Author Archives: collegecopy

Top 5 Ways to Boost SEO

Looking for the best ways to boost your website’s SEO? Still confused about what actually constitutes original content? Here are a few tips courtesy of the CC team!

1)  Use keywords strategically 

An exact match on keyword search can bring you to the top 10 results page for a search engine. Conduct careful research on which keywords may be applicable to your website. Be as specific as possible when tagging your keywords, as this can allow search engines to narrow in on your website’s specific niche. However, don’t stuff  random keywords to boost rankings– maintain a clear voice throughout all of your content. Be natural in your sentence structures– search engines can pick up on words that clearly don’t belong!

2) Do not plagiarize content

Plagiarizing your content can be an absolute search ranking killer. Known as content scraping, websites who directly copy and paste  content from another source will be penalized in search engine rankings and could potentially have their website taken off that search engine completely.  To prevent plagiarism and avoid these harmful consequences, be sure to cite and quote all content taken from outside sources. Furthermore, be sure to check all published articles with a plagiarism checker like Copyscape or Plagiarism Checker.

3) Provide information of actual value for your audience

To boost you website’s SEO, it is crucial that your web content is not only original but also valuable to your target audience. Search engines are designed to satisfy a user’s query, and will rank web pages in the order of their ability to answer these queries. If your website cannot offer any helpful solutions or insight for user queries, your overall search engine rankings will suffer.  Thus, be sure to pay careful attention to what exactly your user’s are looking for and how you can fulfill all of their needs.

4) Include links to other credible sites

Links from credible sites tell search engines that your website can be trusted. When search engines crawl your website and find these high authority website links, they boost your overall search engine score. However, it is important that the flow of these links is entirely natural, or you may be penalized for including random links that are not related to the content you provide.

5) Update your content regularly

Google looks for content that’s up to date to feature higher up in their search result rankings. It’s good practice to have some sort of blog on your website to provide new, steady content on a weekly basis. Furthermore, by uploading content more consistently, you have a greater chance of matching some keywords with search engine queries.

 

Big News (and a Bigger Thank You!)

We hope you all enjoyed the long weekend! For those of you eager to get back to work (and get paid), we have some exciting news to share — click here for the full press release.

As you’ve probably noticed, things have been a bit slow on the site lately—mostly a byproduct of the two of us graduating and joining the “real world.” Between finishing school and finding adult jobs, we’ve both had our hands full, but making sure our writers are busy and our clients happy has always been our top priority.

static1.squarespaceWith that goal in mind, we are excited to announce that College Copywriters has been acquired by Harvard Student Agencies (a.k.a. HSA), the world’s largest student-run business. Based out of Harvard University, HSA employs over 500 undergraduates to manage its 14 separate agencies, its mission being to provide students with rewarding employment opportunities and practical work experience (sound familiar?) College Copywriters will be joining HSA as its fifteenth and newest agency, and day-to-day management of the business will be passed on to the lovely Amy Zhao (more on her in a second!)

So why HSA, and—more importantly—what does it mean for the business? The great news is that, from the students’ perspective, only one thing is changing: There will be more writing assignments available, which means more cash to be earned. The trick, of course, is in making those sales. Fortunately, between student feedback and our clients’ satisfaction, we’ve always known we were on to something great here; unfortunately, as full-time students ourselves, we’ve never been able to allocate the time and resources that the business truly deserves.

That’s where HSA comes in. As an institution, HSA offers over 50 years of experience in building and managing student-run businesses, and we believe that its financial, legal, and intellectual resources will take our sales to the next level. Even better, as with all of HSA’s existing agencies, the business will continue to be run by a student manager, and one that we’re 150% confident will be a perfect fit for this role.

azhaoSo, without further ado, allow us to introduce Amy Zhao, a rising sophomore at Harvard who (as of this week) will be taking over as College Copywriters’ managing director. Just a year into college, Amy’s already an HSA veteran, having shattered expectations with a new business venture she worked on earlier this summer. She was subsequently hand-picked by HSA’s senior management for this position, and once we met her in person, it wasn’t hard to see why. She has some truly amazing ideas for the company’s future, and we know she’s eager to hear yours—so shoot her an email at amy@collegecopywriters.com to share your thoughts, pick her brain, or just say hey!

While it pains us to say goodbye, in many ways, this is a fitting end to our involvement in College Copywriters: Our dream was always to create a company run “by students, for students,” and that dream will live on in HSA’s capable hands long after our own graduation from school. We are so grateful to you all for helping us make that dream a reality, and we are elated to have the opportunity to watch our business grow and evolve under HSA’s leadership.

