Copywriting – Mid-West Digital Marketing https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com Thu, 26 Jul 2018 14:20:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 75379469 Conquering Content Writer’s Block With a Few Simple Steps https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2015/07/content-marketing-writers-block/ https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2015/07/content-marketing-writers-block/#respond Fri, 03 Jul 2015 13:06:28 +0000 https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/?p=3151 (forthcoming pun is intended) Do you often find yourself struggling with ideas of to post as content for your client? Does it seem like you’ve actually found the end of the cyber highway? Here’s an idea, TALK TO THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU TO DISCOVER CONTENT! I know that seems crazy with how our society is... Read more »

The post Conquering Content Writer’s Block With a Few Simple Steps appeared first on Mid-West Digital Marketing.

]]>
(forthcoming pun is intended)Writers-block

Do you often find yourself struggling with ideas of to post as content for your client? Does it seem like you’ve actually found the end of the cyber highway? Here’s an idea, TALK TO THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU TO DISCOVER CONTENT! I know that seems crazy with how our society is becoming more and more digitally distant from each other. It’s incredible what five minutes of seemingly unimportant conversation can produce in terms of content ideas.

Break it down!

Writer’s block happens to people in every field of study; a psychoanalyst by the name of Edmund Bergler coined the term in 1947. Who knows, it could have been known as “doctors dilemma”. “Doctor’s dilemma”, that’s kind of a scary thought actually, so wise choice Dr. Bergler. When you get stumped on a subject, how many times has continuing to dig at it actually produced a positive result in a timely manner? If you’re like me, then the answer is not often. I find it best to take a little stroll through the office, say “hi” to my coworkers and strike up a little conversation with them. It really helps to clear my head of what I was thinking about for the past 2 hours. According to a Stanford study on the subject of creativity and the impact walking has on our creative ability, a person’s creative output increases by an average of 60% compared to when they are sitting.

So get up, stretch those legs, and now head out on your path to reclaiming your content creativity! Be sure to remember your way back or your boss might get upset.

 

Share

The post Conquering Content Writer’s Block With a Few Simple Steps appeared first on Mid-West Digital Marketing.

]]>
https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2015/07/content-marketing-writers-block/feed/ 0 3151
Creative Content Writing https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2014/06/creative-content-writing/ https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2014/06/creative-content-writing/#respond Wed, 18 Jun 2014 15:24:21 +0000 https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/?p=2697 See Each Other: A New Way of Thinking about SEO & Content Ever heard of the red phone in the White House that serves as a direct hotline to the Kremlin? Well, there isn’t one, and there never was. The infamous “red phone” is the stuff of Hollywood lore, hooey-based history, a crock of you-know-what.... Read more »

The post Creative Content Writing appeared first on Mid-West Digital Marketing.

]]>
See Each Other: A New Way of Thinking about SEO & Content

Ever heard of the red phone in the White House that serves as Content Strategy Meetings are like a secret Red Phone linking us with clients' mindsets a direct hotline to the Kremlin? Well, there isn’t one, and there never was. The infamous “red phone” is the stuff of Hollywood lore, hooey-based history, a crock of you-know-what. Still, I love to picture Reagan and Gorbachev sitting up yammering by phone in their ‘80s jammies at 3 a.m. (wearing long-tailed, old-timey night caps, if I’m being honest). It sounds like a good way to get things done, to curb crises, to cut through red tape.

I used to wish I had a red phone for clients. It was more of a longing to know them better so that I could write for them better. A copywriter can do only so much with some keywords, a site map, and a blank computer screen. That’s why I now work hard to keep up my own kind of SEO. It’s called seeing each other.

Successful content marketing takes root when the copywriter comes to the pow-wow

It’s easy to hyper-focus on the high-tech side of digital marketing. That’s where a lot of the magic happens. It’s why we bother with things like keywords, inbound and outbound links, meta-tags, H1s, alt tags, page-load times, image sitemaps, and so on. But I’ve got to give those SEO geeks some good material to work with first! Much of their tech magic will be wasted if creative magic hasn’t happened first. Creative magic has its best chance to unfold when the copywriter and client get face time.

Don’t think I mean Face Time, the app. Video teleconferencing certainly does the trick, but just as Washington and Moscow never needed that red phone, we don’t need LCD screens with each other’s faces on them. A meeting or conference-call are just as useful. Talking with you will help me discern important truths about your brand and customers. When I say we need to “see” each other, I mean it in a Titanic way, like this:

Go ahead. Try to tell me what that food I’ve never tasted before tastes like

My sister is deathly allergic to fish. She’s never eaten it, and no matter how many times she’s asked, I can’t explain to her how it tastes. A taste of salmon is a unique sensory experience. In many ways, “seeing” a client is the same. It can’t be done vicariously, not with much accuracy. Yes, a salesperson or account rep can ferry their impressions to me. They can relay product descriptions or store photos. These are all to the good! But there’s no substitute for a  strategy meeting with someone in content-creation, a time set aside for the so-called creatives to “see” you and your business firsthand.

So, what does this content strategy meeting look like?

