Posted in Blogging Tips, Copywriting Tips, Writing in General

Copywriting Concepts: Fun With Phonetics

sound
Photo Credit:  http://velodyne.com

Let’s talk about sounds, baby.

Let’s talk about you and me.

Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be.

Let’s talk about sounds…

[That’s how the song goes, right??  (Where are my early 90s people at?)]

Anyway, I have Salt-N-Pepa stuck in my head today and I have no idea why.

Actually, it’s probably because I came across a nifty website today (www.copywritingtipsguide.com) that had an article on phonetics and how to use it to write copy that speaks to the reader at a subconscious level.

Here’s a quick snippet from that article, “Sound and Fury–The Impact of Phonetics.”

How to Apply Phonetics as a Copywriting Trick

Before you start to brainstorm potential names, phrases or words you would like to use, think about what sounds best convey the idea you are trying to communicate.

If you’re working on a name for a modern, edgy brand, then you may want to brainstorm around hard, edgy sounds like “z”, “q”, “k”.

If you’re creating a feeling of serenity, use flowing sounds and consonant clusters with glides – “s”, “l”, “w”, “fl”, “sl”,  “sw”, etc.

To create more energy, use sharp vowels sound. For a softer feeling or more subtlety, use softer vowel sounds.

All of the above are merely examples – the possibilities are numerous. Where the sound falls within a word – beginning, middle or end – also plays a role in the feeling communicated. Compare an initial “z”, such as “zap” or “zam”, which feels very active and decisive, to a final “z”, which gives the feeling of sustained vibration, e.g. “buzz”, “fizz”, “wheeze”.

The article itself was fairly long and technical, but there’s some really thought provoking ideas in it.  And the point of the above snippet is absolutely spot on:  every word you choose when writing copy has an effect on every other word which has an effect on the person reading it.

Skillful word choice is an important element to successful copywriting.  Because even though copywriting, at its absolute core, is just a string of words that convey a message, it’s much, much more.

Copywriting is about creating an energy–a feeling–within the reader.  It’s about leading your reader to a desired action.

Anger, sadness, joy, excitement, curiosity…

Words have power.

But don’t overthink it.  Write conversationally, use words that give YOU the energy or feeling that you want your reader to have, and have some dang fun!  There are just too many great words out there to create boring copy…

Until laters, gators!

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Posted in Blogging Tips, Business Motivation, Writing in General

Basic Blogging Tips for Businesses That Don’t Want to Outsource Their Blogs

Blogging is easy, isn’t it?  You get an idea for a topic and you just…start writing.  Or typing, as the case may be.  And bada-bing, bada-boom…a blog post you have!

Image from pointcentral.com
Image from pointcentral.com

Trust me, I hear ya:

“Paula, it’s so easy that anyone can do it.  We don’t need to hire a professional to write for our business blog!”

Fair enough, is what I say.  BUT…if you own a business and you truly feel you’d like to write your business blog in-house, then at least allow me to give you a few very important blogging tips first.

  1. KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER:  Define him.  Define her.  What makes your customer tick?  What makes your customer BUY?  What makes your customer click away from a website without getting more information or making a purchase?  If you don’t know who your business blog is “talking” to then in all honestly…you are just wasting your time.
  2. FOCUS ON YOUR KEYWORDS:  This follows my first blogging tip because if you know your customer then you should know what he is searching for online.  And if you don’t know your customer then keywords won’t matter.  Your business blog needs to address your customer’s questions and curiosity about  your product or service.  That means researching–finding the keywords and phrases that your customer is typing into the search bar–and then integrating those topics into your blog posts.
  3. KEEP IT EVERGREEN:  In the world of blogging, the term “evergreen” refers to content that doesn’t age quickly.  If the content you post to your business blog has an expiration date, search engines consider it less relevant to a customer’s keyword search, making it less likely to appear in search results.  The best way to create an evergreen business blog is to keep your posts as general as possible while maintaining real value.  Evergreen blogs can also be reused down the line as long as the information is still accurate.  I do, however, highly recommend refreshing them with at least some updated information before reposting.

These three blogging tips are a really great start if you own a business and don’t want to outsource the writing.  And while I respect that not every business has the budget to accommodate hiring a professional writer, I feel compelled to emphasize that following these three business blogging tips still won’t give you an effective online presence if the writing is bad.  So as part of your commitment to in-house writing and blogging, consider brushing up on your writing skills if needed.  It’ll all pay off in the end!

Until next time, lovely readers…

Posted in Copywriting Tips, Writing in General

3 Measurable Outcomes of Hiring a Copywriter

Today, I’d like to “speak” on the true value of hiring a copywriter.  You see, the true value of a copywriter goes well beyond the fee you pay him or her to create your amazing content.  And it can, in fact, be measured if you’re into analyzing ROI (and you should be totally into analyzing ROI…)!

So let’s take a quick look at what a copywriter’s value really is and how you can measure that value, shall we?

Time

Sure, you could write your own copy.  For your website, your newsletter, your ad flyers, your brochures, your social media, your product descriptions, your…

But really, do you, as a busy business owner with a million things to take care of during a typical day, have the time to sit down and focus on writing these things?  Probably not.  Or, at the very least you don’t have time to focus on writing them as well as they should be.  Why crank out crappy writing??

Hand it over to a professional copywriter and not only save yourself some time, but also get quality copy!

Quality

I hit on this subject above.  Now, I’m not saying that you aren’t a good writer.  There are plenty of good writers running businesses that have nothing to do with writing!

What I am saying is that when a person has a long to-do list, she can become so focused on knocking things off of it that quality suffers.  I’m guilty of this myself.  Usually when it comes time to cook dinner.  Ask my kids.  🙂

In all seriousness, though, the writing on your website and marketing materials matters.  It can literally make or break a sale or a new client interaction.  Don’t “squeeze” it in when you have the option of using a copywriter.  It’s what we do!

Consistency

Consistency refers to how regularly you update your website, blog, newsletters, etc.  Especially in the digital world, you need to stay in front of your target audience if you want to stay relevant.  Loyalty isn’t always easy to come by, and if your customer is looking for a product or service and can’t find you or hasn’t heard from you in a while, she may very well seek out another source.  Sad, but true.

Consistency also refers to your brand.  If you’re doing all of your own writing, but the writing misses the mark in some way, then you are establishing your brand as missing the mark.  I’m not just alluding to spelling errors or grammatical mistakes, either.  If your writing is technically sound, but isn’t engaging your audience and causing them to take the action you want them to take then you’re missing the mark.

And if you’re missing the mark you’re pretty much wasting your time.  It’s like baking a pie every single day even though nobody ever buys that flavor.

Moral of Paula’s story today:  Stop baking pies that don’t sell!  Wait…no…errrr…yeah, something like that.  😉