Get back on the wagon – your content needs you

seed copywriting web content resolutions 2

At the start of January we were all full of the best intentions. Let me guess some of your business resolutions for 2019:

Create and stick to a blogging editorial calendar.

Update the “meet the team” page.

Revamp your website from content to design.

Really get to grips with Instagram for business.

Make sure social media is updated every day.

Start sending weekly eshots to clients and customers.

You’re not alone. These were some of the most popular business resolutions set at the beginning of January 2019, and it’s not surprising. Blogging and web content have become vital in the war against Google snubs and ghosting customers. Social media is more central than ever to our targets and KPIs, but it doesn’t get any easier or any less time-consuming. Eshots? Who has time to write, send and then update the data?

I understand where you’re coming from. You know how essential they are – you’ve been to enough workshops and training sessions to understand that – but after all the big stuff, there’s so little time left in the day. It can be difficult to incorporate copywriting and social media into your daily routine.

There are certain little things you can do to help. Here are some of my best cheats and tips I’ve learned along the way that really do help you battle with the never-ending marketing tasks that come your way. Trust me, the work never stops, but the time and resources you spend can be dramatically reduced. What you’re looking for is efficiency, not total ignorance. Are you ready? Let’s begin.

Put an editorial calendar together

seed copywriting web content resolutions 2

It sounds like a lot of work, and when you’re sat in front of a blank spreadsheet, it feels like a lot of work too. It really doesn’t have to be.

Take a look at what your customers will be interested in at different times of the year, and fit your content around what they’ll be searching for. Try to incorporate things like:

  • National holidays
  • National “days” – if you sell pies and you miss out on National Pie Day, shame on you
  • Your busiest months – offer faster shipping deals
  • Your quietest months – offer package deals and boost your profile


Schedule your socks off

seed copywriting web content resolutions

Once you’ve got an idea of what you’d like to post and when, start scheduling.

A lot of the time this advice is met with “but when have I got time to schedule?” The answer for me is, you set aside an hour or two a week and you blitz it. If that’s not how you work, try to use your down-time to get some scheduling inputted.

Using tools like Buffer or Tailwind can really help you gain traction on your posts too, as they show you analytics which you can then use to better place your posts at times your clients and customers will see them. Smeurt.


Don’t give up

seed copywriting web content resolutions 3

If you missed a couple of days on your social media accounts, or your blog post wasn’t finished in time for your scheduled slot, you feel like giving up. Trust me, I’ve been there.

The important thing is – that’s right – getting back on the wagon. So you forgot to schedule some Tweets before you left the office on Friday. It’s not great, but it’s not the end of the world. It seems like a disaster right now but full disclosure – your followers probably didn’t notice. Make up for lost time by putting some extra hot content on your platforms as soon as you can, and get that ball rolling again!


Never apologise

My golden rule for blogging, social posts or even in eshots is never to send out a blanket apology for radio silence.

If you’ve not updated your blog in a while, write an engaging, gripping post that gets people sharing again. If you’ve let your Facebook page gather cobwebs, dust it off and start as you mean to go on. Do not, for the sake of all that is online, start typing the words “sorry you’ve not heard from us in a while!”

Your followers probably hadn’t been too upset that you hadn’t posted recently. Or they figured you were working on something exciting and were too busy to post. Or they hadn’t noticed until now, right now, and you’ve gone and brought your lackadaisical attitude to their attention.

In my humble opinion, the best thing to do is accept you’ve got a gap in your posts and move on with purpose. Strong bicep arm emoji.


Ask for help

Of course I wouldn’t be doing my job correctly if I didn’t explain that help is out there if you really need it. If you don’t have the time to think about your content, outsourcing is a great option – providing you can find somebody who can really understand exactly what it is you’re looking for.

Again, this is only my opinion, but there are thousands of copywriters out there. Don’t be afraid to search for one who understands your industry, or who really seems to “get” your business, or whose writing you actually like. It’ll be worth the time.

