Need a freelance copywriter? Hire me today.
One of the most make or break things about professional writing is the structure and it absolutely pays to get it right.
Structure is the order of ideas. More specifically, when it comes to professional communication and writing, it's about looking at the way your assets are structured. Learning the fundamentals of structure are incredibly important so that you can apply it to your own writing and achieve successful results.
Building block questions
In every piece of writing, you need to look at the basic storytelling building block questions that are to be answered in the research phase. These answers to these fundamental questions will form the basis of the information of your piece of writing.
In addition to these building block questions, it pays to be clear on the following aspects of structure:
Ten writing tips for structuring your work
You may also like... How to perfect your content articles.
Eight indisputable reasons why you need to hire a social media marketing professional right this second
Nine out of ten businesses are now using social media marketing. Is yours?
Here's a statistic that should ALONE convince you why you need to uplevel your social media marketing immediately.
Customers 20-40% spend more money on companies who engage with them on social media, CoSchedule tells us.
A survey conducted by Market Force in 2012, revealed that 74 per cent of people encouraged their friends to try new products via social media and a whopping 81 per cent tried things based on their friends’ suggestions via social media*. If someone were to visit any of your social media platforms right now, would it convince them to purchase your product or engage in your service? And tell their friends about you?
Read more about my social media marketing services here.
‘Ever since engaging the services of Vanessa Jones to be yogafusion's social media manager, I feel more confident and at ease knowing that yogafusion's social media presence will be maintained, more informative, educational and inspiring. In as little two weeks our likes on Facebook went up and general engagement improved. Her skills as a talented writer and passion for writing means that not only are posts well thought out and written but provides a source of nourishing content that our clients can easily access and savour.
Vanessa's approach is personalised and friendly where she meets with you to discuss your needs, goals and intentions in relation to your business and then formulates a strategy that suits you and your budget.’ Sue C, Director, yogafusion
Millennials: mystery or marvellous?
Despite what you may think, millennials are actually astute readers and information consumers. Studies show that millennials are more likely to read more books than people in their thirties and forties. Not to mention the amount of online reading they consume.
They have a hunger for authenticity and a knack for being able to determine what is horse poo and what is real and comes from the heart.
They are constantly overwhelmed with information, blasting at them from all directions so they need to be able to determine what is worthy of their time immediately. Essentially, you have a micro second to grab their attention and let them know what you need to because you may not be able to keep it. There are a lot of things competing for their previous time and attention.
Given this time limit, it’s important that content specifically for millennials is designed to be read within seconds (not minutes!) and is entertaining and has a strong storytelling component. The same techniques that you would apply to writing a webisode or sitcom would apply for millennial content.
And if your first sentence and headline aren’t pure, unadulterated magic you’ve already lost them.
It goes without saying they are super tech savvy and completely voracious and have a world of information within clicking distance, so they are not going to take something at face value just because you tell them to. They can do their own research and find out other points of view within mere minutes.
'If your first sentence and headline aren’t pure, unadulterated magic you’ve already lost them.'
Additionally, millennials are highly socially conscious beings so seek out and align themselves with content and companies that share these values and their cultural interests.
48 per cent of people interviewed for a US Millennial Supplemental Consumer Sentiment Survey (2013) reported this age group prefers to invest their time, money and attention in companies that demonstrate social responsibility and environmental sustainability.
The best way to communicate with a millennial is to:
Speaking of authenticity, in a 2014 survey of twelve global industries, it was shown that ‘…91 per cent of consumers value honesty about products and services above any other authentic characteristics.’
Additionally, using heavy action verbs will connect with them emotionally and encourage action. For example: seize, stopped dead, stumbled, fall apart, excel… and so forth.
Lastly, millennials are not a generation to be feared when communicating with. In fact, quite the opposite. They are the generation that will have the biggest influence on your digital marketing as they are active participants in sharing, commenting, interacting and helping to shape your content and communications. Start valuing the millennial!
