February 1, 2011Big Louise: Why we get lonely without social media

Has a song ever made you feel sad? Lonely? Depressed? Of course it has. But has a song ever made you feel sorry for someone else? You tell me.

I’m a big Scott Walker fan. Scott’s a cult singer who started out as a 60s pop crooner who gradually evolved into an experimental noisemaker by way of the dark, lyrical lounge music of Jacques Brel. Imagine if Frank Sinatra got a gig in Vegas and went from playing crowd pleasers to crooning deep numbers about call girls, death and torture, before finally just deciding to pummel a side of meat …

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January 24, 2011Can B2B copywriting be creative?

Though they say you should never give your competitors the oxygen of publicity, I have to admit I’m quite fond of Tom Albrighton’s copywriting blog. While his site’s a little cluttered for my tastes (I’m sure he’d say mine is too brash), I’ll give him this. The man knows how to write. But luckily for us both, we’re not in direct competition. You see, I market myself as a “creative” copywriter. Tom, on the other hand, is proud to be uncreative. Let’s look at what that means:

With a publishing background, I’m much more suited to larger projects …

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January 21, 2011Setting up a new business: can you really work from home?

So, I snapped. After valiantly trying to tough it out working from home with two highly-strung girls and their overactive cat, I moved into a new office today. And I can safely say I’ve done more work this afternoon than I have in the last three weeks put together. There’s less furballs, too.

I know what you’re thinking. You get up in the morning. London’s all grey and awful. You’ve got to get up before it’s even light and trudge twenty minutes in the rain to catch a bus to catch a tube and stand around geting pushed around just …

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January 7, 2011It’s good to be back in London

Shoes - Stolen!

Happy new year, folks. Hope you’ve had a good one. I’ve had one of those months. You know the sort, the kind where a vengeful girl locks you out, steals your shoes, and leaves you to drive two hundred miles in your wellington boots to crash on a mate’s couch because you have nowhere else to go for Christmas and New Year.

Never happen to you? Well, you’re lucky. But my month on the road (working, as ever, with my Laptop, my wireless dongle and my trusty Blackberry) made me think about one thing. As a copywriter …

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December 15, 2010Copywriting price per word

“Eat your words but don’t go hungry / Words have always nearly hung me,” sang the Tom Tom Club, the 1980s Talking Heads spin-off. Truer words were never spoken — especially if you’re a copywriter. But what are words worth? Let’s take a look.

So far, I’ve held off mentioning copy mills — terrible places where semi-pro writers sell blog posts and press releases for as little as 2p a word. Other copywriters have already said all you need to know. Google “Copify” and you’ll find a whole host of complaints and bad reviews. If you pay peanuts, you’re bound …

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December 2, 2010Information Overload

I hate to break it to you, folks — but social media isn’t social. “Social media” is a buzzword. “Social” is something that really happens, really takes place in real time. It’s social to go out for a drink or a meal with friends. It’s social to call someone up on the phone and see how they’re doing. It’s social to have a kick around in the park with your friends on a Saturday or go bowling in the evening. And if you can’t tell the difference between that and an instant message I feel very sorry for you.


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November 9, 2010Iceberg Theory – What Hemingway can teach us about web copywriting

“For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

This was Ernest Hemingway’s response when asked to come up with the shortest story possible. He’s right — it’s short, and it tells a story, a very sad one. Of course, much isn’t said. We don’t even know who the characters are, let alone their names. But do we need to know any more in order for the story to be effective?

Copywriting is the art of fitting as much information into as small a space as possible, quickly providing the reader with a call to action, ruthlessly trimming away any information that’s not

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October 31, 2010Power Snooker – a successful product launch.

As regular readers of my blog know, I’m a big snooker fan. Snooker is a quiet, slow, complicated cue sport played in auditoriums so silent you could hear a pin drop. Power snooker is played on the same table, but other than that, everything’s different.

A year ago I suggested that snooker had an image problem and that bringing back a ‘game show’ format like Big Break could rejuvenate interest in the sport and allow the players to show off their personalities. The launch of Power Snooker at London’s O2 Arena seems to have taken a similar direction, taking …

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October 28, 2010How to avoid marketing cliché in branding

Can we talk about cliché for a moment, people? I’m not talking about clichés like “easy as pie” or, to borrow from Mad Men again, “the cure for the common…” because in actual fact, so long as these clichés aren’t overused, or displayed too prominently, cliché actually serves a purpose by reinforcing perceptions quickly and easily using an instantly recognized standard.

In other words, “easy as pie” can get your message across to your customer a lot more effectively than “our product is so much simpler to use than your competitors and we think you’ll love it” …

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October 13, 2010Facebook and Bing plan to make search social – should you be worried?

It’s likely the majority — or at least a significant amount — of your traffic comes from organic search. That being the case, you’ll probably already know all about SEO (search engine optimization) and how important it is to your business. After all, if you’ve done your research and you’re on the front page for your chosen keywords, you can pretty much guarantee a steady stream of traffic and customers. Similarly, “long tail” searches for specific phrases can generate a surprising amount of traffic from people who know exactly what they want.

Can good search engine results be crowdsourced? Bing

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