How To Write The Perfect Instagram Caption With Social Stylings

instagram copywriting

As a marketing professional who works with fashion and lifestyle businesses, I know that Instagram is one of the most engaging, fun and profitable channels. So many shoes! So many new brands to discover! In fact, I've found the majority of my new favourite fashion brands on Instagram.

But it's not just what products they're promoting that has me scrolling for far too long in the morning. I'm also drawn to a strong tone of voice, great emoji game and an ability to get to the point, fast. It's definitely a unique skill to hone, and mastering the art of engaging Instagram captions is crucial to getting those click-throughs.

But what's the secret to creating amazing Instagram captions? You know the ones that make you feel like they're talking to you directly? That ask all the right questions, hint at all the right answers, and send you in search of more?

Enter Mackayla of Social Stylings. I discovered this Instagram boss earlier in the year, and I've been adoring her posts ever since. Her super power is her ability to make Instagram marketing easy, fun and achievable for small businesses like myself. So naturally, I had to pick her brain to find out how I (and you!) could boost my Instagram caption game.



Not only is your Instagram visual content absolutely gorgeous and engaging for your particular target audience, your captions are structured and well written. Do you follow a particular formula?

That is a great question! The formula that I follow differs between my short and long captions, however, there is one thing that is the same - the first few words have to be intriguing!


Instagram cuts your captions off when they appear in the newsfeed, usually only displaying the first sentence of your caption. If that first sentence doesn’t make your followers want to read any further… why would they?

I like to think of my Instagram posts as individual, bite-sized blog posts. Make sure they have a beginning, middle, and an end.


When did you realise that Instagram captions needed a particular format? What purpose does it serve?

When I first started out I was very focused on educational content as I knew I had to show that I knew what I was talking about to prove that I was a good marketer. The only issue is I could talk for hours about marketing, and while I love writing long captions, I needed to make them easy on the eyes so people would actually read them!

I quickly found after some trial and error that I could make my captions appear shorter by utilising correct formatting as well as throwing in some spacing by using emojis or full stops to ensure that there are clear paragraphs in my longer captions.


As a copywriter, I know how important it is to nail your brand’s tone-of-voice. With my own clients, I take them through a process to flesh out their copy personality so that we can weave particular themes through their copy, and concentrate on using particular language that resonates with their audience. Do you do something similar?

Yes! I know that a lot of freelance marketers don’t usually do this, but it is one of my biggest pet peeves. Brand voice is so important to nail, especially if you plan on eventually outsourcing your marketing. All of the big brands that have successful social media marketing campaigns get those results because they know their brand voice, and they know the way their customers want to be spoken to online.

I am actually writing an e-book on nailing your brand voice and caption-writing for launch on the 11th of July!

CLICK HERE to join the virtual launch party!


I like to slightly tweak my tone of voice for each channel, as each channel serves a different purpose. For example, my Instagram tone of voice is a bit more cheeky and fun, and of course, the length of my captions are shorter. How else can I optimise my Instagram tone of voice for maximum engagement?

That is very smart! With the clients I work with who have multiple social media platforms on the go, I encourage them to look at the demographics of the people engaging with them on each network and adjusting their marketing strategy accordingly.

For example: one of my clients is a national skincare brand. On Instagram, they are targeting the younger spectrum of their target market, and with their Facebook the more mature. That is why we have chosen to promote certain products (i.e. acne solutions) via Instagram. I have also found that it is easier to sell your entry-level products or services via Instagram, and your higher end services elsewhere online or further down in your sales funnel once they’ve become a loyal customer.


One thing people always express frustration with is not knowing what to write as a caption! Where would you suggest someone to start if they’re not a natural wordsmith?

I would definitely start by grabbing a copy of my new e-book! (hehe)

Take a moment to consider the different types of captions you could write - Educational, Motivational, Conversational, or Promotional. You never want to get boring with your content so mix it up with your captions!

Many of my clients haven’t dedicated much of their time to Instagram as they feel they’re not witty enough. If someone’s lacking a funny bone, how can they make their instagram captions engaging?

You don’t necessarily have to be humorous to be on Instagram, so don’t worry too much about that! One of the best ways to engage people on Instagram whether you are a personal brand or a business brand is to create conversational content.

A brand that does this really well as an example is Birdsnest Clothing. They ask their followers questions that relate to their interests - they tap into trending TV show finales, start conversations about favourite childhood memories, and they generally know how to get their community excited!

In my own experience, I engage my audience the most (based on analytics) when I chat to them about my background, my business journey, and the lessons i’ve learnt along the way.


Should you speak in first person, or third person?

That is a great question! Again, it depends on what kind of brand you are.

If you’re a personal brand like me, where you are the face of your business and you are technically a #solopreneur, you must use first person.

Some brands like Frank Body use first person, and they do it wonderfully! They have succeeded because they have personified their product and given it a cheeky personality of it’s own.

If you are a team of people you would use third person.


What’s your stance on emojis?

Oh, how I love emojis! However you have to be careful to ensure you use them appropriately.

One time I had to explain in a Facebook Group why the #(eggplantemoji) had been shadowbanned on Instagram…. that was an interesting conversation for sure!

In my business I have chosen about 5 emojis that I consistently use when responding to comments and in captions. I am now known and recognised for using certain emojis that they have become an additional part of my brand.


How many drafts should a person write before they publish?

I actually use my first draft – always.

When I write I generally edit out words or make word choice changes as I go, and by the end I am pretty chuffed. I also have a typing speed of 90WPM so I am a little bit speedy!

Most of my clients struggle with writing captions the first time around, and that is exactly why I am launching my caption writing e-book in the next week.


As someone who wants to outsource their Instagram marketing themselves, who do you think should write Instagram captions? The client, or the social media manager?

I would definitely say the Social Media Manager - that’s their job! However, you should absolutely be approving of all of the captions before they are uploaded. This needs to be communicated to the manager when you hire them, as all freelancers and agencies have different practices they follow.

When I used to offer management, for the first few months of working with a new client I would send through a Word Document of all the captions for the month for them to be adjusted to ensure the client was happy. I have found this is the best method for quality control and brand voice consistency.

Over time you won’t have to check them as much as the manager should be seeing some similarities in the changes you are making and will start making a conscious effort to eliminate certain words and phrases.


I see a lot of fashion bloggers writing captions that have nothing to do with the visual content. Do you think there needs to be a connection?

I personally am quite particular about ensuring that the imagery and chosen hashtags are in alignment, but with the caption you can be a bit more lenient.

However, as you can see from most of my posts for Social Stylings I often like to let the image lead me to what I want to say rather than the other way around.