It’s simple. We talk. Techies and creatives and you, together looking over existing marketing material and future marketing plans through the lens of content-creation. It’s quick and painless. We’re taking care of serious business, but it’s not formal. Think one step up from Gorbachev and Reagan in their jammies. The ultimate goal is to stay true to your brand while giving it the byline for original, creative, and useful content. That’s the kind of content consumers want, so that’s the kind search engines favor.

Share

The post Creative Content Writing appeared first on Mid-West Digital Marketing.

]]>
https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2014/06/creative-content-writing/feed/ 0 2697
Copywriting: Playing Nice with the Search Engines https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2014/05/copywriting-playing-nice-with-search-engines/ https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2014/05/copywriting-playing-nice-with-search-engines/#respond Wed, 28 May 2014 16:58:47 +0000 https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/?p=2681 When What’s Sexy in Graphic Design Isn’t Sexy in SEO When I first began commercial website copywriting, there was a lot of brochure-ism on the web. That’s the ill-advised practice of writing web pages as though they were brochures. Brochure-ism is not a real word, of course, but if I keep using it, and you... Read more »

The post Copywriting: Playing Nice with the Search Engines appeared first on Mid-West Digital Marketing.

]]>
When What’s Sexy in Graphic Design Isn’t Sexy in SEO

copywriting When I first began commercial website copywriting, there was a lot of brochure-ism on the web. That’s the ill-advised practice of writing web pages as though they were brochures. Brochure-ism is not a real word, of course, but if I keep using it, and you start using it, and we tell all our friends, and they tell all their friends, and everyone starts using it, it could make its way into the dictionary within a few years. The Internet is that dynamic. (Just ask the first person who said selfie.)

It is precisely because of this dynamism that brochure-ism has never worked. Brochures are inert. They may compel action, but they don’t invite interaction. Using brochure-style copy on a website is like showing up to a poker party and playing solitaire.

Over the years, I’ve seen brochure-ism dwindling. In its place has come a trend toward minimalist copy. More web pages look like magazine ads, where images tell the story while the copy is pithy. Take Apple’s current home page. It has beautiful images and one sentence of real copy: “You’re more powerful than you think.”

I personally find such pages aesthetically pleasing. I love their simplicity. They’re alluring. The copy exudes confidence and makes me want to stay. But they obviously aren’t written to please search-engine bots. From Starbucks to Lexus, just about every major brand is using this same minimalist, screw-SEO approach to copywriting. No wonder everyone wants to follow suit. Unfortunately, smaller businesses can’t get away with that, not if they want to get found. They don’t have the site authority to get away with that.

Search engines rely heavily—not exclusively, but heavily—on a web page’s copy in order to ferry end-users to the right places

Current SEO wisdom advises using several hundred words of copy, with just the right keywords in just the right volume and placement, to get noticed by the engines. This means that a minimalist page, no matter how appealing, can get buried in no-man’s land. That presents a little problem: What’s currently sexy in overall design for marketing is butting heads with what’s sexy in SEO.

In a sense, SEO makes some businesses feel forced to keep one foot in the land of brochure-ism. This is when getting found can conflict with getting read. Remember, nobody wants to read brochure-like copy on the web. By focusing too intensely on things like minimum word counts, you might get more traffic, but you won’t engage that traffic long enough to capitalize on it. What to do?

Mid-West Digital’s approach has long been to focus on natural writing first and worry about things like target keywords later. Often the pieces fall into place anyway as the writing unfolds. When they don’t, we reverse-engineer for those target keywords in a way that search engines can’t miss but end users won’t even notice. Of course, we take pages on a case-by-case basis to strike a balance between what users will enjoy and what the search engines think they want (not always the same, try as the algorithms might). After all, as part of a marketing family with roots decades deep in advertising, we know good content comes from creativity not rigidity. And when content isn’t good, people snub it.

Fortunately, like the Internet itself, search engines are dynamic, so their algorithms are constantly being refined to give them the finesse they need to replicate human desire. That’s really what they’re meant to do—show us the things we want. In the meantime, we play nicely with them and use heaps of creativity into sometimes saying with more words what we all know could be said with less, if only the client were Apple…or Starbucks…or Lexus.

Share

The post Copywriting: Playing Nice with the Search Engines appeared first on Mid-West Digital Marketing.

]]>
https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2014/05/copywriting-playing-nice-with-search-engines/feed/ 0 2681
A Social Media Content Creator wrote a captivatingly vague headline on Facebook. Then this happened. https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2014/04/social-media-content-creator-wrote-captivatingly-vague-headline-facebook-happened/ https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2014/04/social-media-content-creator-wrote-captivatingly-vague-headline-facebook-happened/#respond Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:43:19 +0000 https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/?p=2631 Chances are you’ve seen an article on Facebook with this type of headline (I call it the Mirage Headline, as it appears promising at first until further exploration). It is meant to elicit feelings of curiosity and exploit on basic human urge of knowing the end result. Facebook pages have been posting content with this... Read more »

The post A Social Media Content Creator wrote a captivatingly vague headline on Facebook. Then this happened. appeared first on Mid-West Digital Marketing.

