After all, if you don’t really understand the product and why it’s so good, what makes you think you can write compelling copy for others to read? In advertising, they stress that you need to sell benefits, not features. Features are what the product has, but benefits are what the product will do for you. In other words, sell the sizzle, not the steak.


Have you ever heard the phrase, “Sell a good night’s sleep, not the mattress”? Think about all of the mattress commercials and advertisements you’ve seen before. Do they lead with coil count or insulation padding details? Nah. They sell you on how comfortable the mattress is, how well you’ll sleep on it, and how much more productive and enjoyable your days will be when you are well-rested. They want you to positively frame their product, envision yourself using it, and negate any potential concerns you may have.
I noticed that they have a 8 1/2 by 11′ paper printed and taped on 10 different locations inside and outside the gym that read “$0 down” in plain text. I felt that this was such a waste because it assumes that people’s numbers one incentive for going to the gym would be that it’s “affordable”. I talked with my personal trainer manager and told him that they should put pictures of testimonials (before and after pictures), as well as other messages like “finally get that beach body you’ve always wanted”, “don’t wait until January 1st to start living a healthy life. Request a free consultation at the front desk”. The manager told me new members were attracted by the testimonials on the Mirrors and the messages. He even offered me a job (but I turned it down of course. They won’t let me work in my pajamas)
You run an accounting firm that specializes in tax preparation, and business was lagging this year. You want to do better next year, so you start a blog on your website and publish posts about some of the common tax-related issues your target customer faces. You write a few posts a week, and eventually those blog posts start to rank in Google and other search engines.

Take it from someone who writes for a living: Just start writing. Your first idea is probably not going to be a winner, and that’s why you should get it out of the way as soon as possible. Write out all of the ideas you have for your copy, no matter how silly– you may be surprised at what gems come out of a brainstorming session where you don’t edit or criticize your creativity.
Today, 41% of B2B marketers focus on content tied to the buying journey of a customer, yet many businesses fail to produce personalized content dedicated to each stage of the buying cycle. Personalized messaging doesn’t just mean targeting by demographic or filmographic criteria, it means proactively producing content that is suitable for each stage of the buyer’s journey. Eighty-five percent of consumers trust solutions that take the time to walk them through various paths toward decisions rather than just attempting to make that choice for them. This type of content shows consumers that you acknowledge and value their ability to evaluate and make decisions for themselves. 
With the pace of social media and the frequency of blogging, not to mention that many of your content assets will be used across multiple campaigns and teams, a lightweight project management tool is critical. I recommend using a free software called Trello, which helps you organize your content, set deadlines, attach files, and collaborate with multiple teammates. Another great tool for keeping content projects organized from planning to publishing is Zerys -- a content marketing tool with a built-in marketplace of professional writers. 

Copywriting is persuasive writing, also known as sales in print, or what I like to call closing in print. Every single day, copywriters prove that written words can influence people to take a particular action, such as buying a product or service after reading the copy. The written content – the ‘copy’ – is persuasive and meant to compel the reader to take action.
Very nice article. I’ve been writing and traveling the world, full-time now, for three years. I can’t think of an easier way to make money than writing. No costly inventory, no expensive website, and little investment needed. When I started all I had was a gmail address, and a small portfolio. I would cold contact 10-15 websites a day offering my services. Three years later I’m farming out the small jobs, and still have repeat business from when I first started. It’s a great way to live.
I’m pretty much a stickler for the hand copy idea, as I have been through copyhour not once but twice! I reckon I have copied over 140 letters by hand (yes, it hurts) The strange thing is that I find that actually trying to write my own copy has been a better exercise than copying others. I’ll keep doing the hand copy though because it forces you to read successful copy s-l-o-w-l-y and take it all in.
At this stage of growth, it's also time to assign dedicated leadership to your content marketing team -- unless you want two dozen people reporting to the CMO. Many organizations hire a Director of Content, VP of Content, Chief Content Officer, or Editor-in-Chief to lead the entire content marketing team. This individual sets the vision for the team, secures budget, hires the right talent, contributes content ideas, solves for growth, and helps coordinate with other leaders across the marketing organization so content marketing doesn't become too siloed.
I personally prefer things simple, so I think of content marketing technology solutions in terms of "need it" or "nice to have." Nice-to-have technologies are things like competitive intelligence tools, market research tools, or software that clues you in to real-time trends. Experiment with these on a rolling basis -- most will offer a free trial so you can validate it. But first, make sure you're set up with the core technologies every content marketing team needs.
My big mistake was quoting based on hours at first — because I’m really fast, I’d quote a ridiculously low rate. Now I quote based on the value of what people will get. Because I’ve been in online business for about 6 years, I bring a ton of experience and strategy as well as a way with words. :) They’re happy, I’m happy, and my old “friends” now have to stand in line to book me. Bwahahahah!
At this stage, the work of the one or two content marketers on your team remains about the same as it does with a team of one -- content creation, SEO, and social media. Even if you decide to dedicate two hires to content marketing as Volpe suggests, to bifurcate responsibilities between those two employees is premature. Both employees should contribute to all three responsibilities, and leadership of the content marketing program is shared between those employees.