Calls-to-action are super hard on Instagram, as you can only supply one link. How do you maximise your links?

Well, I’ve got a hack for that! There’s a great tool called which allows you to host up to five different links on a mini landing page so that you can direct people to different web pages.

It will save you time and hassle from constantly changing from your blog link to your sales page link to your Facebook page link…. it’s just the best!


Let’s talk hashtags. There’s so much conflicting advice online. Some blogs say 30 hashtags, others say keep it 4. What do you think delivers the best results?

During the writing and research period of my Must-Have Hashtags e-book, I also came across a lot of conflicting advice.

The way I like to look at it is this - you don’t have to pay for Hashtags. Hashtags are completely free, and they allow you to target your ideal customers very easily with minimal effort. Why would you not take every single free opportunity you have to make sales for your business?Because someone might think you look desperate? Those people just don’t get it.

Just make sure to put your Hashtags in the comments section, out of your caption, and out of the way.


Instagram has a crazy stance on banning hashtags. Where would someone go to find the full list of banned tags?

Unfortunately that list doesn’t quite exist. However, my good friend and the founder of my favourite Instagram Scheduling tool PLANN has written an incredible blog post all about it.


What’s the best length for an instagram hashtag?

That’s an interesting question! There really isn’t a set limit, it is moreso about how many people are actively using and looking at that particular Hashtag.

If you are trying to come up with your own branded Hashtag for your customers to use when sharing your products online, keep it at a maximum of three words.

Did you know that you can also hashtag emojis? It’s so funny!


And finally, how else can someone optimise their Instagram caption?

The best way to make the most out of your Instagram captions is to keep a close eye on the ones that perform well and result in comments from your community.

Use an analytics tool like Iconosquare to analyse your most engaging posts and take a moment to sit down and think about what the similarities are between those top performing captions.

Mackayla Paul is an Instagram Marketing Specialist from Brisbane, Australia.
Her mission is to educate and empower female business owners in the Fashion and Beauty industries so that they can stay competitive and stop settling for mediocre marketing results.
Work with Mackayla to turn Likes into happy, paying customers! She offers highly valuable 1:1 consulting and Instagram Masterclasses all over Australia.

Here's why you have to stop blogging now


I’d been blogging for Mr A for over a year, and things were not going well. Every week, I would send him a long-form blog post, as per the editorial calendar. I’d pepper our post with our chosen keywords used in a natural way, looking to add value for readers as much as I was looking to drive traffic from Google.

The aim was to make him the go to in his industry, a hotly competitive industry with a saturation of similar experts. And that’s just in the real world. Online? It’s the Wild West. Huge brands already had monopoly over any keywords related to his field of work, so attempting to boost his Google ranking was already a hard task.

Don’t get me wrong: we did manage to get him ranking for a few keywords here and there, and celebrated some small wins along the way. But while we’d quadrupled his traffic and hit a few KPIs, we weren’t smashing his other goals out of the SEO park.

His bounce rate was far too high, his pages viewed far too small, and his conversion rate was abysmal.

Why am I writing about my content marketing failures?

I want to be honest with you about what I've learned, and how I've adjusted my services to provide more value.

Not to mention, actually achieve results.

Like many others who turn to blogging as part of an inbound marketing strategy, my client and I were making a huge mistake. 

We were doing ZILCH to build his SEO backlinks.

I'd mentioned SEO backlinks to him before, but it wasn't included in the scope of my contract. The ball was in his court, but as a busy family man who was running a business, SEO backlinks were not a priority to him. 

Why you need to stop blogging and build your SEO backlinks

Over my near two-year tenure blogging for Mr A, I learned a lot about content marketing and what does and doesn’t work.

Firstly, here’s a list of everything we were doing right:

  • Produced regular content on timely, relevant topics

I’m not an expert on real estate, so I relied a lot upon Mr A’s wisdom, expertise and direction. Additionally, I would always check the news, interest rates, announcements from the RBA, trending topics on Google Trends, popular content on Buzz Sumo, frequently pinned items on Pinterest, and search online forums like Whirpool. Mining these resources gave me plenty of topics to choose from, and more than enough to create a pool of content for us to choose from.

  • Used keywords naturally within copy

I don’t believe your h1 and h2 tags ALWAYS have to feature exact match key phrases. But I do believe your content needs your keywords at least once (but sometimes there are exceptions, mentioned in this post I wrote here).

Keeping my client’s tone of voice in mind, I’d use industry-relevant long-tail and medium-tail keywords in a way that was designed to drive traffic, but also to appeal to a reader on an emotional level.

  • Ensured his website copy had a consistent tone of voice

If your blog tone of voice doesn’t match the tone of voice on your website, the user experience can be quite jarring and sound fake. Make sure all of your channels are aligned to create a consistent experience.

  • Used a documented strategy with KPIs

In my first year as a full-time copywriter in Melbourne, there were many a time where I'd gone to create a strategy, scribbled a few lines in a note book, and then treated myself to ice cream for all my hard work. Needless to say, I don’t do this anymore.

Because here’s the thing: a strategy is not a few haphazard goals or a good intention to post frequently on Facebook and Instagram.

A strategy is a larger document that goes beyond creating, distributing and sharing content. It should be a couple of pages long, with multiple sections, and shared internally amongst all involved in the process.

A content marketing strategy outlines audience personas, organisational goals, the ways different types of content can be used across a buyer’s journey, KPIs to gauge success, roles of team members, budgets, and a mission statement, just to start with.

When you have a content marketing strategy, you’ll be better placed to measure your success and figure out what needs to change should you not reach your KPIs.

What we were doing wrong:

  • We weren’t building links

When people think of content marketing, they believe they’ll create content that Google loves, and then this will get pushed to social media. And bada-bing, bada-boom. Improved Google ranking, social media love and droves of happy customers – right?


If I’ve learned one thing in this past year, it’s that you absolutely need to focus on building authoritative, editorial back links, in additional to social media sharing.

When myself and Mr A didn’t focus on building external links and relationships with other credible websites, we were shooting ourselves in the foot.

What is an SEO backlink?

An SEO backlink is an external link (in other words, not from your domain) that points to your website.

The following are all examples of SEO backlinks that are worth pursuing.

  • Editorial links from organisations
  • Links from other popular blogs
  • Directory listings on highly reputable domains

Google loves back links because they’re like credibility votes. If I write something for a website with a high domain authority and a high Google ranking for a few keywords, then Google looks at my website and thinks my website must be credible too, just by pure association.

FYI, SEO backlinking is one of the biggest ranking signals.

