Copywriter's Toolbox
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Copywriter's Toolbox
Crystalline content is the way forward. The Semantic Web thrives on disambiguated entities; most people don't own a copy.
Curated by Jason Darrell
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Why we need the ability to "Never Cold Call Again"

Why we need the ability to "Never Cold Call Again" | Copywriter's Toolbox |
“When you cold call, it’s obvious to the prospect you need their business.
“All the power shifts to the prospect…”
Jason Darrell's insight:

One of three books I'll be getting stuck into over the remainder of April and May is: 

"Never Cold Call Again" by Frank J. Rambauskus Jr.

It's one of those books I've had as a pdf for, like, ever (well, as far back as 2006 when it was published, anyway), but never "picked up".

A couple of months back, I installed Calibre 2. It's an awesome epub/mobi reader program that's completely free. It also has an online library of thousands of e-books, too. Some are paid, but many of those a free, too.

In between tasks, I'm converting all the pdfs I have in the cloud (Dropbox/GDrive/OneDrive) into epub files using Calibre. The same program you can use to store them to your hard disc, too.

You wouldn't believe how quickly you can start eating into the 15GB allowance that comes with the free versions of online storage. Especially Google Apps, which has thousands of emails in storage, too.

Anywho, I digress.

Never Cold Call Again has got me hooked and I'm only in the first part of the first of the book. The above bastardised quote from Page 24 of the book in its fullness should read,

"When you make a cold call, it’s very obvious to the prospect that you need their business. All the power shifts to the prospect right from the very start…"

That resonated so deep! The firms I've worked for insistent on cold-calling would do well to pick up a copy of this book.

It wouldn't be so bad if the staff there had the nous to develop relationships with customers. But this call-centre mentality, compounded by the voiceless contact of social media and bases in far-off lands? It sucks.

It doesn't surprise me that the younger generation find building relationships difficult. With social, more silos are populating the globe, not fewer as the market would have you believe.

It's a real shame. Those who've found a way of marketing themselves as a brand are killing it. And, yep. That includes me on G+. 22k followers can't all be wrong.

If you want to know how to market yourself to encourage engagement, this book is for you. People have had enough of cold calling. They're blind to native advertising, once the financial cash cow of the Internet.

With search so powerful, people want a piece of its empowerment.

They want to find authorities in the topic(s) that interest them. They want to make that decision themselves, but based on recommendations from friends.

We need to provide that bridge, to them and to their inner circles. And this book, I can only see it helping. It's here on ;

Calibre, the epub/mobi free reader and library, is here:

Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

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A Copywriter's Toolbox: Bing Image Search replaces Clip Art - oh, the potential!

So, Clip Art is exiting Microsoft Office, Bing Image Search taking its place. There's never been a better time to brush up on alt text »
Jason Darrell's insight:

So, Microsoft Office is deprecating Clip Art. Many, many users will have fond memories of the tool, marvelling at the libraries we could pull into '95 software and make into flyers, posters, you name it.


But it's making way for Bing Image Search. That's right. Users of Microsoft Office can now pull Public Domain images gathered by the search engine right into their desktop application.


What if there was a way that marketers could tap into this traffic avenue? What if there was a way that bloggers could mark up their images so that Bing new they had waived all rights and anyone could use their images?


Well, there is. Using HTML, you can 'attribute' a license to your image in a web page's code. A simple rel= tag, pointed to the URL of the appropriate Creative Commons license and a search indexer will know what license is on the image.


For instance, the image above has a HTML wrapper to designate the licence, then good old HTML inside to outline what the picture's about.


Creative Commons Labs have even created an online tool that will build an embeddable HTML code with the Public Domain license all wrapped up therein.


More on that, how to create that code yourself and a look at how certain CMS platforms pull in images in the post through the link at the top of this here overview. Enjoy!

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The 10 Most Overused Buzzwords on LinkedIn (Infographic) - 2012-2013 Comparison

Want to stand out on LinkedIn and build a legacy to be proud of? Avoid mediocrity!

Jason Darrell's insight:

Are you the responsible type? Guess what: far too many LinkedIn bods think they are for potential employers' liking, too.


In fact, "responsible" was used twice as often as any other old hat self-descriptive adjective potential candidates used on LinkedIn in 2013.


Is there any other strategy you can deploy to describe yourself differently? Perhaps so, but please don't tell employers you're "strategic", either.


That was second in the 2013 list and appeared in all five of the main qualificant territories used to map the network's dodgy buzzwords.


As the article hints, rather than describe what you think you can offer, describe what you do.


Better yet:

► showcase your work;

► provide tangible examples of how you've made a difference;

► engage with other members so that they know you and your work first hand.


They can then willingly endorse your profile with the skills you claim to possess (without having to check your profile to see if you measure up to LinkedIn's prompts).


We, as freelancers, contractors or entrepreneurs, must realise two things:

► authenticity is hard to fake;

► more and more decision-makers see the potential of scouting out new recruits on social media to help them realise brand awareness across the web.


The more our updates and niche authority become prevalent factors in aligning us with our own personal brand (think Google Authorship for a second), the more important it is our status updates reflect what we're truly about.


