5 Ways To Rest And Recharge This Christmas

2020 has been an incredibly tough year and none of us are sure what 2021 will bring – especially in the UK, where new restrictions are gradually rolling out across the country. I live in London, where we’ve spent Christmas in Tier 4 Lockdown… giving me the perfect chance to really examine how I am relaxing and recharging for the year ahead.

Candles, Diffusers, & HOME FRAGRANCE

I’m sure I’m not alone in my obsession with candles. Thankfully, those in my life know me well – and Christmas saw an influx of great-smelling candles. I’ll be filling my room with these gorgeous fragrances to combat the darkness in the evenings, as well as the minor mould problem my very old bedroom currently has. I’m particularly loving the festive yankee candles at the moment, although soy candles from places like Etsy are more environmentally friendly.

INVEST IN HOBBIES

By investing, I don’t mean spending money, I mean investing time. If your hobbies don’t get much attention during the working week, take this festive season as an opportunity to fall back in love with those hobbies. It might be painting, video games, working on a novel, candle making – anything that makes you happy, and is something different from working, is an essential part of relaxing.

GENTLE (OR NOT-SO-GENTLE) EXERCISE

The one thing I dislike about winter is how dark it gets in the evenings – giving me limited time to go for walks or runs. I want to get into jogging properly – but the hours I work, and the commute I have at the moment, aren’t best suited for winter jogging. So, this festive season I am going to be getting my fair share of gentle exercise and appreciating the natural beauty of the parks and open spaces I have nearby.

volunteering

Depending on coronavirus restrictions in your area, you may be able to go out and volunteer over the festive period. This is a thoughtful way to give back to your community and make the best of spare time over Christmas. In the UK, Do-it.org is an excellent service, listing a wide range of volunteering opportunities for local charities – many of which can be done remotely, or with minimal travel.

LOOK OUT FOR OTHERS

Christmas can be a happy, peaceful time for many – but it can also be distressing, lonely, and frightening for others. Reach out to your friends and family this Christmas – especially those you haven’t heard from in a while. Need help for yourself? Mind is an amazing charity dedicated to supporting anyone through a rough patch.

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Top Marketing Instagram Accounts In 2020

I follow incredible content creators in the marketing community. These Instagram marketing accounts are excellent resources with their educational and entertaining content across social media, copywriting, sales, SEO, and more. I can’t possibly list every marketing creator here, but I can highlight my favourite accounts for the brilliant posts they produce.

Cyndi, @ascent_storycraft

With a feed full of entertaining reels and bite-sized educational content, Cyndi (@ascent_storycraft) is truly an incredible content creator and a long-time aspirational figure for my own account, @copyandbake.

GG, @gg_communications

Next up, we have GG (@gg_communications). Her incredible Instagram feed combines stunning aesthetics with rock solid advice about social media and marketing.

Abby, @abbxdesign

I love the educational content Abby (@abbxdesign) creates around building a social media presence, creating business content, and advice for attracting clients.

Harsh, @harsh.content

Harsh (@harsh.content) has truly created his own space in the Instagram world. I love to see accounts with a solid vision of their social media brand who execute it perfectly.

The PR Princess, @the.prprincess

Specialising in a mix of public relations and social media tips, The PR Princess is a recent graduate making a splash in the marketing community. I thoroughly enjoy watching the journeys of other graduates from 2020 – it’s been a rough year, but we’re all having a go at making the most of it.

Hamza, @thecopywolf

I couldn’t create a list like this without including my favourite copywriting Instagram account! As a copywriter myself, Hamza (@thecopywolf) creates content all about selling through copywriting that is genuine, authentic, and always useful.

Grace, @gracebeverley

While the last Instagram account on this list isn’t strictly Marketing, Grace (@gracebeverley) is an incredible example of success in business and a leading public figure. She is the founder of TALA and Shreddy – sustainable companies in the health/athletic sphere – and her Instagram content is such a source of inspiration for my personal journey.

Who are your favourite content creators in the marketing community? Tell me in the comments below!

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Trustworthy Digital Marketing Certifications For Your Career

Digital Marketing is an ever-changing industry, with trends and algorithms seeming to come and go as they please. It is also an industry with a lot of potential false information. Anyone can hop on Instagram and claim to have groundbreaking social media strategies – stay up to date with these Digital Marketing certifications from genuine, authentic platforms such as Facebook, Google Skillshop, and LinkedIn Learning.