The more credible backlinks you have, the more SEO juice Google will send your way.

The difference between a NoFollow link and a DoFollow link

There are two types of backlinks: NoFollow and DoFollow. If I write an article for another blog, I always make sure they give me a DoFollow link. This ensures that they pass on their SEO juice to my website.

A NoFollow link is usually implemented when a website can’t keep track of the links on its website, like on news website that relies on comments for engagement. As you can imagine, often blogs get hit with a lot of spammy comments with spammy links. And linking out to a spammy website can be detrimental to your domain authority and Google ranking too.

That's not to say there isn't value in commenting on blogs. Blog comments can send traffic to your website, but they don’t have as much value as a natural, editorial link.

How to begin your SEO backlinking strategy

An easy way to begin building your portfolio of links is to guest post for others in your industry. It’s a matter of finding those influencers, asking to post on their blog and asking them to share other articles of yours via there social channels, or within their website.

But where do you find these influencers? How do you know who’s credible and who’s not?

Introducing: The SEO Workshop – Growing Popularity and Backlinks

My new workshop is on July 15 in Melbourne.

If you rely on your website to be your number one sales person, boosting your search engine ranking is crucial to your success.

Back linking is one of the best ways to do this. And in this 4-hour hands-on workshop, you’ll find out exactly how it’s done.

Reserve your spot today. Subscribe to Communique and save on full ticket prices.

I'm Camilla Peffer, and I'm a Melbourne copywriter who creates engaging, results-driven content for fashion and lifestyle brands. From website copywriting, to fashion copywriting, content strategies and SEO audits, I've created clicks and conversions for the likes of Sportsgirl, Seed Heritage, CoYo, Ralph Lauren and Politix. Want to work together? Reach out! I'd love to hear about your next project.

10 SEO tips for a successful e-boutique

ecommerce seo tips for fashion businesses

If you own a stylish e-boutique, optimising your website for Google is one of the best ways you can turn your website into your number #1 salesperson.

But much like it takes time to train the right hire to meet KPIs, it also takes time to tackle every component of e-commerce SEO. And when you feel overwhelmed, it’s easy to close the tab and scroll through Hayu in such dire times. No judgment – it’s hard out here for us all.

After you’ve recovered from the malaise that mastering new technology can spur, the best place to start is you e-commerce SEO journey is with some simple tactics. They can have a profound impact on their own, and a compound affect when used together.

To make search engines work for you without feeling overwhelmed, try one tip at a time. Once you’ve completed one task, move on to the next e-commerce SEO tactic.


Set up Google Analytics (GA)

Want you don’t measure, you can’t improve, especially when it comes to tracking e-commerce analytics.

And I get it – Google Dashboard isn’t as exciting as Dior’s new lipstick. But it’s just as essential (for helping your website looking good online!).

Why? Without GA set up on your website, you have no way of telling:

  • What products your customers love the most
  • Where your traffic is coming from
  • How long your customers spend on your website
  • How many potential customers you have every day

As with a lot of SEO tips, setting up GA isn’t as hard as you think.

Here’s a video which walks you through every step of the process. In this video, the author refers to WordPress websites. If you’re not in charge of your CMS, ask your website manager to set it up for you.


After you’ve set up GA, creating custom reports and dashboards can further help you quickly access key metrics. Your dashboard and your reports are where you're able to see all of that invaluable data easily.

By creating custom reports and dashboards, you’re able to ‘drill down’ on data, which means you get to explore very intricate and often fascinating user behaviour.

And guess what – you’ll barely have to lift a finger to install the best dashboards around.

Explore this post here from Practical Ecommerce. I've imported several of these dashboards to my own GA account.


Install Sumo

Sumo is one of the best analytics tools on the market for small businesses, as it gives you rich insights into how users are behaving on your website. If you’re a visual person, you’re going to enjoy using Sumo. Best of all? A lot of its features are completely FREE.

Sumo can:

  • Tell you where exactly your users are clicking with heat maps
  • Tell you how far down a page a user will scroll, indicating what information might be worth cutting or moving
  • Integrate easily with Google Analytics so you don’t have to switch between tabs, making reporting quicker and easier
  • Help you grow your email list with sign-up boxes and welcome mats
  • Add social media sharing widgets to your website, allowing users to easily post your content to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
  • Expand your reach on Twitter with the Sumo Highlighter. When people highlight a phrase on your site, a box will appear asking them if they would like to tweet it.
A heat map provides web masters with visual data. This data, call heat spots, can tell you what elements of a web-page are most popular, and what can need further optimising.

A heat map provides web masters with visual data. This data, call heat spots, can tell you what elements of a web-page are most popular, and what can need further optimising.


Add and verify your website with Google Search Console (GSC)

Previously known as Google Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console is a free service that lets you learn more about your website and its users. Sound familiar? GSC does share a lot in common with Google Analytics (GA). While GA focuses more on who is visiting your website – traffic, sessions, source acquisition, etc – GSC puts the focus back on your website's data. This includes displaying information on which websites link to your website, and which keyword queries people are using to find your website.

Adding your website to GSC is easy, especially if you’re set up GA yourself. To get access to the Search Console, you have to verify that you own your website.


a)    Log in to GSC.

b)   On the next page, enter your website’s URL in the box provided.

c)    Click Add Property.

google search console add property

d)   Next, you’ll be asked to verify your website.

e)    There area a number of ways to verify your website, including adding an HTML tag to <head> section of your website. Once you’ve added the code to your <head> tag, go back to SC and click ‘verify’. Google will then scan your website’s source to confirm the code has been inserted.


Link GSC and GA

To get the most of out of both services, it’s best to link GSC and GA. When you do this, you’re able to access additional reports that are only displayed once the two services are linked.

a) Once you’ve set up both services, go to your GSC dashboard.

b) Click on the site you’re trying to connect from the list displayed.

link google analytics and google search console

c) Click on the gear icon in the right corner underneath your profile picture, and click Google Analytics Property.

d) This will bring you to a list of GA accounts associated with your Google account. All you have to do is choose the desired Google Analytics account and hit "Save." Easy, right? That's all it takes to start getting the most out of GSC and GA.


Optimise your product pages with unique content

Once you receive your products from your suppliers and upload them to your CMS, it’s easy to copy and paste their product descriptions. Why reinvent the wheel, right?

The problem with copying and pasting these product descriptions is that they’re never really written that well, and you’re using the same content as other websites who stock the same product.

And if you want to stand out in the online marketplace, you can’t do what everyone else is doing.

