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When a Freelance Copywriter is a Seal of Approval

“Hello. What seems to be the problem?”

“Doctor, I’m just not sure what’s wrong with me.”

You slept eight hours last night, but you’re still tired. It’s like you didn’t sleep at all. You tell the doctor about that niggling pain in your abdomen. He asks about food.

You tell him you hate things you thought you loved, and love things you thought you hated. And, worse than that, sometimes you just throw up in the morning for no apparent reason.

It’s all since that wild night when you weren’t as careful as you could’ve been…

You know what’s causing your symptoms. You know what’s happened.

The positive test you did last week probably gave it away.

So what on earth are you doing here, and why are you pretending to be uncertain?

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Swiped: Skoda’s Bland Background

Freelance copywriters love long copy.

But we would, wouldn’t we?

In terms of work, we like projects we can sink our teeth into. Excuses to get creative, to go deeper, and to be clever. Long copy lets a copywriter show off. We also like to read them, because we’re the type of people that read. We’re interested in advertising, and how a writer can hold attention beyond a strapline.

But what about customers and prospects, the people that really matter? Have time-short consumers really got time to read all that copy?

In this Swiped post, I’ve chosen a long copy example that’s uniquely aware of the debate. It doesn’t expect anything from its audience.

But it persuades prospects effectively, whether they go long or short.

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Swiped: Apple’s Full Stops

Okay. I’ll admit it. I’m a hack.

When I started Swiped, this series of posts that pulls together great copywriting examples, I set myself one rule.

Don’t do Apple.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Apple, and I love their copy. I even liked that recent long copy ad more than most. But using Apple in a copywriting blog post is just so obvious. Everyone has done it. Now, just a few posts in, I’m breaking my rule and joining them. But bear with me.

It’s a look at Apple’s copy, and website copywriting – but I’m going a bit deeper into a single, specific technique. It’s one that I’ve stolen already. One you’ve seen fifteen times already on this page.

Make that sixteen.

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Swiped: Race For Life’s Positivity

Copywriters and creatives debate negativity and positivity all the time.

I’ve heard respected freelance copywriters say you should never use negative words. Never say bad. Never say never.

But most people make exceptions when it comes to certain industries. If you’re writing about health, security, or safety, emphasising the negative emotions can really help to solidify fears and drive people to take action.

The problem is it feels a bit dirty.

Just this week, I was interviewed by Glenn Fisher at All Good Copy. We talked about everything from my unusual approach to planning to my favourite words to use in copy. Then, we got onto the subject of whether negative or positive emotions work best.

So, for this Swiped post, I wanted to use one of my favourite examples that shows how people respond to a positive attitude – even if you’re talking about something that’s quite frankly terrifying.

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Swiped: Copyblogger’s Inverted Emphasis

This is Swiped. It’s a series of posts that’s like a swipe file, but with some insight into why I like particular things.

For the first post, we’ll be looking at one of the content marketing greats – Copyblogger. Whether you agree with what they say and the processes they recommend, it’s undeniable that their website features some great copy that’s tailored to the right audience.

But Swiped doesn’t look at generalisations. This isn’t an expansive post, but a precise one that focuses on one aspect of copywriting.

This time, it’s something that I’ll call inverted emphasis.

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Website Copywriting That’s More Than SEO

I’ve got into these copy-heavy bits of work designed to promote myself as a freelance copywriter.

They’re stylish, efficient, and a great way to present my views on copywriting in a way that isn’t a 140-character tweet or a blog post.

The latest one covers that tricky issue of SEO. You can view it by clicking the thumbnail below.

It’s designed to showcase copy, provoke opinion, and steal attention. But, while I love how SEO has expanded the market for copywriters online, this is also fairly reflective of what I really think.

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Valentine’s Day Copywriting

Just a quick one from me today.

And what better Valentine’s Day gift could there be?

As a freelance copywriter, I love those opportunities to get creative. Yes, I know – we’re always being creative – but when you get to come up with a snappy heading or a catchy, memorable angle for marketing copy, it’s incredibly rewarding.

But the thing about creativity is that it has to come on demand. I’m a creative copywriter, but – more than that – I’m a tradesman who tries to keep things practical.

As you’ll see in these copy ideas for Valentine’s Day cards.

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Committing Crimes Against Online Content

There should be a crime against weak online content.

That’s the argument that I put forward in my recent guest blog post for People Per Hour – Why Weak Online Content Should Be Criminal.

After all, if you’re not taking the time to grab attention, inform potential customers, and persuade them to part with their money, you may as well don a balaclava and invest in a knife. It’s your job to court customers, not grab the cash and run.

As a freelance copywriter, I firmly believe in the importance of quality online content. The web puts businesses at their most open and accessible – if you don’t do a good job online, rest assured the entire world will find out about it.

But let’s not confuse striving for perfection with achieving it. Only one of those is possible.

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Negotiate Yourself a Better Freelance Fee

One of the hardest tasks as a freelance copywriter is working with the money side of things. It’s a shame, because for all of the job satisfaction and wonderful clients, it’s the money that matters.

If you’re not getting paid, you may as well quit copywriting and write your world-changing novel or script!

But negotiating a good deal with no experience is tough. Some extra advice can help you to organise your thoughts, set a price, and know how to get the copywriting fee you deserve, or the terms that suit you.

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Does Your Freelance Copywriter Need a Big One?

Let’s face it – a big one makes it easier for everyone involved.

It can provide a handy shortcut for decision makers on whether they want to start a relationship or not. If you know that other people are satisfied, you can be more confident than ever that your freelance copywriter will satisfy you too.

But a big brand just isn’t the be all and end all. Size isn’t everything.

So why are so many copywriters eager to pull out their brands and measure them side by side?

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