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Posts Tagged ‘copywriting for web’

(Historians agree: when the Roman Legion switched from sandals to Chuck Taylors, it spelled the end of the Empire.)

Halloween is about the only holiday(?) that truly excites me, where I put forth what might be construed as an EFFORT.  Actually, Trick or Treat preps actually DO require some work, as seen here:

 

But it’s worth it when you see the awe in some little 4-year-old Batman’s eyes.  Speaking of which, I wonder what this year’s costume trend will be? I am guessing Wonder Woman.

Anyway, what’s happening here at the Exchange?

And, speaking of blogging, here are the latest future classics in:

Thanks for tuning in. If you need copywriting that chills and thrills, but never ills, contact livelyexchange (at) gmail (dot) com. Now scram – I have three -year-old candy to thaw out!

 

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wet cat final

“Charleston in the summertime: Like breathing through a wet cat!”

How was your Charleston copywriting summer? Hot and sticky like mine? I’m thinking this Friday before Labor Day might be the most humid day of the year. As I often say, “Copywriting is one per cent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration – especially in Charleston!”

So what’s happening here at the Exchange?

Seems like a lot of existing client maintenance lately, and that’s just fine. But there’s always room for more at this party, so come on along! For web, print, video and social media copy and content, contact livelyexchange (at) gmail (dot) com!

Photo credits: Fine Art America (bridge), BuyCostumes.com (mask), Dreamz Time (cat)

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dent4

Healthcare marketing is once again a welcome presence here at aLivelyExchange! (Click here for the thrilling backstory!)

An old designer/programmer colleague from Philips gave me the call several weeks ago. A local dental practice had hired him a few years back to create its website.  And so he did – a sharp WordPress site with nice functionality and great design…and little SEO heat. No knock against my guy; he’s a very talented web designer/programmer, but he’s not a writer or optimization dude. And, back then, the dentist wrote her own pages.

Somewhere along the line, the dentist came into contact with a digital marketing firm that specializes in healthcare. They did an exhaustive 40-page report on everything wrong with the site, citing all of its sins in the realm of keywords, word count, tags and links. Fascinating, really.

I can only guess that their remedy was too expensive (they do good work!), because the dentist went looking for alternatives. So designer dude gave me a call and spoke those four magic words: “Do you do healthcare?”

Thirty pages and 8400 words later, the optimized site went live yesterday. Check it out! Big thanks to a great client and especially to GregoryJacobsDesigns for the phone call!

Need healthcare copy or content? The prescription is livelyexchange (at) gmail (dot) com!

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chas no 1

Watch your step for giant Palmetto bugs and random typewriters

Today we learned that Travel + Leisure magazine has once again named Charleston SC the America’s No. 1 city, and No. 2 in the world. “Readers were asked to rate cities they had visited on sights/landmarks, culture/arts, restaurants/food, people/friendliness, shopping and value.”

Of course, that’s a survey of people who are just passing through. What’s it like for those who live here and try to make a living in the copywriting trade? I am referring specifically to ME.

Humble Copywriting Origins

I hit town in 2006, knowing precisely nobody. I fanned out in every direction, burning up my 28K dialup internet (!) carpet-bombing every web design, marketing, advertising and video production agency from here to hell-and-gone. (Hell-and-gone includes Asheville, Raleigh, Charlotte, Greenville, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Hilton Head, Savannah, and Augusta. Mostly due to “good timing” I got a few bites, a few initial gigs, and things slowly (SLOWLY) took root.

Mixed success, as you can imagine. I can say that the agency relationships I have made here in Charleston, including great names such as Colophon New Media and Metatation have endured.

Charleston Copywriting Must-haves

I have done my share of writing for two big Charleston staples, real estate and travel & tourism. Both have been very good to me. Check out my thoughts on local Real Estate writing here. And some fun travel and tourism stuff here. (Scroll down to Charleston Travel/Tourism Blog)

Now, there’s also Technical Writing.  The type of writing where (in Charleston anyway)  “tab A into slot B equals cruise missile.”  I can do it, I even completed some tech writing coursework at Trident Tech, but I guess I have never pursued it aggressively enough.

I ended up doing quite a bit of technical writing at Philips, though. That wasn’t the plan; it just turned out that way. Ah, Philips Consumer Lifestyle, the one that quite literally got away. (They closed the office and it got away!) But before it did, one of my pieces for them won a Bronze Addy award, so there’s that.

Ten years later, how’s it going? Well, it’s definitely going. Social is bigger than ever, and a big part of my mix. I went and earned a Social Marketing Certification from Hootsuite. This has been pretty helpful in framing the conversation when discussing a client’s digital marketing options.

