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Copywriting

Website copywriting: Real Success

by Dean on March 4, 2010

This blog is now part of The Good Content Company. Thanks for stopping by!

real success website copywriting Website copywriting: Real Success

Working in association with MSE Design in Birmingham, I was commissioned to rewrite the copy for the new Real Success website.

Real is a performance coaching business providing mentoring, training and support. Its services are all geared to helping individuals and businesses grow and to realise their full potential.

The brief was to edit down the content, get the core benefits of the business across quickly, and make the copy more “web friendly”.

You can see the results at: www.real-success.co.uk.

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HTC Touch Diamond2 copywriting

by Dean on November 14, 2009

T hand1 HTC Touch Diamond2 copywriting

I recently worked with the Carbon Marketing agency in London to produce a series of promotional leaflets for mobile phone manufacturer HTC. These included the HTC Touch Pro 2, the HTC Snap and the HTC Touch Diamond2.

The brief required copy that was short and benefit-led, explaining the key features included in the Touch Diamond 2 handset. These included: a 3.2-inch touchscreen, 5MP camera and HTC’s new ‘People Centric Communication’ technology.

The HTC Touch Diamond2 can intelligently keep track of your conversations with people. Just tap a contact and the HTC TouchDiamond2 will show you a neatly laid-out history of the recent emails, calls and text messages you’ve exchanged with them.

So it doesn’t matter if you get asked about a recent email while you are talking on the phone. Or if you are sitting in a café trying to find an important text message from a friend. By grouping your communication around your contacts, HTC makes it easier to stay in touch.

View the finished HTC Touch Diamond 2 leaflet [PDF - 230 KB]

Do you need copy professionally written?

I offer the following writing services: Freelance writing, Freelance blogging, Freelance editing, Copywriting and SEO.

Or you if you can’t find what you need here, you can contact me directly.

About Dean Evans
View my LinkedIn profile
Follow me on Twitter
View samples of my work

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HTC Snap copywriting

by Dean on November 13, 2009

htc snap HTC Snap copywriting

In addition to writing copy for the HTC Touch Pro 2 launch earlier this year, I also worked on the release of the HTC Snap.

You can read an excerpt of my copy here and view the final leaflet (PDF) below:

Give Your Favourite Contacts ‘VIP’ Status

We’ve designed the HTC Snap™ to put your favourite people first. The new ‘Inner Circle™’ feature makes staying in touch with your closest friends and colleagues easier than ever before.

Create Your inner circle

Choose the people you want to include in your Inner Circle™ – your partner, your parents,your best friends… Then hit the dedicated Inner Circle™ button and your email inbox is instantly streamlined to show only messages from those contacts.

View the finished HTC Snap leaflet [PDF - 660 KB]

Do you need copy professionally written?

I offer the following writing services: Freelance writing, Freelance blogging, Freelance editing, Copywriting and SEO.

Or you if you can’t find what you need here, you can contact me directly.

About Dean Evans
View my LinkedIn profile
Follow me on Twitter
View samples of my work

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HTC Touch Pro2 copywriting

by Dean on September 17, 2009

htc touch pro2 HTC Touch Pro2 copywriting

I worked closely with the Carbon Marketing agency to produce copy for the launch of the HTC Touch Pro2 smartphone earlier this year.

Read an excerpt and view the final leaflet (PDF) below:

Advanced speakerphone technology

With its new Straight Talk™ technology, the HTC Touch Pro2 is a powerful, pocketable conference call system. The innovative dual speakers and microphones reduce background noise and boost voice clarity.

Simply place the HTC Touch Pro2 face-down on a table and it intelligently switches to speakerphone mode. No fiddling. No fuss. It is the essence of intelligent design.

Effortless conference calling

The HTC Touch Pro2 is built for business. A brand new interface makes setting up a conference call as easy as tapping on multiple contacts, while appointment reminders can conveniently cue up important phone numbers and conference PINs.

This is collaboration made easy, any time, anywhere you need it.

