Lauren Jefferson

Lauren Jefferson is the Co-Founder and CEO of FocusCopy – a full-service copywriting agency. She loves everything copy, digital marketing, and coffee!

Authentic Branding

Salesy Copy Is Out, Authentic Branding Is In

Ever see an ad that makes you raise your eyebrows a bit?

You’re far from alone in that. In fact, today’s consumers are inundated with salesy marketing campaigns in every facet of their lives. You can’t open your email, social media accounts, watch a video, or even drive down the street without some type of marketing coming into your peripheral. 

If something seems suspicious, the facts don’t really matter anymore. That potential customer is already lost and may forever affiliate that brand in a negative connotation.

This is why it’s time to ditch the salesy copy. Instead, focus your marketing efforts on authentic branding that will comfort your audience and help them remember you.

So how do you make your marketing stand out for the right reasons?

You need credibility to show that your brand messaging is authentic. 

Otherwise, you’re just another fish in a pond of baseless sales tactics.

What is Authentic Branding?

Simply put, authentic branding and marketing is when you prioritize building your know/like/trust (KLT) factors with your audience over sales. It feels like you want to develop a relationship rather than a transaction. 

Remember the phrase, people do business with people they know, like, and trust. This mindset is the starting point to create an authentic brand. 

4 Tips To Ditch The Salesy Copy For Authentic Transparency

Getting the right message across isn’t as tricky as it seems. Sometimes all it takes is reevaluating your business’s mission and values. 

Don’t have time or the confidence to write your own brand messaging? Leave it to the pros at FocusCopy. Schedule your discovery call with us today.

1. Keep Your Authentic Voice Consistent In Your Brand Messaging

Have you defined your brand voice?

If not, then it’s time to discover, document, and implement your business’s authentic voice.

Your business’s brand voice speaks to your target market. Furthermore, a consistent brand voice builds credibility and helps your audience feel comfortable with your brand. 

On the other hand, an inconsistent brand voice can wreak havoc on your business’s marketing.

A few questions to ask yourself when honing in on your brand voice include:

  • How do you want people to feel about your brand?
  • What voice, tone, and words do you absolutely want to avoid affiliating with your brand?
  • Who is your ideal customer and audience?

FocusCopy has a whole workshop we go over with new clients. Sometimes, the questions are a little surprising – like which movie characters you relate to, how your friends describe you, and so much more. But I promise, there’s a method to the madness. Each question gets us closer to defining a business’s voice for the most effective brand messaging. 

Once you identify your brand voice, use it genuinely, consistently, and transparently. Moreover, don’t be afraid to show the highs and the lows. People relate to real life problems, it doesn’t need to be all sunshine and daisies. 

Additionally, if you make claims – back them up! Backlinking to reputable sources not only builds your own credibility, but can also improve your SEO efforts. (Psst…backlink to your own blogs and web pages, too!)

2. Show Your People, Products & Services With Authentic Photos – Not Stock

Sure, stock photos are great when you’re in a pinch. However, you may want to keep them in the last resort file.

This case study on Harrington Movers in New Jersey shows just how powerful authentic photos can be. When they decided to do away with the happy couple stock photo and get real, the results spoke for themselves.

In fact, they ran an A/B test with 2 new, yet authentic, photos. The first is a simple photo of their moving truck. The second is a photo of their actual team of movers in front of a moving truck. With both of the newer, authentic photos, Harrington Movers saw over a 45% increase in quote requests than with the stock photo.

Overall, marketing is a science. It’s why we love A/B tests! However, it’s important to not lose the human element. You can chase all the analytics and statistics, but you need to always remember that a real living person full of emotions and personal experiences is on the receiving end. 

On another note, make sure your photos are true! Have you been introduced to a new skincare product complete with before and after pictures? But when you look at the photos, you realize the person in the “before” is raising their eyebrows to create forehead wrinkles. The lighting is different in both photos and you realize that if this is the best they can do – it’s not a worthy investment. 

Investing in a brand photo shoot was one of my favorite marketing projects for FocusCopy. I now have a plethora of images that I own and use for featured images in blogs, newsletters, website copy, and more. Plus, it was fun! The trick is to hire a great photographer that makes you feel comfortable and that you trust (meet our favorite photographer).

3. Keep Your Marketing As Genuine As Can Be

On the same thread of using genuine and honest photos, your copy should follow suit. In other words, practice what you preach.

For instance, there’s been a lot of talk around the lack of regulations in the U.S.’s skincare and cosmetics industries. The facts can be quite shocking. Unsurprisingly, a lot of companies have jumped on the bandwagon to promote non-toxic products. However, are the people pushing these products concerned about all the toxins in their lives? 

If not, how can you be sure they even care and that their products are as safe as they claim?

People in this particular niche industry can show their genuine care and interest by showing that they take the same approach to other parts of their lives. As an example, they may show that they use effective yet non-toxic household cleaners or are making an effort to replace plastic containers with glass. 

The gist here is no matter your industry, your marketing will be most effective when it is genuine. 

Do you know what you want to say but not sure how to say it? Writing is the most cumbersome task in marketing campaigns and FocusCopy will work with you to define your brand voice for the most effective messaging. Schedule a discovery call today to learn more!

4. Grow An Organic Following (AKA Don’t Pay For Followers Or Engagement)

Social media brings us into each other’s lives like never before. Whether you keep a crisp profile that only shows the positives or get into the nitty gritty behind the scenes real life chaos, it’s amazing what people want to see!

It’s called social proof. And if done right, it can tremendously increase your brand’s reach. 

Having trouble getting started? Challenge yourself to show up on social media for a month straight. Yes, every day of an entire calendar month. I promise it’s not hard. Plus, you can have fun with it!

Been wanting to show off your dance or lip syncing skills? There’s no time like the present to pick a trending TikTok audio clip and go for it. 

However, make sure to keep the content focused on your target audience. 

Moreover, ask customers to send you or tag your company’s social media in their own photos using your product or service! There’s nothing like seeing real people enjoying what your business offers to instill social proof.

FocusCopy Writes Authentic Copy For Brands Worth Boosting

While writing comes easy to some, we’ve found the majority of people view it as their most cumbersome task. However, simple and direct communication is also very often the most persuasive and effective marketing tool. 

Whether you simply don’t like to write or don’t have time to write, it still needs to get done. FocusCopy allows business owners like you to focus on running and growing your business while we handle the copy. 

Ready to learn more about what FocusCopy can do for your business (and stress level)? Schedule your discovery call today!

Focus Your Copy On Conversation & Conversion

Let’s Grab A Virtual Coffee With Us To Discover How To Boost Your Words
Authentic Branding
Authentic Branding
What Makes A Good Website

Is Your Website Pulling Its Weight In Sales?

Your website could be your best sales tool if you’re doing it right…

In fact, a good website will help you reach a larger audience, convert more paying customers, and provide valuable information that will keep readers coming back. 

On the flip side, a poorly designed or slow website can have the opposite effect. For instance, a global survey conducted by GoodFirms concluded that 38.5% of website visitors judge a business by its website’s appearance alone.

What determines a good, converting website often centers around two things: what the website can do and how the website is maintained.

Furthermore, there are over 1.8 billion websites online. But fewer than 200 million are active at any given time. That’s a whole lot of websites missing the mark. 

Is your website one of them?

Here’s What Your Website Should Be Able To Do

If your website isn’t checking all the boxes, then it’s time to get back to the drawing board and make website management and maintenance a higher priority. 

Need to caffeinate your web copy? Schedule a discovery call today and look forward to an impactful, converting website!

1. Be Simple To Navigate…Because No One Wants Extra Work

This is pretty simple. No one wants to add to their workload. If you are selling a product or service that can make their lives easier, then make sure your website reflects that simplicity.

Above all, a website that’s difficult to navigate won’t just annoy your readers (aka potential paying customers), it will turn them away. Moreover, if they’re already interested in what you offer – they’re going to mosey right on over to your competitor. 

Ouch!

Furthermore, you can help your website contribute toward your business goals by keeping simplicity in mind. Even better, ask a couple of trusted friends, colleagues, or family members to look at your website. This will be most beneficial if they aren’t familiar with your business yet. And, don’t inundate yourself with a full on peanut gallery – really try to keep this to 1-3 people tops.

