Looking for website copywriting tips to help you improve your website so it attracts and converts more leads in 2021? [Read more…] about 5 website copywriting tips for 2021
If you’re looking for a new way to use your blog to attract more sales, I recommend writing a few gift guides. The 3 types of gift guides that I show below are a great opportunity to promote your products and services and to give buyers a starting point when shopping. If you do it well and without sounding salesy and pushy, you’ll convert them into customers.
But before I show you the 3 gift guide ideas, be sure to do the following for each of them:
1. Use a strong Google-friendly title that includes your keywords.
2. Either only showcase your own products and services (e.g. your top ten products) or include a general list and then include your products/services (e.g. Best Hotels in Perth would cover best hotels, including your hotel)
3. In each post, use a subheading to introduce each product, and you’ll aim for the same word count per item. The word count would depend on the number of items in the blog post so that you have a blog post that’s not too brief nor too long.
So, if you have 5 items, maybe have 100 words per item, plus a 50-word intro and 50-word outro, that’s about 600 words. Plus, add links to the individual product pages to help customers buy them.
Gift guides by customer type
Since you know your top three ideal customers, you can create a separate gift guide for each type.
Here’s an example if you’re selling backpacks for men and your top three customers are:
- men who listen to music on the go
- men who carry laptops
- men who go mountain climbing
That’s 3 types of gift guide ideas already:
- Post #1: backpacks that come with mobile phone chargers and headphone holes.
- Post #2: padded laptop backpacks with special compartments inside for the laptop, cables, mouse, pens and other small items, and that are the perfect size to classify as carry-on luggage when traveling.
- Post #3: backpacks that have padded hip belts, comfy shoulder straps, ski-carry loops and glove-friendly zipper pulls.
Gift guides by category
This type of gift guide attracts customers who are looking for something specific, such as two-seater sofas, running shoes or camping tents. The idea is to give them several options, especially if you’re selling a wide range of these products.
Here’s an example if you’re selling clothing for women and your top categories are:
- floral tops
- work dresses
- tailored blazers
Now you write a gift guide post for each category:
- Post #1: floral tops, including tank tops with buttons down the front, shirts with knotted fronts, and tops with cowl necks.
- Post #2: work dresses, including plain dresses with V necks, shift dresses with wooden buttons down one side, and double-breasted dresses.
- Post #3: tailored blazers, including boyfriend blazers, corduroy blazers and double-breasted blazers.
Gift guides by pricing
A gift guide that’s based on either a price tag or price range is great for customers who have a set budget.
Here are some wording ideas for your title, I’ve used “kitchen” as the keyword to show how they would work:
- Best Kitchen Gifts Under $50
- Our Top 5 Kitchen Gifts for Less Than $50
- 55 Unique Kitchen Gifts Under $50
- Kitchen Gifts from ABC Store for Under $50
- The Coolest Kitchen Gifts Under $50
- 25 Gym Gifts You Can Get Under $50
- Luxury Items That Cost Less Than $50 Each
That’s it, easy. Right? And then just write, write, write, and include photos where relevant.
Gift guides are great especially if you want to blog to increase sales during specific seasons (Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, you name it). The key is to ensure each gift guide not only helps buyers to quickly and easily identify the best options but helps you promote the options that you want to sell more of either during that specific season or on an ongoing basis.
Stuck writing your first gift guide? Get in touch with me via email and I’ll let you know how I can help.
When you’re using Microsoft Word to work on copy or content with other people, just like I do with my press release clients, it’s less painful and more helpful if you leave feedback directly within the document. No need to insert the feedback into an email and making the other people go back and forth between the email and the Word document.
So, how to add and delete comments in Microsoft Word? Here’s the easiest way to do it:
1. Highlight where you want to insert the comment. Here, I want to insert the comment on the words Microsoft Word.
2. Go to the Review tab to access the editing tools. The button for Show Comments is usually activated.
3. Click on New Comment to add your first comment.
4. Type your comment. NOTE: If you delete the highlighted words, your comment will be deleted.
5. Save your document.
The other person can now click Reply to respond to your comment, or can click Resolve if they’ve addressed the issues that you raised in your comment. They can then save and return to you so you can do the same.
How to reply to, delete or resolve a comment in Microsoft Word
If you want to delete or resolve a comment, simple right-click on the comment and select Reply, Delete or Resolve.
Did you find this article helpful? Share it with your network so they, too, can learn how to use comments in worduse comments in their Word documents when working with others.
Did you know you can convert PDFs into Word documents in Microsoft Word? Yep. Check it out here.
Wondering how to convert a PDF to Word *.doc or *.docx without an expensive tool? Here are two solutions if you don’t want to purchase Adobe Acrobat DC Pro which, in addition to the option to edit PDFs as PDFs, has the inbuilt tool to convert PDFs to Word Docx and Docs.