It’s important to talk about duplicate content here, as it’s a common SEO myth that receives a lot of lip service online.

Here’s the thing: duplicate content and Google penalties are a myth. Google will not banish your website from search engines if you publish the same article on two different websites. However, duplicate content does nothing for your website’s SEO if you’re not ranking highly already.

Google will just display whatever domain they think has higher credibility and value, depending on how else that domain has optimised their website.

I have a whole post on the various ways you can optimise your product pages for conversions over here.


Create category pages

When you go to a department store like David Jones, you generally find a list of sections on display somewhere near the elevator or escalator. Categorising your product pages provides the same journey for customers, directing them to the right section of your website to find what they’re looking for.

Ideally, your category pages should contain keywords that are useful for your customers.  For example:


Don’t create too many categories, and don’t keyword stuff. If you’re unsure about how to create categories, it’s best to speak to the person in charge of your content or building your website.


Register your Google My Business listing

Does your business have a bricks and mortar shop front? It’s essential you create a Google My Business listing for local customers. I work with clients all over the world, but many businesses are after a copywriter in Melbourne. For this reason, I’ve created my own Google+ Business listing. This ensures that my business is displayed as a local business for my potential Melbourne clients.

There are few steps involved to register your business, and it's crucial you actually have a physical location as Google will mail you a unique code to verify your location. Aside from waiting for postie, it's fairly straight forward when you follow the steps over here.

ecommerce seo google my business listing


Competitor research

I once worked with a client who refused to check out his competitors as he believed they weren't important. Although I admired his confidence, I don’t believe you can be that short sighted in any vertical. Studying your competition and learning their techniques is not a matter of spying and becoming a carbon copy, or admitting that your business is sub par.

It’s a matter of learning what works for others businesses, what works for their customers, and what opportunities you might find in learning all of this information.

For example, every time I take on a new client, I look at a few competitors and key areas of their website and content strategy to find out what works for them.

I pay attention to:

  • Meta data – what keywords do they use? Do they define their SEO title, meta description, image alt tags?
  • Tone of voice – how would I describe their tonal personality? Does their copy exude excellence, authority, humour or helpfulness?
  • Who is linking to their domain? To find out what link building strategy a business has, using Open Site Explorer is the best place to begin. This is a Mozscape-powered app, used to identify back-links and research link-building opportunities.
  • Blogging frequency and quality – are they creating unique content that resonates with their audience, or generic, look-book type content? Do they publish once a week, once a day or once a month?


Influencer outreach

I’ve stressed before how important it is to create content that resonates with a reader’s needs. It’s critical to boost your Google ranking, as participants in my SEO Copywriting Workshop find.

But it’s also critical that you create content which influencers and other authorities will want to share. This is called link building.

Think of it this way: there’s several slices to the SEO pie. Optimisng on-page content is one tactic, and having a link building strategy is another.


What is link building?

Growing a portfolio of links refers to ensuring your website is linked to from external sources. There are a number of ways to build your links, and these include:

  • Advertorials, where you pay a website to be featured in an article on somewhere else on their website.
  • Listing your website and business in high quality directors, like Business Chicks or the League of Extraordinary Women.
  • Natural editorial links, where you’re quoted in an article for your authority. A great way to take advantage of this is to sign up to SourceBottle as a source, and respond to call-outs from journalists.
  • Guest posting, by contacting other websites, authorities and bloggers who have a similar audience to yours. For example, I generally guest post on websites that cover a broad variety of marketing topics, who have an audience of small entrepreneurs who are more often than not, female.
  • I’ve guest posted for Blogger BossIt’s the Now and Daily Bread Mag, just to name a few.


Create a blog. No, really.

I’m a huge advocate for running your business like a magazine, providing quality articles that inspire, educate and build your authority within your niche. But when I talk about creating content, I specifically refer to quality over quantity, and approaching your content with a strategic direction in mind.

Because at the end of the day you’re not operating a hobby blog. You’re operating a business, and your aim is to make a profit by using your content to push a prospect further down the sales funnel.

Types of content include:


Putting all pieces of the SEO puzzle together is key to making search engines work for your business goals.

And this July, I’m hosting two workshops to help you do just that.

The SEO Copywriting Workshop is running again on July 8, where you’ll learn how to optimise on-page content with keyword research and content that converts.

And in my NEW class, SEO Workshop: Growing Popularity and Links, you’ll discover how to create an effective link-building strategy using the content you’ve already created.

Come to one, or come to both. They're beginner-friendly, and designed to help you implement a few core SEO tactics in real-time.

Any questions? Feel free to email me. I'd love to see you there!

I'm Camilla Peffer, and I'm a Melbourne copywriter who creates engaging, results-driven content for fashion and lifestyle brands. From website copywriting, to fashion copywriting, content strategies and SEO audits, I've created clicks and conversions for the likes of Sportsgirl, Seed Heritage, CoYo, Ralph Lauren and Politix. Want to work together? Reach out! I'd love to hear about your next project.



SEO Copywriting Guidelines 2017

seo guidelines in 2017

Today I want to take some time to talk about something that’s important, geeky, and occasionally quite an esoteric subject:

How to make sure your blog or website is getting some lovin' from Google, that monolithic digital god that no one seems to quite fully understand.

SEO is not something I’d ever bring up at a party, but if you’re a blogger looking for SEO tips to get on Google’s radar, this post is for you. It should hopefully answer some pertinent questions, and help you write content that improves all of your conversion goals, and hopefully the lives of your readers, too. Not to mention, help see your Google rankings slowly yet steadily climb.


Once upon a time, I used to work as a content writer for a big company. As big companies outsource a lot of their marketing efforts, they hired an external SEO company to take care of their rankings.

But there are good SEO companies, and not so great SEO companies. We had the pleasure of working with the latter, who hired sub-par ESL writers to create our content.

And it was my job to edit it, and to try to make keyword search terms compatible with basic grammar.

You see, I understood that this company wanted to rank #1 for certain keyword terms, but what I didn’t understand was why we needed to forego the basic rules of English in order to do so. Which is exactly what we were doing! Producing very unfriendly content that wasn’t likely to get click-throughs.

The reason? Keyword targeting. The SEO company wanted to scatter keywords throughout the copy, without caring if a person was actually reading it. So there we were, under the guidance of a so-called SEO expert, who was shepharding the way into black hat SEO territory.

It sounds fairly ludicrous, right? And it was. But…it worked. For a time, anyway.

Today in 2017, it’s unlikely such tactics would deliver those kinds of results.


Which begs the question – do you need to focus so hard on SEO keyword research and keyword density when writing for your blog? Can you just wax on poetically about beautiful things and leave the geeky stuff to the geeks?


