I’ve been a professional writer—meaning somebody paid me for my writing—for nearly two decades, going back to my days at The New Hampshire student newspaper at The University of New Hampshire.
In that time, I wrote daily articles as a reporter for the Gloucester Daily Times newspaper; I then wrote and edited articles for National Geographic Adventure, back when it was a physical magazine; during my agency days, I wrote marketing copy for Kona Bikes, Scarpa Footwear, Gregory Backpacks, K2 Snowboarding and more; I’ve worked as an in-house marketing copywriter and content specialist for The North Face and Outdoor Research; I’ve written marketing copy in-house at Amazon; I’ve been a Content Manager and Content Strategist at B2B Marketing Agency Yesler and SaaS HR company PayScale.
In each of these jobs, I honed my craft, learning from my colleagues and new technologies, becoming a better marketing copywriter and producing more effective content and copy.
Now, I’m helping organizations and people as a website content writer and creator, employing everything I’ve learned over the past 20 years, and continuing to learn every day.
And perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned is that being able to write engaging, enjoyable, inspiring marketing copy is no longer enough. Today, you need to do that and much more.
My goal for this blog is for it to become a place where I share the content marketing and email marketing tips and tricks that have worked for me over the course of my career.
The Evolution of the Search Engine and SEO
It's common knowledge these days that search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial when it comes to website copywriting. Researching the keywords for which you want to rank, then creating high-quality marketing copy and content focused around those keywords lets your customers find you amid all the noise on the internet.
In the early days of the internet, search engines were crude enough that simply “stuffing” keywords into online content would be enough to improve your website ranking and draw customers. But the little trick of "keyword stuffing" often resulted in low-quality copy and content; in some cases, on-page copy became simply a mass of randomly ordered words. Not a great customer experience.
Fortunately, search engines have evolved, and now creating high-quality, readable, informative content that is also optimized for SEO has become the best way to rank highly in search and become easily discoverable for your customers.
Optimizing Your Website and Email Copywriting
It’s amazing how small changes in word selection, page layout, headline phrasing, button placement and other seemingly minor choices can have immediate and meaningful impact on pageviews and conversions driven by your online copy and content.
For example, after an audit of a years' worth of email newsletter campaigns for a past employer, I learned what type email content drove the most opens, and what type of email content was most likely to drive conversions. Beyond that, by reviewing where our customers clicked within the email, I learned where on the page that content performed best.
By focusing on the creation and placement of what I learned was our most-effective content, and with no changes to the cadence of our email schedule, website traffic driven by our email newsletter increased by more than 20 percent over the course of two months.
The recipe for success isn’t the same for every business, but there are myriad ways to optimize your content efforts. And after two decades of work as a journalist, marketing copywriter and content writer, I will employ all of those skills and best-practices to drive your business forward.