7 Copywriting tricks for SEO-focused landing pages – by Olivia Colville

A well-crafted landing page can drive more traffic to your website. But visitors have to find your landing page before you can direct them to your website. SEO copywriting is the art of writing copy that helps your content to rank well in searches. This is how copywriters in South Africa get your company in front of potential customers.


  1. Attention-grabbing headlines

Without a headline that ticks all the boxes, your visitors won’t click on the link to read the rest of your content. Studies have shown that headlines with a number in the title tend to attract more attention.


If you want your whole headline to show up in search results, keep it down to 65 characters or less. Include at least one of your keywords in your headline for best results.


  1. Crisp and clear copy

Your visitors are busy people, so keep your content short and sweet. Remove adverbs and use the active voice to hold their attention. Delete unnecessary details and don’t explain the obvious.


  1. Answer every question

Don’t be afraid of including as much information as you need to answer all your prospects questions. While your copy shouldn’t be bloated, there’s no limit to the length of your landing page. It may depend on your product or audience, but always take the opportunity to provide visitors with all the information they need to make a decision.


  1. Speak to your customer

Don’t be tempted to rattle on about your company or your product. The focus should be on the prospect and what benefits they’ll get from using your products and service. Use the words ‘you’ and ‘your’ before ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’. This is a tip that can be applied to any form of copywriting.


  1. Include long-tail keywords

Did you know that 40% of searches consist of phrases made up of four words? Copywriters know that while long-tail keywords may only be searched for every 2 – 3 months, it’s still important to include them.  Your landing page should draw qualified leads to your website. If a visitor has used a long-tail keyword to find your landing page, chances are they’re interested in what you have to offer.

Quick tip: Managing the data of short-tail and long-tail keywords can be challenging at scale. Use a tool like Linkio to keep your various keywords organized.


  1. Use the language your customers use

Blog comments, social media sites and product reviews are all places where you can get a feel for the language your customers use. Learn how to speak to them in a language they understand and your landing page will resonate better with new visitors.


  1. Make your content original

Search engines don’t appreciate duplicate content. Make sure the copy you use on your landing pages is original and unique. While you can copy style and content, don’t be tempted to copy and paste words directly from another page on your website.


If you’re battling to write your own landing pages, consider hiring a South African copywriter with the skill of writing landing pages that deliver. It takes time to produce a well-crafted landing page, but it’s worth the effort. A landing page that’s SEO-focused will drive qualified leads to your website and increase your profits.

5 things every junior blogger should do before they start blogging – Olivia Colville

Congratulations! You’ve taken the plunge and launched yourself into the wonderful world of blogging. Being a writer in South Africa is a great way to make a living. But it isn’t as simple as you may think. Whether you’ve already set up your blog, or you’re still staring at a blank page here are five things you should think about before you hit the keyboard.


  1. What are your blogging goals?

It’s easy to get carried away with the image that being a junior blogger conjures up. Being able to spend your days in a creative space is the dream of many. But to turn it into a profitable reality you need to have goals. Do you have a story to tell, a product to sell or a business to promote? Figure it out before you start writing so you know what you’re working towards


  1. Set up a blogging calendar

It will help you to focus on the goals you’ve set for your blog and help to stick to deadlines. Experienced copywriters in South Africa typically have to juggle more than one project at a time. Get into the habit of using an editorial calendar to help you develop this vital habit from the get go.


  1. Create a community

Blogging shouldn’t be one-sided. You should be aiming to start a conversation and spark some interaction. Ask your audience questions such as how they feel about what you’ve written and what their opinions are. Then respond to those comments and keep the conversation going. It will give you the opportunity to learn about them and what they need from your blog.


  1. Embrace SEO

To be discovered and grow your audience, your blog needs SEO. You don’t have to be an expert before you start, but you should know the basics. You’ll learn as you go along and then you start applying SEO in a way that’s natural. Don’t alienate your audience by stuffing every post with as many keywords as you can. But don’t neglect them either. Proper use of SEO can make a real difference to the success of your blog.