Then, put it to the test! Ask questions to know if they:

  • Understand what your business sells
  • How to become a client
  • Are able to find answers to their questions
  • Had any issues figuring out what to do next on the customer journey

Next, use feedback to adjust your website into an easy-to-navigate and digest marketing and sales tool for your business!

2. Use SEO To Attract A Larger Audience Of Potential Customers

A well-written website with quality SEO will rank higher in Google searches. In turn, more potential customers will find the website.

But SEO isn’t a one-and-done deal. In fact, keeping up with the algorithm is a science that requires consistent attention. In 2021 alone, Google ran over 700,000 experiments. With that data, they made more than 4,000 improvements.

What does that mean for website owners like you? 

The algorithm changes with each improvement. This means whatever actions website owners previously did successfully may no longer bring the same results. 

It’s a pivot game.

However, if you don’t have the expertise or time to maintain and manage your website, you can outsource those tasks! We love our friends at The Clever Site who help entrepreneurs and small business owners run stellar websites.

3. Provide A Great User Experience Across Computers, Phones, Tablets & All Devices

According to a Zendesk study, a poorly designed and under-optimized website drives away nearly 50% of viewers. Additionally, load speeds also affect your Google ranking.

In fact, Google’s own research states that 53% of mobile website visitors abandon a webpage if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds. Moreover, websites that rank high on Google’s search engine result page (SERP) have an average load speed of 1.65 seconds. 

Once again, it comes back to simplicity and keeping things easy for your audience. So, make sure to optimize your website for a great user experience to keep readers from running to your competitors. 

Put your website on track to be a powerful tool to inform and convert readers. Reach out today and get your discovery call on the books. 

4. Answer The Most Common Questions You Receive

How often do you get the same questions from clients or interested parties? Whether through phone calls, email, or DMs, how much time are you spending answering the same questions?

Free up your time and give the people what they want – easy-to-find answers to your most common questions!

A great way to answer questions is with blogs. Outline content categories to cover all your bases. Each question may potentially be all the inspiration you need for an entire blog post. 

5. Capture Visitor’s Contact Info Through Engagement

People love freebies, especially when it holds value in their eyes. Encourage your target audience to engage with your website by downloading a lead magnet, signing up for your email newsletter, taking a quiz, or claiming a discount.

With each method, a potential client has stepped into the conversion zone by taking their first steps on the customer journey. Meanwhile, you gain the contact information of a person who is worth nurturing to continue moving forward.

All in all, this is a win-win situation! 

6. Give Readers Clear & Direct Calls To Action

If you want someone to want to work with you, then make it easy! (See a theme here?) 

Even the most intelligent, tech-savvy people don’t want to add extra tasks to their plates. So help them along their customer journey and direct them to their next step with calls to action (CTA).

Throughout your website, include buttons that state something along the lines of:

  • Join Today
  • Get Started Now
  • Sign Up
  • Don’t Miss Out

You get the idea, right? The goal is to move them closer to being a paying customer that contributes to your business’s success. 

7. Showcase Your Business’s Credibility In Your Industry

A business’s credibility can make it stand out as a leader and authority in the industry. While some businesses start out with high credibility, others spend years building it. 

Some examples of credibility to include on your website include:

  • High-praising client reviews
  • Certifications
  • Professional affiliations 
  • Relevant memberships
  • Trust seals verified by third parties
  • Social media to show social proof
  • Press highlights
  • Links to credible sources 

However, make sure not to make your credibility the star of your website. Website copy should remain viewer focused, as the goal is to convert new customers – not brag about your accomplishments.

8. Tell Readers How To Reach You With Comments Or Questions

Have you ever attempted to contact a business and could not for the life of you figure out how? Consider that a big ol’ waving red flag!

If you can’t contact a business you’re interested in buying from, then how will you contact them if there are issues down the road? You probably won’t be able to.

Make sure your website has at least one of the following:

  • A phone number 
  • An email address
  • A contact form to request a response

However, make sure the phone number and email address are active and manned! Nothing worse than calling a number that rings and rings with no answer or voicemail.

Caffeinate Your Website With Converting Copy

FocusCopy works with small, women-owned businesses like yours to invigorate copy that will bolster your brand. Whether you need help with blogs, email newsletters, web pages, or anything else copy related, our team has your back. 

What do you say? Ready for a website that checks all the boxes and works as your best sales tool? Schedule a discovery call with me today!

Focus Your Copy On Conversation & Conversion

Let’s Grab A Virtual Coffee With Us To Discover How To Boost Your Words
generate blog topics

4 Questions To Ask To Generate 20 Blog Topics In <15 Minutes

Inspiration is a funny thing. It’s everywhere and can leave you dreaming of possibilities for hours, especially if you’re a business owner. 

Your entire business model might come from a streak of inspiration you decided was worth pursuing. However, the not-so-great thing about inspiration is that it doesn’t occur on command…at least not for most people.

When you’re thinking about blog topics for your business, you may feel stuck about what to write. 

You think…Do I simply talk about my business and what I know? Do I need to be creative and go outside of my comfort zone? Is it okay to discuss other things related to my business?

These are good to think about when you sit down to write, but they aren’t particular enough to help with content creation. Strong blog topic ideas should be specific enough to answer a question your audience might have. At the same time, you should make sure the topic is relevant to your brand and can tie into your business offerings. Creating blog topics based on this notion alone can quickly become confusing. So, it’s an even better idea to ask yourself these 4 specific questions, which helps you generate 20 blog topics in less than 15 minutes.

Need to pick up your blogging pace? We can help! Contact FocusCopy to get your blogs written, approved, and published.

Create 20 Blog Topics In 15 Minutes Or Less By Asking 4 Simple Questions

If it sounds too good to be true, all I have to say is give it a try! Even if you spend the next 5 minutes reading AND brainstorming, you’ll get something valuable out of it – you simply have to trust me. Let’s generate blog topics!

1. What Questions Does My Audience Have Right Now?

This should be an easy one! Take a second to think about potential sales calls, meetings, and client feedback you’ve heard. What are the questions you repeat the answers to most?

For example, as copywriters, we often hear…

  • What is SEO and how does it work?
  • What type of content needs to be on my website?
  • How can hiring a copywriter save me time?
  • What’s the problem with me doing my own copywriting?
  • How long does it take for a copywriter to write a website, blog, etc.?

We have answers for all of these commonly asked questions. We also have a knack for turning these questions into conversation pieces, which gives the answers enough oomph to become a relevant blog for our brand.

So, do you have any questions at top of mind? Write them down! You can easily come up with 5 (or more) questions that you can turn into blog topics.

If your audience doesn’t have too many questions up front, here’s another one you should ask.

2. What Problems Does My Audience Encounter?

To answer this question, we’re first going to get into what you do, why you do it, and why your audience cares.

Our own example is…We’re a cost-effective digital copywriting firm supporting small to medium-sized businesses because it saves business owners time, money, and the extra stress of having to write their copy themselves.

Did you see that?

Right there in our own answer are a few problems we can pick out right away, which includes:

  • Small to medium-sized businesses don’t typically have a huge budget for their digital marketing efforts
  • Supporting small businesses is critical to our collective success
  • Business owners don’t have the time to write for themselves
  • Writing stresses most people and business owners out
  • Business owners don’t have time for marketing when they have more important responsibilities to attend to

And just like that, we have 5 new topics of discussion for our blog. We’ll even take it one step further to show you how you can create headlines for these points, turning them into digestible nuggets of information.

  • 10 Beneficial Effects Copywriting Has On Your Small Business
  • Why Digital Marketing Is Important For Small & Medium-Sized Businesses
  • How Hiring A Copywriter Can Save Your Business Time & Money
  • 5 Tips From A Copywriter To Help Relieve Your DIY Writing Stress
  • Why Quality Content Rules Over Quick Copy That Doesn’t Deliver

By now, you should be able to see how fast and easy it is to come up with new blog topics by answering questions about your business – which brings us to our next question to ask to generate blog topics without breaking a sweat.