As a brochure copywriter, I often receive PDFs from clients so I can check for errors after their designers turn my copy into brochures and adverts. I’ve never paid to convert my PDFs. I either open them with Word or annotate in Acrobat.
How to use Microsoft Word to convert a PDF to a Word document
You’d be surprised to know that Microsoft Word has the option to open and edit PDFs. But PDF conversion to Word documents with Microsoft Word can be unstable if you’re working with a highly formatted PDF or a document that was scanned to PDF. The result might be an ugly document full of errors like bad breaks, missing footers, and some or all sentences ending up looking likethisbitrighthere.
But maybe all you want is to be able to copy and edit the text, or your PDF is a simple document or was originally designed in Microsoft Word with simple formatting, then try opening it as a PDF in Word.
Here’s how to convert a PDF to Word with Word:
- Open Microsoft Word, then click the File tab and select Open.
- Now locate the PDF file and open it. Your PDF file should open in Word and a dialog box should pop up to indicate that it might not look like the original since some reformatting may occur, and that it might take a little while to convert your PDF.
- Click OK to view the converted document.
- If it opens in Protected View, click Enable Content and then click OK
- Next, you’re ready to edit the document. When done, Save it as you normally would any other Word document.
Did it work?
If your document came out messy, then try accessing Adobe Acrobat Export PDF (A$2.94/mo, billed annually at A$35.19/yr) via your free Acrobat Reader DC. Adobe Acrobat Export PDF is designed to do conversions and is good for complex documents when you don’t want to pay for the full upgrade to Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.
How to convert a PDF to Word from inside Acrobat Reader DC
If you have a more complex PDF with design elements and the beautiful things that don’t convert well in other tools, then try Adobe Acrobat Export PDF. It should keep your work intact, converting the PDF to an editable Word document with everything else that came with it, including the same fonts and formatting such as tables, bullets, horizontal lines, headers and footers and page numbers.
The following instructions are for subscribing to Adobe Acrobat Export PDF via the free Acrobat Reader DC:
- Open the PDF file in Acrobat Reader DC.
- Go to the Tools Pane on the righthand side. If you can’t see the right pane, go to View in the top Menu, then select Tools Pane to display it.
- Click the Export PDFtool to expand it.
- Select Microsoft Wordas the export format for your document. Under Convert to, choose “Microsoft Word (*docx)” or “Microsoft Word (*doc)”.
- Click Convert. You’ll now be taken to the landing page on the Adobe website where you can choose the subscription of your choice. Then follow instructions to start using the tools to convert your PDF files from your browser.
Once you’re done, remember to save your new Word file in the format that you need to work with in Word (*doc or *docx file format).
Did you find this article helpful? Share it with your network so they, too, can try converting the PDFs with Microsoft Word.
Google recently announced a new Google Maps feature that will help users know ahead of time whether your business is “wheelchair accessible”. People looking for accessible businesses and places are activating the new “Accessible Places” feature on their Google Maps app to make it obvious which ones are wheelchair accessible.
This information isn’t only useful for wheelchair users, but also for anyone using other assistive devices such as walking canes, crutches, and walkers, and those with prams and strollers.
If you let Google know that your business is an accessible place, then a wheelchair icon will show on your listing to indicate whether it has an accessible entrance and then we should also see whether your business has accessible seating, restrooms, lifts and parking.
If you opt to say that your business doesn’t have one or more of these features, then Google Maps will show this.
Below is an example of how your Google listing might appear.
The icon also shows in other sections on your Google listing:
This is a great feature that was long overdue because people want to know whether a place or business has wheelchair-accessible parking, a wheelchair-accessible entrance, wheelchair-accessible seating, wheelchair-accessible restrooms, a wheelchair-accessible lift and anything else that is wheelchair friendly.
How to add the “wheelchair-accessible” icon
All it takes to add the label to your Google Maps listing is to go into your Google My Business account and add it as an attribute. Follow the instructions on the Google website. If you make a mistake, you can always edit the listing.
Criteria for the different attributes (Source: Google):
Google has set some criteria for using the attributes in your listing.
The following is an excerpt from their website:
Answer yes if the entrance to the business is approximately 3 feet wide and doesn’t have steps. 3 feet (or 1 meter) is approximately the minimum comfortable width for two people to stand right next to each other. If there are one or more steps, there should be a permanent ramp or, at the very least, a moveable ramp. Entryways that consist of only revolving doors should be marked No for this attribute.
Answer yes if the entrance to the restroom is at least one meter wide and can be reached without going up or down steps. If a person in a wheelchair would need to enter a stall inside the restroom, the stall’s entrance also needs to be one meter wide. (Remember, one meter is about the width of two people standing comfortably side by side.)