  1. Set up Google Analytics

It’s easy enough to do and being able to track statistics on your site will help you become a better blogger. You’ll get a better sense of what’s working and what’s not getting the response you want. Monitor the performance of individual posts, find out how much time people are spending on your site and what search terms they use to find you. You can use this information to make your blog better and get you closer to the goals you want to achieve with it.


South African businesses crave content and setting up a blog is a great way to show off your writing skills. Being a junior blogger is fun, but don’t neglect the serious side of blogging. These simple tips will set you up for success and it won’t be long before your work gets noticed.

My three internet heroes – by Copley Sutton

Yes, you can make a living doing what you love. If you think it’s a pipe-dream, you’re clearly not paying attention. There are people all around us who have taken their passion and turned it into a thriving income. The following list contains three of my favourite internet personalities. Not because they’re rich, but because they followed their passion and dared to live the dream!



Evan is a little boy who loves toys. He started out by making videos about some of the toys his parents bought for him. These videos resembled a detailed toy review. It gave other kids—and their parents—an idea of whether or not the toy was worth buying.

This little hobby soon turned into a very popular YouTube channel. Evan’s cute personality and honest opinion has made him one of the most popular personalities on the internet. Kids listen to what he says and respect his opinion when it comes to their toy purchasing trends.

To date, little Evan has over 2.8 million YouTube subscribers and a bunch of advertising deals with toy companies. He’s on his way to becoming a very wealthy young man and hasn’t even reached his teens yet. Go Evan!


Strength Camp

If you’ve never seen a video by Elliott Hulse, WHERE THE HECK HAVE YOU BEEN? This dude does not beat around the bush when it comes to strength training advice. Elliott has a great approach to speaking to his audience. His ‘No BS’ approach has won the respect of over 1.5 million YouTube subscribers!

People are listening to Elliott with very open minds. His advice has since stretched beyond strength training and covered other topics such as male confidence, nutrition, and mental stability.

By defeating his own demons and helping others do the same, I have mad respect for this guy. Hey Elliott… here’s to you, man!


James Altucher

If you think your life’s been rough, I’d like to introduce you to James Altucher. He’s my own personal writing mentor and internet hero. Overcoming all odds, James has gone from being broke multiple times to becoming one of the most influential writers in the world.

He is famous for his motivational writing tips which he gives out for free to those who are willing to listen. But people gain MEGA inspiration from his 10-ideas-a-day philosophy which has changed thousands of lives across the world. He recommends writing 10 ideas down in a note book every single day. It sounds crazy, but those who have tried it—including myself—have had major breakthroughs in their lives and careers.

“The way to have good ideas is to get close to killing yourself. It’s like weightlifting. When you lift slightly more than you can handle, you get stronger. In life, when the gun is to your head, you either figure it out, or you die. When you cut yourself open, you bleed ideas. If you’re broke and close to death, you have to start coming up with ideas.”

James is an internet sensation! You can follow his blog on Quora, or watch some of his motivational speeches on YouTube.


These three individuals prove that following your passion pays off. This is my shout out to them. Thanks for the inspiration, guys!

5 steps to follow before you become a writer

There are thousands of people around the world who think they’d do well in a writing career. For many existing writers, this career choice has become a copout because it’s seen as an easy profession. After all, it’s all about good spelling, fancy words and a dash of creativity—right? WRONG! The fact is that if you want to be a good writer, you need to think this through. If you don’t you aren’t likely to get far.


  1. Identify your field

The first action you should take is to identify which type of writing you want to do. Fictional writing is probably the dream of every writer, but most of us don’t have the luxury (or courage) to start there.

Non-fictional writing has lots of categories. Consider how different many of these are:

  • Formal writing
  • Legal writing
  • Sales writing (copywriting)
  • Internet writing
  • Finance writing
  • Academic writing
  • Translation

…and the list goes on

Make a solid choice to focus on one writing field. This is an important part of success—focusing on your core strengths.


