Copywriting For Hard Copy

copywriting-for-hard-copy

Copywriting For Hard Copy

Hello, this is Craig again.

Copywriting for Websites was working on an unusual client project recently. It falls somewhere between ghost writing (where the writer creates a document to be published under the client’s name) and translation from “foreign English” to standard English. All of this comes under the category of copywriting for hardcopy clients.

A little more information is required, without naming the client, so that you understand the circumstances a little better.

The client is a technical company, working in both engineering and hardware construction. The company is located in a non-English-speaking European country. Their personnel are predominantly from the home country and from other areas where English is not a native language. To make things easier to understand, lets just call the country “Nirvana.” The Nirvanians speak their own language, Nirvanan. They are not really familiar with English except as a second (or maybe third) language on a job site.

The Nirvanian client has an older English brochure they use in their marketing and public relations activities. They used this in both Nirvana and for their activities in international areas. They feel that English is the most widely used language in their marketing area and their technical arena. Therefore, they desire a presentable brochure that the majority of their potential customers can read and understand. That’s why they came to Copywriting for Websites.

Because of the “Websites” part of our name, they were a little hesitant to approach C4W. However, our expertise in their technical area convinced them that we would be a good selection. Luckily, Craig has a little exposure to Nirvanan. That made communications with them easier. We negotiated a deal, and C4W started working on the project.

Because they were in the middle of a marketing personnel change, the project was strained in terms of coordination, but we got the job done. Also, there were changes in some of their existing client areas. That meant we were aiming at a target that was sometimes moving politically as we wrote. But we did get the job done.

What was involved? Basically, C4W went through the existing brochure as a first draft. In doing this, we cleaned up the English so there was a firm basis for understanding the work. We also clarified some inconsistencies and rectified some misstatements. Next, we discussed some modifications to the brochure. These made it more of a selling device than a simple recital of their work experience. We also agreed on some fundamental ideas. After that, we adapted the existing text to the new ideas. Then fit things together with some new information. Finally, we dropped some policitally inappropriate text.

All that is left now is a final read over the finished product. This will assure that we catch all the typos and logical mistakes. It will also make sure we are consistent with numbers and names and formats before it goes to the printer. We also had to coordinate the text with the visual images they want to use in the brochure.

Think you could do that? Of course you can, otherwise you wouldn’t have read this far down the page! 🙂 The catch is to have your own expertise niche, where you can provide a useful service. Then sell, sell, sell, based on your advantages.

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Copywriting For Hard Copy

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How To Find A Mentor Who Does What You Want

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How To Find A Mentor Who Does What You Want?

A mentor can be the difference between just mediocre performance and becoming a rock star. Assuming you find the right one. In fact, it seems that most successful authors had mentors and still have them – often more than one.

There is no question that having a mentor can help you through many bad places and worse. The catch is, unless you are lucky and someone grabs you under the arms and drags you along with them, like it or not, mentoring can be very expensive, whether it is in conventional business, or in internet marketing.

And that brings up a point – it never occurred to me before that you could buy a mentor. I always thought that “mentoring” meant that someone was voluntarily helping you to learn how to do things for yourself. “Bootstrapping with help” is probably an appropriate description. But there apparently is no shortage of people eager to be your PAID mentor. In some areas, like sales funnels, the ultimate high-end product is mentoring, even to the extent that is virtually a required portion of the product line. So much so, in fact, that it appears today that everybody is in the mentoring business. Ok, you decide that you need a mentor too, and that you are willing to pay for one. Well, the $64 dollar quesion is, How do you find a mentor who does what you want?

I put together some questions that you should go over to see if they will help you find the right mentor for you. There are some critical questions here, so read closely!

