Copywriting

A series of blog posts offering tips and tricks, and copywriting best practices

32 Free (& Almost Free) Content Marketing Tools

Marketers get by with a little help from their friends – well let us introduce you to 32 new content marketing friends to help make your job a little easier.Note: The aim was to only list free content marketing tools, but there are a few paid ones in the mix as well (freebies only get you so far). Unless marked as a paid tool, all content tools listed here have at least some kind of free offering.

Content Curation Tools (finding great stuff to share)Content Creation Tools (create your own awesome stuff to share)Tools for Finding Content Creators (find folks to make custom content for you)Content Promotion and Management (sharing and managing your content)Content Analytics & Measuring (analyzing and measuring your content's effectiveness) Other Content Marketing Tools (random cont... > Read more

July 28, 2014     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 5

7 Marketing Clichés that Make You Sound Like a Hack

Do you know the etymology of the word “cliché”? It’s a printer’s term – back when printers had to physically arrange letters together to form words and paragraphs and pages, they would sometimes arrange common strings of letters or words together on a single plate to facilitate printing those sequences more efficiently.

This was also known as a “stereotype block.”You can see how both “cliché” and “stereotype” evolved into metaphors. In the same way that using clichés made things easier for printers, clichés make things easier for writers. Reaching for a common, familiar phrase is a shortcut to communicating something close to what you mean. It’s harder and it takes longer to express yourself in fresh language that is also clear.We’re all lazy and we’re all g... > Read more

June 04, 2014     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 10

The 9 Best Email Subject Line Styles to Increase Your Open Rates

How many unread emails do you have in your inbox? 300? 800? Or maybe, if you’re like me and are on countless mailing lists, 2,644? And that’s after a little Gmail spring cleaning!We get a TON of emails every day, and a lot of them are never opened. People are inundated with boatloads of information – more than ever before in history! But we don’t have more time to soak it all in.

The chances of your email being ignored are pretty high – unless of course, you have a rockin’ sockin’ subject line.Your subject line is your first (and maybe your last) impression on users. In many ways, your email subject line is more important than your email body. After all, a great newsletter is worthless if it never sees the light of day.There are a few different schools of thought when it come... > Read more

March 31, 2014     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 15

How to Write Ad Copy for PPC: 5 Tips for Better Ad Writing

Writing ad copy for PPC can be a tough feat. The good news is, you don’t have to be a super-creative copywriter to whip up competitive ad text. In fact, following a pragmatic approach can be advantageous.Here are a few simple steps that will help you to assess the competitive landscape and write ad copy that will stand out against your competitors’, regardless of your ad rank.

Do Some Competitive ResearchDo some research to hunt down your real competitors. With paid search, it’s easy to put up your blinders and forget who you’re really up against. Don’t take the easy route and assume that your competitors are parallel companies within your space. With PPC, you may actually be facing a whole new crew of competitors.Take a high-end shoe designer like Christian Louboutin. The typical... > Read more

August 15, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 17

Web Content Writers Wanted!

Whether or not it’s fair to classify WordStream as a startup, we certainly still think of ourselves that way. And one of the challenges of startup life is the rapid growth – meaning our needs often outpace our hiring.[More: 50 Things Every Content Marketer Should Know]Lately, that’s the case with content creation, so we’re looking for a few good freelance writers to help us out.

So if you love writing, Internet marketing, and extra money, we want to hear from you! Specifically, I’m looking for someone(s) who:Has hands-on experience with search marketing – WordStream is very meta in that we market about marketing, do SEO on pages about SEO, create PPC ads for our PPC software and so on. So if you’re going to write for us, you need to have experience with the world of search ma... > Read more

May 15, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 5

Persuasive Copywriting: 4 Tips for Higher Converting Websites

How do you tap into the subconscious mind of your site visitors and make them click that call-to-action button? The moment you get a little salesy, you know they’ll run away before you even realize what happened.With customers getting smarter by the day, subtlety is the key to success. In simple words, you have to persuade them to complete your conversion goal by making them think that they want to do it, and not because you want them to.

Make your visitors achieve their goals first, before you bother them with your marketing goals.But how do you do that? Some of you have probably heard about the principles of persuasive copywriting, like scarcity, urgency, authority, consensus, consistency, reciprocation, and liking.Moving beyond the common wisdom of these persuasion tactics, here are s... > Read more

May 02, 2013     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 14

50 Things Every Content Marketer Should Know

Fancy yourself a content marketer, or want to become one? Here’s a big fat content marketing skills list and tactics you should know before you apply for that content marketer job or update the title on your business cards. Help yourself by highlighting the right marketing skills needed for your resume.

