Why is copywriting for financial services different?

Freelance financial services copywriter

Financial copywriting is something that involves a very special set of skills and experience and it would be a mistake for companies to think that any copywriter is able to produce good quality content.

There are some specific aspects that you need to think about and in this article I am going to look at what I consider to be the most important pieces of this particular puzzle.

Tone of voice

The tone of voice used in the writing is really important. It gives the reader clues as to the values and attitude of your organisation.

This has changed significantly over the last few years. Two decades ago banks and building societies would use a very conservative tone of voice designed to engender a sense of professionalism, steadiness and respectability to the reader.

However in latter years the dividing line between professional services and other copy has blurred, especially with the advent of new fintech companies.

Newer, younger companies tend to still use a professional tone of voice, but this will be more informal and will be younger in outlook.

This sense of professionalism is important, because if you are looking after people’s money then they need to know that they can trust you.

Accuracy

If you are providing information for your customers then the last thing you want to do is to make simple mistakes.

Accurate writing is important as errors can cost people money and reduces confidence in your brand.

A good financial copywriter understands this and fact-checking comes as second nature.

This is perhaps the biggest difference between a general copywriter who may be writing lifestyle articles and general blog posts and the professional financial copywriter.

Experience

A great financial copywriter will have relevant experience and will be able to add in value from their own background.

Being able to weave in real-life examples to an article is especially valuable as it add depth and richness.

For example an article from a financial software company that is written by a qualified accountant who has actually run finance departments carried much more weight.

Gravitas

Many clients prefer to have their articles prepared on a ‘white label’ basis. This means that the writer completes the article but this is posted either using the name of an employee of the company or using just the company name as an author.

However, with financial copywriting the option is available to include the name and credentials of the writer.

An expert guest writer who has relevant and direct experience of the issues at hand adds gravitas when posting for their client companies.

Clarity of language

Financial subjects can often be steeped in jargon and three-letter acronyms.

A great financial copywriter will be able to take the key points and add the kind of clarity that your customers need to fully understand the subjects that they are reading about.

This use of language, transferring complex topics into easily understandable and engaging content is a key difference between and ordinary copywriter ans a specialist.

In summary

Expert financial copywriters are experienced in taking complex models and breaking them down into their basic building blocks, then producing a clear and understandable narrative for the layman.

They understand the need for accuracy and credibility and will bring a sense of gravitas to you company.

If you would like to talk to me about writing for your company then why not get in touch by clicking the button below?

Writing a business blog? These are the 5 tools you absolutely need

I write blogs for businesses

If you are setting up a blog for your business then why make life difficult for yourself?

There are some epic tools out there that are either free or very cheap and they save you a whole heap of time and money.

So here are my five favourite tools that I swear by when I am writing business blogs for my clients. Check them out.

Tool #1 Ubersuggest

This is an epic tool that I use all the time.

Ubersuggest has a full suite of options to analyse your website and keywords but much more importantly it helps you analys YOUR COMPETITORS too!

Why is this important?

Well if you want to rank highly on search engines but your competitors are doing better than you then you can use Ubersuggest to find out why.

It’s also got the ability to track websites and keywords too so you can watch how things change over time.

Admittedly it takes a bit of time to learn how to use this properly but the investment is worth it and Neil Patel includes some absolutely epic videos and blogs that help you on your way.

The free version is pretty feature packed. Naturally as a professional writer I pay for the pro version but it’s not that expensive and it’s worth every penny in my opinion.

Find Ubersuggest here https://app.neilpatel.com/


Want to know how to go about writing a small business blog? Click the pic below!

I write blogs for businesses

Tool #2 – Google keyword planner

We all know how important keywords are to the success of our blogs so having a tool that helps you find the best keywords is essential.

Personally I use Ubersuggest to get me to a place where I understand the sort of things that my competitors are ranking for then use the keyword planner to give me stats on the various options and importantly suggest more keywords.

Much of this is available in Ubersuggest but I like using the Google console directly.

It’s not as massively use friendly as some of the tools here but it is effective and that’s what counts right?

This is an absolutely free tool that anyone with a GoogleAds account can use and you can find it by setting up your own GoogleAds account and searching for the keyword planner.