Students have always been (and always will be) the heart and soul of this business, and thankfully for us, no one understands that better than the team at HSA. That’s precisely why we’re so excited about the company’s future, and we hope you won’t hesitate to reach out to us with your feedback, suggestions, or just to reminisce about the good ol’ days. While we’ll be there for moral support every step of the way, rest assured that you’re in good hands.

TL;DR: Thank you for everything, look out for new assignments in the coming weeks, and as always, keep up the great work!

CC Love,
Brian & Chris

Tips and Tricks to Find the Cheapest Textbooks for College

college textbooks expensiveTuition, room and board add up fast, but they’re not the only big purchases that college students face at the beginning of the semester. Add on top of those expenses the cost of textbooks, which can run students upward of $100 apiece.

College students spent an average of about $1,200 on textbooks and school supplies in 2013, according to the College Board.

The good news is that paying full price for textbooks at the campus bookstore is not the only option for cash-strapped students. There are plenty of ways to get all the books you need and not break the bank.

1) Whenever possible, rent rather than buy.

Sites like Amazon, BookRenter, Chegg –– among others –– allow students to purchase books at a reduced price, as long as they return the books intact by the end of the semester.

Many school bookstores also offer students the option to rent textbooks rather than the purchases. But keep in mind that the campus bookstore is usually the most expensive option for book purchases, even if you’re renting. The best deals –– for renting or buying outright –– are usually found online.

2) eBooks are a more cost effective alternative.

If you have a Kindle or other e-reader device, take advantage of it not only to read your favorite novels and the daily news, but also for required reading for class. Not only are eBooks a lot more

3) Buy used books whenever possible.

Used books are another cost effective alternative to buying new books. And they are often in comparable shape to new books.

The campus bookstore usually offers used books at a knockdown price, but as usual, they aren’t the best place to buy a book. Plenty of websites offer used books, and you can even read descriptions of their condition before you purchase.

Insiders tip: You may be able to buy a book used and then sell it back for less than you could rent a book for.

4) If you are going to buy new, look into selling the book back.

A lot of sites and the campus bookstore will allow you to sell back your used books at the end of the semester as long as they’re not too worn down. Traditional sites like Amazon and Half.com will accept used books as well as new ones. There are also websites such as TextbookRush that specialize in textbook sales. Though the campus bookstore might take back used books, it typically won’t offer you as much money back as many websites will.

5) Look into the international editions.

International editions of textbooks are just slightly different than their U.S. counterparts, with variations in their covers and ISBNs. But they have the same page numbers and content as U.S. editions, and can cost as much as half the price. They’re available on larger sites like Amazon, as well as specialty sites such as TextbookRush.

6) Always compare costs across different sites.

There are websites –– like SlugBooks, BookFinder and Big Words –– that allow you to compare prices from sites such as Amazon, Half.com and BookRenter, and make the most cost-effective choice. Be sure to look at all your options before you make a purchase.

10 Things Every College Student Should do this Summer

1. Create/Update your LinkedIn Profile

Linkedin is quickly becoming an essential part of the job search for college students. LinkedIn can help you connect with people in the field you would like to go into, and could set you up for internships or jobs down the road. If you have a LinkedIn profile but haven’t updated it in a while, make sure to add your most recent accomplishments and work experience. (Follow College Copywriters on Linkedin while you are there!)

2. Update your other social media profiles

While those fake Will Ferrell retweets are hilarious, some of the language in them might not impress your future employers. You could always set up a private social media profile, using your first and middle names, for use with your friends and family, and a more professional-looking profile using your first and last names for employers to find. The goal is just to make sure you don’t have anything that will hurt your chances of being hired.

3. Create/Update your resume

Especially if you will be looking for internships in the near future, creating or updating your resume is essential. When you are starting out, your resume might not be much, but even having a few important pieces of information (GPA, relevant past employment) on hand when applying or interviewing for an internship or job will help you stand out.

4. Have letters of recommendation written

If you had a great teacher, professor, or boss in the past year or two now is a great time to ask them to write letters of recommendation. People are usually more than happy to do so if you worked hard and did a good job. Make several copies and keep them in a portfolio to have on hand when on job or internship interviews to include with your resume. You never know when someone is going to ask for one.

5. Do some research

Although doing homework over the summer doesn’t sound fun at all, doing some research on your major, potential career paths, and essential things to know about your campus are things you won’t regret doing. It will help keep you in the know on everything going on in the professional world of your future career, and give you a chance to learn a few more fun things about your campus.

