I started writing over on SEO Andy, my blog & where my business lives, 15 years or so ago. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I sucked.
15 Years on, I want to share with you why today I am mainly writing here on Medium. Why I am writing more each day, why I also reading more and listening more too.
This article isn’t 101 tips — sorry to disappoint.
This article is my experiences which can help you improve your copywriting, and if you write here on Medium, hopefully earn a few dollar too!
Write on a Regular Basis
Back in 2004/5, I didn’t have a scooby that writing on a regular basis would help my writing skills. I didn’t think I needed a routine for writing or reading.
I read again and again that it would help, but it was only a few years ago I implemented the idea of putting time aside for both of these.
For me these are interchangeable, mainly as my reading is also listening — I am dyslexic so I listen to books and podcasts. So I get more time for writing, I listen on the go, in the car etc.
Start by putting an hour or so, every other day aside as minimum.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t complete an article in this time, if you only complete a part of some research — set yourself a goal and keep it realistic.
Once you get rolling you will begin to drive yourself to increase that time.
Writing again and again in the week for a specific purpose will drive improvements in your writing. I wrote for my blog each week once — then twice — I now try and do it here 4 times a week (is my goal) but it takes me longer to write a single article than I set aside in one go). But its quality not quantity.
Some Ideas Are Trash-Worthy
This was one of the most difficult things for me to get to grips with, and I don’t think many of my clients ever understand this either.
Some content on a website (that exists) or that gets written (new content), simply isn’t of a quality or nature that should ever see the eyes of your audience.
I always knew it but it took me around 10 years to really understand this. The reason it hit home was when I had to help a client realign their content during a website rebuild from over 100,000 pages to just under 5,000 pages.
Not all content is born equal, the website is full of Sh*t content, don’t put out anymore of it. You write because you have a passion, show it — bin everything else.
Data Brings Copy to Life
As a marketer I live in a world of data, I use it so much everyday and embed it into client decks to show reasoning for a strategy.
Within the world of copywriting online, whether its for a press release, here on medium or on your own blog, including data can bring to life a point you are making.
There are plenty of sources of information from Google Trends and Polling organisations (each country has their own) to government statistic organisations. Using these to back your ‘story’ adds credibility and authority to your article — without it you are just another voice in the wind, with it you’ve researched, added clarity and sources others may have missed.
A great thing about adding data and insight/analysis is that you may find that you or the business you are writing for get contacted by the press (unless of course you are writing for the press) for further comment. Helping to further grow your reach — this has happened a fair bit on my part.
As I say when I started writing 15 years ago, I knew very little about copywriting. Today, part of my living comes from this world — ok I can’t lie and pretend I make huge sums from it, but it helps.
I know some make anywhere from $100 to $10K a month here on medium, of course you can write elsewhere and make even more if you’ve a regular gig or regular freelance work copywriting.
Back 15 years ago, I used my keyword research skills to bring people to the door (& I still do), ensured the content told a compelling story and all the meta tags were well optimised. Today things have changed a little in that social media plays a key part in traction, but not much else has changed — other than where I write more (here vs my blog).