Good grammar and proper use of punctuation – Hopefully you learned this in school. If you weren’t paying any attention, it’s not too late. You can pick up a lot just from reading voraciously – like how the mermaid in Splash learned English from watching TV. I also recommend picking up a basic writing manual, because it would be very difficult to intuit all the finer points of grammar and punctuation through intuition. You’ll feel nice and superior once you know the difference bet... > Read more

February 19, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 33

5 Super-Basic Writing Tips to Help You Be a Better Web Copywriter

Writing! Anyone can do it (and I encourage you to) but not everyone is good at it (sorry).This is not one of those article that explains the difference between its and it’s or tells you why you’re using “literally” wrong. (Details, details.)Instead, I’m going to share five super-basic tips that will make all your writing better, including any writing you do for the web (AKA SEO content).

These tips will help you hone your writing structure and your writing style, leading to better organized, more readable writing, which will ultimately get more reads, shares and likes.1. Start with an outline.Not this kind of outline!It doesn’t matter how experienced you are. Whether you’re writing your first college essay or your 367th blog post (which I am, and that’s just for the WordStr... > Read more

January 02, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 14

Win of the Week: Focus on Benefits Pays Off

Take a look at the two ads below. If you were looking to buy an insulation blower, which ad do you think you'd click on?PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2These ads are completely different. Yet one of them performed far better than the other.But which one? And why?The winning ad is ad number two. It was written by BoostCTR writer "deaders," and it increased CTR by 176%.

Where the original ad was producing 1 click, the new ad is producing 2.76 clicks.So why did the new ad win? Let's take a look...The Original AdThe original ad starts okay. The title is clear. The first line repeats the title with the additional word "Blowing." So the first two lines say practically the same thing. This, in my opinion, is a waste of space.Line 2 is a bit strange. I think this is where the ad falls apart. It lists two model ... > Read more

December 05, 2012     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 5

Tricks to Get the Click: 10 Tips for Writing Better PPC Text Ads [New Guide]

Our latest white paper, co-authored with the good folks at Hanapin Marketing, is now available for download! Below is an excerpt from the guide. Click here to download the full text of this new, free guide.Tricks to Get the Click: 10 Tips for Writing Better PPC Text AdsIf you want to sell products or generate leads online, a user-friendly, conversion-optimized website is Step 1.

But when it comes to search engine marketing, it doesn’t matter how beautiful your website is if people never get there.Pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements placed in search engine results and on other relevant sites can be an extremely effective means of driving qualified traffic to your site – one that more than pays for itself, if you’re doing it right.Even though you have to pay for each click on one of you... > Read more

September 06, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 4

Win of the Week: Attention to Detail Pays Off

Take a look at the two ads below. If you were looking to buy a mini HDMI cable, which ad do you think you'd click on? PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 These ads are nearly identical, which makes it a bit harder to spot the winner. But in this case, the small details make a big difference.Made your decision?The winning ad is ad number one.

It was written by BoostCTR writer "jblankley," and it increased CTR by 84%. Where the original ad was producing 1 click, the new ad is producing 1.84 clicks.So why did the new ad win? Let's take a look...The Original AdThe original ad is already a strong ad. While they want to increase clicks on their ad, they also want only qualified visitors. This is why they've put "Buy" in the title copy and included the price in the ad.Claude Hopkins once observed that a... > Read more

April 11, 2012     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 1

Pimp My PPC Ad, Bing Edition! Get More Awesome in Your Bing Text Ads

It’s baaaaaack! And by “it,” I don’t mean Poltergeist, I mean Pimp Your PPC Ad, a regular  irregular feature in which I scan the SERPs for lousy text ads and give them the Pimp My Ride treatment. (For those of you who were born, I don’t know, last year, Pimp My Ride was an MTV show that ran between 2004 and 2007.