Let’s say you have a blog about how to make money writing ebooks. How do you begin to see some actual traffic come through Google? Do you keep writing ‘make money writing ebooks’ everywhere on your website, or actually focus on topics like the pros and cons of InDesign, or how to find a great graphic designer? Do you just upload content and then hit publish, share a bit on social media, and then expect armies of customers to hurl their wallets at you?

If you’re reading this post, I’m going to take a stab in the dark and assume you know what SEO keyword research is. You’ve used Google’s Keyword Planner Tool before, and maybe Uber Suggest as well. You also have Google Analytics set up, and you have tabs on your monthly traffic and acquisition. But you’re not seeing much traction on your blog. What are your next steps?


SEO content writing guidelines 2017: it starts with value

Create shareable content

This sounds like a tired, old, cliche. After all, what is shareable content?

Beyond cute animals and Instagram bikini bodies, there is much more to the internet of interesting things.

Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania published the results of hundreds of studies which examined what makes content go viral. They came up with 6 attributes:

Utility - useful and practical how-to posts.

Length - longer articles elicit a feeling awe and make people want to share.

Memorable - most content online is forgettable. Interesting concepts, creating proprietary techniques and custom visuals are far more memorable that stock-standard listicles and stock photography.

Social currency - in 1986, psychologists Hazel Markus and Paula Nurius recognised that there's conflict between our “now self” and our “possible self.” We're more likely to want to share a positive article which portrays the ideal version of ourselves. If we share a funny article, we're demonstrating our humour as an extension of the share. 

As the authors themselves so eloquently note:

Possible selves contribute to the fluidity or malleability of the self because they are differentially activated by the social situation and determine the nature of the working self-concept. At the same time, the individual’s hopes and fears, goals and threats, and the cognitive structures that carry the are defining features of the self-concept: these features provide some of the most compelling evidence of continuity of identity across time.

Positive emotions - Matthew Lieberman, a UCLA professor of psychology and of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences and author of the book Social: Why Our Brains are Wired to Connect, noted:

Our study suggests that people are regularly attuned to how the things they’re seeing will be useful and interesting, not just to themselves, but also to other people. We always seem to be on the lookout for who else will find this helpful, amusing or interesting, and our brain data are showing evidence of that.

Storytelling - Named by Forbes as the 'Biggest Business Skills of the Next 5 Years' storytelling is an art form that serves as memory glue. By telling a story, we create emotional resonance with our audience. This emotional resonance makes ideas and concepts far easier to understand, remember and engage with.


By using a combination or just one of these attributes, you're more likely to create content that gets shared online. And more shares = more authority = more Google love.

Once upon a time, you might have persuaded Google to rank your blog posts highly using a smattering of keywords in your SEO title, your meta description and your actual copy. But Google is smarter these days, and with recent changes to its algorithm – which goes by the insanely cute name ‘Panda’ – Google knows if you don’t give a crap about your audience.

Here’s a fun fact: Google is beginning to teach itself how to learn. And without getting too into the technical side of things, Google knows exactly how people are using your website.

From the SEO gurus at Moz:

You no longer need an exact keyword to offer a relevant search result, says Cyrus Shepard, director of audience development at Moz. “In the old days, it was about getting the click. Now search engines are seeing how people are interacting with your website: are they going back and clicking on results, or are they finding the answers they’re looking for when they’re on your site? Today it’s about the post-click activity. Not only do you have to get the clicks, but you have to satisfy user intent.

Show you care about your end user and provide them with value, and write with them in mind, always. Are you answering a hard question your audience has been asking? Are you writing in a way that is engaging and informative? Does your post have utility? Is it memorable? Keep in mind that if you’re not creating quality posts for your audience to enjoy and share, they’ll likely click away and go elsewhere.


It’s about SEO-soning with keywords, not keyword stuffing

I once had a client who insisted on inserting his grammatically incorrect keywords into his SEO title, his h1 tags and all throughout his body copy. Nothing read nicely, and his titles –arguably the most important part of his page! – weren’t grabbing anyone’s attention.

Needless to say, I advised against.

He didn’t listen.

No offence to him, but I still can’t see him on Google’s first page for those search terms.

Why? Because Google’s smart enough to understand context and semantics. It knows that if you type ‘best camera for beginners’ that you’re looking for a basic entry-level DSLR, so it’s going to show you those results, even if those pages don’t use the exact terms you searched for. See for yourself:



Create for mobile-first

If your blog or website isn't easy to read, you'll increase your bounce rate and decrease the time people spend on your website. When this happens, Google thinks "God, this one's a stinker. Down you go!" and swiftly pushes your website down the ladder.

As champion SEO authority MOZ says: 

Google is steadily moving to a mobile-only world. Mobile-first indexing seems like the inevitable consequence of a year (or more) almost exclusively dedicated to evangelizing and forcing a change of mindset from desktop to mobile.

If you have Google Analytics set up, you should have a good idea of how many people are viewing your blog or website on their mobile. For my website, I only have 27% of my readers viewing it on their mobiles (up from 12% in 2016). But every website is different, and if you have a blog that you promote on social media, it’s going to want to look pretty on anything from an iPhone 5 to a Samsung Galaxy. And, depending on your resources and traffic, it might even be a good idea to create custom mobile content.

Because I don't get a lot of traffic from mobile, I choose not to create custom mobile content (although my website is responsive and will display differently depending what device you're using). But if you're getting more than 30% of your traffic from mobile, I would create a custom mobile website, particularly if you have an e-commerce website.

Why? Because the way people read and consume media on mobile is different to desktop. Granted, there are a select few who still enjoy reading long-form journalism, and I can include myself in that group. But generally speaking, people have absolutely no time for navigating a sea of poor design. They want things to be simple, and they don't want to get RSI from scrolling. So in short, your blog or website needs to cleaner, sharper, shorter and easier for them to click on things. 

I personally use Squarespace, which has this responsiveness built in, and I recommend Instapage for landing pages.

In the example below, I've used a landing page I created for my ebook using Instapage.

As you can see, the mobile version only asks for an email, while the desktop asks for a name and an email.



For Le Rose, an online boutique that makes bridal robes, I focused on a mobile-first approach by using bold statements as headings, and keeping sentences and paragraphs brief.

seo copywriting guidelines for 2017 - mobile first!