We decide what our online legacy will say about us. Do we want to be a clone, no foundation of our own? Or build a rock-solid online presence that stands the test of time?

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Why ride the Business rollercoaster in the cheap seats? Invest and make it fun!

Why ride the Business rollercoaster in the cheap seats? Invest and make it fun! | Copywriter's Toolbox |
Owning a business can be heaven. Freedom to call your own shots, manage your own risk, live by your values, and spit in the eye of all those nay-sayers
Jason Darrell's insight:

There'll be many bloggers, freelancer copywriters and would-be online entrepreneurs currently either trying to make their mark, decide if the time's right for them to go for it or evolve their existing business.


Spotting an opportunity is one thing. Having the balls to go for it and make a success of it is another entirely.  


Making a go of life under your own steam requires a HUGE leap of faith.


However, you can at least provide yourself with a safety net if you approach your opportunity in the appropriate manner and are prepared for all eventualities.


Strap in - it could be a bumpy ride


There are several ways that you can at least exercise damage limitation and prevent yourself looking amateurish if what you opine is your chance to make a mark eventually turns out to be a dud.


This latest article by Copyblogger underlines the importance of understanding that your business is never always going to run smoothly along the flat.  Where's the fun in that, anyway?  


There are ways to take the edge off the tasks you don't like doing and subsequently give you the best possible chance of success...if you have the best tools for groundwork, implementation and conversion in the first instance.


Running your own business is not one learning curve. It's a veritable roller-coaster ride of ups, downs, highs and lows.  


Protecting yourself with a sufficient safety harness, strong enough to keep you secure at the trough of sharpest of drops, can be the difference between being thrown out of the carriage or keeping you in the driving seat to let the momentum - and the thrill - carry you on towards the next peak.


And, yes, when you're on the way up, up and up, the landscape does take on a new, very different perspective.


You must learn that, to get to the end of the ride and enjoy it to its potential, you have to let go some time.  You cannot possibly get the maximum thrill when you're bogged down with worrying about safety at every turn.  


Yes, even when you're upside down a quarter of a mile in the air, Blackpool Beach is where the sky's supposed to be and where there were donkeys a moment ago now lies the great blue yonder and fluffy clouds.


That's where outsourcing comes in (chug, chug, chug, chug, chug...and we're out of the rollercoaster analogy, now, for those of you scared of heights).


If you are going to grow as a business person, you have to be prepared to invest in your business.  


By finding qualified, likeminded professionals you have the opportunity to turn your investment in them full circle into an investment in your business.


And, yes, if they're good enough, why not bring them along for the ride, too!?  Reap what you sow, and all that malarkey.


If you're hoping to get into any sort of business that involves making a splash online using professional, quality content and you've not stumbled across Brian Clark and the Copyblogger team yet, head on over there, now.


The particular article linked through the header (above) is by Sonia Simone and outlines what you need to do to be accepted as a serious entity online.


If now's the time to start taking your online presence seriously, investing in you and building your brand, there are few better places to start your education than Copyblogger.


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Infographic: Get More Out Of Google

Infographic: Get More Out Of Google | Copywriter's Toolbox |
Posted 11/23/11 in
Jason Darrell's curator insight, March 2, 2013 1:38 PM

What keyboard shortcuts do you use - or even know exist - when you're browsing in Chrome?


Know how to isolate specific text in amongst a sea of trawling content?  Now you can.


The attached infographic was designed with students in mind, but as ever-developing scholarly types ourselves, it's a great little cheat-sheet for freelancers, too.


It's perhaps even more beneficial for freelancers whose product is of a digital content nature.  Not only will it help speed up (re)search, but also add a string to your bow that you can pontificate about to potential clients.


If you're researching background material, for example, rather than keep mousing up to the address bar, thus distracting your fingers from the keyboard, you can hit CTRL+L and  your cursor will go straight there.


That's a new one on me and will - over a lifetime of blogging yet to come - doubtless save hours of repositioning, let alone help prevent RSI.


Once you're in the address bar, were you aware that you could actually type in a mathematical problem (using basic functions & parantheses) and the answer will appear in your browser?


This will save freelancers hours.


Rather than loading your calculator every time you need to work out your bid based on how many dollars per 100 words you charge, you can CTRL+L to get yourself into the address bar, then type in the relevant calculation, e.g.: (5,400/100)*6.


The example above will calculate your bid for a 5,400-word project @ $6/100 words.  Remarkable.


And don't you just hate it when you have to search a topic that could mean two different sets of SERPs?  And sod's law states that the most popular results never collerate to the subject you're researching.


Yesterday, I bid on a job for a 'subs for bust content website'.  I'd got the gist of what 'subs' entailed, but wanted clarification.  What came up?


Baguettes, substitutes for sports teams and u-boats.  


In this Google infographic, there are handy tips showing how you can have more control over what's delivered in the SERPs, based on different instructions you give to the search engine.


That's one across the bows of Google, who are trying to rebrand your keywords as you type, displaying results that have more ads potency, rather than relevant results to your subject.