  • Exactly what does the mentor do that is common to your wants and needs? Does what s/he proposes meet your objectives?
  • Can this person really help you in the area that you want help in? What kind of background does s/he have. Does s/he have enough experience and success in their own career to validate that experience?
  • Do you like this person? If it’s a team effort, are all the team members the kind of person you would like to work with? Think seriously about that – if this is a strenuous effort and is scheduled to go on for six months or a year, if you don;t like some of the people now, think what it will be like when you have 4 months behind you.
  • What is the program? What is the extent of the content? Do you get personal coaching? Videos? Printed material? Conferences or seminars? Is everything on a schedule, or is it all ad hoc? What about recordings or minutes of the sessions – do you get copies? Is there any support outside of the scheduled sessions? This is not an exhaustive list – take a look and see what is important for you. Some people simply thrive on teleconferences, while others just find them so boring that they can’t even stay awake.
  • Who actually does the mentoring? Is it always the same person or is it a team? Do they use outside “experts”? Is it “stuff” that you could easily get somewhere else – maybe also for free? Do you work better with close contact – in which case a one-to-one approach would be better, or more on the university lecture basis, in which case you might get better overall content from a team of people.
  • Have you looked for references or testimonials? Have you talked to someone with personal exposure to the mentor or mentoring team? Did it help them? Does their experience look like it would be helpful for you, and are these people doing better noe than they were before the mentoring experience?
  • What does it cost in money? What will it cost you in term of time? Can you see that it will benefit you in some way that makes it worth more than you will spend on it? Is there a way to spread the financial costs across time? Does the mentor guarantee positive results? How?
  • Take a close look at the advertising and handout materials that are available from the mentor. Do you want personel attention? Then send them a letter and ask some questions that are important for you personally. What you get back should be a good indication of what you can expect in the program itself. Lots of printed broschures, or a specific personal answer?

If your investigation turns out negative, don’t get talked into doing it anyway – there are too many options available for you to get stuck in something you don’t like. Think also about this: if you do’t like it at the start, you will probably drop out somewhere in the middle, gain nothing useful and lose all your money.

On the other hand, if your investigation turns out positive, and it is at a level you can afford, both in time and finances, go for it! You have found a mentor who should deliver the mentoring you want.


Web Content Copywriting

Web Content Copywriting

web content writing

Hi there, I guess this subject really gets down to the basis of copywriting for websites – what it is and how to do it.

First, let’s talk about the definition of copywriting. Wikipedia says: “Copywriting is the act of writing copy for the purpose of marketing and advertising a person, business, opinion or idea.
The purpose of marketing copy, or promotional text, is to persuade the reader, listener or viewer to act — for example, to buy a product or subscribe to a certain viewpoint.” ref http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copywriting.

Wikipedia continues to say (with some editing by me): “Copywriters are used to help create direct mail pieces, taglines, jingle lyrics, web page content, online ads, e-mail and other Internet content, television or radio commercial scripts, press releases, white papers, catalogs, billboards, brochures, postcards, sales letters, and other marketing communications media. Copy can also appear in social media content including blog posts, tweets, and social-networking site posts.

“Content writing on websites [my main subject here] may include among its objectives the achievement of higher rankings in search engines. Known as “organic” search engine optimization (SEO), this practice involves the strategic placement and repetition of keywords and keyword phrases on web pages, [while] writing in a manner that human readers would consider normal.”

In my business – “Copywriting for Websites” or “C4W” – the definition is taken a little more broadly. In addition to the uses listed by Wikipedia, we will write “content” for you which is not specifically aimed at any particular product, but which might touch on the edges of what you want to sell. An example: we could write one or more articles about what the mechanisms of weight loss are, although your specific subject might be “Weight Control Using X-Y-Z Diet Pills.” This seems to be the type of content that Google is looking for these days – real content and not advertising copy, nor re-hashed (“spun”) articles that have been around for years and are present on tens or hundreds of websites.

As you have probably seen in our lead article, “Technical” Means What?, we are specialising in technical content. There are two main reasons for this: (1) I am an engineer and have spent my entire first three careers dealing with technical things, so I understand them reasonably well, and (2) quite frankly, it brings more money on an hourly basis than run-of-the-mill content writing. The reason for number (2) above is that there are not so many people who are knowledgable about technical items, and who are willing and able to write about them. There is an unfortunate situation here – typically, technically gifted people can not write well, and gifted writers often do not understand technical things. My background is “liberal arts” with two teachers for parents who were sticklers about using good English, even at home. Add to that growing up in the southeastern USA, where the liberal arts education is usually stronger than the mathematical/technical education. Also, a well-rounded liberal high school education at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. did not hurt, nor did some continuing liberal arts education in University (Antioch College, Univ. of Kansas, Pepperdine University).

Needless to say, we would enjoy having the opportunity to help you out with your projects, whatever they might be. If this sounds interesting for you, the most sure way to contact us is using the form on the right that says “Contact Us Here.”

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Web Content Copywriting


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