6. Network

Along with LinkedIn and other social media sites, good old-fashioned networking is a good practice to begin in the summer. Chances are, someone in your family has a friend of a friend who works in the field you would like to get into, so see if you can set up a way to get in contact with that person. Chat on the phone, grab coffee, or visit them at work. They can be an essential resource for career and school advice in the future.

7. Intern

If you have a few years of college already under your belt and you have a good idea of what you want to do when you’re done with school, interning is a great idea. Interning can also be beneficial if you aren’t exactly sure that your major/career path is the one for you. Plus, it is much easier to do internships in the summer than trying to work them around your class schedule.

8. Get a career-oriented part time job

Most people get the average fast food or retail job when they are out of school for the summer. A way to get out of that rut, and add to your resume, is to find a job that will require the skills you’ll use in your career. It’s like having an internship but you’ll get paid! Examples of this would include a receptionist job at a doctor’s office if you are interested in medicine, a tutoring or summer school assistant job if you are interested in education, or a freelance writing job if you are interested in journalism.

9. Set up a budget

Unfortunately, your parents won’t be paying for your stuff forever. And as you navigate your way through college and the real world, you’ll find yourself using more and more of your own money, which means impromptu fro-yo nights won’t always be a possibility. Learning to budget your money is not only an essential life skill, but it will make sure you’re not left hungry at the end of the month as well.

10. Get organized

Organizing your room at home and the things you’ll be taking with you to school will make the move-in process much easier. Not only will you have an easier time figuring out where everything goes in your apartment or dorm room when you get to school, but you’ll also perfect your organization skills, which you’ll need in every aspect of your adult life.

Writer Spotlight With Alix Marks

Welcome to our second Writer Spotlight post. Writer spotlight is a feature we run about once a week which features one of our writers who in our, or our client’s opinion has produced consistent high-quality content. Over the past two weeks past week, Alix has quickly distinguished herself as one of our top new writers.

We wanted to thank Alix for her hard work, and invite our writers and clients to learn more about our community of writers. Here is what Alix had to say about her experience writing for College Copywriters.

My name is Alix Marks and I attend Emory University where I am a psychology major.

Q: How did you find out about College Copywriters?
A: I found out about the site while perusing through my Facebook feed. There I came across Brian’s (one of the founders) post about College Copywriters. (I know Brian from Emory)

Q: Why do you freelance write for College Copywriters? What is your favorite part about writing for the company?
A: I was particularly interested in something that I could do for income but on my own schedule. Though I am new to CC , it has been such a great experience and is everything I was looking for. I am able to do something I enjoy (writing) while making some money during the time I am not working at my unpaid summer internship.

Q: What are you involved with at school and how do you balance it all?
A: At Emory, I take business courses in addition to my courses for my psychology major. I participate in Greek life, as well as volunteer programs at the local Atlanta animal rescue center. I also am an Emory tour guide and enjoy interacting with all or the prospective students. I think it is key to make sure that everything you participate in is enjoyable for you. If you enjoy your activities it is much easier to find time for all of them. I always try to stick to doing the things I enjoy, which allows me to work hard and succeed at the tasks I am faced with. 

Q: What are you doing this summer?
A: This summer I am working in finance at an asset management firm called Hightower Advisors. I decided to pursue my interest in finance though I am a psychology major.

Q: What are your tips for other writers on CC?
A: That being said, when writing for CC I always make sure to choose assignments that I am intrigued by. I make sure that I feel capable of “being an expert” on the topic and then accept the assignment. This seems to work well in producing high-quality work. Of course not every topic will interest you so try to shy away from those that don’t.

Q: What would be your favorite topic would be to write about if you could pick anything?
A: For me personally if I could choose any topic, my favorite to write about would be current news regarding the music industry/culture.

Q: What do you plan to do after school?
A: After I graduate from Emory next year my plans are to have a full time job in private wealth management and move to NYC

Thanks Alix for your time, if would like to become a writer like Alix you can sign up here!

Top Writing Tools for College Students

Our writers at College Copywriters do a lot of writing, for us and for their professors. We wanted to share five of our favorite writing tools to make the sometimes painful writing process easier. None of these tools will write your paper for you, but can hopefully help you earn a better grade on that five page paper due tomorrow you have not started. Good luck.

1) Grammarly

Do you struggle with subject-verb agreements? Word choice? Grammarly helps catch common errors, but goes above and beyond the call of duty (and the capabilities of Microsoft Word’s Spelling and Grammar checker) by helping teach you how to fix your most common writing errors. it also checks for plagiarism to make sure you include all of your citations. The basic service as a chrome extension is free and the premium service comes with a 7-day trial to help you decide if the service is worth the investment.