]]>

Then this happened
Chances are you’ve seen an article on Facebook with this type of headline (I call it the Mirage Headline, as it appears promising at first until further exploration). It is meant to elicit feelings of curiosity and exploit on basic human urge of knowing the end result. Facebook pages have been posting content with this headline style for quite some time now, each trying to portray that something magical is contained within their content link. I have discussed this Facebook trend with more than a few people, each of them ending up at the same feeling towards it, that it was wildly successful at first but has run its course and become more of an annoyance than curiosity evoking headline.

Of course getting the attention of your target market is one of the biggest challenges marketers face on Facebook as the ever-changing formula continues to limit organic exposure. So the question becomes, do content writers implore this writing tactic even if it leads to content that is not nearly as exciting as the headline portrays? Doing so could result in disappointed followers. These followers could then choose to select one of three Facebook options on your post: (1) “I don’t want to see this”, (2) “Unfollow (your page)”, (3) “Hide all from (your page)”. Congratulations, you have just lost one more potential conversion, not to mention the possible “likes” and or “shares” they might have contributed that could have attracted new followers.

Writing creative and engaging content is fun (for me at least) and it should not feel forced for your topic. I’ll be the first to admit, some topics are next to impossible to present in a way to your audience that makes them seem fun or even remotely interesting, but that doesn’t mean you should bait your audience into something that appears to be fun. For example, if I were to write “Person sits down on automated toilet. Then this happened.” you’d be pretty curious as to why this event has been made-out to be so dramatic and probably click on it. After clicking on the link it would just show how they didn’t have to touch a thing making it a more sanitary bathroom fixture in your home, pretty boring right? Now you are probably upset that two minutes of your time have been wasted, and you’re likely to hide (at best) anything that my page posts again.

In the end being original and less dramatic can actually capture your audience’s attention quite well. Use facts, create a statistics map if at all possible, or simply be blunt about your product or service as it saves your potential customers precocious time and in turn, can leave them in a better mood about your offerings.

 

Share

The post A Social Media Content Creator wrote a captivatingly vague headline on Facebook. Then this happened. appeared first on Mid-West Digital Marketing.

]]>
https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2014/04/social-media-content-creator-wrote-captivatingly-vague-headline-facebook-happened/feed/ 0 2631
Writing without Bylines https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2014/04/writing-without-bylines/ https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2014/04/writing-without-bylines/#respond Tue, 08 Apr 2014 16:04:34 +0000 https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/?p=2588 When people ask me what I do for a living, and I say I’m a writer, I love how bowled over they look. Wow! What do you write? My stock answer is anything but porn.  You should see the let-down looks when I explain I’m a digital marketing copywriter.   By night, I keep a... Read more »

The post Writing without Bylines appeared first on Mid-West Digital Marketing.

]]>
When people ask me what I do for a living, and I say I’m a writer, I love how bowled over they look. Wow! What do you write? My stock answer is anything but porn.  You should see the let-down looks when I explain I’m a digital marketing copywriter.

copywriting

Not all writers work in seaside cottages, knocking out book manuscripts on antique typewriters.

 

By night, I keep a blog, write creative essays and stories, and am even working on my second book. But I earn my living by writing things with no byline. I don’t mind a whit: For me, the writing life is less about credit than curiosity. That’s why I know more than your average Joe about things like CDMA technology, ice dams, and skincare for chemo patients. It’s not because I’m a telecom expert, a builder, or a dermatologist. It’s because I’m a writer.

Remember your first book report? I do. Mine was on Pete Rose. Baseball was not my sport, and the name Pete Rose meant nothing to me. This was the late 1970s, so no Internet. I went to the school library and the city library. I checked out books, periodicals, and microfiche. I interviewed baseball fans in my life. I checked the sports pages. I studied details of Rose’s face and uniform—the way his hair stuck out of his hat, stick-straight like Peppermint Patty’s, the loop-de-loop of the P and the R in his signature. In other words, it was way more than a book report. And when his gambling scandal hit the headlines a decade later, nobody had to explain to this non-baseball-loving girl a single thing about Pete Rose.

I still don’t love baseball, but I’m kind of possessive about Pete Rose. In a strange way, he’s one of my babies. Every topic I have ever written about qualifies as “one of my babies.” The mixture is odd, from erectile dysfunction to energy-efficient toilets and from zero-down mortgages to the marriage rituals of the Yanomamo in the Amazon.  But you know what they say about variety. It’s absolutely true.

Want to be a good writer? Stop worrying about the byline. Be curious about everything. Probe and snoop. Good writers know lots of stuff. They are not skimmers. They are footnote-readers. They bother to check out page 47 of the annual report, the “About Us” sections on restaurant menus, and more than just an article or two about whatever subject hits their assignment pile. Their appetite for interesting information is insatiable. For good writers, half the fun is the research. The other half isn’t seeing their name printed under the headline. It’s the writing.

Share

The post Writing without Bylines appeared first on Mid-West Digital Marketing.

]]>
https://midwestdigitalmarketing.com/2014/04/writing-without-bylines/feed/ 0 2588