Articles not Adwords: 5 reasons to invest in your blog

Over the last year, we’ve experimented with a combination of Google Adwords and regular blogs to promote Red Robot Media. Despite the obvious benefits of pay-per-click marketing, we’ve found that investing time in our own blog has been far more beneficial in terms of attracting new customers. It seems that many of our clients are also trimming down their Adwords or PPC spend, ploughing the money into blogs instead.

We’re always happy to take on the work, of course – the more web content writing assignments the better, as far as we’re concerned! But here are a few reasons why our clients often prefer to hire article writers rather than increasing their PPC spend.

Hiring an article writer is quick and easy

If you’ve spent money on Adwords, chances are you spent more time and money than you intended to spend at first. Adwords is a complex platform, and to get your ads running efficiently, you’ll either need a lot of knowledge upfront or a helping hand from a professional Adwords manager. As your campaign matures, some experts say you should spend a minimum of 15 minutes each day checking statistics, fiddling with keywords and changing your bids. It can be easy to spend anything up to an hour a day on this, especially in the early days when you’re split testing and trying out keywords.

When you hire a freelance writer like me, you need to give me a few ideas, perhaps some keywords, and a rough idea of the word count for each post. That’s it. Once the project is set up, you can influence the theme of your blog on a daily or weekly basis, or you can leave the whole thing to your article writer.

Regular blog posts are an investment

I’ve already mentioned that Adwords needs to be monitored on a daily basis, but once your campaign is up and running, you may well find that you hit your stride quickly. Of course, you may also find that your Quality Score drops like a stone, sending your costs through the roof and leaving you struggling to bring your daily spend back under control.

A blog is stable. You know what it will cost, and you can control that cost by increasing or decreasing the number of posts you commission each week. Your blog posts are there as long as your website is online, so that marketing spend is a long-lasting tool that will continue to bring new traffic to your site.

A really good blog post can reap rewards for months. The most popular post on our blog generates almost a quarter of all the hits we receive. That figure shows absolutely no sign of dropping. The hour that I invested in writing it has paid off massively. In fact, it’s probably generated more new business than everything we’ve spent on Adwords combined.

Blogs and articles encourage sharing and boost SEO

Social and viral sharing are key to the overall success of your SEO campaign: experts like SEOmoz say the traffic a site gets from Facebook is a factor in its Google pagerank.

It follows that the key to triggering viral sharing is good content that interests people and starts conversations on social media. It’s as simple as that.

Clients who read blogs are ready to buy

Over the last year, we’ve found that clients who contact us through Adwords are likely to be testing the water. Clients who read our blog almost always have a good idea of their project and are ready to go ahead. I suppose this is because a large amount of traffic comes from our Twitter feed, and people are probably already considering using our copywriting services before they contact us for a price. Of course, this is all based on our experience, but we certainly attract a different type of customer via our blog.

Don’t forget that every idle click costs you money, so even the people who don’t ask for a quote could be needlessly draining your Adwords budget.

Your freelance blogger will inspire brand confidence

Of all the benefits of hiring an article writer, this has to be the most important. A blog need not take centre stage on your website, but clients like to know it’s there, and they will check to see that it’s active. Adding regular blog posts gives clients the confidence that your company is contactable, friendly and consistent. That’s a big plus to any customer who has never heard of you before.

Of course, hiring a freelance blogger will also give people a feel for the character of your organisation, and it helps to give your brand authority and presence. If you choose your topics wisely, you can use your blog to reassure new clients about your expertise and reinforce your brand image on a weekly – or daily – basis.

5 reasons to choose a specialist website copywriter

If you need a copywriter to write your web content, you’ll have no shortage of choice. There are thousand of copywriting companies out there, and each has their own speciality. Copywriting is a very broad topic that encompasses everything from direct mail sales and marketing through to app copywriting and user guides. On the remote end of the scale, you’ll find technical copywriting (or technical blogging).

No one copywriter is good at everything. Here are five reasons why you should ensure your choose a copywriter that specifically works on web copy for your content project.

1. Writing for the web

A good website content writer will be trained in writing for the web (I did a course at Leeds University – there are other courses out there). It’s a very specialised way of writing and phrasing text to make it suitable for use as web content. It also includes various layout tricks and formatting techniques to ensure the content holds the eye. An experienced copywriter may be able to write you the greatest press release in the world, but if they don’t have the instinct or skill for web writing, it will show. It won’t read as well, but will also look very different on the screen.

2. Natural SEO writing

Websites are ranked in search engines according to the quality of the content. Search Engine Optimisation is a technique that ensures your website is as ‘search engine friendly’ as possible. Your SEO analyst will ask you to hire a SEO copywriter to put their requirements into practice.