View the finished HTC Touch Pro2 leaflet [PDF - 205 KB]

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Five ways to build an effective website

by Dean on September 8, 2009

website Five ways to build an effective website

This article, originally written for Orange, offers quick tips and advice for anyone thinking about building a website or blog:

1. Get your website branding right.

A visitor to your website will typically decide whether they like it in the first 8 seconds. It’s why the top section of your website (the bit that fills a 1024×768 display when it first loads up) is vital. In this area, often called ‘above the fold’, your visitors should immediately be able to get a sense of what your site is about and what they can do on it without having to scroll the page.

2. Don’t be a slave to design

The biggest mistake you can make when building a website is to prioritise design at the expense of usability and content. Think about what your visitors will want to see on your site; not what you want to see. Content is king on websites. Good design is to help sell that content more effectively.

3. Don’t make your visitors think

Be obvious with your website’s design and structure. Visitors should never think about where to start or what to click on next. Start by making all of your links the same colour; use consistent and clear navigation; make sure the search box is prominently displayed. 40% of users don’t return to a website after a negative first experience.

4. Know your keywords

Ensure that your website is using keywords appropriate to your market. This will make you more relevant to search engines for those keywords. Ensure that the keywords that apply to your business appear in titles, headings, sections and your website copy. Use Google’s Adwords tool to research popular words and phrases.

5. Tease your extra content

Tease more content on all of your pages, not just your website’s home page. If a visitor drops into your site from a Google search, they’re unlikely to hit the front page. Give them a reason to explore – lists of ‘recent articles’, ‘related articles’ or ‘most popular articles’ will help drive traffic around your site.

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Get the most out of your Nokia phone

by Dean on June 11, 2009

nokia n97 Get the most out of your Nokia phone

Nokia mobile phones are amongst the most popular in the world – 62% of Orange users own one. But are you getting the most out of yours?

There’s so much more to owning a Nokia phone than talking and texting? Have you tried MMS or sending an email? Did you know that you can use an N-series phone as a sat-nav? Or that you can update your Facebook profile on a Series 40 phone and watch TV clips on Orange World?

You can do all these things and more with your Nokia phone. Grab your phone and try the following:

Two things all Nokia users should do

Whatever Nokia handset you own, there are two things that you can do right now to get more from your phone.

Back up and synchronise your phone

Installing the Nokia PC Suite is a must. Why? Because you can use it to copy calendar information from Outlook, securely back up your phone contacts, manage files on your phone and install new software (like games and utilities).

Got a Mac? No problem. Nokia offers two separate applications for Apple owners – iSync (for synchronising contact and calendar info) and Nokia Multimedia transfer (for managing music, photos, games and other data). You can find them both online at: http://europe.nokia.com/mac.

Join ‘My Nokia’ (it’s free!)

Sign up for My Nokia (formerly Club Nokia) and you’ll receive regular tips and tricks for your Nokia phone by SMS and/or email, such as: “ever lost yourself in your mobile menu? You can escape at any time by pressing the red Disconnect button”.

You can also sign up for the Nokia Connections newsletter to receive Nokia news, offers and exclusive competitions. You can also register for My Nokia Backup. This enables you to synchronise and store your Calendar, Contacts, To-dos and Notes securely on the web. Put your name down for My Nokia membership at: http://europe.nokia.com/clubnokia.

5 things all N-series users should do

Nokia’s N-series phones represent the cutting edge of mobile technology. The phone you hold in your hand is a mini computer – a digital camera, games machine, music/video player and sat-nav system all in one pocketable device.

The Symbian S60 software glues all this cleverness together, providing an open mobile platform that is easy-to-use and extraordinarily versatile. Hundreds of extra applications are now available for N-series phones, including: IM clients, games, microblogging software, weather apps and RSS readers. Your Nokia phone can do more than you ever imagined. So why not try the following:

Use your phone as a sat-nav

Nokia Maps comes pre-installed on most N-series phones, enabling you to use your phone as a portable sat-nav system. Find your current position on a map, then use your phone to search for places of interest nearby or to give you turn-by-turn directions to a destination.

