Mike Beeson

Article Summary:

The first in a series of articles which highlight how freelance copywriters can achieve succcess through Internet marketing.

Freelance Copywriting: Marketing Yourself and Your Website - Part 1

When it comes to marketing yourself as a freelance copywriter, it's important to bear in mind that virtually everything related to copywriting has gone online!

Any copywriter who has been around for longer than five years or so will know that new copywriting business used to come from mail-shots, small ads and the dreaded 'cold calling'. Nowadays, the only realistic way to raise your copywriting profile is via the Internet.

Most copywriters would be in total agreement with that. The question is: have they done anything about it? And the same question goes to new and wannabe freelance copywriters...

Write that website!
So what CAN you do about it? If the phone's stopped ringing and your e-mail Inbox is full of nothing but unopened spam - it's time to take stock. The first question is (and it seems almost quaint in this day and age): Do you have a website?

If not, you need one. Not only because all the other marketing elements in this series of 'How To' articles start with the premise that you have a website to promote; but also because your website is you, your business, your life-blood and your 'copywriting DNA' all rolled into one!

Without a website, you're dead meat. As a copywriter, your first step is to write your own website. Make it as comprehensive as possible. Become a website copywriter!

And if you're a relative newcomer, read round the subject, look at other copywriters' websites and create the best website content you can that will reflect well on you as a professional freelance copywriter ready to take on the world.

There are endless articles on the Internet about website content. That's for later. To begin with, you must look at the work you've done as a copywriter and then attempt to classify it. This is a personal matter that will be made public very soon - so make sure that what you say is credible.

Make sure you get a good designer - and establish some kind of visual concept at the outset that looks professional without getting in the way of your copywriting message.

Get your website seen...
Your website needs to be 'visible' to search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN. That means your website content must have substance. The pages should be long enough to contain the keywords of your business in such quantity and density that the search engine 'robots' will salivate.

You've also got to look at the so-called 'meta tags' that will apply to each of the pages on your website. As well as keywords, you'll need a title for every page and a pithy description, both of which should contain the keywords that are relevant to that page.

For example, your page 'title tag' could be: Freelance copywriting, website copywriting & PR

Your 'description tag' could be: (Your name), freelance copywriter, handles advertising copywriting, online copywriting, search engine optimisation - SEO, media relations and PR

In the process of bringing everything together to create your website, don't rush anything. Websites need planning; they need attention to detail; and they need constant revisions. All of this is essential before your project goes 'live'.

Make no mistake, it will be a big day when you launch your freelance copywriting website! All the planning has come to fruition - and your hopes and fears are about to be exposed.

This is Step #1 along the road to marketing yourself as a freelance copywriter in the 21st century. Your next step is to market the website that will market YOU!

Good luck!

Mike Beeson is a UK freelance copywriter, PR consultant and journalist specialising in advertising copywriting, media relations, website copywriting and direct marketing. Mike's company, Buzzwords Limited, is located in Knutsford, Cheshire (south Manchester). For more information, visit: Buzzwords.ltd.uk.

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