SEO advice from Barry Schwartz, Bill Slawski and Ian Lurie

We’ve had some incredible guest authors over the past few months and, in case you’ve missed ’em, here are a few of the top guest posts.

 

Barry Schwartz answers SEO Copywriting questions.SEO copywriting advice from search guru Barry Schwartz

Search guru Barry Schwartz makes time in his super-structured schedule to answer our SEO copywriting, Google algorithm, business ownership and time management questions.

 

search-policyHow Google Attempts to Understand What a Query or Page is About Based Upon Word Relationships

Bill Slawski shares how Google understands the relationship among words in search queries and on web pages to deliver the right results.
*Photo thanks to Anders Sandberg (Random search)

 

tfidf-downward

TF-IDF Killed The Copywriting Spam

Ian Lurie proves quality trumps quantity in SEO copywriting through Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency (TF-IDF)

 

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Sing to your customers

SingHave you ever listened to the lyrics of a song and thought, “I feel like that song was written about me”? I don’t mean in a Carly Simon You’re So Vain sort of way. I mean the words are so relatable to your life, you feel like the songwriter was thinking about you.

Unless you personally know the songwriter (or if you are famous), odds are that the song isn’t about you. However, that doesn’t change the fact that it resonates with you and it evokes emotions whenever you hear it.

Your marketing copy – whether online, in print, or in another medium – needs to have this same effect.

Add emotion to your writing – no matter the product/service

There are certain services or products that may seem to lend themselves to reaching people on an emotional level:

  • Childcare
  • Marriage counseling
  • Family photo packages

But what if you have to write marketing copy for “emotionless” products or services like:

  • Plumbing services
  • Garage doors
  • Office supplies

You can still reach your customers on an emotional level … which is what you need to do to be successful. After all, even B2B purchases are made (to a certain degree) based on emotions.

Take these steps to successfully reach your customers

By taking a few extra steps, you can reach your potential customers’ emotions. Here’s how.

Step 1: Embrace your USP

What makes you stand out from your competition? (Hint: it’s not “good customer service.”) Discover and embrace your unique selling proposition (USP).  Your USP should be something that provides your clients with a benefit that your competition doesn’t offer.

Step 2: Know your customer

Who is your ideal client? If you answered, “Everyone,” then you are wrong. Yes, you may have more than one target market, but you should not try to reach everyone.

Before you can write for them, you need to truly know your audience. Take the time to create a customer persona, so you know who you are writing for.

Step 3: Address your clients’ pain points

Once you know what you have to offer (your USP) and who your ideal client is, it’s time to focus on your clients’ pain points and what you can do to address them. Pain points are issues your clients have that you or your product can solve.

Make sure your marketing copy highlights these pain points and how you fix them. For example, FedEx was able to provide a delivery service that guaranteed reliable, quick delivery of packages. It focused on business people who needed their packages delivered the next day. It promoted this with: When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.

By taking a little bit of extra time, your website can be the song that reaches your customers’ emotions. Write that song and your website visitors will become your biggest fans.

Photo credit:  Young man in green t-shirt sing a song ©  | Dreamstime.com

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Go jump in the ocean! Better yet, take a flying leap!

Jumping in the ocean on New Year's DayIt’s my first post of 2014. I can’t believe we are a week into the year already. Let me wish you a belated happy New Year!

Now that we got that out the way, let me tell you to go take a flying leap!

Don’t take that the wrong way, I’m not telling you off; I’m offering inspiration.

Clean the slate

2013 wasn’t the best year for me (although it definitely had some good highlights). Just a few low moments included:

  • Breaking my nose
  • Ending my 10-year marriage
  • Having to dramatically cut my business to part-time and get a 9-to-5 job
  • Putting on a bunch of the weight I had previously took off (and kept off for several years)

I highlighted other not-so-great moments and some positive outlooks in my Not another thankful post, if you were curious.

Needless to say, I was ready to move on from 2013 and wanted to embrace 2014. I felt as though I was digging myself out of hole and needed to just give myself a new starting point.

I saw 2014 as that new starting point.

A little less talk and a lot more action

In my last post of 2013, I discussed setting goals instead of making resolutions. A couple of years ago, Heather outlined the same strategy, but got more in depth with how to apply this to your content marketing goals.

So once you set your goals, how do you flip the switch? Is having the goal enough to change your behaviors? Not always.

Sometimes you need to conquer your fears in order to make the next move.

Make it dramatic, if you have to

Some people can just make a decision then take action. Other people need to be guided through the process (read: dragged into change). And still other people just need something to spark the change.

