, so don’t start acting like one. 

Yet, one of an anaerobic athlete’s greatest weapons comes not only from the strength of his or her physical muscles, but from raw mental tenacity. 

As the day wears on, you’ll need to call upon the powers of your brain to keep your fingers flying. 

I’m no motivational speaker, so I’m not entirely certain as to what needs to be done to keep you churning in these moments of difficulty, all I can say is that you need to be prepared to face them and overcome them on your own. 

The upside of this, however, is that when you have finally typed your last word, you’ll officially be able to say that you’ve joined the 10,000 word club.

Before signing off, let’s focus on you for a minute—have you ever managed to dominate 10,000 typed words in a single day? If not, what’s your max? Also, if you don’t mind me asking, what’s your average? 

So as to better give Echelon’s readers a better idea of what can be done in a single day, please post your answers in the comments section below.

 


Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.

3 Rock Solid Tips for Writing Faster

 

It makes sense, right? 

As a copywriter, the faster you write, the more money you’ll be able to make. 

While I’ve always been an advocate for getting beyond copywriting and actually showing that you’re a real person outside of the office, this is a truth that can’t be avoided—the wealthiest of copywriters not only love to work, they love to work quickly. 

That said, let’s say you’re a slow writer. There’s nothing innately wrong with that, but it does mean you’ll be at an immediate disadvantage when it comes to making money. 

So, can you learn to write faster, or is it one of those things you’re born with? Trust me, you can learn to write at an alarming rate. 

Though I’m by no means the fastest writer on the face of the earth, here are three methods that have yet to have failed me when looking to produce as much copy as humanly possible:

1) Move On Before Having Finished Anything

Almost seems like this would be worse for efficiency, doesn’t it? That might be the case for some, but I’ve seen completely different results. 

Writers aren’t perfect people. We’re not geniuses. Heck, most of us probably weren’t smart enough to get into med school or made the mistake of majoring in English—so, here we are. 

Whatever the case, our brains tend to bog down sometimes. Instead of getting distracted and doing a bit of “research” on Facebook to get the ol’ mental wheels turning again, simply move onto another project. 

A few weeks back, I read a piece by Robert Bly (I’m a disciple of his) who said that he’s always working on at least half a dozen projects at one time. When he encounters some writer’s block with one, he simply minimizes the project on his desktop and moves onto another one. 

If you’re fingers are moving, you’re making money. When they’re not, you’re just an unemployed person with a really sweet computer.

Needless to say, keep typing.

2) Don’t Allow Yourself to Fixate On Wording

I used to be awful with this and still, from time to time, find my real inner OCD coming out. 

As of January 1, 2014, the Global Language Monitor estimated that there are upwards of 1,025,109.8 words in the English language. How that decimal got in there, I’ll never know, but that’s the result my Google search yielded and I’m sticking to it.

Anyway, the point is this—there are thousands of ways to express one singular idea. Odds are high that, regardless of how experienced you are, you’re not going to pinpoint the perfect method. 

Keep writing. 

Doesn’t feel right? Doesn’t sound quite the way you’d wanted it to in your head? Keep on keepin’ on and see where you’re writing takes you. 

At the end of a piece, you’ll just go back and fix things anyway. Don’t sweat the small stuff. I get that this is easier said than done, but loosen up a little, will ya? 

If you can manage to do that, you’ll see your editorial pace increase in no time at all.

3) Treat Your Copy as If It Were Intended for a Friend

Have you ever sent a lengthy email or—heck, I can’t believe I’m going to say this—text message to a close friend or relative? That was me channelling my inner 12-year-old girl, by the way.

My guess is that it took you all of 5 seconds to figure out what you were going to say, even if you were talking about something that was difficult to put into words. 

You didn’t think, you just spoke.

Well, seeing as how I make my living as the Master of the “Write Like You Talk” methodology, there should’t really be much of a difference between the ease with which you speak and the way you write. 

I mean, they’re kind of one and the same, if you think about it. After all, it’s coming from your brain. 

Furthermore, I understand that this method might not work for each and every industry you’re covering, but regardless of tone or level of professionalism, this can still produce great results. 

In fact, it was the Ninja Turtle wannabe Leonardo Da Vinci who once famously said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” 

Come the start of your next copywriting project, make the conscious effort to write simply, yet persuasively. If done correctly, your production level will most assuredly increase.

Now it’s your turn—how are you writing at lightning speed? What’s worked for you in the past and continues to work for you today? As always, share you best copywriting secrets in the comments section below.

 


Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.

3 Simple Ways to Remain Laser-Focused as a Professional Copywriter

 

Distraction is a forced to be reckoned with. From Sunday school and college classes to workplace meetings and Tyler Perry movies, becoming distracted is one of those things you’ve got to work hard to avoid. 

Even worse, at least as far as copywriters are concerned, they not only spend the majority of the day at a desk in one of those super comfortable swivel chairs, but they’re doing what most would consider one of the most mind-numbing activities known to man: writing.

