This March, our content agency celebrates its fourth birthday. During that time, we’ve evolved from freelance roots to become a growing family of wordsmiths, each member of which brings something unique to the Scrabble table.
Making You Content has made a name for itself as a leading copywriting agency in the North West. But we certainly don’t rest on our laurels – not when seeking ways to add value to our clients, or improve on our own skillset.
So, as we celebrate four years in business, here are some of the most important lessons we’ve given and been given about copywriting:
“Always consider how content supports your business goals” – Kelly
In my early days as a student writer, freelance gigs were all about taking a brief and fulfilling the pre-set requirement. A few clients gave me free reign of their blog, and I was given the creative licence to write about whatever popped into my head next – providing it was relevant.
I soon realised that copywriting was about far more than updating a blog once a week. To make it all worthwhile, it’s critical to gain an understanding of the client, their business and their objectives. Crack this, and a plan soon falls into place.
Today, a large part of my role revolves around strategy. I spend a lot of time peeling back the layers of the businesses and brands we work with, so that whether we’re writing to boost SEO, educate an audience or drive conversion, the content we deliver is tailor-made to meet those objectives.
To get the best from your investment, always consider how content supports your business goals. Then you can work backwards to determine a logical plan of action.
“Remember who your audience is as well as who you’re writing for” – Gareth
I’ve always compared copywriting to that of an actor’s role on set. You need to know what to say and how to say it to make sure the scene plays out as it should. Every brand has its own unique personality, and as copywriters, it’s our job to make a company’s sense of character shine through.
For fun, light-hearted, youthful business blogs, we’ll use snappy dialogue and colloquial phrases. Publications for corporate companies, on the other hand, demand strict, disciplined language; the trick here is not getting bogged down in the stuffy bits and ensuring the content remains readable with a professional feel. For every piece of copy, you need to remember who your audience is as well as who you’re writing for.
Most importantly of all, though, copywriters must understand who the brand wants to be before we put pen to paper. That’s why we prioritise clear communication between ourselves and our clients here at MYC. When we’re all on the same page right from the off, it makes for one heck of a story in the end…
“It is concision that people respond to” – Josh
The last two years have tamed my language, put a collar on it, and taught it to hand out business cards. A creative background told me that letting five ideas loose in one paragraph isn’t a bad thing. Copywriting has shown me how, very often, it is concision that people respond to. Every line doesn’t have to reach for Melville or Joyce. Sometimes, it is just the clean, precise ability to say how one action leads to a result.
Blogs aren’t mused upon for hours – in many cases they are skimmed, and the pace of competition means that I can never let a person wait for too long until I get to the point. Sure, a quirky simile and a reference to something beyond the subject itself can make for better material, but we aren’t here to play with the reader like a kitten. We have to be informative.
A copywriter can’t afford to lead people down a path strewn with firework prose. How long is a piece of string? Roughly 500 words. Sometimes 1,000. That is all we have to say as much as we can, with real-world advice that sticks fast to the mind.
“Do an audit of your content once you’re done writing” – Lucinda
Maybe it’s just me, but there’s nothing worse than reading through a really inspiring bit of content… and then stumbling across a word spelled wrong, or a clunky bit of punctuation. It can take you out of some beautiful moments.
So it’s important to do an audit of your content once you’re done writing. I usually do two reads: once to check for spelling and grammar, and once to make sure that the piece flows. The second read is just as important; check to see that your content is structured well and that it wastes no time making your point and achieving your objectives.
Utilising the text-to-voice tool in your computer, printing it out, changing the font to a style you don’t like, or setting the font colour to red can help you see the content in a new light, which is important if you are critiquing your own writing.
Creating content that sings and ticks all your business goal boxes is one thing, but pairing it with a reliable service is another. We pride ourselves on our efficiency, our eye for detail, and our firm belief that you don’t need to dig deep into your pockets for quality content.
Whether it’s a one-off guide that you’d like to demystify your sector, or regular blog content to ensure your website keeps adding value, contact our team today. We love talking wordy.