I like that spark – even if it is symbolic.

SkydivingSeveral years ago, when my life needed a shakeup, I jumped out of an airplane. That year, I quit a job that I hated and started my freelance copywriting business. It was freeing and wonderful. Jumping out of the plane was the symbolic change I needed.

To kick off 2014, I jumped into the ocean (dove in head first) on New Year’s Day. It was my way to wash off all that I didn’t want from 2013, so I could start 2014 clean.

Things didn’t magically change with diving in that ocean, but I had the spark I needed. In less than a week from jumping in the ocean, I ran a 5k (I haven’t been running in months!) and I joined a gym (with a gym partner to keep me motivated).

Where’s your spark?

What’s it going to take to get you moving? What can you do that will get you motivated and excited to take that first crucial step? Whatever it is – whether it is symbolic or a concrete step (like renting an office space) – go for it.

Make 2014 your year to shine! Happy New Year!

Start the new year off right with 20% off of the SEO Copywriting Certification training. Just use coupon code HAPPY2014. Hurry though – offer ends January 20!

Be SMART and scrap the resolutions

Happy New Year

As 2013 winds down, you may find yourself reflecting on the good and bad of the past year, and looking forward to 2014.

‘Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions.

As you sit down to create your resolutions, my advice to you is DON’T DO IT!

Resolutions are too easily broken

There is a good chance that at some time in your life, you started the year with proclamations like:

I am going to get healthy and lose weight.

I am going to be more organized and focused.

I am going to be more successful in my business.

These are all wonderful ideas, but if you are like most people who make resolutions, you were not successful.

It’s not that you didn’t want to be successful. You just didn’t set yourself up for success.

Want to succeed? Be SMART

Instead of making resolutions this year, you should create SMART goals. This means creating goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

By creating specific and measurable goals, you can better craft a plan to attain them. Determine exactly what you want to achieve and how you plan to get there. Don’t say, “I want to be more successful.” Instead say, “I want to increase profits 20% by a combination of increasing my prices by 10% and following up with five past clients each month to produce one additional project each month.”

Take the first step

Before you can create your goals, you need to figure out what it is you want to achieve. When it comes to your business, you may want to:

Once you know what you want to do, start creating your SMART goals. To further help you stay on track with your goals – especially if you are a freelance copywriter – enlist the help of a friend or colleague. Tell them your goals and ask them to check in with you regularly, so you are accountable to someone.

Whatever you want to achieve, I wish you luck … actually, you don’t need luck if you plan properly. Here’s to proper planning!

Happy New Year!

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5 Easy-to-Give SEO Gifts that will Make You A Better Writer in 2014

You'll actually want to keep your SEO giftsYou’ve got a bunch of names on your gift list this year, but your name probably isn’t one of them. After all, we’ve been taught it’s better to give than receive. But what if you could do both? By giving yourself these 5 simple SEO gifts, you’ll also receive the boost you need to take your writing to a new level as we bid goodbye to 2013.

SEO Gift #1: Learn More About Your Industry

Some of us spend our careers writing for a single industry, while other SEO copywriters work across multiple industries on a daily basis. Either way, you need to know every detail you can about what your audience knows and what they expect. Learn the jargon, who the industry leaders are, unusual ways products or services are used and any other insider info you can get ahold of. This will make it easier to find low-competition keywords (especially long tail) that others may have neglected. It will also help you write more comfortably and honestly, and that’s something your human audience will appreciate.

SEO Gift #2: Tune up Your Basic Copywriting Skills

Just like practicing fundamentals is important in sports, focusing on copywriting basics can do wonders for your SEO writing. Search engine spiders aren’t very particular (yet) about well-written content. Your flesh-and-blood audience is. Write copy that is interesting and uses sentence structure (shorter is almost always better) and vocabulary that engages your readers. Keep paragraph structure and page layout in mind. Most people don’t really read online; they scan. Do them and yourself a favor by employing headlines, sub-heads, callouts, and paragraph breaks. And finally, always include a call to action. This is something we all learn in Copywriting 101, but many of us forget down the road. Help your site visitors by telling them exactly what you want them to do next. They’ll thank you with their dollars.

SEO Gift #3: Broaden Your View of Keywords

When it comes to keywords, many of us write with blinders on. We identify a few keywords we want to use and write without looking around. This gets the job done but causes us to miss semantic search cues, long-tail keyphrases, and partial matches that we should be picking up. The next time you identify primary keywords for a project, take a few extra minutes to look at related terms, synonyms and suggestions in your keyword tool. Make a secondary list of single words to be sprinkled into your copy as they fit. These words can help avoid keyword repetition, make your copy easier to read and help you pick up incremental onesie-twosie search traffic you aren’t specifically optimizing for.