Speaking of which, if you’d like to find out how I can help you tackle your copywriting, social media or web content mountain, get in touch.

Answering Stupid Questions

Apparently there’s no such thing as a stupid question.

If you’re on the receiving end of your website’s contact form however,  you may beg to differ. Offering a direct email address, phone number, chat box and social media platforms to your customers is absolutely recommended, and the best way to maintain great communication with your customers and potential buyers from every level of the sales funnel. But what can you do if answering queries becomes one of your most time-consuming tasks each day?

There’s one glaring solution that you might have overlooked. You need better web content.

Let’s have a look at the questions that take up the most amount of time for e-commerce businesses and organisations across the entire globe:

  • What time are you open?
  • Will you be stocking XYZ product when it comes out?
  • Have you got any of XYZ left in stock?
  • Can I pre-order XYZ?
  • You’ve sold out of XYZ – will you be getting any more in?
  • Can I order over the phone/over email/by Direct Message/using this form?
  • How do I return an item?
  • How long will my delivery take?
  • Can I change my order?

There’s a theme here, isn’t there? Guaranteed, this information is on your e-commerce website. No matter what you’re selling, whether you’re a wine merchant or a car parts drop-shipper, there are similarities across the board. Repeating the same answers every day is draining. So stop doing it.

Instead, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Why are they coming straight to you for answers?

Research your business’ most frequently asked questions

Make a spreadsheet, scribble a list, knock up a Word doc. Tally up how often the same questions are being asked and note down every new query that comes up over the next few weeks.

Are there any links between the frequency of certain questions and times of the day/week/month that they’re asked? Are people getting in touch directly after purchase, or just before they order? Are the same people making queries or are these unique queries every time?

Look at your website’s analytics for clues

Using your website’s analytics to see how people are using your site can really help you to find out why so many queries are being made.

If your product pages only have a few seconds of engagement each, perhaps people aren’t getting what they need from them. If people are using your search box loads, maybe it’s not easy to find answers. If your checkout cart is often-abandoned, could you make the process easier?

Use your website like a customer

Instead of breezing thought the site using all your learned work-arounds and search terms, try using your website like you’ve never seen it before.

The following questions might help you to start thinking more deeply about the customer journey.

  • How long do the pages take to load?
  • How easy is it to navigate?
  • How easy to read is the text?
  • Is the content on each page engaging?
  • Do all the pictures load correctly and look the part?
  • Does each page have a purpose and answer any reasonable questions that might arise?
  • Does your FAQs page answer your customers’ frequent queries in simple to understand terminology?
  • How often to you ask customers to contact you? (If you’re doing this a lot, is it any wonder people are doing it?)
  • Do your product pages have enough detail?
  • Are out of stock products displayed with information about when they’ll be back in stock?
  • Do you list all of your upcoming or pre-order stock? If not, do you mention this anywhere?
  • Do you have an email newsletter? How cumbersome is it to sign up for info on all of your latest product releases? (if this is a query you often receive)

One more thing to think about: If every page on your website prompts customers to “contact us for more info”, is your website really doing its job?

Web content isn’t just stand-alone information for Google to pick up and amend your search rankings. Creating content that suits your inbound marketing objectives makes your life easier and improves the quality of the sales queries you receive.

So stop answering stupid questions. Create a simple-to-use website filled with the information your customers need so they don’t have to ask you anything in the first place.

Need help with your web content? Seed Copywriting specialises in SEO web content writing and inbound marketing web content audits. Take a look at the portfolio page to see previous client work, or get in touch to see how your web content could be drastically improved.

What’s a copywriter?

They say no question is a stupid question. While that may be true, asking me to look over your work to see whether any of it is infringing on anyone’s registered trademarks might just be a little… ill-advised.

That’s because I’m not into the whole copyright law game – I’m a copywriter.  And yes, that’s confusing. And yes, that mistake is a common one. I’m sorry, I don’t know how to make sure your song lyrics don’t get ripped off. I could help you perfect them, though.

