October 4, 2012Copywriting for Dummies
Let’s face it, most copywriters are a bunch of bookish nerds. So how do we write about products that require a “mass market’ appeal? Here’s some tips about how to talk to different audiences without talking down to them, as well as finding an appropriate tone of voice.
September 27, 2012Think Like a Copywriter, condensed.
I’ve written a book about learning an effective process and set of best practices that naturally leads to the creation of good copy. But if you’re in a TL;DR frame of mind, here’s the condensed version – five steps to writing better copy.
September 12, 2012Can using the MBTI help you write better copy?
“You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake,” or so said Tyler Durden in famous flick, Fight Club. And if you believe in the MBTI — the Myers Briggs Type Indicator — he’s right. You, and everyone else, is one of sixteen distinct personality types. Understanding them can help you write better copy.
August 24, 2012Write less, do more
As a freelance copywriter, I have fought against copy mills, bad clients, price-per-word estimates, and B2B jargon. But now I’m going to take a stand against something more controversial. Words. Find out more by reading my guest post on Stephen Marsh’s excellent blog.
August 15, 2012What copywriters can learn from Amsterdam
It was in Amsterdam where the technique of resuscitation was first developed. In a guest post, Stephen Marsh talks about what we can learn from these early pioneers, and how we can use similar techniques in copywriting to keep the pulse of a business alive while they work on a new strategy.
July 30, 2012How to kill content mills
Content mills match cheap copywriters to cheap clients. They pay their copywriters as little as 1.5p per word. Put another way, you’d have to write the equivalent of a novel each week to earn the average national wage. That’s not just unfair. It’s immoral. So how can we fight back?
July 20, 2012I don’t give out free samples — here’s why.
Free samples are for supermarkets. When a client asks me for sample work before signing a contract, I have to decline. It’s lost me a couple of jobs recently, and I’m seeing the request pop up more and more, so I decided to blog about it and explain my reasons why.
I didn’t decide to become a freelance copywriter. I sort of lucked into it, after losing my job as a journalist in the recession five years ago. In five years, I’ve learned a lot — not just about technique, but also about pricing, handling tricky clients, and balancing the books.
July 10, 2012Brand evangelism is dead
Rookie copywriters often make the mistake of praising the brand, when really it’s the customer who’s the star. Creating an effective tone of voice for a brand isn’t about emphasising the brand’s values, it’s about portraying them in ways people empathise with.
June 27, 2012Are copywriters better off when they specialise?
The specialist is no ordinary gunslinger. He’s a lean, mean S.O.B. and he hits his target every time. He might specialise in one particular field of copywriting, or he might target just one sector, knowing his market inside out. Should all writers aspire to become him?