489 blog posts, 34 patient publications, 23 health articles, 19 eDMs, 9 websites, 4 landing pages, 4 TOV guidelines, 3 sales funnels, and 1 annual report - just a sample of what I've written in 2019! Click To Tweet

And just like that, another year is almost over. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was writing my end-of-year blog post for 2018, but as they say, time flies when you’re having fun … or is it when you’re busy??

The work

Either way, 2019 has been my most successful year to date. I’ve been busier than ever, working with more of my ideal clients, and still managed to fit in some decent down time as well.

To give you an idea of what I’ve been up to, this year I have written:

  • 89 blog posts
  • 34 patient publications
  • 23 health articles
  • 19 electronic direct mail campaigns
  • 9 websites
  • 4 landing pages
  • 4 Tone of Voice guidelines
  • 3 sales funnels
  • 1 annual report
  • PLUS a myriad of letters, proposals and marketing materials.

While there were times when I was burning the midnight oil, and working over weekends, I am extremely grateful that I have had a steady flow of work all year round. I’m especially grateful that all of my clients were a delight to work with (and I’m not even making that up!).

Actual footage of me this year!

The clients

Speaking of clients, since I have niched as a health and medical copywriter, I am working with more of my ideal clients. Some I have worked with this year include Royal Australia and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (creating a series of patient information fact sheets); Macular Disease Foundation Australia (re-vamping their suite of patient publications); Independence Australia (writing regular content for their electronic mail marketing); The Clean Collective (to create credible, well-researched articles on health and the environment); and international health company, Teladoc Health (to create a series of patient information fact sheets).

Nicheing into health writing has enabled me to work with more the the clients I want to work with Click To Tweet

I have also worked with some amazing small businesses, including Imani Tribe. Imani has a special place in my heart as I am also doing my body and lifestyle transformation with them. Together, we have created unique, useful and insightful blog content not found anywhere else. For a business that is in the fitness industry, this is rare. I have also helped them with their SEO strategy as well as identifying their niche, target market, and tone of voice. Particular highlights and causes for celebrations with Imani include:

  • going from almost zero traffic to over 1,000 users every week, within 6 months
  • bringing in almost 200 new, pre-qualified leads in less than a month through their first sales landing pages
  • creating an online course, which resulted in over 200 people in their target audience downloading it in just over a month.

If you’d like to work with me in 2020 to get similar results, contact me now to book in your project.

Online health course writer

Over 200 people in my client’s target audience downloaded this online course in the first month alone!

The highlights

The year has been filled with many highlights.

Client feedback

Obviously delivering quality health content that my clients love is my top priority, so when I receive some great testimonials, I’m filled with delight. Some of the wonderful feedback I received this year includes:

Nerissa was fantastic to work with. I felt reassured from our initial conversation that she was going to produce the copy I wanted. I loved how she did SEO alongside my copy. She is an all-in-one-package. Thanks so much Nerissa!

Dr Zoe King

Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine, Nourish Yin

I recently engaged Nerissa of The Melbourne Health Writer to complete some work for a new product being launched. Nerissa was so easy to work with, required little direction, and completed the work in what was a VERY tight deadline. I couldn’t recommend her highly enough.

Alexandra Charles-Ffrench

Product Manager, Australasia, Teladoc Health

I am so grateful I found Nerissa. She was so wonderful to work with. I was a complete rookie and Nerissa was really kind and made every step of the way easy, clear and productive. I am so happy with my content it is everything and more I hoped for. Would highly recommend!

Sarah Hamilton

Doula, Sarah Hamilton Birth & Postpartum Support

CopyCon

Perhaps the biggest highlight for 2019 in regards to copywriting was CopyCon 2019.

If you haven’t been to CopyCon before, put May 2021 in your diary, because it’s simply the best copywriting conference around. It’s filled with great speakers talking about the practical things that will make your copywriting business even better. And it’s light on fluff and heavy on content…but not too heavy that you’ll be overwhelmed.

This year I was privileged to speak on a panel about my copywriting journey, and in particular my experience in niching my copywriting.

I was also honoured to win The Clever Copywriting School Member of the Year Award. This award was for being helpful, inspiring, and embodying the spirit of our group. I really do love to help my fellow copywriters on their journey, so being recognised for this by my peers was amazing.

Winning The Clever Copywriting School Member of the Year Award was a highlight for 2019. Click To Tweet

Member of the Year TCCS

You can read more about what I learned at CopyCon and winning this award here. And you can find out more about CopyCon in 2021 here.

My novel

For those of you who have been following me, you’ll know that I have been busy working on my first novel. This year has been a cause for many a celebration, as I finished the final, polished version in preparation to submit to a publisher.

In October this year, I went to the picturesque Clare Valley in South Australia for a 3-day National Publishing Conference, run by my creative writing mentor, Fiona McIntosh. It was a marvelous weekend full of opportunities to learn more about the publishing industry, and what it takes to get published. The keynote speaker was the amazing Michael Robotham, whose books are page-turning thrillers. I highly recommend one for your holiday reading. And if you ever get the chance to listen to him speak, make sure you go. He is a wonderful, generous storyteller. Also in attendance was the CEO of QBD Books along with five of Australia’s top publishers — HarperCollins ANZ, Allen & Unwin, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, and Harlequin Books.