  1. Take a relevant course

If you thought you could become a writer without studying first, think again. Talent will only get you so far in this industry. Experience will also hit a dead end if you don’t have some qualification behind your name.

The most talented writers have admitted to learning invaluable information by attending a course or a writing college. Learn from the experts. You can’t expect to reinvent the wheel. Get the basics down before you try to make it big as a writer.


  1. Check the market

Now that you know which direction you want to take as a writer, check out how much of a demand there is for your field. A good way to do this is through freelancing websites. Jobs from all over the world will pop up every few minutes. Write down which of these fits your field and work out a percentage.

If you’re entering a field for which there is little or no demand, you’ll be out of work most of the time. This does not mean that you’re not good enough to make it. It simply means that you will have to fight harder to get to the top. Ask yourself if you’re willing to do this.


  1. Work for free

The golden rule for every beginner writer is to work for free. This is invaluable for multiple reasons:

  • You will get experience to display on your portfolio
  • It will teach you how to work with a client
  • You will learn from your mistakes and grow from constructive criticism
  • Your confidence will grow—especially if you see your work published


  1. Find a writing mentor

Many writers are looking for fresh talent to share their workload with. If you can find a writer who is good at teaching you the ropes, stick to them like glue. These individuals may ask you to write for very little money, but you’re still getting paid to learn—which is invaluable.


So if you’ve been considering a writing career, use this as your checklist. These five actions will effectively prepare you for the industry. Good luck!

5 Mistakes I see in South African advertising

All Copywriters will tell you a similar story. From when they were young, they noticed silly little mistakes in ads. Whether they’re TV ads, radio ads, or billboards (okay, ESPECIALLY billboard ads!) For me, nothing has changed. In fact, it’s gotten worse. While I appreciate a good advert, the bad ones irk me. And it’s not only adverts themselves. It’s the WAY companies market themselves.


  1. Still handing out pamphlets? Seriously?

This probably happens everywhere, but in South Africa it is falsely believed to be the main way of advertising. Handing out flyers, pamphlets and catalogues is one of the most ineffective ways to market your company. If you’re still doing this, YOU MUST STOP NOW!

New businesses fall into this trap so easily. They see it as cheap, easy and effective. The truth is you are giving your marketing efforts less than a 1% success rate. You are annoying potential customers, wasting paper and making yourself look desperate. Again: STOP NOW!


  1. The ‘WE-OUR-US’ mistake

Another big mistake I often see (and notice straight way) is the use of “We” or “Our” at the beginning of a sentence. Do you really think the customer cares about you or your team? No! An advert is not an interview. It’s a message telling people that they can benefit; they are missing out; they will enjoy something…

A good ad always starts with the words, “You” and “Your”. If it’s not possible to start with these words, at least use words that won’t make the reader instantly lose interest.


  1. Failure to adequately grab attention

These are the factors that can win or lose your customer in the first few seconds. An unfriendly face handing you a pamphlet. And the pamphlet is all about YOU—instead of the customer. No way, you haven’t got a chance…

Grab that customer’s attention. Speak to him/her. Ask them questions. Bombard them with benefits. Be relevant. Be exciting. This is what real copywriting can bring to your adverts!


  1. Colour confusion

Colours can often speak louder than words. Companies are using colours they think are either nice or relevant to their business. Again, it’s not about you. It’s about the customer. The colour you use is subconsciously telling your customer something about what they are getting if they bite. An insurance company that uses orange or purple? Facepalm!


  1. Too much emphasis on the name

Companies in South Africa have a tendency to place their name right above the advert. We see this on billboards, street pole ads and trailer posters all the time. The customers are actually surprisingly disinterested in your name. All they really want to know is what you can offer them.

While branding is important, always place your company name at the bottom of the advert. If you catch their attention and entice them, they’ll look for it eventually.