2) Duolingo

Attempting to write an essay for French class without actually understanding French? Get a grasp of the language with Duolingo, an free online service with an interactive platform that will equip you with the basics and prepare you for class. Duolingo is also great if you have already learned the basics of a language, but are struggling with more complex sentence structures and grammar issues.

3) Amherst College’s Online Resources for Writers

Check out the Amherst College Writing Center for great handbooks on the writing process, elements of effective writing, and multiple reference guides.

4) EasyBib

Don’t waste your time manually citing each of the forty books you flipped through while writing your most recent research paper.  Instead, use a service like EasyBib. EasyBib will automatically cite your sources in MLA or APA formats.  Even better, the service is integrated with popular research service JSTOR and allows you to search for your sources by ISBN, web URL, and title.

5) Google Drive

Don’t risk losing your most precious digital data. Google Drive provides an easily accessible cloud service to store and edit your writing assignments. If you already have a Google Account, universal login will allow you to access Google Drive without creating a new account.

Are there any other tools you use when you are writing?

Our First Writer Spotlight with Austin Gutzke

Writer Spotlight is a new feature we’re hoping to run about once a week, when we feel one of our writers has really produced some spectacular work. This past week, Austin wrote a number of great articles for us, but it was when a client emailed us to say “This is exactly what I’ve been looking for” that we decided he had to be our first featured writer.

We wanted to thank Austin for his hard work and figured it’d also be a perfect opportunity to help our community learn more about the writers that make this all possible. So without further ado, here’s what Austin had to say:

My name is Austin Gutzke (‘u’ as in ‘good’ for the surname), and I attend Angelina College in Lufkin, Texas. Lately, I’ve been considering a major in Mathematics.

Q: How did you find out about College Copywriters?
A: I found out about College Copywriters through Google, which is how I usually find my things.

Q: Why do you freelance write for College Copywriters? What is your favorite part about writing for the company?
A: I did not have a job this summer, and I needed to make a few dollars to support my book buying habit. My favorite thing about the site is searching for new assignments. You never know what you are going to find.

Q: What are you involved with at school and how do you balance it all?
A: To be honest, I’m only good at balancing English, Math, and life. Anything science-related and my personal life both take a nosedive. However, I do occasionally write original fiction during the school year to calm myself down when I get too stressed from the workload.

Q: What are you doing this summer?
A: Writing for College Copywriters, looking for scholarships, and working on a novel.

Q: What are your tips for other writers on CC?
A: Check new assignments every day. You never know when that $20 project could show up.

Q: What would be your favorite topic would be to write about if you could pick anything?
A: I love reviewing books, TV shows and getting my thoughts down.

Q: What do you plan to do after school?
A: Probably something math-related. We’ll see.

Thanks Austin for your time, and if you want to join him as a writer, sign up today!

College Copywriters Announces New Content Marketplace

collegeWithoutText

Boca Raton, FL – College Copywriters, a South Florida-based startup, has launched a new version of its online content marketplace. Their new platform allows webmasters and businesses to order content for their blogs or websites directly from College Copywriters’ network of college students across the US.

Founders Brian Diener and Chris Smiles, college seniors at Emory University and Harvard University respectively, started the business in the fall of 2011. Since then, the network has completed thousands of orders and now includes over 500 student writers. Building on this success, they are releasing a new version of their website, which provides clients with a robust set of ordering options and gives writers additional opportunities to earn money.

“Freelance writing really is the perfect college job,” says Smiles. “Students are able to gain valuable work experience while choosing their own hours.”  Most students who write for College Copywriters earn around $15 per hour. Writers sign up on the site and are vetted after submitting a comprehensive writing sample that is evaluated by the team’s editors.

Most small businesses do not have the budget to hire a full time writing staff, so College Copywriters allows them to fulfill their need for quality web copy. Businesses are able to draw from a vast network of outstanding college students to create content for their blogs or websites at an affordable price.

Given the size and scope of the network, College Copywriters’ students are able to write pieces on almost any topic. “Freelance writing is not that different from a college essay,” says Diener. “They both require background research, strong writing skills and compelling content. We feel our writers are well equipped to provide high quality content for our clients.”

Diener and Smiles plan on adding more features to the platform throughout the summer. By the end of the year, they hope to have 1,000 writers signed up.

As an added bonus, the two hope that their service will help writers build relationships with clients and add to their own professional resumes, which could lead to job placements as they enter the workforce after college.