Tool #3 Answer the public

This is a pretty epic tool if you have a set of bare keywords but need to turn them into long-tail keywords for your blog titles.

You can take a simple keyword such as blog “writing for accountants” enter it into the search box and ATP will give you a full report which details the sorts of questions that people are asking about your subject.

Answering questions is a great way to drive traffic and increase your blog ranking on the major search engines so this is an absolute must.

In fact it is so good that you can devise almost an entire blog campaign based on a single report from this tool.

The basic version is feature rich and free although you are limited to numbers of searches per day. If you need more then the pro version is a bit pricey at $99 per month although if you are a professional blog writer then this will definitely be worth it for you.

Oh and I love the homepage videos they have going on too.

Find Answer the public here https://answerthepublic.com/


Struggling for subjects? Check out my post on how to choose what to write about by clicking the image below

How great content can boost your SMEs sales

Tool #4 – A great free pic site

Now look, pinching pictures off the web without permission is a bad thing to do so you have a couple of choices.

The first is to pay for a subscription to one of the stock image libraries like Alamy or Shutterstock which makes sense if you are producing a lot of content.

The other is to find one of the open licence libraries that have sprung up.

I use Pexels and Unsplash and between the two of them, they pretty much have everything I need.

The licence is open so you can use it on your blog with no legal problems and whilst the range of images is much smaller than the paid-for libraries both are still quite extensive.

You can find pexels here https://www.pexels.com/

and Unsplash is here https://unsplash.com/

Tool # 5 an awesome synonyms site

Seriously how many times have you found yourself searching for a multiple of ways to write the same word?

If you are writing your blog then I can promise there will be days when you need to find other methods of saying that something is AWESOME (Beautiful, Epic, Formidable, Impressive).

Finding a decent synonym/antonym site is a life-saver so I use thesaurus.com.

It’s no-frills, simple to use and produces a list of synonyms and antonyms with examples of usage.

It even speaks the word for you if you want!

Totally free you can find it here https://www.thesaurus.com/

Your business blog shouldn’t be hard work

So these are my recommendations if you want to write your own business blog.

They are generally free and work really well although to be fair you may need to invest a little bit of time to fully understand how to use them to their full potential.

I hope this post has been of use for you and if you have enjoyed it then please feel free to share and link as it’s all good.

And if you have decided that your time could be better spent elsewhere than writing your own business blog then why not give me a contact me and see how I can help you by writing your content for you?

Marketing in lockdown – 6 things to do

Marketing for accountants

Marketing in lockdown is something that every business needs to do and in this post I’ll give you some practical tips to let you know what you should be posting.

Lockdown is distressing for a lot of people and if you are used to being a busy owner who now finds themselves sitting at home you may well be finding it hard.

The trick in my opinion is to start to see this as an opportunity because it’s a time when we can sit down and do some of the things that we always wanted to do but never had the time.

Marketing is one of those things that often gets put on the backburner so here are 6 things you can do whilst in lockdown to revitalise your marketing

#1 – Tell people what’s happening – your customers will want to know what’s going on so write up a quick post that tells people what is happening, whether you are working or not and wishing them well.

If you are modifying your business model, maybe still working but with everyone remotely then let your clients know and ask them honestly to be supportive if your usual standards slip a little.

#2 – Review your current marketing – What has worked, what hasn’t? Is there something you do that has become a habit but has now lost its effectiveness?

A friend of mine found themselves forced to spend some time in hospital and used the time to do exactly this and realised that the time they invested in networking meetings really didn’t pay dividends, so after they recovered they scaled down the number of meetings they went to.

#3 – Make up your plan – when the current crisis has finished how will you get back to normal? Will the old normal be the new normal?

Once you have worked out how you are going to operate in the future you can work out how you are going to communicate with your customers.

The lock down is the ideal time to sit quietly and plan how your marketing will work in the future. Think about your target market, where they hang out & how and what you will communicate to them.

#4 – Find some marketing partners – once you have worked what sort of things you are going to produce then you can look for help in developing your ideas.