SEO Gift #4: Trim the Fat

Raise your hand if you’ve ever written filler copy just to use a keyword a couple more times on a page. (Author sheepishly raises his hand.) It’s a crutch we’ve all used when writing for the spiders – and it can work well. Unfortunately, it’s a huge turn-off for your human readers. If you bring visitors to your site only to drive them away with long, boring or repetitive copy, you’re just shooting yourself in the foot. The next time you face the decision to fill or not, don’t do it. Only write additional copy if it is engaging and helpful to your human readers.

SEO Gift #5: Do Something for Yourself

Question: What is an SEO Copywriter without an optimized Web presence? Answer: Hard to find. Make it easy for prospective employers or clients to find you by creating and optimizing a website that’s all about you and your writing. If your name is fairly unique, buy that as a domain and set up shop there. If you have a common name or suffer the great online misfortune of sharing your name with a celebrity, you’ll need to take a different approach. Add location-based keywords to start and build your individuality from there. For example, I might go with something New Hampshire related, like www.nhseocopywriter.com or just www.nhseo.com. Whatever you choose, be sure to optimize it just like you would a client’s site, and make yourself easier to find.

There you have it – 5 simple SEO gifts you can give yourself this holiday season. Best of all, you don’t have to wrap any of them.

What other SEO gifts do you recommend?

About the Author

Richard Hostler writes engaging copy that generates sales. He is currently the SEO Copy Manager at Brookstone, where he connects online customers with the best gadgets and gifts. When he’s not writing, Richard can be found training for and racing triathlons around New England. You can follow him through his websiteLinkedIn or twitter.

 

Photo thanks to waferboard (Tacky Gift Exchange-101219-03)

Speaking of giving yourself an SEO copywriting gift – save 25% on the total purchase when you take 2 or more of Heather’s SEO Copywriting courses!

I can’t read this

blurryThis isn’t something that I want to admit, but I need new glasses.

Each day, I find that I’m squinting more often trying to see something. This week, I haven’t been able to read the directions on the bottle of cold medicine, which I so desperately needed to take.

The thing is, I should have visited the eye doctor a few years ago … okay, more like five years ago. I thought my eyes were fine, so I put it off.

Well, they aren’t fine and, I probably need to invest more money now (need to get several new pairs, instead just one and have more tests) than if I had gone to the optometrist when I was supposed to go. Plus, I have been dealing with the fact that I can’t see well.

Perhaps you have done this, too. Maybe you haven’t done it with your eyes, but with your car or your teeth. Routine maintenance can save you from an expensive overhaul down the line.

Chances are you’ve done this with your website, too.

Tweaking for the New Year

Don’t wait until:

It’s easier – and more cost effective – to make ongoing minor adjustments instead of undertaking a major content overhaul.

You can baby-step your way into a content development program. As things wind down at the end of the year, start to plan your strategy for next year by:

Do you have other ideas to save time and money with regular updates instead of a major overhaul? Please let me know in the comments … hopefully I will be able to see them. (Guess I need to make that eye appointment.)

 

Image credit: ©  | Dreamstime.com

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How Google Attempts to Understand What a Query or Page is About Based Upon Word Relationships

search-policyA little crunched for time, and feeling both hungry and lazy, I treated myself to a meal from the local Taco Bell tonight. It’s a new store, and I like that when you place an order at the drive-through, it shows what you ordered on a screen, and the person taking the order asks if your order is right before charging you for it and processing the order. The voice coming out of the speakers asked me if my order looked correct. I took a look, and responded, “I guess it does.” I had to guess, because the list didn’t look very legible:

1 Smthr Burr SC
1 Chalupa SPR Stk
1 Sft Taco Bf Spr
1 Lrg Root Beer

Of course, the screen shows abbreviations for the order, because it needs to abbreviate those words if they stand a chance of fitting on a single line on a ticker tape receipt. That doesn’t make my order any easier to read or understand when it’s displayed that way, and it really doesn’t need to be presented on the computer screen as abbreviated words as long as the abbreviations only appear on the receipt. Repeating what I ordered on a screen and allowing me to confirm the order is a really good idea. But, using the abbreviations for the receipt on that confirmation screen isn’t such a good idea. The people taking the order may recognize the abbreviations, especially after at least one night of having to look at them. But, even though the items look similar to what I ordered, they seem more like gibberish to me.

