copywriting

Why Doing What You Do Best is Key to Success (Plus, Help With Your Content Plan)

Why Doing What You Do Best is Key to Success (Plus, Help With Your Content Plan)

It’s so easy to start an online business these days. Got a domain, some hosting, and a business name … you are off and running.

It may be a cinch to get all of that stuff but where do you go from there? Your website won’t create itself, sadly. It needs two things. Words and pictures.

Yep, content and images are the crux of a good looking, customer attracting, audience pleasing site. Sounds simple enough, right?

Anyone who has been in those shoes knows otherwise. Unless you have serious photog skills (and if you do, yay you!) then you will have to find a source for those pretty images that align with your brand.  And even those of you who love to write need a solid content plan. Journal style writing isn’t going to cut it online, sorry to say.

While I am the first to admit I definitely do not have picture taking skills, my biz is all about writing. And while it’s something I love to do, and my clients seem to love too, whether I’m writing for a client or my own site, it takes a bit of prep.

Here I will walk you through the basics of setting up a content plan for your site. Those of you who already have a site can use this as a checklist to see if you need to add anything new.

As for those images … I’ll let you in on where I source mine. As I said, this is all about doing what you do best. And if pic taking and writing copy aren’t two of them, hire them out so you can do what you are all about. It’s the key to a successful biz and a happy you.

 

How to Plan Copy for Your Website-2

How to Plan Copy for Your Website

Decide on pages: First off, what pages do you want to have on your site? A good natural beauty site has the basics: home page, about page, ingredient commitment page, and product pages. You may also want a blog on your site.

What you’ll share: What will you share on these pages? A home page should introduce your brand, tell your visitor why they are there, and offer the solution they are looking for. Your about page should tell your readers about you, why you started your brand, interesting facts, a bit about your team if you have one, all in a format that sounds like YOU. Ingredient commitments are pretty straightforward. Use mine if you want and add in your hero ingredients. Product pages, huh? These need to be super enticing and make your customer’s trigger finger twitchy. And if you are an online store, copy and pasting from brand sites is not acceptable.

Get it down: Write it all out on paper or put it in a word or google doc. Read it and read it again. Have someone else read it if you need a fresh set of eyes. If you are happy with it, feel it delivers what your customers are looking for, and feels like it jibes with your brand, go ahead and upload that good stuff onto your site.

Blogs and email: Blogs are so yesterday, right? Wrong! A healthy site blog lets you share new info with your followers and is a place where more personal info can live. Super into drinking chlorella at the moment? Talk about on your blog. Have a unique way to use that new facial serum you created? Tell ‘em all about on your blog.

Guess what? Your blog content also makes great email content. Yes, it’s almost too good to be true. But it is, it’s true! Take a piece from your blog post and use it as an excerpt, along with a fresh intro, as your email that links back to your blog, where your followers can read more, browse around, buy your stuff, you get the drift.

Editorial calendar (yep, you need one!): One rule of thumb I swear by, for myself and my clients, is an editorial calendar. You can come up with one for each week, each month, or each quarter. Heck, you can create one for the whole year if that’s your kinda thing. Don’t worry, you can always go in and switch things around or add to it, but having an ed cal in place is key to consistently delivering new material, sticking with your plan, and eliminating that gut wrenching feeling of having to come up with a new post spur of the moment.

Two things that make my life a ton easier.

Ok, remember it’s all about doing what you do best and supporting others who do what they do best. For me, writing comes easy. Making my site look gorgeous, not so much.

To make the site layout a ton easier, I use Bluchic templates. They are designed for female entrepreneurs, super easy to use, and affordable. There are templates for ecommerce too, so go check them out. If you are wondering, I use Jacqueline here.

Those images I keep referring to? Here’s where I source mine. They look profesh, can be used in a thousand different ways, are totally in sync with my brand, and worth every cent I’ve ever spent.