Answer yes if the main area of the business can be accessed without stairs and there’s enough space for someone in a wheelchair to navigate to and sit at a table. If all tables are high (e.g. at standing level), the business isn’t wheelchair-friendly.
Answer yes if there’s a parking spot specifically marked for those with accessibility needs. These spots are often marked with specific painting on the ground, placards, or signs (depending on your country and/or region).
Answer yes if a place has multiple floors and there is an elevator that is large enough to accommodate a wheelchair.
Watch Google’s Introducing Accessible Places on Google Maps video below:
Were you forced to close your business during the COVID-19 pandemic? Are you wondering how to promote your business when you reopen?
Free publicity is a powerful tool to gain exposure and attract sales whether you’re reopening your business or simply trying to get additional sales. In this article, I share some creative ways to gain free publicity after COVID-19 to help increase awareness, engagement and sales for your business.
Why seek free publicity after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted?
Because you want your business to attract sales right away. By capturing media attention, you’ll support your PR plans, which will then help kick off your marketing and sales plans.
You also want free publicity after COVID-19 because closing the business:
- affected your cashflow, staff and clients
- disrupted your bottom line
- paused your relationships with your clients
Plus, if your business was doing well before COVID-19 and if what you’re offering is still relevant and sought after once the pandemic is over, then you know there’s still a market out there for it.
Still, if your goal is to gain free publicity to attract sales right away, then it might be best to focus on small sub-groups who will be looking to buy right away. This means don’t target everyone under the sun. Instead, create timely and relevant post-COVID-19 communications that would help you reach the right people through a handful of relevant channels that you’ll carefully select.
So, how on earth does a small business attract free PR opportunities when reopening?
Before we go into that, you need to remember to monitor what people are saying right now about your brand, the products/services you offer, and the industry. This will help you determine how your clients and prospective clients are feeling right now, so that you know what kind of PR you need to do as you reboot or resume the business. It’s important to remember this because the PR you do for your business might not be the same as the PR some other businesses need to do for their markets.
Some things to think about:
- Has there been a shift towards negativity?
- How did people react when you temporarily closed the business?
- How did they react during the time that you were shut?
- What happened to your competition? Did they close too? If no, did you lose clients to them? If you don’t want your competitors to win over your clients as the restrictions are lifted, then it’s best to track what your competitors are doing (social listening), and to remind people that you’re the best. Otherwise, you might harm your brand reputation.
But before you get started…
Established your PR team
Even if it means just hiring a PR writer to help get your messages right. Below are some of the steps to take when establishing your PR team:
- Nominate a media spokesperson (if that’s not you), because multiple voices will confuse journalists and the public.
- Choose who’s going to lead the PR activities and be responsible for communicating with journalists and communicating via social media, your blog and other channels.
- Establish an approval process for any PR-related matters.
- Create a list of people who should be notified that resuming your business.
- Decide how you’ll manage responses that come in from clients and the media.
- Research knowledge related to the current climate: What’s the market like? What are people asking for? What do they need? What will they need after the pandemic?
- Create a checklist of communications that need to be created (FAQs pages, press releases, blog posts, newsletters, email campaigns, social media posts, Q&As and other helpful material).
As you reopen, you might be flooded with orders or requests for information. So be ready. This will also show your clients that you’re in full control of the situation. You don’t want to be seen to be running around like a headless chicken!
PR actions you could you take as you exit the pandemic
Here are just some of the ways a small business can generate free publicity after COVID-19:
1. Say ‘Hello, we’re back!’
Your PR activities might start with a brief Hello coupled with an announcement that explains that you had to temporarily close to preserve your business, but that you’re now back. This message could also briefly touch on the steps you’re taking to ensure everyone remains safe, and that their needs will be taken care of as soon as possible. As part of your PR, you could also ask how you can help your clients who were affected when business was closed.
Consider posting this message on your website and share it across your social media channels. If you receive any complaints and criticisms, whether in private or publicly, do address them quickly and in a professional and non-aggressive manner.
2. Get in the news
Many small businesses generate free publicity by placing stories in print and online newspapers, magazines and on TV and radio. Having your story published in local and national news (and even international news) will help you influence your target market even more than you just trying to publish messages on your website and social pages.
Plus, free publicity often works a lot better for small businesses than if they were to place an advertisement that tries to give out the same information. The main reason being people don’t want to be sold to and they perceive journalists to be unbiased. Think about it… the journalists are saying we should trust you versus you telling us in an advertisement that we should trust you. Who do you think people will believe the most?
The key to getting free publicity in the news is to understand:
- the media outlet and journalist/editor to approach
- the types of stories they’re more likely accept
- whether they prefer to be the only ones covering your story
- the best time to submit your story to them
- the format they want (press release, short pitch, full article, video, audio, something else?)