)For previous editions, see:Pimp Your PPC Ad: 5 Lessons from Lackluster Text AdsThe Return of Pimp Your PPC Ad: Lessons from Bad PPC AdsLet’s get starting, shall we?Lesson #1: Use Capital Letters (Properly)I’m pretty sure Google automatically applies initial caps (i.e., title case) to your headline, because I’ve never seen an ad that looked like this in Google (yes, these look just like Google ads, but I assure you, they’re from Bing):These ads were served in... > Read more

March 07, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 8

Win of the Week: Tough Rules Create Breakthrough Ad

Take a look at the two ads below. If you were looking for a hotel on the beach, which ad do you think you'd click on? Better yet, which ad do you think you'd act on?While many contests conducted on the BoostCTR platform are designed to improve CTR, some are set up to improve conversions. This contest used conversions as the metric, which is why I added that second question: Which ad would you act on? PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2The titles are completely different.

This is because this particular advertiser did not permit BoostCTR writers to use DKI in their ads even if the original ad used it. This was an obvious disadvantage, but the writer worked around it.The body copy is also very different. With that in mind, which one do you think outperformed the other?Made your decision?The winning ad i... > Read more

February 16, 2012     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 0

Win of the Week: Are You Accidentally Confusing Your Market?

Take a look at the two ads below. If you lived in Baltimore and you wanted to start training in mixed martial arts (MMA), which ad do you think you'd click on? PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 The titles are completely different. The body copy is mostly different (the phrase "Professional Facility" is the same in both of them).

And the URL is the same in both ads. Which one do you think outperformed the other?Made your decision?The winning ad is ad number two. It was written by BoostCTR writer "wordisborn," and it increased CTR by 70%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 1.7 clicks, which is a significant improvement.So why did the new ad win? Let's take a look...The Original AdThe original ad is fairly good. The title "Mixed Martial Arts" is straightforward and mi... > Read more

February 01, 2012     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 0

Win of the Week: Getting Back to the Basics of Benefits & Specifics Produces 225% Gain

Take a look at the two ads below. If you were an avid collector of luxury watches, which ad do you think you'd click on? PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 The ads are fairly unique. The URLs are the same, but everything else is different. Which ad do you think generated more than three times as many clicks?Made your decision?The winning ad is ad number one.

It was written by BoostCTR writer "brescia33," and it increased CTR by 225%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 3.25 clicks, more than TRIPLE the original ad's performance.So why did the new ad win? And why did it win by so much? Let's take a look...The Original AdThe original ad is somewhat vague. After reading it, I'm not really sure why I should click the ad or what's going to happen when I do.If the only ben... > Read more

January 11, 2012     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 3

Win of the Week: The Power of Unspoken Benefits

Take a look at the two ads below. Imagine you've got a job interview lined up. Maybe it's the first job interview you've had in years. You want to brush up on your skills -- maybe even get a "sneak peek" of the questions you'll be asked. So you start looking for job interview questions and answers. Which ad do you click on? PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 The ads are fairly unique.

The URLs are the same, but everything else is different. Which ad do you think generated more than twice as many clicks?Made your decision?The winning ad is ad number two. It was written by BoostCTR writer "WordWizard," and it increased CTR by 164%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 2.6 clicks, more than DOUBLE the original ad's performance.So why did the new ad win? And why did it wi... > Read more

January 04, 2012     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 2

Win of the Week: Are You Showing or Telling?

Take a look at the two ads below. Imagine your current business logo is feeling a bit dated. Or imagine you've started a new company and you want a sharp logo to represent your new business. So you start looking for a logo designer. Which ad do you click on? PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 Notice that the ads have much in common.

The title text is identical. The URLs are almost identical. The primary difference between the two ads is found in the body copy. Which ad do you think generated more than twice as many clicks?Made your decision?The winning ad is ad number one. It was written by BoostCTR writer "cartmetrix," and it increased CTR by 111%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 2.1 clicks, more than DOUBLE the original ad's performance.So why did the new ad wi... > Read more

December 14, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 0

Win of the Week: Simple Tweaks Boost CTR by Triple Digits

Take a look at the two ads below. Imagine your once-fast PC has become painfully slow. You keep getting warnings that say your virtual memory is low. So you go to Google and type in "increase virtual memory." Which ad do you click on? PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 Notice that the ads have much in common.

The only differences are in the title text and the first line of body copy. Yet one of these ads outperformed the other by a large margin. Which ad do you think generated more than twice as many clicks?Made your decision?The winning ad is ad number two. It was written by BoostCTR writer "wordisborn," and it increased CTR by 150%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 2.5 clicks, more than DOUBLE the original ad's performance.So why did the new ad win? And why did ... > Read more

November 30, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 0

Win of the Week: Keywords vs. Mental Imagery, Science vs. Emotion

Take a look at the two ads below. Imagine you're a middle-aged man or woman who's interested in sharpening your memory and increasing your brain power. You go to Google and type in "brain games." Which ad do you click on?PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2Of course, the ad YOU click on may not be the same ad the majority of people click on.

