Category Archives: Copywriting and Content Writing Tips

Call-to-action tips for your day-to-day content writing and copywriting

Call-to-action tips

Call-to-action tips

Call-to-action is a statement that you make to prompt people to take an action when they are reading your blog post, web page, landing page, or an email. It is also called CTA.

Think it in this manner: why do people come to your website? Why do you want them to come to your website?

If you run a business website (provide app development services) you obviously want people to contact you if they want to develop a mobile app. Almost every page has a Call-to-action button such as “Call us” or “Contact now”.

But simply telling people to contact you isn’t going to make them contact you. Your entire copy must fuel your Call-to-action statement.

Call-to-action can be straightforward (buy my book right now), or it can be subtle – the narrative of your writing moving in such a manner that people want to take an action.

Content Marketing Institute has compiled a list of call-to-action tips to help you supercharge your writing. Some of these tips include

Clearly define your call-to-action goal

You’re CTA isn’t always about making a sale, although, that would be the ultimate goal. Before a sale happens, you need to generate leads. You generate leads by establishing communication channels. How do you establish those channels?

You can ask your visitors to download your white paper or case study. You can ask them to download your e-book. You can encourage them to subscribe to your updates. You can also ask them to visit other portions of your website for further action.

If you define your CTA, it helps you write your content accordingly.

Make contextually relevant offers

Call-to-action must be relevant to the document or the visual your viewer is currently viewing. Suppose I’m writing a blog post on how to write compelling copy and then in the middle of the copy I ask them to download an SEO book. Vaguely they are connected, but directly they are not. Instead, if I ask them to download a small PDF on how to write a compelling copy with more details and data, they will be more eager to download it.

You also need to keep in your mind the intent, both for the content and for the reader/viewer. Is the reader looking for information or is she ready to buy? If she is looking for more information it is better to direct her to the relevant document and if she wants to buy, then it is better to prompt her to buy.

Keep your CTA straightforward

Call-to-action must be an active verb. Use expressions like “Download our White Paper” or “Subscribe to our newsletter” or “Download our mobile app”. These are very clear actions. Avoid using something like “Learn more” because it is very vague and doesn’t tell much what it leads to.

Create a sense of urgency and importance

Instead of saying “Download our mobile app” it is better to say “Download our mobile app now”. Also, use “Call us today” instead of simply “Call us”. Also, something like “Download our custom catalogue specifically for you”. This makes the reader feel unique and special. There is also a sense of urgency.

Avoid using multiple Call-to-action prompts

If you choose too many call-to-action prompts readers begin to ignore them or their eyes get used to them. Use CTA only where you think now is the right time for them to click and do the needful.

Also, keep your CTA brief if you are using a button, because people prefer clicking buttons that are of small size.

Be transparent in your CTA prompts

Don’t needlessly send people to other locations of your website because you want them to stick around. The Call-to-action must be transparent. If it prompts them to download an e-book, they should be able to download it without much fuss. If they need to fill up a form, no matter how small it is, quickly mention that. Avoid using words like “Sign up” or “register” if they need to fill up a form before downloading.

Why should people click?

Can they get a 25% discount – “Avail 25% discount instantly”? Are they going to generate ideas for their blog posts? Is the software going to help them generate quality content? Is it a toolkit they can use to manage their customers and clients? There needs to be a great benefit that your call-to-action offers. Solve a problem. Help them get unstuck. Help them save money.

Common copywriting mistakes even pro-copywriters commit

Avoid these copywriting mistakes

Avoid these copywriting mistakes

When it comes to writing for the web, copywriting is slightly different from content writing. Though, many writers and digital marketers call content writing online copywriting, the tone of copywriting is a bit more aggressive and CTA-oriented.

You can write content without selling or promoting anything. In copywriting, in most of the cases you are promoting something whether it is a product, an action, or a cause.

No matter how experienced or “pro” a copywriter is, he or she may commit some common copywriting mistakes simply because he or she may be working on multiple assignments. It so happens that sometimes you get so engrossed in the process of writing that even the mistakes that you commit don’t seem like mistakes.

Forbes magazine has published a list of 15 common copywriting mistakes that even pro copywriter’s commit. These mistakes include

Typos in the subject line

Yes, they do happen. When doing email marketing your subject line is very important. It is your subject line that makes people open your email message. If it contains typos, it leaves a bad impression. The typos and spelling mistakes convey to the recipients that you don’t take them seriously enough to proofread this important part of your email.

