Ever wonder how to improve your affiliate content and boost conversions?
I’m sure we all do.
That’s why we asked Kevin Meng to join the Niche Pursuits podcast to share his insights.
Kevin’s been a web content and copywriter since 2014. Over the years, he’s worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, honing his skills and reputation for writing content that sells.
And today, he lets us in on some secrets you don’t want to miss.
He gets into:
- The general checklist he follows for affiliate content
- A formula for describing the benefits of features
- Importance of clarity in web content
- How to sprinkle in personality
- And much more…
He also explains the importance of being honest with readers and not presenting a product as perfect, allowing you to build trust and overcome consumer objections.
The discussion also includes tips on how to find the sweet spot between writing for Google’s algorithm and actual humans. Plus, ways to scale this out with a team using SOPs.
And of course, AI is brought up regarding content production and velocity.
With the rise of ChatGPT and other tools, Kevin believes the role of SEO content writer may likely evolve to being more like an editor for fact-checking and quality assurance. But he also has some hopeful perspectives for writers in the industry.
Overall, this episode provides valuable insights and techniques for improving your web content regardless of whether a human or AI creates it.
So be sure to check out the full episode below and implement any of the relevant strategies into your work!
Topics Kevin Meng Covers
- How he got into web copy 7-8 years ago
- Pros & cons of academic background for web content
- His content training course
- Importance of clarity
- Adding personality and humor
- Benefits and emotions
- The most important benefits to most readers
- The ‘so what’ formula
- Importance of SOPs
- Short test articles
- Researching with YouTube
- Importance of covering negatives and objections in reviews
- Balancing SEO writing needs with those of the reader
- AI content
Links & Resources
- WebCopyMasterclass.com -The SEO industry standard for writing high-converting product reviews and engaging content (Discount for NichePursuits listeners)
- Contact Kevin Meng on Facebook about training writing teams, templating articles, building guidelines, sops, and other annoying BS
- Learn all about SEO content at Kevin’s Facebook group
- Apply to demo Kevin’s hiring and training tool that’ll help you screen, evaluate, filter, and train new writers/editors on auto-pilot at BoomRabbit.com
This Episode is Sponsored by Search Intelligence
Watch The Interview
Jared: Welcome back to the Niche Pursuits podcast. My name is Jared Bauman, and today we are joined by Kevin Meng with web copy masterclass.com. Kevin, how you doing?
Kevin: Doing good, man. It’s a little bit late over here in Vietnam, but I’m still awake. Had some coffee, so ready to go.
Jared: I’ll tell you, I I’m in the West coast of the states, so my time zone and kind of Southeast Asia.
We’re all, someone’s either getting up early or staying up late to do these interviews. So you took one today for the team. You’re staying up late. Thank you so much.
Kevin: Oh, no problem, Matt. Happy to
Jared: do it. Good. So as, as your website kind of hinted or teased at, we’re we’re talking about copy today. We’re talking about writing copy and I’m so excited to hear from you on this.
Obviously, this is a topic that has come under even increased scrutiny or, or interest level for people as AI is starting to play its way into the, to the world. So this is just gonna be a really fun episode to, to learn more about how copy can influence people online. Before though we dive in, we always like to learn more about you, tell us about yourself, maybe give us some backstory and, and your background leading up to this.
Kevin: Yeah. Thanks man. I I’ve been in copywriting now for about seven or eight years. I, I originally got started when I lived in Europe teaching English, and then I moved to, I moved to Cheang Mai Thailand, and that’s where I met a lot of affiliate SEO people, like, you know, Matt Diggity and, and them, Jay Carl Hanger and all them.
So I kind of just, I don’t wanna say I fell into to seo, but I eventually just started working with pretty much only affiliate SEO people. And that’s kind of how I got my start in this world. And I think that really helped me though, because most, most writers, they don’t, they’ve kind of disconnected from their clients.
And they don’t really see the results and they don’t get to talk to them very much. But I actually, I got to hang out with them every day and really see like what was working, what was not working, what they wanted, you know, from me and what they expected. It was actually, it was really good. I think it was a, a big like advantage for me that most writers didn’t have.
So I think that’s, it’s been really helpful to be part of this community.
Jared: Yeah. I feel like we all, to some degree, fall into seo. I mean, I guess no one really goes to college
Kevin: for it. Yeah, yeah, for sure. I was an English teacher. I didn’t even think I was gonna be doing seo, and then I, okay. I quit to do freelance writing and then I ended up getting hired you know, just for, for some, you know, random agencies here and there and clients who gave me SEO blogs.
And I didn’t even really know, you know, what was going on there at the time. So just had to read up on it. Found something on location. Rebel, if you remember, lo re location Rebel from a while ago. Mm-hmm. Just read up on it there and followed along with what they were publishing and yeah, just kind of like I said, almost fell into it there.
Talk a bit
Jared: about, and this will be a good transition or segue, we’ll just kind of hit the ground running, but talk a bit about being an English teacher and you know, the concept that a lot of writers for the web have is that traditional English training, writing traditional college, university writing, traditional, like kind of writing doesn’t really work very well on the web.
Did you find that, did you find there was a transition for you from English teaching to writing for the web or, or you know, how was that process?
Kevin: Yeah. In a weird way, I mean, I guess like everything it is, it is kind of complicated and it’s, it’s nuanced, but you’re right that, like, I, I think a big problem in web copy now is like, if you read like 90% of, of web copy or maybe even more like 95%, it all sounds like academic.
Writing cuz that’s just where we all learn how to write. We, we, we start learning in grade school and then they drill these concepts into us that are fine for academic writing, but really bad for the web. And, you know, so that academic tone translates to most content in a bad way. I mean, the, the fluffiness of it, the, the serious sounding nature of it, you know, like the academic tone is a very high register, especially as you get further and further into university.
Right. Professors expect these very, very, maybe even esoteric at times difficult to read essays, whereas that’s like the opposite of what you want for web content. But I think that writing a lot in school and then my, my short time in college, I didn’t, I didn’t finish, but I, I did write a lot when I was there.