I’ll leave you with the words of Seth Godin. Feel free to contact me if you’d like any more info on how to make your ads stand out from the rest.


Make your own emoticons



Today I got a surprise phone call from a client asking me to write an urgent landing page for him. What was the landing page about? Bottled water. How in the world am I supposed to make bottled water sound interesting?

Inspiration simply wasn’t hitting my brain so I went and lay on my couch, waiting for something to click. Lying there was pretty boring. I grabbed my phone and started doing something I’ve been doing a lot lately—I started taking selfies.

Oh wow it was SO MUCH FUN! I couldn’t stop laughing at some of them. (Some of them I had to delete because the lighting made me look like that weirdo from soul taker). Before I knew it, I was making all kinds of funny (albeit emotion-charged) faces.

Soul Taker - Angel of Death

Soul Taker – Angel of Death

Now I know it makes us look vain and full of ourselves (excuse the redundancy), but seriously; taking selfies is a lot of fun. So I decided to put it to good use. I’m going to use my selfies as personalised emoticons.

Oh I hear what you’re saying: “What a silly idea!” And I agree with you. It is a little crazy. But I was on Facebook today and I’m pretty sure I distinctly heard Richard Gere tell me that I’m supposed to be silly to enjoy life. So personalised emoticons it is then! Thanks Rich!


Oh, and by the way… taking selfies really cleared my head. I wrote an awesome landing page and my client said he loved it. So I highly recommend some ‘selfies therapy’ if you’re feeling a little… mentally constipated. Us copywriters are a little crazy, I know…


The Smoulder


Common questions: What the heck is copywriting? – by Copley Sutton


“So what do you do for a living?” It’s a question we’ve all heard asked. And if you know anything about wordplay, you know that the word ‘copywriting’ is a tricky one?

“Oh, so like copyright music?” someone might ask.

“Errr… no. That’s spelt very differently.” And so the conversation goes.

If you are a copywriter, you’ve DEFINITELY had this discussion with someone before. And if you’ve ever spoken to a copywriter, you’ve been on the other end of a very confusing conversation.

So what’s the best way to define copywriting?


Two vague words

The best way to logically explain what copywriting is, is to analyse both words this term is made up of.

‘Copy’ refers to content. These are the actual words that get displayed on… well, anything. Flyers, catalogues, websites, billboards, TV ads, and even the content you hear on radio ads.

‘Writing’ is exactly that. Not to be confused with ‘righting’ (a legal term), we’re talking about someone who very simply writes copy. A copywriter! Get it?


So what do copywriters do?

The term ‘copywriter’ is mostly associated with advertising. Before the internet, copywriters would write the scripts, slogans and dialogues for adverts.

But today, copywriting has exploded into so much more. Why? Because the internet is ALL about marketing. Blogs, websites, social media… you name it! It’s all geared at getting exposure for companies. People love being on the internet, and since so much on the internet is free, it’s the perfect place to advertise.


What are freelance copywriters and how much do they earn?

There are some really great international platforms for freelance copywriters. These platforms connect clients and freelancers and offer safe payment gateways for both parties. Freelance copywriters are lucky enough to work from anywhere in the world and will usually get paid in US dollars—the reserve currency.

So how much do freelance copywriters generally earn? There’s no definite answer to this question. An entry level freelance writer will often start off with basic blogging. If you were blogging for a client, you would typically charge per 100 words—and $1 per 100 words is pretty much an entry level rate.

But as your experience grows—and you start taking on different types of projects—your rate will go up. And when it comes to the ‘salesy’, marketing side of copywriting, you can charge very hefty rates for all the brain work and creativity that goes into persuasive copy.


So there you have it. Copywriters love talking about their jobs. The next time someone tells you they’re a copywriter, you’ll know what they mean and you can ask them more about it. You’re welcome!

