Sometimes, I forget not everyone needs high level copywriting advice for their word nerdery.
I’m most often reminded of this when I’m halfway through a Crisp Copy Class live call and someone asks me something I’m sure they must already know, so I’ve purposefully started the education 5 steps beyond the basics. It’s then I have a facepalm moment when I realise
even though the women I work with are ridiculously smart and awfully good at their thing, not everyone has a basic understanding of how to *start* writing good copy.
So, here are the most frequently asked questions I get asked on the regular
delivered by the brilliant business folk who have come before you and asked me these questions. Bless them all!
1. What’s the difference between copywriting and content writing?
Huzzah. I’ve written an entire blog about this. Read it here.
The Brodies’ Notes version:
Copywriting is the words on the page that help your scroller become a reader, and your reader become a buyer (or a buyer-inner). It guides them to undertake an evolution – these words literally turn your new, best person from one type of human into the next. If copy is good, and it’s speaking to the right person, it turns them from a passive consumer of content into a doer – an action taker. It gets them to click a button, sign up to a list, or buy a thing. It’s all about showcasing the benefits and explaining how your product will help them solve their own problem.
Content writing, on the other hand, is like a friendly chat with your audience. It’s meant to inform and engage, taking advantage of SEO and keywords along the way (but never sacrificing good content for an SEO keyword phrase). Content writing can be long-form, like a love letter to your audience. Think: blog posts or social media content.
The real magic lies in finding the perfect balance between the two to create a story of emotions that work to make the reader feel connected to you AND want to do a thing. Yes, you can totally write both, and no, not all content needs to turn your reader into an action taker. It can simply be to get them to know you and fall in love with you a bit.
2. Why do I need a brand voice?
Big disclaimer: a good grasp of brand voice is the single (and probably only) reason I get to charge what I charge, and still have a business after 7 years. God knows, it’s not my handle on my accounting.
What makes me memorable? OK, maybe it’s that I can do that lip thing. But also people remember my brand voice.
What makes me relatable? The fact I threaten you with teenagers and a kitten if you steal my copy.
What makes me trustworthy? When you ‘meet’ me on Zoom for our first discovery call, you might find yourself saying, “I feel like I know you already” or, “you’re exactly what I thought you’d be like” or, “Paint me green and call me Gumby, your hair is fantastic”. All of these things I’ve heard before (or a derivative of the Gumby exclamation) and it’s because my brand voice is so in alignment with my actual, human voice – only tweaked to incorporate some of my client voice as a good, smoothied-up blend.
All of that is brand voice. It exudes confidence, it showcases authority, and lets my readers feel how it would be to work with me, before they’ve actually clapped eyes on my real face over the internet.
(Also, it does ALL of the heavy lifting of selling before I ever even have to get on a call – introverts unite!)
Your website copy without a solid brand voice is just words. Your website might look good, but it won’t do much.
The Crisp Copy Brand Voice Development Workbook is the easiest product I ever created. Why? Because I just literally took the mountain of questions I’ve been asking my done-for-you clients in our first brand briefing call over the past several years and prettied it up in a downloadable. It’s been replicated thousands of times – both legally (I’m happy for you to buy it as a copywriter and use it to pick the brain of your own clients) and illegally (yeah, you may have seen it duplicated in a course or two). It’ll help you figure out who you are, what you stand for, who you’re writing for, how to communicate with them, and most importantly, how to make them fall in love with you.
3. What does ‘above the fold’ mean?
Ughh, website jargon. Hamburger menus (yes please – must have mayo with tomato sauce), UX (did you know most good copywriters are also good at this, because we know copy isn’t just words on the page?), CTR, CMS, Z Pattern… SMH and this one – Above The Fold. I have no idea how it hasn’t been acronym-ed into ATF, I don’t make the rules.
‘Above the fold’ is a term used to describe what’s immediately visible on your website. It’s the first thing a user sees when they land on your Home Page without scrolling.
Let me jump up and down for a moment: It’s. The. Most. Important. Bit.
Not just for your SEO keyword (please, do yourself a favour and do NOT hire a copywriter who has <PLACE NAME> <SERVICE PROVIDER> above the fold on their Home Page, they’re plainly stating they’re writing for SEO and not for humans) but also because this is the spot the first micro conversion usually takes place – the first spot where visitors new to your website will convert from a scroller to a reader.
To make the most of this prime real estate, check out this blog: https://crispcopy.com.au/what-does-above-the-fold-mean/
4. What is SEO copywriting, and do I need to do it?
You don’t need to do a damn thing you don’t want.
However, if you’re going to put any effort into your copywriting, you may as well tick ONE of the multitude of SEO elements off your To Do list and incorporate a longtail SEO keyword phrase.
Making sure your site is search engine friendly and optimised for keywords is crucial if you want to increase traffic to your site from a search engine – so if you don’t care about being found on Google and you have a ripper social media following who consistently click through to your site from your socials, perhaps optimising every single page of your website doesn’t need to be at the top of your task list right this moment. But when you get to it, incorporating a keyword phrase into your copy to help search engines find your site on their search pages is not going to hurt your reach a bit.
5. What is a Nurture Sequence?
A Nurture Sequence is like a series of love letters to your readers. It’s a way to establish a relationship with them, with the goal of getting them to fall in love with your brand and *gasp* actually looking forward to receiving an email from you.
