Running an Effective Daily Deal Campaign

A huge number of companies are jumping on the daily deal bandwagon. If you’ve considered adding a daily deal to the mix by using a company like Living Social or Scoopon, you may want to check out Adam Howard’s recent post on the Flying Solo blog.

As a legal advisor and entrepreneur, Adam offers some invaluable advice on getting into the daily deal game. In his article, he gives a little insight into how the whole daily deal thing works, as well as some nifty tips on reducing risk.

Check it out here: Get the Most out of Daily Deal Campaigns

Social Media Publishing Lessons Learned in 2012

Social media can be a brilliant marketing tool, but most companies are still learning how to use it effectively.

Barry Cooke, a respected marketing consultant and contributor to the CMI blog, has taken a look at some of the biggest social media marketing fails in 2012.

Learn from past failures and go into 2013 a little savvier: 5 Social Media Publishing Lessons Brands Learned This Year

How Questions and Answers can Add Impact to Your Website Content

You’re probably familiar with the FAQ, or “frequently asked questions” page. It’s a common feature on most good websites.

But you don’t have to confine questions and answers to a single page. According to an article by direct response copywriting expert Ivan Levison, you can use a Q&A section whenever you need to communicate complex information.

They’re especially useful for reducing prospects’ scepticism and overcoming objections, at the end of a sales page, for example.

Levison’s proven tips for using Q&As include:

Give your Q&A section a catchy headline

Use something a bit more attention grabbing than “Questions & Answers”. For example:

  • Five commonly asked questions about dental veneers.
  • Do you know the answers to these important irrigation questions?

Use Q&As to overcome obstacles to the sale

Don’t waste space restating benefits that are explained elsewhere in your content. Instead, overcome your prospects’ doubts with facts and persuasive arguments.

Limit your Q&As to five questions

If you have any more it can get boring. Obviously you want to lead with your most important questions. It’s also a good idea to include a question about your guarantee if you have one.

You can read the entire article here:
Add impact to your copywriting with Questions and Answers

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Freelance Copywriting FAQ

I’ll assume you’re reading this because you want to know about working with a freelance copywriter.

If we were sitting face to face in your office I’m sure there would be a few questions you’d like to ask me. So to save a bit of time let me try to answer some of those questions right here.

NB: If your question isn’t answered below, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

What exactly does a “copywriter” do?

What is your experience as a copywriter?

How do I work with you?

How much do you charge?

What’s your hourly rate?

What do your copywriting fees include?

Do you guarantee your work?

Do you require a deposit?

Can we revise your copy?

How long will it take you to write my copy?

Do you do “rush jobs”?

How can you write copy for my marketing materials if you don’t have any experience in my industry?

What are the advantages of hiring you instead of doing our own copywriting or using an agency?

I already have an advertising agency. Why do I need you?

Do I own the copyright of the work you do for me?

Why does your website say “Copywriter and Consultant”?

Where are you located?

Do you work with copywriting clients from outside Sydney?

What’s the best way to get in touch with you if I need a freelance copywriter?

Where do we go from here?

What exactly does a “copywriter” do?
A copywriter is a salesperson behind a keyboard. A copywriter uses words to create marketing materials – ads, brochures, case studies, media releases, catalogues, articles, websites, white pages, etc. – that are used to help increase sales.


What is your experience as a copywriter?
I’ve earned my living as a writer since 1993. I began freelance copywriting in 1997 and have experience with a wide range of projects. I’ve written everything from a one-page media release to a 2,000 page website, and a swing tag to a 272-page book.

My specialities are B2B (business to business) and website copywriting.


How do I work with you?
I explain my 4-step copywriting methodology here.


How much do you charge?
My rates are very reasonable and great value for the results I produce. I’ll certainly cost you far less than an agency.


What’s your hourly rate?
I don’t charge by the hour. I charge by the project. I believe my clients hire me for experience, insights, ideas, creativity, commitment to their goals, and the quality of my copywriting, not for my time. If it’s time you’re after, you can buy time anywhere, and for much less.


What do your copywriting fees include?
My copywriting fees cover all the tasks necessary to write your copy, including research, meetings, liaison by phone and email, copywriting, revisions and incidental expenses.