The 6 most important SEO tips for 2016 – Copley Sutton

Anyone can make their business EXPLODE on the internet. Google search holds the key to website traffic and if you know Google’s secrets, YOU’RE IN! Fortunately for all of us internet marketers, a team of SEO experts have done a super important study and found out 170 factors that influence your website’s rank.

I’m not going to give you all of them—because that would be crazy! But I am going to give you the top six that you simply must do RIGHT NOW.


  1. Write longer blogs

The study showed that blogs reaching an average of 1890 words ranked higher than shorter blogs. Gone are the days where 400 or 600 words was enough. It seems that blogging will explode over the next year because now the 2000 word blog is the only way to cover everything that needs to be said about a particular topic.


  1. Cover all aspects of your topic

And that’s exactly what your blogs should aim to do. When a blog covers various aspects of your topic, people are more likely to click on it via Google. Why? Because the more questions you cover, the more likely it is that someone will find the answer by reading your blog. It just makes sense, right?


  1. Get website security

One aspect Google has never been shy to mention is that an “https” prefix in your URL ranks you higher. It’s that simple! Get website security and make sure you’re generating trust for your customers. It’s a small step that clearly makes a big difference.

Editor’s note: I personally did all the content for https://www.trustthesite.com/ and believe them to be the best vendor for website security.


  1. Increase your anchor text

Anchor text DOES make a difference to your rankings. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Add at least two anchor text links to each of your blogs which link back to your own website. Then, add at least one exact match anchor text link to that same blog so that you get a double score for mentioning your primary keywords. There’s a lot of stuff out there about this being bad—but that advice is grossly outdated.


If you’re reading this blog after 2016, these anchor text rules are still valid today. If you’re looking for a more updated article on anchor text, this great post by Outreach Mama is super comprehensive!


  1. Link to established websites

Linking your content to websites that are authoritative, popular or well established will also put you in Google’s good books. But don’t settle for the YouTubes and the Facebooks alone. Find out what the authoritative websites are in YOUR industry and link to them as well.


  1. Add images to your blogs

Blogs with at least one image were shown to rank higher that other posts. People want to see images on your website. Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook prove that images speak louder than words. Besides, if you want to use an image to relay content, use a MEME or an INFOGRAPHIC to do so. You won’t be disappointed in the results!


These are small changes you can make immediately to improve you ranking. If you’re looking for more advice on how to boost your Google ranking, contact our team of copywriters from South Africa and we’ll be glad to help. Good luck!

5 quick tips for blogging like a pro – Olivia Colville


Everybody’s doing it—blogging about their passion, their business, their travels. If you’ve created a blog you’ll appreciate how tough it is to stand out from the crowd. There’s a lot of competition out there. Creating trust with your audience starts with creating a blog that looks professional.

Here are some quick and easy ways you can make your blog look like the real deal:


  1. Give your readers a search bar that’s easy to find

Ever come out of the mall and forgotten where you parked your car? That’s how your readers feel when they’re looking for a post you wrote a while back.

Don’t let that happen. Put a search bar in your header or sidebar and make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for.


  1. Include links in your sidebar and blog posts

This is the perfect way to keep your readers engaged. Adding links in your sidebar to your most popular posts will keep readers on your blog devouring your content.

Another clever trick is to include links to other posts you’ve written in the body of your article. Let’s say a visitor is on your blog reading about the hottest hairstyles for 2016. At some point in your post you could include a link to another post you’ve written about hair colour trends. Ensure that your links are on topic and you’ll see how engagement improves.


  1. Add links to your social media accounts

Not all of your readers want to leave a comment on your blog. Some people prefer to interact via social media because it’s easy for them. So give them the option of getting in touch with you using social media such as Facebook and Twitter.


  1. Use a professional photo of yourself

Don’t rely on a blurry selfie for your bio or About page—get a professional photographer to take the shot instead. It will make a real difference to the way your readers perceive the quality of your blog and the content you offer.