Still struggling to come up with topics for your business? Hire the experts to hash out the details and come up with an effective copywriting strategy.

3. What Advice Does My Audience Need To Hear? 

This question may seem too general to answer, but try looking at it a different way. When customers or clients call your business after…

  • Attempting to do what you do themselves
  • Hiring someone less qualified
  • Hiring someone whose services are cheaper
  • Letting their problem exist for too long

What happens?

If you focus on what your audience has complained about in the past, you’ll find your advice neatly folded into your answers. We’ll switch it up and use a hypothetical client as an example here.

Texas Plumbing Company (a fictitious company) hears from customers all day, every day. And if they could tell their audience crucial information that could save them time and money, here’s what that could look like…

  • 7 Major Hazards Of DIY Plumbing
  • Why Hiring A Certified Plumbing Professional Matters
  • 5 Reasons Why Expert Routine Pipe Maintenance Matters For Your Home Or Business
  • Top 10 Common Mistakes Homeowners Make With Their Plumbing System
  • Here’s What Can Happen If You Ignore A Leak For Too Long

If you’re a plumbing pro, each of these blogs is full of information you already know about and could probably recite in your sleep. But your audience doesn’t know anything about plumbing, so it helps to offer your expert advice.

4. What Lessons Have I Learned That Would Be Helpful For My Audience To Know?

Have you ever watched Gilmore Girls? Stay with me here because I promise there’s a point.

So, there’s a scene where small town diner owner, Luke, is being yelled at by his ungrateful and reckless teenage nephew, Jess (skip to 1:05). Jess attacks his uncle by throwing Luke’s job and business in his face in an attempt to make Luke feel small and unimportant. 

Sure, Luke only has one other employee. And there isn’t a special parking spot in his name or a mahogany desk for him to sit at. But he doesn’t let Jess get to him for a second and defends himself by saying, “Hey! I own this business. I built it, kid. This is mine!”

The only reason I’m diving into this is to point something out. Entrepreneurs like you have something special that other people will never be able to relate to. You have moxie, my friend! And in case no one has told you lately, you don’t need to downplay your accomplishments or your business. Chances are, you didn’t get to where you are without learning a few hard lessons along the way.

Ask yourself…What have I learned?

The best part about this exercise is that you only need to think of about 5 things you’ve learned. Maybe you learned more about how to value yourself and your services. Perhaps you reached a breaking point when it came to dealing with certain clients. Or maybe you have a story about investing in something that didn’t work out. All of these can be great blog topics for your audience, which should bring your total number of topics to 20.

Find A True Writing Partner With FocusCopy

Don’t have enough time to write for your business (or even generate blog topics)? That’s okay! Many business owners don’t. But that doesn’t mean you should let it affect your digital marketing or brand awareness.

Reach your marketing goals with the team at FocusCopy.

Focus Your Copy On Conversation & Conversion

Let’s Grab A Virtual Coffee With Us To Discover How To Boost Your Words
Writing Copy With Empathy

6 Actionable Tips To Writing Copy With Empathy

Are your marketing efforts reaching your ideal customer?

There’s a whole science behind writing for business. Copywriting soft skills are critical to provoking emotion.

And empathy, well, it’s one of the most important and impactful elements.

Copywriters need empathy to infuse our work with humanity and thought-provoking copy. This allows our clients’ ideal audience to relate to the copy on a human level.

If you’re not reaching the right people, it may be because you’re missing the human elements your audience craves.

So how do you practice empathy in 6 actionable tips?

  1. Read books
  2. Create personas
  3. Ask more questions
  4. Engage with the people in your life
  5. Put the reader first
  6. Write conversationally

Don’t worry, we’ll dive into each empathy practice below so that you can strengthen your ability to breathe humanity into your writing. 

What is Empathy & Why Is It Important?

Empathy (/ˈempəTHē/) is the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner. (Merriam-Webster)

Why’s it important?

For starters, psychopaths lack empathy. 😬

There’s a lot more reason why it’s held in such high regard – beyond not sounding like a psychopath. 

Empathy helps us see a situation from another person’s perspective. This is incredibly important in all human relationships. 

Infuse your brand messaging with emotion-provoking copy that converts. Schedule a discovery session to learn more. 

Empathy: The Real Power Behind Your Words 

Since we write for businesses, our goal is to empathize with readers’ pain points. But it would be impossible to do this without putting ourselves in their shoes and really thinking about their struggles.

Furthermore, for the features of your products and/or services to stand out, potential customers need to understand how they will improve their lives.

This is best done by using empathy in words to illustrate the benefits that your business offers. 

For instance, does the what’s for dinner question make you cringe on a nightly basis?

What if you came across someone on social media or from scouring Google who offers a variety of services to make dinner time easier?

At the same time, what if they teach you to cook delicious and nutritious meals even your pickiest family members love?

And save money?

And reduce your carbon footprint?

There are a whole lot of life-changing benefits in that package! 

By empathetically connecting with readers, you can hone in on their pain points. Then, they will find the solutions your business offers more impactful to their lives. Next, your readers take the next step on the customer journey and convert!

Conversion can mean different things. It can include:

  • Download your lead magnet
  • Sign up for your email newsletter
  • Follow your social media accounts
  • Purchase your least costly service or product

But here’s the thing – any step on the conversion ladder is a win in a business owner’s book! 

As you continue to nurture your paying (and non-paying) leads with empathy, they will continue to get closer to being your best customer. 

How To Develop Copywriting Soft Skills Like Empathy 

While empathy is a normal human behavior, it comes easier to some than others. 

And no, it doesn’t mean you are a categorial psychopath. 

It just means you haven’t done as much work as the others to practice empathy. But like all things in life, this skill gets stronger with practice.

Explore these methods to develop soft skills for copywriting like empathy, compassion, and sympathy. 

Ready to hand your copy over to the pros? Schedule a discovery call and learn how we can breathe humanity into your business’s copy. 

Read Books 

There’s nothing like a good book to put yourself in another person’s head, even if that other person is a fictional character. Reading is the key to exploring and learning about other cultures and their struggles, challenges, and reasons for celebration across the world. 

Create Personas 

Have you ever had to create a character?

It sounds easier than it is, but also gets easier with practice.

For example, think about a school teacher named Sarah.

Now, consider what era Sarah lives in. What is going on in the world while Sarah is teaching?

Is she single, married, or have kids?

What does she do for fun?

How does she wind down after a busy day?

Does she exercise regularly and cook every night?

Or is she always so busy she can’t find time to workout and hits up the drive-thru after work every day?

Does she frequent the city’s finest restaurants nearly every night?

What products would make her teaching job easier?

Are there any services that would make the rest of her life easier?

These are all prompts to help you see the world from a new perspective. And through this type of practice, you can strengthen your ability to empathize with your audience. 

Ask More Questions 

One of our favorite questions to ask at FocusCopy is simply why?

Why did you start your business?

Why do you offer that service?

And why is success important to you?

Then, we keep asking why. This is because the why behind a need, want, goal, or ambition is so important to understand a person’s perspective. It helps us to empathize with them on a human level, write in their voice and tone, and engage with their audience. 

Practice asking more questions when speaking to friends, family, and colleagues. It will help you improve your relationships and might even inspire you to do something great!

Engage With The People In Your Life 

Introverts like us have got to put our social hats on every once in a while. No matter how cozy we are in our own homes, engaging with the people in our lives is important for so many reasons.

Aside from nurturing relationships, engaging with others helps build empathy. The trick is to listen carefully. 

When you understand what’s going on in other people’s lives, you better understand their challenges. Whether they need moral support or something more tangible, the key to determining their needs is to listen carefully and ask questions. 

Put The Reader First 

This might be a hard pill to swallow, but no one wants to read about you. What they want is to read about what you can do for them. 

You don’t have to totally dismiss your accolades, impressive collaborations, or esteemed colleagues. Their logos, reviews, and other mentions can be used to build credibility. 

However, the goal is to keep your business’s writing focused on the reader, not you. 

Write Conversationally 

Do you write the same way you speak?

If you’re not sure, give it a shot. There are several ways to practice writing conversationally. Here are a few of my favorites.