Like running? Download ‘Sports Tracker’ for free and track your speed, distance and calorie burn as you jog. If you haven’t got Nokia Maps on your phone or need to update the software, you can find it at: http://www.nokia.co.uk/maps/download.

Discover the online world of ‘Ovi’

Ovi (www.ovi.com) is Nokia’s new online portal, which combines a number of different functions – web-based calendar/contact synchronisation (like My Nokia), Nokia Maps, photo and video sharing. Or you can use Ovi’s Anytime Files service to access documents on your PC remotely via your phone.

The Nokia Music Store is also part of the Ovi experience. The software that powers Nokia Music Store downloads is PC-only at this time. It can be downloaded from http://music.nokia.co.uk.

Share your photos and videos online

When you’ve signed up to Nokia’s Ovi website, you can use the ShareOnline application on your phone to share your photos as you travel. Give it a try.

Ovi offers free and unlimited storage for your photos and video you can also send them by email to friends or publish them on your social network profile. In fact, N-series phones are ideal for social networking. You can blog on the go with Moblog:UK or Twitter anywhere with Twibble. Browse and download applications at www.nseries.com.

Listen to free music on Last.fm

Have you tried mobbler? It’s an Internet radio player for Symbian phones that enables you to listen to Last.fm radio stations or to custom-build a playlist based on an artist or genre. Find it at: http://code.google.com/p/mobbler/.

Turn your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot

Yes, really. Sign up for a Joikuspot account and you can turn your 3G phone into a secure mobile WLAN hot spot. It’s ideal for connecting a laptop, netbook or iPod touch to the Internet when you don’t have access to fixed Wi-Fi. The Light version is a free download at www.joiku.com. The Premium version supports VPN access and can be purchased at www.joikushop.com.

5 things all Series 40 devices can do

Don’t own an N-series phone? No matter. You can also do much more with Nokia’s Series 40 phones (I.e. the Nokia 6500 Slide, the Nokia 6220, the Nokia 6300) than texting and talking. For example, did you know that you can…

Poke a friend on Facebook

Orange makes it easy to log onto your favourite social network. Having signed agreements with MySpace, Facebook and Bebo, you can easily access the big three via the Orange World portal. There is also support for Skyrock, Pikeo, Flirtomatic, DailyMotion and Meetic communities.

Install a new game

The popularity of mobile gaming is on the up and the Nokia Software Market (www.softwaremarket.nokia.com) is the perfect place to grab a new game for your phone. Specify the type of handset you own and then choose from games that include gem-puzzler DiamondMine, Super Tetris and Sudoku Monster.

Widgetise your web browsing

Rather than access Internet info via a web browser, the web widgets at www.widsets.com enable you to pull your favourite web content straight to your phone. Top-rated widgets on the site currently include: Wikipedia, Friendster, AccuWeather, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.

Change your wallpaper/screen saver

You don’t have to stick with the default wallpaper and screensavers that come supplied on your Nokia phone. Head on over to www.softwaremarket.nokia.com, tell the site what handset you own, and choose ‘themes’ to browse through hundreds of new wallpaper graphics and screensavers.

This article was originally written for Orange.

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Tesco Digital buyers guide

by Dean on May 29, 2009

tesco digital Tesco Digital buyers guide

I recently completed a three week freelance booking at Future Plus, the contract publishing arm of Future Publishing in Bath. Here I wrote, edited and produced a slick-looking 24-page Digital buyers guide for Tesco.

The guide covered: entry-level and advanced digital cameras, the latest camcorders, digital photo frames, sat-nav systems and accessories.

The job involved writing concise, accessible copy for the various product pages, sourcing appropriate images, proof reading and working with the designer to fine-tune the layouts.

I regularly liaised with Tesco in order to deliver a product on time, within budget, and that perfectly fitted their content and marketing needs.