Read more about that, here:


Not only does the 'Get more from Google' infographic highlight the best practises for Google Search (wouldn't it be great if people knew how to search properly, let alone use their keyboard to surf more efficiently?), it also concludes with a few scholarly tips about article creation, similarly constructive for the freelance blogger.


Okay - I've said enough.  I'll let the infographic tell you the rest.


If you know any search-struggling students or frustrated freelance-furrowers, be sure to share this infographic with them, won't you?


Thanks for listening, Zeb. x

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Socialrithmic shifts focus to Pinterest | News | Research

Socialrithmic shifts focus to Pinterest | News | Research | Copywriter's Toolbox |
US — Social media analytics firm Socialrithmic has switched its focus from Facebook and Twitter to Pinterest with a new analytics product designed specifically for the content-sharing site.
Jason Darrell's insight:

There's a new Pinterest dashboard in town that offers real analytics on your Pinboards, including from your site to Pinterest and beyond.*  


Pinster have done their homework and, as a Beta tester, I can tell yer that this tool offers insight unlike anything in the market at the minute.


Whether the market is saturated with firms offering to analyse your tweets or take a show of hands based on the amounts of thumbs-up your post gets or not, the article doesn't particularly specify.


What is clear is that, despite requests all year into Pinterest for analytics seemingly falling on deaf ears, others have adopted the role.  


The latest is Pinster who this weekend have been building on their marketing efforts to date in anticpation of the launch of the first real Pinterest dashboard to offer a comparable tool to Google Analytics for websites.


As the attached article from suggests, there has been a mass abandonment of analytics developers on facebook and twitter platforms.  


Has facebook graph made the other developers redundant?  And is there just too much noise on twitter for your analytics to matter?  


Certainly, the rise of Pinterest and the requirement of being able to measure your video- and image-pinning efforts has seen a big sea change in analytics.


*Indeed, having been extended an invitation by Peter at Pinster (@pinsterme on twitter), I can confirm that you can actually align your Google Analytics account with your Pinster account.  


Now that's real indepth reporting, which includes monitoring pins from your website.  Other companies have had a bash at Pinterest analytics monitoring the depth of penetration from Pinterest onwards, but not from a domain root.


Yet Pinster's more than just a monitoring dashboard.  Like iTweetLive for Twitter or Buffer, Pinster allows you to schedule your tweets.  If you're unsure of what time your followers are online, don't fret it.


Pinster take care of that by appraising your Pin history, what time people have re-pinned or liked your pins and then posting on your behalf at the optimum time.  


That's just great if you're a Brit looking to get re-pin action on the other side of The Pond.  Or any other global marketer trying to woo followers across time-zones, of course.


Here's a quick summary of the facilities on Pinster from the e-mail Peter sent me last week:


"Becoming a Pinster allows you to supercharge your Pinterest marketing efforts in the following ways:

- Schedule Pins smarter and easier: Provide the perfect experience for your audience by spreading out your pins evenly throughout the day 
- Monitor pins from your website: People may already be pinning content from your website! Use our tool to monitor the pins from images on your website and how users on Pinterest are interacting with them. 
- Measure ROI: Measure interactions and website referrals so you better understand the ROI from using Pinterest 
- Understand your audience: Get deep analytics on what content your audience is interested in

We are in the beginning of our beta, and will be releasing many exciting new features over the next few weeks including deeper analytics, custom recommendations on timings to pin, and much more!


We would LOVE your feedback on what features you would like to see first."


So, there you have it, from the horse's mouth.  Pinterest is measurable, Pinster (+ Google Analytics) are the peops to look after it for you.


Don't worry - you can buy me a pint next time you're in Wolverhampton by way of thanks for availing you of this info. xxx






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Darrelldoo Weekly - October 5th, 2012

Darrelldoo Weekly - October 5th, 2012 | Copywriter's Toolbox |
All the news from New Zebland, The Savage Garden and the Crazy World of Zebedeerox here in one place, once a week to start your weekend - enjoy, share & comment!


I don't normally share this publication on Scoop.It but just casting my eye back over this week's Darrelldoo Weekly, it is probably the most accurate representation of Yours Truly based on Internet activity that's been published to date.

There's a little bit of Celtic, Mods, Rockers, Golf, Social Media & SEO.

In video format, pictures and articles, this is a superb snapshot of where I am to date and perhaps even a few clues as to how I got here.

I only hope that by Scooping this, it holds this week's edition as the URL remains a constant, just gets updated every Friday.

This is not to be confused with the UK Golf Pro Paper.Li ezine I run, that is, as the name suggests, for work-related golf articles, videos and fitness tips.

Have a great weekend and if you do get the chance to cast your eye over this, I think you'll find it, at very least, mildly interesting.

I'll see you in two weeks when I'm back from Lanzarote, ciao, Zebedeerox.

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Motivators behind liking a facebook brand

Motivators behind liking a facebook brand | Copywriter's Toolbox |
Zebedeerox finds a new home on tumblr - well, not a new home, more like a country retreat to try out...


You may wonder why so many of us are putting as much time into our facebook fan pages as our webs and blogs, these days.


For those who think that social media, especially facebook, is a waste of time, you may want to check this out first... pages are developing fast, with apps like a fanzilla set of apps - I like to call it a mask - that gives your fan page as much functinality as a bog-standard blog.