1. Read what you’ve written out loud. 

Does it sound natural? Would you really engage in an in-person conversation with those words? Or does it sound stuffy, and maybe a little too formal?

2. Try speech-to-text.

Do you ever feel like you know what you want to say, you just can’t write it? Then, try speaking it instead!

Most computers and phones have talk-to-text functions these days. Just hit the button and start talking. Compare your speech-to-text transcription with how you originally typed out the same message. Any glaring differences? Does it read more naturally? 

3. Write like you are talking to a friend. 

You wouldn’t turn a relaxed conversation into a formal business presentation, would you? But you still want to tell your friends about what you’re up to.

Those laid back conversations may be the ticket to writing on a human level. 

FocusCopy Breathes Empathy & Humanity Into Your Copy 

There’s a long list of jargon copywriters keep up with. From SEO and analytics to meta descriptions and content clusters, it’s easy to get caught up in the inner workings of the algorithm. 

However, what’s not ok is to lose the human element in an attempt to hit all the technical marks.

FocusCopy works with women-owned businesses to help them meet their professional goals while maintaining their authentic voice. We do this with continuing education, SEO, and most importantly – staying true to the brand voice.

Want to learn how FocusCopy can elevate your brand’s messaging? Schedule a discovery call with me today!

Focus Your Copy On Conversation & Conversion

Let’s Grab A Virtual Coffee With Us To Discover How To Boost Your Words
5 Benefits Of Content Writing For SEO

5 Benefits Of Content Writing For SEO

In marketing, the term SEO gets thrown around A LOT. But hearing it coming from so many different directions doesn’t necessarily define its importance or why it should matter to you. 

Have no fear, FocusCopy is here to explain the benefits of content writing for SEO!

For starters, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In more basic terms, it’s the strategic process of getting your web pages to rank higher in Google’s search results. 

Are you wondering why Google is the SEO ledger board when other search engines are at play? According to Statista, companies that rank on Google are more likely to get the most business than those who rank on Yahoo or Bing.

When you search a topic in Google, do you sift through the results and choose to read an obscure article on the 8th page? 

Okay, so maybe you do. 

But the majority of audiences click on links closer to the top of the first page. It’s easier and safer to assume those results will be most in line with what you’re searching. 

How Content Writing For SEO Helps Your Business

Wondering if keeping SEO a goal in your content writing is worth it? Here are 5 reasons content writing for SEO helps businesses succeed.

FocusCopy can help your business create the right kind of buzz with successful content marketing strategies. Schedule a time to chat here.

1. Increases Your Google Ranking

Where your business ranks on Google can seriously affect your business. After all, you want your ideal audience to be able to find you, right?

If you’re not ranking high enough in search engine results, then you are severely limiting your brand’s reach. Content writing for SEO can help you seriously increase your rank and visibility to a larger audience.

However, it’s important to remember that content writing for SEO is a science. Successful content writers utilize specific elements to write quality content that positively impacts SEO.

Google’s algorithm uses over 200 factors to rank web pages. However, these factors also tend to change. This means copywriters, content writers, and other marketing professionals are responsible for always keeping up with the latest trends and changes.

To save you hours of valuable time, here are a few things to keep in mind for your content writing:

  • Strategic keyword placement
  • Formatting should include elements like H2 and H3 headings
  • Thoughtful use of the meta description and title tag 
  • Backlinks to your website and other credible sources
  • Legal use of personal or public images

However, the real science lies in utilizing these SEO boosting tools while keeping emotion-provoking content as the central element. More simply, don’t forget there are people on the other side of the screen craving a human connection.

2. Builds Your Brand Awareness & Authority

You believe in your business. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have started it in the first place. Give other people a chance to believe in and support your business, too. 

But to do this, you need to let them know it exists.

Content writing for SEO is a great tool for building your brand awareness. Even better, content writing for SEO can also elevate your brand as an industry leader. With more visibility and higher authority, your audience has more confidence in your business. Otherwise, you risk being just another business in a long line of results.

FocusCopy leverages your brand messaging and credibility to write content that helps your business reach and engage with a larger audience.

3. Keeps Your Audience Engaged

Capturing the attention of your target audience is one thing. But keeping that audience engaged requires an entirely different strategy.

If you consistently publish meaningful content that answers your readers’ questions, they are more likely to return to your website. And after finding value in your website, the likelihood of them converting into paying customers also increases. 

However, too many dead ends after clicking on your links will have your audience saying, “Thank you, next.” 

Don’t let your message fall flat. Instead, learn how content writing for SEO can have your audience giddy to see your latest newsletter, read your latest blog, and more.

Celebrate each stage of engagement as it is a stepping stone in your customer journey. Furthermore, nurture each engaging audience member because you would never want to alienate what could be your biggest lead yet!

Need help strategizing how to engage your audience and boost SEO? Connect with me here and let’s start planning!

4. Boosts Your Business’s Conversion Rates

Different from copywriting, the goal of content writing is to engage your audience with information or entertainment. But it’s important to realize that content writing is an effective tool you can use alongside copywriting. 

For context, the goal of copywriting is to persuade readers to take action. Think of content writing as copywriting’s sneaky sister.

Thoughtful content writing keeps your audience engaged. Meanwhile, the goal of both content and copywriting is to market your business’s offerings. 

All this to say, quality content helps increase your business’s conversion rates. This means you can effectively utilize your content to make more sales and grow your business. 

5. Helps Your Ideal Customers Find You

Word-of-mouth marketing can work in certain situations. But the problem is that it severely limits your brand’s reach. 

For your business to be successful, you need to get out of your social circle. Help all of your ideal customers find you by boosting your web presence. Opening up your brand awareness to a larger audience means higher conversions, sales, and, ultimately, revenue.

As marketing professionals, we’ve seen too many small businesses get caught up in the whirlwind of friend and family support. Some small businesses have even made the choice to scale based on their successful first quarter. But the problem is that you can’t count on your friends and family to be your main source of income. 

Instead, you should hold back on scaling until your business is successful among a broader customer base. 

Build Your Brand’s Credibility With Professional SEO Copywriting Services

FocusCopy is the non-agency copywriting firm that specializes in only writing copy. While marketing firms and agencies stack their plates with a plethora of services, I realized that writing is consistently the most grueling task that knocks other projects off balance and behind schedule.

By offering copywriting services, agencies, firms, small businesses, and entrepreneurs can outsource their writing needs. And this means they can focus on their most important tasks.

Whether you need an SEO-boosting blog, an engaging newsletter, converting website, or anything else copy related – the FocusCopy team is here to help. Schedule some time to learn how FocusCopy can help you meet your marketing goals today.

Focus Your Copy On Conversation & Conversion

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content categories

What Are Content Categories?

Want to publish a diverse amount of valuable content?

Or do you want to make sure that relevant content is published at the right time?

As a business owner, it can feel overwhelming to come up with a content plan. But it doesn’t have to!

In fact, successful marketers create content categories, also known as content buckets, to organize and schedule the right content at the right time.

Everything You Need To Know About Content Categories

Creating a backlog of content is a great way to ensure you always have something to publish, send, or post. This helps to keep your audience engaged. 

Moreover, consistently publishing blogs is a great way to boost your SEO ranking. And here’s the sometimes surprising part…It doesn’t necessarily matter how often you publish, as long as it’s consistent

Choose what schedule you can sustainably do, whether that be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Whatever you choose, simply stick to it. 

However, creating blogs, email newsletters, and social media posts ahead of time can result in a hodge-podge of mixed content. That’s why grouping your content into categories is so helpful. 

For instance, the FocusCopy blog page has a list of tags that describe the various blogs we’ve published. This makes it much easier for our readers to find valuable information quickly rather than sifting through a dozen pages full of blogs.

But this organization starts way before we hit publish. If you’ve been following along, you know we use and love ClickUp. As a versatile task manager, I’m able to create content labels for each of our FocusCopy blogs as I assign them. 

This process allows my copywriters to look through assigned blogs on our editorial calendar and know exactly what category each task falls under. Some of our content categories include:

  • Business
  • Content Marketing
  • Marketing
  • Processes & Procedures
  • Copywriting
  • Lead Generation

With these category labels in place, I’m able to publish blogs easily without reading through the dozens that have been written. Furthermore, this helps to publish blogs in theme with any specific campaigns we’re promoting at the time. 

