Tag: award application writer

It’s not what your copy said. It’s how your copy was styled

It’s not what you said. It’s how you wrote it. 

There was a time when words really mattered. Each. And. Every. One. Of. Them.

But not anymore. Writing for the web has become much less about the words you use and much more about the way they’re styled.

Jakob Nielsen’s 1997 research on how people read websites found that 79% of people scanned web content only – essentially making how copy is laid out much more important than what it says.

10 Copy styling tips to make your web content more scannable

1. Highlight keywords: Use typeface variations, hypertext links and colour to draw the scanners attention to the keywords they came for.

2. Choose fonts and font size carefully: There’s an optimal typeface and size for web fonts. Know them and use them. 2017 is not the time for Comic Sans.

3. Employ meaningful sub-headings: Leading lines and subheadings break up the copy load and encourage a scanner to read on for more information. 

4. Use line breaks: Line breaks create bite-sized chunks of copy that look easy to read. Make your new mantra; easy reads get read

5. Apply bulleted lists: Bulleted or numbered lists make content easy to digest as the heading states the intent.

6. Create takeaways with quotes: Quotes are an invitation to dive deeper into content as they speak directly to the point. 

7. Use infographics where appropriate: This is a great way to condense complex information and statistics for scanners.

8. Include only one idea per paragraph: Simple but important when it comes to retaining the scanner.

9. Start with the conclusion: Structure paragraphs in an inverted pyramid style, stating the conclusion first, followed by supporting information. 

10. Halve the word count: Cover complex content in a series of portion-controlled posts. This invites the reader to come back for more, and makes the content easy to digest.

Make every piece of copy count. 
Writing and styling great web copy is about making the important things matter. If your subheadings, lists, quotes and highlights tell the story – congratulations, you’ve made scannable copy! But the best part of scannable copy? It’s effortless to consume for word-by-word readers too! 

Do you need a copywriter to make your copy scannable?



Web Content – Business to Business Marketing – Feature Articles & Blogs – Brochures – Newsletters – Marketing Collateral – Product Descriptions – Content Creation – Copy Editing & Proofreading

Got Melbourne Copywriting Needs?

Don’t just talk about it. Get it done.

If the following sounds familiar;
1. Your content writer discovered their zen and moved to Bali #ithappens!
2. You just need a few little changes to your web content and no one wants to help
3. [Insert name] left your business and no one else has the time to write even simple communications for you
4. Your website has been neglected, abandoned or lost
5. You have been waiting for ages for that other freelance writer to get back to you
6. You don’t have a website yet, because you have no copy to develop one
….it’s time to get a freelance writer.

From as little as $75/hour, a freelance writer can solve all your copywriting problems. 

Melbourne based, I’ve been spreading messages for companies just like yours with fast and effective copywriting services. Helping people to clarify their message, tease out their intent and create fresh, attention-grabbing content is what I know.

But I’m more than just a writer. I’m a wordsmith and problem solver. And I can offer the perspective of your audience – an audience that doesn’t know you, or your business.

I do MORE than just write words

  • I offer you a fresh perspective. You know your business well, but do you know what’s really important about it?
  • I make your big ideas, products or plans simple. Your audience needs less information than you think – and I know which content matters.
  • I bring creative words and terms of reference to the project. You call it a hat. I call it a cap, cloche, bonnet or beanie.
  • I turn chunks of copy into words that can be easily digested. I use attention grabbing headlines to break up your copy and make it easy to read – even at a glance.
  • I understand the importance of your brand personality. I bring copy to life with a unique personality that is all your own.
  • I grow your business and audience. It’s simple. I choose words designed to sell.
  • I save you time and money. I free you up to do what you do best – run your business.