About CollegeCopywriters.com

CollegeCopywriters.com is an online content marketplace where marketers, webmasters, business owners and website developers can order quality, unique content from students attending the nation’s leading colleges and universities. Check out our website at CollegeCopywriters.com or Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter.

####

 

Top 5 Books for College Entrepreneurs to Read this Summer

A college entrepreneur is expected to be versed not only in the business they lead, but in the industry and business fundamentals as well. Guidance and mentorship, therefore, are essential to young entrepreneurs, who need both expertise and encouragement to succeed. One way to learn from the best is to read the works of successful entrepreneurs, professors and thinkers around the globe.

Here is a list of five bestselling books that provide guidance and insight into the world of entrepreneurship:

1. Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, 2011

Written by a psychologist and Noble Prize winner in economics and used by advertising professionals and businesspeople alike, this book describes the different ways we think, the emotional responses of System 1, and the slower, more reasoned and logical responses of System 2. The value in this read lies in understanding the ways that we can slow down our thought process to make measured, well thought out decisions, instead of impulsive choices.

2. The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha, 2012

Hoffman, the LinkedIn co-founder, works with an author to convey the most important strategies, not only for a start-up business, but also for taking control of your personal life and career. The book brands each person as in “permanent beta,” referring to the ever-evolving state of human life and business, and offers advice and strategy to capitalize on these constant changes.

3.How to Win Friends and Influence People Dale Carnegie, 1936

The oldest title on this list, this book is still readily applicable to contemporary life, filled with tips on the most basic of human interactions: person to person. When beginning a business, you are truly building from the ground up, and your success depends on your success to interact with your first investors, your first customers, and your first challengers.

4.The $100 Start-up Chris Guillebeau, 2012

Entrepreneurship takes capital, but just how much? Guillebeau argues that the answer is a lot less than you think, and that we can all take advantage of the examples he brings to light or individuals who accidentally stumble upon entrepreneurship through hobbies and personal interests.

5. Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us Seth Godin, 2008

The constant truth about business is that it revolves around people, especially at a start-up company in which personal relationships are the very foundation of business. Tribes focuses on these relationships, and the ways to nurture them, a must-read for any entrepreneur just getting started.

Top 10 Ways to Make Money in College

The following is a guest post from one of our writers who has tried many different ways to earn money in college. Hopefully this generates some ideas for you. If you would like to write an article for us, just shoot us an email.

Psychology Experiments

Psych projects are a great way to make easy money. I made around $120 dollars my fall semester sophomore year from psychology experiments on campus.

Scholarships

This one is pretty straightforward. There’s a lot of benefactors who would be happy to help students pay for college. If you do your research you can often find scholarships locally which not that many people know about.

Freelance Writing

This one is a personal favorite. Sites like College Copywriters pay you a considerable amount of money to write articles on your own time; the rates per article are really good.

The Note-Taker

Let’s be honest; not a whole lot of you are going to attend every class every day. I don’t. However, this shameful display of slothness can be compensated for if you know a guy who meticulously takes notes and goes to every class. He gets at least $100 per class by advertising his services on social networking sites. My advice is to be that guy.

 Selling Textbooks

This can be a decent money winner; do not sell your old books back to your school’s bookstore because they will rip you off. Instead, put up flyers and advertise the merchandise you’re selling on social media. You will earn a lot more, there are also websites like amazon and chegg which will buy them back for better prices.

Campus Employment

Campus Employment is a great way to earn money. At job fairs in the Fall, various campus employers are literally begging kids to sign up. Most of the jobs are fairly easy and you can do your homework if there is nothing to do.

Waiting Tables

Waiting tables can be a fantastic way of making money. At really high-end restaurants, you can easily hit $150 in a night. Granted, that probably won’t be possible for you, but if you’re hoping to make a few hundred dollars of (untaxed) income per week, this is a great opportunity.

Newspaper Ads

Especially if your college is in a big city, there’s definitely some opportunities you can pursue here. Take a look and see who needs a hand moving on afternoon or extras setting up a photo shoot. It’s great experience and always something new. Take a look at the craigslist gigs section as well for odd one time jobs.

Meal Plans

Depending on how expensive your meal plan at school is, you might be better off just buying/cooking all of your meals. A great arrangement I had freshman year was when one person was responsible for cooking every day of the week.

Advertise a Service

Before you say, “I don’t have any marketable skills,” I want to stop you and tell you that is absolutely false. One of my brothers is an International Chess Master, and when he was in college, would charge about $40-$50 dollars a lesson. We can’t all do that, but consider the ‘little skills’ too (ie note taking, typing up reports, etc). Try and get paid for things you already do or enjoy doing.