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 Business Motivation, Copywriting Tips, Just For Fun

Blogging: Keep It Fresh (Just Do As I Say!)

Ya know how when your parents (or other authority figure) told you not to do something, but then they turned around and did it themselves and when you’d call them on it they’d say, “Do as I say, not as I do!”?  Like, say…smoking?

*Insert sucking noise here followed by a nice smoker’s cough and wheeze…

Well, just call me “mommy” because today I’m gonna lecture you on something that I am guilty of myself.  Very guilty, in fact.

blogging
GUILTY!!

If you have a blog–and you SHOULD have a blog if your business is online–then you need to keep it updated and fresh.  You really, really, really (did I say really??) need to be posting on a regular basis.  Whether that means daily, once a week, or even once a month, a regularly scheduled post is important.

It’s important for a couple of reasons.

First, your site visitors will stop visiting if there isn’t a reason to make the trip.  Especially if you sell the same products and services all the time.  If the information on your blog is the only thing that changes on your site, then there’s a very real possibility that site traffic is linked more to the blog than to the products or services.

And if you aren’t updating your blog then your site traffic can trickle down and become stagnant.

Another very good reason to keep your blog up-to-date with fresh content is that ol’ behemoth we know as Google (and Bing, and Yahoo, and whatever other search engine people might use).  Google, et al., likes fresh content much like you or I would like a freshly prepared meal.   Give it a reason to visit.  Make your site an inviting atmosphere with promises of a full belly when it leaves.  FEED the (search) engine!

Because if you don’t…just like your site visitors…Google will stop visiting.  It has millions of other sites and blogs to visit and index so it won’t bother with yours.  Heck, it wouldn’t be unusual for your site to completely fall off the map eventually.

Fresh blog content is key and it has to be regular.  Pick an interval that you can maintain, put it in your calendar, and do it.  You’ll thank yourself later, I promise.

(And because I know my loyal readers will be jumping all over me for this post, let me just say that I KNOW I am a  horrible example!  My blogs are pretty darn inconsistent and it’s hard to take me seriously on this subject when I’m not even taking my own advice.

HOWEVER:  to be fair to myself, I get busy creating amazing content for my lovely clients and simply don’t manage to get any blogging done on my own site.   So, as I mentioned above, call me “mommy” and do as I SAY versus what I DO.)

 

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.  😉