I think it helps with research. I think it helps with coherently, you know, making or at least formulating like cohesive thoughts and, and being able to like, I don’t wanna say like logic, but. You know, build a thesis and explain it, you know, like extrapolate on it, which I think is really important. So some skills do translate.
Oh, I guess I didn’t really mention being an English teacher. Yeah. But I, I think yeah, I think being a teacher helps because you, you know, you have to learn how to explain things to people very succinctly in a manner that they understand if, if they’re a non-native you build your vocabulary, you’re probably editing essays for p i.
Edit a lot. I edited a lot for students as well. So that kind of, that was also like an impetus for me being like, Hey, maybe I can find editing work somewhere, you know? Mm-hmm. So yeah, there, there, there’s some things that are, that are not so good, but a few things do translate. Yeah. I, I noticed that a lot of people who used to be teachers are, are writers now, for sure.
Jared: Yeah. I totally agree. I, I find the same thing. And I, I love some of the things you highlighted, like how to research and how to organize your thoughts and. Those are all really good. Those are all really good points because you have to be able to do that too for writing on the web, whether you write, yeah, super word, simpler or you know, complexly, is that a word?
Complexly. You would know you’re the English teacher.
Kevin: Like, I just like to invent words, man. That’s like half, half my job these days. So I think, is
Jared: that legal? Okay, good. I’m gonna keep doing it. I do it enough on this podcast, but now I have an English teacher here, so I gotta be careful.
Kevin: The legality is questionable, but I don’t think they’ll catch me if I’m in Vietnam.
It’s diplomatic community. Fair.
Jared: Good point. Well, that’s, unfortunately I’m still state side here, so I gotta be careful. Yeah. Hey, so bef before we get into like the meat and potatoes of today and, and kind of what good copy looks like, and I’ve got tons of questions for you on. On it as it relates to some of the more specific things right now.
But before we do that, what, what are you doing right now as it relates to your SEO work? Are you doing client work? You know, you have a website that’s specifically focused on copy. Maybe tell us about what you’re doing today and the kind of results you’re getting for, for people.
Kevin: Yeah. So I actually, I don’t really even do do like the, the SEO side of things.
I’m really just focused on the content for SEO sites. I’m not even really writing that much anymore. I do still write for like one main client of mine in a site that, you know, another site that I’m working on. But it’s mostly training, writing teams, consulting helping people build documentation like SOPs and writing guidelines and templates and, and things like that.
You know, showing people how to make briefs and training the writers on them. That’s mostly what I’m doing. I’m also working on a software for hiring and training writers. I have two business partners that are working on it with me. We are entering beta testing now, so that’s, that’s pretty exciting.
I never really thought I’d be involved with software, you know, but I think there really is a, a big need for something that is for hiring and training writers, because there’s definitely a lot of stuff out there for recruiting, but, You know, if you’re an SEO person, you’re not really a writer, so you can’t really be expected to know how to recruit people.
You know, there’s kind of that, there’s that disconnect, right? Mm-hmm. You wouldn’t have like a, you wouldn’t have somebody from the medical field trying to hire a programmer for the, you know, for the. For their practice. Right. It’s, it’s just not how it works. You know, you need writers to do that for you. So yeah, that’s something we’re working on.
And I do have the course I have web copy masterclass, which is, you know, kind of the like web copy 1 0 1 about how to write affiliate reviews that are that convert well based on data. So it’s a little bit of everything, but it all focuses really around like, especially affiliate SEO content, but SEO content in general.
Jared: That’s right up our alley here,
Kevin: so, yeah. Sweet.
Jared: All right. Cool. So hey, let’s, let’s, let’s get in, let’s get into it here. I, I guess I’ll start by asking a very broad question, and feel free to start unpacking it in the best way you think possible. Okay. What are some key skills that are needed?
When writing good copy for an affiliate website, like you said, and you know, just start sharing with us and we can kind of use that as a launching pad.
Kevin: Okay. Wow. I think, I think like the number one skill for like affiliate SEO content is really understanding like, you know, benefits and emotions because for like if you’re trying to sell a product to somebody, You’re essentially needing to follow the same principles that you would on a sales page, right?
Like somebody who’s, who’s googling best hiking boot or best medical device for sleep apnea or best whatever they’re looking to buy, right? So in a, in a sense, you’re really showing them a sales page. It looks like an affiliate review, but it’s, it, it acts to act like a sales page, you know? So you need to, you need to know emotions and benefits driven cop, everybody says they do, but.
Not nearly as many people do. So I think those are really important. You need to know those key copywriting concepts. But to be honest, those are actually, like, those are pretty easy to learn. Like they’re not easy, but in the, in the scheme of things, they’re, they’re kind of simple, you know? So I think the most important thing is like clarity.
Just being able to write clear, not, not being wordy, just getting your, your thoughts across concisely is, is so important because there’s just no way to train that It’s I’ve worked for weeks and weeks and weeks with with clients to try to get their writing teams to just cut down the way they write, you know, to go from like fluffy and wordy to coherent and, and concise, and it’s just, it’s a nightmare.
You know? It’s like pushing the rock up the hill and it falls back and you push it again and it falls back further and you’re just like, all right, I’m done with this man. Like, so. Yeah, I know that was long-winded, but yeah, I think, I think the most important skill is just that, that ability to write clearly and directly without fluffing the word count up.
Cuz if, if they don’t have it, then you, you just can’t teach it. Everything else is, I’ve been able to teach people or they just know already. I’m not saying that, you know, I’m, you know, a lifesaver and showing them all these skills. A lot of the writers are already good, you know, and I just, I kind of help them fill in the gaps, you know.
Other than that, having a, a un a unique personality, I really like that. I think that like 90 to 95% or more web content, like we were saying, sounds super academic. It all just sounds the same, right. So I really like somebody who sounds like a real human being. And sadly chat sheet BT is actually pretty good at sounding like a real human being compared to some SEO content writers that I’ve worked with, you know, so Yeah.
