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Step 2: Understand their buyer’s journey. A buying journey maps a buyer’s decision-making process during a purchase and will help you determine what content you need. Different kinds of content appeal to different buyers in different stages of their journey. By mapping your buying stages, you’ll better understand the process buyers go through when considering your product or service. As a result, you’ll be able to develop a content strategy that speaks directly to buyers,  no matter what stage they’re in.

A web copywriter for more than a decade, I’ve written website copy for more than 40 different industries in various roles: full time at an ad agency, as an in-house copywriter on the client side, exclusively with an SEO company, and freelance. I know my strengths and my limits. I have a clear idea of the types of web content I write best. And I know the types of companies I want to work with. If you are having a hard time finding the right freelance copywriter (or even web developer, for that matter) talk to me. If I’m not the right copywriter for you, I’ll tell you. And then I’ll do my best to help you find the right person for the job.
The most effective fishermen vary their bait depending on the fish they aim to catch. They know that bass, for example, go after earthworms. Carp love corn. Crappie respond well to rubber lures. Fishermen also adjust their technique depending on the time of day, the water conditions, and the season. They soak up as much information as possible about the fish and it’s environment, ultimately using their learnings to attract and, hopefully, hook.
When a content writer puts together a piece for a website, e-zine, blog, or newsletter, he or she doesn’t just have to make sure that the piece is well written, it also has to be nicely formatted and properly displayed on the screen. With clever and (dare I say) artistic placement of headings and subheadings, the content writer ensures that your copy doesn’t look like an insurmountable wall of text. A good content writer can take your complicated idea and turn it into an easily digestible and accessible piece of copy that pleases your readers, and keeps more eyes on you.
Customize your resume and cover letter. If you decide to go a more traditional route and apply for a permanent content writing position at a writing based agency or organization, you will need to customize your resume and cover letter to fit the position. This will show your employer that you noted the skills outlined in the job posting and that you can fulfill the expectations of the position.

That’s only if you, for whatever reason, don’t have another person to edit your work. Even with a great spell check, there will be things you miss. Make sure there’s somebody in your organization with great writing and editing chops who can give your work a second set of eyes. Remember that behind every good writer — whether it’s a best-selling author, a Washington Post journalist or a copywriter for a viral marketing campaign — is a great editor.
Are you a writer working in the business world? Or a marketing professional responsible for obtaining great marketing copy? Maybe you're just interested in a writing or marketing career. Whatever your background, this fun, introductory course will teach you to write or identify copy that achieves business and marketing goals. Improve your work, your knowledge, your company's image, and your chances of getting hired, promoted or applauded!
It can help, but other degrees also have content writing value. For instance, the ability to synthesize and relate complex information is key to content writing, but can also be acquired from studies in education or philosophy. Companies that offer content writing positions tend to find it easier to train someone in a complex topic than to train someone to write, however. For example, as a healthcare professional with mediocre writing skills, you're less likely to be hired as a healthcare content writer than a strong writer with no healthcare background (but who can be trained in healthcare topics).
Are you a writer working in the business world? Or a marketing professional responsible for obtaining great marketing copy? Maybe you're just interested in a writing or marketing career. Whatever your background, this fun, introductory course will teach you to write or identify copy that achieves business and marketing goals. Improve your work, your knowledge, your company's image, and your chances of getting hired, promoted or applauded!

And the first thing I am going to tell you is that words are personal. Even when it's for business. What you say—and how you say it using text, images, layout, links and typography—creates your business’s personality online. As a high-end website copywriter for creative businesses online since 1999, I want to tell you, it's always about people (even when you're an SEO copywriter - see my copywriting philosophy).
"The best way to help your sales team is to build brand awareness and create content that generates a lot of leads over time. An increase of twice as many leads means twice as many quality leads -- as long as you have software that lets you filter those incoming leads efficiently. That's how you build a successful sales and marketing machine," explains Mike Volpe.
In addition to the playful header, "not the usual blah blah," the copy above takes on a farm theme, assuring visitors that employees aren't simply "caged hens." Rather, they're a "free-range, artisanal, cruelty-free team." Funny on the surface, but helpful to job seekers who, much like food, want to know where their work comes from and how it's made.
It's important to do regular reporting -- I recommend monthly -- on each of these metrics so you know where your growth levers lie. Regular reporting also helps you identify negative trends or plateaus early-on so you can address them before they become bigger issues. Most importantly, however, tracking the success of your initiatives makes it easy for you to repeat what works, eliminate what doesn't, and promote the success of your content marketing program so you can justify its expansion, and its seat at the modern marketing table.