Do you guarantee your work?
I simply can’t predict how many sales or enquiries you’ll get from the copy I write for you. In fact no reputable copywriter can.

My copy gets great results for lots of people. But your results may vary.

However, I guarantee that I’ll write excellent copy for you… that it will be delivered on time… and that I will revise or rewrite it up to two times within 14 days of delivery.


Do you require a deposit?
Yes. I require a 50% deposit before I start work on your project.


Can we revise your copy?
At the outset of any project I go to a lot of effort to ensure I fully understand your marketing goals and how your copywriting project fits in with them. As a consequence most of my clients are thrilled with the first draft.

But having said that, I’m not happy until you’re 100% satisfied. So all my quotes include two rounds of revisions at no extra charge, provided they are within the original brief and assigned with 14 days of your receipt of the first draft. You just tell me what you want improved and I’ll make the changes – pronto!


How long will it take you to write my copy?
That depends on the size of the project. If you let me know when you want it, I can tell whether I can work with your timeframe. If I take on your job I guarantee you will have the copy by the agree deadline.


Do you do “rush jobs”?
As I general rule I don’t accept rush jobs. There are two reasons for this:

1. It takes time to create quality copywriting – the kind that gets results. I will only take on a project if the timeframe allows me to deliver my very best work. You deserve nothing less.

2. At any time I’m usually working on a few client projects. Unfortunately I can’t just drop everything because you need some copywriting right now.

Here’s my suggestion: as soon as you get an inkling that you might need a freelance copywriter, give me a call. That way I will be more likely to juggle my commitments to fit you in.


How can you write copy for my marketing materials if you don’t have any experience in my industry?
Since 1997 I’ve written copy for dozens of different industries. While I may not have written anything for your industry before, I’m a quick learner. I pride myself on being able to step into a new situation and quickly get up to speed.

Copywriting is about presenting the important information in a way that persuades people to take action. And I know how to do that. Research is an integral part of the process. Prior to writing one word of copy I will spend time getting up to speed on your industry, products and target market.


What are the advantages of hiring you instead of doing our own copywriting or using an agency?
There are four main advantages:

1. I can do it better. Obviously you are very good at what you do. But writing results-orientated copy may not be one of those things. If that’s the case I can help.

2. I can do it quicker. Even if you do have the skill and experience to write your own copy, you probably have a dozen other more important things you could be doing. I’ll help you cross things off your “to-do” list, not add to it.

3. A fresh perspective. I work with dozens of clients in Australia and overseas. So I can bring lots of ideas to the table. I can tell it like it is and give you lots of good advice about what works.

4. Value for money. When you hire an agency you pay for their overheads: offices, staff, cars, lunches, etc. When you hire me you pay only for copy. And my rates are extremely competitive.


I already have an advertising agency. Why do I need you?
Sometimes you need someone to handle smaller copywriting jobs that would be too much hassle or too expensive to get your agency to do e.g. updating website content, writing a white paper, lead generation letters, trade articles, e-newsletter content, etc.


Do I own the copyright of the work you do for me?
Absolutely. Once you’ve paid your bill in full, all rights for the copy I write for you revert to you.


Why does your website say “Copywriter and Consultant”?
In addition to writing copy, I also work with some of my clients as a marketing consultant, helping them develop simple but effective marketing strategies that generate leads, boost sales and build their brands.


Where are you located?
I’m in Sydney, Australia.


Do you work with clients from outside Sydney?
Sure. My clients come from all over Australia, and a few from overseas. If you’re not in Sydney but are happy to work with me via phone, email and fax, I’m more than happy to take on your copywriting project.


What’s the best way to get in touch with you if I need a freelance copywriter?
The easiest way to get in touch with me is to send me an email with your phone number and I will call you back.


Where do we go from here?
Pick up the phone and give me a call. I offer all prospective clients a free phone consultation to discuss their project and bounce around some ideas.


Who is this guy?
You might want to find out a bit more about me, Charles Cuninghame. Am I the real deal or just another hype merchant? Find out here

Why You Should Love Author Rank

If you’re one of the thousands of web writers looking for a little more than online obscurity in your career, you’ll be happy to know that Demian Farnworth feels your pain. In his recent article at Copyblogger, he discusses how perhaps the new Author Rank algorithm may just help many writers to escape that obscurity.