So those two are number one for me, that the clarity and that unique, unique tone. I really like somebody who has a, a uniqueness about them
Jared: Underneath the topic of clarity, you, you mentioned two words that stood out to me. You said a lot more than two words, but two words that stood out to me are benefits and emotions.
Uhhuh. What are some tips for people to infuse their content with emotion? I’ll circle back on the benefit one, but, but the emotion one seems like the most ambiguous, you know? Mm-hmm. I have emotions, I write content. How do I, how do I get the point across? But somehow make people think that there’s emotion there without making it long winded, without going against some of the other things you talked about.
Kevin: I never really thought about it that way. I think when I say like emotion, what I, what I really mean is like power, right? Like having the, you know, getting your point across in a very strong and powerful way, you know? But if we want to keep with the theme of like, emotion, we can call them like . You can even call them purchasing triggers.
You don’t have to call them like, ah, mm-hmm. Emotions, you know, like, although I think there is some emotion to it, but really the reason people buy things, right, is it, it, it all comes down to this, to these emotions, like convenience, you know, it’ll make your life really easy. You know, shiny object, object syndrome.
People like the brand new thing, you know, or greed. It can make them a lot of money or save them a lot of money. You know, they love these things. That’s why people, they put the original price and they cross it out and they put the lower price below it. It’s the oldest trick in the book. I mean, people have been doing it for 5,000 years cuz it works.
You know, like if it didn’t work, we’d stop doing it, you know? I even fall for it. I, I fell for it the other day and I was like, man, I do that to people too. And I, I kind of felt bad about it. I was like, wow. So yeah, these kind of purchasing triggers that they, they, they always stay the same. The convenience, the, the speed, the, the greed, the or social proof, you know, like, oh, 50,000 p 50,000 people have bought this already.
You buy it too. So I think learning those, learning those purchasing triggers and learning how to kind of. Frame the product and its benefits in that, in that way is, is very important. You know, so for example, like I always use a hiking boot example cuz it’s just something, something basic and easy, right?
If you if you wanna sell something to people and you’re like, oh, it’s, you know, it’s super comfortable. You need to, you need to try to frame that benefit in in the same light as like one of those purchasing triggers. So like, maybe it could be You know, maybe it could be, it saves you from pain, you know, oh, it’s super comfortable and that’s gonna save you from blisters and sore feet and sore knees and things like that.
Or, you know, it’s something like convenience. You know, it’s, it’s comfortable and durable. You know, you, you’re never gonna have to wash it. You’re never gonna have to buy another pair. You’re never gonna have to go back and stand in line at r e I and return it or anything like that. It’s That kind of stuff.
So trying to frame the benefit in one of those, like with one of those emotions is, is the right way to learn it. I think. I
Jared: love that example, and I’m gonna totally use that going forward. I just thought, I just bought a new pair of hiking boots and so I’ll give my own example. I’m getting older in life.
Aren’t we all, but I switched from a, we don’t need to talk about, we’ll talk about the e boot instead of my age. After, after the episode, please. The, the hiking boot, I switched from like a, a low hiking boot to a higher hiking, hiking boot because I want to protect my ankles. Mm-hmm. And so to your point, talking about the product online, this hiking boot has a high cut, and that helps you because it can help produce or prevent ankle injuries or rolling of your ankle, give you firmer supports.
I like how you talked about that example there.
Kevin: Yeah. Thanks. Thanks. Yeah, it works out, works out pretty well. I think that’s like I think that like with the internet especially, we’re all like lazy now. We just wanna click buttons. We want everything done for us, like, as, as quickly as possible with no, with no headaches.
I think that’s like the number one, the number one like emotion or purchasing trigger, whatever you want to call it, to use. On the web is like speed and convenience. Like there’s no learning curve. It’ll be done in five minutes. It’s a one click thing, you know, or like, you’ll never have to, you’ll never have to go wait in line again, or every time you call the service, somebody will answer immediately.
You don’t have to get a ticket. Anything that makes it just sounds super easy. The easier, the easier it sounds to do. The more likely somebody’s gonna do it. You know, you don’t wanna write like, oh yeah, the, this software, it’s, it’s, you’re gonna take forever to learn it. The, the support’s never gonna answer.
And your life’s gonna be a living hell. You know, like, it’s just, just try to make it sound as easy as possible as a default, and you’ll be, you’ll be ahead of the game, I think.
Jared: Okay. So I, I, I, I like how you talked about emotions using emotion, power, words giving the, the reason. That someone would enjoy the purchase or benefit from it.
But let’s, let’s circle back to benefits. And, and I, I think, and when you talk about benefits, I think I know what you’re talking about. I spent a lot of time in marketing and, and sales and so there’s this concept of, of writing for benefits, not features. And I’ll even tie a little bit of a bow on this.
Before I turn it over to you, like Google has been very clear in their product review updates now known as review updates, but basically they’ve been very clear that they don’t just want you to regurgitate the specs of the product when you write your review. Right? So we have this general concept of let’s talk about benefits.
Let’s not talk about features. It’s better for copy and it’s better for conversion. We also have a very tactile example and reason to do it because Google’s basically said, don’t talk about features, talk about benefits. So roll that all together and maybe for someone who’s new to that, give us some concrete example or, or something to think about when it comes to writing for benefits and, and not for features.
Kevin: All right. Put me on the spot, man. All right. Yeah. So my job, yeah. Yeah. Thanks. No, it’s a good thought exercise. I think that like, I think that you should always just kind of as a default, think j like the, the, the age old one that everybody uses is just, you know, so what, you know, it does this so that you can do this or that it does this, so you get this from it, you know?
But I always kind of like, I always teach when I’m training teams, I always teach them to think about it in levels. It’s a very simple way to understand what, what I think is the, you know, the best writing style for affiliate reviews, and you can think about. 1, 2, 3. You know, there’s three levels to it.
So one, what does this thing do you know? Okay, that would be the feature. So the feature could be one recent one that I used is like it’s an ergonomic mouse that has extra padding on the thumb. You know, that’s the feature, right? So what’s the benefit of that? You know, this is the second level, and the benefit of that is, okay, you’re not gonna have any hand pain.