Unlike other platforms, people seem to be a lot more open and trusting on facebook than other platforms, too.


I did knock up a post about just this subject last week, but as the saying goes "A picture paints a thousand words" - okay, my article wasn't 1,000 words, but it for all my keyboard craftsmanship, I doubt that the eloquence expressed brought the subject matter to the eye of the reader in a split second, as this infographic does.

Next up: how to learn to make infographics!




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SEO Matters « zebedeerox

SEO Matters « zebedeerox | Copywriter's Toolbox |
Posts about SEO Matters written by zebedeerox...


Having the ability to put pen to paper - or keyboard to text editing doc - is one thing.  Understanding what gets your content in front of an audience is entirely another.


It's not just about perfect grammar, well composed sentences and each article having quality, original content and a message wrapped betwixt its words.  That is important - nay, critical - if you want to build a loyal following.  But as well as pleasing a potential (or existing) human audience, you have to please the search engines, too.


Not taking anything away from the Yahoo!s and Bings of this world - they do a mighty fine job, for sure - but everyone in the online world who's producing a blog or fresh article content for their website knows that it's the mighty G whom you have to please secondarily after you've got the content write (I know what I mean) for your audience.


This post is a Scooped stack of a summary, for anyone new to Zebedeerox, of all of the articles on that relate my interpretations of the best practices for search engine optimisation for on-site content.  Some posts may seem dated now, especially the earlier ones ones from a Pre-Penguin world, but as I've always preached quality first, they should all still be relevant. 


Don't ask me about off-site SEO tactics - I've not got a bogging clue. 


Actually, I've done this a little arse about face as there's another fantastic article I'm going to share with you shortly by Bryan Kaymer that deserves its place in this stack - it will be published under the SEO Matters category, so run that and it will appear there once published. 


One of the reasons a previous webmaster I wrote for kept knocking on my door was the fact that every article I produced for him through oDesk was not only written in top-quality, editorial English, but I also ensured that everything I produced had a point - a convincing story adapted to the site's theme, summarised at the end by what that article meant to the readership of his blogs.


Bryan has taken this notion a step further and I'll be posting that shortly - it really is one of the best articles I've seen on content vs context in an absolute age. 


Please, feel free to comment and share or correct any ot the articles within this stack - look forward to your input.



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Free Images: Where To Find Royalty Free Stock Photos For Your Blog - Mini-Guide, Part 2

Free Images: Where To Find Royalty Free Stock Photos For Your Blog - Mini-Guide, Part 2 | Copywriter's Toolbox |
Where to find free images and photos for your blog - weekly updated directory of best sources of royalty free images.


it doesn't matter what line of social media you're in, you can never get enough free images...'s a whole array of places where to pick the best pics to go with your blog from


Without images, you ain't got Pinterest; without Pinterest, you're missing a huge opportunity.  Get pinning, now!

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The absolute most important factor in - nay, reason for - blogging

The absolute most important factor in - nay, reason for - blogging | Copywriter's Toolbox |

I just found this article online (link through my re-drafted title, above), through a tweet, actually.


Though the author makes some cracking points about advice on starting blogging, he fails to mention the absolute most critical aspect of all: being able to write.


I've left this comment - whether the guy publishes it or not is another matter...



...Yeremi, hi.
Excellent strategies in this post, but missing one of the absolute most fundamental points of all for those starting out in blogging who want to build authority: quality content.

And I'm not talking original or informative content - that goes without saying - I'm talking human readability, that is if you're looking to serve an audience and not the website crawlers.


Many people fail due to the quality of their written English; they can have the greatest product in the world, but if the copy is poorly transcribed, buyers are soon put off and are left with the impression: "If the author cannot take the time to get their content right, what chance does the product/service have?"


In order to build an audience, keep them engaged, build their trust and provide the ultimate goal of blogging - part with their cash - the content must be crisp, clean and, above all if you're to be taken seriously by the authoritative bloggers within your niche - contextually 100% accurate.


Quite simply, without pristine English (or whatever language you blog in), you are unlikely to achieve this; certainly, if your English is poor, domain authorities within your chosen niche are unlikely to link to your blog as they will not associate their own product or service with you - as a marketer yourself, you absolutely know the importance in the SERPs of quality inbound links.


Many bloggers invest in fancy plug-ins, auto-responders, web-hosts, premium themes, squeeze-pages, code, flash graphics, but overlook investing in the most important component - nay, the whole purpose - of a blog: getting the content spot on.


Let's face it, you wouldn't buy a car riddled with holes, groceries damaged to inedibility or membership to a gym with sub-standard equipment, would you? Are customers likely to sign up to your content, allow you to fill their inboxes - that oh, so private place - with poorly contrived and transcribed content? Of course not.My motto: "write first time".


It's an absolute no-brainer...





What do you think?

Does that ring a bell with you?

If so, get iin touch and sky-rocket your authority in any given niche:


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Awesome Backlink Strategy And Great Backlink Tips

Awesome Backlink Strategy And Great Backlink Tips | Copywriter's Toolbox |

Backlink Strategy and Backlink Tips to help you get traffic to your blog...let's face it, without backlinks, your blog's dead in the water.