Yup, though the activity is one of the most mentally taxing, after you’ve been doing it for long enough, projects start to run together. 

Because of this, the big money grab comes from producing as much as possible, as quickly as possible—all this while ensuring that jaw-dropping copy for clients is all that comes from your fingertips. 

Needless to say, distraction is probably the biggest obstacle for many copywriters to overcome. Rest assured, if this is something you’ve had to deal with during your career, there are means through which this challenge can be defeated.

Seriously, run a simple Google search and you’ll see articles touting that they’ve found 150 of ‘em. Yeah, those might work for some people, but I think I’ve found the three most effective. 

Here’s what I’m working with:

1) Begin Working Earlier In the Morning

If it’s good enough for Bob Bly, it should be good enough for both you and me, don’t you think? I’ve always been a bit of a morning person, but even if you’re not, the early morning hours are easily the most effective for getting some real work done.

Think about it—if you’re working at five o’clock in the morning, what is the rest of America doing? Sleeping. 

So, not only have you eliminated much of your copywriting competition (you’re such a hard worker), but you’ve liberated yourself from a mountain of distractions. Only, these distractions can’t ever be entirely done away with unless you’re super messed up—other people. 

Be they clients, family members or friends, as the sun starts to come up and the day wears on, a host of people—many of which you’ll need to drop everything you’re doing to speak with—will undoubtedly reach out and unknowingly prevent you from making money. 

Simply put, the earlier you get up, the more likely you are to work as you please. There’s nothing sweeter than this.

2) Put Aside Your Smartphone and Gmail Account

Floyd Mayweather could literally be doing battle a second time round with Manny Pacquiao right next to my desk and it wouldn’t keep me form working as smoothly as having my smartphone and Gmail account near me. 

Man, those things—though a massive blessing—are often such a hindrance. I get that it can be hard to turn them off completely. 

Believe me, I totally get it. 

But, if you can manage to work two or three hours a day with your smartphone turned completely off—silent mode doesn’t count, by the way—and your Gmail account closed and out of site, you give yourself that much more time to make money producing awesome web or traditional copy. 

Once your daily distraction fast is complete, turn your smartphone back on and open up Gmail to respond to the hundreds of emails that are now waiting for you.

3) Set Mini Motivational Goals Throughout the Day

This is huge for me. Listen, I love both copywriting and making money. That said, what I don’t like is this mentality that if you’re not writing, you’re sinning. 

Copywriters are people too, ya know! 

They have skills and hobbies that have little or nothing to do with writing. Some of these things can even be done during the work day. 

For example, I love to run. I’m no olympic runner or anything, but for me, it’s relaxing and a great way to get me out of the office and outdoors. Plus, it keeps me feeling great. By so doing, when it’s time to get back to writing, I’m relaxed and substantially less restless.

Now, what does running have to do with avoiding distraction? 

At the beginning of the day, if the weather is nice and I feel like a run, I’ll tell myself that there can be no run until I’ve written at least 5,000 words. 

This method requires a great deal of self-discipline, but can be extremely useful if you’re true to it. Maybe it’s watching a sitcom, playing with your kids or heading out for a quick lunch with your wife—whatever the case, make it a point to set small tasks that must be taken care of before getting to what you really want to do. 

This is gold.

Hey, this is a small list—I get it. Surely, something else has helped keep you working as efficiently as possible, while minimizing interruptions. Don’t keep these tricks of the trade a secret! Please, if you’ve got the time, jot down of few of them in the comments section below.

 


Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.

 

 

 

How to Quickly and Effectively Delve Into Different Content Niches as a Copywriter

 

Journalists write articles. Authors write books. Screenwriters write screenplays. And copywriters? Well, they do a bit of everything, to be honest. That’s one of the greatest things about copywriting.

While the thought of sitting in a chair and typing all day at a desk might be enough to cause bored high school students to gouge their own eyes out with a hot fire iron, copywriters find joy in doing just that. 

It’s a weird feeling, but it’s a blast.

Copywriters Sometimes Need a Change of Pace

Listen, I’m not saying that copywriters don’t get tired of writing, it’s just that for them, it’s more of a passion than anything else. How can this be? Yeah, they’re good at it, so it’s more enjoyable, but there’s something to be said for the numerous types of copy that they tackle on a daily basis. 

This helps mix things up a bit. 

So, what should be done if you’re a copywriter who’s specialty is found in article generation and blogging and you’re looking to branch out and expand your editorial skill set? Whatever you do, don’t fret. 

In fact, this isn’t all that hard at all.

How to Branch Out With Your Copywriting Projects

If you can write well, you’re well-equipped to expand your various production niches. To make this happen, and get paid while you’re doing it, it’s best to find yourself some entry-level work on any one of the Internet’s best freelancer website. 

While sites like Toptal are great for nabbing work, honestly, the competition might be a bit advanced for someone who’s looking to try out something new. Instead, opt for sites like Upwork or Freelancer to get things started. 

