Updates. Ideas. Rants. Techniques. Opinions. Blog.

Divider line

A Great Website is a Russian Doll of Messages

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a beast of a website.

With dozens of pages and very little existing copy to speak of, it’s a been a big undertaking. I was reluctant.

“It’s okay, we’ve planned the messaging,” said the client. “We’ve gone through and decided what you need to say on every page. So it shouldn’t take too long.”

Alarm bells, right?

If you’re a copywriter, you know that deciding what to say is where the magic happens. For all your stylish execution, if the messaging isn’t on point, you’re screwed.

And that’s exactly where so many website projects seem to go wrong.

Continue Reading

5 Quick Things That Will Probably Make Your Website Better

I don’t know you. I don’t know your website. But, over the years, I’ve seen the same pitfalls come up time and time again – and applied the same quick fixes to make them better.

Yes, a website that performs is the combination of a huge number of different things. The right user experience. The right tone of voice. The right messaging underneath it all, based on a deep, true understanding of what your audience cares about.

But all of that is pointless if the execution holds you back.

So, if you’re reviewing your website and wondering what’s wrong, here are five prime suspects to get you started – not hard-and-fast rules, but things to consider.

Continue Reading

Let’s Stop Being Negative About Being Negative

I was talking to a client the other day about negativity in copywriting. We discussed the notion that you should never use a negative word, like ‘don’t’ or ‘frustrating’ or ‘painful’.

And, reader, it was painful indeed.

It’s another of these nonsensical copywriting ‘rules’ – usually the product of:

  • A copywriter who needed to find a topic for a blog post
  • A client who trusted that blog post to be well-researched and informative
  • An understandable desperation to make copywriting a one-size-fits-all science – something that’s easy to do and judge for quality

In reality, copywriting is a creative balancing act. The skill of using the most appropriate techniques for a given moment.

So, for the sake of balance, here’s when I think negativity is a positive for the task at hand.

Continue Reading

A Copywriter Doesn’t Always Sell Things

It’s here again. It’s almost Christmas. And there are things everywhere.

Things to eat. Things to do. Things to wrap. 

As you’d imagine, I’ve written copy to sell a huge range of things over the course of the year – from cars to milk.

But many of my most memorable projects in 2017 haven’t been about selling things at all.

They’ve been about selling ideas.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Do You Pay Your Copywriter To Write?

Well, let’s hope you pay your copywriter.

But what exactly are you paying for?

It is the job of a freelance copywriter to write things, of course, and only natural to assume that the fee relates to the words. But why, then, do so few professional copywriters get into messy ‘per page’ or ‘per word’ discussions?

Over at the Professional Copywriters’ Network, members continue to discuss how much different types of work should cost. What are people charging for website copywriting? What is the going rate for a single page sales letter?

But if you’re looking for a copywriter and wondering how much you should pay, think less about the words and more about their purpose.

Continue Reading

2012 Summer Sports Related Copywriting Post

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there is a large International sports competition about to start in England’s capital. And they’re being fiercely protective of their brand.

So, here I am, writing the blog post without using the word. Can I even say sports? I’ll take the risk.

In a world where people pay for an event and the related facilities through their taxes but still can’t reap the benefits, I’ve been thinking about how timely copywriting should be. Is it important that copywriting is always relevant to world events, or does timeless copy come from a more distanced perspective?

Continue Reading
In a rush? Grab my self-contained PDF portfolio.