A copywriter is someone who uses written content to convince a reader to take action. I usually say my daily job is around 60% writing and 40% staring into space thinking of better ways to say the sentence I just wrote. That’s because it’s my job to put across specific messages, with very specific keywords, using a very specific tone. It’s all very precise.

That’s not to say it’s lacking in creativity. I get to be creative – just within set parameters. That’s the challenge and the fun of it.

We love words

Copywriters love words. Personally, I can’t get enough of those things. That’s why on top of my day job as a freelance creative copywriter, I’m a freelance features writer, I have four separate blogs (and counting), I’m writing a book, I try out poetry every week (to varying degrees of success) and I read everything I can get my hands on.

Copywriters are known for their in-built empathy for language – not just writing it, but hearing it and understanding it. We know how a sentence will read, but we also understand that that small collection of words will feel different to a reader, depending on the order we place them, or the choice of synonyms we use.

When you hire a copywriter, you’re not just getting a typist. You’re asking a word fanatic to complete your work for you. If it’s words you want, you’ve come to the right place.

We’re good at metadata (but might not love it all that much)

But who does? A copywriter’s strengths are in writing (obviously), creativity and planning content using a range of tools such as SEO keyword research.

We’re also pretty good at sprucing up your product descriptions and inputting back-end metadata thanks to our skills in accuracy and a need to make even the dullest content shine. Like clearing out those fatbergs deep below the city, metadata’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. Let us plug in our headphones and get on with it.

We can proofread and edit

So you think your content’s perfect do you? Dare to place a bet on that?

Copywriters have an inbuilt skill – a hidden superpower, if you will – that enables us to strike down a grammatical faux pas at 100 yards. If you’re looking for somebody to go over an 180 page document to check readability and accuracy, hire a copywriter.

We have industry skills and knowledge too

When you’re looking at hiring a freelance copywriter, ask them what industries and sectors they’re experienced in. You’ll be surprised.

Personally, I could write 50+ blog posts each on Further Education, Apprenticeships, upskilling (in engineering, digital and construction), wastewater storage and anaerobic digestion, the wedding industry, the beer industry, food and drink, diversifying within the farming industry, digital marketing, corporate travel… and that’s just the sectors I’ve been working in recently.

Copywriters are a mine of information on your competitors as well as your own industry. The good ones do their homework before they meet with you. Use that geeky knowledge to your advantage.

If you’d like to talk a bit more about what a copywriter is, or you’d like to have a chat about what I could do for your business’ copy and content, contact me and let’s set up a meeting asap.

Freelancers are good for your health

freelance copywriters are good for your health

Did you know that freelancers are good for your health?

Not only are they proven to reduce stress, they’re also great at improving staff morale and office dynamics, and that’s before we start getting into all the positive motivational impact they can provide.

Here are the reasons we’re so good for you.

We’re infectiously enthusiastic

The thing about freelancers is, we love what we do. That’s why we’ve decided to devote all of our time to our careers, focusing intensely on one particular talent we know we’re a leader in. For me, that’s writing. For others, it’s web dev, or design.

No matter our niche, you can guarantee that we’re more enthusiastic about it than you could possibly imagine, and that we are excellent at what we do. That’s our job. To be great. The side-effects of this in your staff might include renewed excitement and positivity.

We take a load off your shoulders

That blog post you know you should be writing? Consider it done. Scheduling this week’s social media posts slipped down your to-do list again? Take a deep breath and cross it off completely. The buggy little fixes on your company site you keep meaning to get round to? Bibbity, bobbity, boo.

Us freelancers relish the challenge of getting down to work on a tight deadline. What looms in the shadows to you is a sparkling opportunity to us. Don’t sit there stressing over work you’ll honestly never get around to doing – just pass it on to a pro, wipe that forehead and feel the sweet chill of a job well done.

