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Splitting the writer from the copywriter

When I started I didn’t really know how I was going to market myself. I was five months pregnant and about to leave my job as Head of Digital at MassMedia Studios. It was a nerve-wracking time and I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to go it alone and still make a decent living.

Kate Toon Writer

So, at that stage, I chose an eponymous title for my website, the idea being that I could house a multitude of services under this general heading, and that it would be useful for networking (fortunately, I have a pretty memorable name – thanks parents!). I also gave myself the tongue in cheek title of ‘writer and web guru’ in order to cover all the various products I was planning to offer.

Becoming more single minded

Over the last three years, I’ve done heaps of different projects, from information architecture for the RTA to SEO advice for Tourism Australia and an award-winning video script for Samboy Crisps. I’ve also built several websites. But, as time goes by, I find myself increasingly drawn to copywriting (both SEO and advertising), as well as site planning (information architecture and functional specification writing) and also SEO advice. So, I wanted to put myself out there as a COPYWRITER, pure and simple. The other services I offer are now more secondary. I also began to find ‘web guru’ a bit cringy. It had to go!

Poetry and SEO don’t mix

Another issue was my increasing ‘growth’ as a creative writer of poems, plays, scripts and now books. I was conscious of annoying my customer base (I’m pretty sure the guys at American Express and Symantec we’re desperate to read my latest poem about depressed goldfish). So, the time had come to split the sites.

I decided that would be for my poetry, plays and creative writing, and I’d build a new site (this one) for my copywriting business.

The downside of the split

Obviously, I’ve built up a lot of SEO juice over the years and ranked 2nd or 3rd in the natural listings for all my chosen keywords last time I looked. Even with careful planning, there was no way my search position wouldn’t take a hit for a short while. But this was good with me as: a) I was off on holiday, b) I am fully booked until the end of April anyhoo. So I got cracking and:

  • Registered the new domain and set up hosting.
  • Copied the old site across.
  • Quickly deleted all poetry posts from my new copywriting site and all copywriting posts from my poetry site, as Google does so hate duplicate content!
  • Set up individual 301 (permanent) redirects from all old posts to new ones.
  • Reset all images to load into the new site.
  • Reviewed as many back links as I could to ensure they now pointed at my new site.
  • Updated links on Google Places, LinkedIn, True Local etc to point at the new copywriter site.
  • Set up a permanent sticky post on the home page of my poetry site so that traffic that did hit this page could be redirected to my copywriting site.
  • Updated the CTA on EVERY SINGLE POST AND PAGE (that was fun) to reflect my new service offering.

Social media issues

Facebook was the hardest pill to swallow. Since I had over the 100 fans ‘change limit’ I couldn’t simply rename the page. Nor is there an easy way to move content and ‘likers’ to a newly created page. So, instead, I set up two new Facebook pages: Kate Toon Writer and Kate Toon SEO Copywriter – and then explained to the likers on my old page that it would soon be deleted. So far, of the 400+ fans I had on my old FB page, only about 20% have moved over, but again ‘am I bovered’? No, as in all honesty I’m not sure I’ve ever had a single lead from Facebook!

On Twitter I kept my existing profile @katetoon for my poetry and created a new profile, @katetooncopy, for the copywriting. I’m pleased to see old faces popping up on my new Twitter page and have gathered 100+ followers in just over a week, which isn’t bad.

All in all it’s been a good move. A few hiccups along the way and far more manual updates that were really necessary, but I feel much better with two sites to cover my two writing personalities.

Could I have done things differently? What would you have done?

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confessions of a misfit entrepreneur with Kate Toon

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