Want to learn how FocusCopy can build your business’s brand awareness through compelling copy? Find some time to chat here.

How to Create Content Categories For Your Business’s Marketing

When creating tasks in ClickUp, we include the “Category” column. I have the different categories we write about for FocusCopy pre-filled on a drop down menu. This makes it easy to simply select the appropriate category. 

However, being such a versatile task manager, there are several ways to go about this in ClickUp. You can instead opt for tags that appear next to the title of each task. Plus, several other options to view your content categories at a high level. 

Since FocusCopy’s blogs are (mostly) all about copywriting in marketing, our categories branch from our main topic. 

Content Categories Streamline Your Production Calendar

As mentioned above, publishing content consistently is important to keep your audience engaged and to rank higher in Google searches. However, it’s important to remember planning is key to keeping your production calendar on track. 

Need a refresher on creating a system to manage content creation and publication? Check out my previous blog, How To Build An Editorial Calendar With ClickUp That You Can Actually Stick To.

An effective editorial calendar will be your best friend when it comes to publishing your business’s content. However, for it to be successful, make sure to incorporate content categories from the very beginning.

Already have an editorial calendar but missed the content category memo upon construction? That’s okay! Just pencil in some time on your calendar to create your content categories and adjust accordingly. Moving forward, you’ll be able to assign tasks into content categories as they’re created. 

Going through these steps will help streamline your production calendar, save time, and prevent unnecessary stress.

Ready to publish copy that really converts? Get in touch with me here and let’s get to work!

Identify Your Business’s Ideal Content Categories

Now it’s time to make content categories work for you!

First, think about your brand messaging and what it represents. Next, search Google, Reddit, your social media platforms, and other channels to see what exactly your ideal audience is searching for. There are also other helpful websites like DemandJump that will help you choose the best terms and keywords

Knowing what terms your audience searches is important as you define your content categories. Because, in case you haven’t heard me say it before, what you publish needs to be about your audience – not you.

For example, an IT expert may also refer to themselves as a Managed Service Provider (MSP). While the term fits their offerings, a successful marketing campaign would take into account that not all potential customers know the term MSP. 

Keep this in mind when defining your content categories and overall strategy. Because, while many people love an opportunity to learn, even more people will simply move to the next article in their search results if they’re unfamiliar with the terms being used. 

How FocusCopy Utilizes Content Categories

You may not know this about me, but my former mentor and boss unexpectedly passed away several years ago. Because of the aftermath, I make sure my company documents everything. You see, while I have the utmost respect for this person, the order of operations lived in his brain and his brain alone.

Needless to say, content categories are one of FocusCopy’s many standard operating procedures (SOPs). These SOPs are great for several reasons. One being that my team can access specific how-tos in regard to any and every process. The second reason is that if I get hit by a bus (or win the next big lottery and take off to my very own private island), my business can continue without missing a beat.

We utilize content categories to streamline our to-do lists efficiently. For instance, if I want to make sure to publish 3 different types of blogs in one month, I just have to filter through the categories of unpublished blogs. 

By prioritizing planning in our editorial calendar management, I have created a system that saves time and allows me to publish quality copy consistently.

Develop Content Categories & More With The Copywriting Experts

FocusCopy works with small and medium-sized, women-owned businesses to produce concise, focused, and converting copy. Our proven processes allow for timely production schedules so our clients can always count on us to produce quality copy on time. 

Whether you need help with blogging, email campaigns, engaging your audience on social media, building a credible and converting website, or anything else – we’re here and ready to help. We’d love nothing more than to grab a coffee and discuss your business’s copywriting needs. Schedule a time to meet here.

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what are content pillars

What Are Content Pillars? INSIDE: A Content Pillar Strategy For Your Business

Stuck in a content rut?

Trying to figure out how to say what’s on your mind in the right way on the right platforms?

Grouping and organizing your ideas into content pillars is the go-to process successful marketing professionals use.

At FocusCopy, we use content pillars in client projects and our own. It allows us to zero in on a subject matter, splinter across platforms, and provide a one-stop educational stop for readers.

Content Pillar Basics: What Are Content Pillars?

Basically, a content pillar is a single long-form piece of content that you can break down into derivative sections. 

You know all those marketing channels you’re struggling to fill?

You can utilize one large piece of content (the content pillar) and then break it down into smaller (quicker to read) pieces of content. 

By focusing on a single content pillar, you can easily turn the sub-sections into additional blog posts, infographics, email newsletters, social media posts, and more. Moreover, this will help to reach your ideal audience through the different platforms where they linger – essentially helping customers find you!

As an example, do you know what an MSP is?

(Psst…it’s an acronym for Managed Service Provider, another term to define an IT expert you would want to hire for your business.)

While an MSP is extremely helpful in keeping a business’s networks optimized and secure, a content pillar helps to explain the “why” to customers.

So, in this instance, we could write a long-form content pillar blog about MSPs. In this blog, we may include sections such as:

  • What is an MSP?
  • Which tasks do MSPs handle?
  • What questions should I ask a potential MSP?
  • Signs your business needs an MSP
  • Things to look for in an MSP

Now, we have one go-to blog that covers all the details. 

But it gets better!

We can use each of these sections to write an entire short-form blog about that specific topic. Not only does this help answer any questions readers may have, but we get strategic with SEO, too.

Need help devising a content pillar plan? Get in touch to learn how FocusCopy can help you!

How To Efficiently Plan Content

I love a whiteboard moment! ClickUp’s whiteboard integration allows the FocusCopy team to visually brainstorm blog topics. Essentially, we’ll start with the main topic in the middle and branch off. 

To change things up, let’s look at another example. Consider a health and wellness coach who wants to provide quality information on how readers can start living healthier lives. Let’s use “healthy living” as the central topic.

Within the whiteboard, I’ll branch out ideas of healthy living. These ideas may include the following:

  • Meal planning to make healthy eating easier
  • Quick exercises you can do at home
  • Benefits of strength training 
  • How to stick to a bedtime routine
  • Get your circadian rhythm in tune with the sun 
  • Which vegetables are best eaten seasonally

Honestly, my team could go on and on with a list like this! And what’s really cool (yes, this is cool to us!), we can easily branch out of each of those bulleted items above for additional content. All this to say, if you want to write about health and wellness, we are ready!

The idea is to write one long blog about healthy living. This long-form content pillar blog will include all of the items listed above. Then, we’ll write individual shorter blogs focused on each of the specific topics. 

However, the whiteboard isn’t the only tool available to brainstorm. I personally love it because I’m able to create tasks within ClickUp directly from the whiteboard. This allows me to make the most of each moment of my time. Plus, my copywriters can get to work writing away as soon as their tasks are posted to the calendar.

The Benefits Of Content Pillars

Content pillars are more than just a way to utilize a brainstorming session. Here are a few of my favorite benefits of content pillars.

Streamline Content Organization

Figuring out how to organize content can sometimes be the most difficult task. While we have SOPs on SOPs, each client we work with has their own process. They may get their content ideas to us through topic review meetings, a single email with everything provided, or a sequence of attachments, references, and inspiration. 

However, it’s our job as copywriters to bring that information together in a digestible format that our clients’ readers want to read. After all, with so much data at our fingertips, the copy has to be compelling, or readers will quickly move to the next blog.

Streamlining helps us organize the tasks on our end and how we organize the content in everything we write for clients, like blogs, newsletters, website copy, and more. 

No time to brainstorm your content pillars and other copy needs? Reach out to FocusCopy and we’ll get started!

Effectively Provide Information About Your Business’s Offerings

Blogging is a not-so-secret tool that has a load of benefits. However, I’d argue the two most important benefits are:

  • Offering credible information to readers to help them learn more about your business
  • Increase SEO ranking to help your future clients find you on the internet

Consider a business that sells card games. They are cute enough to give as gifts and great to pack for vacations. But could you do more to incentivize readers to make a purchase with blogs that:

  • Talk about the amazing memories made by sitting around a table with an old fashioned deck of cards
  • Explain the rules for more complicated games
  • Game night necessities like a music playlist, a themed cocktail, or a spread of easy-to-eat dips
  • Game night no-go’s like fragile crystal wine glasses and messy meals 

Providing this type of information in blogs gives your readers answers to their most common questions. Plus, it provides inspiration for a fun night with friends and family.