In the 2008 paper Finding Cars, Goddesses and Enzymes: Parametrizable Acquisition of Labeled Instances for Open-Domain Information Extraction, the authors describe how text on web pages might be labeled as it is crawled, to understand the concepts found in words on those pages. The paper may be a few years old, but Google was granted a patent on a similar process that was granted this past May. If words in queries are processed in the same way, to better understand the concepts in them, then search results can be returned on the basis of matching concepts in a query to concepts found on web pages.

The patent is:

Extracting and scoring class-instance pairs
Invented by Marius Pasca
Assigned to Google
US Patent 8,452,763
Granted May 28, 2013
Filed: March 19, 2010

Abstract

Methods, systems, and apparatus, including computer programs encoded on computer storage media, for extracting and scoring class-instance pairs. One method includes applying extraction patterns to document text to derive class-instance pairs, determining a frequency score and a diversity score for each distinct class-instance pair, and determining a pair score for each class-instance pair from the frequency score and the diversity score.

Another method includes applying extraction patterns to document text to derive candidate class-instance pairs, determining, for each distinct candidate class-instance pair, a number of distinct phrases from which the distinct candidate class-instance pair was derived, and determining a pair score for each distinct candidate class-instance pair from the number of distinct phrases from which the candidate class-instance pair was extracted.

Google’s recent Hummingbird update is aimed at examining long and complex queries and returning search results for those queries that don’t necessarily rely upon matching all the words within those queries. The focus of the paper and patent is on finding patterns in data that is mined from web pages by looking for relationships between words in “class-instance” pairs. As the patent tells us:

A class-instance pair is made up of a class name corresponding to a name of an entity class and an instance name corresponding to an instance of the entity class. The instance of the entity class has an “is-a” relationship with the entity class; in other words, the instance of the entity class is an example of the entity class. An example class-instance pair is the pair (food, pizza), because pizza is a food.

By better understanding that “Pizza is a food”, it makes it easier for Google to understand what is meant by “pizza” when it appears in a query or on a web page, and to match up queries and Web pages that both include that class instance pair. Much like knowing that “Smthr Burr SC” is a menu item that I may or may not have ordered at Taco Bell, makes it easier for me to know that what was meant by the abbreviation is “Smothered Burrito, Shredded Chicken”. Yes, that’s what I ordered.

A couple of days ago, I wrote about a patent from Google where the search engine tries to find “known for” terms of interest for entities. A restaurant might be known for a famous chef working there, or a specific menu item that might be unique to that restaurant; like Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants are known for his version of Beef Wellington. The post was How Google Finds ‘Known For’ Terms for Entities. What makes that patent similar to this one is that it focuses upon a specific type of relationship – a “known for” relationship. This new patent also looks for a relationship, an “is a” relationship.

If you want to dig into the process or mathematics behind how Google might identify is a relationships and extract terms and concepts that fit into those patterns from data extracted from the web, you can get a sense of those from the paper and the patent. What’s more important here is understanding that Google is building a knowledge base of concepts and relationships between words that can help it return relevant results for queries.

When Google acquired, or merged with (technically it was called a merger), Applied Semantics in 2003, Google also inherited Applied Semantic’s CIRCLA Technology. At the heart of the technology was the ability to learn about and understand relationships between words. I’ve mentioned “known for” relationships and “is a” relationships, but here are some other relationships mentioned in a white paper about Circla:

  • Synonymy/antonymy (e.g. “good” is an antonym of “bad”)
  • Similarity (“gluttonous” is similar to “greedy”)
  • Hypernymy (is a kind of / has kind) (“horse” has kind “Arabian”)
  • Membership (“commissioner” is a member of “commission”)
  • Metonymy (whole/part relations) (“motor vehicle” has part “clutch pedal”)
  • Substance (e.g. “lumber” has substance “wood”)
  • Product (e.g. “Microsoft Corporation” produces “Microsoft Access”)
  • Attribute (“past”, “preceding” are attributes of “timing”)
  • Causation (e.g. “travel” causes “displacement” or “motion”)
  • Entailment (e.g. “buying” entails “paying”)
  • Lateral bonds (concepts closely related to one another, but not in one of the other relationships, e.g. “dog” and “dog collar”)

The future of rankings of search results may rely upon Google building a concept-based knowledge base that understands the relationship between words, as well as probabilities that a certain relationship was intended when words are used on a page. For example, a page that mentions Microsoft might be about Microsoft as a member of technology companies, or it might be about Microsoft products. If you write a page that includes “Microsoft” in it, and the page also mentions Cisco, Redhat, Apple and Sun Microsystems, there’s a decent chance that the page is about technology companies. If you write a different page that includes “Microsoft” in it, and it also mentions Access and Word and Excel, then the page is more likely to be about products produced by Microsoft.