Right. So that, that’s, that’s pretty basic. But what you want to do from there is to go, like, the benefit of the benefit. So the benefit is no pain, but what does that really like, how does it manifest in the user’s life? Like, how does no pain manifest in the user’s life? Well, somebody who wants an ergonomic mouse is probably working all day or maybe gaming all day.
You know, I’m not really sure why they’re buying it, but so the, the, the way the benefit would manifest in their life is, Work all day, or I don’t know, game all night and never have to take breaks, not have problems the next day with carpal tunnel, not have you know, I don’t know, not need a hand transplant in 20 years cuz it falls on whatever it happens to be, you know?
So yeah, I, I think when you have the feature, always try to think of those two, two levels, you know, what does it give the reader and then, or the feature, what does it give the reader? And then how does that kind of. Benefit really manifests itself in their life. And I think if you start thinking in this, in this structured way, you’ll, you’ll, it’ll just become second nature.
You know, like when I was kind of learning copy, a good, a good example that somebody gave me, I had a, I had an editor that was for like a supplement company. And they were, I think it was like testosterone or Fen Greek or something like that, you know, and they were saying, okay, it has. You know, I don’t know the exact number, like a hundred milligrams of fenugreek, which is, you know, okay.
So that’s the feature, right? Which is double, you know, that’s double the standard dose. Right. So I guess what would the, the benefit of that be? Well, the benefit of that is you have double the, the testosterone or double the double the dose in this supplement. So how is that really gonna manifest in, in the reader’s life?
Well, you know, Studies do show that having more testosterone leads to more energy and more muscle mass and less fat, and just overall a better mood, right? So there you have the three levels. You can even go the next level if you want. The next level is you can really visualize it for them and say, imagine.
Imagine you’re in the, in the gym and you see more muscle and less fat. Imagine you are not tired when you wake up in the morning. Imagine you can control your mood and all these things, you know. So when you’re thinking about like benefits of features, just imagine that you’re just try to go as many levels as you can.
Assuming the, assuming the word count allows for it, you know always just think so what, so what, so what? Or, you know, for you, it does this so that you can do this and so that you get this. And that’s, that’s the best way I think.
Jared: I think it’s so good that you have ways for people to process. You have like these little techniques because you alluded to it at the beginning, like, we kind of know some of these things.
Like we know that boring content doesn’t convert. We know that long sentences don’t work well. We know to infuse our personality and all, all these things, like we know that, but when it comes to actually sitting down and doing it, it’s very difficult to do. So I, I kind of love all these little, little techniques you have to, to
I think that sorry, sorry to interrupt there. But I think that, like, what’s weird about, what’s weird about like web content or writing in general is, I think it’s just, well, web content is still such a new thing. Like, you know, the, you know, Google’s only been around for like, what, 20 years? 20 plus years.
And even then it wasn’t like super popular until what, 15 years ago? Mm-hmm. And web content is just such a new, and I don’t wanna say unexplored space, but like there really isn’t too much. You know, and I’m not trying to say anybody’s bad, but like there isn’t that, that much like authority on the topic yet.
Like there’s not, that, not nearly as much data as there is with something like SEO where you’re just, you can actually test it in the wild that much. Right? Whereas like web content is just such a new, new thing and writers take it so personally, you know everybody writes differently. Everybody has different learning styles and I think that having these kind of like training wheels, these, these.
Structured ways of doing it is the best way to get you know, kind of regular quality, right? Whereas if you just hand the writer a topic and maybe a brief and say write a good article, it’s not gonna ha it’s just not gonna happen. That’s not how it works. And it’s like with anything, you know, web development, programming, seo, even what happens, you come, you’re a junior seo, people show you how to do things, they give you a process, and you follow the process and you get better.
And then eventually, okay, now you have artistic freedom to do what you want. Cuz you’ve, you’ve proven yourself, right? With writing is the same thing. You’ve gotta have a structure, make it simple and have them build up from there. And they, you know, they, you they gain your confidence and then you take the training wheels off and be like, okay, hey, you’ve proven yourself, you know how to do it.
Go ahead and do what you want. I trust you, you know.
Jared: It speaks to your point. It speaks to your point as well, like knowing your niche pretty well. It’s hard to infuse the benefit of the benefit if you don’t know your niche very well. But if for sure, if you’re in it or your writer’s in it, right it’s a lot easier to say.
Yeah, well, of course. This is more powerful and, and here’s why that matters. This is more comfortable, and, and I’ll tell you why that matters. I use this stuff every day. So it, it only continues to reinforce like how vital or, or at least how, how, how much of a difference maker it is that you’re actually in the niche or that your writers in the niche.
Kevin: Yeah. And you’re totally right too. Like that’s a, that’s a great way to get your point across when you say like, I know this works because I do it. Like, if you really are like somebody who does it every day, like it’s just such a, such a much better thing for your website. You know, I’m not saying you have to be a lot of SEOs, you know, they have.
You know, they have in sites and, you know, hundreds of niches. Right. You know, so you don’t have to be, but it, it definitely helps or it help you know, if your writer really is that they really experienced it. Personal experience is a big, big trust factor.
Jared: Well, and I’m gonna come back to that. We are gonna talk, and if you’re listening, we’re gonna get to this concept of ranking versus converting this idea of good copy versus good seo.
So we’re, we’re gonna, we’re gonna come back to that, and if you’re listening, kind of going, like, when are we gonna talk about good copy versus good seo? It’s, it’s coming, but let’s kind of the, let’s, let’s do, let’s con do the trifecta here. We’ve talked about the emotions, we’ve talked about the benefits, and then you also mentioned a couple times personality.
On how big personality is, and I’ve heard it said as like tone and you know, these other kind of things, like how do we infuse personality where does personality play in? And of course there’s different writing styles that are, are more first person or second person and third person and singular and plural and all that.
Like, maybe start to talk about all that for us.