With a content pillar, you can write one long blog with everything your readers need to know about game nights. Then, you can splinter this info into content to engage your audience across all your different channels.

Boost SEO & Help Your Ideal Customers Find You

Marketing is a science. And it’s been proven that organic growth is more sustainable than abrasive in-your-face marketing tactics. That’s why we love SEO missions!

By writing a content pillar blog and more niche follow-up blogs, you put your business in a position to publish consistent material – both in terms of time and remaining true to your brand voice.

Plus, when you backlink your relevant blogs (and other credible sources) to each other, the SEO algorithm likes it. Which gives your brand the SEO boost it needs for a larger audience to find your business and convert into paying customers.

No Time For Content Pillar Brainstorming? Leave It To The Pros

Hearing the phrase “content pillars” may make a copywriter’s ears perk up, but we realize that not everyone feels the same way. And, we understand that, as a business owner, you have your hands full – to say the least.

Rather than dive into the task of writing a content pillar and then splintering it across your channels, hand it over to the experts. At FocusCopy, we take the dreaded task of writing off the heavy shoulders of small business owners.

Together, we can come up with a plan, and then my team will get to work producing quality copy that will help grow your business. Want to chat about content pillars and other copy for your business? Schedule some time to chat with me here.

Focus Your Copy On Conversation & Conversion

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Editorial Calendar With ClickUp

How To Build An Editorial Calendar With ClickUp That You Can Actually Stick To

Do you ever wonder how content creators find the time?

Especially businesses with heavy workloads, they somehow still have quality blogs, social media posts, newsletters, and updated web pages that get lots of traction. 

Want to know the secret behind the folks who always have something to post?

It’s all about the editorial calendar. 

But effectively planning out your editorial calendar can make the difference between publishing quality content and letting your greatest ideas fall through the cracks. 

What Is An Editorial Calendar? 

Essentially, an editorial calendar is a multi-functional calendar creators use to manage content creation and publication.

With the right software, you can schedule campaigns with the themes and tasks included. Plus, you can look at your content to-do list at a high level. But you can also take it to a granular level to input inspiration, references, and data for each small task. 

Have you ever thought about your 5 or 10-year plan, and then worked backward to list the work and milestones required to meet your goals? 

That’s pretty much the gist of an editorial calendar but with your short and long-term marketing goals in mind. 

Need someone to take over the reins of your editorial calendar? Contact us today and start sharing quality, high-converting copy.

Why Create An Editorial Calendar On ClickUp?

Personally, ClickUp is the software that we use. It also helps that it’s very effective at storing ideas, planning content, and getting it published efficiently. 

Plus, ClickUp allows users to view tasks in lists, boards, and in a calendar setting. This means that while planning, I can look at our to-do’s at a high level. Meanwhile, my employees can filter through tasks assigned to them with access to the notes and objectives for each piece.

Process To Build An Editorial Blogging Calendar With ClickUp

One of the best things about ClickUp is its versatility. You can customize it to fit your exact needs. However, this also means that coming at it as a blank slate can be overwhelming. There is an abundance of free tutorials available. But if you want to get straight to creating your editorial calendar, I’ve made it easy with a step-by-step guide. 

1. Do The Prep Work

One thing I’ve learned is you can’t count on inspiration to always hit at the right time. With so many different ongoing projects for my own business and my clients, the prep work is non-negotiable. 

Identify Content Pillars

After research comes the strategic part of the prep work: the content pillars. This is where we identify several topics that will tie into each other. For example, we’ve written several FocusCopy blogs about copywriting – because that’s what we do.  Within these blogs, we include backlinks to our other blogs relating to copywriting. 

If you check out our blog page, you’ll find blogs with topics centered around writing copy, including:

While that’s just a teaser because we have loads more blogs about copywriting, the goal is to answer as many readers’ questions as possible. But how do we know what readers are asking? Research.

Not only does grouping similar topics into content pillars provide value in the form of educating readers, this method also helps to increase our Google ranking. 

For example, FocusCopy’s content pillars are Copywriting, Content Writing, and General Marketing, Systems, and Entrepreneurship. If there is something we are considering, we always run it through our pillars. If it doesn’t fit, it’s thrown out or we rework it to give it a different angle. 

Pro Tip: Do not select more than 3-5 content pillars. The key is to focus. 

Identify Calls To Action

This is where the objective comes into play. Ask yourself, what do you want readers to do? It could be…

  • Subscribe to your newsletter
  • Download a lead magnet
  • Follow your business on social media
  • Schedule a time to grab a coffee and discuss your business goals

You may think that a reader will automatically know to contact you if they are interested in your product or service. However, you are giving readers too much credit. Not because they are lazy or unable to find your contact info on your website, but because we all have fish brains when it comes to searching the web. It’s too easy to close out and go on to the next blog or website if we’re not finding immediate answers to our questions. That’s why we need calls to action to tell readers exactly what steps to take next.

We live in a digital world with more data than we can even begin to comprehend and it’s literally all at our fingertips. According to Portent, “Website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time.”

If the goal of your marketing efforts is to convert readers into paying customers, time is of the essence. You need a quick-loading website and linked calls to action to tell your readers exactly what to do. 

Now that you have your calls to action listed (and understand their importance), it’s on to the next step!

Not sure what calls to action you need to include? FocusCopy can help! Get in touch with us here.

2. Create The List In Your ClickUp

Managing your editorial calendar is simple when it’s all in one place. Create a list and name it “Editorial Calendar”. You’ll be able to track and organize your upcoming blogs at high and granular levels with ease.

Editorial Calendar With ClickUp

It should look something like this when you’ve created it. 

Editorial Calendar With ClickUp

3. Create Fields

Let’s get into the details! This step is all about getting the nitty gritty specific subtasks, data, and labels down. 

Rather than going through this process for each blog topic, create one blog task with all the fields below. You’ll be able to use this as a template to easily duplicate.

We suggest creating the following fields in this order: 

  • Content Pillar using the Dropdown field
  • Call To Action using the Dropdown field
  • Type of Blog using the Dropdown field
  • In Progress using the Website field
  • Published Link using the Website field

If you want to go all out, you can include the following fields: 

  • Author
  • Target Keywords
  • SOP

This is what it looks like inside a given task. 

Editorial Calendar With ClickUp

4. Brain Dump All Your Topics As Tasks

Input all of your topics as separate blog tasks. Over time, you will learn what parts to tweak. But for now, this will be a functional home for your editorial calendar to-do list.

Now that you have your template blog task with the appropriate fields, right-click and select “duplicate”. ClickUp will prompt you to adjust the name and what elements to copy over. If you’re using an open blog template (not a completed task), then I suggest simply changing the name and including all fields. 

You can also create a template inside of ClickUp so there’s no need for duplicating. 

5. Fill Out As Much Information In The Fields

After you input blog topics as tasks, it’s time to fill out those fields. This is much easier with the dropdown fields mentioned above.

The great thing about ClickUp is you don’t have to cover all the details. So if there’s something you’re unsure about – like the due date or which employee to assign to said task, just leave it blank for now. 

However, it’s best to fill out as much information as possible at this point. Go through the bullet points above under “Create Fields” and watch your editorial calendar come to life!

But remember, if you’re unsure about something, don’t let it create a bottleneck in your workflow. Simply move on and fill out what you can. Make sure to schedule time in your calendar to go back to complete these fields. Sometimes making appointments with yourself is necessary to make sure everything gets done!

6. Schedule Your Blogs

While it would be great to complete all tasks as they are created, that may be edging on wishful thinking. To ensure that nothing falls through the cracks, it’s time to schedule the blogs with due dates.

But it’s not just the final due date. Instead, schedule dates to start and complete each subtask. For instance, say you want to publish a Halloween-themed blog on October 31st. To ensure that you or your employees have enough time to make the deadline, schedule the outlining portion of the blog for 3 weeks ahead of time. Then, schedule the drafting to take place over a couple of days, 2 weeks ahead of time. Next, you’ll want to make sure to schedule the process of checking SEO, editing, addressing edits, finalizing, and finally…publishing!

