How To Have a Content Marketing Idea

Subtextly | 26 October 2020 |

Is there a technique for having ideas, or is it all just lightning flashes from the God of Creative Marketing?... Strap yourself in, there really is a technique...

Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash (image modified).

It's one of those things that ninety-five out of a hundred people just assume they can't do, and the other five are happy to shroud in mystique. Having an idea. It's the cornerstone of elevated success, and in content marketing it is absolutely essential. If you're creating to win web traffic through organic search engine results, ideas are like digital inventions that solve web-surfers' unsolved problems.

Almost everything a search engine's crawler finds on its travels is derivative. Same keywords, same information, and roughly the same presentation. Only the wording changes. So when the trudging bot finds something completely new, it pounces on that little gem like a kitten on a ball of string. Especially if the idea solves an existing problem, and there's demand for that solution, it's going to head up to the top of those search results, backlinks or not.

Copywriter Focus: The “Free Trial” - Is it a Fair Ask?

Subtextly | 21 October 2020 |

"If you're a copywriter working through freelance agencies, those agencies are not your team-mates; they're your competitors. Read that again."

Photo by William White on Unsplash

If you're handy with a keyboard and you've dipped more than a fingertip into the topsy-turvy world of freelance copywriting, I dare say you'll be familiar with the notion of the “free trial”. It might go by an alternative name, but it's the one where the hirer ever so politely explains that before you're given paid work, you either write at least one free article to “authenticate your ability”, or you take an extended hike.

The condition is rigid, and applies whether or not you already have a catalogue of content online. And the employment? There isn't any. You're “trialling” for the chance to be exactly what you already were. A self-employed freelancer who will still need to prove themselves over and over with each individual task. You're not being appointed - you're just registering. Under these circumstances, is it fair for the would-be hirer to demand a “free trial”?

Copywriter Focus: The UK Minimum Wage in Pence Per Word

Subtextly | 19 October 2020 |

"Paying a copywriter per word is like paying a stunt driver per mile. You're overlooking the true investment of the task, and decanting the value into something that doesn't actually have any."

Photo by Fikret tozak on Unsplash

Freelance Copywriter required - £10 per hour!”, boasts the agency's ad. But is the work really freelance? And does it really pay £10 per hour? Both questions can be difficult to answer. And that cloudiness is in many cases loopholing the UK minimum wage.

For UK copywriters over the age of 25 – which is the majority – the minimum wage here in October 2020 stands at £8.72 per hour. But if the work genuinely does qualify as freelance, there's no obligation on the hiring party to meet or exceed that rate. Technically, the freelancer is selling a service, rather than receiving a wage or salary, so it's up to them what they choose to accept.

Free rein for hiring parties to beat down freelance copywriting rates to 1p per word then?...

Are Employers Requiring The Wrong Skills From Their Copywriters?

Subtextly | 15 October 2020 |

"If you're a competing football team, do you build the team from PR experts who also happen to play football? Or do you just bring in the best footballers?"

Pads and pen

As content marketing has steadily worked its way to the forefront of commercial promotion, the need for great copywriters has exploded. The number of copywriting agencies alone has shown us that demand is sky-high.

It's one of those markets which, at a glance, looks like rich-pickings for the hirer. Almost any business can get a copywriter.

But introduce economics into the equation, and a profoundly simple task suddenly becomes an almighty challenge. True, there's a huge number of writers, but only a fraction of a percent can deliver the economic return that companies are really looking for. Fewer still are both capable of delivering and prepared to do so for a third party. And even fewer both can and will, within the confines of that third party's budget.

There are employers who have been listing the same copywriting jobs on job boards for months on end. They can't find what they're looking for.

So are these employers expecting too much? Well, I don't think it's at all unreasonable for them to expect capable writers for the salaries they're offering. The problem may be that they're not only expecting writers...

Content Marketing Dangers: Dilution of Source

Subtextly | 12 October 2020 |

"Long-form content may seem cumbersome in a soundbyte world. But that's actually its strength..."

Photos are vulnerable to dilution of source
Photos are highly vulnerable to dilution of source.

Choosing the right format of content for your online marketing campaign is not a decision to be taken lightly. You're making an investment that may not just fail to benefit you, but which actually might, if you're not careful, benefit other people.

There is, however, one format of content that's pretty safe for everyone: long-form text. And in this post I'm going to explain why. It's true that media content can be phenomenally effective in building a brand, but it has two main disadvantages compared with the good old blog article...

Underground SEO: How to Leapfrog High-Ranking Domains Through the Back Door

Subtextly | 6 October 2020 |

"Our image, featuring the company brand, very quickly hit top result for quite a broad search term. There IS a back door round there. And very often, all you have to do is open it."

It can seem impossible to take on the high-ranking domains when it comes to search engine visibility. But that's something I've been doing for the past nine plus years, and in this post I'm going to discuss a really effective method of leapfrogging some of those eminent domains via the back door.

If you're accustomed to reading posts on big media sites and megablogs, you may have established a mental image of the kind of pictorial content they normally use.

Widely, their image content has two vulnerabilities. One, it commonly comes from stock photo libraries or graphics suites, and two, it doesn't stand out in a crowd. It's fine as a visual prop at the top of a blog post, but are you going to click it if you see it on Google Images? Probably not.

A very large proportion of high-ranking article publishers (and bloggers in general) regard images as an afterthought. It's not unusual for a writer to spend two or three days researching and drafting the article, and less than five minutes sorting out the illustration.

This affords you an opportunity. If you have the right picture, and the right title, Google Images can drive an absolute bucketload of traffic to your blog post.

How Analytics Can Lose Your Business Sales

Subtextly | 2 October 2020 |

"It's all down to an analytics illusion, which shows that visits have increased, when in truth they've dropped. Here's how it works..."

How accurate is Google Analytics? Pretty accurate, right? I mean, it's Google. How could it not be accurate?

Well, it's certainly an extremely sound piece of tech. But what happens when people block it? This question takes us into a largely unexplored world of visitors I'm going to describe as "unrecordables". Unrecordables may not feature in your Google Analytics reports, but they're still very real, and just like your recordable visitors, they need to buy products and services.