Read Joe Pulizzi's excellent book Epic Content Marketing. I started reading it after I wrote this post and it confirmed and expanded what I already knew about content marketing, with much more detail than I could ever go into here. Something Pulizzi emphasizes which I originally left out was the importance of focusing on producing mobile-friendly content, since smartphones are becoming the dominant way in which most of our customers access content. Also read Michael Hyatt's Platform, mentioned above. Frequent websites like those of Content Marketing Institute, Ragan, Copyblogger, Michael Hyatt, and Gary Vaynerchuk and sign up for their email newsletters. It won't take you long to become not just familiar with content marketing, but an expert.

When tax season rolls around and people are Googling answers to their tax preparation questions, they stumble upon your blog posts, and realize you offer tax preparation services. Some of them keep doing their own tax preparation, but perhaps keep you in mind for next year; others throw their hands up in the air, decide to rid themselves of tax preparation headaches for good, and hire you -- because you're clearly way more qualified to do this than they are.


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.
Part of transitioning to a media publishing mindset requires a change in structure and process to create content at the speed of culture. The old model you see on shows like Mad Men is too slow and cumbersome. By the time an idea becomes an ad, it is out of date. Marketers are increasingly co-locating insights, creative, production, legal approval, and placement to increase interaction and speed in producing and distributing content. Marketing content production is transforming from an advertising agency model to a newsroom model.[23]
It is common for an advertising copywriter to specialize within a particular industry or medium. Many Internet copywriters provide freelance services to different companies and websites, creating banner ads and short articles that are placed on other online sites. An advertising copywriter may focus on creating material for printed publications, such as magazines, newspapers, signs, banners, and billboards. Finally, some advertising copywriters specialize in creating scripts and scenes for television commercials, radio spots, and movie trailers.
Obviously there are dozens of very large companies offering home insurance, and so differentiating yourself in this particular market could be pretty tricky. However, EverQuote has done a pretty good job of making this ad compelling. Note that the very first copy in the headline—a price—is “$97," which helps overcome prospects’ fear of being gouged for insurance.
I got my first client from a freelancing site in the Netherlands. It’s something like Upwork – I tried that too – but here, clients are actually willing to pay you good money. So I received 100 euro for some creative web copy around 600 words. And actually I think I could have charged more. The client said it was a decent price. Maybe I could have charged double!
Thanks for the advice. I have gone though the templates and done what you suggested and joined groups relevant to the area I want to service. However I have now been blocked by Facebook for two weeks and I am not sure why. I was just joining as many groups as possible. Is there a limit to how many I can join at one time? Everywhere I turn I am hitting brick walls.
Go back and read the content marketing definition one more time, but this time remove the relevant and valuable. That’s the difference between content marketing and the other informational garbage you get from companies trying to sell you “stuff.” Companies send us information all the time – it’s just that most of the time it’s not very relevant or valuable (can you say spam?). That’s what makes content marketing so intriguing in today’s environment of thousands of marketing messages per person per day.

Step 2: Understand their buyer’s journey. A buying journey maps a buyer’s decision-making process during a purchase and will help you determine what content you need. Different kinds of content appeal to different buyers in different stages of their journey. By mapping your buying stages, you’ll better understand the process buyers go through when considering your product or service. As a result, you’ll be able to develop a content strategy that speaks directly to buyers,  no matter what stage they’re in.
In order for advertising copy to be successful, it must work well with the visual portion of the campaign. Copywriters need a working knowledge of the product, including its strengths and weaknesses, in order to most effectively write copy for a campaign. This also includes using knowledge of consumer behavior and market segmentation to properly target the advertising copy to a specific audience.
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 was 15 when started blogging about politics and education, then at college I started to write essay per week + two reflections (300words each)/week,. Then I gradually became obsessed about copywriting, mainly thanks to you Neville (I honestly have no idea how have I discovered you), then I got to list building , and every other possible online marketing thing.

Great post! In case it hasn’t been pointed out though, AdWords headlines are limited to 25 characters, so your example rewrites wouldn’t fit. This is a really great exercise to do with a character counting tool – fitting everything into so few characters is a real challenge, especially when you sometimes have to include specific keywords that are super long. An added level of complexity are the two 35 character long description lines. If the first line ends in a “.” or “?”, it can be added to the end of the title after a dash (provided the ad isn’t on the sidebar where horizontal space is limited). The second line on the other hand can be dropped entirely on mobile, so anything crucial has to be headline or description 1. A real copy puzzle!

Hi Neville, I’ve been poking around on your website for the last hour or so… great stuff, and I’ve been doing this (writing copy) for nigh on 25 years. I’d like to republish one of your articles in my weekly copywriting e-letter, the Copywriter’s Roundtable (link above, along with my email). I’ll look around for your contact info, but in case I don’t find it… how can we get in touch?