Writing too much text – very long copy

Long copy works but in many cases it doesn’t. A pro copywriter should be able to find out by analyzing the audience whether a long copy would do or a shorter version. I don’t consider this a pro copywriting mistake because on many instances long copy is needed. You don’t have to go into every detail. You don’t have to write section after section, especially when you feel that you are being repetitive and, in the process, boring your readers.

Visual and text narrative don’t stand alone

What does that mean? As a copywriter these days you often need to mix different media including images, videos and text. In most of the cases the entire package is presented to the viewer, for example a Facebook ad.

But sometimes only text is shown, or only an image is shown, or the video part of your ad is shown. Does it spoil your entire marketing message? It shouldn’t. All the parts – image, video, and text, should be able to stand alone. They should be able to do their job without depending on each other.

Not expressing complex ideas simply

People don’t have time or patience to figure out complex things, especially when it comes to buying something. They want straightforward answers whether the offer you are making is going to solve their problem or not.

Albert Einstein famously said, “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.”

Using unnecessary filler words

Filler words are something like “in order to achieve that”, whereas you can simply use “to achieve that”. Or, “he was actually nice” instead of “he was nice”. The advice is that if your writing makes good sense without these filler words, get rid of them.

Depending too much on the default spell check

Your spell checker does the grunt work. All those curly red lines immediately tell you if you have typos or spelling mistakes in your copy. Even the bluish underlines these days highlight structural anomalies and grammatical oversights.

For example, if you have typed “your” instead of “you are”, your spell check won’t highlight that. If you type “their” instead of “there” your spell check may miss that. It won’t even differentiate between “everyday” and “every day”.

Complexity may impress some people, but not many. Most people are intimidated by it. When you are writing copy your purpose is not to intimidate people or to demonstrate how smart you are. Your purpose is to promote or sell the idea or the product.

Missing the main point

This is also a common copywriting error committed by even the pros. They get so carried away by the nitty-gritty of the copy that they miss the main point. Why are you writing the copy? What do you want people to do? What is the most important point that you want to convey, and you don’t want to miss conveying? Which is the thing that if you don’t mention will defeat the entire purpose of writing your copy?

Hence, it is important to write your main headline and then the sub-headline in the beginning itself, and then prepare the entire copy based on them.

Not understanding the audience

You most know whom you are writing for? If you misunderstand your audience, you don’t write effective copy. Be clear who your target audience is. What are they looking for and how do you offer what they are looking for? What information do they need to make up their minds? What is holding them back from doing business with you and how do you allay their fears?

Ignoring the right benefits

Some copywriters get so carried away by the features of the product or service they are writing about that they don’t mention the benefits.

What’s the difference between features and benefits? The feature of a mobile phone might be that it gives you 200 GB of memory space. The benefit is that you can store thousands of photographs and hundreds of videos without having to delete your data.

Some people find features appealing and some benefits. You need to strike a balance but when it comes to giving preference, when writing copy, give preference to benefits rather than features.

Ignoring search engine optimization

Many pro copywriters commit this common mistake when writing for the web. SEO copywriting is a complete branch in itself. When you are writing a blog post or a web page getting targeted search engine traffic is quite important.

Use appropriate keywords. Create the title of the web page that resonates with your keywords in the main copy. Use a headline, preferably having your main keyword. Strategically use the keywords throughout your copy. Use headings and subheadings.

Presenting too much detail

Another common pro copywriting mistake. Most of the people these days don’t have time to read 500-600 words. Long copy works in some instances but otherwise, keep it as short as possible. Remove extraneous sentences. Get rid of irrelevant expressions. Make sure you are not repeating what you have already said.

There are a couple of more points in the original blog post but they are repetitions so I’m wrapping up with these points.

How to write like the best writers in your field?

How to be the best writer in your field

How to be the best writer in your field

Writing these days is all pervasive. You are writing blog posts. You are writing social media updates. You are writing text messages and emails. You are writing proposals if you do business.

There are many people who cock a snook at the concept of writing well, writing well still matters. It can tarnish your reputation if there are too many typos, spelling mistakes and grammar mistakes in your writing. But, when we talk of writing like the best writers in your field, I assume you already write without typos, spelling mistakes, and grammar mistakes.

What do writers due to be the best in their field?

There is one common trait that I have found in the writers who are the best in their field: they are consistent. They are constantly writing and publishing.