Fundamental Of Digital Marketing

The Fundamental Of Digital Marketing is a free course from Google provides a great foundation for anyone interested in digital marketing. The course includes a free certification, meaning it is accessible to anyone and everyone.

Analytics Academy

The Analytics Academy contains courses for getting certified with Google Analytics. Analysis is a huge part of learning to become successful with digital marketing, so for recent graduates and anyone applying to entry-level jobs, this could be a great way to stand out.

Google Ads Search

Want to learn about paid marketing platforms? The Google Ads Search certification, part of the Google Skillshop platform, is a professional-level certification. While it is free, the course has a tricky exam at the end and Google recommends it for people who already have some experience using the Google Ads platform for Search ads.

Master Digital Marketing

If you have a LinkedIn account, you can get access to their Master Digital Marketing learning pathway with their premium subscription. The platform works similarly to Netflix – one subscription price for unlimited course access. No time limits and no additional fees for any of their certifications. LinkedIn offers a free trial of premium, so you can try before you buy!

Facebook Blueprint Certification

Do you use Facebook Ads regularly? The Facebook Blueprint exams may be worth your time. These exams range from marketing associate to professional levels. Even without taking the certification exam, you may still be interested in the Blueprint learning platform.

College of Media and Publishing

Most of the certifications on this list are free and come directly from the marketing platforms themselves. The College of Media and Publishing is the only paid certification on this list because it is accredited, affordable for most young professionals, and as one of their students I can vouch first-hand for the quality of their courses.

I am enrolled on their Copywriting Course, but they also offer a Social Media Marketing Course, Business Writing Course, SEO Content Writing Course, and much more. Please note, the College of Media and Publishing is aimed at marketing students in the UK.

Things To Consider Before Starting A Blog

Start your blog with confidence! Suitable for veteran bloggers and complete newbies alike, this guide covers the basic building blocks of creating a blog, from niche and target audience to design and hosting.

Find Your Niche

The first step to creating a blog is simple: finding your niche. This may change over time, but a solid, well-defined starting point is essential. A great resource is How To Choose A Niche For Your Blog, which covers a long list of profitable niches. Most important, though, is picking a niche you have a genuine interest in – an interest you can sustain in the weeks, months and years it takes to build a successful blog.

Your niche should be based on a topic you:

  • have a natural interest in
  • have an authority to speak on, some degree of expertise, or even a professional/educational interest in
  • want to learn more about

Research Your Target Audience

So, you know what you’re writing about – now you need to know who you’re writing for. Your target audience is your ideal reader. It may help to create a mental picture of your reader.

Ask these questions to clarify your target audience:

  • How old are they?
  • Where do they live?
  • What are their likes and dislikes? What is their biggest concern? What problems do they face? Identify a few pain points – and, when you are writing your blog, consider ways you can provide them with valuable solutions.
  • What level of education do they have? What is their occupation? What are their career goals and ambitions for the future? Will it be appropriate to use jargon, or formal language, or write as you speak?
  • What are their political beliefs? Are they open minded to different opinions? Are they looking for a balanced world view, or information that supports their perspective?
  • What other blogs do they read, if any? Analyse your competitors, from successful blogs to other newcomers, and identify ways you can provide a unique variety of content.

Aesthetics & Design

The design of your website will have a huge impact on your success. Your blog doesn’t need to do everything at once – if anything, it is better to start small and expand as you gain experience – but it should be easy to read, navigate, and be visually appealing to your readers. These 6 Tips For A Great Blog Layout are helpful points for consideration.

When it comes to blog design, you should ask yourself:

  • Which colours represent your blog?
  • How will you categorise your content?
  • Will you use stock images, personal photography, or create your own graphics? How will you ensure your graphics and photographs are high-quality?
  • Will you include an about page, FAQ, homepage, contact page, and product pages?
  • How will you ensure your blog is optimised for search engines and sharing? This is related to your content writing as well as your website design. Google prioritises websites with a great user experience!

Hosting & Domain Name

The most important step involved in creating a blog is picking a site name, domain, and website host. If you’re new to blogging and taking it up as a hobby, you’re probably going to want to opt for a simpler deal with a free blog.

When considering your hosting options, you might like to consider:

  • your budget
  • the time commitment you can make
  • your level of IT/technological literacy

I personally use WordPress with the premium theme, which makes the whole process relatively simple on my side and allows me to focus on the front end of the blog. Considering WordPress? Help support Copy&Bake by signing up through my referral link.

If you are looking to have more control, you might want to consider setting up hosting and domains yourself. A Total Beginner’s Guide To Website Hosting is a great guide for learning the basics of website hosting.

