Q: What’s copywriting?
A: Copywriting is the art (yes, I said ‘art’) of writing text that makes people want take specific action. In other words, it’s the type of writing that makes people want to buy from you without the need for you to be all salesy. Is that an official definition? No, it’s my own. (But that’s why it rocks, right?) When you’re writing copy for your website, whether it’s your home page, your About page or your individual product pages, you are essentially asking your potential customers or clients to do business with you. Except that you’re not just going to say: “Please buy from me – you won’t regret it.”
What you want to do instead is to draw your audience in, engage them, show them that you know your stuff. You know what you’re talking about, but most importantly, you know how your potential customers or clients feel, and you can solve their problem. If your copy says all this without you actually using these words, you’re well on the way of having people come to you for business. And not the other way round. Doesn’t it sound powerful? Plus, remember that selling isn’t always THE only goal. You may want to ask your website visitors to take other actions, like downloading your freebie or joining your mailing this. This is what copywriting is all about.
Q: What’s the difference between copywriting and content marketing?
Not everyone does, but when I work with my clients, I like to differentiate between copywriting and content marketing. This comes down more to mindset that anything else. Content marketing helps you create valuable free content to attract prospect customers and clients to your website. In other words, it helps you bring traffic to your website. And not just any traffic. If you’re on the high street looking for a pair of new trainers, you’re not going to walk into a pet shop (that’s unless you want to have a look at the cute puppies and kittens). If you think of your website like a shop (whether you sell physical product or online/offline services) what you want to have in there is stuff that interests your potential customers and clients. If I’m on the market for a pair of trainers, I’ll go to a shop where I can browse trainers. If I have a question about price or features, I expect one of the sales assistants to be able to answer it. They’re the expert after all. When it comes to your website, YOU are the expert. And as a prospective customer, I want you to show me that. How? Through your blog posts. Through the content that you publish and share week in and week out on your website, so that the minute I have a question, I soon realise your website is the place to give me all the answers.
This is what content marketing is all about. And this is why, once I’ve hopped from post to post, indulging in all the engaging information you have on offer, I’m ready to buy those trainers. And you don’t even have to ask for the sale.
Q: Do you only work with non-native English speakers?
A: No, I work (and can definitely help) native English speakers too. It’s just that my background and experience as a non-native English speaker making a career out of writing in English makes me the perfect person to help others in a similar situation. Why? Because I know where you’re coming from. I’ve been studying English as a foreign language for over the last 24 years, and I’ve lived and worked in the UK for the last 15. Back in 2002 I took a university course called English as a Business Language at Oxford Brookes University that really helped my English jump up a notch!
Rather than just editing people’s work, I’m able to see why they’re making the mistakes they’re making (if that’s even the case), and help them make their writing sound ‘more English’. In other words, I can help you see patterns in your writing that in most cases come from your native language, and once you become aware of those, and rather start thinking in English when you structure your sentences or choose your vocabulary, you can instantly see your writing improve. It reads and flows better so your prospective customers and clients don’t get distracted by your form and style and can focus on the content on what you’re writing.