Stuck for content ideas? Never fear, Jones is here!
With so many social media marketing platforms and marketing channels that you need to attend to and be visible on, it can be difficult to continuously come up with clever and wily content ideas and posts.
I’ve taken out some of the hard work for you by compiling a list of ideas that you can use and incorporate in your content and social media marketing strategy.
You may also like... How to improve your Facebook writing and boost your business
SEO for beginners with Neil Patel
Neil Patel is one of the world’s leading experts on SEO and his friendly, unassuming vibe makes it easy to understand all things SEO. Here he explains some basic tips to keep up with algorithmic changes in 2018. I highly recommend giving over ten minutes to learn these SEO fundamentals. Don't forget that I have some SEO steps here too.
Basically anything about success by Tony Robbins
Although I find it a little cheesy, I am partial to listening to a lot of Tony Robbins as a source of confronting my limiting beliefs and inspiring motivation to get stuff done and stop making excuses. This is particularly pertinent for big projects (like writing books) when my inner dialogue is absolutely convinced there is no point in writing an epic domestic noir tale but Tony’s voice is there to convince me otherwise.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
If you’re interested in increasing income (who isn’t, right?) and improving work performance, there is a little timeless classic call Think and Grow Rich written by Napoleon Hill, first published in 1937. Thankfully, it can be found as the complete audio book (all ten hours of it) on Youtube, so it makes for great listening. Warning: there’s some parts that you might want to tune out of that may not align with today’s social values.
How to Write Copy That Turns Website Visitors into Customers by Marie Forleo
This is a very simple video on copywriting that provides one very clear tip which I abide by in all copywriting pursuits. It’s a short video, has a bit of waffle and is broken down quite simply for those who are new to marketing but the tip and concept is priceless. And it reminds us of that age old copywriting technique of eliciting empathy.
How To Price Design Services and Make More Money with Chris Do
I really like this video and I find it particularly educational for those who work in creative services and are unsure (or more specifically, undervaluing) their skills, expertise and talent. Chris Do’s straight talking logic is quite inspiring and he is very transparent and generous with this knowledge about value, worth and pricing strategies.
You may also like... Eight reasons why you should hire a copywriter
Innovation: an overused and ignored word
As someone who writes a plethora of technology articles (I’m genuinely infatuated with big data, blockchain, artificial intelligence...) I stumble across the word innovation or innovative multiple times a day.
Innovation is a late Middle English word which stems from Latin. What’s fascinating is that the term innovator, used to be a complete insult and punishment often resulted in jail time and having their ears cut off. Ouch!
Innovation is about introducing something new (or change something into new). Used in its precise context, it works well. But how often to companies, products or services that are described in copy or when a keynote speaker is gracing the stage or sitting opposite Kochie on whatever morning program he is on and purport themselves to be innovative when what they are doing isn’t new at all?
I’ll admit, it’s a great word that captures a lot of what people are trying – or think – they do.
But it gets lost in the noise and becomes invisible because it’s categorically overused.
The more predictable the word, the more likely someone is going to skip it. ‘Readers possess semantic and syntactic information that enables them to form expectations about upcoming words in text (Goodman, 1970).'
And if someone is skipping your text, they aren’t going to totally absorb your message. And if you’re trying to stay front of mind in your potential customers and clients, you want them to remember your message!
‘…when word length is matched, words that are predictable from prior text are more likely to be skipped than unpredictable words…’
Instead of innovation, try these terms:
But it’s not enough just to use these words.
You must take it a step further and explain exactly why you/your product/your service are those things to connect with your audience and convince them that you are the one for them.
And truly, I’m not saying don’t use the word innovation, I’m saying become creative and specific when conveying your message. Put across different ways of saying what it is you actually do. Be accurate, why are you innovative? For example, list the technology you use or where you deviate from industry best practices that work. What are you doing differently from others in your field?
Is it time to refresh all your copywriting? Learn how to write great content here.