If you have decided that you are going to do a series of blogs or an eBook then you’ll need to contact a copywriter (ahem), or if you are looking at video then you’ll want someone who has videography skills.

You may want to find a PR expert and a social media consultant to publicise your work or maybe a graphic designer to make things look smashing. Speak to your network for recommendations or look at platforms like Peopleperhour to find professionals that can assist.

#5 – Keep producing – We know that Google loves fresh content so it is important to keep producing even if your business isn’t operating at the moment.

Look for content that will have a long shelf life and will work just as well post-lock down so that you can promote it when your company is back up and running.

#6 – Look for collaborations – who says that you can only produce content for your business?

Why can’t you produce content with your suppliers or customers?

Imagine a photographer who produces a video that shows how they chose some equipment and then used it with one of their customers. The cost of production can be split three ways and all three companies can promote the content.

So have a word with your suppliers and customers and see if a collaboration is possible.

So there are my tips.

I think the most important point is to not give up on your marketing.

You need to keep the pot boiling so that as soon as we are able to open up again you can get off to a flying start.

All the best and stay healthy.

And if you want help with building your marketing plan or producing content then why not get in touch?

Your digital marketing 5-minute guide

Your quick digital marketing guide

If you’re new to the whole concept of digital marketing then it can be a pretty daunting place so I thought I’d write up a quick guide that you can sit and read over a cup of coffee.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is anything that encourages people to buy from you. That’s the marketing bit.

The digital bit simply means that it can be delivered using a computer, phone, tablet or any other electronic means. It really is that simple.

The problem is that the internet is big, really big so you just get lost.

Imagine you have got a van

And your van is full of stuff that you want to sell.

Your van is your website but if you never drive anywhere then it’s unlikely that people will buy anything from you.

So you need to put fuel in the van, that’s content marketing.

But if you just drive your plain old van around the streets you still aren’t going to sell much.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, TikTok and all the other social media sites are your signwriting on the van that tell people what you sell

And Google is a massive bell that you ring to get people to look.

As you can see, none of these things on their own is going to sell your stuff.

Having a website without any content is going to be pointless and having great content is lovely but if you don’t bother to promote it then it is pretty much useless.

You can’t. You have to have the whole package.

What is content marketing?

Content is the stuff that tells people about you.

Typical types of content marketing include;

  • Blog posts
  • Podcasts
  • eBooks
  • Guides
  • Checklists
  • Videos
  • Webinars
  • and loads more.

What’s different about content marketing?

Looking at that list you might think it’s pretty simple and largely the same as ordinary marketing but actually you’d be surprised.

You see Digital Marketing works best when you give stuff away for free.

I know, crazy right?

What you are aiming to do with this type of marketing is to get people (and Google) to believe in your brand as an authoritative source of information.

This is particularly important if you are a professional services company because your reputation is everything.


Yellow tomato - I write content for small businesses

Want to know more about how fresh content gets you business? Click the image above


So what’s all this SEO stuff then?

SEO (or search engine optimisation) is like telling Google that you want it to ring that big old bell on top of your van and get people to look at what you’ve got.

SEO is largely the practice of producing content that is valuable and structuring it in such a way as it tells Google to put it at the top of the search rankings.

Part of it is about the writing and part about the quality of your site.

That’s like keywords and stuff right?

Kinda.

You see when people search for stuff they type things into their search bar and they are the keywords.

Then the search engines go out to the web and have a look for the words that most closely match what the user types into their search bar.

But it doesn’t bother looking every time.

Instead, Google (and all the others) map the web and look for sites that are authoritative sources of information.

Then when someone looks for expenses software or will writers then it knows exactly where to go.

So you need to prove to Google that you are the authoritative site by producing content that has those keywords in it.

Incidentally Google also looks at your site and rates it based on how easy it is to use.

Do your pages load quickly?

Does it work on mobiles?

Do people read one thing or do they stick around?

Then it gets all of the information it’s found and compares your site to the opposition. Then it ranks you.

The higher up the ranking you are then the more customers you will get. These are often called SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) in the trade.

The key to digital marketing is engagement

And the key to engagement is having fresh, useful content that regularly pops up in front of your clients

Oddly most people make exactly the same mistake when they are producing content – they give up!