Hope this info helps you get your site snazzed up. If the whole content process sounds like a mind blower, time sucker, or completely out of your wheelhouse, let me know. It is what I’m all about and I’d love to help you with it too.

Why Words are So Important When Shopping Natural Beauty

Why Words are So Important When Shopping Natural Beauty

Natural beauty is all about being good to your skin and body. Using the best, healthiest ingredients. Getting a glow that’s as naturally gorgeous as your products are good for you. Right?

Of course, using natural beauty IS healthy, and better for you and the enviro. And yes, it IS all about the highest quality, natural and organic ingredients. So what the living heck do words have to do with all of this?


Words are the first tip off to who you can trust, and who you can’t.


If you’ve even tip toed around the natural beauty world, you know that not all brands are as pure as they’d like you to believe. Yep, greenwashers have always been (and still are!) a big ugly zit on the face of healthy beauty products.

Why? Money, honey. The natural beauty biz is a-boomin’ and folks want in. For a more in depth look at how this looks in today’s natural beauty climate, check out an article I wrote for Organic Authority with the help of some of the most authentic natch beauty brand founders around.

Back to those faux naturals. It’s all about marketing and most greenwashers are good at it. They use words that make them seem super natural and nontoxic and hot button phrases that catch consumer attention. Once you get the hang of how these posers work, you’ll be on your way to identifying fakes in a flash and stick with supporting the authentic brands who make the planet a better place for all of us.

Think words can’t possibly sway your view of a product so easily? Think of it this way. You meet up with a new acquaintance for coffee. She seems super nice, smiles a ton, and makes appropriate eye contact. But once you are seated and sipping your coconut milk latte, she can’t quit complaining. She looks sweet, her expression is happy, but she’s bitching and bashing to no end. Would you overlook her words and set up another coffee date simply because she looks good on the outside? Please tell me you would not.

You choose friends based on what’s on the inside. You should do the same with your beauty products. That cool label means nothing compared to what a product is truly made of, and hopefully that’s healthy ingredients.

Words to Look Out for on Natural Beauty Product Labels

Natural — I know, I know. We ARE talking about natural beauty products here. Is it really so weird that the word would appear in product marketing? The problem with the word natural is that it has no legal definition, and is flung far and wide on beauty product labels. Don’t put stock in a product that is merely labeled as “natural”.

Organic — This one seems like a no brainer, right? Organic is good, but it’s the other ingredients comingling with the organic ingredients you need to be concerned with. If a product is labeled “100% Organic” you can trust it is made entirely with organic ingredients. Otherwise, more investigating is required to ensure a product is toxin free.

Pure — Again, no legal definition. This one can be spotted on authentically healthy products and those who simply want to appear that way.

Paraben Free (or Phthalate Free, Petroleum Free…(you get the picture) — A decent marketer knows which ingredients have made the most headlines and will grab consumer attention. A product can be free from parabens or phthalates or petrolatum or any other nasty ingredient and still contain other toxins.

The moral of this story? Read ingredients listings. Check out a brand’s story and commitment. Follow and support brands who back up their labeling with clear information, and have values that align with your own.

Is Fresh Copy On Your New Year’s Resolution List?


Is Fresh Copy On Your New Year's Resolution List?

I’ve had my nose so buried in client work lately and getting things tied up for the end of the year, that I almost forgot I have a blog of my own! I didn’t really forget about it but, as you online biz owners can probably relate, my own blog often gets the least of my attention.

It’s still here, I promise, and I am currently booking for next year. If you are a natural beauty brand or retailer and fresh copy for your site is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, let’s get you penciled in and start setting up a plan for your project.

Not sure exactly what your project looks like or if you need help at all? We can set up a Free Discovery Session for your site and see what may need to be brushed up.

Some things that you may need help with in the copy department:

FTC compliance — Did you know FTC advertising regulations apply to your product descriptions, information pages, ebooks, etc? You can learn more about FTC regulations and how to comply here, or feel free to shoot me a message for more info.