You can view some page samples from the project below…

tesco cover1 293x150 Tesco Digital buyers guide

tesco 6to7 1 293x150 Tesco Digital buyers guide

tesco camcorders1 293x150 Tesco Digital buyers guide

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Y Glas – North Wales Police

by Dean on May 4, 2009

yglas homej Y Glas   North Wales Police

Having already done some consultancy work for North Wales Police, I recently wrote this piece for the launch of NWP’s new Web 2.0 hub – Y Glas. It begins…

North Wales Police is enhancing its online presence by launching a new online hub, “Y Glas”, on the 27th April. This new, Web 2.0-inspired page is designed to highlight the force’s online initiatives, which range from blogs and online crime maps to new social networking and community initiatives on Facebook and YouTube. Y Glas will exist alongside the current North Wales Police website.

What is Y Glas?

Y Glas (“The Blues”) represents a new way of interacting and engaging with the North Wales Police force. Officers are now contactable by phone, email and Facebook, via a PC or a laptop at home, or anywhere via an Internet-connected mobile phone.

It’s not a monitoring device. There is no intent to ‘police the Internet’. Instead, Y Glas is a method of connecting and communicating with the local community. The new Web 2.0 elements provide places where the public can engage with police officers directly, one to one. It’s policing ‘on demand’.

North Wales Police on Facebook

Y Glas connects to the North Wales Police Facebook page, which offers online crime maps, YouTube videos and links to Neighbourhood Policing Teams in the North Wales area. By clicking on one of these teams, the public can view details of their local police station, find contact numbers, view relevant local news bulletins and see who their local police officers are. 

North Wales Police officer Mike Smith is reinventing the idea of local policing with his pioneering work on Facebook. Smith runs a number of local initiatives using his Facebook profile as a contact point and a broadcast mechanism. These have involved youth engagement, crime awareness and encouraging people to look for new jobs. As a ‘Facebook champion’ for the North Wales Police, Smith continues to prove that online policing not only works, but that there’s a demand for it.

YouTube, blogs and interactive maps

Y Glas also connects to the North Wales Police YouTube channel. This features various videos that illustrate the good work that is done by Neighbourhood Policing Teams. 

North Wales Police was one of the first forces in the UK to add blogs to its website and is committed to continuing this raw-edged, transparent communication channel. The North Wales Police website currently features four regular bloggers — Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom, Deputy Chief Constable Clive Wolfendale, Assistant Chief Constable Ian Shannon, and Director of Finance & Resources Mike Parkin.

Y Glas also links to interactive crime maps for the North Wales Police area. These consist of a scrollable digital map with relevant crime statistics for the area being viewed.

Finally, Y Glas has linked up with the Think U Know website run by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre. The website gives children in age groups 5-7, 8-10 and 11-16 helpful advice and tips on using the Internet. A ‘Report Abuse’ button gives children an easy, secure way of reporting problems such as cyber bullying, hacking, harmful web content and unwanted sexual behaviour.

Why do the police need Y Glas?

Y Glas enhances and revitalises the North Wales Police’s Internet presence, enabling it to connect with a new audience and provide another entry point into the existing website and social networking spin-offs.

“We get 90,000 visitors to the website,” says Ian Davies,  Head of Projects and Customer Services for North Wales Police. “In contrast, we get 45,000 calls per month to our control room. People are looking for information and the web is a convenient way to access this information on an anonymous basis.”

“People always say that they want more bobbies on the beat,” says Deputy Chief Constable Clive Wolfendale, “and we’ve done a lot of work on physical visibility in North Wales.”

“But people are also choosing to spend more of their time on the Internet, so it’s a real mistake for us to turn our back on it… People have a right to say: ‘why would the police want to get engaged in this particular world?’ But I’m pretty firm in the view that there’s a responsibility on the police service to be visible to all sections of the community who want us to be visible. There is absolute onus and responsibility on the police service to be online if people need us.”

