Another day another interview, this time I’m speaking to Todd Jones, owner of Copyflight. Why? Well, firstly, why ever not?
I’ve interviewed developers (and have theme authors cued up for interview), but without web content, we’d have an empty site.
So say hi to Todd
If you have any questions for him, feel free to leave a comment.
Can you tell me more about you?
My name is Todd, and I live in a tiny state in the middle of the USA called Arkansas.
We are known for Walmart and Bill Clinton. We are a rural state.
I like dirt track racing and pro rasslin’. I, like most people, am a mixture of eclectic tastes. I like art as well.
I am from a rural state, and I’m more country than most, but not as country as many. I like various types of sports as well.
How did you get started with WordPress?
Several years ago, when I lived in Texas, I started a football blog. Actually, I started two of them. I eventually learned how to use WordPress to run my blog and it kind of went from there.
I had created some websites using other platforms, but I became sold on WordPress.
Tell me about Copyflight, how it came to be, and what you offer.
Copyflight was a name change for what I wanted to do. I used to have the name grafixCat media. Not sure what that was all about other than I like cats.
Anyway, I was moving more towards content and decided to change the name. I admit, I probably thought of Copyhackers a bit when I came up with Copyflight.
My offerings are evolving. I started with offering website copy. I delivered copy last year for a WordPress developer and copy for a landing page.
I have been writing at MainWP for the past three years and learned a ton about the process.
Somewhere in the middle, I think I can help. Content for the sake of content doesn’t work for me. There needs to be an end goal. Learning copywriting sure changed things for me in how I see content, etc.
The cherry on top is using storytelling in all these areas. It is often the most lacking area for many businesses.
What is it about good copy that gets you going?
If your copy is good, and it is meeting the needs of your readers, you can make money. Money is important to keep the lights on.
When something makes money, like good copy, it is no longer an expense, but it becomes an investment.
Content is king granted, but what other tips do you have?
Get inside the customer’s head. Know what motivates them. Too many people make fictitious personas, and that is what they are.
Recently, Val Geisler said on Twitter, “Individual humans are your customers, not personas.” She’s completely right.
There is no shortcut to this. You have to know your customers and potential customers. It may take interviews and or surveys.
Copywriters will call this Voice of Customer data. The key is to know what motivates your customer.
Learn to determine the benefits of your product or service. The real benefits, how they meet a need or a perceived need.
I see that the about page for a blog or business is very important to you, feel free to tear mine apart!
Oh, so is that a request for an About Page teardown? Or, you can download my About Page Framework.
What’s your biggest win in terms of your career?
I wonder that some days. I’ve written blog posts that have gotten lots of views, I’ve had pretty nice projects. I think right now, since it is fresh, the launch of the Website Copy Framework has been something I consider a pretty good win.
What’s a typical day for you? I can’t imagine you have an awful lot of time!
This will often depend on how I feel. Most days, I head to my favorite coffee shop. Not because I don’t have coffee at home or in my office, but because their coffee is supreme and I like the staff.
I have made friends there from others who come into the store.
When I get to the office, I usually catch up on stuff which is really a bad habit. Usually, chat with Davinder Kainth and Rob Cairns. My todo list is a notepad and I start working on those tasks.
What tools do you recommend in crafting copy?
Tools? I use Notepad, Grammarly, Google Docs, and the Hemingway App. The big key though is to know who you are talking too.
My best training has come from tutorials and blog posts at Copyhackers.com. Jo is a fantastic conversion copywriter and teacher. Her tutorials have taught me more than almost anything.
When I am doing copy for a landing page, I will try to provide a wireframe using Beaver Builder.
Ultimately, the best tool is a trained copywriter 😉
I saw that you recently released an eBook how did that go down?
I recently talked with Rob Cairns about this on his podcast. I started by creating this to help my process. As I went along, I started releasing some of them as lead magnets. Then Paul Lacey told me I should sell them.
Then he told me a story about how he used them to sell a content consultation with a client and how valuable the worksheets were.
So I went to work. I had to put myself in the shoes of a WordPress or Web consultant who needed content from a client. I imagined them walking a client through this process. I worked on simplifying the process as much as I could.