Product descriptions — You retailers aren’t using the brand description on your site, are you? And you product creators, do your descriptions share the full experience? If not, it’s time to get some super juicy product descriptions rolling on your site.

Standard Pages — Did you know this is one of the first places your visitors go when they get to your site? Whether you have decent About and Commitment pages that need a brush up, or haven’t gotten around to those yet, I can help. For now, feel free to use my Ingredients to Avoid page. All I ask is that you give me credit with a link back to my site.

Let’s get one thing checked off your to do list for next year and set up a time to talk more about your copy needs. Send me a message to get things started.

 

Image via Haute Stock Photography

Shop Talk :: The One Thing Your Customers Really Want

Shop Talk :: The One Thing Your Customers Need

Shop Talk is a series on helping organic beauty professionals get their products into the hands of people who will love them, and share their message with the world.

You neeeed vibe word flow.

Know why? It’s how you sell your stuff.

If you were a blogger or shop owner around 6- 10 years ago, you probably remember online marketing in a very different way. Back then it was all about the pretty ads. Flashing, sparkling, bright ads. Plastered everywhere.

Sure, people are still paying big bucks for ads on highly visible sites. But do you know what gets customer attention these days? It is not that big flashy ad. It is words. Solid, honest, super transparent information.

We’ve upped our online game along the way. And thank goodness! Now we go to someone’s site, read up on what we want to know, and decide if we’d like to request more info or make a purchase. The way it should be.

Hey, if you walk into a shop and you are surrounded by lots of retail shop fittings and you start looking at, say…juicers. You are thinking the cheap one looks good price-wise. But will it burn up the third time you use it? Is the more expensive model the best way to go? What do you do? Look at the huge banner telling you to purchase the expensive model and do that, just because the banner said so?

Heck no!

You ask the person working in the store. That is why they are there, right? To give you more information that will aid in your buying decision. And how much does the giant, brightly colored banner with the eye-catching font do for you? Not a whole lot.

Same deal with your web content. Your words tell your customers what they want to know and answer their questions. This is what helps them decide what to buy. Not the crazy ad.

No clue where to begin? I’ve created a little crib sheet for you, including three important things to keep in mind when sharing your products with your customers.

3 Important Things to Share With Your Customers

1. Who is this product for? Most often, when people shop beauty they are shopping for a solution. Fix their acne. Tone down their redness. Diminish their wrinkles. Tell them exactly who the product is designed for and what problem it solves.

2. Look, smell, feel. Since we are talking online stores here, customers can’t get their hands on your sweet products. Let them know what the product feels like to the touch. How does it smell? Is it a creamy, dreamy violet-hued red lipstick or a striking matte tangerine lipstick? Be as descriptive as possible.

3. Give up the ingredients. We know this is important. Consumers are savvy these days and look for full ingredient listings. So don’t beat around the bush, copy and paste those suckers onto each and every description page.

If, on the other hand, you do not have a love of writing, think your writing stinks, or simply do not have the time (you are running an online biz, after all), I can help with that. Organic beauty/wellness writing is my thang and I’d be more than happy to help you out.

Find out what my services will do for you, and fill out the Content Stylist form with the specs on your writing wants and needs. Or if you are less wordy, don’t know what you really want or need, or would like to talk about retaining my writing services on an as needed basis, please give me a shout through my good ol’ contact form. Questions welcome.

Would love to hear from you organic beauty + wellness professionals…what are your biggest hurdles in running an online biz? Setting up time for blogging, social media, or emails? Getting to know your customers? Finding new and exciting products? I’d love to know, so please share in the comments.

Shop Talk :: When Your Creativity Gives You Lemons…

Shop Talk :: When Your Creativity Gives You Lemons…

So you’ve got yourself a blog. You have been doing a fair job of updating it regularly. You’ve set aside a day/night/wee hour of the morning each week to write up a post. And now you are blank.

If you’ve ever wondered What the heck am I going to put up on the blog this week?, first; you are not alone, second; you have options.

