Articles on Writing Matters:

Freelance Copywriting Secrets - Answering The "Best" Question

Every freelance copywriter spends grueling hour upon hour trying to convince readers that a certain product, service or company is the "best." After all, why should your customer buy your product if the competing "Brand X" product is superior?

Well there are two problems with the whole issue of which product, service or company is the best. First, how do you determine what "best" really is?

And second, how do you communicate "best" in a way that is convincing to a well-justified public's skepticism that "best" isn't just puffery or downright lies?

Years ago, just after I graduated from college, I went to work for a giant financial services company in their telephone call center. My job was to answer a wide variety of questions people had about the mutual funds this company offered.

A frequent question people asked was, which was the "best" mutual fund?

There really is no way to answer that question. All the funds were managed to do different things and meet the needs of different investors. The way I learned to respond to the "best" question has direct application to a freelance copywriter trying to communicate "best" in the copy he writes.

"Best" depends on the circumstances, the customer, what the customer wants, what problem the customer wants solved and an endless list of other situation-specific factors.

So I learned to ask callers questions about whether they were now retired or planning for retirement? If they were planning for retirement, how many years away was it and what were they setting aside to save for the day they would be given their gold watch?

I asked questions to determine what their objectives were, how much risk and market volatility they could comfortably stomach, and what other investments they had in their portfolio.

The goal of all these questions was to help them put together a balanced portfolio to meet their own individual needs and objectives.

So what does this have to do with helping freelance copywriters write compelling copy? The "best" widget varies depending on the customer's needs and circumstances. If you know your target customer, you can carve out a niche to be the "best" for that type of person, or company. The more you learn to speak that target customer's language and communicate understanding for the problems she faces, the more credibility you will convey that your widget is the "best" for her.

It's all about not trying to be the "best" for the entire human race. I've spoken before about creating a new category and dominating that category to the point that you own that category. Why be a little fish in a big pond when you can be the big fish in your own pond? I recommend you read my article on how to create your own unique selling proposition (USP) called,
Freelance Copywriter Secrets: 10 Steps to Writing a Powerful USP for more on this subject.

The answer to the "best" question is, "that depends." That answer sounds evasive but it is not. It has to do with finding out more about who your customer is and how to surgically solve that customer's problems. Once you do that, you can truthfully and credibly claim to be the very best.

freelance copywriter, freelance commercial writer
COPYRIGHT(C)2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.

Charles Brown
Dallas, Texas,
16 Dec 2006

Charles Brown is a Dallas, Texas based freelance copywriter who writes web copy, advertisements, newsletter articles and direct mail that turns readers into YOUR customers. Visit his blog at or contact him at 817.715.3852 or ****.

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7 Article Writing Mistakes You Don't Want To Make

It is worth bearing in mind that not all article directories have the same rules for your article submission. Using the following article writing tips will give you the very best chance of having your articles accepted by the editors at first reading without you having to do re-writes or, at worst, having your article rejected because of some minor technicality.

Just the other day I received an email from a directory owner, (only 1 spelling mistake and no paragraphs but hey!, they make the rules), with a warning to it's authors that any spelling mistakes, bad punctuation, grammar and so on would result in the article being rejected out of hand.

From an authors point of view this is a little drastic as, whilst we don't expect the article editors to spend an excessive amount of time proofing the article, we would like the opportunity to adjust minor errors.

Not everybody has friends and family who can help proof their articles prior to submission and no matter how much care you take to grammar and spell check, the odd mistake is bound to happen. The more prominent article directories and submitters, like Ezine Articles, Article Marketer and Go Articles to name just 3, always give you a chance to correct any errors.

Remember that different sites have different formatting and submission rules and ezines /newsletters may require each line formatted to a certain CPL(Characters Per Line).

Here we go.

Tip 1:

Use Title Case For Your Article Titles - The first letter of each word is capitalized. Do not use a period at the end of a sentence but you may use a ? and an !

Here is a little known tip about article titles. I once made the mistake of using a bland headline. Well, it was basically my initial heading for the article when I first starting writing it without any of the "punch" to draw in the readers and I forgot to amend it.

The article was rejected and it was only because an article editor took the trouble to tell me about it that I became aware of this issue. So, put some punch in your titles!

Tip 2:

If you have a choice of, say, 3 categories and your article will fit only one then just use that category. You do not have to use all 3 just because the options are there. An article can be rejected if you have selected a "close" but not relevant category.

Tip 3:

Check the number of links you are allowed in your resource box. If in doubt then just use 1. If possible you must use anchor text links to help you with off-page search engine optimization. The use of anchor text links is very important. Keep the information in your resource box factual and hype-free.

Tip 4:

Do not use links or HTML in the body of your article. Some sites will allow the use of certain tags but if you are mass submitting your article you probably won't even see the allowable tags anyway.

Tip 5:

Avoid using repetitive decorative symbols to form dividers in the article body such as the double underline, hash or dollar signs.

Tip 6:

Do not write an advertisement for your affiliate product and definitely no affiliate links, even in your resource box.

Tip 7:

Some article directories will not accept a series of articles in parts so don't put Part 1 or Part 2 in the title. Also refrain from placing wording similar to "the next article in the series will be about " at the end of your article.

Taff Martin
18 Dec 2006

Taff Martin runs Taff's Article Directory and publishes TAD NEWS. A newsletter dedicated to giving real information to real people. Visit his
Article Marketing Blog for tips, resources and strategies on article marketing you can use right now.

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