We’re life-givingly honest

If we don’t think we can hit a deadline, we’ll tell you. If you’re asking us to work on something that’s not our forté, you’d better know we’re working extra hard to get it right because otherwise we’d tell you about our limitations.

We don’t work for your company; you’re hiring our services. That means when we come in and sit opposite you, we’re going to be straight with you. We already have the job, we have nothing more to gain from blagging at this point. We’re often refreshingly blunt too – especially if you’ve asked us to critique your work or run an audit. Not having emotional ties gives us the freedom to say exactly what we think and you’d be surprised how much life that can give you.

We motivate you to look at your own deadlines

If you’re giving us work you need a quick turnaround on, we’re going to email to request amends and feedback. Sorry about it. We want to make sure the work you’ve tasked us with hits the deadline right, and suits the brief well, so it’s on us to make sure we can get the job done correctly.

That doesn’t mean we’ll be bothering you though. Freelancers are self-sufficient geniuses who can work away to a brief without any further intervention. All we’ll get in touch about is fact-checking and deadlines.  Listen: That’s the sound of peace and quiet. Now there’s no excuse. Time to crack on with your other priorities.

Think you could use the soothing effects of a freelance content creator and copywriter? Get in touch and let’s talk about what I can do this week, right now, to make everything better.

A glorious future where we can ignore our customers

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but this LinkedIn update gave me the heebie jeebies.

I think it’s the use of the words “should have to.” It implies, pretty directly, that interacting with your followers is a chore. Using Hootsuite, the social media management tool that Ryan Holmes is the CEO of, makes it a lot easier to interact with those pesky followers. You can plan and schedule and set up all manner of time-saving tricks to ensure that your time spent with the people talking to you is kept to a minimum.

What I want to ask is – why are you doing that? Why do you hate your customers so much?

People like to interact with the brands and companies they use. Whether it’s to confess their love (Yorkshire Tea’s Twitter account is a good example of this) or to complain (Southern Rail) these interactions make them feel empowered. It’s important to consumers to keep in direct touch with the things they use every day. People feel the need to talk to everyone about what they’re doing, what they’re using and how they feel about it. That’s not the Millennial effect. We did that.

Businesses and brands have spent the past 30 years developing advertising that doesn’t just instruct, but encourages a feeling of loyalty. The idea that an individual would buy a cup of coffee not for the contents but because they want to be a part of something bigger (Starbucks Pumpkin Spice every damn year) is a sales and marketing dream come true.  Fostering that warm and fuzzy feeling of togetherness means answering a few Tweets, offering a couple of competitions and replying to any complaints. That’s the price you pay.

Why would a consumer use social media to talk to a brand?

  1. To make a visible complaint (empowerment)
  2. To talk about how much they love the brand (loyalty)
  3. To join in or add to a conversation (being a part of something)
  4. It’s how they communicate (convenience)
  5. To make a smartass comment in front of “everybody” (also empowerment, but a bit of fun too)

If you have never talked to a brand on social media yourself, try to think about a situation that would encourage you to do so. For most people who don’t use social media regularly, it’s to make a complaint.

Imagine you spent the time thinking of the best way to complain to a company who you believe have made a mistake. You’ve found their Twitter handle and you’ve hit the word count dead on. Everyone is going to see how mad you are and they’re going to apologise. You’ll feel better, and maybe they’ll take the time to improve their services in the future for other customers.

Now imagine you ‘send tweet’ and an automated response comes back to you. It tells you that your concern is important to them and that in 18-24 hours you’ll receive a full response. Or, it offers you a discount code and hopes you have a nice day. How does that make you feel?

Social media isn’t about fire-fighting – or at least it shouldn’t be. A well-cultivated social media account is a place where your customers feel listened to, and where you initiate the conversation. You might get complaints – in fact you almost definitely will – but with a decent social media plan behind you, your company or brand will be able to cope well with that situation.