Web Content – Business to Business Marketing – Feature Articles & Blogs – Brochures – Newsletters – Marketing Collateral – Product Descriptions – Content Creation – Copy Editing & Proofreading

A Freelance Writer always has something to say about content marketing….

content marketing, freelance writer

Because while silence is golden, when you’re a writer, there’s always something to say…

2016 saw The Freelance Pencil take on a massive project for a client dedicated to hitting the market hard. An astute client who understands the value of content in driving their business, The Freelance Pencil was tasked with developing a complete content marketing strategy.

“Content marketing is the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

What does a content marketing strategy involve?

Content marketing solutions are as unique as the businesses they serve. Limited only by the scope of your imagination (and the needs of your audience), a content marketing strategy might include:

  • Custom content written for you, in your own voice
  • Webpage content
  • Microsites
  • Social media content
  • Email newsletters
  • Copy for infographics, charts & graphics
  • Case studies
  • Curated content selected from relevant sources
  • Content for podcasts
  • Storytelling & blogging
  • Copy for videos
  • eBooks & white papers

Why should you care about content marketing?

Understanding why content marketing is important to your business means you understand the four stages of the buying cycle:

  1. Awareness. The customer may have a need, but they don’t all know there is a solution.
  2. Research. Once a customer is aware of the solution, they will educate themselves on their options and how each might meet their needs.
  3. Consideration. The point at which the customer starts comparing different products from different suppliers to ensure they’re getting a high quality product at a fair price.
  4. Buy. Finally, the customer makes their decision and converts their research into a purchase.
This four stage process requires content. Hight quality, targeted and engaging content that:
  • Identifies the problem;
  • Advertises the solution;
  • Demonstrates the benefits; and
  • Celebrates the purchase! 

So the message is simple. Businesses that ignore content marketing are damaging the value of their business.Every business, yes EVERY business with an online presence benefits from content marketing.

Is a content marketing strategy on your radar for 2017? Call The Freelance Pencil on 0418 530 585 to discuss your content needs today.

Have you heard the joke about the Port Melbourne Copywriter?

Port Melbourne CopywriterNever mind, it’s pointless…

But getting a Port Melbourne copywriter to power up your business isn’t…

Good copy can take your business further. How? By ensuring that it answers the questions your customers need.

A copywriter can bring ‘process’ to your business proposition – and address the questions you often miss. Think you know everything about your product or service offering?

Try asking yourself these 15 questions about your product or service:

  1. What does it do/deliver?
  2. What relevant facts, statistics or specifications should be known about it?
  3. What problem does it solve?
  4. What is new, different, better or unique about it?
  5. What can never be said or promised about it?
  6. Who is your competition and what are they saying about it?
  7. Is there a special history or unique story around it?
  8. What do people need to do to access it?
  9. How does it address people’s biggest concerns or fears?
  10. How will it help people get ahead or keep from falling behind?
  11. What desire does it appeal to?
  12. Has it been endorsed or received media coverage?
  13. What information or legals must be included to sell it?
  14. Does it have a guarantee and what are those terms?
  15. Do people want it?

If you haven’t considered these questions about your product or service offering, you may be missing the point – and missing customers.

Want to learn more about working with a Port Melbourne copywriter? Call The Freelance Pencil on 0418 530 585 and speak to me today.

Everyone’s got a story…and more often than not, a very interesting one for this Port Melbourne copywriter…

story pencilsWriting copy for business is just one of the many things I do as a Port Melbourne copywriter. I also write a local magazine. 

For the last few years, I’ve been getting to know my local businesses. Despite being a resident of Port Melbourne for (too) many years, I learned just how little I really knew about the rich cultural history of Port Melbourne when I started to interview the locals for the ‘The Port Melbourne’ magazine.

Produced by the Port Melbourne Business Association, ‘The Port Melbourne’ magazine profiles the rich stories of Port’s business owners, old and new, and their connection to Port Melbourne.

So after writing the stories of so many people, what would I ask myself in an interview? 

The Freelance Pencil (TFP): So Nicola, what led you to copywriting?

