The million dollar question that someone asks me at least once a week is “Adam, do you know a good Copy Writer or someone who could blog for me?” and the reality is that if I knew that many people with the ability to actually write good copy, I would be a multi millionaire. What people don’t understand is that almost everyone says that they are Copy Writers or the write for SEO and that they always get amazing results within the Search Engines. The reality is that if you write for the Search Engines alone than you usually forget the end user which means you create a bad user experience and your site may stop converting as well. You also make it so that other Bloggers and Webmasters or even regular readers won’t want to share your site, articles and pages or link to them because it is “written for SEO” or because they were written by an “SEO Copy Writer”.
Because you have made it so that they don’t want to link to you, even though you have keyword repetition, etc… in your article and for the time being it ranks for the terms you wanted, you have also defeated the main purpose of SEO which is to not only have great copy, but also copy that will generate back links and convert traffic with a great user experience so you can make money off of the page as well. The bottom line is that a good Online Copy Writer has to be able to address a few things including SEO, User Experience and be interesting and creative. They also have to know the different types of Online Copy Writing. To help you think about what you should be asking them, here are the three most common types of Online Copy and how they can be used.
After reading them, think about what your goals are and the type of copy you need and also take into consideration your end user or customer as well as your overall website experience. If the Copy Writer is only concerned with SEO than you should not use them. If they only write fluff available elsewhere or things that are general, get rid of them. If they understand the different types of Online Copy below and can show you proper examples, then talk to them and further evaluate the best ways to use them. Good copy writers can cost anywhere from $75 per article to $800 per article. Fluff writers and people who actually don’t get it will charge you less and probably won’t show you legit examples of the types of copy below.
On Site – This needs to be extremely informative and also somewhat interesting. It cannot just be keyword spam and fluff. This is where a lot of people find themselves stuck because they may get more traffic but none of it converts and they lose their backlinks and eventually their rankings. For on site copy, well use an ingredient in a product for this example and you want to get your site to rank for that ingredient. What your Online Copy Writer needs to be able to do is to give someone a reason to understand why this ingredient is in your product and how the product will benefit them as well as why the ingredient was chosen for your product. It can give the history of the ingredient, share some unique facts (make sure to source them) and at the same time because it is on site and possibly on a sales or product page, it should get the reader excited to want to buy the product or get other sites and bloggers to want to link to that page off of the ingredient name and also about your product which contains that ingredient. On site can also take the form of sites like Wikipedia if it is supposed to be an informative page. People may come and use it or share it or reference it as a source of information and from there you can then take the page and work on conversion rates and sales funneling.
Blog Writing – The fun thing about a blog is that a blog can have multiple personalities writing for it. With that said, the one thing that has to remain consistent is that blog writing has to share a voice and tone that remains consistent and also relates to the readers to keep them coming back. You can be a bit more personable here as well which adds to the fun of Blog writing because you get to add things in as you find them in real time which you don’t normally get to do with on site, especially when you start ranking for new terms with SEO. You can use things like jokes, cartoons, creative writing, wishing people happy holidays and sharing specials with them only; basically things that wouldn’t normally go on a site because you cannot update it on a regular basis and because a site doesn’t always have a personal look, feel or a real human’s voice and feeling to it. The one thing to remember though is that the content does need to be informative and each post must either provide the end user with something they can take with them and learn from (especially because that could make them comment, link to or share the post with their friends) or at least make them smile so they want to come back again and hopefully you’ll be able to get them excited enough to buy or try your product so that they shop through it the next time since you made them smile.
Article Marketing – (Before I post about copy for Article Marketing, this is 100% not how to do Article Marketing and may be against the terms and conditions of many of the top Article sites. I’ll eventually do a post on how to do Article Marketing so please understand that this is just about copy and not Article Marketing or best practices or how to actually do it. This is also not how I write for Article Sites and not how I do my own personal Article Marketing. It is just a basic very bottom line example of Article Marketing copy and copy writing.) This type of copy can be fluff. The important thing is to stick with a keyword or two, give something unique so people will want to read through it and have the keyword somewhere, preferably towards the top, that you want to link back to your site with. Although it can be much more random and doesn’t have to be captivating or amazing, you should make it interesting and original, otherwise you will anger the community behind that Article site and they may boot you which also means you won’t get your backlinks or new readership built. With that said, the majority of copywriters can only write fluff and crap which is why they normally fall into this category and the only thing they are good for is Article Marketing. Their skill sets don’t go beyond cranking out a few newspaper articles or fluff with no substance so I usually put at least 95% of the “Online Copy Writers” into this category as it is all they really know how to write for. They either give you fluff or keyword stuffing or just write something that may seem interesting to you but in reality it is just fluff that the general public will ignore or already knows. There isn’t much benefit in just repeating what people already know, your site and your copy should teach them something new and give them a benefit. We all know that a cow says moo, but your site should say it sounds like or comes out like Moo. That is where the real value comes in and where the majority of Online Copy Writers and SEO Copy Writers fall short and end up only being good for Article Marketing copy. These people and their articles are great for some article sites and giving your self backlinks off of specific keywords. These are also the types of articles newspapers and other news sites usually like to pick up so they also do serve a purpose, just make sure your own site has the real meat and valuable information as that is what will get you the rankings and conversions that you need.
With these three types of Online Copy and a talented Online Copy Writer helping you, you really won’t have any other needs for online copy, with the exception of Press Releases and other Marketing Channels like CSEs. The most important thing is to find someone who can write something that is interesting and informative and who understands each of these types and can also write for the Search Engines while also giving a great user experience. Because that is soo easy to do. If the writer doesn’t know the difference between On Site, Blog and Article, than move on immediately. If they keep talking about the Search Engines but not equally about a great user experience, move on. If they don’t talk about conversions, user experience or search engines at all, then you shouldn’t even consider them as they are your typical newspaper fluff writer who probably won’t get you a ton of success unless you are either really lucky or for some reason you get a ton of really great backlinks and a huge following…usually only major brands and celebrities can achieve this because people link to them naturally and they don’t have to work for the PR and fluff is what the general public wants from them.
There is a bit more to Online Copy Writing but if you find someone that gets the above and can walk you through it and give you solid examples, then you should hold onto that person and do everything you can to keep them as they will 100% be your best online asset. Online Copy Writing and SEO Copywriting is a joke the way most people fall for the frauds out there. Copy Writing is copy writing and a true Online Copy Writer writes to inform or entertain an end user, give the Search Engine what it is looking for and can write for the purpose of the piece and how it is to be used while keeping website conversions in mind. There is no SEO writing and there is no copy writing but there is someone who can do it and achieve it while also being able to increase sales for you as well and there is the majority of people who call themselves Online Copy Writers and SEO Copy Writers who will never be able to do this but can definitely throw a ton of buzz words around. Until you’ve found a real one, which is almost impossible to find, you’ll never really know why these people are some of the hardest people to find in the world and also why they almost never work at a firm, an SEO agency and rarely in house for a company. I do have a few I use and am happy to recommend them, but be prepared that none of the are yes people and they may not want to work with you, no matter how much you offer to pay.