Glossary of Terms

Copywriting

Copywriting or Copy Writing is firstly nothing to do with copyright which is a totally different thing about the protection of property,rights etc. Copywriting is the writing 'from scratch' of a piece of copy- the content of which is guided by the client. So, basically, we have a chat and a coffee (my second vice) and discuss what you are looking for. I make lots of notes and may come back and ask some questions before producing a spangly piece of text (copy) for you, to use as you wish. The length of the project can vary from eye-catching slogans to long-form sales emails, I am guided by the client's needs at all times.

Copy Editing

Copy editing is what happens when someone wants to write their own words but realise they need someone to polish it up. Most people can write, not everyone can write well (we can't be good at everything). Copyediting looks at the grammar, spelling and structure of a pre-written piece. It is way more than proofreading and takes time and effort to get it right. Often the end result is dramatically different to what was initially presented (in a good way, of course). Sidenote - a good writer copyedits their own work after they have copywritten it.

Proofreading

Proofreading takes place when you are happy with your own words but would like someone to check the spelling and grammar and show you where you need to make the changes yourself. Traditionally this is done with the use of symbols and markers in red ink on a document. I no longer use this method as many clients are not familiar with it. Instead, I use Google Docs or Microsoft Word to 'suggest edits'. Whilst this service is significantly less costly than having work written or edited, be warned - you will not receive any advice on structure, content or SEO (no matter how much it kills me). This service can be great though for academic or professional writing that you need to meet a standard.but has to be your own work.

Blogging

'Blogging' is a word that has derived from the original term 'Web Logging'. Basically keeping a diary publicly online for the world to read. There are personal blogs out there on everything from exercise to baking to disability. Now businesses are tapping into the world of blogging on a giant scale. It's a great way to get website visitors, exposure, repeat business, garner interest in a product or service and gain the trust of your readers. If you are thinking of writing your own blog, bear in mind; a weekly blog is a big task to keep on top of. If you feel you will start off with great intentions but quickly lose motivation and ideas for content (like the majority of the world - whose got time for that man?) then go for monthly. Anything longer than that is a little risky as it is a long time for people to wait between posts but some businesses do well with quarterly or bi-monthly posts. It depends on what you are trying to achieve. I write weekly blogs for regular clients and one-off posts for others. Posts I have written have sometimes been about subjects I have had to research to a great extent and I've written about things close to my own heart. Either way - blogging is a great way to engage with your audience, stop the stagnation of your website and increase your ranking.

Formatting

Formatting is setting the copy visually to the correct margins/font size/line spacing and more (this applies to book publishing primarily). Usually, publishers will provide this service as part of the publishing process but if you are self-publishing you may just want a little help.

SEO

Search Engine Optimisation is a term used to describe how using certain keywords and phrases and linking between areas of your site can increase visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). Copywriters use SEO to catch the search terms that people are using to help them find your business. It is a little more complicated than that though. You see, we want people who need to be there to land on your site so it is uber important (yes I just used the word 'uber' - I am now one of those people) that the traffic is the right traffic. Nobody likes bad traffic, am I right? SEO produces organic traffic (not paid for) and this does not always happen overnight, it can take time to work your way up the ranks (much like in real life but hopefully a little quicker). If you can afford to then definitely pay an SEO expert to help you with the meta-data, descriptions and tags, it will help and I don't claim to be an expert but I have picked up a bit of knowledge and can advise you on the basics as we work together. Placing a cornerstone page on your website is highly recommended and will help dramatically.

Cornerstone Pages

When search engines look for results to match our search terms they look for individual web pages, not whole websites. Therefore, you NEED a one-stop-shop on your site that answers those terms. A cornerstone page branches out to your wider website in that it will include links to different areas and articles of your site whilst covering the basics and any other terms you think your client is searching for. It must be carefully constructed to include as much information as possible without overloading anyone who lands there. This can include geographical locations, clientele, blog posts, media coverage and much much more. The page must also hook your reader too. A cornerstone page needs to be incredibly busy whilst not looking very busy. Other areas of your site need to respond by linking back to these cornerstone pages. I say these because yes, you can and should have more than one cornerstone, depending on the size and content of your site.