Clients or other copywriters: Who’s the audience for your copywriter blog?

January 10, 2014 •
Confused copywriter

A few years back, I wrote a comment on a Copyblogger post

I talked about building links by writing blog posts that target other copywriters (as opposed to clients). Here’s my comment…

Jonathan read it, and asked me for some advice

This morning, I received an email from a nice fella, Jonathan, who’s just starting out on his freelance copywriting journey. He’d just seen my original comment, and wanted some advice.

I thought the exchange might help other freelance copywriters, so I decided to blog about it.

His question

Hey Glenn.

I recently discovered your work and your website via some comments you made last year on the website copyblogger. The post in question concerned the difference between writing for clients and writing for other writers. You made some very interesting comments about how writing for other writers can lead to links and increased importance and ranking and thus to more clients anyway.

I am right at the start of things doing, mostly, the kind of low paid writing grunt work with which I think you started your freelance writing career. I’ve worked on the design of my blog and got it to a decent place but the question of what to blog about still puzzles me. I can write for other writers as a way of driving up my search rank but how do you write for clients? Perhaps this is a stupid question. I am writing in so many different areas it feels hard to be specific. Do I write more technical stuff looking at aspects of SEO? Isn’t that still writing for writers? The line between the two seems very thin to me.

I would appreciate any input you might have. And thank you for your blogging it has proved very valuable to me.

Thanks for your time,

Jon

My answer

Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for your email. How are you?

I think ultimately the most important thing is that you blog, and that it’s somehow related to your target keyphrases. If you blog about SEO copywriting, that’s great. Even if it’s targeted directly at other writers, it still works for your client audience. They may not understand it, but they’ll see you do, and they’ll see you as something of an authority, because you’re teaching others!

I think it’s easy to get way too caught up in the technicalities of keyword choice and audience requirements. In the long run, your far bigger challenge will be keeping your blogging momentum going. So long as you keep writing about the things your target audience is searching for (and similar terms), you’re good.

That said, if there’s a very specific term you want to dominate (e.g. “freelance financial copywriter”), you’ll have to look at writing some targeted posts. But even then, you can still address whoever you choose.

Does that help? 🙂

Cheers.

The takeaway

Write what you know about. If you write to clients one day and copywriters the next, that’s fine. If you only ever write for one or the other, that’s fine too. If you see an opportunity to target some specific phrases, take it. But if you let it drive you, you’ll soon run out of puff.

Feel free to comment...
comment avatar
Belinda @ Copywrite Matters wrote on January 10th, 2014

This is an interesting one Glenn. Well it's interesting to me as I've thought about it. I write for both. Why? Because many of the copywriting challenges my potential clients are trying to solve are also things I'm always trying to improve on. I subscribe to loads of copywriters' blogs because you never know where you're going to pick up tip that improves your own writing. I absolutely agree with your point about keywords. From my own experience, when I started getting a bit of a following and regular commenters, I stopped focusing on keywords and started writing for my audience. Which, of course, is what everyone should do from day 1 but when no one knows you, that seems like a luxury you can't afford.

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comment avatar
Glenn Murray wrote on January 10th, 2014

Yeah, same here, Belinda. I haven't done my figures, but I suspect I write more to writers than clients, but it's not something I set out to do.

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Belinda @ Copywrite Matters wrote on January 10th, 2014

I wonder if it's because, as copywriters, we nerd out on all things copywriting. And when we write, we're really writing for ourselves ...?

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Glenn Murray wrote on January 10th, 2014

Could be. But, fortunately, most of the things that are interesting to a copywriter will be relevant to a client seeking a copywriter. ;-)

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Emily Read wrote on January 10th, 2014

As long as you're writing for humans! "Human optimised" content - that's the most important thing :-) But is an interesting question, and one I've considered myself. I think I write for both - sometimes both at the same time - other times a post is more relevant to one or the other, but, like you said, even if you're writing for other copywriters, you're showing your clients that you know what you're talking about!

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Glenn Murray wrote on January 12th, 2014

Exactly! Gotta love HO content. ;-)

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