This has been recommended (re-tweeted) by the awesome Nick Daws and, let's face it, what he doesn't know about on-trend blogging ain't worth Jack.


This is the first time I've come across Kharimh Tomlinson - he seems like he knows a tad, too.  This post is full of SEO tips and howtos that, if you can get into the habit of doing daily - you perhaps won't notice it overnight - you'll see your audience increase over time.


Followers are superceding the old e-mail lists of the past and have perhaps more value - engage your audience, learn what they like and employ this strategy - you won't be far off the mark.

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A Copywriter's Toolbox: How to be relevant on Google and G+

A Copywriter's Toolbox: How to be relevant on Google and G+ | Copywriter's Toolbox |
Talking about relevance and trust in the Google Semantic Search community on G+, we wanted proof. Does social affect SERPs?Here goes nothing…
Jason Darrell's insight:

So, we were talking about how Google SERPs is changing in the Google Semantic Search Community on Google+ (funnily enough).


The above 'thinking out loud' image (created on Buffer's Pablo app) started a right conversation thread.


If you're interested in the semantic web, you could do worse than check it out if you're looking for something to do on the Tube on the way home:


I digress. One of the topics was (or, 'is' - the thread is still building) "relevance". Moreover, how social media connections can impact what Google shows us as relevant to our search query in the search results.


There's a lot of theory about how the semantic web works, but little to show to a client and say,

"If you invest 'x' amount of time on Google+/Twitter/LinkedIn, the chances are those you connect with will see more of you in search."


Whatever else happens from a semantic web PoV, getting higher up SERPs down to the connections you make has got to be its true marketing angle.


So, this here post sets out a little experiment I'm setting out for April. How relevant can I make people in SERPs/The Knowledge Graph by interacting with them on Social Media? That's what we're gonna find out. Fancy coming along for the ride? Coo-wool!

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Freelancer Plus

Freelancer Plus | Copywriter's Toolbox |
Freelancer Plus, by Jason Darrell: Search & Social for Savvy SMEs - Because Branding Matters!
Jason Darrell's insight:
Today's #ContentMarketing  & #SocialMedia  Headlines You Might Have Missed: - no $tring$
1. - 8 Simple But Powerful Landing Page #Copywriting Tips - get your content converting with +Unbounce!

2. - How to find the right writer for YOUR content creation is today's proffering from +Content Marketing Institute!

3. - Top SEM Picks - w/e 20th July - Week in Review - all your search marketing articles from the last week in one place on +Jennifer Slegg's The SEM Post.

4. - SEOlympics - the Best Marketing Blogs of the US East collated in one place by +Search Engine Journal 
5. - and finally, +The Next Web confirms that Apple  #iTunesFestival  coming to UK in September

Today's +Freelancer Plus ezine, by category:

Want to head straight to today's categories? Here you go:
► Tech:
► Science:
► Business:
► Leisure:

And finally, the index:
► All articles:

Totally free, no $tring$ sucscription:
Never miss a headline again. One e-mail, once a day, with all the search and social headlines you might have missed delivered right into your inbox. Just Do It! Enjoy…
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No you can’t guest blog on our site

No you can’t guest blog on our site | Copywriter's Toolbox |
Dear anonymous link-builder, no you can't guest blog on our site. Because you are lazy, stupid and dishonest.
Jason Darrell's insight:

I've not Scooped anything for ages.

The only reson I'm scooping this, rather than share the Zemanta article direct, is because the image it has online is not the one that came through in the e-mail newsletter.

Absolutley different class.

The article itself details a plethora of reasons why you shouldn't accept random guest bloggers on your site.

In itself a very worthwhile read.

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SEO Pricing Models 2013: 5 Ways to Price Your SEO Services

SEO Pricing Models 2013: 5 Ways to Price Your SEO Services | Copywriter's Toolbox |
Jason Darrell's insight:

Cracking article on +Fat Joe looking at what to charge for #seoservices.


As #freelance copywriters or #contractors, we all have an idea of our rate.


However, as #seo becomes part and parcel (the box, the wrapping and pretty much anything you want to to put inside your package) of copywriting services, it can be a bugger to know what to charge.


This article throws caution to the wind, appraising the "gold, silver and bronze" route to pricing #seomarketing packages amongst others.


Conversely, if you're an SEO company who has an idea on what it expects to pay for different levels of copywriting:

1 - spun, BMR-type articles _(just you dare!)_

2a - 400-500 word manually spun articles, written with a simple nod to SEO

2b - 400-500 word manually spun articles that apply the latest SEO content techniques and tailored to your theme

3 - 1,000 word articles to spec 2a or 2b

4 - 2,000 word, white-paper-esque articles to spec 2a or 2b would be awesome to have your input here to build up a price model for SEO content articles.


The reason I've segregated between 2a & 2b is because lots of webmasters are giving up on pleasing Google and adopting #ppcadvertising or social media integration as their main sources of traffic.


As freelancers, it's often difficult to persuade clients that paying for the best copywriting quality is worth it (great article on Search Engine Land recently about 2-years post-penguin and how crappy articles were still managing to rank:


If there was a resource that contractors could point potential clients to with what they could expect for their dollar, our quotes would be less of a shock.