Kevin: Okay. I mean, for me personally, I really like, I, I just like. Kind of wacky, unique, fun web content. You know, maybe it’s just cuz I read so much web content for work that I’m kind of tired of, like the standard stuff. I know a lot of people do really like that kind of dry, factual, straightforward stuff, which is, which is good.
It’s good for like, you know, data driven stuff and case studies and technical writing and, you know, that’s great. I think what’s important for SEO though is that like when you’re, when you’re trying to like infuse your personality, You have to think like, how would a real person that’s actually an expert in this topic speak?
Right? And if you’re an SEO who just has a gardening website or an outdoors website, or a whatever’s website, and you’re not really in that niche and you don’t, you don’t know the lingo and you don’t know these things, then the default is just going to be. Writing in that standard academic SEO tone.
You know, like if you’ve ever heard of gardening, then you know that gardens are made of flowers and leaves and pots and pans, you know, like just the standard stuff that everybody, everybody says, right? And somebody who’s really like, In that example, like a gardening enthusiast, when they read that, they’re gonna just be turned off, you know, cuz they’re gonna know you’re not really an expert.
Right? So when you’re thinking of like, infusing your personality into the, into the articles, you really have to think about it from the perspective of like, what would like a real expert in my niche sound like? What would a real gardener who’s been doing it since she was five years old, what would she sound like or what would he sound like?
You know? That’s, that’s kind of like the baseline. Other ways to do it is like obviously adding in humor. I think adding in memes, people on the internet love memes. We’ve seen like time on page go way up just by making our content more fun. I think it also gives people a place to like stop and when they’re scrolling, you know, oh, here’s a picture.
Let me stop and read. Okay, I’ll read around it. So I think that’s good. And if you’re stuck on how to do it, just go to YouTube. You know, like, for example, let’s, we can stick with hiking, right? Like if, if you have a hiking side and you, you’ve never been hiking in your life, just go to YouTube and listen to somebody who does go hiking every day and then just start taking notes, you know, okay, he says this, or she says this.
Here’s a word he used. Here’s a company he, he mentioned, you know, and kind of create a document. You know, here’s our reg, here’s the tone that we want. Here’s some slang words that we want. Here are some celebrities that they talk about. Here are some companies they talk about. That’s a great start and just start infusing all of that stuff into your, into your content.
Jared: All right, so, you know, we’re 30 minutes in now and you have given us a ton of tips on how to become better copywriters. Let, let’s say we’ve mastered those and we’re off to the races, but it’s time to turn over our writing to someone else, and that’s just scary process for anyone, even without a developed or honed copywriting skill.
Right? That’s develop, that’s a difficult process. Even if you haven’t infused benefits into your writing style, even if you haven’t figured out how to master emotion, tone, personality, what are your tips for when someone wants to kind of, you know, start to bring on another writer and have them emulate a lot of the things you
Kevin: talk about?
Yeah, I, I know it’s, I know it’s difficult and it would, it would definitely really scare me to do it. But I know it has to be done and the, the best way to do it is just have really strong. Documentation with very like standardized processes and very, very clear like deliverables. Like here are the principles that we build our content on.
Like a good intro, a good tone, conciseness, benefits, emotions, the details, these things. And then SOPs, really good briefs, outlines and, and a training process. I see a lot of people kind of give like 2000 word or 3000 word test blogs and they don’t really ask for any like deliverables and they don’t they don’t have any way to measure it.
They don’t really know like what they’re even giving feedback on. Sometimes they don’t even really know like what they’re looking for. They just kind of go with their gut and they’re like, oh, okay. I like this person, or I don’t like this person. Right. I just don’t think that’s the best way to do it. I, I, I think that you should kind of test and filter all of the applicants that come in, like have, have certain like demands, like, and have a writing test.
Like, I want this, I want this, I want that. And then see who can pass the test and then put them through a training process where you do like, okay, I want to see you write 300 words on this and write this way and accomplish this goal. And then, and the ones who do that, okay, you go to the next step. 500 or maybe a thousand words.
Here’s the blog, here’s what we want from you. Here’s how we want you to write. Here’s the slang we want you to use, or whatever. And this is how you’re gonna be evaluated. And then the people who passed that, okay, now you can give them a trial piece. Now you can give them a real blog that maybe it’ll go live on your site and you might have to edit it, but at least they’ll know exactly what you want and you’ll have proof that.
This person is capable of writing good content. You know, if you think you’re just gonna hire like a writer from Upwork or a Facebook group or wherever and not have to like train them with a very, like, strict process, it’s, it’s just not, I’m not gonna happen. I think unless you pay a lot of money for a niche expert, you know.
Jared: So what you’re saying is, What you’re saying is I can’t just hire someone, send ’em my send ’em my website and say go for it. Gotcha.
Kevin: You can do what you want. I, I, I don’t, I honestly, I, I don’t care what you, what you do, you know, but if you want the best results, yeah, man, you gotta, gotta put some effort into training, especially if you’re trying to go for lower priced rider.
You know, if the writer’s not charging much money well, I guess I shouldn’t say you shouldn’t expect a lot from them, but You should expect that the less you pay, the more heavy lifting you need to do. For sure. And if you’re trying to pay 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 cents a word in that range, you know, you really need to think about going through a very strict trial process and with deliverables, a checklist that you’re using.
And little stepping stones, like I said, you know, small tests, larger tests, larger ones, that kind of thing. You
Jared: know, you’re not the first person to suggest smaller word count tests with writers. So it’s interesting to hear you say that. I don’t remember who, who else said, what’s that? What’s his name?
I’m trying to think who it was. Unfortunately, I interviewed so many people, I can’t remember exactly who it was, but somebody else said, Hey, maybe don’t send out a 2000 word test article right away. But, so it’s interesting to hear you talk about that. Cause it’s, it’s, that’s not the first time that, that someone’s brought that up.