Predictably, blog posts are typically written by the bloggers. However, if your team is large enough to have someone dedicated to creating gated assets and premium content -- things like ebooks and tools -- they should also write blog posts to help promote those assets. SEO specialists will also work closely with bloggers, as blog posts are often a company's best opportunity to improve organic search rankings. As such, bloggers should be writing posts that help improve the site's SEO, and drive organic traffic and leads. Their editorial should be informed by keyword research, and optimized for SEO.
At HubSpot, we use ... well, we use HubSpot at HubSpot. It comes with a Content Management System (CMS), which allows you to create and publish content quickly in a format that's web-friendly. Whether you use HubSpot or another CMS, you need some CMS so your content marketing team can easily set up a blog, add blog posts, and add website pages without having to get help from IT or developers.
This may sound like preying on the selfishness of your prospects—because it is. Without inadvertently sounding like a grumpy old man yelling at kids to get off my lawn, we live in an increasingly selfish society in which many people exhibit a blatant sense of entitlement. As unpleasant as this can be, it can prove a valuable opportunity for advertisers savvy enough to take advantage of it.

It then started off as working in a full-time job as a Technical Author, in the UK (this was 1997). I then went freelance in 1999 , and found a forte in designing Word templates and documents for clients. They also adopted all my processes and procedures in place of their own – great start, right? BUt that was then, back in the steady world of freelancing and commuting. Now though, with the Internet-shift, it’s even better; but, the challenges – though different – still exist.
Usually, businesses don't completely cease all other marketing activities and switch to content marketing cold turkey. In fact, most veteran content marketing programs typically incorporate other marketing techniques to complement their content initiatives. But the impetus for most of the companies I've worked with to initiate a content marketing program has been the need for a more cost-effective, predictable, and scalable source of traffic and leads than what they've been receiving from their current marketing programs.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Sell a good night’s sleep, not the mattress”? Think about all of the mattress commercials and advertisements you’ve seen before. Do they lead with coil count or insulation padding details? Nah. They sell you on how comfortable the mattress is, how well you’ll sleep on it, and how much more productive and enjoyable your days will be when you are well-rested. They want you to positively frame their product, envision yourself using it, and negate any potential concerns you may have.

It then started off as working in a full-time job as a Technical Author, in the UK (this was 1997). I then went freelance in 1999 , and found a forte in designing Word templates and documents for clients. They also adopted all my processes and procedures in place of their own – great start, right? BUt that was then, back in the steady world of freelancing and commuting. Now though, with the Internet-shift, it’s even better; but, the challenges – though different – still exist.


Take it from someone who writes for a living: Just start writing. Your first idea is probably not going to be a winner, and that’s why you should get it out of the way as soon as possible. Write out all of the ideas you have for your copy, no matter how silly– you may be surprised at what gems come out of a brainstorming session where you don’t edit or criticize your creativity.
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