To ensure that anyone in the media pays attention to your story, it’s important to provide the right information to the right person at the right time and in the format that they prefer.
3. Organise an event
An event after the pandemic doesn’t necessarily mean throwing a party to reopen your business. It could just mean running an online or email campaign that attracts clients. The idea is to get free publicity for an event that costs almost nothing but still helps you create buzz when you’re reopening.
Remember to involve your existing clients. That is, the people who bought from you, can vouch for you, help share your event and therefore help you reach and win new clients. They can raise good public awareness and build excitement for your event, which in turn will give you additional exposure.
Here are some ideas to help your event get free publicity after COVID-19:
- Piggyback on an existing event happening on the same day or in the same week. Is the government relaxing the COVID-19 restrictions on that day? Think about how you can turn this to your advantage. Can you make it so that your event coincides with this and therefore helps you celebrate this massive occasion? If there’s no conflict of interest or date, of course.
- Use a unique event theme and name, a strong headline and a memorable tagline that attract interest from the public and the media.
- Create its own promotional materials such as web graphics, videos, and short promos. Look for strong images, sounds and designs that represent your story well. Remember to include some good PR shots that highlight the key people participating in the event, plus some professional photos that showcase your business, products and services.
- Get the community involved through social media, email, your blog, other people’s blogs, and the local news.
- Develop a media contact list that you can send your press releases to, including bloggers and freelance writers who write for industry magazines and news sites. Think about your target audience and where do they access general news or news from your industry?
- Write a strong media alert (like a media release) to send to your media list a week or two before your event. Be sure to make it sound like news and to convey the Who, What, When, Why, Why and How of your activity. Tell them what’s in it for their audience. This will get the buzz started and attract media outlets who are interested in covering your event. Most importantly, tailor your news accordingly so that media outlets don’t bin your media alert.
- Call the important people who should know about your event, reinforcing your announcement and answer any questions they may have about the event.
- Create public service announcements that can be run at no cost through social media, and which could potentially go viral.
- Contact local businesses in your business network, especially businesses that complement yours and business owners who a have huge following. This gives an opportunity to find out whether any of them would like to come on board or at least add to the publicity effort.
- Participate as an interviewee on local podcasts, YouTube channels and social media to help reach more potential clients.
Basically, do as much as you can to generate free publicity after COVID-19. The more the better.
4. Seek third-party endorsement
Get one or more influencers on board early so you can use their names in the promotions in the lead up to the event. If possible, look for influencers who can generate free publicity for you, widen your reach through their channels and networks, and strengthen your promotional message.
Influencers should be people such as celebrities or experts in your industry, and they must be people that your ideal clients recognise, respect, listen to and adore. This way, they’ll attract attention and motivate people to take action. They should be willing to use your product/service and then share positive stories about your business to create hype for free. Get them involved in activities such as recording their testimonials, doing giveaways and interviews.
5. Do some post-reopen promotions
Your free publicity campaign shouldn’t stop once your door reopens. Here are a few ideas of the things you can do after the date, to get as much attention as possible.
- Share any media mentions, photos, videos, podcast episodes and anything else that resulted from your free publicity. When your followers and subscribers share the links, this will increase the views and your brand awareness.
- Send a Thank You note by snail mail or email to the people who attended your events or who helped you celebrate the reopen in other ways.
- Encourage your clients and followers to share their experience with others on social media, which in turn could lead to a wider reach. People love to see themselves in photos and viral posts, so it’s also a good opportunity to ask them to share photos. Remember to get their permission to use their photos and to identify the people featured in the photos and to give credit to the people who took or supplied the photos.
- Create some new videos, photos, or blog posts to give clients and potential clients an idea of what they missed when the reopen happened. These can be posted to social media or sent via email.
- Send out a recap press release to share a story about how the reopen went and the solutions you’re offering to the community. This would attract more eyeballs to your business. Remember to publish your media release in the News section of your website.
- Do some special offers to encourage more sales and create more chatter about your brand. This could be done with coupons, competitions and other freebies.
- Conduct a survey to learn more about your ideal clients, and ask your clients and followers to share it on social media. This would also help create more buzz for your brand.
- Reach out to bloggers and publications in your niche. Find out how you can work with them to gain free or low-cost publicity for your business.
These are just some of the strategies that I’ve helped clients implement to promote their businesses, products and services. But before you begin, it’s important to remember that any types of promotional activities take a bit of trying and testing, and – most importantly – requires you to follow through as well as track the results. I recommend that you try a variety of strategies to find out what works for you and what resonates with your ideal clients. If a strategy works, keep a record of everything you did so you can recycle the idea for next time.
If you’ve tried and got some good results from any of these strategies, share your thoughts in the comments below. If you’re looking for copywriting assistance so you can write what you need to attract free publicity after COVID-19, please reach out today via email.