North Wales Police is one of the most technologically advanced police forces in the country. Every officer in the force already has a Blackberry mobile phone (enabling them to get their email and be contactable by the public), while key officers are engaging with local people via Facebook and making local videos using Flip camcorders.

The Y Glas brings all of these initiatives and platforms together to showcase just what 21st Century policing has to offer.

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Gadgets for girls

by Dean on May 1, 2009

colorholic 2 Gadgets for girls

This article, originally written for Orange, looks at what companies are doing to sell gadgetry to women. And it’s not just about making phones pink…

Gadgets for girls

Time for a little Marketing 101. How do you sell mobile phones to women? Anyone? If you’re just about to say “make it pink” then shame on you. Colour is largely irrelevant.

For the most part, it’s not aesthetics that sell handsets, it’s features. The big draw of the Sony Ericsson C905 is its eight Megapixel camera, while the Blackberry Bold trades on its anywhere email access. Who cares what colour they are?

Admittedly, personalisation is a growing trend – it’s why Dell has a range of multicoloured laptops and Apple has a rainbow of iPod nanos. But pink is a cliché. Nobody takes pink seriously.

“Anyone with sense can generally see through [the pink] marketing ploy,” says Katherine Hannaford, Editor of T3.com. “However, it’s obvious that some women are actually buying these gadgets. Why else would manufacturers continue to make them? Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan have a lot to answer for.”

So modern marketing strategies for attracting female customers have become more subtle and sophisticated. And that doesn’t just mean swapping pink for purple, or calling new handsets ‘fashion phones’. Instead, designers are bringing a feminine sensibility to their products.

Just look at how phones are advertised today. The focus isn’t just on design. There’s an increasing emphasis on simplicity and ease-of-use. Women are becoming increasingly technology-savvy and they want a reliable product at a good price. Just like everybody else.

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The 5-step guide to better e-marketing

by Dean on April 9, 2009

gorilla marketing The 5 step guide to better e marketing

This article, originally written for Orange, looks at how a good website and a targeted email campaign can help businesses boost their brands internationally without spending a fortune.

The 5-step guide to e-marketing

According to a report by Payment Service Provider Pago, e-commerce sites in the UK now receive more than half of their business from consumers outside of the UK. Are you cashing in?

There are thousands of companies carving out a living online. E-commerce giants like Amazon, eBay and Dabs.com shun the bricks-and-mortar business model in favour of infinite shelf space and long-tail selling.

Online shopping is booming: high-street retailers such as Monsoon and Warehouse are tapping into a lunchtime rush of shoppers who have found that they can browse clothes effortlessly without leaving the office.

How can your business grab a piece of this e-commerce pie?

Step 1: Get a website

You need a website. Or at least a blog. An online presence is vital if you want to engage your customers, promote your brand and encourage sales. A website can provide an unprecedented sales channel during challenging economic conditions such as these.

If you already have a website, is it the best website that it can possibly be? Do people know about it? Most Internet users find websites via a search engine, typically Google. In the UK, Google has almost a 90% share of the UK search market. So not only does your website need to be visible in Google’s search results, you want it to rank higher than your competitors. How do you do this?

Step 2: Provide good content

Content is king. If you’re selling a product, your website must provide interesting and relevant content that benefits your visitor. If you have product listings, think about what else you could provide to enhance them – think extra pictures, a video of the product, testimonials or case studies, a downloadable PDF brochure, an invitation to sign up for an e-mail newsletter (see Step 5: The power of newsletters).

The website mydeco.com, created by Lastminute.com founders Martha Lane Fox and Brent Hoberman is a case in point. It’s essentially an aggregator site for furniture stores. But mydeco.com brings the process to life for the web visitor, by offering extra services – thousands of ready-made looks to inspire you, an online magazine and a unique 3D room planner that lets you paint walls, adjust colour schemes and play around with 3D furniture.