How to optimise for people glued to their phones:

  • Front load content by placing the most important information above the fold.
  • Keep sentences short and succinct. Two lines per sentence is best, and get to the point quickly.
  • Make everything scannable with headings and short paragraphs. 
  • Use bullet points. 
  • Choose your Calls-to-Action carefully. Mobile use has sky-rocketed over the past few years, but there’s still a large number of users who take a cross platform approach. This means that they might visit your website on a lunch break, get the information they want, and then make up their mind when they're back at their desktop computer. You might want to take it easy on the hard sell with your mobile website, but check your Google Analytics first to see how your mobile conversions fare.


Give your old-school blog posts a makeover

Do you ever look back at posts you wrote a few years ago and immediately want to drown your embarrassment in a bottle of Pinot? I know I do. There are a few things I could do with scrapping completely, but for the rest, a revamp is in order! And more Pinot, obviously.

Go through your old blog posts and pick what could do with a style session.  Some of that content might still be performing well, but all it needs is a bit of an update to bring it into 2017.

Ask yourself:  Is it relevant? Does it conform to 2017 web standards? Are there a bunch of dead links in here? Can I refresh it without butchering it?

You likely won’t need to create new URLs, but if you do, make sure you do a 301 redirect. You should look into what new queries people might be using. It’s also worth creating new calls-to-action to promote new offers you might have, and of course, re-promoting across social media.

Personally, I’m pretty happy that there’s less of a focus on keyword research and keyword density these days. Because that’s not really what writing is about for me, and never has been. Words – as I say on my About page – are about illucidation, and creating meaning. They’re about colouring your message, and demonstrating your individual flair. If you can climb through the ranks on Google, then gold star for you. But if no one is actually staying on your page and liking what you have to say, you likely won’t be at the top for long.


Want to learn how I got to #1 on Google?

I used a combination of the tactics described in this blog post + so much more.

And on May 27, I’m hosting The SEO Copywriting Workshop in Melbourne.

It's for business owners like you who want to create GREAT content that both customers + Google love. The results speak for themselves – more traffic and more customers.

AND, when you’re a member of Communique, you get a HUGE discount on ticket prices.

Pssst: If you're already a member, I'll send you the discount code too ;)


Conversion Rate Optimisation for Guiding Customers Through The Sales Funnel

conversion rate optimisation for product pages

You’ve probably heard the expression ‘Content is king’ originally coined by Bill Gates. In his 1996 article, he wrote in an almost McLuhan-esque fashion ‘Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.

And in 2017, we’re confident in saying that that prophecy has definitely been fulfilled.


But what exactly is content?

Content” means many different things to many people. But the most common type of ‘content’ that is present on almost every website since the birth of internet is what you’re consuming wright now – words. As the internet has evolved from information archive to haven of cat videos, images and videos – also known as ‘rich media’ - have become increasingly popular amongst consumers, and effective tools for marketing.

So how can an online business harness the power of content to attract more satisfied customers? When it comes to directing website visitors through your online sales funnel (whether that be for e-commerce or lead generation), it’s critical that they are persuaded and they have a pleasant experience. Do this, and you’ll ensure they both purchase from you with confidence, and then come back for more.


The key to powerfully persuasive content

One of the most powerful and yet most underutilised tools for persuasion is the language you use: that is to say, your copy.

What many digital marketers may not fully realise is that with the intelligent use of sales copywriting (which has been around pre-internet), you have a higher chance of getting website visitors through to your most important conversion goals, and ultimately buying more.

This guide will give you a number of tips based upon our experience of having successfully optimised conversion rate for some of Australia’s most successful ecommerce websites.


Writing for profit: How content and copywriting fits into your conversion rate optimisation strategy for online retailers

1. Exceptionally persuasive product descriptions

Often when we audit an ecommerce website, we notice that a large number of online retailers tend to or copy and paste their product descriptions from the product manufacturer. These are too short and painfully unpersuasive, listing facts like the product reference number, data-sheets or product IDs.

An example of a product description

We’ve often seen one or two-line product descriptions that are clearly sourced from a manufacturer website and do almost nothing to persuade the customer or answer their most important questions

So why exactly is this poor practice? Product descriptions are the most fundamental component of any ecommerce product detail page.

The reason is obvious: people are more likely to buy from you if they know what they’re buying.

By creating high-quality, persuasive product descriptions – as time consuming and resource intensive as it can be­– you’ll have a strong potential advantage over your competitors who may be selling the same product.

To write high-quality persuasive product descriptions, here are 9 tips you must consider:


  • Benefits first. Write about the benefits of the product, not the features. Think: how does this improve their life? If you’re not sure, read your copy out aloud and ask yourself “what’s in it for me?”.

Benefits-driven copy: ‘This large premium leather tote is large enough to fit your laptop and a spare pair of flats’.

Features-driven copy: ‘This leather tote is 50cm x 50 cm.’


  • Pick an appropriate length (but don’t go crazy). Product descriptions that are one or two sentences long are almost definitely too short. As a general rule of thumb, we’d shoot for 200 – 500 words, depending on your vertival.

Longer product descriptions (beyond 500 words), can be very effective, but you need to know your market to gauge what length is effective. It also gives you some potential advantages over your competitors, SEO-wise (for some of the best advice on organic search for ecommerce retailers, check out Searchmetrics’ eCommerce Ranking Factors research). Remember that website visitors tend to skim text and not read every word.


  • Use bullet points to make the content easy to read. Create bullet points of the feature specifications under the main description. Website visitors scan content, so the structure of the words and layout of the page is as important as the words themselves.


  • Avoid irrelevant information and “facts”. We’ve often seen online retailers include ‘data-sheets’ or obscure facts that potential buyers don’t care about. Avoid the usage of information like ‘Product ID’ in the main product description, and consider another tab on the product page for facts/specifications. Imagine you went into a bricks and mortar retail store and spoke to a retail assistant and they started reciting you the product IDs to you. You’d probably leave the store.


  • Use emotive words and phrases. The success of a product often doesn’t come down to the best design or the best manufacturing. Customers care about how you make them feel, so it’s important to use evocative, positive language to create an experience around your product.


Daniel Glass, a bottle manufacturer from the US, does an excellent job of ascribing an otherwise dry product with a funny personality that their consumer can easily connect with.

product description copywriting for daniel glass


  •  Inject on-brand personality into your copy  Most copy on the web is frankly boring to read and uninspiring. Speak in your customer’s language. Write to them like you would speak to them if you were standing in front of them explaining the product. Don’t be afraid to step away from the standard professional bland style of copy, as long as it’s consistent with your business’ branding guidelines. If you’re unsure how customers will respond, A/B test it on your top products and see how your customers respond.