Part of the weekend involved opportunities to pitch our novel to the publishers. If you’ve ever done this, you’ll know how nerve-racking and incredibly important these three minutes are. (Yes, we only had three minutes for our pitch!). I was thrilled that three of the publishers asked me to send them my manuscript. I am now preparing my submissions for them to read in February when they are all back on deck looking for some new books to publish.

Here’s to new doors opening into the world of publishing in 2020.

Nerissa Bentley Melbourne copywriter

The downtime

While I have had an incredibly busy year, writing copy for clients and a book for the publishers, I did manage to have some quality down time. One of my bad habits is to say ‘yes’ to all the work — because I genuinely love to work. But this often leads me to be overworked and a little burned out.

Regular downtime and mini-breaks help keep copywriter burnout at bay Click To Tweet

So this year I scheduled my holidays in advance to ensure adequate rest and rejuvenation to keep the creative juices flowing.

We started the year camping by a river in rural Victoria with a group of friends. It’s incredibly relaxing reading by a river as it rushes and gurgles over the stones. Over the Easter break, we spent nine days in Beechworth — which has been our regular Easter holiday spot for 15 years. If you’ve never been, do yourself a favour and visit. Autumn is particularly beautiful as the leaves change colour in preparation for winter.

Speaking of winter, I managed a long-weekend break in Daylesford with my mum and sister. What a great weekend it was filled with laughs, wine, good food, a visit to an amazing book shop and a couple of games of Scrabble.

And in September, as the warmer weather began to creep in, we went up north with friends to spend a week at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast, which was divine. Daily walks and swims, ice-cream and wine, and lots of laughs contributed to the perfect break we all needed.

These regular mini-breaks helped keep me sane, and ensured that I was able to keep the client work ticking along without suffering from burnout.

2019 year in review

Scheduling regular downtime during my year was one of the best things I did in 2019.

Lessons

I’m a big believer in taking stock of the year that has been, and looking at what I can learn from it. These are the biggest lessons I’ve learned this year.

Investing in yourself pays off

I have steadily been investing in myself over the past few years — investing time, money and energy into my business and my personal growth. This year I saw a lot of that investment begin to bear fruit and I know that next year will hold even more success, as I continue to set goals and challenge myself.

Follow your own path

It’s so tempting to watch what others are doing and wonder if that’s what you need to do too. But I’ve learned that following my own path and the vision I have for my business is what works — not doing what others are doing. This year I have done what felt right for me, not what others have felt might be best, and I’m really glad I have, because it’s resulted in the kind of business growth I’ve been aiming for.

2 tips for copywriting success - invest in yourself and your business, and follow your own path Click To Tweet

There’s only so much I can do

As much as I would like to say ‘yes’ to all the work that comes my way, reality is that I just can’t do it all. The high-achiever in me tells me I can fit it all in, and because I genuinely like to work, I often try! However, I have learned that fitting it all in comes at a high price. My energy levels dwindle, enjoyment for what I am doing disappears, and my family time suffers. As a solo business owner who has consciously made the decision not to sub-contract to other writers, I know there is only so much work I can do. So I am getting better at saying ‘no’…but it’s not always easy!

Regular breaks are essential

I used to feel a guilty about resting (aka not working). However, this year I learned a very good lesson on the power of rest, when I came down with shingles. For those of you who have had it, you’ll know how painful and debilitating it is. But I learned that the world doesn’t fall apart if I’m not working. In fact, I’m better when I don’t work all the time. I also saw how much stronger I was when I finally got back to my early morning training, and how creative my mind was after a break. Regular mini-breaks also provided the rest and rejuvenation that I needed, in order to keep up with my steady (and often busy) workload.

More regular rest is on the cards for 2020!

Looking towards 2020

Next year is a BIG year for my family. Not only will I be celebrating a milestone birthday (EEK!), but my son will be turning 18 and completing Year 12.  2020 will be all about supporting our son as much as we can during this busy and stressful year. For me, this will mean not overworking, and maybe even pulling back on the work a little, depending upon how we’re all tracking along.

Of course, I’ll continue to invest in myself and my business, in order to work with more international and peak health organisations. There are a few opportunities for mentoring with some highly experienced copywriters that I’m currently looking into.

And finally, I hope to be celebrating a book deal somewhere along the track. However, once my current novel has been submitted, I’ll be turning my attention to the next book, which is already bubbling away in the back of my mind.

It’s certainly shaping up to be an exciting year!

But for now, it’s time for me to wipe down my desk, switch off my laptop and turn my attention to Christmas and family time.

For all of you who have supported me, or worked with me this year — thank you. I am so very grateful for your support.

If you haven’t had the chance to work with me yet and have a project you need help with, contact me now to book your spot. While I’ll be indulging in some holiday reading, and catching up with friends and family over a wine or two, and the odd piece of Christmas shortbread, I’ll be checking my emails, and will get back to you, if you send me a message.

I’d like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas, and a wonderful 2020 — the start of a new decade. I hope you enjoy this festive time with family and friends, and you have the chance to rest, relax and rejuvenate, so you can start next year with a bang.

See you in 2020.

Cheers
Nerissa

 

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