By more accurately budgeting for better results, SEO would get a better name, delivering only the finest quality and (hopefully) the best SERPs and the scam merchants (dodgy SEOs & article spinners) would soon be relegated to also-rans.


I suppose that's me thinking idealistically, again.


But hey - both sectors in the SEO world want our reputations upheld (if not improved) and to be paid what we're worth without having to convince clients that we're L'Oreal. 


*Am I asking too much?*


And does this resource already exist, but lies buried so far beneath pages of dodgy SEO and copywriting that it's unavailable for public and commercial consumption?


Look forward to your input, guys and gals...

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CHART: What Makes a Good Infographic?

CHART: What Makes a Good Infographic? | Copywriter's Toolbox |
Infographics are visualizations of data that can help audiences quickly grasp complex sets of ideas.
Jason Darrell's insight:

It was about time some done it - a how-to of #infographics in infographics


And trust it to be someone with their finger on the pulse of pretty much everything that is hot in social media today, Dashburst.


But to be honest, I'm rather glad they did.  Especially if you follow their how to create an infographic guide to the letter and from the start.


Their first key takeaway is that the data you're looking to represent has to be from a reputable source.  


It seems obvious in hindsight, but if your list of credits at the bottom of your infographic contains sources that no one's heard of, is the target audience going to be interested?


1. Data

- Reliable

- Timely

- Content


Next up is the journey that the infographic takes you on.  Is your content likely to draw in a captive audience or does anyone really care about what size shoes all of the American presidents' wives wore at their inauguration?  


You get the picture?  Here's the 'Story' plan, then:


2. Story

- State the Problem or Issue

- Time Frame

- Deliver Message

- Solution


Tertiary, we have design.  There are free infographic software programs on the Internet, but their templates are basic and it would take some pretty mind-blowing, unique data to make a free infographic go viral.


Point three stresses the need for unique, appealing design and rather says, between the lines, that people are prepared to pay more for people to visualise the image than the pople who actually research and curate the info in the first place.  Is there any justice in this world, Lord?  


Apparently not:


3. Design

- Color theme and structure

- Fonts

- Graphics

- Appearance


In fourth, we have perhaps the most important aspect if going viral is your target: shareability.  And we're not just talking about the access and display on Social Media sites and within your circles.


Just think, what will your infographic say about the users themselves, those whose traffic you're hoping to piggyback in order to get your message or data-set out there?  


Even a website's SEO comes into play if you're hoping for people to embed your infograhic into their web pages.


4. Shareability

- Relevance

- Interestingness

- Web optimization and SEO

- Social media


And lastly, once you've created the individual masterpieces, many of which overlap, as the Dashburst overview image suggests, it's all got to be put together.


Like a storyboard, the information has got to flow logically, be simple to follow (how many infographic fails have you seen because the data goes on more little treks than James Tiberius Kirk's log?) and arrive at the conclusion, having passed through all of the points and arguments.


Representative infographic:


So there you have it.  How to make the perfect infographic, courtesy of DashBurst, my little twist and a nod to Ben Lloyd ( for pointing out that, even though there's a market price for infographics, they'd be nothing without the writers who've put together the source data in the first instance and yet get paid considerably less than those who know how to manipulate an image program.


And, yes I'm a writer, so I agree with Ben and there's no bitterness whatsoever in this sentiment...

...okay, uncross fingers, now.

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What is your definition of entrepreneur?

What is your definition of entrepreneur? | Copywriter's Toolbox |
 What is your definition of entrepreneur?


I normally abhor just cutting and swiping someone else's work but, as this was posted on LinkedIn, many may miss out if they're not a member of the business networking site.

So, without further ado, the transcript, as it is, from LinkedIn...


"Speaking at an entrepreneur event in Egypt earlier this week with President Carter, he [Richard Branson] mentioned how President George W Bush had reportedly said "the French don't have a word for entrepreneur." A quick Google [search] will tell you that the word entrepreneur is a loan-word from the French verb "entreprende", which means "to undertake". That sounds quite fitting, as entrepreneurs are always undertaking new challenges and coming up with new ideas.


Joseph Schumpeter's definition is pretty good. "Entrepreneurs are innovators who use a process of shattering the status quo of the existing products and services, to set up new products, new services."


Peter Drucker was onto something too when he made the following definition in 1964: " An entrepreneur searches for change, responds to it and exploits opportunities. Innovation is a specific tool of an entrepreneur hence an effective entrepreneur converts a source into a resource."


But to me, being an entrepreneur simply means being someone who wants to make a difference to other people's lives.


When making a start in business with Student Magazine, I didn't even know what an entrepreneur was. All that interested me was starting a publication to protest against the Vietnam War - and having some fun along the way. If that meant becoming an entrepreneur, then that was fine too.


Over the years the nature of entrepreneurship has changed as new businesses have developed and the world has evolved. New innovative businesspeople will keep coming along and changing the game all over again. Here at Virgin, we intend to keep changing the game for good too.


So - what does being an entrepreneur mean to you? Look forward to hearing your thoughts."