  1. Add a quality image to each blog posts

A compelling image helps capture attention and draw your reader in. Place it near the top of your blog post for maximum effect. Alternatively, you could include a photo in the middle to break up your text.

Images are essential for social sharing. If someone likes your post enough to share it on Facebook, the link will include your image and make it stand out.


Even if you’re an amateur blogger, your blog doesn’t have to be. All of these tips take less than 10 minutes to set up. But they’ll leave your blog looking more polished and professional. Try them out and let us know how they work for you.


About the Author – Olivia Colville

Since she was a little girl, Olivia has always had her nose in a book. Her curiosity knows no bounds and she spends her time collecting stories. Her greatest wish is to become a sought-after copywriter. Fingers crossed!

How to be better at ANYTHING

The story goes that the fussiest customer EVER was an elderly man who lived in a small town south of Dubai. He was cranky, unfriendly, hard to satisfy, and a bad tipper. Service workers in the area would bend over backwards to make him happy, but nothing worked. Soon, everyone stopped trying. After all, what was the point? Nothing was good enough for this guy. Their efforts were met with nothing but contempt, sneers and disapproving comments.

But a youngster at a fruit & vegetable shop simply wouldn’t give up. The fussy customer was a regular there. Every day he would pick up two apples and a bottle of grape juice. Determined to satisfy this man’s need for perfect customer service, the youngster ran to him every morning.

“Good morning, sir. “ How can I help you today?

The question made the man more disgruntled. “Pffft. If you don’t know that by now, you shouldn’t be working here!” he snapped.

And with that, he grabbed two apples and a bottle of grape juice—but not before shooting the look of death back at the youngster.

Unaffected by the customer’s brash attitude, the youngster made a mental note of the man’s grocery choice and readied himself for the next day.

The following morning saw the fussy customer making his way to the fruit stall. As usual, all the staff ignored the man, knowing that he was too much for them to handle. But to their surprise, the youngster ran towards the customer—two apples in one hand, and a bottle of grape juice in the other.

“Here you go sir.” He said, half out of breath. “Your usual.”

But his smile was received with a sneer and an irritable sigh. “You damn kid! LOOK! This apple is bruised and the grape juice isn’t cold anymore. Useless!”

The youngster hardly had a chance to apologise while the grumpy old man walked off to do it himself.

The days went by and each time the man found something wrong with the youngster’s efforts. Either the goods were faulty. Or the boy did something to annoy him. No matter how hard he tried, the customer never reached satisfaction.

Then one day (I think it was a Wednesday), the young man walked up to his grumpy customer. In one hand he confidently held two apples, and in the other a cold bottle of grape juice.

“Sir,” he said as the old man looked up. “Here’s your usual. Two apples that have been cleaned, shined and checked for bruises. And your bottle of grape juice was just brought in this morning and is still cold.”

The staff at the fruit and vegetable shop snickered at the young man’s attempt. ‘Was this guy a sucker for punishment or WHAT?’ They must have thought. They watched with interest at what the old man would retort next.

But instead of saying a word, the fussy customer looked at the young man with a slight grin. Taking the goods slowly, he walked over to the owner of the shop who was counting stock near the back. No one heard what was said between the two, the fussy customer pointed towards the frozen youngster at the front of the shop. The owner shook his head, the old man raised his voice, and the owner finally nodded in agreement.

The fussy customer left shortly afterwards—two apples and bottle of grape juice in his shopping bag. The owner walked over to the youngster and put his hands on his shoulder. “Young man, you are the only person in this store who was able to give that man EXACTLY what he wanted. Your days as a cleaner are over. How would you feel about managing my staff—starting today?”

And with those words the young man emptied out his dirty bucket of water, put away his mop, and accepted his promotion with a smile.


Be better than what you think you can be. It’s NOT about how many times you mess up. It’s about how many times you stand up and try again. Obstacles are nothing more than heavy weights you lift to get stronger. If you want it badly enough, it WILL be yours!

Copley Sutton