It’s called the cycle of despair and it’s a real thing


Yellow tomato copywriting for small bsuinesses

Want to know more about the biggest mistake people make? Click the image above


The trick is not to go off like a train for two weeks then get upset.

Just publish a small amount of stuff regularly and make sure it is all related to your keywords

Don’t forget to tell people about your content

There’s no point in hiding your light under a bushel.

Tell people what you have produced.

Post it to your insta, Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn sites, do Google ads, tell your friends.

There’s a type of virtuous circle where Google ranks sites higher if more people read them and return later.

More people read the site if it is ranked higher on Google and on it goes.

Digital marketing is easy if you are organised

And if you have the time

there’s nothing hard about digital marketing, in fact I’d say most people can do it.

But you do need to be organised and you have to be in a position to want to do it.

Let’s be honest, there are 101 things you could be doing rather than stressing over your keyword map or your off page SEO right?

In fact it’s probably much more cost effective to pay someone else to do it than learn it yourself, make the mistakes and then actually do the work.

That’s where I come in.

If you want someone to help, who won’t fill you email inbox with jargon and BS, then I’m your man.

Contact me here and let’s see if I can help

Who should I get to write my blog?

Copywriting for SMEs

This is an interesting question

Because the answer is obvious isn’t it?

You need to write it yourself.

But I’m going to argue against that for four reasons.

Reason 1 – I want your work

OK let’s get this out of the way right now.

I’m after work.

I love working with SME’s and the first reason I am going to argue against writing it yourself is because I want to write for you.

If that seems a bit upfront, the fact is that I prefer to be honest and actually there’s always that elephant in the room.

So now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get onto the more important reasons.

Reason 2 – You need an expert

Now I’m a bit of a pain for tradesmen because I think I can do pretty much anything myself.

I can plumb, I can do electrics, I can decorate.

But the truth is I never do it quite as well as REAL tradespeople.

It’s never quite as quick, never quite as good quality and I never know those hidden little tricks that real professionals know that gives you an all-round better job.

Reason 3 – The money

You are going to have to pay people to write your blog.

But, here’s the thing – while they are writing your blog, you can be off doing other stuff that is probably going to earn you more money than you are spending.

Net win.

I have a client (and good friend) who always says he could write the stuff that I do for him, but what I do in an hour would take him at least half a day.

He’s right. He’s every bit as good a writer as I but he’s not as quick.

So even if we charge exactly the same hourly rate, paying me to write his blog saves him four times as much as it costs.

Reason 4 – You’re too close to it

This is a mistake I see a lot of people making.

You see you know your industry intimately.

You know all the words and phrases

You know all of those damned Three Letter Acronyms (TLAs)

So that’s what you write and truthfully anyone in your industry will love your blog.

They’ll really get it and they’ll know exactly what you are trying to say.

But your customers won’t.

And who would you prefer to understand your blog; your competitors or your customers?

You may well know your expansion tank from your PCB and your diverter valve but what your customer is asking is can you fix my boiler?

Get someone you like

Bit of a controversial one this but I’d say the first thing you need to look for is someone who you like or, more specifically, who’s work you like.

Check out their style and see if it strikes a chord.

I’m always very sceptical of writers who say they can write in any style.

Our personalities always come through in the end.

So choose a professional writer, choose someone who may well have industry experience (although this isn’t as important as you may think) but more than anything choose someone who you think will give your blog what it needs.

For the record I can write in a professional manner suitable for professional services type firms like accountants and the like, I can write fairly informally, like this blog or I can do music blogs.

But I can’t do a health and beauty blog because it just isn’t me.

So who SHOULD you get to write your blog?

Well if not me then…

Have a look at websites that you enjoy reading and ask who writes for them and if they might be available.

Bigger sites will have staff writers but SME’s will be using freelancers like me.

Check out facebook and Linkedin. Just search for copywriter, blog writer, a content marketer that sort of thing.

Check out their posts, and have a look at their website.

Ask around, do any of your business contacts have a writer they would recommend?

Get yourself down to the local networking group, there will always be one or two of us hanging around in the corner with our hunched backs and pale complexions.

And if all fails then give me a shout because I might be able to help.