We all have dreams of grandeur, but so few of us realise them. A dream will remain forever in the clouds if you do not take action. That's YOU, just in case it didn't sink in first time.

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Social Media Checklist v 2.0

Social Media Checklist v 2.0 | Copywriter's Toolbox |

So, you've listened to your junior staff, realised that they don't want to spend a few hours just goofing around every day and come to the conclusion the your business needs a social media presence.


Not wanting to look like a total dufus or attract the wrath of your senior staff by putting juniors in charge of your online marketing, what do you put in your memo/ISO 9001 guidelines about what the role incorporates?


There are worse place to start than this cool infographic checklist, both in the best social media for business and how many times per day do you tweet, post, share or pin.


The two obvious outlets are there, right at the top of the tree, facebook and twitter.  Yes, they're huge and the thought of pitting your company against the competition using their platforms can either be daunting or over-simplified.  You can either be overwhelmed and give up because you're not seeing results after week one or you can think that the odd tweet or post here and there will get you globally recognised after week one.


If the latter was correct, everyone would be doing the minimum of work and have a sudden influx of custom that could turn the GDP around overnight.  If you're restricted by the former, your efforts at online marketing are going to be so tame you don't even penetrate the surface, let alone make a ripple.


Looking at the beginner's guide to social media infographic, it does assume knowledge about the various social media, the majority of which cost nothing to join.  But rest assured, your job is not, at this stage, to understand their machinations, just present an overview of usage that makes you at least seem as if  you've an idea of what you're talking about when it comes to social media for business.


LinkedIn is on there, great for networking.  Google Plus and the Google-owned YouTube appear, too.  And the future of e-commerce, Pinterest, rightly makes the list near the bottom - I would have put it much higher, but hey ho, there you go.


The one recommendation I'd make that doesn't show up is StumbleUpon, if you're an SME (SMB, US) - in a recent vocus survey, although the site was by no means the most used by those polled, its helpfulness and contribution to the online marketing cause was second only to Google Plus.


It's worth noting that, although these social media are outlets, you have to begin with a message to convey that is both relevant and meaningful to your target audience. This will typically start with a 400-500 word blog post, 250-word press release or CEO message. The subsequent tendrils your fledgling attempts to penetrate the online market produce will need to embed before they start to blossom.


Using social media effectively for business is by no means a cop out for not doing any work - of course it's enjoyable as you're interacting with humans rather than a corporate machine, but to make it pay takes patience, split testing to see which methods are working best and committing to the various projects with regularity and targeting the goals as set out on the Social Media Checklist infographic.


No doubt there are other platforms that many other businesses use, such as Instagram and Flickr for images, Delicious is another web 2.0 creation that relies on content from its users, as does Pinterest and Stumble, rather than produce the majority itself. I used to love Delicious before they did away with 'stacks' - now I hardly use it at all, preferring Scoop.It and Paper.Li for article curation and finding that both illicit a more positive response than Delicious ever did for me.


Those platforms mentioned are by no means exclusive to the possibilities of getting your brand in front of an online audience but do provide the backbone of your Internet Marketing infrastructure.


I'd love to hear what you have to say and what other forms of social media you use or how any of those mentioned work for you - and, if you don't want to give too much away, insider tips on how you use social media for business would also be great for this little community of ours.


Thanks for your time - we look forward to your input.


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Content is King, but Context Rules the Experience

Content is King, but Context Rules the Experience | Copywriter's Toolbox |
Have you ever listened to someone speak and thought, this guy or girl gets me? Or seen an ad that resonated with you on a gut level? It's not magic, ladies and gentleman.


I think we've all seen those types of ads - they've cost thousands, are crammed with action and verbiage, but the instant the game's back on the advert's still in your head but you've got absolutely no idea what the ad was promoting.


To an extent, blogging is identical.  You're waxing lyrical about a product or a passion but, if your audience is not 100% up with the pace of that niche, are you assuming too much of them if you don't relate within your piece how it's relevant to them?


As Bryan points out, as backed up by Ileane Smith, you have to step away from the article and address it as an outsider - not just think outside the box to deliver the message in a way your audience will appreciate, but step outside of you to see if you've achieved what you set out to do.


In effect, you are the translator. 


You have thought of something yourself that's been rattling around inside your noggin for a few days and it's now got to the point where that thought just will not stay under wraps any longer. 


Or, you've seen a related article to your theme, but you want to write it in a way that shows the benefit of the original idea in addition to the added value that your niche brings to that piece.  If you're not adapting it, you may as well just post the link and say, "Here, followers, I can't be bothered to put my insight into the article, but you're more than welcome to have a pop, yourself."


Bryan's five rules here serve everyone looking to make an impact on the web well:

1. Put some thought into your article - give it time to grow.

2. Know where you're going with it - its point.

3. Take your time over it - if you think anything of your reputation and your followers, give your article the time it deserves

4. Don't assume - if you'd not seen the original article/had the brainwave, would your article reflect your message?

5. Falling on deaf ears - what does your audience respond to?


And this little bit I love, Bryan's "Key takeaway" - it's a call to action, without coming across as arrogant or bossy, just undrlining the benefit your existing/new followers could experience for reacting positively to the article's message.