Visual content plays a big role in the success of a content marketing strategy. We've found that The Adobe Creative Suite will set content marketers up with everything they need to lay out ebooks, design infographics, create social images, etc. The team will find themselves in InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat pretty frequently. For a free alternative, try Canva. This lightweight software makes it easy for designers of all levels to create quality visual content -- things like presentations, cover photos, ads etc. 
Each time you refresh the login page, you see a different, equally clever example email belonging to a fictional character, like Ender from Ender's Game and Dana Scully from The X-Files -- a great example of nostalgia marketing. This is a small detail, but nonetheless a reminder that there are real humans behind the website and product's design. Delightful microcopy like this kinda feels like I just shared a private joke with someone at the company.
Step 3: Brainstorm, then create your content marketing plan. Planning and creating new content isn’t just about mapping and metrics. Brainstorming and asset planning can be one of the most challenging and important parts of content creation. To catch inspiration when it strikes, you need a receptive environment, and team-wide willingness to try new things. An editorial calendar is not only where you keep track of, coordinate, and share your upcoming content, it is a strategic tool that helps your team execute integrated programs that include your content. Keeping an editorial calendar ensures that you’re releasing your content at the best possible moment, and that your whole team is aligned around the release dates. 
To accurately and efficiently isolate your target prospect's problems (which will illuminate the benefits most fascinating to them) start by answering a series of questions about their personal background, their company and the position they hold, and their challenges, goals, and shopping preferences. In other words, create a buyer persona. As a result, you’ll amass an abundance of invaluable information that you can then use to attract attention and inspire action.

When writing calls to action, put yourself in the reader’s shoes: what would it take for a company you’ve never heard of to convince you to do something, even something as simple as sharing the article with a friend? Now, connect it to your goals: how can you craft a CTA and content specific to your company’s marketing and sales KPIs that actually persuades readers to take action?
Then I help them carry that voice to more customers, in more places, more consistently. I may start with a review of your website, then help you plan your content and how to market it. As your online copywriter, I can then work with you for website copywriting, blog writing, article research and writing, social media, and SEO copy. (see my copywriter services and pricing)
Whether you're hoping to work for a specific company or become a freelancer, there are lots of ways you can become a great copywriter. The best way to enhance your copywriting skills is to practice as much as possible, though doing things like reading books on copywriting or participating in online copywriting courses helps as well. Create a strong portfolio that showcases your copywriting skills, and be open to any job that comes your way.
Books. Like movies, people often think of books as selling themselves, but savvy marketers don’t sell books just to sell books, they sell books as marketing tools. Michael Port’s sales manual Book Yourself Solid is a great read for entrepreneurs, salespeople, and marketers, and while I’m sure Port enjoys selling his book, the book is a tool for driving customers to his coaching and speaking services. Although with self-publishing it’s easier than ever to publish a book, there is still the perception that it’s difficult and that only reputable professionals can publish a business book. Publish your own, and even if people don’t read it you can still use it as a form of content marketing every time you’re introduced as “Author of…”
In some cases, the guidance or existing copy that a content writer receives from his or her client is, in a word, awful. Many are the days that I’ve sat down to look at a wall of ill-formatted, poorly spelled, stream-of-consciousness rough copy, and begin the arduous task of editing and polishing it. It’s the intellectual equivalent of cleaning up someone else’s bedroom: you just don’t want to know what goes on in there to cause such a mess. Still, we do it, and we smile, because in the end making you look and sound good is what our jobs are all about.

See how these brands combine two starkly different concepts to tell a story or create an image? You can do that in your copy, too. As long as your juxtaposition makes sense -- as long as it connects the dots and isn’t trite -- you’re likely doing your reader a favor by helping them experience your offer in a fresh, descriptive, and interesting way.


Step 3: Brainstorm, then create your content marketing plan. Planning and creating new content isn’t just about mapping and metrics. Brainstorming and asset planning can be one of the most challenging and important parts of content creation. To catch inspiration when it strikes, you need a receptive environment, and team-wide willingness to try new things. An editorial calendar is not only where you keep track of, coordinate, and share your upcoming content, it is a strategic tool that helps your team execute integrated programs that include your content. Keeping an editorial calendar ensures that you’re releasing your content at the best possible moment, and that your whole team is aligned around the release dates. 
"The best way to help your sales team is to build brand awareness and create content that generates a lot of leads over time. An increase of twice as many leads means twice as many quality leads -- as long as you have software that lets you filter those incoming leads efficiently. That's how you build a successful sales and marketing machine," explains Mike Volpe.
Step 4: Produce and optimize your content. If you’re starting with original, high-quality content that you’ve invested real time and money to create, you’ll want to get the most out of every asset. You’ll also want to be sure your content stays fresh—out-of-date, no longer relevant content hurts your brand’s credibility. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your content marketing, remember the three Rs: 
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