The words that you choose to use on a web page might send signals to Google about the relationships between those words, influencing Google’s interpretation of your page.

It’s possible that someone reading that last paragraph might say, “That’s obvious, and if you write naturally those relationships will appear on their own.” But writing “naturally” isn’t just something that flows from your mind to your fingers to your keyboard to your page. Knowing that Google will try to understand the relationships between words that appear in a query or on a page makes it less likely that in creating those queries or that content, you don’t send mixed signals that might be caused by a lack of focus on showing off those relationships.

About the Author

Bill Slawski is the Director of Search Marketing at Go Fish Digital and has been promoting websites since 1996. He often blogs about SEO and search-related patents and white papers on his blog SEO by the Sea. Originally, as an in-house SEO who then worked at agencies and as a solo consultant, he has worn a lot of different hats and has tested and tried out ideas from patents and papers as an ongoing SEO education. Connect with him at Twitter, @bill_slawski, if you’d like to stay in touch or have questions.

Photo thanks to Anders Sandberg (Random search)

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Read this post while you still can!

Dunkin-YuenglingIt’s officially the Christmas (or winter holiday of your choice) shopping season! (Yes, I am aware that the Christmas sales started months ago, but I am old fashioned, and I am holding onto the notion that Black Friday is the kickoff of the holiday shopping season.)

So what are you doing to get your customers to not only buy from you, but buy now?

Take a lesson from coffee and beer

What does coffee and beer have to do with holiday selling? Let me explain.

I am a Jersey girl by birth, but I currently live in San Diego. I love living in Southern California, but there are some things that I love that I cannot easily get there, including:

  • Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (I mean from an actual Dunkin’ Donuts, not from the bags sold in the grocery stores)
  • Yuengling lager (beer from America’s oldest brewery – only available on the East Coast and only as far west as Ohio)
  • Real NY pizza (although I can get my fix from Bronx Pizza)
  • Hard rolls and real Jersey bagels (if you don’t know what I mean, then you’re not from the Tri-State Area)

This year, I was home (New Jersey) for a week to celebrate Thanksgiving. In addition to spending time with my family and friends, I:

  • Drank a lot of coffee
  • Had Yuengling whenever it was on draft and at Thanksgiving dinner because my family bought it for me
  • Got my fill of carbs via pizza, hard rolls and bagels

The amount of coffee and other Jersey treats I consumed was much higher than my normal routine. Why? It wasn’t because I was on vacation; it was because I knew I can’t get these things when I go back to San Diego.

Act now before it’s too late!

DunkinHoliday

I drank a lot of coffee … a lot. The availability of the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is limited for me, so I got it while I could – pretty much whenever I drove by one.

If I lived in New Jersey or if Dunkin’ Donuts ever returned to Southern California (supposedly they will be returning in 2014 or 2015), I wonder if I would have needed to stop for coffee so often. My guess is that while I would have enjoyed a cup or two, I would not have been driven to have a cup at every opportunity.

It’s all about the principle of scarcity. If you tell your clients that there is a limited amount of product or that you only have a few spots available, they are more likely to buy from you (or hire you).

Remove the notion that your clients can get your products or services whenever they want. Be sure to increase their motivation by limiting the time of a sale or by telling them you only have so many items left. (Of course, don’t overdo it because eventually you will lose credibility if you always only have a few items remaining.)

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you can end the year with an influx of business.

Let me know in the comments what you are doing to promote your business as the year ends. But make sure you comment soon because I will only be responding to comments that are left today! (Okay, not really, but I couldn’t resist.) Happy December!

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Not another thankful post!

Glass is half fullYes, it’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving (in the United States) is coming and the posts about being thankful are all around.

It’s not just blog posts. Since November 1st, Facebook has been filled with people listing something they are thankful for each day of the month.

I have yet to write what I am thankful for and I was really resisting writing one of these posts.

That being said, I have to write this post. Let me explain.

That glass is half empty

This year has not been very kind to me.

About one week after I turned 41, I broke my nose playing softball. I took it in stride and figured that breaking my nose was going to be the worst thing that happened to me this year.

Yeah, I was wrong.