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The Marketing Newsletters Your Inbox Needs

There are so many ways of learning about marketing: books, online courses, videos, university degrees, and much more… but the ultimate way of staying up to date with relevant industry information? Newsletters!

The Daily Carnage

The Daily Carnage is all about being the sharpest marketer in the room, delivering a handpicked list of the best marketing content to your inbox each day. Recent examples include Who’s Asking, Feeling Content and No Big Deal.

Content Marketing Institute

Looking for resources specific to content marketing? The Content Marketing Institute newsletter is a great subscription. Alongside a newsletter, the CMI also has a Podcast Network, Magazine, and a wide range of website resources.

Marketing Dive

The Marketing Dive newsletter covers everything from social media to data analysis as well as mobile and video marketing. Their website also covers the latest news in marketing, including deep dives and analysis of current large-scale marketing campaigns.

The Mention Memo

The Mention Memo brands itself as “the only marketing newsletter you’ll want to read”. The newsletter runs twice a month and features:

  • A summary filled with insightful commentary around a trending marketing or social media topic.
  • A roundup of our most popular blog content, cherry-picked by us.
  • Free and practical resources you can use for your own marketing.
  • Lots of cheeky one-liners and puns!

Think With Google

Why not go straight to the source when it comes to marketing through Google? The Think With Google newsletter covers all the latest features and trends on the Google Network. The website is also packed with helpful resources such as consumer trends and the future of marketing with machine learning.

3 Work From Home Lockdown Essentials

With the UK in Lockdown 2.0, I’ve been adjusting to working from home for the first time. As an English graduate, I’m no stranger to working independently, but working from home during a lockdown brings on new challenges: learning Zoom, creating my own schedule, and finding ways to spice up my daily routine to stop every day blending into monotony.

Learning New Recipes & Balanced Eating

Cooking is one of my favourite ways to be creative, outside of writing. Lockdown means I have more time to really enjoy cooking. I’m currently working my way through the Wagamama cookbook.

I also now have a subscription to Oddbox, a company seeking to reduce food waste by allowing its customers to “rescue” boxes of veg that are rejected from supermarkets for being too large, the wrong colour, or in surplus. Their refer a friend scheme is also great – anyone looking to try OddBox out can get £10 off with my referral link.

An Exercise Routine

Heading into lockdown 2.0, I knew I wanted to invest in my physical health – in other words, treating myself to workout gear from TALA, and starting to go jogging in the morning. Not only is TALA an incredible brand from Grace Beverly (with an inspirational level of social media marketing) – they are also entirely sustainable, with a brand statement all about “slow fashion”.

Looking After Yourself

The term “self care” is thrown around a lot, but what I mean by this segment is paying close attention to how I feel. This might mean lighting a candle while I work, or dusting, or putting the laundry on, or anything on a long list of chores to keep my workspace clear. I’m also making sure I take proper time away from my work as well as social media.

A Helpful Note From Copy & Bake

Copy & Bake is all about transparency! The Oddbox link provided in this blog post is part of their affiliate scheme, which means I receive a discount on the service for anyone who signs up through my link.

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5 Key Components of Writing Product Descriptions

A lot of time and effort goes into writing product descriptions. In today’s post, I’m going to break the process down into five key components: brand information, product specification, product photography, keywords, and competitor awareness.

Brand Information

Right at the start, you need to know who the creator of the product is, what other products they have designed, and a basic level of information about the purpose of their products. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What does the brand specialise in?
  • Are they sustainable?
  • How do they assure their products are high-quality?
    What are the key selling points of the brand and their products?
  • What other products do they sell? Is this particular product part of a collection?
  • Most importantly: what problem does their product solve?

I find brand information incredibly useful because in the product description, I’m not just selling a product – I’m selling a vision.

Product Specification

It might seem obvious, but product descriptions require a degree of product knowledge. In an ideal world, every copywriter would have access to a full specification for every single product they wrote about. However, the reality is – copywriters make do with what we have. I don’t have a direct connection to the brands I write product descriptions for, and their product specification information is usually minimal. So, I rely on the next component: product photography.

Product Photography

If the product specification is unclear, then the product photography becomes even more essential. I recommend creating a word bank from the product photography you receive, and utilising this when it comes to writing the product description. Having a creative mind certainly helps when it comes to describing an image in a way that your customer will connect with. If you’re looking to practice this, consider a free creative writing course to transform your product descriptions.

Google Keyword Planner

An essential for anyone in the marketing industry, the Google Keyword Planner allows you to access the average search volume for terms and see trends across the past few years, as well as predictions into the future.