Kevin: Yeah, I’m not sure. I’m not sure where I learned. I, I just, oh, actually I do know where I learned it. I, when I started training, like two or two or three years ago, or it might have even been four years ago. I don’t but anyways yeah, I, I was giving these test articles to the writers and it was 2000 words, 3000 words, and it was just, just hell, like editing everything.
And when there’s 2000, 3000 words, there’s so much feedback. The writer doesn’t even really know. Like the writer can’t even really analyze all that feedback. They don’t know where to start. They get, they feel overwhelmed, and that’s why a lot of them run away. You know, writers are, we’re we’re just really weird people.
You know, our brains don’t work like, like normal people we’re overwhelmed very easily. And you know, if I, if I submit a 2000 word blog and I get a hundred comments back on it, I just, I’ll just be like, okay, sorry. Yeah, I’m fine. I’ll find the next client, ma’am. I can’t do it. You know, so I, I just thought that And also they were making a lot of very basic mistakes, and I was like, oh, I really should have just tested to see if they could do this before I, I asked them to do the sample, you know, because a lot of the times the samples, they turn into you like, oh, hey, here’s my portfolio.
They’re stolen, or they’re edited by somebody else, or they submitted it to a client who had a professional editor. So, you know, it’s not really, it’s not really it’s not really a, a real representation of their abilities. I think. It’s good thoughts,
Jared: good thoughts. So, hey, maybe you know, maybe walk us through what a good like, I, I don’t wanna use the word sales page cause it might throw people off, but what a good like, affiliate style article is.
You, you, you had some good bullet points we talked about as we led up to this interview and I loved what you had to say and I just wanted to give you an opportunity to kind of walk people through that, that process you have. You mean
Kevin: the, the process of creating one or templating one, or you, or just in general?
Jared: process? Yeah. The how, how you write an affiliate style review.
Kevin: Okay. I think maybe the best example would be to use like a like a, like a roundup one, you know, like a top five best hiking boot one. With those reviews, I really try to, I really try to, Approach it. Like I, I would a sales page, like I said before, and just kind of, there are certain things you do need to hit with a sales page.
You know, you need to have a good headline that says what the product is and what it does. Right. You know, what it is, who it’s for, what it does, what the benefit for the reader is or the customer in this case, that, that needs to be in your headline or in the hero section. Right. And then you also need to have things like social group.
You need to have benefits, you need to have things like Pushing back on objections. You know, if something is a really high price, some objection might be, oh, it’s, it’s too expensive, I can’t afford it. So your job as the cop, the copywriter has to show the reader, oh, it’s not as expensive as you think it is and you can’t afford it, and here’s why it’s worth it, you know?
Cuz they’re naturally gonna have these objections, you know? And I think like I think A natural objection that a lot of readers have with, with these affiliate reviews is like, oh, this is too good to be true. You’re doing it for the commission. You know, so it’s really important to try to push back on that as well.
And the best way to do that is actually the standard practice of kind of bringing the product back down to earth a little bit and, and saying something negative about it, and just being more honest with the reader. You know, and being like, Hey, this, this isn’t perfect. It’s not gonna do this, it’s not gonna do that.
But it’s, it’s decent and it’s a good price. You know, like it’s half the price of the competitors, you know? So that’s, that’s what you’re gonna get. So yeah, that was a long-winded way of me saying that when I, when I write like an affiliate article, I try to make sure that I’m hitting all of the same, all of the same kind of.
Checkpoints that I would a sales page. So you’ve gotta have that good top section with the, with the, what is it, you know, what does it do? Who is it for? What’s the benefit? You gotta follow that up with some proof. You know, you need to show the reader how it’s going to achieve that benefit. Just like you went on a sales page, this transformation is gonna happen and here’s how we’re gonna do it.
Affiliate articles are the same. Here’s the benefit you’re getting and here’s the demographic this product is for, and here’s why. And and then you can follow that up with, yeah, pushing back on the objections. You can also have adding personal experience, which increases trust. And you need to have a strong CTA again, just like you would on a sales page.
So the CTA can’t just be like, Oh, in the end it’s a good product, so buy it. I don’t know. I don’t care. Like, that’s like you’d be surprised at some of the CTAs I, I’ve seen before where the, the writers just like, I don’t know. It’s up to you. You, you choose, you know, so. Okay. All right. Thanks man.
Thanks for trying. And
Jared: that concludes our review. Go buy something.
Kevin: Yeah. Yeah. Well, the conclusion sometimes is like that too. Like I’ve actually had to, to template out conclusions where I’m just like, mm-hmm. You actually have to conclude the article. You can’t just say, Indiana, it comes down to whatever you want, do whatever the hell you want.
It’s your money. I don’t care. You know, like that’s not, that’s not how, how it works, man. So, yeah. When I’m, when I’m writing actually, it’s much more like free flowing cuz I really only write in, in a, in a particular niche that I do know a lot about now. And before it was way different where I had no clue what I was writing about.
It’s a lot different now, so mine is a lot more free flowing, but when I train people, I, I have a very strict kind of, do this, do this, do this, do this, say this in this way. And yeah, it’s just, it’s very structured.
Jared: Okay. That’s good. No, you, you bring up a good point. I mean, I think no product is perfect and yet sometimes you read reviews or even just informational style posts.
That are about a product. And, and it does come across as though, you know, maybe the the writer felt like they couldn’t say anything negative about it because then it wouldn’t it wouldn’t be a compelling article or a compelling review, but, but you’re exactly right. I think humanizing it with some of those negatives is a really good observation.
Kevin: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, you’re right, man. Sometimes writers are hesitant to do it, or, or SEOs are, are hesitant to do it as well. But I think also, like, you don’t even necessarily have to say something negative all the time. You can just try to be as like straightforward and honest as possible about what it is.
And it’s not necessarily a negative, you know, you can say like, like I was saying before, like, Hey, this is a budget model. Do not expect too much from this. Like, it might break apart in a year. You know, your boot might fall apart if you walk in it too much, you know, or maybe you’ll get some blisters the first few times you take it out.