Social media isn’t an inconvenience. It has become integral to most people’s everyday lives, and to treat it as peripheral means losing out on valuable consumer feedback and customer retention. Using automated services may save time, but they will never be the same as a proper representation of who you are – they will never be a trained employee able to give quickfire responses, start conversations on a whim or turn a negative conversation into a sale.

If talking to your customers is a job your organisation feels it can’t spare the time for, it might be time for a re-structure – or at the very least, some social media training.

Thank goodness then, that this was posted on April 1st. This whole thing was a Hootsuite joke, aimed at making the exact same points I made above. If you’re still wondering whether AI chatbots could help your business, hire a social media Apprentice instead, or ask me to come in and talk to your team about why it’s so important.

Do you have a content problem?

Seed Copywriting ott goldfish metaphor

When you’re busy achieving deadlines and gaining new business, it’s easy to let your content slip.

When was the last time you read your website content? I don’t mean glanced at the homepage to check the advertising banners were up to date. I mean really took the time to read it, from a customer’s point of view, to see what other people see when they find you. It’s often an illuminating experience.

In industry, we know that our website is our shopfront, where customers and clients pass by to check out our wares (and judge us by their exacting standards.)  We know that the icons need to be aligned, events need to be current, that the logos need to be visible and that the imagery needs to be relevant and non-stocky. But what about the words?

According to the Telegraph, Time Magazine and the New York Times, attention spans are getting shorter. Our goldfish-like brains are being rewired by social media, demanding shorter, zippier gulps of content that give us the information we need before we float off in search of the next nibble that comes our way. Our eyes are wide and ready to absorb information on the go, and we have neither the time or the inclination to dig deeper into the detail.

Seed Copywriting web content

Except, that’s not strictly true. As with most surveys and studies carried out with the general public, it’s extremely simplistic and glosses over a number of factors. Generalising a phenomenon, especially involving real people misses out the importance of the individual.  In an article for the BBC, Psychology lecturer at the Open University Dr Gemma Briggs had this to say:

“The idea of an average attention-span is pretty meaningless. How we apply our attention to different tasks depends very much about what the individual brings to that situation.”

Essentially – attention-span is a unique asset to each and every person visiting your website. For some, a quick blast of information is all they want and expect. For others, a deeper dive is something they need to begin to build trust with your company. This is where interesting, relevant, appropriately-pitched content is essential. That one person who wants to read more, see more, watch more could be the most engaged visitor you had that day. If your analytics are showing high bounce rates and low click-throughs, it might not be about your customers’ attention-span issues. It might also be about yours.

What Dr Briggs is not suggesting here is that every page on your website needs to be thousands of words worth of analysis and longread opinion. She’s gently pointing out that variety is the spice of life. By taking more care over your pages, your website can become an environment packed with diverse levels of content and interest to attract and retain all manner of visitors. To labour the metaphor – a reef, rather than a glass bowl.

You might not have the time to do this – but this is my job and I love doing it. Let’s have a chat about how we can create more valuable content for your visitors together. Let me care about your words!

Become one of the first businesses in Lancashire to work with Seed Copywriting

We’re here!

Seed copywriting is a brand new content marketing agency set up by me, Katie Taylor.  Before now, I’ve been working as an integral member of the marketing team at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre, Adult Learning at Burnley College, UCLan Burnley and Themis Apprenticeships and Training for four years – and in the music industry, food and drink and technology sectors before this. I have a degree in journalism, and nothing makes me happier than writing.

My brand of content marketing sees client needs and company values taking centre stage, with a strong emphasis on tone of voice and customer engagement. Find out exactly what Seed can offer – visit the Services page for more.

If this sounds like the refreshing antidote to stale, automated marketing that you’ve been looking for, why not send me an email? You could wind up being one of the first businesses (or individuals) in Lancashire to work with Seed Copywriting to refresh, tweak or even completely overhaul your marketing. How exciting is that?

Email me – I’m friendly, I promise: 

This is me, at home working on my own web content with a hot water bottle.