  • Get into the mind of your customers. The job of a masterful copywriter is to learn to empathise with the prospect. If you can do that, you are almost certain to excel beyond your competition in terms of conversion rate optimisation and marketing in general. One easy way to do this is by mining review sites like, or niche websites like 


  • Spellcheck or lose credibility. Mistakes in your product descriptions make your business appear unprofessional and untrustworthy. “If I can’t trust them to spell correctly, can I trust them to get the product to me on time?”


  • Don’t get pinged for duplicate content or plagiarism. Make sure the content you write is unique and not copied from other websites. Copied content can hurt your SEO performance and it can even cause nightmares for your legal team for plagiarism/copyright infringement. Use to check for duplicate content, and also hire a professional copywriter. With sales copywriting, you get what you pay for.


By following these tips, you can easily create product descriptions that stand out and are persuasive enough for your website visitors to become website buyers.


American online retailer of indie and vintage-inspired women’s clothing, with 350+ employees, ModCloth, injects a tonne of personality and their brand into their copy to a point where it's actually enjoyable to read.

example of product description copywriting


2.     Testimonials and reviews

A 2015 study by Nielsen shows that a whopping 70% of individuals shopping online trust online consumer opinions posted online and use that as part of their decision making process. A case study by VWO showed that one ecommerce site increased their sales by 58.29% by adding customer reviews to their product pages.

The research overwhelmingly shows that consumers today rely heavily on reviews to help them decide whether to buy a product or buy from a business.

It’s important to showcase your reviews so that your visitors can see that they’re buying from a respectable business. When considering whether to showcase your reviews, keep these few things in mind:


  • Don’t be afraid to show the good and the bad. If the good reviews outweigh the bad reviews, don’t be afraid to showcase both. No one company has only good reviews, so it’s more believable if you have a few bad reviews in there as well.


  • Show the ‘stars’ prominently on the product description page. We noticed that one of our clients had small product reviews on their product pages that were difficult to read. We improved this by making them bigger and easier to read:
  • Hide the stars if you have 0 reviews. If you have a product that has no reviews at all, showing the reviews is simply wasted screen real estate.


  • Use product review software and allow users to leave reviews on the product page without leaving the site. This will increase your sales greatly because people don’t have to leave your site to find the reviews. When a person leaves your website, you run the risk of them not coming back. Common vendors and tools for this include BazaarVoice, Yotpo and Trustpilot.


  • Prove to visitors that they’re real. Some product review software allows anyone with an email address and a fake name (whether they’ve purchased in the past or not) to leave a review. Many solutions also don’t encourage a reviewer to leave a photo or authenticate with any of their social networks. For example, compare the apparent legitimacy and authenticity of these two reviews:
Reviews are the key to conversions
Positive customer reviews with images can increase your conversions

The second is more trustworthy, because it includes a picture, appears to be linked to Facebook and includes a full name. The first uses a handle “Melby1970” and has no name, location or picture associated with it.


  • Keep track of customer feedback. If you find there are bad reviews coming in, check to see if there’s a problem with your product that may need addressing. Even the best marketing in the world can’t help if your product is terrible.


  • Respond to reviews quickly and professionally. When responding to reviews, make sure you stay calm and polite no matter how annoyed you are. You need to remember other people are seeing your interaction with customers. If you have a positive interaction, new customers will be more inclined to trust that you’re going to look after their needs.


Prospective online shoppers care about reviews and testimonials. Small changes to the way you collect and show reviews can make a massive difference in your bottom line - so make the most of them.


3.     Product images

Why we believe that what you say is just as important as what you sell, product images are critical to the success of any ecommerce website. With platforms like Instagram taking over, high quality images do more than half of the selling for your business.

When reviewing usability studies and live user recordings, it’s not uncommon for more than 20% of website visitors to engage with a product image’s enlarge or zoom functionality. According to heatmap and eye movement studies, almost everyone looks closely at the product image.

The reason is obvious: online shoppers want to see what they’re buying. Online shoppers generally won’t buy from a site if there’s no images or the images are poor.

When thinking about product images, here are some guidelines to keep in mind:


  • Use high-quality photography and product images. Investing in high-quality product photography makes a big difference and is typically a sound investment in your competitive advantage against online retailers. Low quality, low resolution or lossy product photos tend to perform badly. Hire a pro, and definitely don’t DIY!

If you’re an online fashion retailer, consider hiring models. When testing clothing on a mannequin or on a rack versus worn by a model, it’s not surprising that the professional model tends to convert better.


  • Make sure the images load quickly. There are many studies which show that website visitors will bounce away from a page that’s too slow to load. Not to mention, a slow-loading website is very bad for your SEO! Images should be compressed, but not so compressed that they’re grainy or blurred.


  • Make sure they’re appropriately sized. Many ecommerce retailers make their product images too small, giving them less visual hierarchy than other components of the page. Don’t be afraid to dedicate a significant amount of screen real estate to your product photos. They are, after all, one of the most important parts of your online shopper’s evaluation criteria.


  • Make appropriate use of ‘click to enlarge’ rather than ‘magnifying lens’ style. Many ecommerce retailers use magnifying lens style hovers on product images. We’ve found from our usability tests that these can get in the way of what the shopper is trying to do. We’d recommend using a click to enlarge functionality with a pop-up box.

  • Consider usage of 3D zoom and/or product video. 3D Zoom and product videos are two ways of further levelling up your product images. Ecommerce giant ASOS makes extensive usage of product video as a way of complimenting their product images, just like this:
Product videos can greatly increase ecommerce conversions


4.     Communicate and clarify your value proposition – make a ‘Why Shop With Us?’ page

Your value proposition is the fundamental tenet of your marketing and conversion rate optimisation. According to Dr Flint McGlaughlin, the founder and managing director of MECLABS (the largest independent research institution on scientific online marketing performance):

“Value proposition is the answer to the question. If I am your ideal customer, why should I buy X from you rather than from your [your competitor]?

Review your website’s content and ask yourself the question: “Where do we answer this question directly and how effectively do we do so?”.

By creating a page dedicated to answering this question, and littering the answer to this question throughout your site in the form of copy and supporting imagery, you’ll be driving your value home and convince more customers to buy from you. For your business, it might be free shipping, a 60-day return policy, or a discount offer for first-time buyers.

The most common buying criteria for ecommerce often comes down to:


  • Price. Are your prices lower than your competitors? If so, can you back this up with evidence? Can you check this? Do you offer any guarantees such as ‘price matching’? Do you handle enough transaction volume that you’re able to buy in bulk from your wholesalers cheaper than your competitors? Do you import direct from China and pass those savings directly onto the consumer by operating on lower margins? If so, SAY IT! Prove it to your website visitors with proof points and evidence, and keep this in prominent places above the fold.