SEO copywriters are used to working to SEO requirements. They understand how to format keywords and how to incorporate them invisibly. This is not something every writer can do well. If they do it badly, it will be obvious.

3. Article spinning

Plagiarism is illegal if it infringes intellectual property rights. Spinning is a dodgy copywriting technique which gets around automated plagiarism detection software, making illegal copies of other people’s work. These copies are ‘spun’ to avoid detection. Spinning involves replacing words and switching paragraphs; sometimes people are paid to do this, but sometimes people buy software to do it for them.

Any good writer doesn’t need to spin. They enjoy research and writing, and they’re happy to do it as part of their fee. Never use an article writer that spins: getting sued is expensive, and replacing your copy is slow and costly. We’d never, ever spin, and we are happy to run any blogs and articles through Copyscape on request.

4. Deadlines

Sometimes blogging is seen like a bit of a lark. Freelancers are bad enough at hitting deadlines, and there’s something about writing for the web that people don’t seem to take very seriously. We’ve hired freelancers who have come up with all kinds of excuses for missing deadlines. We let them go without further discussion.

Missing deadlines is something that we just don’t do unless we have a genuine and serious family problem. When we’re hired to write a website, we take it as seriously as a full-time job. We show up on time, stay in contact and give the client access to our project tracker so they can see what we’re doing. Beware of flaky freelancers who ‘forget’ to tell you they’re going on holiday, or try to wriggle out of blogging assignments at the last minute.

5. Technical web copy

The majority of our projects are B2B writing assignments, and many of them are technical. We write for SEO companies, IT consultancies, business analysts: people who need a little bit more than a vanilla copywriting service. This combination of technical writing and web copy skills is quite hard to find, but we think it’s worth looking. There isn’t much point in hiring a cheap writer to cover technical subjects. Your content won’t compete with others in the same sector, and the lack of technical training will show.

A technical copywriter (or technical author) might cost you a little more than a plain old copywriter, but their fees need not break the bank, and the content they write will be better. You will also save a lot of time because you won’t need to request endless revisions and rewrites.

 

Have you hired a website copywriter lately? Tell us about your experiences.

Are your copywriting quotes too expensive?

We’re really excited that our work schedule is filling up in February and March. Lots of new clients have come to us for good quality blog writing services and web content. Many have told us they are relieved to find a content creation company that gives a personal service, having been duped into paying for cheap or unusable copy on a freelancer site.

When investigating some of these sites, I was shocked to find that some charge as little as £1.50 for 500 words. The clients who pay these awfully low prices seem to fall into two categories. Half are genuinely surprised that the articles they receive register in Copyscape with 50% plagiarism (normally from Wikipedia). The other half don’t know where else to hire a copywriter, so they bid up and up in good faith, hoping they’ll finally get web content that’s worth paying for.

Red Robot Media’s mission has always been to provide affordable copywriting services without pricing ourselves so low that we cannot afford to stay in business. Once we’ve written your blogs or content, you keep the copyright, so you can use it in whatever way you wish. We always try to give people an honest alternative to content factories, because content factories aren’t fair to anyone: they don’t pay writers well and rarely supply clients with consistent, usable or professional content.

If your copywriting quotes are too expensive, don’t resort to using a content ‘mill’. Prices on those sites have been driven down to such low levels that good copywriters and web content creators simply refuse to use them. Contact us today if you’d like more advice on copywriting, web content and blogs at a price you can afford.

Claire’s article for Lifehacker

Over the last few months, I’ve been blogging for a range of websites on behalf of Wish.co.uk, an experience and gift website. I worked with the Wish.co.uk team to create content for a range of high-profile sites in the UK and US.

Tackling such a wide range of subjects was really fun and challenging; I’d never know which site was going to accept a blog proposal next. Writing for a US audience also makes a difference to the language, research and cultural reference points I had to use.

It was a phenomenally busy end to the year, but I produced some of the work I’m most proud of. In December, my writing was published on the Eventbrite blog. I’m very pleased with that article; I’ve used Eventbrite a few times recently and I think it’s such a great idea. In fact, in my time as a non-profit gig promoter Eventbrite could have been really useful to me.

Today a piece I wrote has gone up on Lifehacker. This Lifehacker article was written by me and pitched to Lifehacker by Oliver on behalf of Wish.co.uk – thanks Oliver. It’s really nice to see this one online because it was a real challenge and took me the most time out of all the blogs I wrote in December.

Interested in getting some blogs and articles for your website, either for SEO purposes or just to keep it fresh and interesting? Drop me a line now. I’d be happy to give you a quote.

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