Product descriptions aren’t just a description of the product – they’re also part of the sign posting leading the Google crawlers towards your business. Using the correct keywords in a well-written product description is a key strategy to improve the SEO of your website.

Competitor Awareness

Writing product descriptions can be tough, especially when writing large batches at once. I like to keep my product descriptions original and avoid copy and pasting large chunks of sentences – so, before I start writing, I skim read through product descriptions of similar brands, products and e-commerce websites to see what other copywriters have done. When looking at the work of competitors, there are a few potential issues, of course. Copywriters need to pay special attention to the risk of plagiarism and need to ensure the description they write is specific to the product in front of them.

How I Got My Dream Graduate Job

Job searching is hard. Graduate job searching is even harder. So, looking for a graduate job during a pandemic in the marketing space? It’s been a long summer.

Job searching is hard. Graduate job searching is even harder. So, looking for a graduate job during a pandemic in the marketing space? It’s been a long summer – but I got my dream graduate job, and this blog post is all about exactly how it went down.

Graduating In A Pandemic

I handed in both my dissertations a mere three days before the UK went into national lockdown. I was then stuck in Oxford until June due to the travel restrictions. Thankfully, I was staying with my boyfriend – but graduating without any of the celebrations we’d been expecting, or being able to see our friends, was difficult. Then came the realisation that I needed to somehow find a job, in the middle of a pandemic, and I was not at all prepared.

Figuring Out The Dream

I began applying for jobs once I handed in my last assignment. I had no real idea what industry I wanted to enter. I knew that I liked writing and I had a bit of blogging experience – so I ran with it. I started researching social media and digital marketing as careers. I’ve loved the concept of marketing from a distance, but the more I learnt about it, the more I wanted to turn it into my career. Marketing is such a big field and there are many component parts – including copywriting and content writing.

Build A Portfolio

I collected together the best blog posts I had and decided it wasn’t enough. So, I set out to write for free and build up a portfolio. I did pieces of copywriting, I did blogging for my university student union, and I also volunteered to post on social media for a mental health charity. This combination of things meant I could build up a portfolio. At the time I wasn’t sure it would help – but now, looking back, I know that this was the single best thing I could’ve done at the time.

Applications

The first ten, twenty, thirty job applications had me very excited and eager to hear back… only to be faced with deafening silence. Months passed and I moved back home. Thirty job applications turned into fifty, fifty into a hundred, and then I stopped counting because it was a difficult reality to face.

Freelancing

I had one interview for a digital media position at a start up (my dream type of company to work for!), but I wasn’t quite the right fit for the role… which was disappointing, but they were also looking for a freelance content writer and asked me if I was interested. Of course I was! The idea of freelancing quickly made me fall in love and while I was waiting for a response, I started the copy&bake Instagram as a way to get into freelancing in case this opportunity didn’t work out. I did a decent amount of work through Fiverr and Instagram. Freelancing was truly a lifeline when I was struggling with the emotional reality of being newly unemployed during a pandemic.

Part Time At A Startup

The start up got back in touch and invited me in for a chat! I leapt at the change, even with the slight threat of travelling in London during a pandemic. I was already familiar with the area they’re based in and quickly felt at home in the (very small, but very friendly) office. I spent the first week being incredibly overwhelmed (first office job, hello there!) because it was such a shift from what I was used to, but I soon settled in and found my feet.

Finally, A Full Time Role

Here’s where it gets interesting! When I started as a freelancer, the idea of eventually turning full time was brought up. Now, being the cynic I am – and considering the pandemic scenario – I was expecting my freelancing career to be lasting a minimum of six months… but in just two weeks, I was offered a full time role! So, that’s where I’ve been for the past month: working my first full time job in an office, in my dream graduate role, for my dream start up company!

What now?

I am a full time content writer slash digital marketing intern for a luxury homeware ecommerce brand. My responsibilities include writing PPC (pay per click!) ad copy, product descriptions, customer service email templates, product category descriptions, and more! I work with the head of marketing and CEO on a daily basis and really do get to play a vital role in the company of just fifteen people.

Copy&Bake began as a way to get into the marketing industry. Through a lot of hard work and a lot of luck, I found my way in – with zero professional connections and no work experience or prior internships. Copy&Bake is a place to share my journey from English graduate towards being a fully-fledged marketing professional. Make sure to subscribe to copy&bake to get notified when a new post goes up, and follow me on Instagram for all the in-between bits!

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