“Show up every time and don’t wait for your muse to show up,” advise many established writers.

They always have great ideas to write about. Other than this, here are some traits that you can develop to become the best writer in your field.

Have a unique style

Among us there is always this tendency to write like our favorite authors. I used to write like Charles Dickens, and then Salman Rushdie. Even when I wrote content, I emulated my favorite authors. This drew applause from some clients, but most were disenchanted and wanted me to write something simpler for the audience.

Gradually I discarded the styles of other writers and started writing in my own style. I can’t claim to have a style that makes people recognize my writing without reading my name, but at least I write the way I want to write rather than following someone else’s style.

Understand your audience

You become the best in your field when you gain recognition, and you gain recognition only when you deliver what people want.

Before writing a blog post or web page carefully consider what your audience wants.

For example, my content writing and copywriting blog attracts two types of audience: people who want to improve their writing and potential clients who want to feel reassured that I know my stuff. Therefore, I’m constantly writing for these two categories.

Use simple language when writing

Simple writing doesn’t mean you write unimaginatively. Juggle with words. Get creative with sentences. But not at the cost of making it difficult for your readers to follow you.

The best writers write smaller sentences. Write smaller paragraphs. They don’t use very big words.

Somewhere I read a very nice writing advice, “If it sounds like writing, rewrite it.” What it means is, you should write in a manner as if you are talking to people. Be a conversationalist. Write as if you are sitting and talking to someone.

Use active voice as much as possible. “This is done” instead of “This has been done”.

Read and learn constantly

Writing is a skill that you need to hone continuously. Your writing muscles get atrophied if you don’t stretch them regularly. Read other authors but don’t let them rub onto you. Learn how they express themselves.

If possible, read books on writing. There are many blogs dedicated to the art of writing.

Not just writing, also become a thought leader in your field. Go deeper into your topic.

As a professional content writer, I’m constantly learning about how to write effectively. I’m regularly learning what to do and what not to do when writing. Similarly, if you are an architect, then then read on architecture. Expand your knowledge. Then share your knowledge with your readers.

10 SEO copywriting tips to use whenever you publish a blog post

10 SEO Copywriting Tips

10 SEO Copywriting Tips

A big reason why you publish blog posts every day is that you want to improve your search engine rankings. During the past 15 years since I have been providing professional content writing services, I have come across only 3-4 clients who wanted to publish blog posts for the purpose of broadcasting their messages. Otherwise, the primary purpose is always improving SEO. I’m not saying there is anything wrong in that.

SEO copywriting is an integral part of writing for the purpose of improving your search engine rankings. Copywriting doesn’t always mean writing for ads or promotional literature. You maintain a business blog because you want to increase your sales. You want to convince your ideas compellingly so that your readers believe you and then do business with you. Whenever your writing involves convincing people, it is more copywriting and less content writing.

SEO copywriting and SEO content writing are often interchanged but the sole difference is that when you use copywriting when writing, you also promote your business.

SEMRush published an infographic listing 10 SEO copywriting tips to follow whenever you write a blog post or web page. Here is the infographic:

SEMRush infographic on SEO copywriting

SEMRush infographic on SEO copywriting

As the name suggests, SEO copywriting is meant to improve your search engine rankings. Therefore, you need to take certain steps, you need to follow some procedures, to make sure that you are optimizing your copy for better search engine rankings. Here are a few things you can do

1. Find the right keywords

There are rumors that Google no longer needs keywords and you can use contextual language to convey to Google what keywords to optimize your content for. But the keywords still matter. You can use various online tools to find the keywords people are using to find your business. You can even use as simple a tool as Google. When you search for something on Google, Google also suggests other search terms. The search terms are being used by people.

2. Find out which questions people are

Questions and their answers are ranked better by Google. Questions are generally a treasure trove of keywords because they use exactly the language people use when they are searching for your business.

Therefore, there is a greater chance of ranking a web page with a question “How to find the best content writing services” higher than a web page having a simple title as “We provide the best content writing services”.

3. Keep search intent in mind

Figuring out search intent further helps you refine your keywords and reorient your language. What is the reason people are trying to find your particular web pages or blog posts? Are you satisfying that intent? Are they able to find what they’re looking for? The more emphatically yes the answer is, the better will be your search engine rankings.

