June 4, 2013How to inspire brand loyalty

As somebody who writes this stuff for a living, I consider myself pretty immune to marketing. But today I felt some brand loyalty stirring... what could have caused it? Had I stumbled upon brand loyalty nirvana?

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March 1, 2012Google, this is why privacy matters

As Google stake their claim on more and more of our data, I find myself going to greater and greater lengths to hide it. I'm just one man - but all it would take would be a simple plugin to automate the process to put a spanner in Google's works.

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March 2, 2011Essential skills every digital copywriter needs

In my previous post, I talked about why I felt digital was the way forward — and how an emphasis on sites that work, that inform, and that sell the product directly to the customer are replacing “big idea” campaigns. I said that, in order to be a competent digital copywriter, a copywriter should have a broad understanding of digital skills beyond idea generation and actual copywriting. The skills I suggested were:

  • Conversion rate optimization
  • User experience (UX) testing
  • Metrics (stats like bounce rates, etc)
  • Web design and development
  • Content marketing
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media integration

In this

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February 28, 2011No more big ideas: why digital agencies are small and scientific

I started my first blog, a Livejournal, in late 1999. Back then, the word “blog” didn’t even exist.

Twelve years ago, I never could have predicted I’d have a successful career using the same techniques I learned while writing teenage ramblings for my friends. Yet here I am.

I guess I’ve always been an early adopter. Yet it never ceases to amaze me that there are people out there who still don’t understand the value of digital.

The ad industry is changing, whether you like it or not.

I read this fascinating piece on the future of advertising after it …

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February 13, 2011Duplicate content – are you protecting your page rank?

I’m obsessed with my metrics. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the process of building a site, of populating it with content, of monetizing it and making it work isn’t about guesswork. It’s about making informed decisions by checking who’s visiting your site, how long they’re staying, where they’re coming from, and what they’re looking for. In short: your site flourishes when you provide people with content they want.

I came into the office for a Sunday session, thinking today would be a good day to go over my metrics and make a few tweaks to my site.

I was …

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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 10, 2010Building a business out of nothing: how to use PPC advertising

There’s a great story over on the BBC website this weekend about a digital marketing agency that ended up with a business selling parrot cages. How? Why? The answer’s simple. They’re professional PPC (pay-per-click) and search marketing experts. And they decided to use their skills to find an untapped market.

It turns out that lots of people were searching for parrot cages online, but nobody was buying ads with related keywords. In other words, there was a gap in the market. By using PPC advertising the firm were immediately able to test the water — no waiting six months to …

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March 9, 2010Scribe WordPress Plugin: a review

As a copywriter, I often get asked to make my work SEO compliant. In short, people are relying on me to know what works in terms of SEO — where should keywords go, and how often should they be repeated? Until now, I’ve relied more or less on a working knowledge of search engine optimization best practices I’ve learned from working with web designers, bloggers and other copywriters. This week, I’ve started using Scribe — a WordPress SEO plugin developed and promoted by Brian Clark of Copyblogger.

What does it do?

In short, Scribe is an SEO analysis tool …

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October 6, 2009The rise of online advertising

I haven’t blogged for a while. When I don’t blog for a while, it usually means one of two things — I’ve been to busy with paid work, or I’ve nothing useful to say. There’s nothing worse than mindless posts.

In actual fact, it’s been a mixture of both this time. I’ve been doing a lot of copywriting, but I’ve not felt as if I have a lot to add in terms of sharing my thoughts with the world. There’s my random musings on Tumblr, of course… but I’ll spare you those here.

The most interesting thing that’s happened for …

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September 18, 2009Viral video will be the next political battleground

I try to stay out of politics. I mean, I have my opinions, but by and large, I keep them to myself. The next election is going to be interesting, though — because like the last US presidential election, the General Election next Spring is going to be the first big election in the UK fought primarily over the internet.

I blogged the General Election, back in 2005. Blogging was different then. We were mostly ignored. My blog was just an irreverant look at the campaigns, you wouldn’t have come to it for news.

Yes, we all know blogs are …

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