I spent more than a few Saturdays at my office this Summer working on this project.
I was able to wrap it up by September, and here we are.
Who’s your biggest inspiration?
I’ve had the honor of doing a Q&A article with both.
I think someone like my friend Davinder Singh Kainth. I am inspired by how he keeps launching things and making an impact.
What themes and plugins do you use daily, any recommendations?
I’m a big fan of the Astra + Beaver Builder combo. I used to use Genesis all the time, and it looks like they have revamped everything. No doubt, it’s a quality theme framework.
I don’t just write for MainWP, I use the product. I like Anti Spam Bee and Gravity Forms. If you are doing regular content, you need to have something to collect emails to your email service provider.
What’s the most common fault in terms of content you see daily?
Content mismatch with the audience. As I said, people often write for the wrong audience. It might be for their peers or colleagues when they should be writing for their target market.
Another thing is that content is often lacking in examples and resources. Even though you are aren’t writing it for your English professor doesn’t mean you shouldn’t show some authority in your writing.
As for your website copy, a common fault is not addressing pain points and benefits. This kind of copy is often too technical going over all of the features of the product or service.
Those things are good, but without connecting those to the benefits, it takes the teeth out of a call to action.
Finally, not utilizing storytelling. I cannot emphasize enough how much storytelling can help, even if you are just using it in your blog content. However, a good customer success story is very powerful.
So, get some case studies, but make them customer success stories.
When creating content, what’s your go-to platform to drive user engagement?
Mostly social media, but also my emails. It seems for most sites, commenting is almost dead. There are exceptions, but it seems the conversation has mostly moved to social media.
In an ideal world what you have like to have done/been?
I used to want to be a football coach. Ha. I think if I were a sports journalist writing about those things, that would be cool. I dabbled in that later in life but that was over ten years ago now.
Unfortunately, it is changing in a significant way, and it isn’t a good place to transition into.
Time machine time, if you could go back and do things differently, what would it be?
It depends on what time I go to. I think I would tell my younger self, like 18 years old, to be ready for lots of adversity.
Me ten years ago or so, I would have told myself to learn more about storytelling and go completely into content marketing but learn more about copywriting. I waited too long to transition.
What do you listen too?
I usually have Spotify up, but often I listen via YouTube as well. I am a product of the 70s & 80s.
That’s when I grew up, so I listen to a lot of that. I have some from the 90s and a little from the past couple of decades.
I like classic rock and classic R&B. I was a big fan of Motown music in the 80s. I do like some country music as well.
I recently did a Q&A interview article with a rising country musician for the local site I run here in Conway, AR. I like a lot of the country from when I was a youth.
Do you see a pattern here? Nostalgia is a big persuasion principle. One thing I love about music is its ability to tell stories.
Thank you Todd!
Todd agreed to be interviewed at a moments notice. As a fledgeling newbie in blogging, I literally cannot thank him enough for freeing up his valuable time.
The Website Copy Framework is available to buy directly from Copyflight, as it stands it’s going down well, with positive feedback.
If you’re starting up a WordPress site for a client and struggling for content from them, you’d do well to take a look.
Get in touch with Todd
If you’d like to imbibe from Todd’s cup ‘o’ wisdom, feel free to get in touch via the various methods below:
- For Twitter – Follow @tejones
- Facebook – Copyflight
- Website – Visit Copyflight
- Grab Todds – Website Copy Framework guide here
*Full disclaimer time.
I believe in transparency. Todd did not cross my palm with silver for this interview. I reached out to Todd due to speaking with him on Twitter.
There are no affiliate links in this interview, I’ve said before I don’t believe off of earning others backs, Todd took the time to answer the questions I sent over via email. And I can’t thank him enough for his input.
P.s. I’m glad Todd didn’t perform an about page teardown on me. Mine is pants!
Nominate someone else?
If you’d like to nominate someone you’d like me to interview, you can always send me a tweet with who you’d like to see on LyrWP.
In the meantime, let’s give it up for Todd. Remember if you have questions for Todd, fell free to ask in the comments section below.
Even though “commenting is almost dead”. Source: Todd.