Just for the sake of an example, let’s say that you’re looking to get into the production of email marketing campaigns and, after looking for some low-lying work on Upwork, you finally win a gig producing a series of emails for a small business.

More than likely, you’ll be a bit nervous. Sure, you’re working with a smaller client and there’s not much pressure on the line, but—as a good copywriter—you don’t make a point of disappointing paying customers.

How to Learn to Produce New and Exciting Content Types

Here’s the secret—are you ready? 

The solution to this problem is found in a painfully simple way: Google. 

Yup, the very method you need to expand your circle of influence as a copywriter is the same as the one you’d use to find out whether or not babies are born without kneecaps. 

Continuing with the example we’ve already established, if in need of some real help, simply google something along the lines of “how to write a marketing email.” 

Generally speaking, there’s a template for most copy types—marketing emails are no different. 

Read through some examples and find a few you like. Read through them four or five times and, honing in on what you’ve been asked to do by your client, follow the same outline as the examples you’ve chosen to work with. 

This isn’t plagiarism or anything similar, it’s being smart and expanding your copywriting abilities. If in fact you really know how to write well, while somewhat uncomfortable, the end product should satisfy exactly what you’re client was wanting all along.

Practice Until You’re Ready for Some Big-Money Projects

As is the case with just about anything in life, practice makes perfect. Continue to work smaller, more basic jobs and, in time, the portfolio samples you’ll have accumulated will be well worth the horrible money you made churning them out. 

The best part? 

This doesn’t only work with email marketing, it can also do wonders for brochure writing, sales letters, landing pages and a host of other content types. 

Ya see, copywriting—though a worthwhile skill in its own right—isn’t rocket science. The tricks of the trade are always changing, but the psychology behind all of it isn’t. 

It’s public knowledge, and because it’s public knowledge, it’s easy to find. Do your due diligence and you can write just about anything and make money doing it.

What do you think? Is there more to it than just hopping on Google and doing a few quick searches for copywriting expertise? Whatever your take on the matter, make your thoughts and feelings known in the comments section below.

 


Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.

4 of the Most Effective Ways to Repurpose Blog Content

 

Hey, if recycling is important for the environment, it should be just as important for your old blog posts, right? Well, not so much, but you get the idea. 

Simply put, there’s a better use for old blog content than to just sit in a dark, clammy corner of the World Wide Web. 

Dust off those blog posts of yours and repurpose them. Seriously, it’s not a hard thing to do and the resurgence in driven traffic you’re certain to see will make the small sacrifice a worthwhile one. 

Still a bit lost? The following four ways are some of the most efficient for reusing old blog material:

Transform Old Blog Posts Into Guides and E-Books

Any booming site worth its proverbial salt makes a point of selling something. That way, there’s yet another source of income for their owners, in addition to any offered professional services. 

More often than not, digital guides and e-books are what they’re pushing.

If you don’t have the time to sit down and hammer out a 30-page e-book on something you’re passionate about, reorganize some of your old blog posts into something worth offering valued customers. 

Charge a few bucks and—voila! You’ve got a bit of extra money for Disneyland in your pocket and an ever-expanding email list. Pretty sweet gig, if you ask me.

Internal Blog Data Can Make for a Nice Case Study

You can hop on SurveyMonkey and pay $100 to collect new data for a personalized case study, or you can revert back to data you’d collected a few months prior for a blog post.

Using the same data, produce an awesome case study with a new spin on things. 

However, just a word to the wise—seeing as how the communicative fields of copywriting, content marketing, social media management and digital public relations are constantly changing, make certain your data is still relevant to what’s going on.

Otherwise, you might come off as a bit out of touch.

Whip Up a Slideshare Presentation From Old Entries

If you thought infographics were awesome, you’ve clearly never flipped through a slideshare presentation. 

These days, most content comes in the form of some sort of quantitative list. Because of this, transferring a blog post to a sleek slideshare presentation is fairly easy.

Though you might need the help of a graphic designer to make this an aesthetically appealing project, if you can get one, it’ll be well worth the extra effort on your part.

Q&A Sites With Meaningful Backlinks

No, Yahoo Answers isn’t only the biggest trailer park [seriously, check this out if you haven’t already done so] on the Internet; it’s also a great place to push links. 

The whole point of content marketing is to interact with the masses, all while providing valuable information, right? What better place to do just that than on a Q&A site. 

Though Yahoo Answers has been around for quite some time, the best place to repurpose blog content on a Q&A site is currently Quora. Quora has an incredible community of users from all over the world who are passionate about everything you could ever imagine.

Obviously, this is by no means a comprehensive list of ways to repurpose content. In reality, these are just a few of the methods I’ve used throughout my career to squeeze as much life out of each and every blog post as is humanly possible.

Now the time is yours—what methods do you use to repurpose old blog content? If you’ve yet to have commented on a blog post of mine, take this opportunity to get involved for the first time. Rest assured, all comments will be met with a prompt response.

 


Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.