I read a lot about content, much of it the same re-hashed stuff or even just Scooped by a curator who can't be bothered to provide a decent coverboard.  This article is one of the most practicable and informative that I've read for an age.


Please feel free to share the love - there's plenty in this post.



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The Anatomy of a Solid Content Marketing Strategy

The Anatomy of a Solid Content Marketing Strategy | Copywriter's Toolbox |
Content has continuously been a main factor in ranking authoritative websites, but recently content marketing has gained the attention it deserves in...

Followers of mine will have long been used to my rants at the mighty G for the shite it delivered into my RSS feeds as 'content' prior to Penguin and my recent about turn following the update when it looked like it was trying to eradicate article spinners and duplicate content from the web.

Whether it's just too big an ask or the dubious methods of article spinners are finding ways around Penguin and Panda, I don't know, but this last month there seems to have been an awful lot of shite turning back up in my feeds.

Whatever attempts to bypass the keyword-stuffers the latest algorithms were endeavouring to circumvent, if Google's own 'blog search' and Reader are the basis of its argument, it's failing again.

As much as "content is king", there are once again many pretenders to the throne earning a royalty; article curation, such as this, just scooped without the webmaster adding what this article means to them and their readership, is another example of how the algorithm scientists have got to work harder to find out what is quality, original content and what is someone piggy-backing on the back of a unique, authoritative authors' acumen.

For sure, having an article scooped is perhaps one of the highest compliments a blogger can have, in the absence of it leading to a direct sale or extending their reach. What cheeses authors off is when the scooper makes no attempt whatsoever to embelish the cover with their level of understanding of the article and interpret it to their readership.

Do these scoopers not realise that, if they're in a niche, it is possible, nay likely, that their followers are also following the author of the original content in the absence of them being able to create their own? It's not rocket science...

Via Level343
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Location Based Search Auto Follow Tool | Twitter Marketing Software - your niche + your area = £$£$'s

Location Based Search Auto Follow Tool | Twitter Marketing Software - your niche + your area = £$£$'s | Copywriter's Toolbox |

Have a local business or service? Build your local twitter network with our auto follow tool which finds twitter users within miles of your zip code. Lead generation at its finest.


Many businesses and marketers often make the mistake of overlooking their demographics when approaching the Internet to expand their market share and grow their businesses.


It's great being a golf coach in Dumfries with 26,000 likes and/or followers, but if 25,986 of them don't even know where Dumfries is, let alone what country or how to get there, it's not going to do much for your income, is it?


But what if there was a way to combine the outreach of Twitter with your facebook page and then add a Twitter Softwaare tool that lets you find people on Twitter in your niche and in your area to whom you can market directly?


Well, there is. Introducing Tweet Adder Local Search.


I don't know if you've been into your Twitter account recently, but you can post your tweets directly to your page.  Or personal or both, but for business, I've turned off my personal and use the facility simply for work.


You need to activate that function and then, get a load of the local search software, TweetAdder, which you can find here:


Combining keyword searches with location is an absolute killer - you can steal a march on all of your local rivals, scour the millions of Twitter users and then attract them to your page through the connection you've made and, by jingo, you've done it, Old Bean!


The ins and outs are much more well laid out on the actual twitter page, so I'll leave you to peruse their pages.  Leverage is a must for the entrepreneur, using the skills and experiences of others to help them on their way.  And that's what this tool gives you - LEVERAGE!


And, let's face it, are there ny bigger online presences than Twitter and facebook? That link again:


TTFN, Zebedeerox. x



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7 Twitter Marketing Tips - via @JamesBlute

7 Twitter Marketing Tips - via @JamesBlute | Copywriter's Toolbox |
7 practical Twitter marketing tips that really work.


link saved on


Part automated (the under the hood stuff) and part manual (the human interface stuff) this guy, James Blute, as really out together a useful seven step process for succeeding with Twitter.


If you're an affiliate marketer or looking to get into Internet marketing, trying out this process for the Tweet Adder thang (I signed up for it 2 years ago and wish I'd had a blueprint for Twitter success like this to go with it) you will start to make your first ripples, both at making money online and the precursor to that, becoming someone who builds a loyal following through trust.


The basic premise of the article is to help you find what you want from twitter if you're looking at it from a marketing point of view, who to look for to follow, both as an influence on your business and to help identify a sales market on twitter and, as important as anthing else, how to be aware of and keep up with the competition.


At first, the amount of people in the same boat as you will seem massive, but if you stick to one aim, don't get distracted and follow your gameplan you will gradually pull away from the also rans to create both authority and, one would hope, a decent income.


I have printed this off - never having had a twitter game plan - check out my long-neglected Tweet Adder account and start applying, as of next week.


Read, share, enjoy.

TTFN, Thet Watson.

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Delicious - LinkedIn Tips for Authors, via Zebedeerox/Delicious

Delicious - LinkedIn Tips for Authors, via Zebedeerox/Delicious | Copywriter's Toolbox |

This should be posting LinkedIn tips for authors from my delicious stack - let's see how it goes.  If not, go to

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