With enough lead time, and a little cushion (can’t forget about clients!), you’ll be able to post your spooky Halloween post with timely relevance to the holiday season. 

Bonus Tips

As I said before, ClickUp has a ton of features! So many, in fact, I can’t imagine one business needing to utilize every single one. But that also makes ClickUp a versatile tool that can be used throughout many industries. Here are some additional tips to help expand your ClickUp experience.

Use “Whiteboard” To Generate Content Ideas

More of a visual brainstormer? Me, too!

What’s cool here is you can create tasks directly out of Whiteboard. This means that you can arrange your pillar content and branch off into more niche topics from a high level. Being able to create tasks this way takes collaboration and creating your editorial calendar to a whole new level!

Editorial Calendar With ClickUp

Look Via “Schedule” To View It On Calendar View

Need to get a view of your overall calendar?

Again, ClickUp’s versatility comes in clutch. Select the calendar view to see how all your tasks appear over the course of a week, month, or year. You can filter down the dates for your exact needs.

Want To Skip The How-To & Publish Quality Blogs For Your Business?

You can always skip the tutorials and go straight to the experts. At FocusCopy, we work with small female-owned businesses to produce high-converting copy.

And the best part? While we do what we do best (writing copy), you can focus on running your business. You can confidently get through your to-do list knowing that quality copy is on its way to boost your brand’s reputation, SEO, and overall growth.

Want to learn more about how FocusCopy can position your business for success? Reach out and let’s start the conversation.

Focus Your Copy On Conversation & Conversion

Let’s Grab A Virtual Coffee With Us To Discover How To Boost Your Words
content anxiety

Have Content Anxiety? Here’s How To Avoid It Next Time You Go To Create & Publish With Confidence

Does anyone else remember feeling content anxiety before turning in a big test? Especially if you’re a perfectionist, the thought of getting a B when you know you deserve an A likely drove you crazy during your academic years. 

Of course, we all know that one friend who swore they failed at everything they ever did, only to come out on top every time. The reality is that this friend of ours probably has content anxiety, too.

I assumed as I got older and moved into my career, that level of anxiety and stress would fade. Yet, I used to sit at my desk every day wondering if what I’ve written was enough, whether I should reword it, or read through it again and make only small changes.

The problem with this process is that I continue “holding” off on publishing content until it’s just right – only for it to never be published at all. Yep! My content anxiety and I worked together to hold my business back because I didn’t exactly know how to let go. But I do now, which is why I’m giving you my personal tips to combat content anxiety before hitting Publish.

Has it been too long since you’ve published relevant content for your business? We’re here to help.

What Is Content Anxiety?

Content anxiety isn’t only feelings of anxiousness, worry, or nervousness. It also appears as writer’s block that occurs often and for no apparent reason. To clarify, no one knows your business better than you do. But when you sit down to write a social media post, blog, or any other type of content, you suddenly feel like there are no words for what you have to say. Your thoughts may sound like…

I have nothing. Even if I did, it wouldn’t sound right.

I suck at writing, I can’t do this.

I hate writing. I’m not even good at it!

Then, there is post-writing content anxiety. You finally have the words down, but something doesn’t feel right. Those thoughts might be…

This doesn’t sound right.

Why can’t I think of what I’m trying to say? This is ridiculous!

I’ll go back and make some changes later when I have time.

However, we’ve addressed why this doesn’t work out. You hold on to everything for too long until it’s no longer relevant or information changes. This means you need to do a complete rewrite to get it back in your production line.

Phew…is anyone else tired just reading this? You’re not alone.

Check out related content for easing anxiety during content production.

Why Do People Get Content Anxiety?

There are a few reasons you may be suffering from content anxiety…

1. The Blank Page

Looking at a blank page can be intimidating. So many things running through your mind can make you feel pessimistic about writing before you even start! But it helps if, instead of writing from scratch, you outline your thoughts and organize them in a way that makes sense. Take each section at a time and fill in the blanks.

2. Afraid Of Errors

The best thing about technology is that there are numerous tools you can use to ensure your writing is error-free. Applications like Grammarly, ProWritingAid, and Wordtune will check spelling, grammar, and readability. Often, these apps have a free version you can use to take care of the most common writing errors for you.

Keep in mind, these softwares are not perfect. Review each suggestion they are making to ensure it makes sense. 

3. Self-Conscious About Writing

If you’re not completely confident in your writing, the fear of judgment may take over. This alone prevents you from getting the job done. But the thing about your writing is that you are often your own worst critic. The best thing you can do is keep in mind that you’re an industry expert and leader, and you know what you’re talking about. Also, you can always have someone on your team review your work so you can fix anything you need to before you publish it.

4. Crunched For Time

As the clock ticks away, you can feel yourself getting more anxious while staring at the three words you’ve written since you started 15 minutes ago. Instead of thinking about the time you don’t have, think about the time you do have. Whether it’s an hour or 25 minutes, use it as best you can to get your ideas down on the page – even if it’s not perfect.

How To Avoid Content Anxiety Like The Plague

You know what they say…Practice makes perfect. This is a little like that. But here’s how we confidently publish without a hint of anxiety. 

Find The Root Of Your Anxiety

It’s important to assess what’s going on in your head that gives you content anxiety. Is it your perfectionism? Your control freak tendencies? Your fear of people judging you? Or not feeling like you’re on par with your competitors (even if they are lightyears ahead of you)?

I’ve raised my hand to all of these questions before. It’s a tough space to be in, but knowing what’s going on is important, so you know how to deal with it. 

Write Down What You Observe

The best way to gather content ideas is to sit and observe. Talk to your target audience and listen to what they care about most. Remember, the content you’re writing isn’t for you. It’s for your customers. Jot down notes about their experiences throughout the buying process, and you’re bound to come up with one or many ideas to discuss.

One of my personal best examples of this? Welcome to the Hooter Meter. Yes, as in the restaurant chain across the U.S. known for its wings, beer, and…buxom waitstaff.

Years ago, I worked on an article with another professional discussing the ability to judge the economy based on how well the local Hooters is holding up. The Hooters observed was slow at the time as gas prices reached a 17-year low, and waitstaff hula hooped outside to drum up some business. Since their normal oil and gas customers were being laid off and cutting back on eating out, they needed new marketing tactics to get paying customers in the door. It was an observation we didn’t expect to make, but we’re glad we did!

Ask Yourself…Does My Customer Care About Your Topic?

Before you spend a ton of time writing content you can’t use, ask yourself if your customers care about what you’re covering. If it isn’t a part of their customer journey, skip it. The point of creating relevant content is that it’s relevant to your customers, not yourself. Make sure it matters before deciding to move forward.

Focus On Whether You Can Add Value To Your Target Customer With Your Content

I often ask my writers…What’s your angle?

What I’m really asking is that whatever content you create has a:

  • Point
  • Potential solution
  • Call to action reflecting that solution

Content that hits these three goals is much more likely to produce the results you’re looking for. Remember, your writing shouldn’t cater to you and your needs as a business owner. It should speak to your target audience by relating to their pain points, emphasizing their problem, and offering your services as a solution that saves them time and money. 

If the benefit isn’t saving them time or money, explaining how other benefits will be worth the purchase or conversation is essential. If your goal is to ease up on “sales speak,” keep them engaged by offering educational or other helpful materials within your content.

Unsure where you stand regarding your company’s messaging? We will help you figure it out.

Never Publish In The Same Day

Deadlines are critical to most small businesses. But you don’t want to compromise the quality of your content by rushing through your review process just to hit Publish

Even if you promised yourself to get through everything and make meticulous edits by 4pm but it’s now 9pm, save it for tomorrow. You’ll be fresh, energized, and able to use more of your time carefully editing and reviewing whatever is in front of you. 

Publishing content that is “right” the first time certainly saves you from having to go back and edit again, rewrite sections, and repost it for everyone to see. Rushing might make your deadline work, but it will take away from the quality of your message. 