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but here are some of the not-so-great things that happened this year:

  • My 10-year marriage (12-year relationship) ended, ironically right before DOMA was overturned.
  • My copywriting business went from full-time to part-time because I needed to supplement my income with a 9-to-5 job.
  • My father-in-law lost his battle with cancer.
  • My mother ended up in the ICU after she turned blue in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
  • A friend was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.

That’s quite the list, isn’t it?

Let’s see that half-full glass

It would be easy to focus on all of that (and the other negative events that didn’t get included), but then I would just be miserable.

Instead, I need to find the silver linings … the bright spots of the year. After looking at that list, you might think that I have little to be thankful for. It’s not true.

So let me tell you just some of the things I am thankful for this year:

  • My mom is out of the hospital and is on the road to recovery.
  • I am going to spend Thanksgiving with my family (including my mom). Because I live on the opposite coast, I haven’t seen them since anything on the above list occurred.
  • The end of my marriage was very hard, but it was amicable. Truth be told, we ended the marriage so we could stay friends.
  • My ex-wife (well, we’re not divorced yet, but we’re in the process) and I have made the transition from wives to best friends. There were a few bumps, but overall it was pretty easy and quick.
  • I am rediscovering who I am and learned that I am able to stand on my own.
  • I surprised myself and have started dating someone special. She makes me very happy.
  • Two of my best friends welcomed twins into their lives … and these two babies are adorable (and healthy)!
  • These changes in my life – especially the switch in my business – allow me to take a step back and assess what I want to do with my business and my life.
  • The view from my new apartment is wonderful!
  • I was reminded that I have some wonderful and supportive people in my life who have helped me through this transition. (Including Heather – thank you!)

What the heck does this have to do with copywriting?

So, is this just another “I’m so grateful” post that is all about my journey? Not entirely.

There are lessons you can learn from my year.

Life is not always easy. Running your own copywriting business can be difficult. Heck, being an in-house writer has its bumps.

It is how you handle these bumps that will help you.

Too often it can be easy to only focus on what is going wrong. When this happens, you run the risk of getting caught in a cycle. Soon, you only focus on the negative issues and you find yourself in a vicious cycle. If you don’t let yourself find the silver linings – trust me they are there if you look – you will not be able to break free of the negativity and you will become stagnant.

You will find yourself hating your job or your business and you will lose your muse.

In this week of Thanksgiving, your job is to step back and take a few minutes to list the positives in your business and your life. What are you thankful for? It doesn’t have to be anything momentous – what makes your day a little brighter?

Make a list of what you are thankful for and keep it by your computer.

As the days go by, if you find yourself stuck in a negative funk, take out the list and remind yourself of the positives in your business.

Have a wonderful week everyone and Happy Thanksgiving!

PS – I wrote this post before I read Heather’s wonderful post Yes, failure is an option! Her post really struck a chord with me – the first two items on my “half-empty” list could easily fit into the failure category. Thankfully life has taught me how to grow stronger from adversity. If you haven’t read the post, read it now.

 

Photo credit: © Photographer: Duncan Noakes | Agency: Dreamstime.com

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Woot! Are you having fun with your copy?

Thesaurus Shirt from Woot!

Woot! Shirt

Have you ever visited Woot!?

You may think that it’s just another online bargain website. Technically, that is true. But, even if you don’t want to find a limited-time offer on some random item or find an awesome shirt, as a copywriter, you need to check out this website.

Why? Because Woot! doesn’t just sell merchandise – it sells stories.

Get the specs and more

When you check out a featured item on Woot!, you will be able to find the basic information you find on other websites: product specifications, warranty information, shipping notes, etc.

But wait! There’s more!

You also will be treated with a fun introduction. What do I mean by fun? The Woot! writers let their imaginations go!

For example, the content for a recent tablet named all 32 of the device’s gigabytes. Some of my favorites include:

  • Gigglypuff
  • Sir Gigsalot
  • Whoopi Gigberg

Each product has a unique, funny story … even if the writers admit that they really don’t have anything to say. No matter the product, they still say something that keeps you reading.

Let your inner Woot! writer loose

Chances are you can’t write exactly like they do on Woot! However, you can harness some of that creativity.

Even B2B websites have some room for creative copy. You don’t have to sound like everyone else. You can reach your target audience and still have some fun. You can spice up your writing and turn up your creativity.

Here’s your task for this week: check out Woot! Poke around a bit and see what their content is all about. Then, embrace your inner Woot! writer and rewrite one page or write a blog post using your Woot! muse.

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