  • Shipping costs. Free shipping are two magical words to many Australian customers orderings from overseas. After all, who wants to pay double the product price just for living in a separate country?


Do you offer free shipping across the board? Do you offer free shipping for all orders over $100? Well, that’s part of your value proposition and part of the reason why online shoppers should buy from you rather than a competitor. It’s worth noting that nothing in the world is truly free. Insider secret: free shipping actually means the product price is slightly higher to offset the cost  of shipping to the retailer. But try offering free shipping across the board for a short period of time, and watch what happens to your conversion rate. If you can find a way to offer free shipping across the board without sabotaging your gross profit and net profit, you should strongly consider it as a tool for competitive advantage online.


  • Shipping time. One online retailer client of ours successfully increased their revenue by 17.6% by telling website visitors that they “ship all orders within 1-2 business days”. This goes to show how important shipping time (i.e.: time between placing an order and it leaving the warehouse or arriving) is for online shoppers. If you ship quickly or have ways of ensuring it arrives at your customer’s location within X number of days, say so – especially if this is comparatively faster than your competitors.


  • Returns policy. Do you allow for returns? Do you have a money-back guarantee for unsatisfied customers? If so, have a page dedicated to outlining these details on your website.


  • Retail stores. Are you an omni-channel retailer that also has a large number of bricks and mortar retail stores? You know what we’re going to say...SAY SO! While pure online retailers sometimes have additional flexibility, speed and agility over omnichannel retailers, those with many bricks and mortar retail stores generally have much greater brand awareness and trust to leverage. Use this trust to your advantage and remind your website visitors why being both online and offline is a good thing.


  • Service and/or expertise. Are you heavily focused on one or two niche categories of products? If so, you quite likely have a wealth of knowledge about your products and the manufacturing process. Make sure you describe your craft, your experience, your passion, and how this translates into premium quality products and services. 


Communicating (and refining/developing) your value proposition is one of the most important tenets of conversion optimisation and marketing in general. By improving your value proposition and ensuring your customers understand it, your website conversion rate can improve drastically.



When it comes to converting more website visitors, copy is often left until the last minute.  Don’t make that mistake!

Don’t forget: What you say is just as important as what you sell. Go and make Don Draper proud.

James Spittal is the founder of Conversion Rate Optimisation and A/B testing obsessed digital marketing agency, Web Marketing ROI. They help brands with high-traffic websites optimise their conversion rate using A/B testing, conversion optimisation and personalisation.


How to brief a copywriter

So you've been working away at your big business idea for some months now, and your new business baby is just about ready to pop. It's an exciting time, and you're so overwhelmed by the excitement of it all that you're speechless. Literally. People are asking you where you've been hiding the past couple of months, and a smile begins to form on your face. "Well, I've been starting a new project/expanding my product mix/launching a new website, and gobbledegook fap fap meow purple monkey dishwasher".

Before you know it, you're left there holding the chip bowl as the other person slowly retreats and edges towards slightly more coherent company. It's not your fault - building buzz about who you are and what you do is hard. The words make sense inside your head, but when you sit down to write that press release, or that landing page, or that blog post, your prose sounds more like a recap of LOST. It's mega confusing, with waaaay too many ideas snaking their way through.

This is where a copywriter comes in. It's our job to flesh out your story and tell it to the masses. It's our job to make you sound so fan-freakin-tastic, we actually convince ourselves to use your services or buy from you.

Copy is more than just words on a screen or a page. They're carefully crafted sentences that combine all of your ideas, your purpose and your very own brand of sizzling panache. So before you hire a copywriter, there's a few key things you should think about before you even make that first phone call, and write a copywriting brief for your chosen one.


How to brief a copywriter

1.  Decide who your target market is

Who is your ideal customer or client? Are they single, female, time-starved with little financial knowledge? Or are they male, 35-50-years-old, with a high amount of disposable income and little pop culture knowledge? It's really important to think about who your people are and how you serve them, because a copywriter will be able to use an appropriate tone of voice that will appeal to them. Also, it's a real shame when Beyonce references go over peoples' heads.

2. Define the purpose of the copywriting - to educate, or to increase sales

To put it simply - what do you want and what are your goals? I know you're probably sitting at your computer thinking, "I'm a business owner, and I want some copy for my press release and I would like for it to sound good so people will read it. Duh.". But copywriting goes deeper than the simple act of typing. It serves a purpose, and part of its success lies in its foundational strategy. Is it for a landing page that people are sent to from an email and then used to capture leads for your personal training services? Is it instructional information that will help people perform a task better? Is it a spell-binding 'About Us' page that tells the world exactly why your business is the best in its industry? Knowing exactly what you want this copy to do is vital to giving your copywriter direction.

Seth Godin quote about brand marketing and copywriting

3. Be clear on your Ultimate Selling Point (USP)?

Seth Godin calls this your Purple Cow: "Today, the one sure way to fail is to be boring. Your one chance for success is to be remarkable." Now, you might not even know what exactly it is that makes your business so unique. Or, you might have a vague idea, but you're not quite sure how to articulate it. In my honest opinion, if you're not yet sure of your USP, it's part of a copywriter's job to help you find this out with you. If your writer of choice doesn't get you on a Skype call and probe you for the 411 about your business, they're not doing their job right. But before you begin your business discovery call with your copywriter, it's useful for both parties if you can summarise your wow-factor in a few, short sentences. Are you a solopreneur who's entirely responsible for all of your services? It's rare not to outsource, and that is very purple of you. High-five! Are you a fourth-generation yogi overflowing with almost a century of knowledge? That's insanely special (can I please steal your productivity secrets?). Maybe you're a close-knit family business who just want to share your wares with the world? That's a very warm and fuzzy story right there.

4. Pick a deadline

A copywriter will work with you to organise a time frame that benefits both parties, but having an absolute no-excuses deadline is also very useful. Before you even ask for a quote, work out a due-by date and let your copywriter of choice known in the first communication. That way, no one wastes time anticipating goal-kicking only to have to part ways to due conflicting schedules. As a rule of thumb, if you need a super-speedy turn-around, you're looking at an extra surcharge.

I'm Camilla Peffer, and I'm a Melbourne copywriter who creates engaging, results-driven content for fashion and lifestyle brands. From website copywriting, to fashion copywriting, content strategies and SEO audits, I've created clicks and conversions for the likes of Sportsgirl, Seed Heritage and Politix. Want to work together? Reach out! I'd love to hear about your next project.