So perhaps a better question is: Which ad do you think would generate almost twice as many clicks?And THAT is not an easy question to answer. On the one hand, you've got a matter-of-fact keyword-rich ad. On the other, you've got an ad using mental imagery and emotion. Two distinctly different approaches.Alright, made your decision?The winning ad is ad number two. It was written by BoostCTR writer "Cult Classic," and it increased CTR by 95%. Where the original ad was get... > Read more

November 17, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 0

Win of the Week: Are You Accidentally Targeting the Wrong Person?

Take a look at the two ads below. Imagine you are a business owner who is looking for signs that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You know you've got to buy ADA signs to comply with the law. You're not deciding whether or not to get these signs – only who to buy them from.With that in mind, which ad would you click on? Which one would be more likely to earn your business? PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 This is not an easy contest to call.

The ad that lost was the control ad for months. It beat quite a few challenger ads. Even though it lost badly in this contest, it's a REALLY good ad.Surprisingly, there is no difference in the title or URL. The only differences are in the body copy of the ad. It's unusual to see such a large difference in CTR between ads that have th... > Read more

November 09, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 0

Win of the Week: Strong Offer + Verb = 89% Increase in CTR?

Take a look at the two ads below. If you were looking for CRM software ("CRM" stands for "Customer Relationship Management"), which ad would you click on? Which one jumps out to you? (If you've been following the Win of the Week column for very long, I'm willing to bet you can pick the winner.) PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 There is no difference in the URL.

The only differences are in the title and body copy of the ad. Made your decision?The winning ad is ad number one. It was written by BoostCTR writer "kbc5019," and it increased CTR by 89%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 1.89 clicks.Why did the new ad win? Let's take a look...1. The phrase "On-Demand" in the original ad seems unnecessary. The question I ask myself is this: Isn't all software available to... > Read more

November 02, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 0

Win of the Week: Holiday-Appropriate Language Boosts CTR by 66%

With Halloween right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to feature a Halloween contest for the Win of the Week.With that in mind, which ad would you click on if you were looking to get some Halloween cookies for a party ... or as a substitute for trick-or-treat candy? PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 There is no difference in the title text or in the URL.

The only differences are in the body of the ad. Made your decision?The winning ad is ad number two. It was written by "wordisborn," and it increased CTR by 66%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 1.66 clicks.Why did the new ad win? Let's take a look...1. The original ad wastes space by using the word "Smiley." Indeed, the cookies do have a "smiley face," but that detail is somewhat irrelevant for a pers... > Read more

October 26, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 2

Win of the Week: Thinking Like a Parent Boosts CTR by 63%

Whether you have kids or not, it's time to think like a parent. If you were a parent, and you were looking for online games for your preschool-aged child to play, what would you be looking for? And which of the two ads below would you have clicked on? Make your decision, then scroll down to discover which ad won.

 PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 Take your time. I'll wait. Okay, made your decision? The winning ad is ad number one. It was written by "WordWizard," and it increased CTR by 63%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 1.63 clicks.Why did the new ad win? Let's take a look...1. Many parents are financially stretched, so the winning ad emphasizes that the games are FREE. In fact, the winning ad says "free" in the title, the body copy, and the URL -- three times... > Read more

October 12, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 0

Win of the Week: Focus on What Searchers Really Want

Imagine for a moment that you are a business owner who is hiring a new secretary. You want to make sure you've got a good secretary before you hire him (or her).What kind of information would you like to know? Which ad would get your attention and earn your click? Make your decision, then scroll down to discover the answer.

 PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 In this case, ad number two is the winner. It was written by "jeffbaum71," and it increased CTR by 162%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 2.62 clicks.I find this week's contest interesting because it highlights a key principle of good ad writing. Here are a few reasons why the new ad won...1. The title of the winning ad is more descriptive. A "Secretary Skills Test" is much more precise and descriptive than a ... > Read more

October 05, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 2

Win of the Week: 156% Increase in CTR from Following the Rules

Which of the two ads below do you think got a higher click-through rate (CTR)? Make your decision, then scroll down to discover the answer. PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 To help make your decision, suppose for a moment that you are a business owner who wants to promote your business at a major convention.