Adopt A Mindset Of…Perfection Will Never Exist, But It’s Better In The World Than In My Head

Perfectionists…type A personalities…and (sometimes) nit-pickers. There is nothing wrong with you if you claim these personality traits as your own. These qualities are often needed to become a successful business owner. And I will be the first person to raise my hand to claim these. 

However, perfectionists are also notorious for falling behind on executing personal projects. This makes it hard to feel confident about your content before putting it out into the world. But a ton of unpublished content waiting to be “perfect” before it’s published only takes up space on your computer. It doesn’t do you any good otherwise.

Let go – post your content after proofing for any glaring errors and breathe. You will be just fine, and what you have to say is still valuable. Perfection doesn’t exist, so it’s okay to let go.

Skip Out On Unnecessary Content Anxiety & Outsource Copywriting For Your Small Business

After years of establishing our processes and workflow, we help business owners like yourself relax regarding content copy. Our experienced copywriting experts handle it all, from long-term campaigns to one-time projects!

If you’re someone who struggles with letting go of imperfect copy or delegating to others, we will help! Our services are also for those who can’t find the right words to express themselves or for those who simply have no time to write.

Reach out and let the copywriting team at FocusCopy think about your content, so you don’t have to.

Focus Your Copy On Conversation & Conversion

Let’s Grab A Virtual Coffee With Us To Discover How To Boost Your Words
what is copywriting

What Is Copywriting?

Did you get through all of Mad Men and still wonder, what do they mean by copy?

We get this question a lot. Honestly, at some point in every copywriter’s past, they also wondered, what exactly is copywriting?

For those of us who have turned it into a fulfilling career, copywriting is in its most basic form writing persuasive and converting copy. But it’s not that simple.

Between understanding what consumers want, Google algorithms, and getting the message across in a way that’s consistent with the brand voice – it’s a science. Furthermore, it requires constant attention to industry standards, research, and fortitude to guide clients to the right messaging for their businesses. 

The Definition Of Copywriting

A quick glimpse into your inbox and physical mailbox will give you several examples of copywriting. From neighborhood civic association underwriter letters to a yoga studio’s emails offering a free first class, copy is everywhere. 

To define it at a high level, copywriting is the act of writing persuasive and promotional marketing materials. Moreover, copywriting’s goal is to motivate readers to take some form of action. This includes calls to action like: make a purchase, click on a link, make a donation, or schedule a discovery call.

Need a copywriter in your life to ensure your website, newsletters, blogs, email marketing, and print materials are working for your business? Reach out and find out how we can take the stress of writing off your plate with effective converting copy.

Copyright Vs Copywriting 

Due to them being homophones, copyright is often confused with copywriting. But it’s important to realize they are two different things.

Copyright is a legal term that protects original works of intellectual property. Whereas copywriting is a marketing tool used to convert readers into paying customers. 

To put it in pop culture terms, have you ever been listening to the radio and realized a song sounds awfully familiar to you? There’s a good chance this new-to-you song is sampled from an old favorite. It happens a lot and isn’t a huge issue. Unless, of course, this up and coming musician didn’t get permission to use said sample. Then, there would be a copyright issue. 

The same can be said for website designs, works of fine art, literature, movie scripts, and more.

Copywriting can also risk copyright infringement if protected words or phrases are used. Furthermore, copywriters can certainly write about copyright law. But the two are entirely different terms from two different industries.

Top 5 Questions About Copywriting 

We get a lot of questions about copywriting. Here are the most common:

  • Who writes copy? 
  • What does a copywriter do?
  • Who needs copywriting? 
  • What’s the difference between a copywriter and a content writer? 
  • What’s the purpose of copy? 

1. Who Writes Copy? 

A copywriter. 

While there isn’t a certification requirement to call oneself a copywriter, there are more than a few qualities that define a quality copywriter. A successful copywriter will write in your voice, relate to your audience, and will help your business organically grow in recognition and profitability.

2. What Does A Copywriter Do? 

The first stage in writing copy is getting to know the client. Then, we must get to know their target market. It’s more than saying, I think women between the ages of 20 and 30 would like this product

For instance, let’s look at a female entrepreneur who has created a course to help female business owners grow their businesses. We get to know the client, the tone they want to convey, their favorite phrases, their no-go words or phrases, and so much more. This is how we define the client’s brand voice

Their target market identifies as female business owners ready to scale their business, but don’t have an effective plan in place.

The target audience may feel overwhelmed in what feels like a man’s world. They know their product and service inside and out. But they don’t have the knowledge or confidence to take the next step. However, taking that next step prematurely could severely damage their business. These are all examples of the target market’s pain points. 

Once we dial in the client and their target market, we define the objective. Do we want them to schedule a discovery call? Download a lead magnet? Sign up for a class?

Then, we take everything we’ve learned through mindful research and start typing away. We strategically write copy that:

  • Help the target audience find their business
  • Increase the business’s Google ranking
  • Address the target audience’s needs and wants 
  • Effectively communicate how your brand is the solution they need in their lives
  • Build credibility to show the readers they can trust the business

Plus, we have stringent processes to ensure top quality every time. 

3. Who Needs Copywriting? 

Any person, business, or organization that wants to reach a larger audience and turn readers into paying customers or donors needs a copywriter.

Many times, business owners (especially new ones) try to take on more tasks than they can handle. What’s worse is when business owners attempt to become experts in fields that are out of their wheelhouse. As I’ve seen with so many companies, this leads to legal, financial, and marketing blunders!

For instance, unless you’re a doctor, you shouldn’t give medical advice. The same goes for those without law degrees giving legal advice. Not only would the research take up all the time you should be dedicating to your business, you still won’t become an expert. And if you’ve been handling all your business’s finances and taxes solo, you’re likely missing out on huge tax breaks and receiving unfortunate letters from the IRS. 

DIYing your marketing and copywriting won’t land you in the same hot water as spewing legal advice, but it can severely affect your business. Because unless you’re ready to dedicate ALL of your time to learning the tricks of the trade, your copy won’t be nearly as effective as your business deserves. 

Did you know that poor quality copy can actually turn off potential customers? Yep. And what about the new customers you need to help your business really grow? 

Without a steadfast plan and the know-how, your marketing can easily fall flat. That’s why business owners like you hire copywriters like us. Plus, your time is a lot more effective when you do what you do best. 

4. What’s the Difference Between A Copywriter And A Content Writer? 

This is one of those tricky vs maybe not-so-tricky concepts. Essentially, a content writer provides information. And a copywriter writes persuasive and converting copy to make sales. 

However, content writing is a form of copywriting. Because while the goal of the content may be informative, you can still include persuasive language and calls to action to encourage readers to take action.

For example, content writing can include informational pages on a website. This can include blog posts, product/service pages, landing pages, and more. But with each of these formats, sly plugs to contact the business for more information have them teetering on the edge of content and copy.

Want to learn more about how content and copy can help your business gain the traction it needs? Schedule a discovery call today! (See what I did there?)

5. What’s The Purpose Of Copy? 

The goal, purpose, and objective of copy is to encourage your readers to take action. And, in turn, help your business grow.

Moreover, we reach a business’s target audience and encourage them to take action that will convert them from readers into paying customers. Because, as many business owners can tell you, simply sharing the product or service you offer isn’t always enough to make sales.

Instead, us copywriters dive deep into the why?

Why does this product or service matter?

Why would a consumer or fellow business purchase your product or service?

Why is your product or service the solution your target market has been searching for?

And then we ask why again. And again. And again.

This process allows us to empathize, sympathize, and relate to your readers on a personal level. And this is how copy can effectively make the difference between a struggling business and a thriving business. 

Looking For Your Next Copywriter?

If you’re looking for your next copywriter, you need to know what to look for. A professional with experience in your industry, with proven processes, good reviews, and overall reliability. 

But you don’t have to look very far, because FocusCopy is the solution you need. With nearly 100 clients under our belt in every industry you can imagine, we’ve got the experience and know-how your marketing needs.

Ready to grab a coffee and talk copy? Reach out today to schedule a discovery call and let’s chat business.

Focus Your Copy On Conversation & Conversion

Let’s Grab A Virtual Coffee With Us To Discover How To Boost Your Words