Is LinkedIn the death of the personal approach?

OK so some time ago I started Yellow Tomato but didn’t tell anyone about it.

It wasn’t that I was embarrassed or anything but I just had so much on that getting the website right and sorting images and logos and all that stuff just took up all my time.

And to be frank I wasn’t chasing clients, which was nice.

Anyway eventually I got round to setting up my company page (you can view it here) and changed my profile status.

And that was it – I was officially the owner of a two-person media company and not an accountant.

Bridges burned

Oh yeah, bridge burned

So My profile change was shared on the platform and people started sending in congratulations and I noticed something interesting.

Most of them were push-button responses.

I know that we’re all busy people but the consistency in the congratulations really stood out.

I’ll tell you what really stood out

In amongst all the cookie-cutter ‘congratulations on your new role’ messages were two other types.

The worst was a lady who used the opportunity to try and sell me something that I hadn’t bought before.

Her approach was so opportunistic that she actually guaranteed that should I need her service I would NEVER buy from her.

So I learned something.

The other type of message that stood out were the ones where the person had taken two seconds to pen a short, personal message.

My instant reaction was ‘I love that guy!’ (or gal)

The difference in approach and my reaction was amazing.

So my lesson from this?

Take just a tiny bit of time to say hello.

Personalise your message and don’t try and sell anything.

It might not be intuitive but actually the push-button approach that LinkedIn promotes and encourages actually make life easier for those people old fashioned enough not to use it!

How you can get more business using fresh and useful content

Yellow tomato - I write content for small businesses

If you are anything like most small business owners then you could probably do with just a little more work – the cream off the top, the icing on the cake sort of thing.

Maybe your website is working well or maybe it’s just tumbleweed blowing across the screen but either way, an excellent method of getting more work from the same asset is to have fresh and up to date content for potential buyers.

So what you really need is a content marketing plan

It’s always good to have a plan

But don’t worry, your content marketing plan doesn’t need to be all singing and all dancing.

What it needs to do is identify the people you want to work with, where they hang out, the questions they are asking and how you are going to answer them

Let’s take an example

Imagine a business that supplies In Car Entertainment systems (ICE).

First question – Who are their ideal customers?

They aren’t selling to young mums I would suggest, or retired people or school kids.

So we know that their content probably needs to be aimed at drivers, probably 17-35 and predominantly men (I know sexist).

And this is the important point here.

I’m not saying that ICEs are ONLY bought by this demographic, but what I am saying is that this is by far the largest market.

So chase it.

Where do they hang out?

I reckon it’s largely pointless getting editorial content into the Guardian.

People that read the Guardian are less likely to be in your target market.

Where do 17-35 year old men hang out?

Youtube, Facebook, maybe Insta

So now you need to get some content up that will speak to them.

Giving something of value

What is likely to get these guys clicking away from Facebook?

Something that they need or something of interest

And so you need to look for people who maybe have been searching for new cars, or who are members of car interest groups.

These are the people who are more likely to want to buy or upgrade their ICE or want more bits for it or who want advice about it.

So you’d look to produce content on ‘the 5 best head units released this year’ or ‘About to fit a new stereo? Don’t make this common mistake’.

Promote the right content in the right place and you’ll get clicks

Get people out of a bind

So far the content suggestions have been for when people are actively searching for something they are going to do but what if they find themselves stuck?

Don’t discount the power of videos as a way to drive sales.

I recently fitted a stereo to my Jaguar (I’m not that rich, it’s a 15-year-old x-type!)

The problem was that none of the fittings were the same so I had to search for how to fit it and what items I needed.

As it was there was no provider who had put on a video and I found some guy in Kentucky who had posted a vid of him doing exactly the same thing.

Now if our imaginary ICE store had posted a video that showed how to do it and then linked to a shop page where I could have bought the DIN converter, ariel converter and trim surround then I am pretty sure I would have bought.

Here’s your homework.

So if you want to make a difference to your business with fresh content then what should you do?

Firstly sit down and write out a pen picture of your ideal customer.

Then find out where they hang out. How you can connect with them. What they are searching for.

Then plan your long-tail keywords to suit.