Nicola: How much time have you got? My journey to The Freelance Pencil was actually a pretty convoluted one. A qualified Occupational Therapist, I started my working career in the Victorian Public Hospital system. Whilst I loved my clinical work, a few great opportunities led me to an administration role running a pilot program for the Department of Human Services. Fast forward quite a few years and I found myself working in pre-litigation dispute resolution – you can imagine the writing that was involved in that! Working in alternative dispute resolution and writing for CEO’s and Ministers was very much my ‘thing’ until I put the brakes on my corporate career in 2010. Writing for SME’s grew organically from a few old corporate contacts who heard I had some time on my hands.

TFP: The road from Occupational Therapist to freelance writer is an unusual one isn’t it?

Nicola: Occupational Therapy is a job dedicated to problem solving. So for me, my journey to writing makes a lot of sense. My whole career to date has been one of solving problems with creative solutions. The people who come to me for copy are looking to work out ‘how’ or ‘what’ to communicate to their audience. That’s just a problem looking to be solved with creative words.

TFP: Knowing what to write can’t be easy? Let’s face it, if everyone could do it, we wouldn’t need copywriters would we?

Nicola: I actually think everyone has a great story in them. The hardest part for business owners is understanding what part of their story is relevant to their audience. When you live and breathe your business everyday, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s actually important to to the end user. I like to think I bring that perspective.

TFP: If you weren’t writing copy, what would you be doing?

Nicola: Probably reading, writing and watching documentary content on just about any subject I can get my hands on in a very warm and sunny location (most likely with a Pina colada in hand!). 

TFP: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve watched recently?

Nicola: The True Cost – A documentary on the global environmental and social impact of the ‘fast fashion’ industry.

TFP: Do you have a favourite type of client?

Nicola: I love working with clients who are as excited about what they do as I am. Passion is infectious and the best results come from clients who are truly invested in the process of creating great copy.

Want to read more stories about people? Click below to read my work in the The Port Magazine.

The Port Mag APRIL

The Port Mag September









Want to learn more about the work I do? Call The Freelance Pencil on 0418 530 585 and speak to me today.

Do you consider yourself a winner? An award application writer can get you across the line.

award application writerIf your business is doing something special – it’s time to sing about it. An award application writer can get you results.

Business awards are a great way for small businesses to get the recognition and attention they deserve. Aimed at recognising innovation, service and performance, small business awards are a great opportunity to promote what you do to a wider audience, while gaining some valuable exposure for the hard yards your business is putting in each and every day.

With no shortage of national and local opportunities for your business to be recognised – is it time for you to sing about the work you do?

National Small Business Awards:

  • The Anthill 30under30 Awards
  • Cool Company Awards
  • Australian Achiever Customer Service Awards
  • Australian Business Awards
  • Australian Customer Service Awards
  • Australian Export Awards
  • Australian Small Business Champion Awards
  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year
  • Family Business Awards
  • My Business Awards
  • Telstra Business Awards

The list above represents only a small sample of the awards available at a national level. But there are literally hundreds of local small business awards offered by industry leaders, local councils, business networks and organisations keen to promote the accolades of your business.

You don’t need to do all the hard work. You just need to want to win.

Have you seen an award you’d like to apply for? Has the application form looked overwhelming? Are you too busy being great to stop and write about it? Do you need a copywriter to win?

Finding winning words is my job.

A copywriter can maximise the chances of your submission making the cut by:

  • Assessing and interpreting the award requirements
  • Bringing an objectivity to your awards application
  • Ensuring your submission meets the selection criteria
  • Using compelling, winning language!
  • Framing your businesses best assets in a way that engages the selection panel
  • Integrating your written content into a single, seamless submission
  • Assisting you with any interview preparation

So if you think you’re a winner – now is the time to consider if a small business award is the right marketing strategy for your business.

Are you interested in applying for a small business award? Call The Freelance Pencil on 0418 530 585 and ask how I can help.