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Derek Cromwell is a 30 year old self-professed copywriting dweeb and content marketing nerd – his Twitter background states that much clearly. He is the founder of Thunder Bay Media, LLC, a company he started in 2009 based in the Metro-Detroit area of Michigan. From his home office/fortress he provides SEO copywriting and content marketing services to help businesses of any size improve and solidify their presence on the web, boost sales, dominate their market, win traffic, build a better mousetrap, end war and solve world hunger.
Before making a career change to copywriting, Derek spent several years working in Emergency Medical Services in both southeast Michigan and northern Michigan. His career in EMS was preceded by a 10+ year span working in upper management across several companies including a national internet service provider and two major restaurant chains.
What attracted you to SEO copywriting?
All my life I’ve loved to write. I started writing online content back in 2007 for what people now consider “content mills”. The money was nice but I really loved EMS and had no reason to try to change. I was working upwards of 80 hours a week and quite happy.
Then someone stuck a pin in the economy and my hours got cut. Who would have thought people would stop calling 911 to save a buck? Stuck at home with a family to support, I decided to see what I could do with my writing. Blogging for bucks led to content marketing for other businesses That of course evolved into SEO & website copywriting. I’ve refined my craft on my own for the last year and now I’m here.
I chose this course because – while I felt I had already learned a great deal about SEO and copywriting – I wanted to make sure that I was headed in the right direction. I knew this course would reinforce my education.
What do you consider to be your biggest “take-away” from the certification program?
There are a lot of people “out there” in the business world but you can break them down into people who are writers and people who need writers. In both categories you’ll find a large amount of people who know Heather and respect her for her education, experience and what she has to offer. The badge on my site and my certificate is a way to tell the world that I really know my stuff – that I’m not “just another writer” because I learned from one of the best.
What SEO copywriting projects are you working on now?
I’ve got a full plate of extremely fun projects, and I’m really digging all the range, the research and preparation to write. I’ve got slightly more than a dozen clients waiting in line on my production schedule including:
- Complete site content revamp for a retailer of designer handbags
- Content marketing for one of the leading travel agents handling Australian trips
- Complete site content and content marketing for a major branding community that’s getting ready to launch in February (almost done with this one!)
- 3 other small business site launches that are upstarts
- Some free consults & optimization with a local wedding photography that’s about to land her on page 1 of Google (she did the most beautiful pictures for a close friend who just got shipped to Afghanistan – was the least I could do)
- Complete site content for a business networking community based in the Virginia/D.C/Maryland area
- A major luxury home builder based in Texas that is struggling to rank in their local market
And there’s always more to come. I get a few new client requests each week through my site. The line never ends and I love it. :)
What do you feel are some of your biggest accomplishments since you started copywriting?
There have been a few. Launching a successful business and keeping it going is a big one, but completely supporting my family so that my wife could quit her job in pharmaceuticals was also a huge step for us. Now we’re all home and I can spend time with my family any time I like.
I also have to admit that when I got my own website onto page 1 for a number of targeted keywords I practically did backflips. You can tell clients all day long that you can increase their rank in the SERPs but nothing sells it better than showing off your own site there.
What do you do in your free time?
I love to read, and I have a bookcase full of Dean Koontz books. I’ve also started soaking up anything related to content marketing. When I’m not reading I love playing with my two beautiful girls: My 3 year old Emma and my littlest one Lily who is now 4 months old. Once a week I treat myself and my wife to a kid-free date night to get us out of the house. We both love music, comedy clubs, stage performances, fishing and other outdoor stuff.
When I get those precious few moments for myself I enjoy paintball. I also like to relax with a little mindless video game playing like Call of Duty.
Oh… And I love to cook – I can make a homemade pizza that puts the big name chains to shame.
Any words for those considering enrolling in the SEO Copywriting Certification program?
There’s a lot of junk on the internet that will lead you in the wrong direction when it comes to writing good copy, marketing content properly and doing right by your clients. To provide the most benefit to the people you work for – whether you have clients or you’re an in-house marketer/writer – you need to take this course. You will research better, write better and deliver better results for your clients.
We talk until we’re blue in the face about clients investing in their content to get a bigger return on their investment. Don’t you think it’s a good idea to lead by example and invest in your own business?