Yes, all of us dry up on creativity at some point. Even those who appear to have creative mojo dripping from their pores. You have two options here. Either get your juices pumping which, yes, takes energy and often time. May I suggest a run, shower, quick nap on the couch?

Or you can fake it. This is the easy way out, but it can also be a thing of beauty.

The following is a list of post ideas for any organic beauty or wellness blog. These are fast and easy to come up with, will help you out in a pinch, and fun for your readers too. You’ll be slinging these babies out like hotcakes and having a great time doing it. I’m calling it…

Blog Post 911

Product post :: Product reviews can get old. Not only for you, but for your readers. Rather than writing up 300+ words on what is so great about your latest addition, try a sentence or two on a handful of similar use products, seasonal items, or those you are simply loving right now. A pretty pic never hurts either and can even do most of the talking for you.

Wishlist post :: You know you have one. Don’t we all? That running list in your iPhone, notebook, head of pretties you are dying to get your hands on? Share them with your readers and encourage them to do the same in the comments. Have a shop? Put up items you’d like to try and match them up with similar “until I get to this” items you carry.

Who Do You Love post :: The super model, actress, writer, painter, product creator, blogger that you admire so much? Tell others about her. Share her with your world. Your followers like to know what you like and your crush may even take note. Nothing like a little reciprocal love.

How To post :: Do your readers ask you certain questions again and again? Friends and acquaintances always wondering what lip gloss or scent you are wearing? Tell them, already! As in “I always get asked…”. A good ol’ how to post is always a hit, too.

How They post :: I have heard so many women comment on the JLo Glow. I always thought Luminizer, duh. Well, let them know! How did Salma get that winged out liner on that Allure cover? How does Gwen get her red lipstick to stay put? Have the answer? Enquiring minds want to know.

Each of these can be whipped out in an hour or less. Promise.

Did this help? If you’d like to read more blog post ideas or have other questions on content for your site or blog, let me know.

What You’re Doing This Weekend

These are Working for Your Weekend

Have some free time this weekend? Feel like doing some reading/learning? Boy, do I have stuff you are going to love!

Do you love to read as much as I do? If I could figure out how to make a living off of reading or taking online courses…life made.

Since I have not yet figured that out, I do so in my spare time. And I’ve got a hunch you do too. So I want to let you in on some super good stuff you can check out over the weekend.

Big Magic :: Ok, if you did not get your sweaty little hands on a copy of Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book yet, Do. So. Pronto. Big Magic is a quick, enlightening read that’ll have you kicking if onlys and what ifs to the curb, and calling up your inspo like the creative beast you are. Gilbert (in her talking-to-your-bestie-over-coffee manner) not only gives you permission to take time to do the things you love, but absolutely insists on it as a means to a meaningful existence. You are soooo ready for this.

James Patterson Teaches Writing :: You know. The #1 New York Times Best Selling, award winning, American author of books for children, teens, and adults? Yeah, that guy. James has a fiction writing course on Masterclass.com, called James Patterson Teaches Writing, that’s gonna knock the socks off your writer’s block. He offers up 22 lessons on everything from creating characters and plot line, to firing up your passion for writing and marketing your work. I bought this baby yesterday and cannot wait to get started. Want to do it with me? It’s only $90 and just the videos of this cute, funny, relatable author are worth the price alone. Another reason I know it will be good? A personal recommendation by my copywriting hero, Ash Ambirge.

Anything Ash :: Speaking of… if you are a copywriter of anything and think you need help with your business, writing, whatever (and even if you believe you have the whole thing handled), look at Ash’s offerings. I’ve taken two of her courses, (both unbelievably helpful and I will share more details on soon) and purchased her products. Get on over there now and gift yourself some help with writing, marketing, graphics, or just some handy sentences to help you out with daily life stuff.

There you go. Now have a bitchin’ weekend!

Image :: Marie-Sophie Tékian at Unsplash.com