That’s not what you’re buying it for, right? You’re buying it for. You know, saving some money, like this is 50 bucks. It’s gonna, it’s, it fits on your feet. It’s not gonna make you look like an idiot. This is why you’re getting it. That’s not necessarily like a negative, that’s more just direct and honest about what it is.
Mm-hmm. Which I think people appreciate a lot.
Jared: So it’s probably a good time to ask you this question. I teased it earlier. I know I’ve gone through it before. I know other people I’ve talked to that write in a manner that they want to rank with. Right. So like, we’ll call it SEO content. I know that’s a very.
Euphemistic term. Yeah. But content that, you know, the primary purpose is to rank organically. There’s this. Dichotomy or juxtaposition that exists in a lot of writers and a lot of SEOs. Where do I write for seo? Keyword, keyword density. Yeah. Related keywords. Bullet points, things that Google likes.
Mm-hmm. Again, air quotes. Yeah. Or do I write in in more of a copy style appealing to the, the reader emotion, personality, these sorts of things. And surely they can’t live in opposition of each other yet there is a tug and pull or attention that exists there. Mm-hmm. What do you see and what do you recommend for people who are trying to balance both?
Kevin: Yeah, man. Wow. Obviously, obviously SEO is, is really the most important part, right? You really need to rank, you know, you need, like, if, if you’re not ranking, then I guess it doesn’t matter how good your content is, right? I think the best strategy is to like you want to have kind of like a baseline, I like an MVP style almost, where you’re like, okay, we wanna have some decent content, we wanna make sure it sounds good, we wanna make sure it’s helpful and unique.
But in the beginning, yeah, you really want to air towards that side where you’re like, okay, let’s just make sure the, you know, it’s the right keyword and we’re, you know, we’re covering the right topics and we’re building that topical authority and we’re, we’re getting a good surfer score. And all of that stuff, you know, first I think ob obviously that’s the most important part.
You want to have good velocity, you want to be publishing more content. And if that means the quality suffers then so be it. As long as the quality is still above a certain baseline range, you know, you don’t want to pu publish just, you know, trash. Right. Because eventually even if you do rank, you’re gonna get penalized or you know, or if you do rank, people aren’t gonna buy, right?
So yeah, obviously in the beginning you really want to err towards that, that side of, of seo at least in my experience. And I think when it comes time that you really have that authority and your, you’re ranking and you know you’ve got some really important, you know, let’s call them money pages or reviews to publish, then you want to get those reviews either written by somebody who’s, you know, a very, you know, a professional level writer or have a professional level writer come in and.
Edit things for you or you know, at the very least, kind of help your writers improve them in some way, you know? So yeah, SEO is the most important part, but as you grow, I think, you know, quality becomes more and more important, and that’s really how you take the next step. You know, because I’ve seen, I’ve just seen articles that aren’t converting at all.
0% conversions. You know, half a percent conversions are 1%. And I’ve seen them go. To 5, 6, 7, 8% sometimes. And these are, and sometimes it’s been on high ticket items and you know, $2,000 courses, $3,000 courses or something maybe like you know, some outdoor hobby equipment that I don’t, I don’t wanna say which one it is, but something that would be pretty expensive that you’d use on a holiday.
Right? And for these kind of items, if you’re increasing the, the conversions, you know, from 1% to 6% or 8% or something like that. I mean, think about what that’s going to do in your bottom line over time in a year or, or if you wanna buy a site and flip it, right? Like if you see a site that has a lot of content and, and authority and it’s ranking, but it’s not converting, you can take that site and improve the content and really improve the conversions and flip it probably pretty quickly, you know?
So, yeah. Long story short, man, I think you want to have a baseline of quality in the beginning. You don’t want to have like bad content, but average content is fine. And just try to get as much as possible, build that authority get a lot of content published, and then when it comes time to start publishing super important articles and you’ve got that authority, that’s when you really wanna focus on quality and start training the writers more, maybe editing past articles, building out that documentation.
Yeah, I think content is like the next level up for SEOs from the first one is getting your site ranking, getting more links, creating more and more content. And then maybe content quality is the next way you, you take things, you take your site to the next level, if that makes sense. Where does AI plan all this?
AI is very important. Yeah, I think so. For a lot of people it’s gonna be very important. I personally wouldn’t, I’m not gonna use it because it’ll just get in my way. But I understand that a lot of people are going to use it, you know, so, and. If you can create 10, 20, 50, a hundred articles for super cheap and quickly, then why wouldn’t you use it?
You know? But it’s AI is, AI has solved a particular problem in seo and that’s kind of content and mass for cheap, right? But SEOs will still have the exact same problems they still have with content quality, because I have still. Yet to see any decent article from chat g p t I, I just, they’re not good.
With human editing, they can be better. But still there’s a lot of problems. And if you have a good writer who’s experienced a niche, then they should be able to do much better than than chat G B T. However, I understand in SEO that a lot of SEOs don’t have that and they maybe don’t have the budget for it.
So I think chat G B T is gonna be a great way for people to start gaining that. Gaining that, that topical authority and content velocity and just getting a lot of pages published. And I think it’s also going to be good for content sites to have you know, for Inspira, you know, inspiration for articles, maybe filling in the gaps where the writer doesn’t have time to do it.
You know, maybe it’s just an easy section like You know, what is niche pursuits? Okay. I think AI can write that. You know, niche Pursuits is a site that does this. It was founded in this year by this person. The topics it covers are this, this, and this. AI is really good at that, you know what it’s not good at is all the other stuff that I think really matters, you know?
So, yeah, again, long story short, I think AI is gonna be super important to content production, content velocity. I think it’s gonna change the game, you know, I think What we’re gonna see is like low priced content writers are just gonna be gone. And what what’s going to happen is the job of SEO content writer is really gonna be more like SEO content editor, but writer, but also quality assurance to make sure the content isn’t too robotic, but also maybe you’ll need to program chat g p t with certain you know what, what do you call ’em?
Like templates or, or plugins. I’m not sure exactly the word. I sound like a dinosaur right now. I’m, I’m not sure what, what they call it, but
Jared: I think, well, maybe a better question is this then. How does someone incorporate AI into a process that infuses good copy? Or how does someone take good copy and utilize some of the benefits of AI to their advantage?