And suppose you're looking for a place to print up some promotional banners for your booth. Which ad would earn your click -- and potentially your business?In this case, ad number two is the winner. It was written by "SuperchargeYourAds," and it increased CTR by 156%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 2.56 clicks.I find this week's contest interesting because it validates many ad writing principles I've covered in my Win of the Week column. Here are a few rea... > Read more

September 28, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 2

Win of the Week: To Be Unorthodox or Conformist, That Is the Question

Today, I'm featuring what may be the biggest win in BoostCTR's brief history. It's certainly the biggest win that's been featured in a Win of the Week column.Since the difference between the two ads is so big, it should be easy to pick the winner, right? Well, maybe. Looks -- and gut-level responses -- can often be deceiving.

Nevertheless, take a look at the two google ppc ads below and see if you can pick the winner. PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 To help make your decision, suppose for a moment that you were a college student looking to rent some college textbooks. Which ad would you be more likely to click on? Which one reaches into the mind of the college student and gets her to click?In this case, ad number one is the winner. It was written by "ctrmaven," and it increased CTR by an asto... > Read more

September 21, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 1

Win of the Week: Clarity and Attention to Detail Increase CTR by 86%

Studying new winning ads is always fascinating because of the variety of products and services for which we're optimizing ad copy.Every week, there is a new win ... in a new market ... for a new product. And yet, in spite of this variety and "newness," the principles of good ad writing prove themselves over and over again.

With that in mind, which of the two ads below do you think performed better? The headlines and the URLs are the same. Only the body copy is different. Which approach do you think worked best? PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 I suppose it's not too difficult to pick the winner. The grammatical errors make it easy to spot the losing ad. Ad number two is the winner. It was written by "SwayamDas," and it increased CTR by 86%.So why did the new ad win? Here are a few reasons why..... > Read more

September 14, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 1

Win of the Week: Use the Language Your Searchers Are Using

Which of the two ads below do you think performed better? The headlines are quite distinct, and the body of each ad is fairly different as well. The URLs are the same. Which approach do you think worked best? PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 This ad contest is interesting because the ads are quite different, yet the difference in CTR is relatively modest.

In this particular contest, the new winner is ad number two. The winning ad was written by "ctr_guru," and it increased CTR by 31%, which is about the average increase we see for all contests at BoostCTR. Where the old ad was getting 10 clicks, the new ad is getting 13.1 clicks.So why did the new ad win? I have a few theories...1. The winning ad uses a strong keyword phrase in the title. It's more likely a person will search for "online pawn s... > Read more

September 07, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 2

Win of the Week: Subtle Changes Make a Big Difference in CTR

Which of the two ads below do you think performed better? Both used the same title text and URL (which is why the URL is not included in the images below). The body copy is the only difference between the two ads.Look closely and you'll notice the ads are quite similar. They include the same basic ideas, the same numbers.

They both include an exclamation point at the end of the second line of body copy. And yet, despite their similarities, one of these ads increased CTR by 111%. Can you guess which one? PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 Because of the similarities, it's harder than normal to guess the correct winner. It's unusual to see such a big difference between two ads that are so similar.Alright, enough suspense. In this particular contest, the new winner is ad number one. The winning ad ... > Read more

August 31, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 4

Win of the Week: Clarity, Specificity, and Urgency Produce 115% Increase in CTR

Which of the two ads below do you think performed better? Both used the same URL, but the titles and body copy are significantly different. PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 Here's another way to think about it: If you were searching for "horror movies," which ad do you think you'd click? Make your decision then scroll down for the answer.

In this particular contest, the new winner is ad number two. The winning ad was written by "ctr_guru," and it increased CTR by 115%.So why did the the new ad perform so much better and attract more than twice as many clicks as the original ad? Let's take a look...1. The title copy of the original ad is fairly vague. "Horror Movies" lacks specificity. Am I going to be able to watch horror movies when I click this ad? Or read reviews about horror movies? Or lear... > Read more

August 24, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 1
 
Free Keyword Tool

Get thousands of relevent keyword suggestions - more,
faster, free!

Free Keyword Niche Finder

Discover profitable pockets of keywords for your
business.

Free Negative Keyword Suggestion Tool

Identify wasted spend before it happens and increase
your paid search ROI.

Contact Us | Company | Support | Site Map | Trademarks | Privacy Policy © 2007-2014 WordStream, Inc. All rights reserved.