I got my first client from a freelancing site in the Netherlands. It’s something like Upwork – I tried that too – but here, clients are actually willing to pay you good money. So I received 100 euro for some creative web copy around 600 words. And actually I think I could have charged more. The client said it was a decent price. Maybe I could have charged double!
I have just started a business writing resumés and job applications and doing interview coaching. I got my first client through a friend at work who is also my hairdresser. I helped her with some job applications and she recommended me to a customer (cut, foils, blow dry!) who paid me $200 to write responses to selection criteria for a government job. It took me ages to do this but I learned a lot and it gave me the confidence to keep going.
I guess I’ve never had a real gig yet… I’ve written website content for clients many, many times. I’ve also had gigs writing SEO content. But I’ve never really truly had a copywriting gig yet. Thanks for this article. To be honest, I’ve only buzzed through it quickly just now (#MeWantsTShirt), but it actually looks really good and I plan to re-read it carefully, following all the helpful links (especially the ones on the copywriting resources… I really want to be good, no… GOODER, at the art of written persuasion), and bookmarking it. (By the way, offering a paid service to rewrite websites is brilliant. I’ve offered to review and improve websites from a CRO perspective… but I never thought of offering a “better copy” only approach. Nice!

Copywriting is designed to sell. Copywriting is closing in print. This type of writing can convert a prospect into a customer. Like I said, it’s more about street smarts, modern thinking, and the skill of simplifying and shortening the key message. That’s why your copywriting clients won’t care if you have a degree in English or journalism. They’ll only care that you possess the raw talent to sell in print. Your clients only care that your writing can sell. Can your writing produce results? That’s what matters.
Videos. Gary Vaynerchuk is a master of content marketing using online video, just take a look at his YouTube channel. He got his start creating videos to promote his family’s wine store and through those videos and other online marketing he eventually grew it to a $45M empire. Videos and podcasts are a largely untapped form of content marketing because people think it’s expensive and hard. But with the falling cost of professional grade equipment creating high quality video and audio content is easier than ever. Amateur video content marketing has been used to sell blenders, launch new dental products, and market Hong Kong visa consulting services. What video could you throw together for your company that might change your fortunes overnight? It might be easier than you think.
In theory, this should be a great ad because it mentions upfront—in the very first few characters of the headline—how cheap these custom-printed shirts can be. However, this can also raise more questions than it answers. For example, these shirts might be very affordable, but how good can they be for less than $2 per shirt? As a hypothetical prospect, I’m already questioning the quality of the product before I’ve even clicked through, which isn’t the desired effect.

Throughout this training the instructor Ian Lurie will show you how to write copy that conveys your story and sells your product. Explore the different types of copywriting, benefits of drafting on paper, going over the general rules and optimize the content based on the outlet and platform. The lectures are accompanied by exercises and quizzes that let you get hands-on.
Great stuff Neville! I love what you’ve posted here; I have been searching for information on freelance and copywriting for some time now. Everyone has done an awesome job posting on your site, it only motivates me to keep going. I’m aware of some of the obstacles and aware there will be more for me to cross, but its sites like this that encourage beginners, such as myself, to dive right into the writing world. You pointed out key points: “just start writing”, join groups that are already writing, and read material pertaining to writing. I only did one of the 3, read about copywriting, lol, I know what your thinking, “this guy must have JUST started”, yes, and thankfully, your site has opened a new portal for me. I’ll join a writing group or some writing groups after this post, and I’m taken your advice today by just start writing on your site. I know its a long way up the latter, but I’m determined to use my skills that has been repressed for sometime now. I actually have a great paying job, but, like most writers, I want more time for me; I spend entirely to much time doing someone else work making them rich, when I can use my own skills to make a decent living and have fun while doing it, its a no brainer for me now. Although, I know it will take dedication and consistency, which I know I have, I’m eager and filled with writer passion. Again, thanks to everyone and good luck to all, including myself. “Here we go”!
It is common for an advertising copywriter to specialize within a particular industry or medium. Many Internet copywriters provide freelance services to different companies and websites, creating banner ads and short articles that are placed on other online sites. An advertising copywriter may focus on creating material for printed publications, such as magazines, newspapers, signs, banners, and billboards. Finally, some advertising copywriters specialize in creating scripts and scenes for television commercials, radio spots, and movie trailers.

And to think I was trying to make my first $10,000 by this summer. Reality check. I just finished reading your suggested books by Halbert & Sugarman in 3 days. No long story here but on my blog this month, I will be thanking you and noting Sugarman’s advice. Just get ’em to read the first line of your copy. I am AWAI trained & needed to see what else was out there in the universe. I will follow you on facebook…….


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.
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!
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