Once you have your keywords then get your content produced.

Either do it yourself or find an amazingly awesome copywriter or video content producer.

Now, where could you find a copywriter???

Here’s the ad

OK so copywriting is what I do.

It might be blog articles, website content, eBooks or video and advertorial scripts but if it’s words then I am your man.

I can even help you plan out that marketing and work our some suggestions for those pesky long-tail keywords.

You can find out about my services here

Contact me now and let’s see if I can be of help.

Proven methods to get readers for your SME blog

Website content for SMEs

So you’re all set up with a website and you’ve written a couple of entries for your SME blog but no one is reading.

What’s gone wrong?

Check out these methods for getting noticed and driving readers to your blog

#1 Post little and often

So there’s lots of argument about how long posts should be.

I’m going to be honest I don’t know and I’m thinking that if anyone says that they do then they are bluffing.

Some people will tell you with total certainty that you HAVE to post 650 words or less every time.

Other people will tell you with equal certainty that the other people are idiots and you absolutely HAVE to post at least 2500 words.

Actually what I think is more important is that you post regularly.

The search engines value content that is fresh and updated so doing one 750 word post a week is much better than doing a 5000 epic once a month.

And who has time to write all that content for their SME blog when they could be doing business?

#2 Make sure your on-page SEO is all good.

So this might sound a bit like gobbledegook but SEO is simply making sure that your business blog has all of the attributes that make it attractive for the search engines.

I’d suggest installing an SEO tool to help with this. I like Yoast and the good news is that the free version has lots of features and will help you get your post right.

#3 post added value

A lot of my clients like to post little snippets and opinion pieces on sites like LinkedIn and I don’t have a problem with this.

It’s all part of the community building work that you need to do.

But if you want to drive readership then you need to be producing posts that help people solve problems that they are experiencing.

When you are looking at your marketing plan (you have got one?) then work out ways that you can solve the issues that people search for with your post.

#4 Have a marketing plan

You’re going to need one of these.

It doesn’t have to be all singing and all dancing but you’ll find life much easier if you have planned out the milestones you need to hit.

You’ll also find that with a marketing plan the post titles will almost write themselves because you will already have some…

#5 Long-tail keywords

I reckon this is worth a post all of its own.

Briefly, though, a long tail keyword is a more natural way of making sure the search engines know what you are posting about.

So for instance you may be wanting to write a post about the water-saving value of changing your toilet flush valve.

Instead of just writing a post that includes the words ‘toilet flush valve’ you’ll write ones that answer questions about them.

‘How do I change a toilet flush valve?’ ‘What are the benefits of a new flush valve?’ ‘What are the parts of a toilet cistern?’ That sort of thing.

The search engines are looking for posts that answer questions that their users are asking so you should answer them.

#6 Don’t just rely on the search engines

If you are writing posts of genuine value then why hide your light under a bushel?

Make sure you publicise your posts on your company Instagram, Facebook, Twitter LinkedIn.

Whatever you have then make sure it’s posted up with a nice pic and a working link.

This is where smaller businesses can have a real edge over bigger companies because they can really home in on their customers’ needs and develop a proper community.

Getting your SME blog a sizeable readership…

Truthfully, it’s not rocket surgery.

I’d like to tell you that it is all a dark art and you HAVE to buy my services but actually getting readers along to your SME’s blog is just a matter of having a plan and making sure you are working it.

If you’d like some more information on how to get readership for your blog then check out these other posts.

Now look, I write blogs for SMEs.

I’m not too shabby at it (after all you’ve read this far) so if you aren’t wanting to write your own content then why not give me a call or message me?

How much does decent copywriting cost?

Yellow tomato get yourself a decent blog writer

If you are a small business then you want to make sure that you have got control of your marketing budget and you may well be wondering how much employing a blog writer is going to cost you.

Good question

So if I had my sarky hat on I’d probably give you a picture like this;

Yellow tomato - awesome copywriting for small businesses

But I’ve got my professional head on today so I won’t do that. Instead, I’m going to try and answer your perfectly reasonable question using my adult voice.

Which frankly is making me feel a bit shaky…but here goes…

Answer the question – how much does copywriting cost?

