Create a Powerful Word List That’s Worth Money
There are web copywriters that keyword stuff and then there are web copywriters that understand the value of every word and phrase on the page. Really EVERY word is a “key” word. Problem is that many of us that work in web content writing consistently must adhere to strict word counts, for whatever that’s worth.
Beyond Word Counts
One of the best resources you can have as a web writer is a word list, a large resource organized in some logical format – that makes sense to you. This type of go-to document becomes a tool you will not want to be without; it provides you with actionable, powerful, meaningful words absolutely necessary to getting your work done.
I started my own word list 2 years ago and I’ve continued to work on it. I sort words and phrases into an Xcel spreadsheet. I first started with conversion-oriented words and sorted them into columns that made sense to me. I printed them out and used them everyday I needed some inspiration, just skimmed them to get my juices flowing.
Tending the Keyword List
Since then I’ve added to my word list. It’s no longer exclusive to conversion- or action-oriented words. I’ve expanded to include word sub-lists in a range of niche interests and category descriptors. Example: fly-fishing keywords, or descriptors for “food.”
You literally could continue adding to this resource as long as you live.
Where can you go shopping for keywords for your own made-from-scratch word list?
- Current magazines—just skim the ads and the articles. You’ll cull dozens of words that you might immediately drop into categories in your spreadsheet.
- Scan the headlines on the magazine rack next time you’re in the grocery story or the book store. Here are some of the hottest words and ideas right now, right in front of your eyes.
- Reflect on your own reactions and emotions in relation to language. How do certain words make you feel? Can you put your finger on a recent advertisement that made you want to take action? Then, as a professional web writer try and dissect the actionable parts of it: pull out the word(s) that mattered to you and add them to your list. If you reacted to it, chances are good that a particular word or phrase will have a similar effect on many others.
- If you read the article on PPC Recipes for Web Copywriters you won’t overlook the very good resource you have in AdWords headlines. Pay closer attention to the ad impressions, sponsored ads along the margins of the search engine results pages—another very good source for relevant and action-driven keywords and phrases.
Your Personal Keyword List Becomes an Essential Work Tool
A word list in which you invest time and energy can become quite valuable—as in worth money. Imagine how many ways you can leverage it to get top-shelf writing onto the webpage:
- brainstorm with it
- blast through writer’s block
- quick thesaurus
- kick-up bland page copy
- expand your vocabulary
This is one of those resources you will use everyday. It’s like the secret ingredient in the mix that no one else can ever really identify.
When you don’t have time or the desire to build a do-it-yourself word list, or you need a quick jump-start, you’ll find a number of good lists already done for you, published in book form. See? Worth money…