Charleston Copywriting Outlook: 2017

Meanwhile, businesses are shaking off the cobwebs, and celebrating the new economic optimism that seems to be going around. Meaning, lots of web refreshes going on, from a six-page interior designer website, to a 30-page dentist’s site to a FIFTY page digital marketing agency website! (2017: the year the cobbler’s kids get shoes!!) Now, 2017 is setting no records, but it sure beats the windswept desert that was 2016!!

So that’s the copywriting life in America’s Number One city. As the Bedouins say, the dogs bark and the caravan moves on. If you’d like to be part of this rich copywriting pageant, contact me at  LivelyExchange (at) gmail (dot) com!

Photo: Charleston Post and Courier

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handmaid

Original 80s cover art, for the purists!

Allow me, Dystopian Literature Fan Number One, to be officially the last person on the web to discuss The Handmaid’s Tale.

First of all, I’m happy to see that 7 episodes in, people have finally stopped screaming how TIMELY it is. Written in the mid-80s, it was a response to the way Reagan installed a right-wing Christian dictatorship, took away women’s rights and shipped black people off to camps. If you don’t remember that happening then, that’s because it didn’t. But, TIMELY!!!

Anyway, the first 5 eps, I was riveted, watching the book come to life after reading it maybe 10 times. (Let us not speak of the 1990 theatrical release – as much as I love the late Natasha Richardson!)

handmaid 2

“So…see you at the Ceremony later?”

The last couple of eps, which have veered almost completely from the novel, I fear I am losing my buzz a bit – even though it is very well done. And I wonder, is this what it is like for those unhappy Game of Thrones book nerds?

I give them credit for trying to expand the story, even if the results are mixed. Seeing the breakdown and overthrow of the US? Excellent. RiotGrrl Ofglen as a symbol of resistance? Very good. The revelation about Offred’s husband? Maybe. Sympathizing with Serena Joy about how the revolution disappointed her? No. And the entire Mexican Ambassador thing? No me gusta!

I see that next week will bring to life just about the last remaining set piece of the novel, other than the ending. And now word comes that the series has been renewed for a second season. For the life of me, I can’t imagine what an episode 19 or 20 will look like. Despite all of this, it’s still appointment TV, and I am enjoying the ride for now. As for Big Splashy Hulu Adaptations, it’s much better than 11/22/63 was.  What do YOU think?

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Yes, but it's a MOIST heat.

Like some fast, furious flying thing, summer is flying by fast and furious. Here’s how I have spent my copywriting summer so far, in feels-like-110-degrees Charleston SC :

  • I wrote a website for a Speaker’s/Talent agency. The client knows Joel McHale! Jealous.
  • Meta tagging a home improvement website. Sounds tedious – and it was – but six solid billable hours. No complaints!
  • Writing a print brochure for an animal hospital. Aww, puppies!
  • The previously-mentioned gun ad and gun cloth website (see below)
  • Maybe producing a demo reel for a standup comic. The show is in 10 days, and I haven’t heard a thing. Hilarious!
  • Moderating a closed group on Facebook regarding the Casual Dining industry
  • Working on a different, super-secret blog/Twitter/Facebook project
  • Working on a THIRD social media program for a floral-industry giant
  • Writing a new headphone website for Philips
  • Writing Philips sell sheets for a new line of Kindle cases
  • Editing a sales presentation for a financial advisory firm
  • Finishing a Real Estate website refresh
  • Getting ready to start another Real Estate website
  • Completing my Kroger alcohol trilogy: Beer, wine and, now, Liquor!

I guess the big story is how the social media thing is growing. I am reading everything I can on how to do it well. And you know how I hate to read the manual! Anyway, that’s the spillage. How’s YOUR summer?

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You may not have heard of this little mom 'n' pop operation

As a companion piece to our last entry, here is a website I wrote* for Johnston Brothers Custom Imprinted Gun Cloths and Bags, a South Carolina maker of… wait, I knew it a minute ago!

This was a writing gig that was probably more fun than it should have been. First of all, it was 4 hours start to finish – including the client interview – and I received payment in under a week. What’s not to love?

Secondly, I love the client’s entrepreneurial spirit. I am always in awe of that kind of carve-a-niche energy some clients have – because I sometimes (ahem!) find it lacking in myself!  Here is a guy who saw that 90% of the little gun shops in the US do little to no advertising or marketing. They basically count on the fact that they are the only shop in the neighborhood.  So this client makes gun cloths, which every serious shooter must have and use, and personalizes them with the name of the shop and contact info.  That’s about all I can reveal, but the benefits should be obvious.

Anyway, you hear a lot of doom and gloom about small businesses. In order to survive, small business has to get creative. This is exactly the kind of quick, inexpensive yet good-looking website that can do the trick. It’s exciting for me to be involved in this kind of solution. Take that, commies!

*hat-tip to Charleston SC designer Studio 7 Design, and programmer Metatation. Thanks for the gig, fellers!

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