Find out more: Why Hunter S. Thompson Would’ve Loved Author Rank (And Why You Should, Too)

Copywriting Services for Websites and Online Marketing

Need to improve the results of your website or online marketing? My range of online copywriting services will help:


Small Business Website Content Packages
Corporate-quality website copywriting priced right for small business budgets. I develop your key marketing messages and write content for your home page plus additional key pages.

Landing pages
Includes a headline, several paragraphs of descriptive copy, and the offer. Ideal for lead generation enquiry fulfilment (e.g. free reports, white papers, free trial offers).

Web pages
Product/service pages, and informational and instructional content. Fees depend on page length and purpose (e.g. information or sales).

Website review and action plan
Does your website “suck” but you’re not sure why? If you want better results, the first step is to identify your site’s problem areas. This multi-page written report evaluates 28 crucial elements of your site’s strategy, content, design and usability.

Website makeover
If your website’s not delivering the results you’d like, it’s time for a makeover. My makeover package optimises your website to achieve better results. It covers strategy, content, traffic and design. I’ll work with your web designer or mine to ensure your site not only looks good, but also achieves your marketing goals.

*Tip: Always budget for your web content before you hire a web developer. I know it seems counter-intuitive – you want to build your house before you decorate it. But, as web usability guru Jakob Nielsen states in Designing Web Usability, “Ultimately users visit your site for the content. Everything else is just a backdrop.”


Email newsletter consultation
Consultation for your new email newsletter. Includes template and content ideas, publication schedule, list of items for first few issues and sign-up form copy for your website.

Email newsletters
Articles and promotional blurbs. Only available with multiple-issue contract.

Email marketing / eDM
Direct response email promotions for sales and lead generation. Fees depend on length and purpose (e.g. informational or sales).

Email conversion / auto-responder series
A series of follow-up emails (usually sent via auto-responder) to move a prospect along the sales funnel. Minimum of three emails.

Need a website copywriter right now?
Please call me today to discuss your project. There’s no cost or obligation.

Stolen Marketing Ideas & Google’s Penguin 2.0: The Web Content Roundup

WebContentRoundupHere are this week’s top seven stories on web content and online marketing as voted by my Twitter followers:

1). How Good Copywriting Can Benefit You, Even if You’re Not a Writer

2). Gordon Ramsay’s Facebook Nightmares: How to Keep Your Business Page Nasty Free

3). SpongeBob’s Guide to User Experience for Beginners This should be good!

4). 8 Remarkable (and Stolen) Content Marketing Ideas

5). 5 Things Every Copywriter Needs to Know About Their Prospects You can never know too much about your prospects!

6). Google’s Penguin 2.0 Update: What You Need to Know

7). 7 Ways to Make Presentations More Convincing Avoid death by PowerPoint!

For more of the freshest tips and tactics on web copywriting, SEO, social media and online marketing be sure to follow me on Twitter.

Guerrilla Market Research Cheatsheet

I’m a big fan of guerrilla marketing. When you’re a small business, you need to create marketing with maximum impact for minimum dollars. And it all starts with research.

These days you can do a ton of great research sitting right at your computer. Recently Karri Flatla explained how to do just that on her blog.

Here are a few tips to help you understand what makes your customers tick:

Google phrases your customers would search on

This will help you see what your competition is doing as well as the terminology they’re using.

Do keyword research to find out what’s important to your target market

To find out what phrases your customers are actually searching on you can use the Google Keyword Suggestion Tool. It’s important to use the language your customers use in all your marketing materials.

Do free online surveys is a great free online tool for conducting short customer or prospect surveys.

Copywriting Video of the Week: The AIDA Copywriting Formula

AIDA is one of the oldest and best known copywriting formulas.

The acronym stands for:

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action.

In this video, legendary direct response copywriter John Carlton explains step-by-step how to use the formula to write copy that sells.

He says you must first get the reader into an active state so they will put their full attention into your copy and prepare to take action.

The way Carlton puts together a powerful offer off the top of his head is pure magic.

Take a look: