Copywriting, spring and changing direction

 Sometimes, you just have to change direction....

Sometimes, you just have to change direction....

A month has gone by and I’ve not written anything on my copywriting blog. The reason, or excuse (if you want to be harsh) is that I’ve been busy, which is a blessed relief in comparison to January, the worst and most desolate months of the year, oh apart from August, that’s something else to look forward to. A time when everyone vacates the ‘building’ and goes on vacation, the big quiet until the pre-Christmas frenzy.

Where does the time fly though, because we find ourselves on the cusp of spring, and the turning back of clocks. As I move happily into the spring months, my thoughts turn to how business will be this year, what changes I need to make and what areas I need to focus on. A spring clean, so to speak, of my year ahead.

Tentative steps, and learning curves

Plans for the next six months are: Tentative steps in moving away from blogging, and stepping more into the world of web pages, landing pages, sales emails and white papers. In other words, perhaps more salesly. And yes, I realise that all copywriting is about sales, but some things are more salesly than others. Blogging, I’m beginning to feel, is time consuming and more often than not, clients aren’t prepared to pay the extra mile for better quality writing.

Sometimes you just have to change direction…

I’ve provided a mostly blogging service for nigh on 5 years now, so a shift in a different direction is not only welcome but very much needed. There will of course always be the occasional job that just screams ‘do it’ at me on a subject that is too good to miss, and I’ll always say yes to that.

It just seems that long form content is king right now and that’s really great because it’s sent a clear message to content mills that second rate just won’t do, but it’s still hard to find someone who’s willing to pay for it. Or perhaps I’m just jaded.

I’ll still be providing an excellent blogging service for current clients

Nonetheless this doesn’t mean I’ll be deserting current clients who I already blog for, that’s something I intend to continue with for the foreseeable future, and something I'm very much committed to, but I’m not making any efforts to attract new clients who want a one-off-blogging-only-service from this point forward, unless it’s part of a long-term retainer package.* A change is as good as a rest – and yes, a tired cliché it may be, but appropriate in this instance.

Sudden shifts, niche subjects and variety

This sudden shift has made me think too about niche areas, as far as blogging is concerned I think you can name your price, a specialist subject is worth its weight in gold, anything around law, medicine, recruitment and you’re in luck. As a generalist, I’ve always written about anything and everything, which is how I’ve always liked it. It’s given me variety, and I get to learn an awful lot about a subject I know nothing about, and it just makes my job that much more interesting.

The thing is, the less you know about a topic, the more time you have to spend researching it, and the price goes up – and unfortunately clients don’t always see it that way or appreciate the time it takes to put something together. It’s as if they think it takes 20 minutes to write about something they know you’re going to have to research – and don’t get me started on those that tell you how long the job will take exactly, you know the ones, “I think it’ll take you an hour to do this, so therefore, I’m only giving you xx amount of money for it, because that’s an hour’s work.”

New skills mean new learning and more reading

Naturally, focussing my attention on other things means that I also have to learn about new areas of technology and writing, and this is always a good thing. My learning curve is steep and I LOVE IT.

Of course, web copy is still a mainstay of my copywriting services and long may that continue, because I love it. The topics I’ve been doing recently have been an absolute joy to do and I’ve learnt so much, so I’m still available for all that.

Back to my roots and to my language, if only for my own peace of mind

Finally, I’m going back to my roots, to my language and I’m going to read more in Welsh, with a view to writing more through this medium. I feel I’ve neglected it somewhat. Although I speak English as a first language, Welsh has been with me since the age of five, and it has lived within me all my life. Yes, I do speak it in daily life in the village and on occasion with the odd person on social media, but I feel like I want to delve back into its guttural beauty and let it consume me. I want to dream in Welsh again, and I can only do that with more commitment. It doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be copywriting in Welsh, although I’m always up for that, but knowing more than one language has made me love words even more and the reason why I love being a copywriter.

I’m always here and ready for hire

Other than that, I will still be mainly copywriting through the medium of English so I will always be here, waiting for you to message me with that all-consuming, complex, exciting job.

The way of all metaphors

And metaphors, I will be using more metaphors, for I feel they are sadly lacking in my copy, and they can be the one clever tagline that lowers the defenses, leading to a sale. It doesn’t have to be overly complex, it can be vivid and clever and add personality to your writing. Painting a picture with more than once concept can be the difference between someone staying on a page and pressing that all important click button, or leaving for brighter online pastures (see what I did there?).

Until next time…adios amigos.

 

Current reading for those of you who are interested, and they aren’t copywriting books:

1)   Alone in Berlin, Hans Fallada (almost finished)

2)   (About to start and raring to go) – I Robot, Isaac Asimov, haven’t read Asimov since childhood and I feel he is needed in such times

3)   About to start, following the next book club meet on Hans Fallada – Myra Breckinridge/Gore Vidal.

Also anything online I can get my hands on with regards to conversion, sales, landing pages and emails, https://www.kissmetrics.com/, http://www.copyblogger.com/ exetera, extera-ra-ra-ra.

P.S. Working for yourself is hard, isn’t it?  Talk to me, I might not be able to put it right, but I know the highs and lows, especially after 5 years of it.

*If you'd like to work with me and you have a topic you'd like me to write about on behalf of your online business on a regular basis, please get in touch and we can work out a long-term package, I don't bite...really.