OK so it depends what you want done and how big you are and who is doing it.

Now let’s start at the top.

If you are commissioning a big agency to do your copy and you are doing a big national campaign and you are a big company with a fat marketing budget then you are probably going to spend the thick end of £250 per hour.

Oh yeah.

But you’re not a company with a big fat marketing budget because they don’t care how much they spend and they don’t google how much does it cost…

You are probably much more intelligent than that.

Pay by the word

There are four main ways you can pay for copy

The first of these is to pay by the word.

You’ll often see prices quoted by the word for things like blog posts (like this one!) or for eBooks and stuff.

This is because it’s fairly easy to predict how long it will take to produce a thousand words on any given subject with or without research.

Now to be fair the main factor in how much it costs to get copywriting done will be quality.

So if you go on a platform like People Per Hour or Upwork then you can probably get some copy done for £8 per thousand.

Yeah really

What will it be like?

Well, it’s probably going to come from a copy farm where they blat out thousands of words using some software that doesn’t really care what it’s doing.

So if you want to spend the next hour proofing and editing the post you’ve just paid £8 for then…


In fact you can find out what happened when I bought some cheap copy here. Spoiler alert:- it didn’t end well.

Why buying cheap copy is a mistake
Want to know what happened when I bought cheap copywriting? Click the pic to find out.

Pay by the Hour

The second method of paying for copy is to pay by the hour.

This is often preferred by freelancers who need to do a lot of research before writing.

It’s also useful if there is an uncertain brief or where it’s just not clear how much work is really going to be needed.

Again good copywriters will charge you £250, bad copywriters will do it for £7 but on average you should expect to pay in the region of £25- £60 per hour.

Pay by the project

This is a really good way of making sure that the budget doesn’t go crazy and freelancers are often happy to use this method.

It’s good where there is a clearly defined project and where the freelancer knows the client and what they like.

So they may say for example they will write a set of five blogs for £250 all-in and this will include their research time and amendments.

Paying on retainer

Some clients (and many freelancers) like to pay by retainer.

This means that the client has a standard amount that they pay per month and the freelancer works a certain number of hours, almost like a part-time job.

This has the benefit that the client knows exactly what they will be paying for their content every month.

I have clients that do this to spread the cost of their content over the year, some months I do more, some less but it generally evens out.

What should you pay?

Well, I reckon that as an average you’ll pay somewhere between £30 and £75 per thousand.

It very much depends how much effort you want the freelancer to put into your post.

I don’t mean that unkindly at all.

For instance, some of my clients have posts and articles that they want rewriting in their house style, and that’s really quick for me to do.

The thing that takes the time is where I have to do desk research and then write up my findings.

So as an example, I’ve written reviews for things (software mainly) where I have to set up an account, install it, use it and then write up my thoughts.

So a thousand words take a lot longer.

How much does it cost?

This is a different question.

You see I know how much I have to pay for a plasterer to come and sort out my wall in my office.

I could do it myself but I’d get a worse job, it would take longer and I’d make a mess.

Just watching tradespeople do what they do proves why they are professionals and I am a writer.

So the price of a job isn’t the cost.

I might pay a plasterer £40 an hour to work but charge my clients £50 per hour.

My job gets done, I make money so the job has cost me minus £10.

Or I might pay them £60 an hour and while they are doing it charge £50 but have no stress and no mess at the end of it.

That’s why getting a professional writer to do your blog might not cost you anything!

Now you know how much it’s going to cost to get a professional and frankly amazing blog writer then why not drop me a line?

I’ve got some whizzy package deals on for new customers and if nothing else we can have a chat about motorbikes or plastering.

Check out this big mistake most businesses make with their blogs

Yellow tomato copywriting for small bsuinesses

Unbelievably, most SMEs make the same mistake with their business blog.

They don’t mean to of course, but they do, so I am here to tell you how you can get around it and make sure you don’t fall into the same trap.

They start off really well

When we start our businesses we all have good intentions.

We set up the website and work with a designer to make sure it looks great

We provide loads of copy and make sure we know how to handle the posting method

And then we write a few blogs and put them on our site and then one of two things happen

We get dispirited

We check out our analytics (because we’ve installed Google analytics console) and it’s disappointing.

