Category Archives: Copywriting Tips

Articles that contain tips on how to improve your copywriting skills and techniques.

When do harmless mistakes matter?

harmless mistakes matterThere’s little surer way of asking for trouble than arguing about rules that are routinely ignored by the masses. A mixture of ignorance and apathy can lead to the dismissal of all sorts of rules in life – some that don’t warrant attention, others that, if you really think about it, should be upheld. This is as true with the English language as anywhere else – where there are mistakes which matter and mistakes that don’t. A recent trip to a bar and restaurant highlighted the difference for me. Continue reading

Narrative Adverts: right and wrong ways to tell a story

narrative adverts right and wrongDuring frequent recent trips to the cinema, I’ve been inordinately exposed to the San Miguel advert that insists there’s a beer with an interesting story. It’s 29been bothering me for a while, but it didn’t bear dwelling on until I happened to be exposed to Johnnie Walker’s The Man Who Walked Around the World from some six years ago (while at whisky school, if you must know). That video shone a candle on everything that’s wrong with the San Miguel advert, and made me realise how much, between them, the two adverts say about a good narrative. Continue reading

The dangers of writing for mass appeal

danger writing mass appealBack in my fledgling days of writing blogs, I made a faux pas of giving a client’s (rather technical) article an overhaul into language that was light, readable and accessible by everyone. What was once a very niche topic could now be enjoyed by all. I was very politely told that no, they preferred the original version, to suit what people in the industry expect. The original, in all fairness, was not bad – it wasn’t unclear, or inaccurate, it just wasn’t something that could be read easily by all. I’d allowed myself to get so bogged down in the swamp of content sharing, awash with this style gets more readers, snappy headlines get clicks and the immortal keep it simple, that I’d forgotten that not all audiences are the same – and not everyone had to read this article, only the right people. Continue reading

Combating clichéd thinking – change your starting point

cliche writingGiven a fairly unoriginal brief, or a marketing stance that lacks certain imagination, it’s all too natural for clichés to start flooding your mind when you come. So what if you hit that terrible stumbling block when, for everything you try, you keep coming back to the same clichés? Consider that unoriginal starting point, that unimaginative bridge, and reposition yourself. Continue reading

How to justify expensive dining

expensive diningMy wife and I went to a cafe at the weekend, where they said the potato hashes were amazing. We’d heard about it from a few different sources. A cramped diner with plastic sheets, and a massive plate of basically all the component parts of a Full English breakfast mashed together in some magnificent mess. It was, as you may predict, amazing. It also cost £8.10. An expensive dining experience for what it was, if you consider that a bit of potato and some diced sausage probably amounts to a few pence of produce. Relative to a pleasant evening meal in Brighton it’s a pittance, but relative to similar experiences this was an expensive breakfast. And all value, after all, is relative. So why was it worth it?

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Why get pedantic about “incorrect” English?

poor preposition choiceAs copywriters, it’s our prerogative to pick holes in language use, often overly so. Ranting about an insignificant grammar rule, fuming at unoriginal adjectives, these are the things that we could go to war over. The problem is, many of these issues don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. I saw the sign to the left at St Pancras a few days ago and momentarily scoffed – what, as opposed to the lift without heavy luggage? Rue this careless copywriter, leaving room for ambiguity, right? Actually, no, more rue me – wasting my time deriding this kind of thing. Tens of thousands of people see this every day and I very much doubt a single person has been confused by this sign. Continue reading

What it means to create effective content

effective content writingI recently blogged about how it’s worth ignoring common SEO tactics, such as stuffing articles with keywords, to focus more on using effective content to get the best search results. Now, I’m happy to introduce a guest post from Mary-Ann Johnn, Digital Marketer, who’ll tell you more about effective ‘content’. Continue reading

Why content often has nothing to do with copywriting

content marketing copywritingFollowing on from the great Professional Copywriters’ Network conference last Friday, I’d like to take a moment to discuss the crossover between content marketing and copywriting. The most contentious issue of the day was the merits (or lack of merits) of content marketing, which Andy Maslen has done a great job of summarising in his blog. Rather than recycle his words, or any of the other genius imparted throughout the day, I want to take a moment to spew out my own thoughts on content marketing and blog writing. In short, that online content, even when perceived as a marketing tool, often has nothing to do with copy. Continue reading

Video marketing insights from Brighton SEO

video marketingFor me, one of the most interesting talks of BrightonSEO came from Phil Nottingham of Distilled (where he has the remarkable title as Head of Trolling and Memes). It’s an apt talk to follow up insights from YouTube at the ConnectedTV conference. Shooting out valuable tips and links at a mile a minute, this is effectively what Phil advised: Continue reading

Changing content considerations: YouTube Insights from Brighton CTV

youtube connected content writingThough I’ve already summarised the storytelling aspects of the , a talk that stood out for me on the day was that of Richard Waterworth from YouTube / Google. Aside from the sweeping stats showing how popular YouTube is (very popular), he gave a clear summary of how the next generation of internet users have adapted thanks to the ease of creating and sharing video content online, and how that can influence content creating strategies. Continue reading