Nurture Sequences aren’t necessarily meant to sell to your readers, but to help them get to know you and your brand, what you stand for, what to expect from you, why to open your next email. Think of them as a chance for them to connect with you directly and become long-term fans – but that doesn’t mean they CAN’T sell, too.
6. What is a Landing Page, and do I need one?
A Landing Page is like a soft landing for your subscribers, leading them straight to your email list and offerings. It’s a standalone page on your website that sells your amazing thing or offers a freebie in exchange for your reader’s email address.
You know how we were eye-rolling about online jargon earlier? Landing Pages fall into this category. Because no one can seem to agree about what to call the things.
Home Pages are often called Landing Pages, for obvious reasons. But the type of page we’re talking about here, where folk fair trade you their email address for a valuable thing, can also be referred to as Lead Capture Pages, Lead Pages, Destination Pages (makes me think of those holidays companies offer you where they then try to sell you a vacation apartment), or Squeeze Pages. So yeah, clear as mud.
In any case, if you want to make money via building your email list (which is the best way to make it, in my opinion), you definitely need a Landing Page, whatever you decide to call it. Frank, perhaps.
Here’s how to create one: https://crispcopy.com.au/online-copywriting-courses/landing-workbook/
7. Are blogs, like, dead?
Ecosystems. Let’s scrap the ‘Funnel’ label for a sec, and think about all these things working for you in an ecosystem. And while dead things are still important in an organic ecosystem, blogging is neither unimportant nor kaput.
While I now say to my daughter, “I just read an article…” and really mean I watched a TikTok, that doesn’t mean the rise of socials content for information distribution has killed off a really juicy blog. They’re still a great way to write (read: stay off the video!) and connect with your people, drive traffic to your website, and bonus: use to create at least 10 – 15 pieces of social media content, and even an email or two, as you go.
The best part (besides not having to record your own face)? Anyone can learn how to write a killer blog. Don’t believe me? Check out this resource to get started: https://crispcopy.com.au/basic-blog-structure/
8. How do I write an About Page?
Let’s face it, writing an About page is no walk in the park. In fact, I’d hazard it rates top of the UnFun list for most not-narcissist entrepreneurs and businesses.
Trying to write about yourself while capturing your unique voice is tough stuff.
And when you’re done with that, you have to structure it in a way that actually allows that piece of copy to work in the world that is your website – as a bridge between, ‘Hey, you’re in the right spot’ (Home Page) to, ‘Now, how are we going to best work together’ (Services or Shop Page).
That’s why I’ve developed an entire resource dedicated to helping you write, and structure, a winning About Page. It’s right here. And if you have NO idea where to start, there’s a free guide to boot: https://crispcopy.com.au/how-to-write-an-about-me-page/
9. I think I need to start emailing people. But WHAT?!
Emailing people, even after you’ve done the hard yards of getting them on your list, can be so tricky. It’s mostly in-your-head stuff, so I’ve no powers of manifestation fluff to share with you here – it’s simply a matter of do it, and then prove to yourself it was worth doing.
Between finding the right tone, staying concise (short copy is way harder than long, I mean heck, look at the girth of this ‘simple’ blog!), and then also having any kind of strategy or planning to your emails – I mean, it’s all a quagmire.
But when you consider the overall, overarching, big or small or company or solo operator data on email marketing, it’s a no brainer. Good ROI (if ya do it well), great reach, almost immediate and measurable results, and pretty much free to start (besides some brain power). So don’t give up on it even if everyone else in your industry is like, “yeah, nah”.
In fact, if everyone else in your industry ISN’T doing it well, I’d shuffle this to the very top of your Tackle Next list.
If you know you need to reach out to your email list but you’re not sure what to say, fear not, my friend! With 20ME, you’ll be guided through a painless sequence that will have your subscribers saying, “Yay, it’s you!” and falling in love with everything you have to offer. And guess what? It only takes 20 minutes to get started: https://crispcopy.com.au/online-copywriting-courses/email-copywriting-templates/
10. I don’t have a clue what to include in my Biography
Remember when I said short copy was harder than long? Yeah, this really comes into play in your Professional Biography.
Often, the trick isn’t what to write, but what to edit out. Trying to figure out what’s relevant to the person reading instead of just listing every award you won since the Year 3 Spelling Bee. The only upside to writing your own Biography is you get to talk about yourself in 3rd person, which makes it a tad easier to brag. Try not to bore people to death, though, promise!?
Want to write a Bio that truly shines and doesn’t leave your new reader yawning? You’ve got all the essential skills and experience, but what about the magic that makes you uniquely you? Get started with this template: https://crispcopy.com.au/no-more-boring-biography-template/
So, now you know – the Flipping Frequently Asked Questions of Jay, and yes, you’re still welcome to ask them yourself if you turn up to a call. Book it here: https://crispcopy.com.au/copy-coaching/pick-my-brain/
Some Crisp Copy links may be affiliate links - like the ones in this blog. Hello, recurring income is amazing and don’t we all want to work smarter? Howbeit, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t think is absolutely the coolest thing since Botox parties. Also, howbeit is the grooviest word in this post. Yes, totally copied this disclaimer from the bottom of my emails - I'm so amused I'm fully prepared to repeat myself.
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