You said that AI content is bad, but yet so many are gonna be using it. So how, like maybe. Maybe there’s a middle ground. And you give a couple ideas
Kevin: on that. Yeah. Well, I think that, you know, so many, you know, I’m not, I hate to sound like I’m so jaded, but I think so many SEO contact writers are, are pretty bad too, you know, so it’s not like Chay BT is anything new?
Jared: Oh, okay. That’s actually a good point. You, you’d probably say the same thing to someone who isn’t infusing all this stuff into their copy. No. Yeah. Before AI came around.
Kevin: Yeah. So I think, yeah, you want to kind of learn how to use chat GPT to make decent content. You know, you want to kind of train it to get better and maybe less robotic sounding and maybe kind of, Train it to elaborate a little more on certain points.
Cuz I noticed that it gets just super surface level and robotic and repetitive, you know? And I think there are ways to do that, although I really don’t spend that much time on it. I really just kind of talk to people who are doing it and review their work and just kind of help them to train it. But yeah, if you get a little bit better at that and you kind of get your content to like a, a three outta 10, you know, now you’ve got a massive.
Three out of 10 articles. And if you, yourself or your editors, they know how to write good content and they know what needs to be done and they know how to edit, then okay, now you can kind of create an editing process with a strong SOP and checklist for quality. And now, you know, maybe you can get that content to a six out of 10 and you’ve, you know, increased your, your content a lot and you’ve decreased prices.
Or maybe the prices are the same cuz now you have editors who spend more time editing, but. Now you have a ton more content, you know, so, so yeah. I think just kind of learning how to use the AI to get decent stuff, learning good content and, and good copywriting principles, training your editors, creating a very standardized process and implementing that process into all the AI articles to bring it up to the next level.
And and that way you can have a ton of content that’s, that’s at least pretty good.
Jared: Such an important topic, right? AI is not going away, but I mean, It’s also so, so new trying to figure out how to use it to the best of their abilities and, and
Kevin: be so different in, you know, just even a year probably.
Right. And we don’t really know, like how is Google gonna react to it? Are there gonna be lawsuits? Like can somebody just take somebody’s article and use AI to, I don’t know, to more or less spin it or create their own article in some way and then post it on their website? And I guess there’s really no way to tell, right?
But there’s just so many little wrinkles, right. But I think that like, so AI is, is just not at the level where it can take information and, and I don’t wanna say not add value, but it, it can’t create its own original thoughts. Right. Hopefully not for a long time. I hope, you know, cuz then we’re in a lot of trouble, you know.
But What it can do is it summarizes what’s, what’s already out there whi, which is fine because that’s pretty much what 90% of SEO content writers do anyway, right? So you know, your goal with AI content is to make it sound human and add original thoughts to it if you know, if you can or to the best of your abilities, you know?
So I think until AI is really capable of, of creating original thoughts, we will be okay. At least some of us writers will be. And if not, I’ll need a new job.
Jared: Well, on that note tell us what you have going on over. I mean, you know, you, you obviously, you are talking a lot about copy these days and you’re, yeah, you’ve got a lot of little things going on with how you train people, how you train writers.
You have a course on, on writing better copy, like what do you have going on over at at Web Copy Master? Let me see. Lemme get it right. Web copy masterclass.com.
Kevin: Yeah, so I mean web, web copy masterclass is really just basically everything I’ve learned writing SEO content with. It’s focused on, you know, affiliate content.
There is like a whole, whole big module on writing, really high converting reviews with real data backing it up. So I’d say like half of the course is the foundations of really good online content. And then moving from there, it’s like how to research. And then how to build or how to write really good high converting product reviews with some, you know, case studies and swipe files and things like that too.
So that’s web copy masterclass. Other than that, yeah, I train writing teams if anybody’s, you know, interested in that, you can, you can check out me on Facebook. Maybe I can leave my Facebook profile link. I, I do everything through Facebook. I mean, I still don’t even have a writer website. Like I, I’ve been doing, doing this for so long.
I just never, never made one. I guess Web Copy Masterclass is my, Writer’s site. And we are also beta testing a a hiring and training tool. Maybe I can leave a link for that. If anyone is interested. If you’re planning to hire or train writers or hire editors, it will also work for editors cuz they need these skills too.
So that’s called Boom Rapid. I know it’s a really weird name, but yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s what I’m working on. So yeah, mostly the course. Some consulting training writers, creating documents, and now this hiring and training tool. It’s been a busy, it’s been a busy year, but I, I’ve been having a lot of
You have a couple things going on, that’s for sure. Yeah. We’ll leave some links for that in the in the show notes. And Kevin, it’s, it’s really been a treat having yawn. This is such a timely topic. And so you know, I, I think it’s easy to talk about AI right now. It’s easy to talk about writing SEO content, which aren’t the same topic.
They’re very different. And how do we infuse good copy into all of those elements is it’s almost like the third leg of the triangle. Nowadays. It’s really good to have yon, and it’s really timely though.
Kevin: It’s, it’s gonna be the next big boom too. I, I really think that yeah, sorry to drag it out. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently that I think is really important is that like a lot of people think writing is, is just going to to die out, but if anything, you know, I think good writers and good editors are just gonna have more work than they’ve ever had before because now I have clients who could only afford to make maybe five or 10 articles a month, and now they, they can make 50.
You know, and they need somebody to edit those and to, to keep an eye on them, you know? So it’s just more and more content for everybody, you know? So I, I wouldn’t worry about AI taking anybody’s anybody’s job. It’s a fascinating boom that’s gonna be I just think it’s gonna be a boom for all of us that know what we’re doing, you know, and have these skills, you know?
So I’m really excited about it, man. It’s gonna be fun. Well,
Jared: very good. I’m sure a lot of people are hoping that you are spot on with that until we talk next time, Kevin, I appreciate it.
Kevin: All right. Thanks again man. It’s been fun.