If you’re providing information or a service, think about you can present the information in a more interesting way. Can you write a ‘how to’ article or offer “21 insider tips and tricks”? Is there an expert you can interview? A product you can review? What about a special promotion that you can exclusively offer website visitors?

According to Kieran Potts, who runs Bath-based website design company Vintage Web Works, many companies – especially small businesses – try to do too much with their websites.

“I often receive invitations to tender for websites with all the bells and whistles,” he says. “They want social networking, user forums, video galleries, all wrapped up in over-the-top Flash-based eye candy. But what almost always brings people to a website is good content, not the functionality or design. You’ve got to have original, interesting and genuinely useful content that people won’t easily find elsewhere.”

Step 3: Nailing down your keywords

Google assesses and values the content of web pages by analysing the frequency, positioning and prominence of the words on it. If you’ve built a website and you’re producing good, regular content, the next step is to point people towards it. “Over 80% of all internet journeys now start with a search,” says Lucy Allen, MD of LBI Netrank, one of the UK’s largest online brand positioning agencies. “So integrating search engine marketing into any e-marketing campaign is vital.”

Keyword research is the essence of successful e-marketing. Think about the words that describe your business. Write them down. Now what words or phrases would you use to find the same information on the web? What would you type into a search engine? If you wanted to get your bath re-enamelled, you’d probably type “bath enamelling” into Google; if you’re looking to make business cards, you might type “business card design”.

Type the keywords that match elements of your business into Google and see what comes up. Note the companies that appear on the first page – these are the guys that you want to compete with. Brainstorm some basic keywords and use online resources such as Google’s free AdWords Keyword Tool to identify extra keywords and phrases that will be relevant to your business.

Step 4: Do-it-yourself SEO

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the art of tweaking the pages of a website so they are more visible to search engines. “It’s a hugely powerful tool,”explains Patrick Altoft, MD of SEO company Branded3, “allowing small unknown companies to compete on an equal footing with the likes of Amazon and eBay. Moving a website to the top of Google’s rankings is like taking a back street shop and re-locating it to a prime High Street location – sales shoot up overnight.”

“We started working with one local client, an electric fire retailer, in May of this year. After 4 weeks their turnover had quadrupled purely as a result of search engine optimisation. At present they are on track to achieve sales of over £1 million in their first year’s trading.”

Each individual page on a website needs some form of SEO. While a website’s homepage is the front door or shop window, the majority of visitors will often parachute into individual pages as they click on links from a search engine listing. Here are some Do-it-yourself SEO improvements you can make without calling in the experts:

    Update your site on a regular basis. Search engines love fresh content.
    Use appropriate keywords in the titles of your articles. Try to add keywords, key phrases and keyword variants into the copy (sparingly), into the ALT Tags for any pictures you use and in prominent sub-headings.
    Use keywords in your URLs – I.e. www.yourbusiness.com/the-10-best-keywords. If your URL structure doesn’t use hyphens like this, consider changing it.
    Build links from trusted sites. “Today the Google algorithm is heavily biased towards links,” says Patrick Altoft. “Put simply the more high quality websites that link to your site the higher it will rank in the search engines.”
    Boost link-building by interlinking your own pages. I.e. refer to your other articles and link to them regularly.
    Submit your site to search engines and online directories.
    Send out electronic press releases using a site like www.prnewswire.com.
    Start an ‘affiliate program’ and encourage bloggers to promote your products for a small sales commission.
    Comment on other sites in your area of business. Include a link back to your own site.
    Talk to your readers. Ask them what they want, what they like, what they don’t like. Businesses often pay for this sort of market research information – you can get it for free.
    Publish an email newsletter.

Step 5: The power of newsletters

Finally, publishing an email newsletter once or twice a month is a great way to bring people back to your site. Emails are ideal for building relationships with your customers and keeping them up to date with new products.

The most effective way to get people to sign up to a newsletter is to offer them a ‘killer freebie’ in return – a useful PDF report or a money-off voucher. The aim is to attract 20% of your visitors to become regular readers.

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