4. What are your competitors writing?

If your competitors are enjoying better search engine rankings than you, they must be doing something right with their content. What type of content are they publishing? What keywords and search terms are they targeting? The infographic suggests research at least 10 competitors before you start writing content for your own website or blog.

5. Gather original data

Original data helps you write authoritative content. You draw your own conclusions. You make up your own mind. You display concrete results to your prospective customers and clients. You can conduct polls and surveys on your website for original content. You can also write case studies and white papers.

6. Optimize headlines and meta information

Headlines hook your audience. Your headline tells your readers what awaits them and why they should read your piece of content. In SEO copywriting writing headlines is one of the most important aspects of writing content. Meta tag information is the web page title and the description. This information appears in search results and have a great impact on your CTR.

7. When SEO copywriting, write easy-to-read text

Write smaller sentences. Write smaller paragraphs. Express a single idea in a single sentence. Don’t use complicated words. Remember that many people might be reading your web page or blog post on their mobile phone and on mobile screens it is difficult to read longer sentences.

8. Include relevant images

Images complement your copywriting. Images are not an integral part of copywriting because copywriting involves writing words, but when you are writing for the web you need to use images that keep your readers hooked. Images also present a welcome distraction.

9. Use appropriate CTA

Call-to-action is very important in SEO copywriting. You may not tell your readers directly to do this or do that, there must always be a hidden intention. What must your readers do after reading your web page or blog post? Should they subscribe to your newsletter? Should they download your e-book or white paper? People’s response to your call-to-action is an important KPI of your SEO copywriting.

10. Link to other blog posts and web pages from your current piece of writing

Interlinking solves multiple purposes. It makes it easier for search engine crawlers to crawl important parts of your website or blog. It also helps your readers find relevant information on your website or blog. It prevents you from writing duplicate content because if there are some concepts you have already written about, better link to them rather than writing about them repeatedly.

SEO copywriting is important at multiple levels. It allows you to write engaging content that prompts people to take an action while they are on your website or blog. It provides relevant information and at the same time encourages people to reach out to you for doing business. The SEO part is, writing your content in such a manner that it is interesting to read for humans and at the same time easier for search engine crawlers to crawl, index, make sense, and then rank for the appropriate keywords.

Writing Happy New Year greetings for your business

How to write a happy New Year greeting for your business

How to write a happy New Year greeting for your business

Almost every business sends out new year greetings to its customers and clients. Being a professional content writer, I write new year greetings for my ongoing clients.

Here is a quick tip when writing a new year greeting for your business:

Really mean it.

Why am I saying this? Many businesses send out new year greetings just to promote some products or services.

For once, greet your customers and clients just for the sake of greeting them. Send them genuine messages. You have an entire year to promote your business.

When I’m creating email messages for season’s greetings such as Christmas, New Year or Diwali, I write contextually as well as emotionally.

What is contextual in this? Take for example the Covid-19 pandemic. Everyone is worried. Over the past two years it’s been coming and going. People are unsure both emotionally and economically.

There are thousands of other problems in the world.

No, I’m not saying that fill your messages will doom and gloom. But certainly empathize. People live in a realistic world, and they don’t want to be talked down to. Talk like an adult.

Yes, there are problems. Yes, we need to deal with those problems. Despite those problems, we must wish each other happiness, gratitude, prosperity, health, safety, and love.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating a new year message or a seasonal greeting message for your customers and clients:

Don’t worry about writing earthshattering sentences

Plain sentences will do. A simple “A Happy New Year to you” is far better than writing a convoluted sentence very few people understand. You don’t always have to use that big giant dancing man to attract people to your message.

Keep it short

It’s new year. People are busy with their families. Even if they are not busy with their families and friends, since most of the people are reading your messages on their mobile phones, it is better to keep them short. It is easier to read them.

Formulate the message

Here is how you can formulate the message:

  • Thank him or her for doing business with you.
  • Wish: May you and your loved ones prosper, become or remain healthy, get lots of love, and contentment in the coming year. May all your wishes come true this coming year.

Include your signature at the end

The signature will tell the recipients of your message what business you are in. Again, don’t go overboard. Use your usual signature. Stay away from pushing your marketing message.

Different marketing experts may have different take on how to write new year greetings, but my approach is quite straightforward. When you are writing New Year greetings, stick to greeting them. Don’t insert your marketing messages. Don’t use double entendre. Don’t use it as an opportunity to push your business agenda. You can push your business agenda all the year.