Google has spotted us and gone ‘meh’

We don’t rank highly and our website isn’t driving traffic so we decide to put our effort into something else that might do better.

We get busy

Which is great right?

Our business takes off and the orders are flying in

Suddenly the blog doesn’t seem so important and anyway business is great so we don’t need to drive traffic.

So we stop blogging.

Both completely understandable

And both mind-numbingly dumb. (people just don’t speak like that to potential customers do they? Maybe they should)

I can talk like this because I’ve done exactly the same thing with my business in the past (not this one obvs because this one is epic.)

I did this with my consultancy business Isango8. You can check out my desultory effort here http://www.isango8.co.uk

I started out with good intentions, got bored, got busy and stopped blogging.

Before long the only people visiting my site were girls from Russia who really wanted to be my friend and guys from Nigeria who had just been left elevntybillion dollars by their uncle – if only they could get it out of the country…

Blogs only work if they are active

Google knows full well what people do – because we all do the same things so it penalises sites that aren’t active.

What search engines want is to serve up useful, relevant and up to date information, not something you wrote late one night in 2016 in a fit of guilt.

The trick is to post little and often

If you do loads all at once then you get pretty bored with the process pretty quickly and it becomes this thing that you have to do rather than something you want to do.

Write about things that have happened, the latest industry news, something your business has done or even opinion pieces if you really must.

They don’t have to be hugely long, after all, no one wants to read war and peace but they should be relevant and to the point.

What will happen if I do this Stu?

OK so if I had my salesman’s hat on (did I tell you I write blogs for small businesses?) then I’d tell you that all of a sudden you’d get loads of sales from it.

But you won’t.

What will happen, especially if you promote it properly is that you’ll get a bunch of hits on the first day, then it will start to tail off and you’ll probably only get one hit per day per blog.

Google will still be saying ‘meh’ and you won’t be making any sales.

But you carry on doing one, maybe two pieces a week.

After ten weeks you have perhaps 15 blog posts on your site.

Each one of them is only getting one hit a day.

But that adds up to 15 hits per day

And now Google is saying ‘Hmmmm’.

You’re still not at the top of the rankings but you’re moving.

This is the point that most businesses give up

So you carry on.

In another couple of months you are getting 30 hits a day from your old content and if you are lucky one strikes a real chord and it drags in 10 people per day.

Then something unexpected happens.

You’re at a networking event and someone says ‘I saw that post you put up about how to fix a leaky tap and it worked….could you come round and quote on a new boiler?’.

You write more posts and suddenly Google thinks – ‘this guy knows about leaky taps’

And more people speak to you at networking events and people fill in your contact form.

More useful is the thing you don’t see.

When you speak to people about doing work who you don’t know, they go on your site afterwards to check you out and guess what?

They find someone who clearly knows what they are talking about because they have a business blog full of useful information about plumbing or landscape gardening or wedding cakes or accountancy.

So you get the sale but you never really know why.

Stu, get real I just haven’t got the time to write a business blog for my company and anyway what’s this long-tail keyword thing?

Aha! what a great point!

Get someone to do it for you.

Me preferably, but if not then find someone who can commit to producing one business blog a week for the next 12 weeks say.

Make sure they know about ‘on-page SEO’ and all that stuff, and then forget about it.

At the end of the time take another look at your site.

It won’t be ranking like BBC.co.uk but it will be better and more important than all that ranking nonsense when a potential customer visits it will be looking more professional and you will look like you know what you are doing.

Even if you don’t

Which you do.

So here’s the ad

I do copywriting for small businesses.

I write blogs, articles, eBooks and all sorts of stuff.

I even know about long-tail keywords

You can get me to write the odd blog or we can set up a standing arrangement where I’ll do the keyword research for you, write the blogs and even post them directly to your site for you.

All you have to do is pay my very reasonable bill.

Seriously, you know you have to do it so why not give me a call and get the problem off your desk?

Oh and if you are wondering whether blog posts actually get read – well you’re here aren’t you?

If you want more advice on content marketing for your Small Business then check out some of my other posts here